Opinionated jabs for the pointy-fingered
By Lobbytroll

On our letters page you can read, if you have the time, a long impassioned plea to “talk up the pier” from Lord (sic) Brett McLean. In it he implores us to have faith in the new owner’s exciting plans for the pier’s future, one of which involves adding four more sheds, at 60 sq metres almost 3 times larger than the current one which still awaits retrospective planning permission. There is no doubt that the firm of Skinners makes excellent sheds, lovely in the back garden, but many people believe that erecting them on a prestigious, RIBA award-winning structure is a little naff. Grasping the nettle thoroughly, Mr. McLean (is even that his real name?), goes on to throw up his hands in horror at the nerve of anyone who would accuse him of being a fake. A thorough search of Burke’s Peerage however, has unearthed no evidence whatever that he is a hereditary Lord,
nor is he a life peer appointed by a serving Prime Minister. What equitable, decent reason might there be, we respectfully ask, for adding to one’s name a noble appendage to which one is not entitled?

Having surprised a formerly ignorant public of the importance of the ports of Dover and Calais to the import/export trade, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has now revealed the government’s contingency plans, should a hard Brexit necessitate the setting up of border controls in the Irish Sea. “The new Irish Border will be situated approximately three miles off the coast of Ireland,” he explained. “Contractors G4S hope to have the construction of a huge watertight undersea dome completed by 2032. Until then, ferry passengers will be equipped with deep-sea diving suits and on approach to customs, be lowered into pressurized tanks clearly marked EU passport or UK passport.” Questioned about passenger backlog, he countered, “Full training in the use of breathing apparatus during the border crossing will be given in the ferry’s former duty-free shop. In the unlikely event of delays, a fingerprint recognition system will ensure that, should passengers be forced to return to the ferry for a toilet break or an oxygen top-up, they will not lose their places in the passport control queue.”  Responding to concerns about underwater smuggling he replied, “After going through immigration, passengers will swim through the red or green channel as normal, where they may be approached and subjected to a full body search by armed customs officials, easily identified by their blue naval-issue diving helmets and military-grade spear guns.”

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