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In Big Brother's house

A weekly column reproduced from the Bristol Evening Post

Amazingly enough, I am sometimes accused by middle class, sandal-wearing tree-huggers of unfairly reinforcing racial stereotypes.

You know the kind of thing: the Welsh are short, dark and untrustworthy; the Scots are facially-challenged and usually drunk; all gipsies steal babies. Sorry, that last one’s true.

But what can you do when the stereotype outdoes himself?

Step forward, Mr Craig Scouser, Big Brother contestant and an utter caricature of the kind of cheeky, workshy tosser that you’d just love to slap. Repeatedly.

This week the jolly housemates, an unattractive assortment of airheads, media tarts and TV wannabes, were given the simple task of riding an exercise bike the equivalent distance of London to John O’Groats. This would entail each contestant doing a couple of one-hour shifts a day.

Guess which of the crew suddenly came down with a knee injury and had to duck his share of the hard graft? Got it in one.

Luckily, the rest of the contestants set aside their appalling introspection long enough to notice that the lazy scally was swinging the lead and Mr Scouser now looks certain to be nominated for the push sooner or later.

If you happen to be near a telephone when the opportunity arises, you might want to register your vote. Mrs Beelzebub and her fellow members of the Montpelier Ladies’ Ferret Breeding Club are already poised.

The editor of this mighty organ telephones from a park bench in Chelsea which he’s currently sharing with George Best.

Have I heard, he slurs through a Buckfast haze, that Mr Blah has written to the Press Complaints Commission about pictures of Damien’s Christening appearing in the Sunday papers?

Does this mean that the Post’s exclusive snaps of Mo Mowlam auditioning as a lap-dancer are now off limits?

I fear it does, old boy, but I can understand your confusion. We are in the midst of a regime that on a daily basis tries to control what we read and what we watch. Even Labour backbenchers are forbidden freedom of thought or action.

The Prime Minister spends millions of pounds of our money on teams of advisors whose sole purpose is to get him and his “message” onto the front pages and the television news.

He’s happy to use the birth of his son when it suits him, hence that dreadful mug decorated with a picture of his family that he clutched while giving an interview soon after the event. Yet here we have him carrying his son into church, surrounded by hundreds of onlookers, many of them with cameras, and then he complains when the pictures turn up in the papers.

Is he really suggesting that Her Majesty’s Press should enjoy less freedom than ordinary passers-by? The man’s a complete charlatan.

Speaking of which, Jack Straw’s speeding Special Branch driver will find out this week whether or not he’ll be prosecuted for doing 103 mph on the M5.

He always has the option of claiming that he thought the Home Secretary was under imminent attack from terrorists, which would be a bit difficult seeing as the most threatening thing in sight was a two-berth Swift Sprite caravan towed by a redundant car worker from Balsall Heath and his singularly ugly wife.

So he can’t possibly get off, can he? Not even Mr Blah’s thought police would try to pull a stunt like that. It would be almost as outrageous as legalising homosexual sex in public places or allowing the Northern Ireland minister’s Brazilian lover to sneak into the country without a proper visa. Ah, I see.

– Barry Beelzebub

* The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this newspaper, of scaredy-cat Americans who daren’t set foot on Concorde, of pop stars who miraculously fall in love the week their new single comes out, or of Laura, the bunny-boiling nanny in Eastenders. Well, would you leave your children with her?

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