Five jobs I'm willing to do that your local council isn't, by Sir Rod Stewart

ALRIGHT? Rod here, raspy-voiced 70s singing sensation most recently seen shovelling gravel into potholes. And I’ll also do all this municipal shit: 

Pavement upkeep

I used to play with the Faces, but the only faces I’m bothered about these days are the faces of happy ratepayers strolling along a well-maintained pavement. I’ve always got the trowel out to tighten up loose slabs. Some people call that boring, probably the same types who think model trains are boring. They can piss off.

Bin collection

I know – nobody with hair this fantastic and trousers this tight should be seen dead on the back of a bin lorry. But every fortnight I hop on the back of the wagon with the lads. At 77, I’m not as fit as I used to be and I can’t shift a full wheelie bin, but you should see me with a food-waste caddy. Poetry in f**king motion, mate.

Selection of governors for local primary schools

When you’ve had as many birds as I have, picking governors is a doddle. You can tell the ones who’ll stick at it and the ones who are out for themselves. Yes I favour blondes 30 years my junior, but that still leaves them post-menopause with a lot of anger to take out on Ofsted.

Ensuring local businesses comply with trading standards regulations

I sang Do Ya Think I’m Sexy, but what’s truly sexy is a business that’s fully compliant with the law. And you can do this one while going about your day. Going to a cafe for a cuppa? Wander round the back and check the milk’s refrigerated. In a newsagent? Check the tobacco’s out of public view. It costs nothing.


I started out busking with a harmonica, and I welcome any and all buskers to the streets of Harlow. But if they’re selling merch or using amplification devices, they’d better make bloody well sure they’ve got a licence and they operate only within permitted hours. Issuing on-the-spot fines is well within my purview, mate, and don’t f**king forget it.

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Six reasons why you shouldn't take in a refugee that I was up all night thinking of

HATE the idea of foreigners being welcomed to the UK? And you’re not racist because you don’t care if they’re white? Norman Steel explains why you shouldn’t take Ukrainians in: 

They might be picky eaters

You’ve made your guests a lovely meal of chicken, chips and peas. Only the refugee kids doesn’t like peas and won’t touch it. Now you’ve got to get them a 13-inch Domino’s with all the toppings or you’re in breach of contract and you’ve got a criminal record. Doesn’t sound fair to me.

They’ll want to use your toilet

No one likes a stranger using their toilet, least of all a stranger from halfway around the world. What are you supposed to do, scrub the toilet every time Igor and Olga have been in there? Insist they only use the downstairs one? What if they need to go at night and you’ve set the alarm?

They’ll play folk music

All Eastern Europeans love folk music and never listen to anything else. If you want a balalaika twanging away at 1am when they invite their pals over for cossack dancing, that’s your lookout. I’ll stick with my compilations of war movie themes, thanks.

Think of the safety of your womenfolk

I’m not saying all Ukrainians are sex offenders, but it’s the luck of the draw. My wife would have to go her sister’s again, like when she caught me watching pay-per-view porn. Plus statistically one in 20 will be gay, and I don’t want to end up like that fella in The Shawshank Redemption.

It’s below the market rate

The government’s offering £350 a month. You could get double that for medical students. Stick in a mini-kitchen and a shower cubicle and you’ve got a studio flat worth £200k. So basically your Ukrainian is conning you out of a small fortune. This is why I’m not the sort of mug who gives to charity.

What about the pensioners? 

Someone who’s 105 with dementia, cataracts and a heart condition would be terrified by a noisy young refugee. In fact it could kill them. They’ll claim no-one’s suggesting this, but that’s what they said about seatbelts becoming compulsory.

It could affect your Netflix subscription

You’re only allowed to watch on two devices, so what if your refugee logs on too? That’s you stuck with bloody ITV all night while they hoover up Ozark like there’s no tomorrow. It just isn’t worth the risk.