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17 November 2021

This England: What a stitch-up

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


When David Knight received a fine for driving in a bus lane in Bath, he knew there had been a mistake. After all, the builder had been nowhere near the city, and he lives 120 miles away in Dorking, Surrey. But when he and his wife took a closer look at the photographic “evidence”, they were left in stitches. The picture showed a woman walking in the bus lane with the word “knitter” on her T-shirt, which the council computer had mixed up with the personalised registration plate on Knight’s van: KN19TER, a nod to his nickname, “Knighter”.
Daily Mail (Linda Calvey)

Rock bottom

Three stone penises have been stolen from a shop that previously hit the headlines when the owner refused to move one of the garden ornaments from the window. Businessman Jason Hadlow was stunned to discover that thieves had stolen the ornaments from his yard. His business was broken into on Monday night and those responsible had also taken five cast iron stags and five concrete dogs.
Teesside Evening Gazette (David Walsh)

[See also: This England: Flight of fancy]

“Calm down, calm down!”

A judge ruled that telling a Liverpudlian to calm down is not a racial slur or a reason to skip work. The Merseyside-born coach driver Antony Ryan said he felt so insulted by his boss when he mimicked the famous Harry Enfield Scousers sketch that he missed two days
of work.
Big Issue North (Michael Meadowcroft)

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This article appears in the 17 Nov 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Democracy's last stand