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In which I continue to seek part time employment as the ruler of the world.

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Wednesday October 18 2006

You remember I said that Gareth Furby of the BBC rang me, and I passed him on to Sean Gabb.  You don’t?  Well, he did and I did.  But yesterday, Sean Gabb passed him back to me, Sean Gabb having found himself double booked.  So, strictly as a favour to Sean, I actually ended up doing it.  And it turned out quite good, although I didn’t do it very well.  For only about the second time in my little failed media slut life, I was chattering away to a television camera, not in a studio, but in situ, in Putney to be exact, about lots of things that interest me, such as the beauty of London’s river and the excellence of its riverside paths, and about the urge of governmentalists to cover the world with roadside clutter.

My job was to complain about the fact that they are going to smother the waterfront at Putney with lots of little triangular signs warning people about such things as the wetness of water, the windiness of wind and the current-like nature of currents.  Plus they are going to introduce lanes in the river, with rowing boats reduced to the status of bicycles, and the Thames Cruisers (or gin palaces as we used to call them when I went sailing on the Norfolk Broads) as cars.  It’s the Port of London Authority which is apparently behind all this.

It started with a couple of false starts.  I started talking.  Gareth Furby’s phone rang.  He talked.  We waited.  He finished.  We started again.  I started talking again.  His phone rang again.  Strange.  I took a photo of this, but it was rather dull.

At one point Furby asked me how I felt about all this governmental fusspottery.  Did I feel angry?  I said: no.  I said: I feel that this is a photo op for the Libertarian Alliance.

I mean, if you are an LA supporter and you are angry about this kind of thing, or for that matter if you are anything and angry, well, what planet have they been living on?  Idiot signs cluttering up every street in the country is a fact of modern British life which has already had its own slot on Grumpy Old Men.  So, governmental officials are governmental and officious.  Did you not realise this until now?

My other bon mot aside from the photo op thing was that, give them ten years and there’ll be traffic islands in the middle of the river.  The scary thing being that I am probably right.

But Furby will cut those clever bits and simply use the dreary stuff he came for, about the Nanny State.  The resulting savage exercise in BBC bias (i.e. editing) will be shown, he told me, “some time later this week”.