Hot Gas Export Subsidy, Letter To The BBC, 14 March 1995

No idea what I was driving at with this one, other than a small donation to Comic Relief. I had spent some time the previous year looking at EU export subsidy schemes, so perhaps I had some frustration to vent.

Farming Today 14 March 1995
New Subsidy/Comic Relief
BBC Broadcasting House
Dear Sirs


The European Commission today announced a new subsidy relating to exports of compost. The value of the subsidy will be measured in ECU per cubic meter of gaseous product. The subsidy will be known colloquially as the “Hot Gas Export” subsidy.

A spokesman for the Commission explained “we suddenly realised that a Hot Gas Export subsidy could be of enormous benefit to Europe and in particular the Commission. Indeed, if we set the level of subsidy high enough, the Commission itself will immediately become economically sustainable or possibly even very profitable.”

The spokesman continued, “We appreciate that there may be some problems measuring the volume, value and destination of Hot Gas Export in order to substantiate each claim, but measurement problems have never stopped us before and certainly won’t stop us this time.”

The Commission spokesman then waffled on for a further three hours on the subject, producing vast quantities of hot air without really saying anything new. He then presented me with a Hot Gas Export subsidy claim for 159,000 ECU.

As a contribution towards this claim, I enclose a tenner for Comic Relief.

Yours faithfully
Ian Harris


Crap Tarrantino Man, NewsRevue and Ben Murphy Lyric, 12 March 1995

This did well in NewsRevue and Ben Murphy adapted it for his “edgy family show” in the west country.

The version below is date stamped November 1995, but it was first written in March. I certainly didn’t suggest that it was a new version, so changes, if any, must have been minimal.

(To the Tune of “Son of a Preacher Man”)

For audiences with a nervous disposition, all the expletives (in bold type) should be replaced with beeps


Tarantino got bored a lot,
And so he made some schlock movies and swore a lot;
When his characters make conversation,
They never pass on information,
It’s just a cesspit of degradation,
Half the words should be deleted,
Cos they’re fucking shit expletives.


The only cunt who could use invectives,
Was that crap Tarantino man;
The only prick who makes fuck effective,
Is that crap Tarantino man.
‘Cos he says shit and suck and motherfuck;
The only one who makes foul-mouthed flickers,
Is that motherfucking bum Tarantino man,
He won’t use words like oh blast and knickers,
Cos they ain’t foul Tarantino style;
He just says prick and butt he should be cut…….

Ends suddenly!!!!

Here’s Dusty singing Son of a Preacher Man with lyrics on the vid:

…and here is Ben Murphy’s adapted version of my lyric.

Letter To Ben Murphy, 7 March 1995

I’m not sure about signing myself off as Z/Ian. I think Ben must have been taking the piss out of our (then quite new) company name.

Ben Murphy                              7 March 1995
(Wells address redacted)
Dear Ben


I’ve tried to call you but you aren’t in. I enclose some new stuff – hope you like it. Still thinking about the other stuff for you.

How’s the tape coming along? Is the tape coming along? Do send those old tapes: I am still getting a trickle of interest from across the pond on the information superhighway.

Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely
Ian Harris (Z/Ian)


Pot Night, NewsRevue Lyric, 6 March 1995

By March 1995 it was nearly five years since I’d had a TV in my flat. This rendered me suitably non-expert to opine on pretentious-sounding TV shows I’d never seen.

Especially disloyal of me, this one, as I was indirectly doing a bit of work for Channel 4 at that time.

I don’t think this lyric was used much, if at all, but it is short and sharp; I like it, especially the first verse.

(To the Tune of “Top Cat”)

Pot Night;
The ineffectual,
Pot Night;
When intellectual,
Berks drone ever on Channel 4,
About their spliff back in ’64.
Pot Night,
Cos Channel 4 are so desperate to offend;
You’ll get eight hours of shit,
But you won’t get a hit,
So turn off, tune out,
Pot Night.


Red Light;
The institution says,
Red Light;
For prostitution’s a-,
‘Nother ponderous Channel 4 theme,
Someone dreamed up in a wet dream.
Red Light,
It’s unbelievable but they’ve made it dull;
Bores on sex, bores on drugs,
Someone please pull the plug,
And show Channel 4
A Red Light!!

If you want to see the opening sequence, sing along yourself and see the Top Cat lyrics/music, then click the first vid.  If you want to hear the original song sung, click the second. Well worth a look/listen at both: