Banks' Notes 14.04.06

Dear Banksy,

I am a 40-something Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist/Jew who could easily pass for a 35-year-old Primitive Methodist with a suntan.

My problem is one of Respect: I am being pursued by a sitting (some might say ‘squatting') MP who is old enough to be my father and by his creepy friend, an ageing professor of journalism.

Trouble is, they have in their possession photographs I posed for when I was very young and naïve and which would now ruin my career. Worse still, I fear I am being ‘groomed' for some unspeakable fate.

Please help me, Banksy. I shake with fear that my face (and other bits) become so widely known that I cannot walk down The Street with my head held high. What should I do?

MM, Wapping BANKSY writes: First and foremost, get rid of the facial hair. Then you must confront your tormentors in as inconspicuous a costume as you can dream up, accompanied by an older man in similar attire.

Might I suggest a friend of mine who would be willing to help?

John Simpson is an agent for the British Burkaware Clothing company (BBC) and is willing to arrange a meeting between you and your unpleasant stalkers at the Abu Ghraib Bar & Kitchen in Baghdad.

Fly by night. Travel by donkey. And may Allah be with you… Dear Banksy, I am an ageing professor of journalism and have recently ended a long-standing and mutually satisfying relationship with my guardian.

Sadly, my new partner and I have separated after a brief and loveless fling which ended acrimoniously. I now find myself drifting into bad company and entertaining unworthy thoughts about exposing.

Banksy,

I am still in the prime of life with much to offer. What should I do?

RG, Weeping BANKSY writes: You do not mention facial hair, which is good, but you must stop this business of showing risqué pictures whenever the mah-mood takes you. Your recent dalliances will not have endeared you to your long-suffering guardian, but you could try for a kiss-andtell- and-make-up meeting.

Failing that, set new standards, scan the horizon for pastures new and fresh rolling d'acres.

Fly by night, travel by donkey, etcetera… Dear Banksy, Following a recent excursion to the Middle East I have taken to crossdressing and have developed what my friends think is an unhealthy interest in dressing as a black-clad postbox in sandshoes and riding sidesaddle. Any advice?

JS, British Burkaware Clothing company

BANKSY writes: Travel by donkey.

 

I FIND Radio Four's Today programme largely indispensable listening if I want to stay abreast of events, and I believe most journalists of either persuasion (quality or Street) think the same way.

I say "largely" indispensable because, too often, six-days-a-week listening means a constant earache of the same questions being dodged in the same weasel words from the same weasel politicians, forcing this hapless listener to seek solace on Five Live or (even!) Nick Ferrari's LBC Breakfast.

Quality varies, too: a week or so ago the Today programme provided a sample of Good News/Bad News pieces within 30 minutes of one another.

GOOD NEWS: The excellent journalism behind Middle East correspondent Jeremy Bowen's Egypt-based report explaining why all Arab countries see their futures as Islamist (were you listening, PM/President Blush?).

BAD NEWS: Twenty minutes later, a pointless, self-serving interview with Easy-Everything boss Stelios after the airline/internet entrepreneur's PR department produced the sort of schlock, Sunday-for- Monday survey that usually only finds space in desperate tabloids after a slow news weekend.

That's when I flick to Five or Ferrari…

 

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