And so we join this year’s proud list of other places that people thought were already cities. Bangor, Colchester, Doncaster, Milton Keynes, Dunfermline, Wrexham. Also apparently somewhere called ‘Douglas’ on the ‘Isle of Man’, which is plainly made up. Oh yes, it’s definitely a real place, it’s a city now, the city of Jim, on the, er, the Island of People.
Anyway, oh happy day, what joy unfettered. We can rename the Town Hall, I’m just thinking on my feet here but I suggest ‘City Hall’. And we can get our own official crest, which I contend should strongly feature loincloths, velociraptors, lightning, flamethrowers and boobs. Most importantly, we can have a Mayor, and that should obviously be me.
As your new Mayor, my main role would be to wear exactly the same uniform as the Governor, except a bit more, and then lurk just behind him at civic events, making a mockery of the whole thing. This was Nick’s idea and it’s the best idea in history. I think if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll admit you’d love to see it too.
I turn 50 this week, an event I’ve long anticipated as it means I will automatically turn into a Conservative voter, and start being on the winning side in elections.
We’re about to get a visit from a couple of Right Honourables, Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Tory Amanda Milling. After I’m 50, I’ll simply feel self-importance because some people from Big Boy Politics are here, instead of doubts about the point of all the fuss, and alarm at Tory Amanda Milling’s voting record, which reads like a Stephen King novel.
We’re keeping them busy – the itinerary runs to 14 pages. I hope we can slot in the food bank too. I know it’s nothing to the 2,200 in the UK, but come on, we’ve made a start. Tory Amanda Milling will be able to explain that from small acorns of hunger, mighty oaks of food poverty can grow, if you just have the will.
Older me would probably have been so excited about the media reception with the MPs at Government House. All of FITV are invited, and five from the radio station, plus Lisa, Nick and Fran, all with plus ones. But it doesn’t matter anyway because I am not on the guest list.
Lisa has suggested that this might simply be that I was forgotten, but I’ve already declared the real reason is that I am a crusader for truth and justice, a rebel on the edge with my pants flapping in the wind, at least until my birthday. Everyone else is an establishment lickspittle deep state lackey. No offence, beloved colleagues.
Besides, if I did decide to take part in this revolting display of privilege and elitism, Katharyn from FITV has already offered to take me as her plus one in order to stick it to the man.
I’m also hoping that my birthday will mean I can look forward with a little more equanimity to events such as the forthcoming Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Right now I’m weighed down with questions about why the UK would spend over a billion pounds on parties when there is a cost of living crisis, but when I hit 50 if anyone voices any doubts I’ll just bellow something about flags and respect, a gammon burp of the sort Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle emitted when Liverpool fans booed the monarchy at the FA Cup Final.
So overall I’m looking forward to being 50. I have no doubt it feels warm and cosy and satisfied inside, like an expensively funded three-course meal on a jolly to the Falklands.
Last week’s front page story seems to have caused a minor ripple. Three New Zealanders, but not Hobbits, more sort of Uruk-hai, were shown living it up during their incarceration.
I’ve seen the videos, and they don’t look great. But they also serve as a reminder of the giant musclebound obstacles posed by these hale and hearty fellows, who appear to have been born of kaiju, and whose hobbies include blind rage and ultraviolence.
My personal Nam was seeing one particular photo, which we declined to print, where the trio of miscreants pose nearly nude. Each man looks like a pile of raw sausages put on bikini briefs. As if God himself decided to sculpt men solely from veins and testicles. The majestic scope of the man-boobs alone made me pine for the rolling hillocks of Devonshire. We protected your innocent eyes from this sight, at no extra cost. Even in the midst of this sorry saga, some heroes have emerged. It’s Penguin News. We’re the heroes.
Two coves having a tough week are Elon Musk and Jamie Oliver. The formerly Naked Chef has managed to get large supermarket chains to stop 2-for-1 deals on unhealthy food so poor people don’t get fat. Unfortunately Jamie, who is worth £300 million and is quite fat, has made food more expensive when many are skipping meals to keep going. Turkey Twizzlers are not healthy, but they keep you alive longer than sod all.
Meanwhile a story has emerged concerning Elon Musk paying a flight attendant to keep quiet about his propositioning and exposing himself to her during a massage. Musk responded by challenging his accuser to describe just one thing “that isn’t known to the public” about his genitals.
Of course, I am no more a PR professional than Mr Musk. But I reckon I’d know to avoid shouting “Oh yeah, well I bet you can’t name one of the weird things about my whim-wham!”
I interviewed Elon Musk once, a feature for BBC Science Focus way back when he was getting SpaceX going. I wrote a positive profile because that was the brief. Nick now blames me for Musk becoming a supervillain, and look, I have an ego. Don’t get me wrong, I’m way better than all of you put together. But I’m not taking the rap for Elon. Even I don’t have Main Character Syndrome that badly.