It's only January and already there's a strong contender for 2006's "Most Risible Attempt By Local Newspaper To Get Involved In A National Story" award.
The lucky recipient of the golden envelope is the super soaraway Hackney Gazette, which today broke some earth-shattering news to a stunned populace.
The banner page-one headline was: "NO PERVS IN OUR SCHOOLS"
(The sublime subline read: "... Or Are There?")
(The web version has the superbly un-alarmist headline "SEX OFFENDERS IN SCHOOLS SCARE")
Yes, it's true. To the obvious disappointment of the Gazette, nary a pederast is to be found in the London borough of Hackney's schools. No doubt the Gazette was pinning its hopes on a community-spirited Hound A Nonce campaign, the sort of thing that always means bumper sales for local craprags. Sadly the stack of pitchforks in the office will now have to be given to charity and the pile of faggots will remain unlit.
Poor Gazette. It obviously thought it was onto a winner and that the schools of Hackney were stacked to the rafters with government-approved child-abusers. After all, kiddy-fiddling is now practically on the National Cirriculum according to the more fevered end of the fourth estate. Local pride was at stake. But the borough of Hackney failed to rise to the challenge.
Fortunately for Hackney's residents, their neighbourhood shitrakers have been able to find a sliver of fear to monger. Apparently the Learning Trust, Hackney's education authority, can't be 100% certain that there aren't any paedos in the borough's classrooms. After all, there's that geography teacher in Haggerston who really shouldn't like Tatu that much, and a German teacher in Dalston who Looks A Bit Dodgy.
Better luck next time, Hackney hacks! Keep up the "good" work!