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Monday, June 30, 2008


too bloody hot.
there you go. i have spoken.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


brick lane.
watching the world go by.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


The chances of anything coming from mars were a million to one he said. Ha! Them odds have now changed.
not only have they found ice on mars, but the sun newspaper (well regarded for it's news coverage) has reported ufo sightings over england. the aliens are here.

So take a belated bow hg and erb.

I am off to read “princess of mars”.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


i am beginning to hate books. i have an awful lot of books. as i clear up i keep finding more and more, quite a few i never even knew i had and i have no recollection of buying.
yet there they are. a daunting, growing, pile. more than i will ever read.
i should be happy as, logically; i should never have to buy a new book again.
oh if only it were so simple.

even as i sort, stack and pack the books that i find (“oh that one looks really interesting!”) i can’t help but think of the books that i don’t have.
each time i go into a supermarket i drift by the bookshelves to see what is there, and there is always something there to tease and taunt me, something crying out to be bought.
oh it might be a new james bond book but i know what it really is a naughty tease of a book. tempting me, crying out to me “buy me, buy me”. or perhaps it is the new harlan coben book i hear calling to me? maybe it is the new john connolly.
no it is not, it is even worse they have come together in a choir and they all sing out to me. their voices joined by the cherie blair and john prescott biographies. and hark there is the sound of a book about the building of st paul’s and in the distance the golden trumpet sounds the arrival of more editions of marvel essentials and dc showcases.

try as i might i can never quiet deafen the voices of the books. they cry out, they beg and demand to be heard.
so far i have resisted but i know i am going to weaken soon and then it will only be a matter of time before i give in and buy another new book…

“my name is pat and i buy books….”

Sunday, June 15, 2008


so i have started running. well perhaps running is too strong a word for it. maybe jogging. no that might imply something more athletic than what i am actually doing. perhaps a fast soft shoe shuffle is closer to the mark.
i am not making bold claims here – it is a short route, and i am doing it at a (very) comfortable pace – i am not noticeably fitter but i do feel a little better. it is all very much journey of a thousand miles starts with one step type thing.
i try to go in the mornings that way there are fewer people about, less embarrassment and humiliation.
the other day i was passed by a very petite cutie. she went by me as if i was standing still (to be honest i wasn’t far short of that). she had a lovely bottom. i thought i would pick up my stride pattern (ooh get me…) and catch her up.
then it dawned on me, she looked like she had been doing this sort of thing for a while, that she was at least 20 years younger than me and probably at least 10 stones lighter than me so trying to catch her up was just going to end is disaster.
i went back to ambling and enjoyed the view for as long as i could keep her in sight.


for douglas adams 42 is the meaning of life, the universe and everything.
for gordon brown 42 was a political virility test.
for david davis 42 is a matter of principle.

the labour government recently won the vote on the extension of the period a person can be held without charge from 28 days to 42 days. they wanted this extension not because they needed it right now, but because they might need it in the future. the reason being that terrorists were becoming more and more sophisticated and more skilled at using their computers to hide what they were doing, unlike gary glitter and pete townsend.
as yet the current allowance of 28 days has only been used on a handful of occasions, in some cases those detained were innocent.

by the skin of it’s teeth the government got what it wanted: there was a yes vote on the extension to 42 days. this doesn’t mean it has won. the house of lords is likely to vote against it, this bringing it back to the house of commons. still early days.

there is a lot of harrumphing about how the 42 days proposal is undemocratic, yet polls show that the majority of people are in agreement with the proposal. how odd for gordon brown to be on the side of the public opinion.

david davis has been an outspoken critic of 42 days. he is an outspoken critic of the much-heralded decline in civil liberties that have been taking place in recent years. he lost the debate in the house of commons. his solution? resign and force a by-election.
over the last couple of days much praise has been heaped on davis for his principled stand, so unusual for an mp cry one and all.
if only it was such.
davis talks about the attacks on civil liberties, but seems quite happy to flaunt the rules of a democratic parliament by throwing his toys out of the pram: “i didn’t get the result i wanted so i am going to scream and scream until i do…”

the by-election davis tells us will be fought on the single issue of civil liberties. he challenges the government to defend their position in his local constituency. his argument goes that if they are so certain that they are right then they will win the vote. the liberal democrats are not going to stand a candidate as they agree with david davis.
ah if everything in the world was so simple.
at the general election the labour party came a weak third. it is very doubtful that the campaign can be kept to the single issue, and even if it could be it is unlikely that the electors are going to be able to think of it as anything but an anti-government vote or a pro davis vote because they have admired his work as their local member of parliament.
in short he is going to win. when you are onto a certainty it is easy to stick by your principles.

this isn’t to say that gordon brown’s attachment to the 42 days is a good thing. the argument has not really been won. so far there has been no hue and cry from the police or intelligence service for 42 days to happen (although a good case could be made that they don’t have to say anything as the government is making all the running on this). so far the experience is that 28 days is more than adequate.
in order to get the bill through various amendments have been made which almost render it pointless (such as having to come before parliament to ask for permission to extend the incarceration period), additionally those that are held beyond 28 who are found to be innocent will be compensated at the rate of £3000 a day, perhaps that money could be better spent in getting more computer literate intelligent service personnel so that you didn’t have to keep someone banged up for 48 days.

while it is true that a majority of people are in favour of the 42 days extension we don’t always elect our members of parliament to do what we want, we often want them to make the hard decisions for us – which is why we don’t have the death penalty here.

the worst part of all of this is not the encroachment on civil liberties but the utter waste of political energy and capital that gordon brown is making on this issue.
assuming that he is not turfed out by the labour party, it is probable that brown only has until 2010 as prime minister, and probably much less time when he has the power to make a difference, as there will come a point when he no longer has control over labour members of parliament.
instead of doing what he really wants to do: make a difference to poor and working class of the country he has gotten himself caught up in a bizarre piece of macho posturing. instead of trying to build his own legacy he is busy trying to finish off a mess started by tony blair.

in the end neither brown or davis is right over the issue of 42 days, douglas adams comes closest: what matters is making sure you ask the right questions, at least then you have the chance of getting an answer that makes sense.


who knew i had so much junk? well i admit i did know, but i sort of thought (well more hoped) that it would be easier to clear up.
i seem to have piles of stuff, boxes of things, bundles of bits, heaps of bobs. i have started to rack and pack it all. i have started to sort it out. i have started to move it from here to there. i am throwing out, i am recycling, and i am clearing.
i feel a little like a fat hairy hercules.
i am expecting to find rosebud perched on the ark of the covenant.
the one thing i doubt i will find is the unified theory of the universe, but early days yet.

Friday, June 06, 2008


i am a man of many peeves. some peeves make it to full blown hates. i suspect that as we get older the number of peeves we have grows. some peeves are based on rational reasons and if pressed on the issue you could defend your reasons, other peeves have no rational basis and they just are.
there is no reason why i should get so irked by blokes in low-slung jeans, yet i do. it is not like i have an interest (or knowledge) of fashion, but the sight of the low slung jeans makes me snort with derision. it is irrational.

this is the time of year when another of my pet peeves pops out. this is the one where i get annoyed at commentators who just have a pop at something for the sake of having a pop (a little like i am doing now). recently there was amanda platell having a go at geri halliwell for selling pictures of her daughters first birthday. the piece slagged geri for showing her daughter off and using her to earn cash. yet there accompanying the article was a picture of geri and baby. it made sense to me.

last night it was radio 5 live going on about “big brother”. one of the advantages of not having a telly is that i don’t have to watch “big brother” and in all the years that is has been on i have not watched it.
now i know that the bbc contribute to the upkeep of channel 4, it is still not a good enough reason for them to constantly plug “big brother”. last night it was whether or not “big brother” had run its course. the best part of an hour was taken up with the discussion, which seemed to decide that indeed the show has not been worth watching for years.
this morning there was a similar conversation on one of the other radio 5 live shows.

call me stupid (and many have) but surely if the whole thrust of what you are saying is someone or something doesn’t deserve the publicity they are striving for then perhaps the best way to deal with it is to ignore them.
after all it is not like there isn’t enough going on in the world to find something interesting to talk about.

cripes i am turning into my dad….

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


you would never have thought that a simple private orgy, albeit it one that had multiple prostitutes went on for 5 hours and took place in a dungeon, would have merited much media attention. but you would be wrong.
for all of the uproar you would have thought that max mosley was indulging in caligula like excesses rather than giving his little soldier a bit of exercise.
part of the allegations brought against max is that part of the fun was a bit a nazi style s&m role-play. there in lies the (body) rub as max mosley is the son of sir oswald mosley, the wartime leader of the british union of fascists, and hero to jay. (it is nice to note that even though he was a fascist we still refer to him as “sir”, good to see politeness still holds sway.)

quite way anyone cares about what max mosley does in his spare time is beyond me, though i am impressed with his stamina, can only hope i still have that get up and go in me when i get to his age (actually wouldn’t mind it now).
the news of the world thought differently and paid a lot of money to one of the prostitutes for the story and the pictures.

mosley is an international figure because of his involvement with formula 1 racing. he is one of the men that make sure that a very repetitive sport (the cars they go round and round and round) and very wasteful sport (the cars they burn up lots and lots of fuel to go round and round) earns lots and lots of money.
he seems to have been very successful at it.

formula 1 is not a moral sport. the stars of formula 1 are not role models they are mostly icons of conspicuous consumption.

the problem, it appears, isn’t what max mosley was up to but that he got caught

we live in a celebrity obsessed culture so that anything that happens to a celebrity (no matter how minor) is seen as being newsworthy, and if it has the whiff of scandal then so much the better.

given the nature of formula 1, cars going nowhere fast, what max does in the (dis)comfort of his dungeon should be a matter for him and him alone. just as it is the right of people who may have to deal with mosley not to want to shake hands with him (after all you never know where that fist might have been). shunned he seems to have been by the great and the good of the formula 1 world, apparently he is not welcome in places such as china or saudi arabia – both places which have sterling human rights and are fine examples of moral probity.

mosley decided not to go quietly (apparently this is what people do when they have been caught doing something private) he said lets put it to the vote.
they did.
he won.
now people are complaining that the process was not fair.
democracy it seems only works when you are winning.

the key argument seems to be that max mosley is the public face of formula 1 and is now compromised in this position. when in reality he is the public face to the sponsors and teams. he is the same person he was before the revelation of his orgiastic behaviour was broadcast to everyone. he is still as capable of doing his job now as he was then.

the role model argument is a convenient one to throw out. just whom is he supposed to be a role model to? i am sure he finding out that mosley spends five hours in a dungeon is not going to create a rush on the local s&m hangouts as all the “kids” want to try out a bit of leather and pvc action. true he may inspire a few conservative mps to follow suit but i am sure they already have a few numbers of their own to call.
it wouldn’t be so bad if the news of world, which broke the story, was not a newspaper (and i use the term lightly) that was littered with adverts for premium rate call lines many of which have a s&m flavour to them. expect a “ride max to the finish line” call service soon.

as mosley’s job has nothing to do with public health or public morality the only “public interest” aspect of the story was to titillate. in this our free press plays its very own role in the nanny state that it so often derides.
perhaps mosley’s problem was that he has made lots of money, gained lots of influence without being a creation of the media. unlike the amy winehouses and peter dohertys of the world there has been no chance of building them up and stripping them down, pretending that they should be role models for children and teenagers around the world. the constant cycle of building up and breaking down sells the papers. so in the cases of the media stars you know that they are always going to be coming back to help sell papers.

in mosley’s case he is a one hit wonder so they may as well go all out and destroy him. no matter that their expectations of how he should live his life are probably out of step with most of us and out of step of most of the adverts they run in their paper.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008


it is time to add a new name to the top tory totty list: amanda platell.
she has gone from being an australian back-packer who decided to stay in the uk, to a fleet street editor, to tory spin-doctor and back to journalist.
i find most of her views to be dull, though i am intrigued at her constant attacks at women celebrities. i don’t know enough about her but you can’t help but think it is all about jealousy.
but putting all that aside i wouldn’t kick her out of bed.
ms platell is a foxy right-winger and she gets me a little hot…

Monday, June 02, 2008


i like hillary clinton, but then i have a thing for powerful strident women.
i had a dream that hillary clinton and condoleezza rice would contest the presidential race and perhaps just get down to a baby oil covered catfight. but that is just me.
instead poor hillary is about to see her run at the democratic nomination come to an end. she started out as the clear favourite but barack obama’s vision filled speeches of hope has seen him leap into pole position.
at this point there are not enough delegates left for either of the candidates win outright, but the sensible money is on obama to get the required numbers of super-delegates to get the nod.

but even at this point hillary is fighting on. she has issued a clarion cry to the super-delegates to vote for her.
there is a slim chance that the confrontation will continue past the last two elections through until the democratic conference.

should she go for the dragged out endgame?
the american political process just takes forever. finding the right democratic candidate seems to have taken years. yet after all this the winner still has to contest the presidential vote with john mccain.
hillary needs to find a way to quit and support obama or else there is big chance that mccain will win and the world will remain a less safe place.

so hillary do it for the rest of us. given in now. tell obama you love him and then help him to win the presidency.
go hillary you can give it up and then you have saved us from the prospect of more republicans in the white house.

quit for americans, quit for the rest of the world. stand down, support barack and make the world a safe place.

(and if you can sort out that baby oil match with condi then i would be pleased…)