But, while Mr Motion enjoyed using the suggestion as an example of the outlandish demands made on national poets, the idea had taken root in the nit-nurse community. It is now backed bythe UK's leading anti-nit group, Community Hygiene Concern, which made a second request for a poem to support its school awareness campaign. Mr Motion, who has recently dodged brickbats for poems on the national census and a TUC conference, remains unconvinced: "I'm afraid they'll get the same answer as the previous approach, namely that Robert Burns wrote such a good poem on the subject ("To a Louse') I wouldn't presume."
But CHC are determined: "The one thing we don't want is something that is inaccurate. We may be sending him a factsheet." .