DUNCAN BARKES Dear Santa...

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It is that time of year again so, dear old Santa, here is my wish list.

I have been a good boy, mostly, and I am once again asking for very little for myself.

But please would you be so kind as to deliver some goodies to the following people?

When you drop down the chimney belonging to Nick Clegg please be sure to take him something I know he needs very badly: some principles.

As he appears to have none whatsoever I think you had better take him the biggest bag you can find.

Another person who deserves a visit from you is Gillian McKeith. Now, this lady is very fond of snakes and creepy crawlies, so please send her a nice mixed bundle of both.

Chichester has been branded the most Scrooge-like city in the UK this year, so please would you leave the Powers That Be some cash towards the leccy bill so we can have lights next year?

Personally I’m not fussed either way – Mrs B does all the festive shopping in the city, where as I endeavour not to set foot there until the heaving mass of present-shopping ceases – but many people feel our glorious city looks more sad than glad on the tidings front.

For that bloke Cowell, the northern lass who reckons she’s worth it (what ‘it’ is I’ve yet to ascertain), Kylie’s less-talented sister and the leprechaun who has had his eyes surgically tampered with, please, dear Santa, do us all a favour and bring them each a sudden urge to keep their traps shut and their profiles low.

Mrs B has asked for a new nightdress this year.

Can I ask you to do this on my behalf – something in winceyette in size XL?

Normally I don’t mind chatting up the lovely ladies in the lingerie department at Army & Navy Chichester, but the queue from the post office next door clogs up the pavement and I don’t have the patience to battle through it.

As for me, Santa, my requests are modest. I would be most grateful for a few ounces of pipe tobacco (Mick and Joyce in Good News in Chi will sort you out with this) and a bottle or two of something red and robust.

Also, I did a day out sea fishing last year with my chum Sammy, which I enjoyed immensely.

If budget permits then a rod of my own would be jolly decent of you.

I hope you have a safe trip. If you have a sat-nav voiced by Brian Blessed then may I suggest you turn the volume down a notch?

His not-so-dulcet tones will undoubtedly wake up every child within a 50-mile radius.