The Nether Regions

The blog that slips an affectionate hand between the thighs of the regional media

Ring a-ring o’ roses, a pocketful of mucus

with 7 comments

A new form of civil warfare is plaguing the streets of Britain: sneezing.

Stockport Express, 10 January 2010:

Protester cleared in court of sneezing on security guard

Jennifer Williams

A MAN who held a three-year vigil outside the town hall has been cleared of assaulting a security guard after claims he sneezed on him.

Michael Parnell became a familiar face outside the town hall over three years, at one point standing on the steps 24 hours a day.

The father-of-two held signs bearing simple messages such as ‘Hello’ in a bid to raise awareness of a long-standing grievance with social services.

Gradually relations between Mr Parnell and security staff deteriorated and last summer he was convicted of deliberately blowing mucus onto one of them.

Public support is quickly gathering pace for the UK government’s newly-launched anti-sneeze strategy, the ‘War on Mucus’. However, in a blow to Whitehall chiefs’ hopes of securing victory, home-bred sneezer Mr Parnell has hit back impressively in the battle for ‘hearts and minds’ by having himself inexplicably pictured alongside inexplicability’s Kerry Katona.

Hello! Fine thanks, although I'll be even better when you begin to punctuate your questions.

Being pictured alongside such an influential alcohol-influenced celebrity icon is, of course, a very effective means of advancing one’s fight for justice. Or, at least, slightly more effective than trying to give someone the sniffles.

The court heard Mr Parnell had been protesting outside the main council offices in October 2008 when he tried to force open the automatic doors.

Security guard Francis Craughwell claimed that when he confronted Mr Parnell, he had blown mucus at him, saying: ‘Here, share my cold.’

[…] Mr Parnell was cleared of common assault but banned from going within one mile of council offices for 18 months.

If you find the tone of this post a bit snotty about a man who is clearly working through some big tissues at the moment you can, frankly, fu-cough. Thanks to Gez Daring for sharing his cold this story.

Link: Protestor cleared in court of sneezing on security guard


Written by Paddy

January 29, 2010 at 10:30 am

7 Responses

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  1. This article raises many more questions than it answers. What is his long-standing grievance? Was it ever resolved? How can he stay away from the council when he has dealings with social services? Why has he got enough time to devote his life to standing outside Stockport council? What exactly does “at one point [he was] standing on the steps for 24 hours a day” mean? For a number of days in a row and therefore many more than 24 hours, or for a series of 24 hour periods, or once he stood there for 24 hours? Really, Kerry Katona gurning for a photo op is the least inexplicable thing in all this.


    January 29, 2010 at 6:06 pm

  2. ‘Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify.’ – Henry David Thoreau


    February 1, 2010 at 9:28 pm

  3. It gets more astonishing every time I read it. I would say only one thing. Perhaps his “quirky” yet uninformative signs are his undoing. If he has spent three years protesting and gone to all the trouble to raise the profile of his grievance, why do we still not know what he is upset about.

    Does the journo know? Does Kerry know?


    February 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm

  4. He’s on youtube. This is incredible


    February 2, 2010 at 6:41 pm

  5. That’s arguably the most stunning thing I’ve seen this decade. I’ve never had to process the word ‘CRASBO’ so much, and probably never will again.

    This one is also incredible. The video footage is like something from Brass Eye:


    February 2, 2010 at 7:02 pm

    • Fell out of bed feeling down. This has brhigteend my day!


      May 19, 2011 at 11:12 pm

  6. Mr Parnell died in October 2013 – hounded to the last by a corrupt council – hounded even whilst terminally ill with in Intensive Care over £24 he didn’t even owe. On the day his operation for his terminal illness was cancelled, they dragged him back to court on a trumped up charge. The case was dismissed in 10 minutes. He only ever asked for counselling for his lovely adopted daughters who had had a terrible time with their birth parents. They were adopted from Stockport Council. A lovely man.

    Sheila Oliver

    March 10, 2015 at 10:00 am

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