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11 January 2007

Victory in Downing Street

How Mark Thomas won a famous victory, the brilliance of Simon Munnery and why it's important to spel

By Ben Davies

We start the new year with something of a victory. Mark Thomas, the world’s favourite campaigning comedian and New Statesman blogger, has won his bid to lodge a petition on the Downing Street website calling for the creation of a bribery tsar. This in the wake of the Serious Fraud Office calling off its probe into the Saudi Arms case.

Our friends at Number 10 had rejected the first version on the grounds that he was trying to be funny …

Well I never.

Mark has pointed out that a few of the other examples on the website were, to say the least, quite comedic. His favourite was “Stop all wifes (sic) from nagging us men”.

I liked ‘Sell Downing Street and endure a hellish commute like the rest of us’ and ‘Mandate the wearing of Crash Helmets at all times’.

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Not just when riding a motorcycle or entering a bank with a sawn-off then? Well I suppose it would save us having to see the prime minister’s irritating grin.

Anyway have a look and don’t forget to sign Mark’s two entries. Details and the links can be found on his Human Writes blog.

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Simon Munnery meanwhile recounts his clashes with atheists, recommends a new disciple for Jesus and laments the passing of the hoot that was old fashioned warfare in favour of the push button variety. I would elaborate but why bother when you can read this original blog for yourselves.

Moving on, this week I had a wonderfully arsey email from someone at the University of St Andrews who complained that Campus Radicals isn’t nearly radical enough. Guiltily suspecting he might have a point, I invited him to write us an entry about his political activity. He responded and is now likely to become one of our contributors.

Equally, I’m interested in hearing from others at Britain’s universities or colleges who would be keen to write something for that section.

By the by, I also had a speculative bid to do an internship here at from someone with a CV that claimed membership of the ‘English Speking Union’. I wish him all the very best for the future.

Finally, my thanks to Simon Hooper who steadied the online ship in my recent absence.

Contrary to his claim, I wasn’t sunning myself abroad with the New Labour super-rich – I’m fairly discerning about the company I keep. Rather, I was trailing around the Midlands building on some family feuds before heading back to London to decorate the spare room. Life does not get any better than that. Unfortunately.