Billy Bragg, Warn Economists

WITH unemployment expected to reach three million by the end of next year, economists were last night warning of Billy Bragg.

The dire financial climate means there is now a greater chance of the communist singer-songwriter than at any time since 1987.

Dr Tom Logan, of Reading University, said: "Two years ago I said if we did not exert greater control over monetary policy we would simply be creating the perfect conditions for Billy Bragg.

"By next April we could find ourselves in the middle of a nationwide tour involving the Communards, the Style Council and – just saying it makes me want to die – the Blow Monkeys.

"And every show will begin with George Monbiot reading a poem about how the trees are not unemployed. Holy Jesus Christ almighty, it must be stopped."

Professor Bill McKay, of University College London, said: "The core economic purpose of any Labour government is to prevent Billy Bragg.

"If, as it appears, we are returning to a cycle of boom, Bragg and Jimmy Sommerville's excruciating falsetto, one is forced to ask the question, 'what is Gordon Brown for?'."

Professor McKay added: "If I so much as hear the introduction to Between the Wars, I swear to God I will throw myself under a horse."

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Englishman crosses Channel using nothing but car ferry

AN Englishman has successfully crossed the Channel to France using nothing but a car ferry.

Wayne Hayes left Dover at 9.15am on board the P&O vessel Pride of Burgundy and landed in Calais just 90 minutes later, after losing £15 on the slot machines.

He then loaded his Mercedes Vito with more than 7,000 very small bottles of gassy beer before enjoying a cheese-and-ham toastie and a glass of Muscadet. He returned to Dover at 6.15pm local time on board the Pride of Kent.

Hayes said: “You can get a return for £30 and while on board you have a choice of places to eat and drink, from the relaxed and casual family area to the more elegant and exclusive surroundings of the Club Lounge.”

Mr Hayes is expected to receive an invitation to Downing Street after the prime minister described him as ‘inspirational’.

The latest, trouble-free crossing is in marked contrast to recent disastrous foreign attempts to make the crossing, including a Frenchman in a bucket and a Spaniard on a horse.

Last week two Chinese men had to be rescued by coastguards after attempting the 24-mile journey on a bamboo raft powered solely by ping-pong.

And the Hungarian daredevil Lazlo Pinsky is missing, feared drowned, after attempting the Portsmouth to Cherbourg crossing on an ironing board pulled along by trained nurse sharks.