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Friday, December 31, 2010


to all my readers (yes you) a wish that the new year brings you happiness and prosperity.
onward to the future.


the end of the year is a time of quiet contemplation and gentle reflection on what has gone before. it is a time to look forward in anticipation of what the future may hold.

i was going to write a review of the year, then i realised that it would just be about ruing decisions made and opportunities missed, of plans conceived and plans abandoned.

so rather than wallow in the deep pool of self-pity i am just going to turn my back on a decidedly shitty year, look forward, cross my fingers and see what the new year brings.


i have reached 1500 blogs.
i am quite impressed.
that is an awfiul lot of bollocks written by me.
more to come in the future - i know that makes you all very happy.


a couple of quick irks.

3d movies: you have to sit there with very annoying glasses on. they don't go well with my glasses. they perch precariously on your nose. then you spend most of the movie waiting for the 3d effect to kick in and make you go 'ooooh' or 'aaah' or even 'whoooah' as you duck out of the way of whatever is coming out of the screen. none of these things happen, you just spend your cinema time being annoyed at the glasses sliding off your face.
to make matters worse i have yet to see a 3d film that benefits from being in 3d, or wouldn't be as good if it were just in the regular 2d format.
to be honest most of the 3d films i have seen have been poor or have sucked. the notable exception to this was toy story 3 (but even that wasn't as good as people made it out to be, and it really didn't need 3d at all).

cyclists: i like that people cycle. it is good for the environment and it is good for their health. why oh why can't the majority of cyclists have lights on their bikes? why oh why can't the majority of cyclists wear bright clothes? why or why can't the majority of cyclists cycle in the road? oh i can tell you why they can't cycle in the road - they know that because they don't have lights and are generally dressed in dark drab clothes they are an accident waiting to happen, so to prevent themselves getting hurt by cars they become menaces to pedestrians on busy pavements.
(this is not helped in my local area as the bike has become the transport mode of choice for all the local drug dealers.)

irks for 2010 over.
have no fear there will be more in 2011.


the english football team may have been shocking in the world cup.
the english bid team may have been shocked by the fact that fifa representatives lied to them.
yet the humble english referee: howard webb has been award a gong in the new year's honours list.

see we can win something to do with the world cup - even if we have to award it ourselves.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


china has closed down 60 thousand porn sites in the last year.
the bastards.
i still had 39 to check out.


brendan barber, the general secretary of the trades union congress, says that because of the spending cuts 2011 will be horrible.
david robinson, co-founder of community links, has warned that pace of cuts could kill off david cameron's 'big society' before it has even begun (not that any of us really know what the 'big society' is).
ed miliband talks of 2011 as being the year of consequences (which is just a polite way of saying 2011 is the year a lot of us are fucked right royally - think of that as my wills and kate pun).

almost makes me wish that 2010 wasn't coming to an end.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


so i am disappointed that i didn't get to see any fog. i like fog, i do seem to like all the bad weather don't i? so i was a little miffed that i was just greeted with a hazy mist when i was out, yet even that gives some of the larger buildings an ominous glow.
perhaps tomorrow.

however i have decided my flat is haunted - it can be the only explanation why it is colder in here than it is out there.

while just shooting the shit and while i am here - just what is the story with mickey rourke playing gareth thomas in the welsh rugby player's lifestory. rourke has described the story as not being about a gay rugby player, but of a rugby player who happens to be gay.
give rourke credit he does say that it is important that the subject is handled with sensitivity - so no sheep shagger jokes or puns on the 'up and under'.
rourke is also going to learn welsh for the role.
the story of gareth thomas is an interesting one if only because he is one of an elite group of openly gay sportsmen currently engaged in professional sport, especially in a sport such as rugby that has a very macho, and decidedly hetero, tradition (very odd considering its very public school roots - oh yes i know it is a stereotype).
oddly one of the other gay sportsmen is donal og cusack, and irish hurler.
tough sports, tough sportsmen, brave decisions.

somehow sport has become the last bastion of straightness (does ice skating count? oh look there is another stereotype), as if being gay means you can't run, jump, kick, throw, catch or use a bat or racket.
of course it doesn't.
what stops gay sportsmen is attitude: the attitude of their fellow competitos; the attitude of the media; the attitude of the fans and perhaps the attitude of their sponsorship deals.
you only have to think of max clifford's comment about football "remains in the dark ages, steeped in homophobia", (though one has to question his tact for mentioning that he has represented two premier league players who he had advised to stay in the closet).

i am not sure a mickey rourke fronted movie is the thing that is going to change attitudes, but it might be a start, at least it will be positive publicity unlike the football league's attempt to replicate their successful 'kick racism out' campaign with a 'kick homophobia out' which suffered a blow when they couldn't find any high profile players or clubs to front the campaign. above i implied that gareth and donal were brave to come out while they were still playing, imagine how they must feel when they look over at the pampered prima donnas of the premiership who can't seem to find the spine to say 'homophobia is bad'.
more than likely they are worried about their image, but then they are probably following the thinking of sepp blatter: just don't do it.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


simon hughes - liberal democrat mp - voted against the tuition fee rises.
good for him, sticking to his promise.
now simon hughes is 'access to higher education tsar' (why do they always get called tsar?), his role? the coalition want him to explain its policies on higher and further education to to teenagers, especially to those from poorer backgrounds.
mr. hughes is keen to make sure that young students are aware of the opportunities of higher and further education presents them, and with the help of the students he wants to divise a publicity campaign to encourage people to go off university.
nick clegg, deputy prime minister and leader of the liberal party, sees mr. hughes as being idelly suited to being a champion of young people from deprived backgrounds.
i am sure he is.
i am sure he wants to do his best for them.
it just seems very odd that someone who voted against the policy is now going out to defend it. if his heart is in the defence of the policy then his vote against it was just him currying favour with the national union of students.
if his heart isn't in the defence of the policy then the coalition have just shot themselve in the foot, but hey we are getting use to them doing that.

perhaps the role is more about keeping your enemies closer, as i would hate to think they were buying mr. hughes off.

cynical? me? never.


according to a recent study the weight of the british male has increased by a stone over the last 15 years.
the reasons given are more calories and lack of exercise.
really glad they did that study.

it is a serious worry as we all know that obesity can cause major health problems.
which is why it was an amazing plan on the part of mr. gove to get rid of the schools sports partnership.
which is why it is an error for the london olympics to concentrate solely on the youth as its legacy. it is time to pay attention to couch potatoes and get the fatties like me off our lardy arses and exercising.
(not that anyone wants to see me in lycra.)

Monday, December 27, 2010


it is raining outside.
i love the sound of it.
though i wish my toes weren't so cold.


what's this?
snow in the usa?
snow in the usa disrupting flights?
snow in the usa disrupting flights, stranding passengers?
can't be - according to the moaners in england it only happens here. here is hoping that each and everyone of those moaners are stuck in an airport in the eastern seaboard of the usa.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


"this lady is not for turning." was one of the defining phrases of the rule of maggie thatcher.
it implied strength and certainty. it implied she (and the government) knew best: no matter what.
the idea that a politician or a government might change their mind or position has become a sign of weakness. it lays them open to being a 'flip-flopper' or has them accused of performing u-turns.
i have never seen the point of using it as an accusation, especially from opposition parliamentarians - after all the point of the opposition isn't just to warm the seats in the houses of commons but to try to persuade the government of the day that they are wrong and that their plan is flawed. if they succeed then the government doesn't carry out bad legislation and the opposition gets to claim that they would be better being the government.
instead of championing how they presented the alternative case we just get them shouting 'u-turn! u-turn!'

with all that said i can't help but put point to michael gove as becoming the king of flip-flopping u-turning. first it was the mess of buildings schools for the future programme - where by the end of it no one was quite sure how well mr. gove understood his portfolio.
just recently it was the cutting of school sport partnership - which saw mr. gove being accused of being the kid who was always picked last in team sports. in the end the position changed from getting rid of them all to most of them getting a temporary reprieve until after the london olympics. such a principled move.
given that mr. gove is a brainiac you could almost understand his attack on schools sports, his attack on the booktrust, a charity that provides free books to children, seems a bit odd. (oh hold on what am i thinking some of those kids will be working class kids - don't want them getting ideas above themselves. is what i might be thinking if i were a cynical bunny, but as you know i am not.) the booktrust were told that their £13 million government funding was going to go in april 2011 (this in a week when we were told that the government was giving £40 million to the united nations for their disaster fund - one of those annoying charity begins at home type debates; as well as being a time when we will hear about bonuses in the financial sector that will make the £13 million look like pocket change).
never fear though after a barrage of outrage the government is for turning on this issue and is now saying that funding will continue.
ed miliband described it as a fiasco and that was no clarity at all to the situation.
perhaps 'no clarity' could be michael gove's nickname?
perhaps mr. gove should take a word that was used as an attack on gordon brown and just dither a bit before he announces a new policy in order to see if it is going to work properly.

perhaps we now see why the tories don't like the idea of a central government: they are pretty shit at running it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


ho! ho! ho!
merry christmas to all my readers.
ho! ho! ho!
have yourselves a wonderful time
ho! ho! ho!
i shall be spending much of it with the girls from babestation.
ho! ho! ho!
(mmmm perhaps that wasn't appropriate....)

have a good one.

Friday, December 24, 2010


if you want to bring about peace on earth i think the simplest solution would be to have a festival of gift giving and eating every month or two.
sure it would be hell in shops on the eve of giving day.
sure it would crucify the credit cards.
but it would save the economy as we spend, spend, spend.
but it would eradicate hate as people would be too busy worrying about buying and what to buy, and in that worry and orgy of buying people would come together in the shared communial activity of spending.
a new faith shared by all.
a new god worshipped by all.

give credit to trent reznor he was on the money (ahem to that pun, with his first, and best, cd) when he sang "god money i'll do anything for you./ god money just tell me what you want me to do."
he was a profit (just to keep the theme going).

personal spending and communal worrying over buying is the way to world peace.
besides people will be so broke they are going to be too busy worrying about how to earn more money to be bothered about hating someone because of their race, creed, gender, colour or sexuality.

(now where do i go to get that nobel peace prize?)


i remember years ago when the country shut down for christmas. when you had to brave the supermarket for the big shop of food that would carry you over a few days. a time when the turkey went from tasting fantastic to "oh no not again".
that was then.
now sainsbury's is proudly proclaiming it will be open boxing day.
things have changed.
well not quite. the christmas shop is still manic. it is still a ferocious battleground as people struggle to get that last minute essential or the crate of beer that they can't live without. i needed a loaf of bread and some milk. a simple shop.
when i first walked by sainsbury's it was jammed with people.
no worries i had things to do and i could return.
things done. i return to sainsbury's: still packed.
a version of trolley rollerball is taking place as people rush about getting essentials and beer, or amble about checking texts while getting essentials and beer. it a heaving madhouse. shelves have been stripped clean as if hoards of locust had descended on them where there had been a wall of chocolate boxes yesterday to there was just empty space. trolleys piled high, baskets rammed with goods. queues seemingly going on forever.
and for what?
one day when the shops are closed. just one day. (perhaps that is what shops need to do in order to boost sales, close on sundays and make people panic buy: "oh no the shop is closed for a day i had better buy enough to last for a week.")

still i did get to see the best ever shopping basket: two bottles of wine, a case of carlsberg (other beers are available) and a four pack of sainsbury's own cheap toiler paper. there was a man who knew what he wanted and needed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


not often i get a compliment.
i was in my local newsagent as ever we chewing the fat and shooting the shit setting the world to rights. we do this a lot. as we jibber and jabbered an austrailian woman came into the shop. she wanted clove cigarettes, he had them, but she says they are more expensive than they were in turkey and that she has to go get some money. we both check her out as she departs, well she was wearing leather trousers.
more chit chat from us.
she returns. ciggies are bought and a quick conversation is struck up. we learn that she went to turkey on holiday with her father, that she has just finished her thesis. she learnt that my newsagent has left his wife and visited his daughter when she spent a year of australia.
she was impressed with the coming and goings of the shop, who can blame her it is the hub of whitechapel, she asked did i come here after work? i had to confess that i was unemployed, she asked why? when i said that one of the reasons was that as i approached 50 it became harder to find work.
"you are not fifty!" she said.
ah how my heart sang.
how happy i was to hear those words.
a compliment.
a few words to treasure.

(unless of course she meant i looked seventy-five, oh no, despair and disappointment now. sob.)


been doing a lot of walking recently. in and out of the west end.
i have several routes to take, sometimes i might deviate off a route just to explore.
i have a great capacity to get lost, so i try to stay pretty close to the routes i know. it makes life easier.
what i hate is being asked directions, especially by drivers as roads never quite go the same way as a walker can.

so today there i was walking to the tate modern.
start off down commercial road and then down one of the side streets in order to start cutting across towards tower hill and from there just a nice walk along the river to the tate. simple. done it lots of times.

honk! honk!
i look around (unusual for me as normally i am lost in my own little world, but traffic was quiet).
"can you tell us how to get to cable street?'
the simple answer would have been "yes - simple just keep going down here and it is the main road in front of you." easy peasey.
i went blank.
i looked around. took my bearings. tried to work out where i was and where cable street would be from there (not that you would know but cable street is not only very famous in the area, it is not only a few hundred metres from where i live, but i was walking down there just the other week).
i was blank.
blankety blank.
i was a veritable nobo board waiting for a business plan.

an "er" amd an "um" followed by a "you are close" with a caveat of "it is just over there." in the end i gave them directions that would have gotten them to cable street, more by chance than design.

as i walked off a little crestfallen that i could not help them in their time of need in my own manor i had to chuckle to myself as they had ignored my directions and gone in the opposite direction (can't blame them) but when i walked the hundred or so metres down the road that took me into cable street i couldn't help but chuckle to myself.
if only they had listened to me...

i hate giving directions.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


in the business world and for marketeers there is nothing like extending. sure there are risks but it is so much easier than coming up with new stuff. you can do it with brands, where you take a much loved (and bought) brand and move it into other categories - just think of all those fashion houses who have gone into perfume or think of the virgin brand and how much that covers. then there are product extensions where you take the loved item and tinker with it and create a new version: think of coke, diet coke, cherry coke and coke zero.
if the exercise works you have increased sales and you have increased brand awareness; both key outcomes.

i like to write.
i like to carry notebooks around with me.
i have one to write about the art i go to see and i have a notebook to jot down ideas and musings.
both are lovely moleskine notebooks. they are simple, elegant, wonderful. they are legendary notebooks as used by vincent van gogh and ernest hemingway. so i am in good company when i use them.

now moleskine know a thing or two about product extensions their notebooks come in a variety of sizes and styles, the same applies to their diaries. a while back they added a range of city books (and yes i have a copy of the london one). recently they added a range called passions - basically allowing your inner geek to run free as you create a list/diary of your favourite books, music and films but still remaining totally cool an hip when you do it. how can you be a geek/nerd when you are using a moleskine? (answer is: just not possible baby!)
yes i was tempted by them (i resisted because in all my years of collecting i have never successfully managed to create and maintain a list of anything i have collected. mmm maybe a moleskine would be the answer! what am i saying 'a' for i would need a fair few.)

but today i was a bit shocked.
today i was a bit dismayed.
i have seen the latest two additions to the moleskine range and i am not sure that they are in quite teh same league as hemingway or van gogh.
today i saw the charles schultz peanuts 60th anniversary edition moleskine and the 30th anniversary edition pac man moleskine.
how i chortled when i saw them. how i thought 'pah', how i thought 'pitiful ruined the brand with those.'

then with a period of contemplation, a bit of mulling it over, a bit of letting it all stew in my mind all i can say is: i want them.

yup i am a moleskine junkie and i want them.

(unfortunately there is a sad end to this story. as much as i like moleskine my post employment status means that they are a luxury i can no longer afford, so when my current copies are filled up that will be the end of my moleskine habit: for now. i will be back to them, i am sure.
however if you happen to be working for moleskine feel free to send me a whole bunch of free samples - after all i share a lot in common with van gogh: he wasn't popular or famous when he was alive either.)


there i was out and about enjoying the wintry weather in london. the walk had been brisk. i was on a mission to see art.
those, lucky people, who know me know that i am not a great lover of mobile phones. yes i can talk up a storm when i am called on mine, when i remember to take it with me and when i remember to answer it. mostly i see them as a necessary evil. if pushed i would have to say it isn't the phone technology that i see as evil but the changes it brings out in people. some people can't exist without them, unable to sit in the cinema without sending a text or taking a call. some people can't walk down the street without texting their friends. others just talk very (very) loudly no matter where they are and what they are talking about.
the private thrust into the public.

so there i was approaching firth street gallery (oddly located in golden square) when i can hear the voice of a young woman.
she is loud.
she is not happy.
she is telling a man exactly what she thinks of him.
she tells him that he is disgusting, that he is immoral, she wonders how he can sleep at night.
she is loud and she is not happy.
as she continues her tirade she walks up and down the pavement oblivious of all those passing by her.
for a moment i thought that she was a very posh bird working on a sex chat line until she finished her tirade with: "all you think of are your bricks and mortar - you will die a very lonely man."

good to see the spirit of christmas is alive and well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


the debate over julian assange rumbles on.
on one side you have the daily mail's mad mel with her laughing policeman act where she is chuckling at the knots that the left is tying itself into over mr. assange. they love him because his site, wikileaks, is sticking it to the great enemy: the us of a. they hate him because he has allegedly assaulted two women, as mad mel is happy to point out, the feminists of the left see all men as potential rapists so they have to 'hate' assange.
on the other side you have john pilger who is a staunch defender of assange who is happy to proclaim his innocence. of course assange can't go to sweden as his life will be in danger he will be sent to america to spend life in a maximum security prison, if he is lucky. in the process of defending assange pilger came across as an arrogant pompous know it all twat.
he and mel are a perfect match.
in the middle there is rod liddle and suzanne moore who are both a little uneasy at the cult of personality that has grown up around assange, both of them see wilikeaks as being a good thing, but they can see that there is a possibility that assange might not be the saint that pilger claims he is and that until he clears his name in court there will always be questions.
at the moment it seems the only sense being spoken is in the middle ground.

during her piece suzanne moore described mr. assange as being like david icke with a hard drive. sweet. 


the tories are always very keen to point out that private enterprise is so much better than the public sector.
big organisations like the nhs and education can't be run from the centre they tell us - just can't do it they say. ignoring the fact that the most successful big private sector companies are run pretty much from their head offices, but hey let us not let fact get in the way of good ideology.
so remember the mantra: private good, public bad (until we get the private sector in on it).

can't help but think that a big hole has been punched through that argument during the recent snow crisis. you just have to turn towards heathrow airport to see what i mean.
from all accounts many of the passengers who had been stranded at the airport were there with little or no information being given to them. their travel plans wrecked and they were being left in the dark.
it seemed the best british airport authority could do was point out that it was a complex situation and that they were not responsible for the booking of flights that was down to the 90 or so airlines that use the airport.
leaving aside the physical problems that the airport faced: too much snow and iced in airplanes for instance, as they are questions of resources and investment - if you don't think that you are going to suffer bad weather every year do you want to spend money on equipment you will only use occasionally? seems the answer to that is simple: no.
what i haven't been able to understand is why they don't have a plan in place to get information out to customers, either before they get to the airport or when they are at the airport. after all it is not like heathrow hasn't been involved with such delays in the past. there was snow last year, the volcanic ash (the so called plume of doom) and of course the various british airways strikes. you would have thought by now that their would have been a contingency plan in place that kicked into action the moment major delays looked to be occurring.
after all how hard can it be to draft in more people in call centres to deal with the added calls? how hard can it be to constantly update the website? how hard can it be to draft in more staff to be there to speak face to face with customers who are in the airport. how hard is it to send out emails or texts
remember it isn't just baa who has to do it - the 90 airlines who operate out of heathrow know who their customers are, have details of them and could have been proactive in contacting them and informing them.
seems they didn't.
seems they ran around like headless chickens.
i bet they all have  marketing, media and human resources departments yet none of them could make sure their customers were kept informed and made comfortable.

over at eurostar where customers were queuing up at four in the morning to get on the train (the line of people running for several hundred meters from st. pancras down to the british library) who was it who was doling out hot drinks and blankets to the waiting throng?
was it the lovely people at eurostar?
or was it a charity or two such as the salvation army?

next time someone tells you that private companies are so much better than public ones feel free to laugh in their faces.


only a few days ago i was harping on about how i miss the smug tones of digby waking me up to tell me how wonderful the business world was and how bad the government was.
bless the people at 5live they managed to find someone who was jsut as smug for this morning's broadcast.
the national audit office has said that the government could have made more money with its asset protection scheme if it had set its fees higher. as with many of these stories on 5live they get an expert in to give his opinion. this one was a smug american from a financial services company. he said (and i agree with him) that the asset protection scheme wasn't about making money, it was about protecting the banks, it was about providing security and confidence and it was about making sure the system didn't collapse.
they talked about some other parts of the report and where the scheme had worked or failed (worked with mortgages, failed with small businesses, this was partly down to mixed messages from politicians: apparently).

they then asked about bonuses to which smug wanky american said "governments are local, banks are global." the constant threat of the banking system when faced with any government legislation that they don't like.

well smug wanky american you weren't very global when it came to your crashes were you - when it suited you to go cap in hand you all pleaded to be helped, bailed out, saved. back then you were all needy cases who crawled to their local governments crying out national interest "please help us, please save us". bunch of cocksucking wankers all of them.

here is another pithy axiom for you mr smug wanky american banker man: "who pays the piper calls the tune."
(sadly though cameron, osborne, clegg and cable won't hold to that and will just roll over and ask the bankers to tickle their tums.)


i mentioned porn in a post yesterday.
got a record number of people looking at the blog (either that or jay kept coming back to see how it  is really done).
so yesterday i was searched for and found by 'porno movies', maybe they were after the review of the smash hit 'yummy yumy cum in my tummy', (any porn producers out there feel free to get in touch and i will provide a brief outline of the story).

Monday, December 20, 2010


stop it now before it spreads.
ban it.
if you see it: cross it out.
if you hear anyone saying it: slap them.
stop it now.
ban it.

don't let anyone pretend they are cool with they refer to next year as 2k11.
yes i have seen it: evening standard are at fault.
it takes just as long to type as 2011, but looks 10 times as wanky.
saying it makes you sound like a total tit.

so remember see/hear 2k11 tell them to z1p 1t.


"saving the banks from ruin has beggared britain. it's time the debt was called in."
thus spake the daily mail's editorial for the 20th of december.
hold on? what is this? it is the fault of the banks? when did that happen?
i thought that the mail, along with the con/dems were keen on blaming the profligacy of the labour government for our current predicament. all thought that it might be a global financial crisis had been poo-poo'ed by the voices of cameron, osborne, clegg and cable (not that we can trust the words of liberals) whenever the deficit is mentioned it is all about how labour didn't save when the sun was shining (although labour would argue that they were busy repairing the holes in the roof that the previous tory government had left).
so it wasn't bad spending that caused the problems, but the banks and the measures that the labour government had to take in order to protect them.

still the con/dems propaganda has worked - everyone blames the labour government. even the financial services have forgotten the mess they got themselves into and so are about to be awarding themselves a nice bonus of some £5 billion. david and george, stand up and take a bow. job done. the boys in the city thank you.


so vince has been caught in a daily telegraph sting. he has told undercover reporters that he could bring the government down if he pushed too far. he describes the coalition as being a situation of constant battle. he says that the coalition is moving too fast.
naturally vince has said he is deeply embarrassed by the revelations and that he has no plans of leaving the government.
i don't' think anyone is surprised that vince is upset, everyone constantly mentions that mr. cable never looks happy as part of the coalition. what, i suspect, most people would be surprised at is how stupid vince was in making his statements in the first place. it is not just that he got suckered by reporters posing as members of his constituency but he would be so brash as to make such claims to strangers, constituents or not. frankly you can't make those sort of claims without expecting someone to say something.
makes you question his judgement about so much else.
expect vince to be doing the two-foot shuffle sometime in the new year (after he has fox trotted on celebrity come dancing).


today my blog was found by someone looking for: ""national conference of bresilian bishops" or "rights and demo"
looks like my readership is coming up in the world. 

think i am going to have to check out that conference one - sounds like a lot of fun. 


i have a capacity to be irked by lots of things: big and small.
irk seems to be my permanent state.
right now i am irked by my dvds. the thing that irks (well annoys) me is that the dvd menu. i just want to put my dvd in the dvd player and i want it to play straight away. i don't want to have to watch the film. i don't want to watch a piece telling me that downloading is stealing (i've bought the dvd), but i can see what they are trying to do with it, even it is stupid.
it is the menu that really gets my goat.
i don't want to wait for a flashy animation to finish before i start watching the film. i don't want to have to navigate my way around a screen in order just to see the movie. i just want the movie.
trying to watch spooks series two on dvd is a test of patience. each episode involves a trip around a menu system that is so annoying that you just want to punch the screen. by disc two they are even giving you clues as to how to get the darned thing started (you would have thought that they would have done it on the first dvd, though that would have been too east.
so what should have been a pleasure - watching a tv series i like, has become a chore.
wouldn't have this problem if i had downloaded it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


looks like thse con/dems are looking to shore up their traditional hang 'em and flog 'em brigade by trying to control porn on the internet (though they will miss out on some nice flog 'em videos).
as ever this is couched in terms of protecting children - we don't want them seeing it on the internet. maybe there is an argument there. i have yet to be convinced. surely if you want to protect the little dears you don't want to be starting with the hard core stuff that you have on the net, but the casual sexualisation that is all around us - no more lads magazines, no more skimpies in advertising. these are the things that are going to have lasting effects on the mind of the young not them stumbling across a web site showing 'bukkake broads do doggy 4". while the porn movies are stronger and not to most tastes it is pretty honest: wham bang thank you ma'am.
the other stuff, it could be argued, is much more insidious because it is all around, it becomes background noise, it becomes all pervasive. yet that isn't a sexy (forgive the pun) target, it doesn't press the right buttons for the tory heartlands.
being hard on porn (again excuse the pun) gives the tories the ability to look like they are being tough on family values without actually doing anything much.
of course asking parents to ensure their kids don't spend too much time on the internet searching out porn.

the government's solution is that internet service providers should block all porn sites (the question of what constitutes porn will be one that will take some discussion - a mass debate if you will, you knew it had to happen) and that adults have to opt in to be able to access the porn sites.

just tell me where to sign up.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


julian assange has made his name by being the uber whistleblower.
some say he is a force for good and freedom.
others say he is a traitor and an enemy of democracy.

bit ironic that mr. assange is currently upset that the guardian is publishing a story which offers up new material concerning the allegations against him. you would have thought that someone who cares so much about full disclosure would be welcoming every detail of the case being out in the open.


we have had snow.
when we have snow we have stories of snow chaos.
i always love it when people go "but we flew out of alaska, there was more snow there than there is here..." yes we know that. yes we don't cope well when the weather is extreme. the important part being that the weather is extreme - not normal, not just a lot, but extreme.
i am sure they cope with the snow better in canada, russia and switzerland and i am willing to be that sherpa's are better at climing hills than we are.

oddly this is the time the government should be doing their 'big society' spiel and practising the nudge. encourging people to take more responsibility for their driving and for their local communities.
meanwhile we can all point and laugh at those commericial concerns who just didn't heed the warnings of the weather man and got caught out - yes i am thinking of you ba. always good to see the private sector cope so well in a crisis - given how we are told they are so much better than the public sector.

right now i am going to wrap up warm.


the post employment scenario that i am in means that i am flat broke, barely have a pot to piss in (to coin that lovely turn of phrase - though with my recently blockage issue that wasn't in much use either). christmas isn't really a time to be poor, christmas is a time to have lots of money and to spend it on stuff, mostly stuff you will never use again or care about. the important thing about christmas is spendin money on getting the stuff.
the big snowfall has affected the getting of the stuff. some shops have even cut their prices by 75% in order to make up for lost time. (whenever i see shops doing that it makes me wonder: "would you have sold more if you had the set the original price a little lower?"
not that it matters to me as i am avoiding most shops at the moment.
no money. no point.
though there is a part of me that is glad that i am brassic. why? i can hear you ask.
well i have never been very good with money to start with. i like to spend it. i once had a curious conversation with my, then, boss over my pay rise. i was complaining i wasn't getting a big enough raise, he was telling me that i shouldn't complain because if i got more money i would only spend it. it was logic i couldn't argue with. i nearly volunteered to work for free on the basis of it.
in a sense though he was right. have money: buy things. no money i make do with what i have.
a case in point would have been my most recent trip to waterstones (i was meeting a pal there), whenever i am in a bookshop i need to have a mouch around - within a few minutes i had seen at least 20 books i would have liked, and some i might even have read. no money. no books.
then there is sainsbury's - ah what a wonder sainsbury's is. i often stop by the stationery department and look at the pens, writing pads, diaries and such like (stationery is one of my least peculiar fetishes). no money. no pens.
yet it is really the toy section that gets my pulse racing. i like toys. i have far too many of them (no jay, not those sorts of toys). most of them are in boxes behind other boxes. sure there are a lot dotted around the flat for me to pick up and play with. so i will have a look at the toys. oooh look a new range of lego (now lego is one of those toys that shouts out luxury to me as i never owned lego i had the cheaper 'betta bilda' from airfix), oh wow they have hot wheels (a favourite of mine). then there are the wwe action figures. no money. no toys.
one thing i wouldn't be gettting (even if i had lots of cash spare) is the circular monopoly board. all i can ask is why? why? why? are the youth today just so taken in by needless change?

so there are times when i don' mind not having two pennies to rub together.
christmas is one of them.


even i am shocked by the latest search to have been used to find the blog.
my audiene sinks ever lower.
"japanese girls eating and swallow shit".
i really must clean up my act.

Friday, December 17, 2010


while it didn't last as lot as the siege of mafeking the relief i felt when i finally carpet bombed the u-bend of my toilet would have been on a parr of baden-powell's when colonel b t mahon rolled into town.
at least i never got to use the quote "200 days, not out." as that would have been a very bad thing.

i am relieved.
you can all sleep easily now.


when nick clegg was a whippersnapper you can imagine him in the local park hogging the roundabout and just going around and around and around and around.

who would have thought that would be his attitude to policy when he became a politican. we have seen his change on tuition fees, less heralded was the liberals dropping fair pay transparency and now he is hinting at a volte face on the sheffield forgemaster's loan. the loan was refused because the government claimed that they didn't have the money to be able to loan forgemasters in order for them to build parts for nuclear power stations.
it was a loan. it was a labour government loan. it was a labou government loan to a company in sheffield a city of labour mps.
oh well that couldn't stand.
loan cancelled.
so no parts for nuclear power stations (which are going to be important to the low carbon targets), no extra manufacturing (which would help with the restructuring of the economy away from finance services), no extra jobs.
nice one.
while there was no money for forgemasters - lots more money was found to loan ireland, the chancellor must have found some loose change down the back of the sofa.

now nick is saying "maybe".
perhaps too late.

have to say all those people who jumped on the 'i agree with nick' bandwagon must be kicking themselves now.
don't worry i blame you all.


not often that i feel a twinge of sadness when a celebrity dies.
just learnt that don van vilet has died at the age of 69.
i discovered captain beefheart through the music of frank zappa. unlike zappa, who continued to make music up until his untimely death, beefheart had given up music to devote his time and energy to painting.
time to dig out my captain beefheart cds and have a listen to 'trout mask replica', 'doc at the radar station', 'shiny beast (bat chain puller)', 'bluejeans and moonbeams' and 'bongo fury' (with zappa) among others.
a nod of the head and a silent thanks to one of the true originals of music.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


eating lunch at your computer keyboard can make you fat.
well there is another excuse for why i am fat.

apparently it is all down to being distracted. you can't remember what you have eaten, so you snack more later. similiar to those who eat meals while watching tv.
it is all about memory, which is more than remembering shopping lists, or where i left my glasses, it is all about how to walk, how to breathe and seemingly our appetites as well.
the findings are based on a study of 44 people. hardly conclusive i would argue.

all i can say is there must be a lot of distractions whenever i go out for a chinese.
(can't hang around - need to go snack.)


had a little dusting of snow this evening.
didn't settle. i am wondering if we will get the artic conditions that they have been promising. seems quite warm tonight.
i know i shouldn't want more snow as i should be thinking of all those people who will not be getting their presents or cards this christmas because amazon, play, tesco and sainsbury's just can't promise to get stuff to them.
well as i don't have an order in with any of them - let it snow.


still waiting.
still hatching the toilet.
still not dropped the bomb.

soon be time for medicine.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


at the moment i am bound over. there has been no bowel movement for awhile. just for an added twist i seem to have a tummy rumble that is most often associated with the squits. it means that i have the urge to poo. i rush to the toilet. i sit in the hope to shit. i sit. i sit. i sit. no shit.

luckily for me i quite like reading on the throne – even in the deep cold of the winter.

so i sit. sit and read. read and sit. no shit.

the graphic novel i was reading was ok.

what was that? a movement? a ripple? breathe, breathe. give it a push. puuuush. puuuush. a veil of red covers my eyes, muscles in my jaws quivering, veins in my forehead bulging. puuuush. puuuush. nothing happening.

now what? legs have gone dead. trapped on the bog.

if i die now i would be like elvis presley.

twenty minutes later i give up the ghost.

still bound over, but hoping for the inevitable eruption.


ed miliband hasn’t really set the world alight. i have not had reason to get excited by his leadership, some guff about listening to the people, while in the background there is the constant hubbub of leadership battles.

but then today while reading a report on the politics website i get to read “the two men continue to show considerable dislike towards each other, and each pmqs session seems to represent a gradual deterioration in the tone of their exchanges.”

so ed has as much regard for david cameron as i do! fantastic.

ed is the man for me.

go! ed go!


tis the season to be pitiless.

call out amnesty they are needed to prevent torture on an industrial scale.

there i am in sainsbury’s, doing the shopping, pottering around trying to find the bits and pieces i need for mortal sustenance. when i realise my ears are being punished by the sounds of christmas, piped through the speakers. anodyne pop prattle with a christmassy theme.

unusual punishment for shoppers.

a cruel yule.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


i am not a big fan of the rolling stones. they have done some stuff i like,  like the beatles i can quite happily pass on hearing their music.
to many keith richards is most famous for being the inspiration behind johnny depp's portrayal of captain jack in the 'pirates of the carribean" movies (how wrong people are - they have never met my old boss, if captain jack is a homage to anyone it was to him). keith has released his biography, and a big book it is too (at least he has a fair few years under his belt to talk about, unlike so many of the celeb biogs that infest the shelves of shops at this time of year). from what the reviews have said it seems to be very laddish: drugs i did, birds i shagged and how i don't like mick. (sorry have i ruined it for you?)

i noticed the other that there is an audio version of the book out (cripes just how long do audio books go on for? days it seems). naturally it is read by johnny depp.
now i haven't been able to stop wondering if he does it in his capt'n jack voice.
i hope he is.
not that i am ever going to listen to it.


never thought i would say this: but i am missing hearing digby jones on the radio in the early morning.
there i would coming slowly out of slumber, the sky still dark and 5live would have its early morning finance programme on. digby would pop up and say something that would get me mad at him.
he was better than coffee.

i am sire the new head of the cbi will be able to irritate me just as well.


this blog has been found by the following search:
как увеличить член в домашних условиях скачать.

it is probably russian for enema.

Monday, December 13, 2010


london to get more snow on thursday. apparently.
white christmas a foregone conclusion. supposedly.

might need to get another duvet.

(but then who can trust the weather forecast?)


you have to love the tories.
no matter how hard they try to change public opinion of them, no matter how they try to put the image of the nasty party behind they are shot in the foot by one of their own.

step forward david shakespeare with his comment: “the north may replace the romanians in the cherry orchards.” rather than an off the cuff, got caught out in a dinner party type gaff, this was delivered at a local government association meeting that was discussing how local councils should deal with the lengthening dole queues.

a spokesman for the conservative party said that mr. shakespeare did not represent the views of the conservative party, but they were not going to discipline him. i am tempted to say that the spokesman meant to say "official views", while tapping his finger against his nose.

still i am sure that if mr. shakespeare had a moment or two to compose a follow up he would suggest that it would be good for those northerners just sitting around on the dole, feeling sorry for themselves, this fruit picking business not only gives them meaningful work (picking fruits for their betters) but it would also allow them to have a family holiday in the south (mr. shakespeare would be happy to turn a blind eye to child labour).
it would just like the good old days.

flat caps for everyone.
altogether now: doff.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


i have not been following the student loan debate. 
i confess that my sympathy for the students withered when they rioted at milbank, nor have the subsequent actions helped their cause as far as i am concerned.
i feel a little guilty over this, if only because i was one of the lucky ones to get a grant to do my degree.

if the coalition is to be believed (which i know is a pretty hard thing to swallow), an awful lot of students will be better off under the new system. they will not have to pay up front fees and they won’t start paying until they start earning £21,000 a year.
during the run up to the vote the coalition was often heard to say that not all students would pay back the full amount.
that always sounded odd to me.
now the independent are saying that they have seen a report, which states that the coalition is only expect 25% of graduates to pay back the full amount of their loan.  while 60% will never pay back in full.

now i am no math genius, it seems to me that a system that results in just 25% of full payments is inherently flawed.
if i have understood it all the basic idea is as follows: universities need more cash in order to improve, the ‘fairest’ way to do this is to allow them to charge more for tuition and as students are responsible for tuition fees then all is well.
or it would be if the students were going to be paying it all back, but if the coalition is saying only 25% are going to be paying back then it means that the universities are going to be losing out on all those unpaid loans.
the students are going to be lumbered with debt.

it doesn’t seem to make economic sense – if the universities need more funding then they need that money to be paid back, so a default rate of over 50% just means they are going to be short of cash.
it doesn’t seem to make much educational sense – if the fees are too high fewer people are likely to opt for university. fewer students less cash for the universities, less brains to create economic wealth.
the only way it makes sense is if this is an ideological attack on the education system, where access to university is limited only to the rich. not that the conservatives would ever do such a thing.

my solution? increase the fees less and make sure that you get the repayment rate closer to 90%.  and just to add in my own little ideological twist – if you have been at a fee paying school, then you don’t need a loan, you can pay the full whack each term when you at university.


you have to admire the daily telegraph for their sense of priority.
in a story about how the con/dem coalition's plan to cut funding to the coastguard and rescue services (including selling off the search and rescue operation to a french-american consortium. what is it about the tories, that for all their talk about being one-nation tories, for all their wrapping themselves in the union flag they love selling off parts of the country to foreigners?)
so members of the coastguard are worried about the number of lives that may be put at risk by these moves,  arguing that the lives of sailors and holidaymakers at risk.
seems serious to me.
on the other hand the daily telegraph want us to know that these changes will not affect prince william, as his tour of duty will end before the changes take place.
good to know that he won't be troubled.
i feel safer already.

Friday, December 10, 2010


i like to walk (walk i said, walk. get you minds out of the gutters). it is the closest i come to exercise these days. sometimes i walk from home into the west end and then back again. not only does it keep me fit (well as fit as i am likely to be) walking is a great way to see the city, you go at your own pace, you can take your own diversions (on in my case just get lost), stop and looking at the surprising things you can see when you are on foot.

now i was going to go on about a small piece i had recently read in the daily telegraph about how walkers have a much better quality of life than others, how walkers strolling around to the their friends/ the shop/ the pub help raise the ‘social capital’ of the community. the piece concludes with people who walk have more friends and get on with their neighbours.
hah ha i thought and has my mental chuckle died done i was left with the thought i was the exception that proves the rule (i still don’t understand how that works).
being a good boy i wanted to check that i had gotten it right, so i go looking for the article. can’t find it, either i am stupid (very possible) or the telegraph has a shit search facility (quite likely), or they have hidden the piece in some arcane section of the website that is only accessible on the night of a full moon while you juggle peeled carrots (it could happen).
however i did local an abstract of the study that the telegraph was talking about and it turns out that it is not quite the same as the telegraph said (or my recollection of what the telegraph said). what the study found was that people who lived in more walkable communities are more civically involved and demonstrated a greater level of trust than those who live in less walkable neighbourhoods. which on the face of it reasonable – if you are out walking, and others in the area are doing the same there is more interaction.
so not quite the same thing as the telegraph was saying.

big deal i can hear you say. why are we still here then?
well it just so happens i have an amusing anecdote about my walk of today.
it started off in liverpool street, over to old street, down clerkenwell, then up farringdon road, a miscalculation on my part meaning i got a little lost before i ended at the gallery i was trying to see. turns out that was a waste of time. from there down the euston road where i get to see the police arrest a chap, wasn’t very exciting at all. turn into tottenham court road and then great titchfield street and long stroll down to the royal academy in piccadilly.
it was not the most direct of routes.
coming out of the exhibition i decided i would take a more straightforward route home: oxford street, new oxford street, (walking like the clappers) high holborn, holborn viaduct, (still at a fair pace) newgate street, cheapside (stopped to admire new shopping centre type thing and to have a drink of water), poultry (slowing down), cornhill (slower), leadenhall (ambling), aldgate high street (trudging) and home.

where is the amusing anecdote you ask?
well before i set off on the trek i was looking in the window of a shop in kingly street when a slurry voice asks me about the bike i ride. i tell him i don’t ride a bike and we start talking music. chat, chit, jibber and jabber. he was a big nirvana fan, but like dance and paul weller, hey he liked all music even cher off the x-factor. he has finished his can of lager and has started on another. his brother comes over; he is selling ‘the big issue’.  i learn there is twenty years between them. we all continue to chat about music. a pretty italian girl comes up to us to ask where a particular pub is. we all struggle to make head or tail of the map. eventually we get her to where she wants to go (it was the first turning on the left from where we were).
i take this opportunity to tell them that it is time for me to go as i have a long walk home. they ask where i was going i tell them, ah to be sure they only live around the corner from there and why would you want to walk that far. i need the exercise and besides, i joke, i don’t have enough for the bus fare.

too which they say ‘here take two quid and get a bus home’.
so there i am trying to tell one slightly pissed irishman and his ‘big issue’ selling brother that no it is was fine and i couldn’t take the money from them as it wasn’t a problem to walk and i had planned on doing it.
don’t be so proud they told me. luckily they didn’t insist and we parted with handshakes and merry christmases all round (after they had also offered me a spliff).
all though slightly mortified that they had offered me the cash, it did reaffirm my faith in the milk of human kindness.

around the end of poultry i was thinking to myself: “should have taken the cash”.

(yeah ok it wasn’t that amusing. or even interesting) 

Thursday, December 09, 2010


google has released figures for its top searches of 2010.

so you can see who are 'fastest rising people' - which seems to be a list of people i have never heard of, well except alexander mcqueen (which is odd as when it comes to clothes i don't think it gets much better than peacocks). top divorces, again a bunch of people i haven't heard of, the ones i knew about i wasn't even sure they were married. top tickets, cheapest things, fastest rising lyrics (no surprises in realising that i have never heard of any of the songs).
then there is the overall most searched for. winners include facebook, bbc and youtube - which seem to indicate that as brands they are not as all encompassing as you would have thought.

then there are the i want/ who is/ i feel categories - which just leave me thinking that i am old and that the internet has passed me by.

but the real disappointment was that there was no listing for the top ten porn sites, well have to check to see if there are any i have missed.
yet even worse there is no listing for iampat. gutted. crestfallen.
off to have a cry.


die hard 2.
still great after all these years.

think it is time for me to watch some weepies.


in a report about the possibilty of a new google tablet - their version of the ipad - an expert was saying that the tablets are jacks of all trades and masters of none.
that a new tablet has to give purchasers a reason to buy a tablet.
the amazon kindle on the other hand knows what it is and what it does: it allows you to read books on it.

this is what the expert said.
'The Amazon Kindle e-reader, however, is perfectly clear in what it can do, how it can do it and taps into an activity that most of the world’s population are already literate with.’

indeed because if they were not then the kindle would be pretty useless to them.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010


showing my age.
feeling the cold.
just dug out a second duvet.
should be roasty toasty under two of them.


i have become a fan of sainsbury's basic line. cheap and cheerful. if like me you can't (won't) cook and what matters is more the quantity than the quality then the basic line hits the spot.
(so if you were wondering what to get me for christmas - you can skip jamie's thirty minute meals; in that time i have been to the shops, got back, zapped it in the microwave and eaten it.)


some of you may have seen various science fiction or conspiracy movies where something dangerous is buried in oil drums, only for the oil drum to split and the evil liquid is spilled into the water only for it to kill the locals or turn them into slavering zombies.

well i tell you what - next time they want to bury something and not have it escape they want to go get in touch with the peope who make the tins for sainsbury's basic baked beans. what a struggle i had trying to get that tin open. you wouldn't mind if what was inside was worth the effort, or it was some rare truffle that a bored businessman squanders a hundred thousand pounds on (think of the pizzas i could have delivered with that) but no just cheap and cheerful baked beans.
i suspect i would have had an easier time hacking into mastercard (ooh topical) than i did opening that sodding can of baked beans.

so sainsbury's when you give up on the basics line you can always turn your hand to manufacturer containers for hazardous waste.

(oh and the beans were ok, when i eventually got them out of the can.)


another way you can tell it is christmas is that i start watching favourite movies.
tonight it is 'die hard', not that i wait until the end of the year to watch it and savour it, it being one of my favourite movies.
right now it kicks off my christmas season of favourite movies the one time when doris day, orson welles, bruce willis, jason statham, jet li, steven seagal and jean claude van dammer all come out and play together.

"welcome to the party pal."

"yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker"

Tuesday, December 07, 2010


you always know when christmas has arrived. it is not by the cheap and tacky decorations that go up, nor perennial argument about the meaning of christmas or the disappearance of it, nor is it the arrival of tins and boxes of chocolates.
no you know when christmas is here when the shelves are bulging with comedy dvds and comedy books. who knew there were so many comedians out there who seem to be famous. i can't say if any of them are funny as i never watch them.
the comedy books seem to be that mix of annuals (funny text with funny pictures) or just funny text. a quick skim through most of them proves either that i have no sense of humour (very probable) or that writers of the books are not as funny as they think that are (very possible).
shock of shocks there i was looking at the new al murray 'pub landlord's great british pub quiz book' and blow me down but a quick skim through it and bugger me silly but i chuckled and i chortled.
must be the cold and old age getting to me.


david icke has spent years telling us that the world is under the control of the babylonian brotherhood, that many of the great and good of the world are in fact lizards, some of whom eat live babies.
he publishes books (still haven't got the last one), does tours (never been able to get a ticket), makes dvds (never watched one) and has a website (a favourite).
what does he get for all of this?
sneers, derision and even more sneers.

julian assange sets up a web site in order to act as a place for whistleblowers to publish the darker secrets of their companies, or governments. it might be argued that some of the more recent releases have little to do with dark secrets and more to do with the ineptitude of governments and people in places of power.
what does he get for this?
he gets accused of sexual assault and much effort has been putting into taking wikileaks off the internet.

we all know where david icke needs to go to find his next big conspiracy, it is being played out in the english courts.


england have won the second game of the ashes series. they are one nil up and three to play, they just have to win one more game and they retain the ashes.

don't feel at all elated by the win. not because i don't like cricket (i don't: it is a dull sport - my rule on sport is that if it involves a bat, racket, stick or some other implement to hit or strike a ball then invariably the game is dull). i don't feel elated because australian cricket if pretty well ... i wouldn't give a XXXX for it (see how clever i am).

beating them is like playing a blind man at noughts and crosses.
still nice to wipe the grins of their smug faces.

(this short blog was for richard.)

Monday, December 06, 2010


just recently the government brought in a cap on non-eu migrant workers.

business leaders were up in arms (no surprises there); they argued that without the ability to bring in skilled labour from overseas there was a chance that uk plc would lose its position in the world economy.

now let’s get this straight. what the business leaders are saying is that there are not enough skilled people in the uk to fill their jobs, nor are there enough skilled people in the whole of the european union to fill those positions. this means that they have to go elsewhere to find those skilled employees.

i find that hard to believe. a friend of mine, who is in a high-tech industry, tells me that it is hard to get the right people. which goes to show what i know.

yet (not giving up on the theme) one of the problems seems to be that the clever bods here are going elsewhere, such as the usa, which implies that they have a lack of specialists over there, except these are the sort of people that business wants to be able to bring over here. odd really.

the welfare to work programme i attend has an american in charge of it, basically he is an office manager – there are probably several hundred unemployed people on their books who can do that job.

think of all the spokesmen from various think tanks that pop up on the tv or the radio who are not from the uk and not from the eu. then ask yourself just how ‘vital’, how ‘specialised’ their roles are?

the keen eyed among you might be shouting and pointing “daily mail reader, daily mail reader.” not sure i can defend myself against that accusation in this instance.

why am i writing about it now?

spies in westminster is why.

quite why russian spies would want to be involved with the liberal demoncrats (this was a spelling mistake on my part, but i like it) is one that will remain shrouded in mystery: surely even the russian’s know that the liberal democrats will say one thing and do another.

anyway there is mr. nick hancock, the liberal democrat mp for portsmouth south embroiled in a spying fiasco, as there are claims that his russian parliamentary aide is a spy (cue dramatic music). it appears that mr. hancock has a thing for east european women and has often had them as aides (phnarr phnarr).

mr. hancock says of katia zatuliveter "i have no reason to believe she did any thing but act honourably during the time she was working for me.”

mr. hancock sits on house of commons defence select committee.

he says miss zatuliveter was not involved in any sensitive work. remember this; not involved in any sensitive work. she has been known to show constituents around the house of commons and some have described her as very nice and very intelligent.

a couple of members of parliament were on the radio ‘defending’ mr. hancock and basically it came down to the fact that most backbenchers are not privy to sensitive material, that in fact most of their work was dull and dealt with local issues.

so we have she didn’t deal with anything sensitive add that to the fact that most backbench mps deal with local matters. so you have to wonder why, in this case, mr. hancock felt the need to have a russian aide? wasn’t there a suitable local candidate who could have worked with mr. hancock in the house of commons? after all someone from his local area would know the issues that related to his constituency and would be able to chat amiably with constituents who came to visit their mp in his place of work.

william hague, the coalition government’s foreign secretary, knows a thing or two about hiring aides has said that there is nothing wrong with mps employing foreign-born staff many of whom, he went on to say, did outstanding work.

i am sure they do.

i am also sure that there are more than enough political wannabes from the uk who would love to be a political aide to an mp, to get their first taste of the corridors of power.

if there is one place where gordon brown’s “british jobs for british workers” slogan could easily be put into practice then it has to be the houses of parliament.

after all what are the dears to do when they come out of university? while it may sound like a facetiously made point, it is still valid. what is the point of encouraging people to go to university if as a country we are happy to import talent?

i know i know the counter argument is strong; it is persuasive and only goes so far up the pole. what is the argument? that we need the best people for the jobs, without the best we fall behind. strange how this is never taken to its logical conclusion that maybe, just maybe those in charge are not quite up to it and that actually in those far off foreign lands that we wish to import the cheap labour from or outsource the work to there is a chief executive officer just waiting for his chance.

why stop there? bill clinton and george bush are a loss with what to do with themselves. i am sure nelson mandela has some spare time. i reckon that before she cleans up burma aung san suu kyi could rediscover her political legs by doing a turn over here.

so why not just get the best politicians in as well?

let’s be fair they can’t do a worse job than the lot we have, and as they keep telling us: we need the best for the job.

or maybe the politicians can take a look at themselves and do their bit for the economy and the jobs market and look to employ british staff.

just a thought.

Sunday, December 05, 2010


the joy of england thumping australia down under in the ashes has been somewhat dulled by the ongoing rumbling of the failed english world cup bid.

recriminations and accusations are thrown about. oh we are too arrogant, we were just expecting it to be given to us, it was our media wot lost it (see what i did there?). none of this really comes close to the real reason. even to the casual follower of sports politics it is obvious that sepp blatter and his pals have no love for the english and that pesky english premier league, and that meant there as much chance of them giving it to england as there was of the sainted bobby moore coming back to captain the national team.

(oh and no doubt there was a rouble or two going to the fifa members to make sure that they voted the right way.)

still done is done.

no use crying over spilt milk.

step forward boris johnson to demonstrate that he has a full understanding of how to be petty, and i have seen some experts in the art of petty (no names no pack drill),
boris has cancelled the offer of a free stay in the rather plush and exclusive dorchester hotel for fifa executives during the 2012 olympics.
now to a lot of people such an act of petty revenge is just a pointless act.
not i.

boris johnson: i salute you.

(not only are you slapping the beastly fifa in the face, but you are saving the money of the london taxpayer.)

now if only seb coe was to follow suit and tells sepp and co. that they have to buy their own olympic tickets then that would be perfect.

(these could be the reasons why i am not in charge of the country.)

Friday, December 03, 2010


read an article about the internet the other day. it was on about a way some internet companies can track and use your web history for their advantage.
the unscrupulous bastards.
in the article they said that these companies were exploiting a bug in the browser software.

given that one of the biggest collectors and users of this information are porn sites, i am not that bothered after all they are justing to find out my internet use is pretty dull bbc, porn, porn, bing, more porn, porn again, daily mail some more porn, blog, back to porn, bit more porn and last bit of porn. see classy use of the internet.

the article goes on saying that browsers are aware of this issue. that safari and mozilla have dealt with it.
internet explorer has gone some way to dealing with it via its new 'inprivate' browsing. oddly 'inprivate' doesn't seem to be something you can set up as part of the standard running of internet explorer.
so they know there is a bug, and they provide a solution, but you have to remember to turn it on every time you open the browser to search. nice work microsoft.

it is not that i mind web companies having my browsing information - as i have said it is very dull reading (for them, great pictures for me), i just don't want them using that information and all i get back in return is a cleverly targeted ad.
yeah great.

however if apple want to send me an ipad that would be fine (the ipad is much better than the kindle: porn in black and white may as well be art) and that would be a great use of web companies looking at my browsing history.

Thursday, December 02, 2010


you may have noticed it has been snowing.

you may have also noticed that the snow has caused some problems – with warnings of apocalyptical proportions coming from some, if there is not a thaw soon.

who would have thought snow (so nice, so soft, so white, so fluffy, so cold: aaaah) could cause so many problems and so much consternation. probably those who nay-sayers who say: ‘but canada, switzerland, norway blah blah blah’ (pick a country, any country) deal with the snow so much better than we do (could it be, and i am just floating this as an idea, just a thought, y’know a brainstorming exercise thing: could it be that they are countries that have snow often and regularly? just saying).

while we get a lot of weather in the uk, we don’t get lots of extreme weather, which is why most drivers don’t have snow chains for their tyres, while most households don’t have snow shoes. why should we? not like we get this every year for very long.

yet come that first blast of snow “where are the gritters? where are they?”

you may have also noticed that england’s world cup bid came crashing down around our ears (quite why anyone thought that sepp blatter was going to let it happen is beyond me). in order to promote the bid the great and the good of england had pitched up in zurich to do the song and dance routine that fifa demand (done to the strains of liza minnelli singing ‘money’).

among the group was boorish johnson who i am sure was there to press the flesh and sing the wonders of london, rather than being there just for the jolly, after all it was just zurich. either way he was there.

boris is the mayor of london. it means he heads a very large team of people who administer the city. it doesn’t mean he is pounding the streets of london rescuing cats, and so sorting out every problem that befalls london.

yet the london evening standard reports that mr. johnson is being criticised for being in zurich. as his official spokesman has said “what else would he do other than get a shovel and move the snow himself? there's nothing he could do in london he can't do from here.” quite what is boris supposed to do when london city airport is closed, after all it is a private company. what was he supposed to do for the 100 stranded passengers who had to spend a night in a train – drive over to them and tell them stories? surely the question should be what are the overpaid executives of some of these companies doing? why haven’t they responded to the situation, why hadn’t they acted on the weather forecasts?

if this highlights a weakness in boris johnson’s administration it is that there seems to be no one who can step up and take responsibility when boris is not around.

still i am sure there will be some more snow this year and boris can leap into action to save the day, unless he is off on another junket.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow

i love snow.
just a shame i am getting old and i now feel the cold.

snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow snow


today i nominate vince cable as a total tosser.
vince is the coalition's business secretary and he has been the architect of the coalition's new university tutions fees.
if what they say is true (and it being the coalition - it is hard to believe them) then the new arrangements seem reasonable. it strikes one as odd that cameron's government has been so bad at selling this particular policy, especially given how cameron was so happy to splash cash to make himself look very good to the media - he should have been spending the money on spinning (sorry i mean explaining) the tuition fees policies.

anyway back to vince.
before he was the business secretary of the coalition, he was the darling of the liberal democrats. we all liked vince. he told it like it was, he seemed to be a steady hand, and not a fuddy duddy.
vince was also against tuition fees. he even told the national union of students he was against fees. the students loved him.

now he is in power (an unusual position for the lib dems) and oops and he is all for tuition fees.
fees are good.
fees are wonderful.
fees will help everyone.
ok he might not be saying quite that.

students are not happy with the coalition. the students hate the conservatives, they are not overly keen on the liberal democrats.
the vote over the tuition fees is coming up. some of the liberals are going to vote against it. some are going to abstain.

what is vince going to do?
is he going to vote for the policy that he had a large part in creating?
or is he going to abstain?

we don't know, because vince isn't saying. he is teasing us.

this is what he says:
"my own personal instinct, partly because i'm the secretary of state responsible for universities and partly because i think the policy is right, my own instincts are very much to vote for it but we want to vote as a group."

in many political text books this is known as the 'having your cake and eat it' gambit.

vince just have the courage of your convictions - vote for the policy you created.
vince cable - today's tosser.


a while back i mentioned i was going to attempt the national novel writing month challenge of writing a novel of at least 50 thousand words duting the month of november.
like many others on the challenge i hit the 50k mark (with just moments to spare) while not actually finishing the tale.

how good is? i hear you ask.
utter fucking tripe i reply. total pants, if i am being honest - about as good as a liberal democrat promise.

yet i have to say i am pleased with it.
it makes no sense, it was done on the hoof. no planning, just making it up as i went along - so it started out in one genre and ended up being a completely different genre. it is clunky, moments of absolute horrid writing that if i had read it in a book i had bought would have me throwing the book across the room crying in a mix of laughter and despair.

so why am i pleased with it. i had forgotten how much fun it was to write, there are some ideas in it that i might be able to work up into something worthwhile.
for now i think i shall have to bash out a few short stories, just to keep my hand in.

don't worry i'll still be boring you silly on here as well.