Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. World
  2. UK
6 October 2021

This England: Guiding star

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 police officer feared she was being pursued for miles by a drone – but the bright light in the sky was actually a planet. It was only after a drawn-out “pursuit” that she sought help from senior officers, who told her it was Jupiter – some 365 million miles away.

A police source said: “Everyone was quite concerned so you can imagine the red face and embarrassment felt when it was pointed out that the bright light following her was a planet millions of miles away.”

Daily Record (Ron Grant)

A good urn

A masked man has returned two flowerpots which were stolen from outside a retired policeman’s home and which contained his mother’s ashes.

Allan Clifford, 63, had reported the theft in Herne Bay, Kent. When the stranger, who was “a bit cagey” about how he came to have found the pots, turned up with them, Clifford was moved to tears.

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. 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.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

The Times (Linda Calvey)

On home turf

A baffled homeowner found “keep clear” markings painted on the road outside his home – a converted village school that closed down 18 years ago.

Greg Smith, 56, bought the building in Grewelthorpe, North Yorkshire, eight years ago. He said the work had left him in the “ridiculous” position of risking a fine for parking outside his home.

Content from our partners
Helping children be safer, smarter, happier internet explorers
Power to the people
How to power the electric vehicle revolution

Despite his protestations, he said council contractors repainted the zig-zag markings and suggested he go out with a tin of black paint once they had left.

BBC Yorkshire (Edwin Clark)

Each printed entry receives a £5 book token. Entries to comp@newstatesman.co.uk or on a postcard to This England.

This article appears in the 06 Oct 2021 issue of the New Statesman, Unsafe Places