Only Jimmy and I can save the British Banger

The Agreeable World of Wallace Arnold
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The Independent Online
A major announcement this week - though not, I regret to say, a "Major" announcement (please forgive the well-nigh awful pun!!!). You will have read in the more reputable of our newspapers that the indefatigable Sir James Goldsmith has assembled a first-class team to fight the good cause for and on behalf of his Referendum Party. May I list just some of these noble combatants, just to jog your memories?

They include: Mr John Aspinall, the gifted zoo-keeper (Folkestone); Sir James Goldsmith, the wealthy philanthropist (Putney); Mr Patrick Moore, the television astronomer (Eastbourne); Mr Reginald Varney, the versatile actor (Stepney East); the Rt Rev Roger Gleaves, the self-styled Bishop of Medway (Surrey SW); Mr Rod Hull and Emu, the satirical comedy duo (Glasgow Hillhead); Cap'n Birdseye, the genial round-the-world yachtsman (Portsmouth South), Mr Ray Allen and Lord Charles, the gifted raconteurs (Windsor Riverside) and Mr Reginald Kray, the wealthy philanthropist (Maidstone). Quite a showing, eh? There is little doubt that a number of Conservative candidates are at present quaking in their shoes - and rightly so, for in my opinion the Referendum Party will win every seat in which it stands, or my name is not Wallace Arnold.

Mention of my name brings me to the main gist of my article, namely myself. At long last a genuine exclusive for the Independent on Sunday! Hold the front page: Arnold To Stand As Referendum Candidate for Huntingdon - PM Likely to Lose Seat, Say Experts.

Deep breath. And again. All better. I realise that this news may come as something of a blow to those of my colleagues who still toil in the soggy vineyards of the Conservative Party. But having given the matter careful thought, the European road is no longer one down which I can tread without finding mud accruing to my boots by the end of the journey, not to mention little by way of roadside refreshment, nor a complete lack of service stations and incompetently laid tarmac. Finally, I have found myself influenced by the following facts:

FACT: As from 1 February 1997, it will be illegal under a Brussels-inspired directive for the average British parent to knock some sense into any or all of his offspring by recourse to the tried and tested British cosh. In a further addendum foisted on us by the Portuguese (of all people!) the cat-o-nine tails will be outlawed from our own homes and schools - and children as young as seven will be permitted to report any parents/teachers who employ the old-fashioned "cat" agin them.

FACT: Meddlesome European hygiene police are plotting the downfall of the Great British Banger. From 1 January 1998, it will be illegal for any of the following traditional English country ingredients to be included in our Great British Banger: hoof, wrapper, penis, backbone, nostril, shoe, elastic band, mane, phlegm, pebble, sock. This ban will mean that the Great British Banger will be reduced by 90 per cent overnight.

FACT: European directives mean that British juries will be able to lock up fewer and fewer of our hardened criminals. It is already impossible to get custodial sentences for those convicted of parking offences, and there have been instances when yobs wearing long hair and metal rings goodness-knows-where have been let off with no more than a rap across the knuckles. This European statute will severely curtail our burgeoning prison-building programme, depriving many of our villages of their very own prisons, and permitting people of all variety of creeds, persuasions and races to simply "run wild".

FACT: The Germans have no sense of humour.

FACT: A plucky little British firm, Supa-Spongiforms of Yeovil, has been refused permission to export their excellent Spongi-Burgers to the Continent - on health grounds! Yet our lily-livered government permits Dutch pornography to be beamed on to our screens morning, noon and night - at a time when a decent unscrambling machine costs a basic minimum of pounds 120.

Five hard facts that have convinced me to Go Referendum. This week, you will find me on the Aspinall campaign. Do come along: come lunchtime, I shall be helping Aspers feed the keepers to the Siberian tigers, with Sir Jimmy dancing attendance. Afterwards, any Folkestone voters stillundecided will be invited around to the Aspinall zoo for a bite. Voila!