This England

Irish and Australian police officers were counted as "ethnic minorities" by the Metropolitan Police as it sought to meet targets for black and Asian recruits, it emerged yesterday.
Greek Cypriot officers were also included. As a result, the Met claimed it had recruited 218 ethnic minority officers in six months. In fact, it had hired just four black and Asian officers.

A furious Jack Straw has ordered an inquiry - but said there was no evidence the Met had deliberately fiddled the figures. - Daily Mail (Ron Rubin)

While queuing at my local supermarket, a question came to mind: who should place the Next Customer bar on the checkout conveyor? Should the previous customer do it to ensure they don't pay for your goods, or should I do it to save them the trouble? - Letter in London Metro (Imogen Forster)

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

This article first appeared in the 11 February 2002 issue of the New Statesman, Take cover: evil is back