Thursday, 31 March 2011

Politics enters the soft cell

Not unlike a couple of skunks jostling for position in the queue at the John Lewis perfume counter, there is a conspiracy afoot as political parties joust with each other for renewed popularity in prison.
But we all know that they will always smell.
It is no surprise that this coincides with prisoners insisting on the right to vote. A captive market if ever there was one.
Today, yet another politician was jailed. Ex-Labour MP Jim Devine was sentenced to 16 months in prison for expenses fraud. A selfless act simply to get nearer to his voters.
One might suspect it was utter folly to jeopardise a promising career - a career built on promises that he never kept.
What he did keep, however, was taxpayers’ money. And lots of it. Money that was earmarked for more worthy causes than lining his own pockets.
In his defence, and in order to save his own backside, Jim Devine blamed everyone except his own mother.
His counsel might well have advised him to save his backside for prison where I believe his voters are the ones who swing to the left.
“Put your ‘x’ in the box” is about to take on a ‘hole’ new meaning and it’s certainly not going to be Devine.
Lucky Jim!

Bowdler had his work cut out

As a result, so did Shakespeare.

You’ll find him in the dugout. Under stand?

Let’s not get too heavy on Fabio Capello, the England football manager.
His contention that he requires only 100 words to communicate with his players is probably not too far from the truth.
One needs to remember, not that regular readers of my blogs need any reminding, is that the English language is the natural bedfellow for the double entendre. The fact that we attribute a French term to describe this genre (oh, there’s another French term) is out of respect for the multifaceted nature of the French personality. Put another way, they are, at the very least, two-faced.
But I digress.
And so, with only 100 words, it is sometimes necessary to use the same phrase to mean two different things.
For example, the referee may drop the coin when deciding who kicks off.
Capello might well interject “You useless tosser!”
That same phrase could easily be applied to any of a number of England players during the course of a game.
He may choose to single out one of these players with the threat that he is about to be substituted.
The phrase “I’ll pull you off at half time” would be enough to convey that thought.
It can, however, also be an implicit promise of a half-time reward for any player who might be playing a blinder of a game.
“Go for the tackle!” needs little explanation.
Vinny Jones understood this perfectly, much to Paul Gascoigne’s chagrin. The true value of that portmanteau word - coming from ‘shag’ and ‘grin’ – will be lost on most players.
“My granny can run faster than that.”
Strictly speaking, this is not a double entendre but it has great benefit in letting Wayne Rooney know what pace he has to achieve if he is to score, if you know what I mean.
After their latest match, we asked Capello to comment on his critics.
“I no like cricket. No understand it. Understand?”
Yes. Fully. 100 words, not out.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Press. Release.

The two words in the above headline might well be found on the launch pad for the Cruise Missiles that we are punting into Libya.
They might also be attributed to Obama's speech last night regarding this latest tawdry affair. The tone of what he said certainly had 'press release' written all over it.
For all the intelligence behind the smart bombs that are deployed in modern warfare, there seems to be a breathtaking lack of strategy.
Would America and the West honestly be happy to leave Gaddafi in power, albeit emasculated?
It wasn't so long ago that he was fingered as the evil murdering thug behind the blowing up of Pan Am 103.
I fear it won't be long before we experience another black day looking for yet another black box.
And if it's found, it won't reveal anything that we don't already know.
If you give someone like Gaddafi a bloody nose, one bloody knows what to expect in return.

I told my Bank Manager not to jump to conclusions

Oh well!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Professor Brian Cox. Star geezer or stargazer?

Both actually.

His latest series, Wonders of the Universe, is what the BBC is all about.
Or is it?
I would like to produce my own series. A series of analogies in which we address fundamental issues such as:

·         the astronomical salary of Mark Thompson, their Director General
·         the moonshine he spoke in that famed interview with Baroness PD James (follow link below)
·         the paranoia that their executives suffer lest mere licence payers discover their pull of gravity on our pool of money

Maybe they should stop awhile and ask themselves:

“Is there anybody out there?”

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Empathy. Sympathy. Can someone please ignite my apathy?

Don’t get me wrong. I am as livid as the next person when it comes to cuts in public spending.
I understand your pain.
(That last sentence sounded so much like Tony Blair, please remind me to remove it from my final draft.)
But to march in protest against the cuts is akin to remonstrating with a doctor who is treating a knife wound inflicted by some crazy madman.
Just as the doctor’s treatment is necessary to stanch the flow of blood, the cuts are essential to avert the stench of a rotting economy.
We are attacking the wrong people.
By all means go after the knifeman. Use all means to go after the bankers.
But never forget, whether you march or not, we are all in this together.
Like thump we are.
There are certain bankers who are both sunning themselves and mooning at us at the same time.
Indeed, it is no coincidence that tax havens are invariably found in the most beautiful parts of the world.
Where better to visit your money?

But however much you may resent the predicament we now find ourselves in, to resort to violence is playing straight back into the hands of the very people whom we protest against.
Why, for example, should a large corporation not do its damnedest to avoid paying tax when so much of it is used to fund the lives of those knuckleheads who form the gristle of these rent-a-mobs?

Good people of the march I beseech you. Let's have a march within a march and strike out (metaphorically) against those who are determined to ruin your march.

Well, that's the march dealt with.

Thank goodness it's nearly April.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Wrong. Wrong. And wrong again.

I can get my mind around most things but often struggle when it comes to getting it around the minds of others.
Take the present dilemma in North Africa.
There are many people  – maybe you are among them – who believe that because we didn’t do anything about Zimbabwe, we ought to keep our noses out of Libya.
By implication – and they are right – we should be taking action to stop Mugabe. But because we have been wrong not to, they would prefer us to be wrong again.
Never mind the fact that Gaddafi is gunning down his own people.
Just let him get on with it and let him get off with it.
If you can get your mind around that one, then yours is a better mind than mine.

If Beethoven were alive today, what would his ringtone be?

Vibrate, I imagine.

I can take a disaster zone, a war zone and even The Twilight Zone

At a push, I can take oxyphenbutazone. But, no matter what they tell
us, I can't take Boyzone.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Anti-Aircraft Artillery. Triple-A.

Now needed in Tripoli.

How the West was one

There seems to be a general consensus among our fine upstanding leaders in the West that Col Muammar Gaddafi's evil ways must end.
And so say all of us.
To let him off the hook would send the wrong message to dictators everywhere.
Can't argue with that one.
But hold fire.
No, I'm not only talking to Gaddafi. I'm also addressing Cameron, Obama and their hypocritical cohorts.
What kind of messages have we sent Mugabe for all his atrocities?
Atrociously, none. At least none that has carried little more than a veiled threat.
But then, Zimbabwe has no oil.
Ironically, what has proved to be Mugabe's good fortune has also turned out to be his impoverished people's misfortune. The West are just not interested.
The only weaponry that we have ever rained on Zimbabwe are a few sanctimonious soundbites.
It's what I call fartillery*.
Yes, it might be full of wind but so far it has failed to put the wind up Mugabe.
Libya is different.
Not only do they have oil, they are in a volatile region that lubricates the entire western economy.
But my argument is not against stopping Gaddafi. Quite emphatically, he needs to be stopped in his tracks.
My contention is that we should also stop Mugabe.
There is a just cause for both, but different reasons.
Just let's be honest about it, there is even conflict in conflict.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Creatives. Are your thumbnails bitten?

Never work for someone you have designs on.
When told that you've got the wrong idea, you've no idea what they mean.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

No express espresso served here

The slow food movement in Italy that has been on the go for a number of years was set up as an antidote to all the fast food that pervades our lives.
The fact that the concept has not exactly spread like wildfire is probably because it would be in stark contrast to everything that the movement stands for. Or, perhaps more pertinently, sits around for.
But at long last, I can reveal where it has its roots.
Pop in to your local Caffè Nero.
You know, they're the people who purport to make the 'best espresso this side of Milan'.
Let's not even discuss that claim.
Instead, let's address the issue of what happens to time when you enter Caffè Nero.
It stands still.
And so do their customers.
Making  coffee is not rocket science even although the finished product can at times be made to taste like rocket fuel.
But I'm not standing for it any longer.
Whenever I feel like a coffee, I now head for Milan.
Not only is it quicker, it's the best espresso that side of Broughty Ferry.

There is not a scientific theory yet expounded that I can't follow

Usually with one humungous question mark.


e = mc2

Explanation(e) equals(=) many(m) times(x) confused(c)

I can't follow Stephen Hawking's theories

But I'm really just being peevish because he doesn't follow my tweets.

Miss Herd?

"I must apologise. My hearing aid is broken."
"You can say that again."
"What? Yours too?"

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Choose your words Caerphilly

While I have never been known to mince my words, I have been known to talk mince.
All that is about to change and all because of a former mayor of Caerphilly in South Wales.
Having become the first person in Britain to be successfully sued for a libellous tweet, he has spoilt the fun for us all.
But rather than be churlish and vent my spleen in his direction, I'm keeping my own counsel.
Ironically, by maligning a rival who was contesting his seat, he too was trying to keep his own council.
If only he had tweeted in Welsh, then nobody would have understood what the hell he was saying.
I would like to apologise to the Welsh nation for that last statement.
It was a sheep comment. Sorry, cheap.
Oh dear.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bob the Diamond Geezer

For the first time in over one hundred years, scientists have discovered a new creature living right in the centre of London.
It is not thought to share its DNA with any other species. In fact, it shares nothing.
It does, however, display a number of characteristics more normally associated with other animals.
While plainly not a bird, this creature does have a habit of shitting on people from a great height.
In the manner of a sloth, it sits around for most of its life while ant-like creatures, showing great industry, bring lots of deposits. It is not clear what these deposits constitute but they certainly serve to sustain and nourish this hitherto unknown animal. So much so that the pile it sits on grows higher and higher pushing it to the very top.
More thick-skinned than your average pachyderm, our new 'friend' seems impervious to all that goes on around it.
By all accounts, yes accounts, it seems to be a lifestyle that bears fruit - and lots of it.
Indeed, the pile even bears its own fruit tempting the creature to help itself while undoubtedly thinking "That's a bonus".

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Tuesday, 1 March 2011