Rod Liddle

Squatters’ rights

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Some new public conveniences at a shopping centre in Rochdale will include two hole-in-the-ground squat toilets in order to make the area’s Asian population feel more at home. These innovations are apparently known as “Nile pans”, although I must say I have never heard them called this. I’ve heard them called “holes in the ground”, though. A local council spokesman said that this installation proved that the people of Greater Manchester were more “cosmopolitan” than anywhere else in the country – but I think the scheme is not nearly “cosmopolitan” enough. To get the true Asian toilet experience the council should provide each cubicle with swarms of specially-bred flies and perhaps an inquisitive rat or two. Meanwhile the plumbing should disperse directly into the street below, perhaps onto the heads of maimed beggars. Come on, keep it real, chaps.