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I believe all humour is based on aggression. The practical joke is invariably aggressive. Satire, of course, is always so. Satire might seek to banish aggression among nations or local councillors or whoever, but it uses aggression as part of its arsenal. Even what used to be known as ‘good humour’ is not without an element of jeering. In the old days ‘knobbly knee’ competitions encouraged people to make fools of themseves, nowadays they are enouraged to do daft things on public participation shows nationwide. Even worldwide. Then their daftness lives forever on Facebook. Radio and TV comedians are expected to make jokes that are preferably politically correct, and even then danger lurks because one person’s political correctness is another person’s unforgiveable affront. Worse though is aggression stripped of all humour. For the comic or the cartoonist political correctness is like being lost on a High Street where all the shops have closed and everybody has gone home except, hidden by curtains, on the top floor of every building violent people are watching with fingers twitching on triggers or keyboards. Too many people seek out comedy acts in order be offended and once offended they Tweet like mad and a trivial so-called offence goes viral out of all proportion. My first novel was a going to be a satire, but I’ve shelved it. In fact I’ve quit writing. I’ve decidied to take up nuclear physics instead. It’s safer.

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What are the five secrets of writing a bestseller? And how do you grow your little seeds into big ideas? Find out how, in this month's issue of Writing Magazine. In our inspiring star interview, bestselling author Laura Barnett and leading singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams talk about their exciting creative collaboration, and describe how saying 'yes' to working outside your comfort zone can lead to extraordinary creative results. Keep up to date with the latest publishing opportunities and writing competitions in Writers' News!

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