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1 May 2024

This England: Rolling blunder

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 desperate drug addict stole a £17,000 road-rolling machine and then led police on a chase around Garforth, West Yorkshire. Simon Pickard, a 46-year-old from Beeston, loaded the vehicle into a Ford Transit but was eventually stopped by three police cars. Reaching a speed of 50mph, he was swerving dangerously and took a roundabout in the wrong direction. Pickard was given a 16-month suspended sentence and a nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement.
Yorkshire Evening Post (Michael Meadowcroft)

The squawk-off

A nine-year-old boy from Derbyshire has screeched his way to victory at the European championships of a gull-impersonation competition. Taking to the stage in a full gull costume, Cooper Wallace performed an uncannily accurate impression, scoring 92 points out of 100, leading him to first place in the junior category. As part of his act he lunged at a large cone of chips held by his sister Shelby.
Derbyshire Times (Andrew Steed)

What an exhibition!

A Somerset knitting group that created five naked figures – including a vicar – and displayed them in a café window has been forced to cover them up. The figures were created to raise money for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance, but a woman complained, saying she did not want her grandchildren “looking at genitals on their way to school”.
Somerset County Gazette (Amanda Welles)

[See also: This England: Split decision]

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This article appears in the 01 May 2024 issue of the New Statesman, Labour’s Forward March