Are the great British public actually a bunch of ill informed morons? With radio phone ins more popular than ever and social media allowing ordinary citizens to publicly express their opinions as never before, this is the bold assertion being made by top academic Professor John Preck, Chair of Social Media studies at Andover Institute of Brick Laying. “The fact is that, although people today have more opportunities to voice their opinions to the world than at any previous point in history, virtually everything they say is utter bollocks,” he told the Daily Excess. “Just look at the comments under every story on your web site – full of barely comprehensible reactionary rantings celebrating ignorance and bigotry.” His views have, not surprisingly, been challenged, not least in the comments section below the online version of the newspaper article, but also on social media and in the printed press. “It really is unfair to judge the value of public opinion on the basis of what appears on social media, or what people say on radio phone ins,” opines Excess columnist Barry Bumhole. “I mean, the sort of people who express themselves that way are simply the equivalent of those weirdos you see on the street, ranting incomprehensibly at lampposts. Just because their voices dominate such media, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they represent the majority. Indeed, I’m convinced that a ‘silent majority’ of people with perfectly sensible and worthwhile opinions still exists outside of ‘vox pops’ and social media.”

Preck has responded to such assertions by publishing the transcripts of several conversations he had overheard on public transport over the past couple of years. “Don’t forget that these were ordinary people who had no idea that they were being listened to,” he explains. “They were expressing their opinions with no expectation them reaching a mass audience, yet still they were moronic. At least, I think so. Judge for yourselves.” The first fragment of conversation was apparently recently heard by the Professor while travelling on a train:

Youth in hoodie: “What about sleazy TV? In my opinion, the most embarrassing TV moment was on Noel Redmond’ House Party in 1995, when he cut to that unsuspecting guy who had been set up by his ‘friends’ to have a camera secretly installed in his TV, only to find him with his tackle out jerkin’ his gherkin to Pamela Anderson on Baywatch! I tell ya, if some mother fucker did that to me, I’d kick ’em in the knackers, for sure!”

Bloke in suit: “I distinctly remember watching The Late Show that featured a man who claimed to be able to make a pint of milk disappear, he had performed some mild magic tricks with a satirical edge but then whipped out his johnson and proceeded to suck the milk up it. As people tried to grab him he attempted to consume a double whopper with cheese and fries with his anus.”

Youth in hoodie: “Shit! I remember that dude! Didn’t that bitch Germaine Greer respond by showin’ how she could fire ping pong balls outta her fanny?”

“At this point, the train reached my stop, so you’ll just have to imagine the rest of the conversation for yourselves,” commented Preck. “But I’m sure that it didn’t become any more edifying. Or accurate, for that matter – the milk and hamburger incident occurred on the South Bank Show and it was Melvyn Bragg who fired ping pong balls out of his ,i>arse, for God’s sake.”

Another fragment of conversation he recently overheard – this time on the top deck of a number fifty-seven bus – is as follows:

Bald bloke: “That Buzz Aldrin guy became a total fruit-loop after he came back from the moon – he once arrived at a NASA party dressed in a kitchen roll and wearing a plastic plant pot on his head. He reckoned it gave him protection from the moons rays.”

Youth with earphones: “Yeah, I heard about that – didn’t he stir the punch bowl with his penis?”

Girl with pierced lip: “I once met this guy who said he’d been in space. I asked how farts behaved in zero gravity. He didn’t answer me but he did attempt to touch me up.”

Woman with shopping bag: “It’s all bollocks – they never went to the moon at all. My Gran reckons she saw them filming it on the beach at Weston Super Mare back in 1969. She says if you look closely at the TV footage of the first landing, you can see the kiddies being given donkey rides reflected in Neil Armstrong’s visor.”

Youth with earphones: “Nah, they deffo went to the moon, at least the first one was real, anyway. When they got there they found the Nazis had already set up a colony there. The CIA had to brainwash them when they got back – that’s why Aldrin went bonkers.”

“At which point a tramp evacuated his bowels on the lower deck, forcing the abandonment of the bus,” says Preck. “Much to my relief, obviously.”

A final slice of uninformed opinion was allegedly overheard at a bus stop:

Bloke with pierced eyebrow: “I reckon they should ban those shoes which curl up at the toes – the type bloody Arab terrorists wear. I mean, that bloke on the plane, the ‘shoe bomber’, he was wearing them – the curled up bit means they can carry 25% more explosives than normal shoes.”

Man in corduroy jacket: “Isn’t that a bit racist? You could argue that platform shoes have more space for Semtex, but you don’t see many Muslims wearing them under their burkas, do you?”

Woman with moustache: “That’s just stupid – platform soles aren’t hollow!”

Youth with raging acne: “Yeah, the Arabs have got form for it, anyway. Look at those baggy trousers they like wearing – lots of space for suicide bombers to conceal explosives. They should ban them as well!”

Man reading Daily Mail: “That’s where Blair and Bush went wrong in the Gulf War, they should have made out sure they destroyed all the boot and clothing factories in Iraq – it’s the only way we’ll ever win the war on terror.”

Fellow in trilby: “Excuse me, I think you are all wrong – it isn’t Arabs who wear that sort of clobber -it’s the Turks. They’re on our side!”

Man reading Daily Mail: “Then they should of bombed Turkey’s factories – they’re obviously supporting terrorism by exporting their exploding shoes and trousers.”

Bloke with pierced eyebrow: “Bloody true, mate! I’ve heard that Iran is building a new shoe factory – we should bloody take them out in a pre-emptive strike!”

“At which point, thankfully, the bus arrived,” the Professor says. “We can surely no longer entertain the notion that ‘public opinion’ has any value whatsoever. Even when expressed in what the participants believe is a private context, it is still utter gibberish. If you don’t believe me, just sit in any pub and listen to the abject shite you hear being uttered all around you! And don’t forget, these people have the vote! No wonder we ended up with Brexit and this government! Frankly, on the basis of my study, I think we should be actively discouraging people from participating in the electoral process!”