I Think Special Patrol Group Is A Stupid Name For A Hamster

When I watch old/classic comedy, I like it when arcane things crop up, and I learn something about the past I never knew. For example, thanks to Steptoe & Son, I finally learned that ‘brassic’ is rhyming slang (Brassic Lint – Skint), and thanks to Hi-De-Hi, I learned that you used to be able to plug electrical appliances into light sockets.

I’m re-watching The Young Ones at the moment, and I keep quoting this bit.

I always knew that the SPG was a reference to some sort of violent group, making this assumption based on Vyvyan’s proclivities, but only recently did I learn it was a branch of the Metropolitan Police, known as an elite group by the police themselves, and notorious for their actions. It makes perfect sense that Vyv would name his hamster SPG, and that Rik would hate it.

There’s also a moment in the series where two aliens, played by Rik and Ade, are spying on the house, and they refer to the Manpower Services Commission. The MSC was created by Edward Heath’s government, and was tasked with looking after employment training. It mostly dealt with the Youth Training Scheme. The YTS was started by Thatch, and roundly criticised as a way for employers to exploit young workers.

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