A CANTANKEROUS Tory pensioner has been grumbling about how things aren't like what they used to be.
The 76-year-old took time out from a Sudoku puzzle graded as 'intermediate' to launch a stinging tirade against 'workshy layabouts' who were being paid for directly by him, he said.
"Look," bristled the cockney codger, reaching for a Mr Kipling French Fancy and turning down the volume on Countdown (which, he claims "isn't so good now they've got that man off of Sky television and the young girl who can't add up on it instead of Des and Carol") - "I've been paying an awful lot of tax on my vast wealth in this country for years.
"Apart from when I fucked off in the 1980s because I didn't want to pay it, obviously.
"So I have every right to tell these kids on benefits what to do with their lives."
The crusty grandad was at the launch of a Conservative Party proposal which would see children sent up chimneys from the age of three and a quarter, and deported to Australia for the grave offence of whistling in the street.
"Young people nowadays, they just do what they want. They don't know what a hard day's work is like," he moaned, reflecting back on an age where you could leave your front door open (except in Newcastle, where some gangster with a shotgun would burst through in the nude while attempting to avenge the death of his brother).
"I get up at 6am - well you do at my age anyway; I'm up at least twice in the night with my bladder - but that's beside the point. And I'm immediately working hard reading my lines in the back of a sumptuously furnished Winnebago complete with sauna, wet bar, butler, shoe-shine boy and a copy of the Daily Mail. I do love that Fred Bassett, heh heh.
"I then have to GET ANGRY in the middle of SCENES and look like a bit of an IMPLAUSIBLY TOUGH GUY.
"Sometimes we shoot two, or maybe even three, shots a day. I have to stand up there and speak, using words. Then I'm back to the trailer, or possibly a luxury hotel, or one of the Michelin starred restaurants in which I'll usually take a bit of dinner. Know what I mean?
"I SUPPOSE YOU'RE EXPECTING TO SEE THE BLEEDING CONSERVATIVE PARTY LOGO NOW. WELL YOU'RE NOT.
"You try sitting there honestly telling people that Jaws The Revenge or On Deadly Ground with Steven Seagal - in which I cack-handedly attempted an American accent with all the dexterity of a sealion juggling gravy - is worth seeing in the cinema.
"Now that's grafting. That's hard work. These people nowadays don't know they're born. When I was a lad you had NATIONAL SERVICE and RATIONING. That kind of institutionalised bullying and state-enforced poverty was what made ME THE MAN I AM TODAY.
"I once snogged Christopher Reeve, you know. Those were the days. Is it time for Deal or No Deal yet?"
A Labour Party spokesman said: "Don't you worry. We've got our very own list of celebrity idiots to further cheapen this election campaign. This is by no means the end of embarrassing endorsements."