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15 February 2023

This England: Delivered from danger

This column – which, though named after a line in Shakespeare’s “Richard II”, refers to the whole of Britain – has run in the NS since 1934.

By New Statesman

A 90-year-old man who broke his hip was saved after he used Morse code on his car horn to alert a delivery driver.

Keith Turner was injured when he slipped on his driveway but managed to drag himself into his car. His SOS message was heard by supermarket worker Sam Speechley, 45, as she pulled up in her van.

“If she hadn’t come along when she did I don’t think I’d have made it,” said Turner, of Garden City, Flints. “She’s a godsend.”
Daily Star
(Peter Willmott)

Off brand

A life insurer has caused outrage by publishing a provocative advert featuring the notorious murderer Harold Shipman. The promotion by DeadHappy involving Britain’s most prolific serial killer popped up, unsolicited, in people’s Facebook feeds.

The ad features an image of the former GP, dubbed “Dr Death”, who is believed to have killed hundreds of people. It is accompanied by: “Life insurance: because you never know who your doctor might be.”
Leicester Mercury
(Francis Stevens)

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Cygnet-zen’s arrest

A swan found roaming the streets of Plymouth was taken “prisoner” and escorted to the vet in the back of a police car, in a scene reminiscent of the hit comedy film Hot Fuzz.

Officers said the swan had been “removed” from Plymouth harbour, which is about two miles away, by a drunk man. The swan was thought to have been involved in a road collision. The incident has been likened to a scene from Edgar Wright’s 2007 film, where two police officers are terrorised by a distressed swan.
The Guardian
(Daragh Brady)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

[See also: Britain has never faced decline like this before]

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This article appears in the 15 Feb 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Why the right is losing everywhere