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Brian Smith

Tomorrow, in the UK, we will ‘celebrate’ Guy Fawkes’ night and I have no problem with that: there is nothing to suggest that Guy Fawkes did not exist – that is not the issue – the issue is the name. Imagine if the man, who conceived an idea to bring down the British democracy with cartload of gunpowder, was called Brian Smith.

Stick with me.

Now all those years ago when Brian thought it might be a nice idea to blow a few MPs up, I reckon he decided to share the idea with a few of his mates. On the whole I suspect their reaction was positive but I think they did take the trouble to point out a potential pitfall to Brian: ‘Look dude, we like your idea. It’s radical, it’s new, it’s now – it’ll be the start of a whole new craze called terrorism and you’ll get a day named after you. It’ll be wicked. But mate, you’ve got to change your name.’

Brian’s cronies foresaw the problem, and that is to their credit. Imagine the horror of calling November 5 ‘Brian Smith night’. Kids would’ve asked for their money back.

I don’t think terrorism was Brian’s day job. I suspect he was a gardener, and realising his actions might have an impact on the whole of British culture as he deturfed his mate’s lawn for a vegetable patch, thought: ‘Well, I’m a guy… with a pitchfork.’

So, two weeks before his evil plan, he came down the stairs and barked to his mum: ‘Mother, I want to be known as Guy Fawkes, and no mistake.’

It was a bold, yet savvy move.

Fast forward to November 5. Brian is in the Parliament cellar trying to get a spark and he hears what can only be described as security men coming down the stairs.

They burst in.

‘Blimey, Brian what the hell do you think you’re doing?’

‘I’m blowing everyone up,’ he responds. ‘And I’m not bloody Brian any more. If I told you once, I have told you a thousand times – “It’s Guy Bloody Fawkes!

Brian was then taken to the police station, asked to fill out a form and given a crime reference number. In the box marked ‘name’ on the P10235 Blowing Up Parliament crimesheet he scribed the moniker ‘Guy Fawkes’.

The legend was born.