This England

TV talent required. Charlie Chuck-style genuine homeless person; blind person M/F; person of limited stature 3ft-4ft. All with good sense of humour for fun TV show. - Advert in The Stage (Nick Thomas)

A leading fisherman yesterday called for a cull of Britain's seal population to help preserve dwindling fish stocks.
"They aren't sticking to a quota like the rest of the men, they're just helping themselves and not a thing is being done about it. They are pests, you can see them in the North Sea in places where you've never seen them before." - Guardian (Imogen Forster)

I, for one, will decline the opportunity to acquire one of the £500,000 Advent calendars on sale in Harrods. Now that the Independent has reported the contents of the window for 24 December, there'd be no sense of surprise at all. - Vicar's letter in the Independent (Neil Stone)

£5 tokens for all winners. Entries on a postcard, please

This article first appeared in the 17 December 2001 issue of the New Statesman, The ignorance of the Islamophobes