Madness of crowds: A modest proposal for housing the Calais migrants

A friend of a friend comes by to pick up some fags I’ve obtained for him – Gauloises filters. Global markets being what they are, you can buy cocaine (DOC Colombia) and heroin (DOC Afghanistan) on the street corners of almost any British city, but when it comes to child-murdering nicotine, certain varieties are tightly contrôlés, in particular those whose denominated origin is that faraway land of which we know so little: France. I picked up a carton for him at La Cave au Tabac by the Gare du Nord in Paris, because his normal supply line was being disrupted by “hordes” of migrants and asylum-seekers trying to board lorries and trains bound for the Channel Tunnel.

Jeremy Clarkson’s denim false consciousness

‘Instead of checking their privilege, these .99-calibre twerps are more likely to check their wing mirror and overtake at speed, chortling all the while.’

During the Kosovo crisis in the late 1990s, the sight of Tony Blair’s snake hips, cinched by the waistband of his black Levi’s 501s and wiggling their way between displaced Kosovans, impacted on me in much the way the ordinance dropped by USAF bombers did Slobodan Milosevic. He was forced out of office: I dropped my trousers. Up until that point, I had considered black jeans a reasonable bridge between the dandiacal excesses of my youth and the soberer sartorial realities of middle age, but Blair eradicated my false consciousness. Indeed, looking back, I am hard-pressed to think of any more significant “legacy” of the Blair years than this: from that day on I’ve been unable to contemplate such strides without nausea and uncontrollable shivering.