Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RAVES!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 25/10/05

What The Cluck...?

Sometimes life is kind. Today it has dropped into my lap a story which brings two of my bêtes noirs into the gunsights so that they can be felled with a single shot.

Firstly, I freely admit to a deep antipathy for anything concerning Liverpool - as a place, as a concept and as a breeding-ground for the thieves, pushers and no-marks who have infested much of north Wales over the past twenty-five years. On top of which, don't they like to think that they're s-o-o-o-o special? Every Scouser thinks he's a comedian, a wit, the very model of the chummy super-scally. Ken Dodd and Eddie Braben apart, however, real comic talent is not to be found there.

Once, at the age of twelve, I went on a coach trip to Southport. We stopped off in Bootle for the driver to have a slash, and parked near an entire estate of demolished terraced houses. I remember thinking at the time that it might be a good idea to adopt the same scheme right across the city.

And, of course, it was the people of Liverpool who got in the immaculately-kempt hair of Boris Johnson a little while back, bringing on an attack which cost the Permanently-Stunned-Looking One one of his jobs, when he criticised them for their maudlin sentimentality. Which brings me on to...

...what I call Spencer-Windsor Syndrome. This is my name for the virulent psychiatric disease which causes otherwise supposedly sane people to go rushing to place flowers, teddy bears and goodness knows what else at the scene of a tragedy, be it accidental or homicidal. You simply can't see footage of such a story on television without being confronted with the sight of bouquets, bunches and Barney The Dinosaur tied to railings or propped up against walls. Leaving aside the point that it probably gets badly in the way of the Police's investigations and is littering by other means, what the hell is the point of this? Do we live in a society which is so mentally disordered that people feel that they have to flash their grief (real or, more frequently, appliquéd) to everyone? If they want to display their dismay, then they should do so quietly and discreetly, and stop doing something which is merely attention-seeking, bringing no real benefit to anyone other than Interflora and the soft-toy industry.

In the light of all this, you can perhaps understand my delight in coming across this story.