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17 April 2024

This England: May the farce be with you

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 lifeboat crew sent to save a struggling kite surfer saw the light side after the “casualty” turned out to be a Baby Yoda balloon. Local walkers had spotted a body off Embleton Bay, which in fact was a partially deflated balloon based on the Star Wars character.
Metro (Amanda Wells)

Sealed-off area

Police cordoned off a beach so a seal could relax in the sun. Officers in Dorset were called to Durdle Door after the animal began sunbathing on the sand. They fenced off a section of the beach to prevent it from being disturbed by the public.
The Yorkshire Post (Michael Meadowcroft)

A misleading tweet

A bird’s impression of a police siren was “so accurate” it left officers believing their cars were faulty. Thames Valley Police officers were left “a little bit confused” by the two-tone impression. A spokesperson posting on social media promised the incident was “100 per cent real and not a late April fools joke”. Followers on X (Twitter) replied asking if the bird was part of the “special branch”.
BBC Oxford (Steve Morley)

Potty training

An Orkney councillor has said people must be trained not to “defecate in public”, as it was decided that permanent loos should be built at the Ring of Brodgar, part of a Unesco World Heritage Site. Visitors have reportedly been using the nearby loch or road verge due to the current lack of facilities.
Aberdeen Press & Journal (Ron Grant)

[See also: This England: Del Boy’s Digs]

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This article appears in the 17 Apr 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Israel vs Iran