Support 100 years of independent journalism.

This England: The butt of the joke

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 Tory MP who urged voters not to be “litter tossers” has been fined £100 – for dropping a ciggy butt. Richard Holden was accused of hypocrisy after he was caught throwing the fag on the ground. Just last year on a rubbish-picking drive, he asked: “What sort of yob just tosses it out of the window?”
Daily Mirror (Amanda Welles)


Make a meal of it

A curry house has launched a kebab inspired by the expenses row over Boris Johnson’s makeover of his No.11 Downing Street flat. The £8.40 “No.11” at Bombaylicious in Coulsdon, Surrey has wrapping like the wallpaper the PM is said to have paid £840 a roll for.
Metro (Daragh Brady)


I kid you not

A herd of goats prompted a rescue bid when their bleating was mistaken for cries of help. A climber on Idwal Slabs in Snowdonia reported hearing “repeated shouts for help” to Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation. But what he heard was just a herd of goats kidding around.
BBC Wales (Neil Stone)

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.


Content from our partners
How automation can help telecoms companies unlock their growth potential
The pandemic has had a scarring effect on loneliness, but we can do better
Feel confident gifting tech to your children this Christmas

Mask up!

Visitors to St Albans Cathedral this summer will have the chance to see the medieval shrine of St Amphibalus restored to its former glory. Among the range of carvings, visitors to the historic site will be able to spot a modern addition of a face wearing a face mask to commemorate the shrine’s restoration project taking place during the pandemic.
The Herts Adviser (Christopher Rossi)

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


[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

This article appears in the 19 May 2021 issue of the New Statesman, In defence of meritocracy