It has been confirmed that Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, has bad manners. On at least two occasions recently he has broken wind and failed to say "pardon". Such behaviour has led to public outcry.
One of the events is particularly nasty. Mickey Biggs said "He broke wind in front of my father and never said pardon. My father is an elderly man and is very sick. He recently had a bad fall. He is in hospital. Straw visited, dropped his guts and buggered off. All my father wants is to hear the word pardon. Is that too much to ask?"
In another incident Straw stank out the prison cell of a convicted soccer hooligan. 'Big'John Cole, leader of the Nova Mews Headhunters, said "We are used to such smells in here, but what I wanted was for him to say pardon. I asked him if he was going to say pardon and he said 'Never'. I am bloody furious."
An unrepentant Straw denied that his manners were bad, saying "He who smelt it dealt it, the one who supplied it denied it. Some people do not deserve the word pardon. Mr Biggs never said sorry for doing one in the 1960s and soccer hooligans regularly clear stadiums and nobody says pardon then. The word should not be bandied about to all and sundry."
These comments were of little help for Mr Biggs senior as he lay in his hospital bed last night.