There are more than a million unemployed people in this country who have not worked a day since New Labour came to power twelve years ago.

The best part of another two million have been without work for seven years or more.

There are any number of explanations for these bleak statistics just revealed by the Department of Work and Pensions.

Some of the jobless are, of course, simply bone-idle and enjoy sitting on their backsides while living off the rest of us.


Ronnie Biggs is a despicable old crook who deserves to die in prison.

But Justice Secretary Jack Straw's decision to ensure he does just that poses one very large question.

What about the rest of them?

Biggs was given 30 years for his part in the Great Train Robbery back in the Sixties.

The irony is that under our laughable parole system all he had to do was behave himself, say he was sorry and in 10 years he would have walked free.

That would have been a quarter of a century ago.

Dismay and hostility has surrounded the appointment of the new Speaker of the House of Commons.

Which overlooks a crucial point.


John Bercow says he wants to be the face of the House.

Which makes him the perfect choice.

Read on to find out just why ...


The Home Office is inviting us to be shocked and amazed that the number of women fined for being drunk and disorderly has risen by a third in the past three years.

What we should be outraged about is that the numbers aren't even HIGHER.

The statistics show that total number of females who paid a penalty for being legless reached just 7,930 in twelve months.

That's a mere 21 a night for the entire nation.

An enthusiastic young copper could find that many female drunks in any town centre on any Friday night.


Boys as young as 12 are to be given "condom cards" so that they can pick up free contraceptives.

We are all supposed to be taking our share of the blame for the TV abuse that has left Susan Boyle in a luxury psychiatric unit.


Well, hang on a minute.

Seventeen million people watched the final of Britain's Got Talent and maybe they should cop for a twinge of conscience for their part in the most spectacularly profitable freak show ever staged.

And, of course, you can add in Gordon Brown who shamelessly attempted to use the plight of the collapsed 48 year-old virgin spinster in a an utterly hopeless attempt to demonstrate that he is human and is in touch with popular concerns.

Barack Obama has now twice invited Subo to Washington. And, for that matter, her brother Gerry who relentlessly pops up to fuel the media frenzy.

But 43 million of us didn't watch the programme.

We certainly did not invite, cajole or encourage any of the contestants to take part.

In any case, the glare of publicity and the demands of celebrity are exactly what these people wanted when they filled in their application forms, wasn't it?

Just look at Rachel Rice, last year's winner of Big Brother.

She is now in the hands of an agency which is advertising her availability for parties and promotions at £500 a time.

What she wouldn't give for the kind of pressure and attention that leads to a couple of nights in The Priory.

A quarter of all violent attacks are now carried out by women.

Every day 240 females are arrested for violent attacks.

We are supposed to be shocked by these new Home Office statistics.

But why?

Obviously what we are witnessing here are women demonstrating some long-hidden natural inclinations.

TV celebrity Bear Grylls has been appointed as the new Chief Scout. Mr. Grylls is the star of Channel 4's got-up action series "Born Survivor".

The show features the 34 years old supposedly surviving in hostile territory. But it has already been admitted that when he was portrayed as roughing it in the wild places of California he was in fact spending his nights in a luxury hotel.

The "sulphuric gases" that surrounded him turned out to be the work of his production crew and a smoke machine.

So presumably the nation's 450,000 Scouts can expect some fascinating new celebrity-style challenges under the guidance of their youngest ever leader.

Perhaps bracing outdoor weekends will in future be centred on the requirement to leave a hotel bedroom window open at night. And tough tests of enterprise will involve Surviving For 48 Hours Only On What Can Be Purchased From Waitrose.

The artificial tanners of Coventry are the heaviest users of sunbeds in Britain.


A new survey says that the average user in the City lies under the lamps 84 times a year.

That's way ahead of even the next three on the list, Leeds, Edinburgh and Gloucester.

No explanation has been offered for why Coventrians should be prepared to take more risks with skin cancer than anybody else in Britain.

Can't they afford proper holidays? Are they the vainest people the country? Or just the most dim?

Or maybe it has nothing to do with appearance at all.

Perhaps if you live in Coventry then the urge to go and lie down in a confined space shut off from everything around you is just irresistible.

The Court of Appeal has ruled that servicemen and women serving overseas are protected by the Human Rights Act.

This decision threatens to unleash a flood of compensation claims from the families of men and women killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will also create a new level of nightmare on the battlefield. Senior officers feel operations will be hamstrung by decisions being affected by or even questioned under the terms of the Act.

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