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10 May 2023

This England: We can’t cone-done it

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 speeding ice cream van driver has been caught doing 62mph in a 40mph zone. It wasn’t quite a 99 but police cone-stables were forced to stop Mr Speedy along the A6 in Salford.

The incident was tweeted by officers from GMP Traffic, who said: “We see all kinds of speeding vehicles on our roads in Greater Manchester. This van was caught on a Friday and not on a Sundae. This ice cream van’s speed was recorded at 62mph, we can’t cone-done that behaviour.”
(Steve Morley)

A flock of applicants

A zoo’s seagull-scaring job has attracted applications from all around the world. More than 250 people, from as far away as Australia, have applied for the role at Blackpool Zoo.

The successful five candidates for the job will be tasked with wearing a giant bird costume and chasing after the seabirds, which can get animals and visitors in a flap.
Michael Meadowcroft
(Yorkshire Post)

Cat burglars

A Derby woman whose cats have been stealing from neighbours has attempted to return their ill-gotten gains. Donna Hibbert said items her cats had brought her included a cap, sausages, slippers and two sports bras.

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She has posted photos of the stolen items on Facebook.
Amanda Welles
(The Times)

Animal magic

A psychic goat who is “spookily accurate” at predicting people’s fortunes believes the former first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, will not be arrested amid a probe into the SNP’s finances.
Daily Record
(Kate McIntosh)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to or on a postcard to This England.

[See also: As a unified sense of British nationhood fades, we must ask: what is England?]

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This article appears in the 10 May 2023 issue of the New Statesman, What could go wrong?