Roma community celebrates ‘scapegoat of the year’ award

Romani people are tonight united in celebration after being singled out as the ethnic group most likely to be blamed for all of society’s ills in 2013.

As it transpired that there were more Roma people in the UK than expected, but a whole lot less than say, Britons in Spain, media sources rushed to report on the story in a way that hid the racism behind mounds of statistics whilst making sure to use phrases like ‘crime wave’, ‘child abduction’, ‘poverty’ and ‘shifty-eyed layabouts’. Government sources were quick to remain silent and very much open to throwing the Roma to the wolves.

The group are a surprise winner of the award, which has a rich and varied history in Britain and includes the French, the Irish, anyone who isn’t white, anyone from east of Belgium, and bankers. It was thought that because very little is known about Roma gypsies in this country, people would confuse Roma for Romanians (who won the award back in 2011), Romans (who unlike most other winners did actually invade Britain once), or the Italian football club of the same name, who are yet to attract the ire of the great British public.

The original scapegoat was an actual goat.

The original scapegoat was an actual goat.

However, the public consciousness on Romani people has been stirred recently after a spate of strikingly convenient tabloid revelations linking them to kidnapping. In Greece, a particularly blonde, particularly white girl was found living with a particularly fat Roma couple, which obviously made headline news in the UK. Obviously.

Then in Ireland another white girl was found living with a Roma family and was taken away, but then it turned out she was actually their actual daughter so the papers sort of dropped that one like a stone. Obviously.

When considering both the single story of kidnapping and the new figures, the only natural conclusion is that the Roma represent a terrible threat to British life. As a result, and based on previous winners’ experiences after being named ‘Scapegoat of the Year’, Roma gypsies can expect to be labelled with the following accusations and stereotypes:

  • They’re lazy and here to live on benefits
  • They’re here to steal all our jobs
  • When British people live on benefits it’s different
  • They caused the financial crisis
  • They don’t have British values, they just love drinking
  • British people love drinking too but that’s different
  • They’re uneducated, especially the ones here to seek a good education
  • Britain would be fucking ace if it wasn’t for them
  • Why can’t they go back to their own country?
  • They make us want to move to another country
  • When British people move to another country for a better life it’s different
  • But they aren’t as bad as…[insert 2014 winner here]

They can also expect visits from the EDL, corralled by whichever braindead toad is leading that sorry shower of arseholes these days, although it is understood that they are still having trouble digesting the Roma/Romanians/Romans/Roma FC distinction, so a football stadium and an extinct society could get a bit fucked up first.

Accepting the award, shortly before being chased from the venue by men with flaming torches and pitchforks, a spokesman for the Roma community gave a brief speech:

“You people are fucking weird”, he said.

Met Office: Shit about to get real

The UK’s chief weather service has warned southern Britain that it’s in for a windy pounding on Sunday night as moderately gusty weather ambles lazily towards these shores.

The severity of the storm, currently named ‘St Jude’ for reasons best known to nobody and which make the impending doom sound like a nice slice of cake, is such that the Met Office have felt compelled to issue the dreaded ‘amber warning’ across large swathes of England and Wales.

It's probably going to be quite half-arsed

It’s probably going to be quite half-arsed

The Met Office warning system is a classically British affair: it has three levels of severity, two of which are a state of mind and another which contains needlessly vague direction. The current amber warning tells us to ‘be prepared’, taking the nation to the same level of readiness as the Scout Movement. It’s a step up from the less severe ‘be aware’ yellow warning, although quite what the difference is between the two is up for debate. It seems difficult to be aware of wind but not be prepared for wind – and studies have shown that mental acceptance of wind does not lessen the effect of wind.

Quite how much more prepared it is possible to be for wind and rain in a country which is a study in wind and rain is unclear; the best advice for avoiding flooding and storm damage would be to avoid building on floodplains and not use ropey roofing materials, in which case we’re several hundred years too late.

It would also be useful to not have a drainage system which somehow floods even in scorching sunshine, but alas.

In short, the official line is ‘good luck’.

However, if simply hoping for the best just doesn’t cut it for you, here is a short 5-point survival guide on how to bravely ride out a storm that any other country would barely notice:

  1. Buy a kite. Because you aren’t going to get better weather to pull off some sick stunts.
  2. Move your house closer to unstable trees. If one comes down on the property, you’ve got free days off work. If you don’t live near trees, scatter some B&Q wood around the front garden.
  3. Live in a first floor flat. The ground will be wet, anything above first will be blustery.
  4. Get a gun. You never know when you might need it, and you’ll look cool, especially if you also have a kite.
  5. Panic buy lemons. Because just once I’d like to see that happen.

Follow that plan, and everything will be fine. Probably.

And even if it isn’t, you’ll still have a fuck load of lemons. And a kite.

68% of salad thrown away ‘because it is pointless’

Supermarket giant Tesco have today revealed that 68% of the bagged salad it sells ends up in the bin, leading people to question what happens to the other 32%.

One reason that so much salad is thrown away is that it isn’t food. If people were meant to eat leaves, they could find plenty of fresh, crunchy, vibrant, sassy, [meaningless adjective], zingy leaves by shaking a nearby oak.

It is thought that there are two reasons why bags of vegetation end up in shopping trolleys in the first place, both of which are intrinsically linked to chips. The first is known as ‘the mixed leaves of guilt’, whereby a shopper will notice that everything in their basket is either chips or made of biscuits, and stuff salad into their basket in a futile attempt to look cultured in the eyes of prospective mating partners, or at least not fat.

The second is the classic ’empowerment spinach’, in which the consumer adds three to five leaves to an unused corner of the plate in order to justify doubling the amount of chips or brie in the rest of the meal. The leaves then remain untouched, and nobody says a single word about it.

Some fucker has ruined a perfectly good meal of bread.

Some fucker has ruined a perfectly good meal of bread.

Consumer Micheal O’Rourke, when questioned about the bag of crunchy zesty nothingness in his Tesco bag, gave an honest assessment: “I was on my weekly pizza shop when I noticed an attractive lady in the store. Before I knew what was happening, I was stuffing bags of rocket into my basket like a rabbit on crack.

“I had to phone my flatmates on my way home and tell the to get the bin ready.

“My main problem with salad is that you can’t fry it or have it on toast, so it defies cookery. Also the wording on the packaging makes it sound like a sex aid.”

The looming question in this saga remains: what is happening to the third of salad which is shamefully not thrown away? Experts are unsure. Some suggest that salad is being accidentally ingested as people mistake it for crisps. Others point towards the ‘salad trousers’ fashion phenomenon taking off in Hoxton, where aspiring fashion designers turn baby gem into garments to sell to hipsters and the gullible.

O’Rourke has his own theory: “People are obviously using it as a cheap way to recreate that scene with the rose petals in American Beauty, then they’re getting their funk on in the bath.”

“Dirty bastards.”

“I’m taking off in this plane, but I’m not going to land in it…”

This is a very unsettling thought.

This is one of those thoughts that hits you like a sledgehammer in the heart and, of course, the bowels.

This is the exact thought I had at about 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon as our bumpy little plane trundled over the grass and took to the skies above Peterborough. The immediate next thought was: “Oh god, I’m going to die in Peterborough.”

If you don’t follow these pages too regularly, you can catch the build up to this event here. For those that do, hi Mum!

In short, I hit 26 and decided that the best way to mark this life event was to hurl myself out of a plane for charity. I needn’t have put that link in really, that sentence is equally informative and much more concise.

The day didn’t get off to a great start. We decided it would be apt to have a pre-jump pint the night before – one for the road in case anything went spectacularly wrong. By the 5th Jagerbomb it began to dawn on us that perhaps we’d had one too many.

I woke at 6.30AM with a somewhat groggy head, donned the nearest clothes and went to greet the day. Following my esteemed colleague Rose’s instructions to the letter, I arrived at King’s Cross at 7.30 and boarded the train to Peterborough. The day started at 8.30 sharp, so I was glad not to have missed my train.

After touring Stevenage, Biggleswade, Sandy and St Neots it dawned on me that the instructions given may not have been perfectly thought through, and I stumbled off the train at 9, primed for an 8.30 start.

A quick aside – why does every town now need a slogan? As you roll into Stevenage, past the abandoned factory with the broken windows, you’re greeted with a sign bearing the legend: ‘Stevenage – Where imagination takes hold’.

I can guarantee that nobody has ever arrived in Stevenage and been hit by sensory overload. “My god! This is a playground for the mind” has never been uttered or thought in association with Stevenage. If the council are going to go down the line of turning their town into a corporate entity, they could at least be more realistic. Three suggestions:

‘Stevenage – indifferently shit.’


‘Stevenage – at least it isn’t Slough.’

That isn’t a pop at Stevenage – I’m sure it’s fine. It just doesn’t need a tagline.

Anyway. Arriving at the dropzone a good hour late, I was bumped back to about 1 o’clock. When the moment finally arrived, I huddled into a particularly rickety plane with my instructor, reassuringly also the coach of the RAF Parachute Display Team, and a friendly couple jumping in aid of Pancreatic Cancer. Myself and the male half of the couple were laddishly slapping each other and making manly war noises all the way up to hide the fact that we were really very close to public defecation.

This obviously isn't me, but I imagine this is exactly how I looked.

This obviously isn’t me, but I imagine this is exactly how I looked.

Finally, strapped to another human being, I was shuffled to the door of the plane, which was dangerously open in my view. One thing they don’t really mention is that the instructor has to sit on the edge of the plane. This means that you are very much dangling out of a moving aircraft for some time.

I have to admit, the whole thing is a beautiful experience. Helpfully, I couldn’t see the ground – we were at 13,000 feet and well above the clouds, so I was surrounded by bright blue skies and a fluffy pillow of cloud to jump onto. It’s hard to describe the jump; I went through half a second of absolute and unbridled terror as we rolled out of the plane – the same feeling you have when you wake up and think you’re falling. I cannot tell you how surreal it is to look up and see an aeroplane gently moving away a few feet above you.

After that it’s just sheer pleasure all the way down. The freefall is mad – you’re doing 120mph but feel almost static. I think we fell for about 40 seconds, but it felt simultaneously like 10 hours and 2 seconds of flying. I will never forget that.

Hitting the clouds is quite odd – it seems obvious but I wasn’t expecting to get wet…

Pulling the chute brought out a whole new set of fun. You’re still 5,000 feet up but get to see the whole wide world around you. Peterborough looks quite nice from that high up, I have to say. We engaged in some light-hearted extreme spinning of the parachute, turning tight circles and making the ground spin like a roulette wheel. I was this close to being violently ill. Then we landed, and I gave the ground a steamy, tongue-heavy kiss it will surely never forget.

All in all, that was a brilliant day. If you get a chance to skydive, just do it. If you can raise some cash for charity whilst doing so, more’s the better. Ahem.

A massive thanks to everyone who’s sponsored me so far, I’ve raised over £350 for the Brain Tumour Charity. About 12 of us jumped over the weekend, so we should be looking at 4 or 5 grand overall! And thanks to the BTC lady for actually coming down and supporting us – much appreciated. And a big thanks to my instructor for not letting me die. I’m really pleased about that.

Happy Sunday!