WELL done to the Wiltshire Police officers who helped to trap a Romanian criminal gang who set up pop-up brothels in Swindon.

I still maintain, though, that the best way of dealing with such places would be to film every squalid bloke using them as they enter and leave the premises.

The footage would be a great means of driving traffic to police websites. Who cares if domestic lives, careers and good reputations are ruined?

Anybody willing to take part in the exploitation organised by peopletraffickers doesn’t deserve a domestic life, a career and certainly not a good reputation.

Secret weapons of the journalist type

ONCE again I must confess the evils of the media and apologise for our disgraceful conduct.

The latest outrage, as I’m sure you’re all aware, involves a prominent MP who is accused of consorting with prostitutes and having a devil-may-care attitude toward certain drugs, both legal and illegal.

The MP in question – I won’t name him here as this kind, decent, honest and morally irreproachable man has been embarrassed enough – has blamed the whole incident on the Sunday newspaper in which the story first appeared.

He is entirely justified in doing so. I feel the need to unburden my conscience. You probably think journalists don’t need much by way of equipment when they’re out and about, doing a spot of reporting. A notebook, a pencil, that sort of thing.

You’re wrong, though. Every young journalist on every training course in Britain is carefully schooled in the use of certain other equipment. This equipment is used solely to destroy the reputations of randomly-chosen politicians, senior business figures and other important people for no reason whatsoever.

One of those pieces of equipment is a tranquiliser rifle of the kind used to bring down animals at zoos and safari parks when they need medical treatment.

The most successful journalists hide in bushes near places where politicians and other members of the Establishment are known to congregate, waiting to dart some unsuspecting victim.

Whoever they capture is then spirited away to a house of ill-repute, a drug den or some other embarrassing location, where photographs are mocked up and incriminating words recorded.

The drug in the darts is a very special one developed solely for the purpose. Unlike most knock-out serums, it makes the victim seem entirely sober, alert and in control of their faculties.

It also makes the victim say and do things very few ordinary human beings would consider saying or doing, whether drunk, drugged or sober.

Things like: “Hello again, Mistress Zaza, I’d like the usual, please – the one with the engine hoist, the lukewarm spaghetti hoops, the big cage, the sandpaper, the perch and the bell. Tweety-tweet-tweet, I’ve been a very naughty budgie again.”

Or: “I’d like another half-kilo of the stuff we had the other week that’s made from powdered snails, antifreeze and the lumps from the bottom of a Monster Munch packet. And I’ve got a bit of conjunctivitis this week, so you’ll have to inject it into my other eyeball. Oh, and can I have a receipt for my expenses?”

Or: “You’d like me to lobby for you to build a cyanide factory near the Little Cherubs Nursery? Sure – but it’ll cost you.”

On other occasions we use a more conventional anaesthetic and dump the unconscious innocent in some embarrassing location. Sometimes we don’t even bother with the tranquiliser gun. Sometimes we just install a powerful industrial magnet behind the door of a drugs den or some other horrific place, then break into a victim’s house in the dead of night and line their trousers with an undetectable steel mesh.

Later, when the victim inadvertently walks past the building with the magnet in it, we press a button and wait for them to be dragged inexorably in, kicking and screaming all the way.

I feel so much better for having told the truth.

Remember, there is no such thing as an immoral, hypocritical VIP – not even if they’re filmed and photographed apparently doing something immoral, hypocritical or both.


WITH the bulk of our public libraries under threat and Dial-A-Ride having its council funding slashed by more than half, the time has come for creative thinking.
Creative but very simple.
Supporters of the libraries and Dial-A-Ride should carefully note the name of every councillor who approves the cuts, wait until the next round of local elections and field candidates of their own. 
But why would these new candidates be more appealing to the electorate than the existing ones, I hear you ask.
Well, they’d pledge that every penny of their official councillors’ allowances, apart from funds needed for subsistence, would go straight to the libraries and Dial-A-Ride.
And that any allowance increases they voted for themselves would go straight to the same causes.


A MIASMA of dope smoke sometimes greets users of the upper floors at the newish Brunel West carpark.
You have to sympathise with motorists who have young children with them, and who perhaps weren’t planning to have certain conversations with those children for a few years, but you also have to sympathise with the council, who can hardly be expected to lock the place up all the time.
Still, we can at least look on the bright side. The smell of dope isn’t as bad as certain other smells usually associated with multi-storey car parks.
And dope smoke doesn’t seep down stairwells and menace anybody wearing open-toed shoes or sandals.