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Sunday 18 Feb 2018 | 20:17 | SYDNEY
Sunday 18 Feb 2018 | 20:17 | SYDNEY

London's black shorts



23 October 2009 11:05

There were protests in London yesterday as the BBC invited British National Party leader Nick Griffin onto a top-rating political panel shows. The protestors think Griffin's views are too extreme to even deserve a hearing on the BBC, but I prefer the approach suggested by Freddy Gray, who remembers that PG Wodehouse's great comic creation, Bertie Wooster, once had to deal with a British fascist, Roderick Spode, leader of the Black Shorts (why 'black shorts', you ask? Because there were no shirts left).

Spode was modelled on British Union of Fascists leader Sir Oswald Mosely, and Bertie Wooster dispenses with him like so:

The trouble with you, Spode, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the London scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, Spode!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at that frightful ass Spode swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such a perfect perisher?

 Since we're talking Wodehouse and Europe, here's one of my favourite PGW quotes:

Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French.

And lastly, here's a PG Wodehouse random quote generator. Click on it and say goodbye to the next hour of your day.

Photo by Flickr user jonathan229, used under a Creative Commons license.

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