THE most ambitious Swindon and Wiltshire Pride yet was greeted with almost universal plaudits.
However, a small number of online commentators asked, as they ask more or less every year, why Pride is necessary.
Why do the rest of the population not get a special day to themselves, they ask.
Quite right, too. A blatant injustice, that’s what it is. What, indeed, about the rest of the population? This is a matter of grave concern. 
If only there were a special day and a special place where the rest of the population could go about the business of being the rest of the population, without any risk of interference and injustice based on their sexuality or gender identity.
If only there were a special day and place where there was next to no chance of being taunted or worse by thick people.
Or of being condemned as hell-bound by the sort of religious person who’s yet to reach the chapter in their holy book which says something like: “Be decent to one another and leave the judgement side of things to the Almighty.”
Hang on, though. Now I think about it, there is a special day and a special place.
The special day is every day and the special place is just about every square inch of the country.
As you were…   

They are living in another world

A LOT of press attention has been given to nasty leasehold deals.

Many new-build homebuyers find themselves facing the prospect of paying thousands of pounds a year in ground rent, for which they receive no benefit whatsoever.

Thankfully, some top people in Westminster are on the case, and have pledged to do all they can to relieve the misery.

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering how the situation was allowed to develop in the first place.

As a big fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, I hold to the favourite maxim of his greatest creation, Sherlock Holmes: “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.”

Based on the available evidence, I reckon the only conclusion is some sort of a rip in the space-time continuum.

It is clear that these horrible, sneaky, money-grubbing contractual clauses appeared instantaneously from some alternative dimension where such things have been going on for years.

One can only speculate as to what other strange wonders that alternative world holds.

Maybe it’s like that old Star Trek episode where the Roman Empire never ended, or the science fiction story in which a bloke travels millions of years into the past, inadvertently squishes a butterfly and returns to discover that a different president is in office and all the signs are spelled differently.

That’s got to be it. There was probably some correspondingly bizarre news bulletin in that alternative place: “Good evening. Today aliens landed all over the world, took one look and left, saying the place was too wholesome and nice. President Clinton announced that she is to marry philanthropist and organic carrot tycoon Donald Trump.

“In Britain, a bunch of horrible, nasty clauses in the small print of contracts issued by property developers have mysteriously vanished.

"Nobody seems to know why they vanished or where they went, but they appear to have been replaced by far more sensible clauses which won’t cause anybody to be ripped off.”

I only say all this because the otherwise the situation makes no sense.

The entire political establishment of this country, many of whom are lawyers, entrepreneurs, business people, on the boards of property firms, on the boards of developers, are regularly lobbied by the property industry or meet some combination of these criteria, would have to have been entirely unaware of what was going on.

They would have to have been completely ignorant of this horrific situation until victims began complaining, even though our politicians make and sign off on every law and, in many cases, are in regular professional and social contact with developers.

That’s why the alternative world explanation is the only plausible one.

Either that or the developers were allowed to carry on getting away with it on the understanding that one day the party would be over.

Danger has no meaning

THE latest figures show that Wiltshire has the lowest proportion of police officers per head of population in the country.
The county has 139 officers per 100,000 people, which is 34 per cent less than the national figure.
Our force shrank by 3.6 percent between March of last year and March of this year.
This is not in the slightest bit worrying, of course. It merely reflects the fact that there is hardly any crime in Wiltshire. We’re too busy dancing around Maypoles, drinking cider and coming up with homely sayings to need a normal-sized police force. There are no murders, no burglaries, no drug dealers, no anti-social behaviour, no thugs and no sex offenders. Any member of the public who thinks otherwise is probably suffering anxiety and hallucinations brought on by exposure to those naughty media people.
We are safer now than we have ever been.