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RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: Oh no! Swampy is kicking up a stink again 

Hold your noses, everyone. Swampy’s back in town. Dressed like a jumble sale version of a dodgy children’s television entertainer, he’s turned up in London at a protest against the HS2 railway line.

Swampy and his tree-hugging mates have dug themselves in on a patch of land outside Euston Station.

And when I say ‘dug themselves in’, you can take that literally. They’ve burrowed their way underground, constructing a pair of tunnels, 15ft down and 100ft long.

For the past couple of months they’ve been shifting tons of earth under the noses of police and security guards employed by the contractors.

One of the protesters, who answers to the name Larch, says life underground is ‘a bit like home’. I’d hate to see where he lives when he’s not playing Wombles. What kind of name is Larch?

Their subterranean redoubt now resembles the sort of thing built by Palestinian terrorists to smuggle weapons into Israel, or the tunnels which Mexican Narcos bore under America’s southern border, through which to transport their illicit cocaine shipments.

But Swampy’s tunnel has no such purpose. It’s a road to nowhere, designed to house protesters determined to disrupt work on the high-speed rail link.

They reckon they’ve got enough food and water to hold out for up to six weeks and have been keeping their strength up drinking gritty coffee and past-their-sell-by-date sandwiches, presumably scavenged from dustbins outside local shops and takeaways. They’ve even constructed a makeshift compost toilet.

Nice. One of the protesters, who answers to the name Larch, says life underground is ‘a bit like home’. I’d hate to see where he lives when he’s not playing Wombles.

What kind of name is Larch? Come to think of it, there was a character in Minder called Larchlap, because he was a well-known fence. But Larch is a new one on me. I have no idea whether he was christened Larch, but it is the type of poncey name which always pops up on these demos, from Black Lives Matter to Extinction Rebellion.

Swampy’s back in town. Dressed like a jumble sale version of a dodgy children’s television entertainer, he’s turned up in London at a protest against the HS2 railway line

Swampy’s back in town. Dressed like a jumble sale version of a dodgy children’s television entertainer, he’s turned up in London at a protest against the HS2 railway line

Take the defendants currently on trial in Bristol in connection with the toppling of slaver Edward Colston’s statue.

I make no comment on their guilt or innocence. But I was intrigued to read that they’re called Milo, Jake, Sage and Rhian. Not the kind of names you hear being hollered on the average inner-city council estate.

No, these protests always seem to attract a certain species of entitled, self-indulgent, middle-class layabout — perpetual students, that sort of thing — either trustafarians with family money or cynical idlers content to sponge off the mug British taxpayer.

Larch, for instance, is described as a ‘former lecturer’, although when he last did any serious lecturing is not explained.

He was seen previously ‘swarming’ through the streets on an XR demo, which brought chaos to Central London.

Another of the Euston tunnellers is an 18-year-old girl called Blue (short for Bluebell), who is known as the British Greta Thunberg.

Just what the world needs right now. As the famous heckler at the Glasgow Empire is said to have cried out when Bernie Winters joined brother Mike on stage: ‘Oh, no, there’s two of them!’

No, these protests always seem to attract a certain species of entitled, self-indulgent, middle-class layabout — perpetual students, that sort of thing — either trustafarians with family money or cynical idlers content to sponge off the mug British taxpayer. One of the protesters is seen above in the tunnel

No, these protests always seem to attract a certain species of entitled, self-indulgent, middle-class layabout — perpetual students, that sort of thing — either trustafarians with family money or cynical idlers content to sponge off the mug British taxpayer. One of the protesters is seen above in the tunnel

Blue is already a veteran of school strikes and traffic disruption, helping to block Trafalgar Square. She’s the daughter of an eccentric millionaire who made his money in property development and now lives ‘off grid’ on his own Hebridean Island.

Of course she is.

As Jane Fryer wondered in a brilliant dispatch in yesterday’s Mail, how have they managed to get away with digging up a prime chunk of London real estate?

The tunnels extend under the busy six-lane Euston Road.

There’s the grave danger they could collapse at any time, opening up the sort of sinkhole which could swallow a Number 18 double-decker bus, the route famously driven by Ian Dury’s old man.

Just as well the temporary bike lane has now been removed, otherwise there could be carnage, turning the Euston Road into the Road to Basra.

One minute, you’re pedalling along merrily. The next — bosh! Headfirst down a giant crater full of unwashed eco-warriors.

OK, so I jest. But the reality isn’t funny. Digging a tunnel under the road, risking subsidence, is the height of irresponsibility.

Someone has now got to get these soap-dodgers to the surface, as much for their own safety as anything else. Larch even had the audacity to accuse the bailiffs sent in to evict them of ‘causing undue risk to our lives’.

Quite the opposite, in fact. The protesters are putting the lives of others at risk.

I’d give them an hour to come up then tell the fire brigade to start pumping the tunnels full of water. Swim or drown, Larchy Baby. The choice is yours. Either that or I’d seal the entrance with concrete and leave them down there.

Look, if these attention-seeking maniacs want to dig a tunnel, let them get a job on the Crossrail project, which is lagging behind schedule.

Or, better still, they could move to York or another stricken area and dig out some run-offs for the floodwater threatening lives and property.

If Swampy (pictured) really wants to stop people using the HS2, he only needs to buy an annual season ticket and threaten to spend all day riding up and down between London and Birmingham. No one would ever let the train take the strain again

If Swampy (pictured) really wants to stop people using the HS2, he only needs to buy an annual season ticket and threaten to spend all day riding up and down between London and Birmingham. No one would ever let the train take the strain again

That would be a proper way of helping the environment, not lounging around in a muddy pit under London.

Anyway, I thought the whole point of HS2 was to encourage people out of their cars and onto public transport, thus saving millions of polar bears from dying in a climate inferno.

Surely that’s something of which XR should approve. Still, these protests are mostly about self-aggrandisement and causing as much misery as possible.

Swampy says he is determined to stop HS2, although he doesn’t say how he got to London from his yurt in Wales, or wherever he lays his hat these days. I’m assuming he didn’t walk.

Funny how those who profess to care about the planet have a criminal disregard for personal hygiene.

The only time I ever came across Swampy was when he was recording an episode of Have I Got News For You next to the studio in which I was rehearsing a show. The lift doors opened and out he got. The pong was staggering, as if some diseased mammal had curled up and died in there several years earlier.

Those of us waiting for the lift decided to take the stairs. He managed single-handedly to put that lift out of action for days on end, while it was fumigated with industrial-strength deodorant.

If Swampy really wants to stop people using the HS2, he only needs to buy an annual season ticket and threaten to spend all day riding up and down between London and Birmingham.

No one would ever let the train take the strain again.

Hold your noses!

Having given the world Covid-19, the Chinese have now come up with a new form of torture. They are using rotating anal swabs to test people for coronavirus. Still, they’re only doing to their own citizens what they’ve been doing to the rest of the world for the past year.

Sturgeon may pose as mistress of all she surveys, thanks to a largely supine Scottish media, especially the BBC

Sturgeon may pose as mistress of all she surveys, thanks to a largely supine Scottish media, especially the BBC

Thanks for all your reaction online and via email to Tuesday’s column about Wee Burney and the SNP.

Sturgeon may pose as mistress of all she surveys, thanks to a largely supine Scottish media, especially the BBC. 

She may have a stranglehold on Holyrood, as a result of proportional representation and the dodgy party lists system.

But after thousands of you expressed your disgust at her presumptuous, petulant grandstanding, I’m more convinced than ever that while she may speak for the SNP, she certainly doesn’t speak for the Scottish people as a whole.

Carrie continues to exert her influence over Boris. She’s credited with the Government agreeing to halt the badger cull.

Some may think this measure long overdue. In 1967, the 8th Earl of Arran sponsored two Bills. The first, which decriminalised homosexuality, was passed. 

The second, which would have outlawed the hunting of badgers, was defeated. When asked why the second failed, Arran — known as Boofy — remarked: ‘Not many badgers in the House of Lords.’

And finally, this just in

It takes all sorts. A woman has written to The Sun’s Dear Deidre problem page saying her husband has developed a strange fetish.

Before they make love, he insists on playing the theme music from the BBC News and likes her to pretend she’s Fiona Bruce, reading the headlines.

Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t see how anyone can get turned on by TV news these days. It’s an unmitigated diet of doom and gloom.

I’ve given up watching both the Beeb’s bulletins and Sky Black Lives Matter.

Still, if this woman wants to even the score, she could always insist her husband pretends to be Clive Myrie, and then refuse to yield to his advances until he repeats over and over again: We’re all gonna die!

Before they make love, he insists on playing the theme music from the BBC News and likes her to pretend she’s Fiona Bruce, reading the headlines


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