Thomas Cauldron

A Shot Rang Out


28 August 2011


Shoot Them In Their Stupid Faces is probably Cauldron’s angriest and most self-righteous book:

Shoot Them In Their Stupid Faces details the systematic assassination of the entire British Cabinet by a spymaster who has ‘had enough’. Cauldron wrote it in 1973 after receiving nine parking tickets in one week.  ’I got five of them when I was parked outside my own bloody house!’  he explained to an enthralled Richard Madeley on This Morning  (5 February 1991). ‘I was livid! I had all sorts of violent fantasies about those faceless bureaucrats in Thetford Town Hall.  I think I wrote the book as a sort of political catharsis.’

Cauldron didn’t just write a book in his rage. As he told Madelely, he ‘dialled a certain ex-directory number, quoted a couple of pertinent codewords, and Thetford Council… Well, let’s just say I had my very own disabled parking bay within the fortnight’.

This sounds like braggadocio, but declassified materials show that at least three MI5 operatives were active in the Thetford area at the time. One document identifies the roof of WH Smiths opposite the town hall as an ideal sniper position; another shows vulnerabilities in the electrical wiring of the Mayor of Thetford’s teasmade.

Since essentially nothing happened in Thetford in the entire 1970s, Cauldron must have cooled down and cancelled his revenge operation. But some anger resurfaced when he briefed the cover artist for the first edition as pictured above – for those are reasonable likenesses of genuine Thetford councillors (from top left: Donald Kybird, Christopher Quadling, Sean Dent, Maxwell Spencer-Solent, Corinne Robotham, Robert Skull, Harold Mortimer, Jack Lamb).

Get the ebook of A Shot Rang Out and extra material at! Paperback now available at Lulu.

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