Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Sooty of the Yard and Sir Stafford Crisp

It seems a pity to quote hoax entries in Conservapedia, the leading source of misinformation for the not very bright, because this increases the chances that they will be exposed before we have all had a chance to enjoy them. My own contributions, providing fascinating and totally fallacious details about the careers of such characters as Melzach the Jebusite and the modern artist Goswell Frand, were spotted and disappeared within a couple of weeks, and I am now banned from the site; quite right too.

However, the editors of this fatuous website are, typically, Baptist creationist sophomores; they are not the sharpest of reviewers and very unlikely to be readers of Other Men's Flowers, so I will recommend this entry which I came across today; it may have vanished even before I post this piece; in case it has, I reprint it here in full:

Detective Superintendent Sooty
Sooty was a notorious figure in Scotland Yard in the mid sixties, his colleague Sweep made a pun of his name referring to himself as "the new broom of the yard". Brought in to fight corruption within Scotland Yard, they were in fact nothing more than puppets of crime figure Harry Corbett. Their campaign in London sloganed "Let's get busy" was not successful, even for a spell. This was eventually brought to light after the infamous incident concerning Basil Brush, which subsequently led to their downfall.
In 1983, Sooty was charged with the murder of three left-wing agitators belonging to an organisation called the Rainbow Programme—Rod Burton, Jane Tucker and Freddie Marks. It is believed by some that they had become aware of his role in MI5's covert project to oust Harold Wilson from office. However, because no reliable witness could be found willing to testify, Sooty was acquitted. He retired to Bordeaux, where he had family, and died of a coronary thrombosis in 1987.

Sooty and Sweep were indeed the puppets of the much-loved Harry Corbett, who created them for TV in the fifties.

Basil Brush is an 18-inch fox who has been a part of British television culture for nearly 40 years. He was created by illustrator and animator Peter Firmin and actor Ivan Owen in 1963; the latter spent most of his life in a cramped box providing Basil’s voice and actions.

Rainbow was a highly successful children's TV puppet series which ran from 1972 t0 1992. The "left-wing agitators" were actually a popular singing/songwriting trio.

And here’s another, still there the last time I looked:

Milton Keynes
Milton Keynes (1883-1961) was a British economist who worked with Lord Beveridge on his landmark report on social service and also advised Chancellor of the Exchequer Sir Stafford Crisp, modifying the latter's extreme socialist views, in the 1945-51 Atlee government. In the 1951 dissolution honours he became Lord Keynes of Wolverton.
The 1960s new town in Buckinghamshire is named after him. The town is famous for its use of concrete, (especially its concrete cows), its confusing road system, and its apparent abandonment of all aesthetic considerations in its planning.

Many of the spoof entries in Conservapedia seem to have been inserted by mischievous Englishmen, perhaps because they assume, quite rightly, that the editors are even more profoundly ignorant about England than they are about most of the other topics their website covers. After all, why should a Midwestern fundamentalist know or care that the economist Maynard Keynes died a year before Stafford Cripps became Chancellor, or that the new town was named after the existing village of Milton Keynes, which was in the Domesday book?

The reference to concrete cows might have raised doubts, but in fact this is almost the only accurate statement in the whole article.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These hoaxes are quite funny. Another one was at http://conservapedia.com/index.php?title=Largs&oldid=126701, but it was fixed.