Monday, 21 February 2011

Watt makes a good copywriter

What makes a good copywriter? It's a vexed question.
Whatever your job, attention to detail is paramount.
As such, you may have been drawn by the potential slip-up in the above headline.
It would certainly have been possible to read it as a question. It has that certain 'sound'.
But rather than asking a question, I was merely stating a fact. Or, at the very least, an opinion.
Sound is important when it comes to language.
Bernie Watt, an erstwhile colleague, is a very good copywriter.
He is also a great musician.
When he writes, he instils rhythm.
It makes his work easier to read.
Of course, there are many other rules that go towards writing good copy.
Some are cast in stone, others cast aside.
But unless you make whatever you write easy to read, chances are it won't be read.
The fact that you've read this far must say something about my writing, if not my musical ability.
Maybe that explains why so much of what I write is crotchety.

Take time out in life before time takes you out

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Straitened circumstances. Screwed-up thinking.

It often brings a wry smile to my face when I see people whose occupations seem to have been pre-determined by the names that they were given at birth.
As an example, I've just had my hair cut by a chap called Jim Barbour.
And so it was, with slightly less amusement, that I read about the UK's highest paid official in either central or local government.
His name is Phil Dolan and it seems to me that the poor council taxpayers in South Somerset district council have been 'doling' out their money by the barrowload.
I suspect that having opted for a salary, pension and severance package of £569,000, Phil decided he has had his 'fill'.
To add salt to the wounds, two of his underlings will each have to get by on a smidgeon over £300,000 for a similar sort of package.
Suffice to say, while neither of them will go short, the payments are nothing short of scandalous.
To get clean away with all that filthy lucre from a district that has only 162,000 residents is impossible to justify.
Across the country, services are being cut by local councils in the name of efficiencies.
Libraries are living on borrowed time. Hospitals are in intensive care. And boy, do they need it. Even schools are having to re-learn the three R's.
Rationalisation and Redundancy.
Yes, even education has suffered - that was only two.
Okay, so let's add R-ithmetic.
As pensioners grow older and colder, fat cats are getting fatter and fatter.
But there is one bright spot.
For the time being, we should be able to suspend all cold weather payments for the elderly.
Their blood must surely be boiling.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Lawyers on the payroll. Prisoners on parole.

There is scarcely a week that passes in which the term Human Rights isn't dragged ever deeper into the gutter.
This past week was a case in point.
And just in case the points escaped you, one related to prisoners' rights to vote while the other was to do with paedophiles who rail against their inclusion on the sex register.
Maybe if we were to tell them that the sex register is a place where you can register for sex, they would happily form a disorderly queue.
So what's going on?
Well, let's not just blame the vile wretches who perpetrate these crimes.
Let's also implicate the Human Rights Lawyers who perpetuate this 'I've been wronged' culture.
Are these lawyers really too lazy to carry on chasing ambulances or was banking too honourable a profession that they opted for a career change?
As decent humans, we demand the right to protect ourselves and our children by locking up dangerous criminals.
And as dangerous criminals, the flagrant disregard that they showed for the law of the land in the first place, ought to preclude them from having a say in who makes these laws.
In fact, I'm even beginning to wonder whether lawyers themselves should have the right to vote.

Monday, 14 February 2011


St Valentine lived as a priest in Rome. He also died there.
In fact, he was murdered.
So 'whodunnit'?
Rome is a city of romance. Even the name suggests that much.
The first two letters of romance are RO which is a homophone of arrow.
We all know about Cupid's arrow.
And Cupid, as we also know, is the Roman God of Desire.
Has the story come full circle?
Was it Cupid that killed St Valentine?
What might have been his motive or was he simply trying to instil some desire and his mischief 'misfired'?
Maybe so.
But then, who are the mugs that are fetching, flowers, chocolates and alcohol every February 14th?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

I've been a wily Rover for many a year

Why do you think my kennel is next to that cute little bitch?
Woof! Woof!

Saint Valentine's Day Massacre

Noses are red
though mine was once blew
Grammar is dead
And if this rhyme is anything to go by
Poetry is too

The death of punctuation?

For anyone who believes that punctuation is not important, try explaining the difference between the following:


You're not laughing now.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Press caught Prescott


A typical conversation?

Prescott calls Dorneywood.

"Hello, is that the butler?"

"Yes, can I help Sir?"

"Hello Rab. It's John here. I'll be at Dorneywood this weekend. I'd like some croquettes on the lawn."

"Very good, Sir. And would Sir like the the newspapers delivered to his room?"

"Yes please. But make sure they are yesterday's."

"Yesterday's Sir?"

"Yes, I find they normally include a fish supper."

"Very good Sir."

"Oh and one final thing."

"Yes Sir?"

"Please don't use 'Sir' all the time."

"Mr Prescott?"

"No, try practising 'Lord'. I'm getting used to living like one."

Sunday, 6 February 2011


I'm scared of dying but not of death
I live my life with every breath

For me the dentist holds no fears
I haven't had my teeth for years

To catch a cold is not an issue
If I can find myself a tissue ATISHOO!

The dark will never cause me fright
As long as I can reach a light

And cabbage ain't my favourite food
Though it can't be bad if it does you good

But there is one thing that freaks me out
I'll need to whisper....IT'S KIDS THAT SHOUT!

If someone is 'dead on time', why are they subsequently described as 'The Late......'?

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Football is not a matter of profit and loss

It's far more important than that.
Well, that's what you'd glean if you asked fans of the clubs that occupy the upper echelons of the English Premiership. (As long as you refrain from using words like 'echelons'.)
While lesser teams make do with pumping high balls into the opposition's penalty box, the more fashionable clubs benefit from wealthy benefactors pumping high finance into their coffers.
More money pays higher wages which attracts better players which, in turn, draws bigger crowds.
There seems to be the vestige of some logic in this economic model.
But there isn't. At least, not on the scale that money is being paid to modern day footballers.
Last week signalled the closure of the transfer window.
Before it shut, Andy Carroll, who had only played half a season of Premiership football, moved from Newcastle to Liverpool for something approaching £40 million. He replaced FernandoTorres who had been shipped out for £50 million to Chelsea.
There's not another business like it and the owners could not have made their fortunes had they conducted their core businesses in that way. So what's their game?
Is it a tax loss? Is it ego? Or is it simply men and boys and the size and value of their toys?
This week we witnessed an even more significant event.
A pub landlady from Portsmouth fought for her right to beam in top UK games via Greece.
If Sky cannot dictate where we buy their viewing packages from, revenues will fall and so too will the money that they inject into the game.
Were the bubble to burst, the rich owners are wealthy enough to walk away. The fear is, by then, many fans will have walked away too.
For the future of football to be worth a punt, we need to start thinking more about the punters.
Today and tomorrow.
Otherwise, you won't need to be a prophet to forecast a loss.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Stuff his contributions. Let's have retribution.

If any alien beings had spent yesterday observing planet earth's social networks, they might well have wondered what the hell was going on.
Activity was frantic.
It was merely a reflection of the goings-on in the English Premiership transfer market.
Had they paid more attention to what was going on in the Bank of England, they would have been even more perplexed. That's because yesterday was the day that the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street chose to put an extra £1.4 million into the pension pot of its Governor, Mervyn King.
Coincidence or clever timing?
So when he retires in 2013, Mervyn King will collect a pension equivalent to £198,200 in today's money.
In his defence, the figure is also based on his own contributions.
I wonder if that includes his contribution towards making Britain the busted flush that it has now become.

I was laughing all the way to the bank

It was a different matter when I got there.
Thieving bastards.