Jo Brand's week

Share
It seems that gangs of Greek Cypriots are making vicious and unprovoked attacks on off-duty British troops who are serving with the United Nations in Nicosia. This is thought to be happening because of the case involving the three soldiers who were sentenced to life following the killing of a young Danish woman. Reaction to these attacks by the Army appears to be a mixture of surprise and concern.

It isn't a surprise to me, it's quite understandable and it may well be time for senior figures in the British Army to admit that many young soldiers are out of control. I accept that many young blokes in the army are lawful, well-behaved individuals, but that's not the point. The point is that an institution like the Army cannot afford to ignore the behaviour of a handful of psychopaths who have led them to acquire such a thuggish image. Perhaps if the people of Cyprus felt the upper echelons weren't turning a blind eye, things would be better. A bit of positive PR wouldn't go amiss. Obviously, it's a bit of a frightening thought having soldiers doing shopping for old ladies or a spot of babysitting, but permitting soldiers to behave like drunken morons when they're off-duty ain't going to endear them to the locals.

It looks as if Tufty is in danger of being squashed under the wheels of progress. Plans are afoot to kill off this road-safety squirrel and replace him with a slightly more hip representative. The director of the Royal Society for the Prevention Of Accidents, Dave Fenemore, thinks that Tufty lacks credibility with the kids, because he is too puritanical and goody-goody. Yep, that figures ... the church seems to be having the same problem.

Tufty's replacement will be a boy called Willy who sports a baseball cap and is accompanied by a dragon called Watchit. Apparently, faith has been lost in small animals teaching road safety, given that a hedgehog is part of Tufty's entourage and as we know they are not the most skilled creatures at crossing the road.

I think a lot of fun could be had with future slogans, "Don't run over a Willy," I fear, is a message that many five-year-old feminists may well ignore.

What a shame that an event as genteel and respectable as the Chelsea Flower Show spawns the petty jealousies and resentments normally reserved for less grand occasions. But the gardeners are not happy and cannot bring themselves to congratulate the winner of the best garden award. Apparently, only those gardeners who are sponsored by the posh nobs ever seem to win the prizes. The losers have even considered asking a gang of Joe Publics to follow the judges round next year and give their own verdict on the gardens. Whatever happened to flower power?

What a joy it must have been for Dennis Skinner to discover that children in Jamaica are saving their money to send to children at a school in Derbyshire to buy pencils. Even better perhaps, that some schools in Derbyshire use local firms to sponsor toilet paper in schools. The Labour left must have relished the opportunity to accuse the Government of scrimping on education to such an extent that parts of a child's education are being sponsored by a Third World country.

In these cases, I like to stop reading and try to work out what the Government's response is going to be ... because there always is one. Predictably, it would accuse the education authority (Labour, of course) of spending its money on pointless exercises such as creating nuclear-free zones. This sounds rather hollow. Perhaps Jamaican children could save a bit more and sort out the dreadful state of repair of our schools.

Libraries in Glasgow have had their budget cut by 15 per cent, thus forcing the tragic decision that no more Mills and Boon novels (if you can call them that) will be bought in. I wonder how they came to this decision.

Well, I imagine some granite-jawed hero with smoky grey eyes forcefully made his case, as he pounded his fist on the table and his chest rose and fell in a very manly way. On the other hand, one should spare a thought for the women whose lives are going to be left empty and desolate by the absence of heros like this.

Julia Ormond, the near-perfect looking actress, who played Guinevere in the recent Connery/Gere bash, First Knight, has been bemoaning the fact that she cannot find her ideal man. It is always distressing for us lower mortals who look like we've just got up ... all day ... to discover that a flower as delightful as Julia with the pick of the crop at her feet is having problems in the search for a partner. If she cannot find the ideal man with her assets, it leads one sadly to the conclusion that he does not exist.

Still, what would I know, man-hating feminist that I am?

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Dynamics CRM Developer (C#, .NET, Dynamics CRM 2011/2013)

£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...

Web Developer (C#, ASP.NET, AJAX, JavaScript, MVC, HTML)

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...

C# R&D .NET Developer-Algorithms, WCF, WPF, Agile, ASP.NET,MVC

£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...

C# Developer (Web, HTML5, CSS3, ASP.NET, JS, Visual Studios)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

i Deputy Editor's Letter:

Independent Voices, Indy Voices Rhodri Jones
A couple stand in front of a beautiful cloudy scene  

In sickness and in health: It’s been stormy but there are blessings in the clouds

Rebecca Armstrong
Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor