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Sunday, July 31, 2011


you have to hand it to the taxpayers' alliance they are relentless in their search for truth.
by using the freedom of information act they have discovered that civil servants use the internet while they are at work.
no shit!
they do that?
they use the internet while they are at work - who would have thought it.
because as we know in the private sector no one ever shirks, no one ever gives less than 100%. their noses to the grindstone, their backs to the wheel.
the public sector full of lazy feckless waistrels.
the private sector is full of thrusting, striving achieving individuals who give there all and never (ever) slack.
well that is the world according the the taxpayers' alliance

"While many staff work very hard, there have been enough anecdotal reports of time-wasters within the civil service that it is vital taxpayers are able to scrutinise how time they are paying for is spent."

an important word here is annecdotal.
we all have stories to tell and some of them might even be true - but if you are going to cast judgements on people and organisations you had better have something a little more substantial than 'my mate said he saw that civil servant doing nothing'.
then there is the phease 'able to scrutisnise' and bless them the taxpayer's alliance have provided us with the raw data to do it, because the taxpayer's alliance are far to busy being..well busy to actually break down the figures into anything that might be useful, nor do they provide any context to the useage of the sites.
while they concede that some might be using the web while they are not working (lunch or before or after shits) it is done grudingly and with the caveats such as: "It looks like many officials at the Department for Transport are spending a lot of time surfing websites that clearly have nothing to do with their jobs." no proof is given, no analysis made just a broad sweeping assumption based on anecdotal evidence.
or how about "but online activity shows there are some not fully dedicated while at work" except that the figures provided do not prove this - the data we are asked to scrutinise is just a ranked list of websites based on the hits of the sites - there is nothing on there to say what time the hits were made or even how long they were there for.

if this is the level of work that the tpa provide then i am at a loss to explain why anyone gives them the time of the day.

if anyone is time-wasting then it seems it is the highly motiviated thrusting thinking bods at the taxpayer's alliance - it is just a shame they are wasting everyone else's time while they do it.

Friday, July 29, 2011


as the libyan war/crisis/situation/cock-up (you decide)drags on (and changes rules of engagement, aims and outcomes: nothing like having a plan afterall)it appears that nato forces have decided to bomb the state tv satellite transmitters. however transmission continues.
oh well better luck next time.
imagine all that money, all that expertise and all that hardware and they can't stop libyan tv from telling the locals how wonderful the colonel is.

that got me thinking - i am sure there are quite a few tories and daily mail readers (not always the same thing as some readers of the mail won't be happy until oswald is leading the country) would love to have a tornado or two do a bombing run on the bbc.
and it perhaps gives a clue as to the potential solution to the hacking debacle: have the sas storm wapping and take out news international.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


for all my bluff and bluster i am a softee.
quite often i well up when watching, reading or listening to something.

there are two things that are guaranteed to reduce me to a blubbing wreck.

i 'discovered' regina spektor through a song of hers that was being used by sky to sell one of their packages. the song 'us' was just an upbeat ditty sung by someone with a strong but quirky voice. i found out who the singer was, got one of her lps and the rest is pretty much history.
pretty much from the first time i heard 'samson' i had a lump in my throat. it gets me everytime i listen to the song.
so here it is for your enjoyment:

i have probably spoken of 'field of dreams' before. it is one of my favourite films. when we went to see it was just a movie. by the end it was more than just a film - it was something that would have the power to reduce me to tears each and every time i watched it. oddly as the years (and viewings) have mounted up i cry earlier,and for different reasons, in the movie. it won't be long before just looking at the cover makes me blub outrageously.
as i sat in the cinema watching the screen there was nothing to warn me of what was to happen. i was enjoying it an entertaining feel good movie. then just at the end came the scene that made me sniffle. my waterworks observed by my pal paul. who to his credit has never let me forget it.
and for your pleasure;here is the scene:

it still makes me weep.

Monday, July 25, 2011


just back from seeing the, somewhat bloated, last part of the harry potter movie series. i am not overly keen on the films - they are ok, they have some nice visuals in them. they are long.
i have never read the books. i am not likely to. it is not that i have anything against children's books. it is just that the books get increasingly larger and longer.
there was a time when i was excited when i got hold of a large paperback - the thrill of reading dune, lord of the rings or the stand. stories that went on for 4 or 5 hundred pages. epic.
same with movies - it it was two hours plus then you knew it was an event movie. something special.

now every paperback seems to weigh in at 300 or 400 pages and in the large format. no more the classic paperback format (pocket sized) and 200 pages.
now ever movie seems to be two hours plus.
and now it is no longer special.
now it becomes a chore, an endurance test.
some movies become numb bum evenings where fidgeting is the order of the day.
some books are so obviously padded that they are more filler than they are filling. authors talk about editors who want a three books series or only want a book if the author puts in another 100 pages or so.
i have no idea why they want to do that. smaller books seem to be the way to go. why? think of it this way if they can knock out a 500 page novel each year, they could do two 250 pages novels a year. twice the sales. already i have made it a winner. smaller books means more on the shelves, means less restocking, means more sales (just go into a sainsbury's that sells books and there will always be at least one of them that does not have a book or two on the shelves). or how about: if it takes me a month to read a 500 page book i am only going to read 12 books a year. make them shorter and i will read and buy more. (ok in my case that is a pointless assumption as i buy books in the full knowledge that i will probably never read them, but i just have to have them).

movies are the same. filled with padding and fluff. a 90-minute movie (the almost perfet length) gets turned into a two-hour plus itchy bum fidget fest. the longer the movies the fewer times they can be shown in the cinema. the fewer times they are shown the less sweets that can be sold. comedies that have two jokes in them stretched to over 120-minutes; acton films that have a smidgen of action but two hours of story; art house movies that redefine what it means to watch paint dry.

smaller is often better.
it is also more profitable.

and i wonder why they don't have me running a publishing company...
(well it might be that a line of books involving girls in skimpy costumes running around the world blowing things up might not be times bestseller material - but it darned well should be....)


can't say i was ever a fan of amy winehouse. aside from 'rehab' i am not sure i could pick out any of her songs if they were played for me. doubt anyone was shocked that she died so young.
oddly this isn't about ms winehouse.
what has caused me to write is to do with the need of people to be in the media and to appear to be in the 'know'.
just the other day i was chatting about how there are some stories you just don't tell, some tales you just keep schtum on. others you just don't elaborate on. we all have them. there are some people who seem to be able to go that extra step and tell you the full story regardless of the light it paints them in.
this is even more the case in the new 24-hour always on news cycle and television shows of the likes of jerry springer and jeremy kyle: everyone wants to be a celebrity and everyone thinks they have something interesting to say.
when a celebrity dies there appears to be no shortage of people who can come forward to saying something about the situation. so it is with amy winehouse where we can read that a neighbour thought he heard screams from her house 'like some weird sex game'. nice to be wise after the event. i wonder if he thought to phone the police, or even the sun newspaper.
or perhaps the person who reckoned she must have been dead awhile because her cat was behaving oddly in the morning. i am sure he will get his own cat talk show in the near future.

now i am prepared to admit that i might be being harsh but frankly if all you had done was listen to some screams and just turned up the sound on your tv then you really shouldn't telling the press anything as you just come across as a tit. and not a particulary nice one.
all i have learnt from this is that ms. winehouse didn't have very nice neighbours.

if ever a time to follow 'silence is golden' then this would have been the time.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


there was a report in the evening standard awhile ago about how the shares in dixons, the retailer, had crashed, that there profits has declined and there was doubt over their long-term future.
still not all doom and gloom in the world of dixons as their cheif executive received a cash bonus of £120,000 (bringing his total salary to over £1m).
you would wonder quite how much mr. browett would trouser if dixons had been in profit, shares were on the up and up and the future was bright.
apparently he gets to pocket the bonus because he met some personal targets (these are not detailed) so i am guessing they must have been things such as turning up to work, wearing matching socks, writing nice reports (i used to work with someone who wrote very nice reports, he didn't type them up his secretary did and he didn't do the work in compiling the report others did that - he just wrote it up nicely) and being nice to the rest of the board.
i am sure the boys at the confederation of british industry could work out a way to explain how a business that is doing badly can pay out bonuses (the reason is probably something like: without him it would have been even worse). this is why most of the time we don't trust all the guff about how much better the private sector is.

still the report did mention that the shoppers who go into dixons have reported that their shopping experience is much nicer these days.

meanwhile over in my neck of the woods the newly elected mayor, lutfer rahman, (i didn't want a mayor and i didn't vote for him) has been pilloried for his daily use of a hire car. he isn't going to give it up. his reasons for needing a chauffeur driven car was the number of meetings he had to attend and the need to do work while on the move. so approximately £10,000 is to be used to get the mayor from here to there.
i have a solution to the problem: have more meetings in your office mr. mayor. let them come to you. it would save lots of money and make you seem even more important.
true it does mean you won't feel quite so grand as you do swanning around in an expensive car.
even better if you stay in the office - you will get more work done.
i am a genius.
with the money saved mr. rahman you can employ me.

the willingness of politicians to squander public money is one of the reasons why we distrust them.
the only difference between mr. rahman and mr. browett is that so far the people of tower hamlets haven't been able to say our living experience has improved - maybe that is why mr. rahman insists on the car; he doesn't want to see what it is like for the local population.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


i quite like banksy. his work is clever, funny and sometimes has a wry political point to make.
his work was ephemeral glorying in the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of graffiti. that was until graffiti became art and something to invest in. so lots of guff spoken about how this banksy and that banksy was worth tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds even though they were painted on the side of a building.
not that it mattered much to banksy – he was coining it with his gallery work as dealers and collectors fought to buy his works. though it could be argued that the people who made the most out of banksy were all the people who did books, prints, canvases etc of his work.
to his credit banksy didn’t court publicity; he just went on about his art.
now i like graffiti. i have taken lots and lots of photos of it. i have mixed feelings about the worth of it. as it has become more mainstream and street/urban art has entered the galleries i find myself less inclined to listen to the posturing of street artists who claim that graffiti is not vandalism.
in some cases they are right. some of the works of graffiti artists such as roa, bortusk leer, kid acne, elmo, eska et al are wonders to behold. yet for each of these there are a bunch of kids who just tag their names in bright colours. you can tell when a graffiti artist has some sway in the graffiti community because their work stays untouched by others. perhaps that is why there was such an outcry recently when the new owner of a building painted over the banksy that was on it (since then it has been partially restored). me i couldn’t understand what the fuss was all about – it was not like it couldn’t have been replaced, it isn’t like the image hasn’t been reproduced elsewhere or saved for posterity.
in the end i guess it comes down to (as with most of the world) not all graffiti and graffiti artists are created equal. until such time as i can walk into a gallery like ‘stolen space’ or ‘pure evil’ and tag the works of the artist on display without them saying i defaced their work then the argument about it being vandalism is one that local councils have won.

meanwhile a much greater loss than a covered up banksy was the sad death of lucien freud. shan’t be long before the large scale retrospective opens in a gallery near me, it will be good.

Monday, July 18, 2011


the fallout from the defence review contnues. the new wheeze is less of a standing army and more of a reservist maintained organisation. i am sure there are lots of bosses around the country who will be happy to see some of their employees bugger off for a several months in order to quell a rogue state, while they have to keep their jobs open for them. what is the betting that it works out to be more expensive? not to mention impractical.

over in scotland there is the likelihood that two airforce bases might be closed down.
back in westminster the scotish national party's leader in the house of commons, angus robertson, raises concerns at such a move.
"how can a cut of up to 74% in scotland be justified?"

hold on dear chap - i thought you lot wanted shot of us?
what better way to start the process by waving goodbye the military might of the british state? oh that's right with the defence industry moving south that is a big chunk of change gone from the scotish economy and that won't sit too well with some voters.

there has been several other groups and influential people complaining about where liam fox and go are taking the british armed forces (to hellmand in a hand basket - mmm another one of those quips that seemed so much funnier before i typed it out..)

so here is my suggestion. convert defence spending into aid spending nd turn the armed forces into a version of international rescue - the jet off when there is a natural disaster - help save the day.
but what about protecting oursevlves from invasion?
go the north korea route - have a few nuclear missles pointed at various places around the globe and just calmly tell people 'fuck with us and glow in the dark'.
there you go: peace.
next job.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


words are important.
language is important.

it allows us to explain the world around us, it allows us to share ideas, and it allows us to communicate.
because they are social constructs words and language are not simple things, they can be wielded precisely or loosely. meanings twisted out of all shape to their original intention. they are not impartial. they are used to persuade.
most of us want freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of thought. most of us don't like censorship. most of us accept that there are limits on these freedoms, the limits change - what was acceptable 50, 30 or 10 years ago is not acceptable now.
we redefine censorship as tolerance (some might say political correctness).

the web is an interesting place one site leads to another and before you know it you have discovered something interesting (and for a change not pornographic). through a circuitous route of which i will spare you the details i came across a quote from one of the champions of free speech.
as with most of those who fight for free speech – he has his usual targets (i will leave you to guess them).
and he says this “i don't care what people believe as long as i don't have to keep hearing about it.” which sort of defeats the purpose of having freedom of speech.
it is a variant of the i-don’t-agree-but-i-defend school of thought.
so the speaker would defend the ability of various groups to say what they will but just not so it can be heard anywhere he might be. so censorship by another name.

the irony is off course is that as the world becomes more wired we are becoming more narrowcasted at: we choose where we get our news from and we generally choose something that agrees with us.
according to the view that is what free speech is all about: just agreeing with us. everything else is wrong or pandering to a minority group.
perhaps the problem is that there is too much speech, there is too much to be heard and we can’t hear the important words through the white noise.

the internet has become our very own tower of babble and confusion and misinterpretation is the new world disorder.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


it rained a lot today.
it looked fantastic.
it sounded fantastic.
it cooled the air.
i like the rain.
but i didn't go out in it.

lovely moon out tonight.

(i am sure in some circles the above counts as wonderful poetry. if i were to stand at a lectern and shout it and whisper it and repeat it in a shouty whisper then it would also be performance poerty. if while i was shouty whispering my repeated verse and it was videoed i have no doubt that it would become a youtube sensation and next thing you know i would be whisperyshouting on the late review show and pontificating on question time.
from there it is only a short step for me to be shouty whisperer on twitter (how? you ask - easy just mix up the cases on each word adn you have shouty whispering on twitter) with a large following all ready to be individuals and unique but also happy to do what i request.
then more shouty shouting type performances - just to show i am not a one trick pony. they will be followed by the difficult third performances which will have the inovation of whisper talking.
all of this will lead to a successful film career as i genre span shouting in romcoms and whispering (huskily) in action movies. for horror movies i will unleash as new screechy scream, which will also feature in the new live performances of angst ridden limericks about trying to choose the right tins of peas.

all this would have come from my shouty whispering performance of:
it rained a lot today.
it looked fantastic.
it sounded fantastic.
it cooled the air.
i like the rain.
but i didn't go out in it.

lovely moon out tonight.

if i had ever done it live and if it were ever recorded.
i didn't.
it wasn't.
the world wasn't ready.


Friday, July 15, 2011


need to cut down on the long hours in work - it is so easy to be there late as it is just around the corner and there is sooooo much that needs to be done.
but i have to stop it because:
i am tired all the time.
i am getting fatter.
getting fatter? what has that to do with working late? you ask.
doughnuts! i reply. cakes! i mumble. chocolate! i whisper.
so it is time for less work and less calories.

seems like rebekah has gone. what will she do next? will she be able to reinvent herself as a smarmy television celebrity ala piers morgan? i hope not. it isn't because i have a particular dislike for ms brooks (though i do) it is more that the world has suffered enough with the smugness that is mr. morgan without another smug ex-journo cluttering up the screens. bad enough that andrew neil is gets screen time.
so what next for ms. brooks?
the inevitable book. no doubt there will be two drafts. this is the nice one that just details my life in journalism up to when things were still nice and calm in the gardens of news international. the second draft will contain all the bodies and still yet to be exploded bombs - but only to be published if the advance for the first draft is too low.
perhaps there is a chance she will team-up with ex hubbie. together they could go to the most dangerous places in the world, dealing with the most vicious gangs of the world. where in the past ross would just film their stories, now with rebekah in tow they would just beat them into submission and change the world into a nicer place.
mexican drug lords vs rebekah? my money is on ms. brooks.

murdoch + hacking + 9/11 - fbi = downfall.
sweet dreamy arithmatic.
i can only hope.

it wasn't me (again). i didn't win the millions and millions on the euro lottery. blast.
though it does mean that all that money i was going to give to my friends and good causes stay as imaginery as all the good things i would have done with the money.

i have a mutant toe nail.
i thought i would share that with everyone.

i love sport on the radio. even sports i have no interest in (mostly games that involves balls being hit by something: cricket, golf and tennis for instance) but put them on the radio and i an listen to hours of them. this is even more noticeable when the sport in question plays late into the night because it is taking place in some far off land (which was one of the reasons i was never keen on the olympics in london).
so i will be spending some of the weekened listening to the golf on the radio.
i have never played golf, i will probably never play golf but as a radio sport it is fascinating - not because of the golfers but because of the commentators.

back to the olympics: i have worked out the london organising committee of the olympic games (locog) publicity and marketing strategy. it seems to be: highlight the bad news - oh the ticketing was a disaster (even though it probably went as expected - more people wanted the good tickets than there were seats available and no one wanted the shit events), yet most of the tickets have been sold. you can probably guarantee that the empty seats will be those held by sponsors or friends of the olympic family.
now the olympic super highway is being called into question. the draconian laws being used to push it through, the loss of life it might cause, the disruption it might cause blah blah blah (not to belittle the seriousness of the claims).
the story that the international olympic committee were impressed by how far advanced everything was in the olympic village seems to have been buried.
bad news sells i guess - papers and tickets to big events.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


it may come as a surprise to those who know me but i have been put in charge of a team of 10 staff. i am a manager. who would have thought it! as befits a manager i have my own office. true it is a pokey sweat box at the moment, but it is mine!
however i am not the sort of person who just sits there and lords it over people.
recently we have been very busy so i have decided to get out there among them all, also makes it easier for the students to get to me (not always a good thing). so at the moment i am in one of the big offices. laugh? oh yes we do. (apparently one of the things i need to learn is some professional distane - seems i am too pally with the staff).
there is one drawback being in one of the communal offices: i have to listen to their choice of radio station: captial or kiss. it is like sophie's choice but you get to choose between shit and puke.
i have quickly discovered that there is little variety as to the songs that are played: the 'hits' seemingly get played every show. so often in fact that against my will i am beginning to know the songs and able to sing along, at this rate i will even know who is singing them. as yet i have no idea if it is lady gaga, adele, jessie j or any other currently popular singer. at the moment the tune (if i can call it that) that annoys the most is some odd mash-up of a rap song and some urban soul ballad. it sounds like some badly cut-and-paste punk fanzine - there seems to be no connection between the two songs and they just clash against each other.
i am a good boss. i would be a better boss if i made them listen to diamanda gallas.
they are not ready for it....yet.

i may have written about my annoyance at trailers in the cinema. sometimes they entice you in only to disappoint (say transformers 3 - the trailer starts off promising something interesting and then delivers...oh), or sometimes you can see how trailers have changed as the vibe of a film has changed (super 8 springs to mind - first trailer is all about kids and their adventure that might be a little bigger than they (and we) think compared to the all out disaster moster movie second trailer that just shouts out 'ooops we pitched this film wrong and it hasn't done well in the states let's see if we can save it elsewhere...'). then there is the trailer that is released so many months before the film that by the time the movie opens you resent the fact that you have seen the trailer 20 or 40 times.
so imagine my surprise when i saw the trailer for the latest 'final destination' movie. not giving much away but: people will survive a disaster at the start of the movie only for them to be killed off in painful and interesting ways throughout the movie as death comes to reclaim them. fun premise that has worked well for four movies.
the reason i go to see the final destination movies isn't because of the complex storyline with its engaging cheacter sketches. nor am i going to enjoy the shakespeare rivaling script, nor am i going for the quality acting that shares emotions with the audience.
nope i am going for the interesting, funny and complicated deaths that are arranged for each character.
so traler makers here is a tip for you: don't give away all the interesting bits in the trailer or there is no point in going. thanks to the final destinaton trailer i know how most of them are going to die.
oh well i am sure it will raise a smile or two.

currently going through a 'i hate sportsmen' phase.
most because i have come to realise that they are all moaning minnies who just never stop wanting. look there is wayne rooney talking about how the club's ambition may not match his own (of course he won't put his own money into it but he will demand someone else pay for his ambition). he is not alone most 'top' footballers will at some point come out and demand that their club buy more players. everyone is quick to spend other people's money.
the worst of the bunch has to be formula 1 racing cars. lewis hamilton has been moaning that his car isn't ip to iy. he want a new one and a better one. no offer to contribute to the costs, just wants to get paid.
when he wins it is because he is a great driver, when he loses it is because the car is not up to scratch.
all bases covered.

why is it a mars bar tastes so much better late at nght?
no idea why, but i can tell you it was yummy.

Monday, July 11, 2011


why are there no famous male models, where is the male equivalent of kate or naomi. where is the male superstar model who throws a strop and gets hassled for being drunk and drugged up? there must be one, but why isn't he in all the newspapers?

why arn't there superstar women darts or snooker players? seriously why can't they play against and beat the men? just a case of aiming and letting go, it is just hand-eye coordination and as women can multitask they can play the game while having a chinwag with their mate in the third row.

why don't the laces in my plimpsols stay tied up? no matter what the knot i tie, no matter how tight it is at some point in the day the lace will come untied. when i tie it iup again that is a sing for the other one to come untangled. forcing me into a series of stopping, bending, knotting as i walk down the road.

why am i the poster boy for messy? i used to work with a chap who could wear anything and make it look suitable, appropriate, trendy and comfortable. it didn't matter what he wore he looked good in it. he also tended to be obsessively neat and precise, some would say anal (yet he wasn't the worst in the office, just the next in line) everything on his desk had a place and that place was neatly laid out in relation to all the other things that were on his desk. the complex laws of the universe laid bare in the positioning of a few pens and pencils.
his other super-power was that he was very much like 'the man in the white suit': dirt avoided him. he came to work wearing a very white coat, he wore it for a few weeks. never once did the coat look anything less than perfect shimmering white. it was an astonishing feat.
i am the total antithesis of this. not only am i the definition of messy, the concept of mess made flesh. around me are pools of chaos that turn organised desks and workspaces into jumbles and piles that remind one of those old fusty dusty second-hand bookshops where piles would tetter totter and the book you always wanted was in the middle of some impossibly high tower of books and yet somehow the wizend old man could pull that book from the pile - well my place is like that, except the piles wobble and fall when you go near them - forming a new ecosystem of mess that you have to learn to navigate.
when it comes to my white shirts (yes i have a few - hope springs eternal) i just set myself up for disappointmnet.
there i was today looking quite smart (for me) (for once) in a very white shirt. the boss came in with some very gooey doughnuts. i managed one (well it might have been three) without damage to the shirt. later on i was drinking coffee and bish bosh bash two fucking great big drips and i might as well be a hippy in a tye dye. oh well. crack on with work i think.
another cup of coffee (no drips this time) and another doughnut. ooops. out sploshes some strawberry cream and plonk down the other side of the shirt.
cripes i am looking like the mad english teacher who knew all the works of shakespeare but was never sure how to button his shirt or tie his laces.
i am a dirt attactor and a chaos magnet.
i think i am going to stick to t-shirts.


news of the world. closed. finished. ended.
space shuttle. last trip. almost done. ending.
my laptop. last legs. pretty kaput. ending.


you decide.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


today was the day the news of the world closed.

now i am no expert, which in the current climate means that i am perfectly capable of chatting about this as if i know what i am talking about (get me on the tv now), but the closing of the news of the world is on the one hand a feeble gesture and on the other hand a sign of hard headed pragmatism.

why is it a feeble gesture? simply because it has all been wrapped up with how sorry they are for stepping over the line. yet many of the people who are being ‘punished’ by the closing of the paper had nothing to do with the hacking of various phones around the country. those people who were, and are, in charge at news international are allowed to carry on as normal.  thus the closing of the news of the world is just a sacrifice to the masses, a diversion to keep them away from the power brokers.

it is a pragmatic move because for all intents and purposes the news of the world, as a brand and as a campaigning newspaper, is dead in the water. the loss of readers and advertisers making the paper no longer economically viable, more importantly the fear that the anger towards the actions of the news of the world would taint the rest of the news international stable. so the news of the world had to go.

no need to worry as there had already been moves within news international to position staff on the sun newspaper so that they can work seven days a week and the only reason for that? to get a sunday sun out. the question now is just how quickly can they do it and not look like they are not penitent about the news of the world situation.

max mosley must be laughing his head off. we had no problems with the revelations that they may have hacked the phones of celebs and politicians. we have been taught that they are fair game, that they are casualties that are necessary in the cause of a free press that seeks out stories in the national interest (which in newspaper terms broadly means profitable for the paper). it was only with the news that the hacking also intruded into the personal grief of ordinary people that the shit hit the fan for news international. apparently there is a lot more to come.

the original hacking claims didn’t cause that much of a stir for the public, mainly because the media tried its very hardest to ignore it.

odd really when you consider just what a powerful story it was, even when it was just celebrities. here was a national newspaper breaking the law, here was a newsroom apparently out of control, as the editors of the time seemed to be saying that they didn’t have a clue as to what was going on. yet somehow the story was never pursued. yet give the papers mp’s expenses and they were like ravening beasts – the most innocuous claim blown out of all proportion. or look how they pursued a few mps because of their sexuality – liked it mattered, forcing a few to confess as if being gay meant they were somehow incapable of the job. remember how quickly they were to shout for a minister to fall on their sword if something went wrong in their department.

contrast that with how quiet they were over the original hacking cases – how lightly andy coulson got off first time around. judging by some of the headlines in the red tops this past week they were keen to let it all slide.

none of them rushing to condemn, very few calls for the head of rebekah brooks or james murdoch perhaps out of misplaced loyalty to fellow journalists or more likely that there are skeletons in all their closets. for a long time they have used the ‘it is in the public’s interest’ when they have broken stories about scandals of the rich and famous. these footballers, musicians, actors and the like are, we are told, role models because they are in the public eye and because they can influence people. so the argument goes they are legitimate targets.

yet they are only role models and influencers because the media has told us so.

somehow the media, with a few notable exceptions, has remained in the background all the while influencing people. it never turns the spotlight on to itself, and it tried very hard not to do it with the latest hacking story preferring to tell cheryl not to go back to ashley.

if we are lucky this will lead to the media having a hard look at itself and changing. doubtful.

if we are lucky it will mean that the two main political parties will move away from worrying what the press has to say and develop policy that has more in common with what the public wants than what a few editors tell us the public want. at the moment the conservatives and david cameron are tarnished by this. labour hasn’t escaped untouched. this is something where they could come together to make sure that there is legislation in place to prevent, and if necessary punish, a media that oversteps the line. some might say that this could be used as a weapon to curtail a free press, but a press that is just interesting in tittle tattle and tawdry stories isn’t worried about the national interest just in the bottom line.

if we are lucky it will mean the end of murdoch’s overbearing influence on british politics and british opinion.

what i think will happen is that this will all blow over and it will be business as normal.

but we can hope.

Friday, July 08, 2011


nice one british gas.
just what i need.
i am so glad that privatisation meant better pricing for us (still waiting for that advantage).

wondering if they have released their price rises now hoping that it gets lost in the news about the 'news of the world' and the hacking scandal.
they wouldn't do that, would they?
just wondering.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011


there is an odd debate going on at the moment about blocking websites that host the streaming of copyrighted material, such as the premier league football games. the premier league makes most of its money through selling the rights to screen game live on tv. they are keen to protect and protect the brand they have created.
simpe. understandable.
it is all part of the digital economy act.
i am going to ignore the rights and wrongs of the act as i need to set a download running (joke.. it was a joke... a joke).
i can't see how ban a site that infringes copyright can be seen as an attack on free speech, more an attack on theft. the copyfighters all seem to be very keen to give away the work of others but have yet to invited me around to their place so i can just take a dvd or cd from their shelves.
however this isn't what this is about.
during one of the meetings to discuss this whole thing an executive from google said they would fight any attempt at web blocking. i feel safer knowing that. after all they put up such a fight in china, perhaps that sort of bravado is easy to maintain when your search engine is number one in most western countries.
nor does it seem a stance that is compata company who is accused of rigging the result of their searches engine searches in order to make the results of 'friends' appear much closer to the top, i guess that isn't the same as 'censorship', it is just misleading (and tits between pals so who cares.....)
when it comes to sense i have long since given up expecting it from any compant that is making  loads of money, would i do expect from them is their whinging on about the rights of the consumer to make money for the company in question.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


crossed over.
ooops 'news of the world'.
one thing snooping on self-important celebs who quite like the publicity.
quite another to hack the phone of a murdered girl.

crikey perfect time for clarkson or frankie boyle to tell one of their famous 'funny' jokes.

Monday, July 04, 2011


so tired.
just fallen asleep on the bog.
woke up in some pain from where i had slumped over.
it wasn't the pain that woke me from my elvis like slumber, it was the terrible smell of a large job well done. while i was dreaming of impertinent french maids, my body had done what came naturally and had unleased a very large u-bend buster and a few smaller turds for good measure.
leave a pile like that festering for a while and you have a chemical reaction that can kill a goodly percentage of the people in the local area while also stipping the paint off of rhe nearest airaircraft carrier.
i was lucky: i was jolted back to reality by a smell that caused me to cough and my eyes to water.
i know have to look out for me going off on a 'sleep poo' adventure on other nights as it will be a tough one to explain!


the new buzz is all about early intervention.
all about investing in the early lives of those who are disadvantaged in oder to prevent massive future social costs.
nothing really radical there - after all the jesuits have been forever going on about show me the child and i will mould you the man.
it is all so obvious really.
the new labour governmen poured a lot of love, attention and resources trying to get over 50% of the population a degree. lot of money spent.
it was one of their biggest mistakes - the time, the effort and the money should have been going into infant and junior schools to make sure kids were in a position to not only be able to learn, but want to.
all this talk of early intervention comes down to that: giving kids a good environment in which to grow and develop.
perhaps this government will pay attention and do the right thing.
i doubt it, but it would be nice.


not liking the new look.
i am sure it will grow on me.

Sunday, July 03, 2011


i just pulled an 87-hour work week.

i had to deal with whining staff (all legitimate complaints); moaning students and demanding agents. mostly i enjoyed it. i wouldn’t want to do it again for awhile.

i have to admit there was a sense of achievement walking out of the office at 4 or 5am.

though come saturday i was brain dead.

the thought that came to me was: why do we expect junior doctors to work such long hours? as there were times when i was having trouble entering data into spreadsheets. this was followed by: why do lorry drivers complain that they are not allowed to work as long as they want. if i can’t work a computer well at the end of 80 hours work, i am pretty sure that truckers would have trouble controlling their lorries.

i am up for doing another long week.

but not just yet.



my television is so dim, but it is still cleverer than jeremy clarkson.

boom boom.

my joke is about as funny as jeremy’s.

how ironic then that kia abdullah (a very tasty bangladeshi author) has been caught up in an ‘insensitivity’ row of another shade. ms abdullah made a ‘joke’ about the death of some british students with double-barrelled names while they were on a gap year trip to thailand. she claimed it was an attempt at ‘classist’ humour.

her ‘joke’ appeared on twitter. quite how people in the public eye forget the ‘social’ part of social media is beyond me, but they do. still she apologised and so that is fine and dandy.

on the radio a friend of the author and someone from the libertarian alliance ‘debated’ the situation. the friend basically said that ms abdullah had made a mistake and that was that. the libertarians began by saying that if ms abdullah had been facing prosecution from the police then they would be defending her, but as she wasn’t they were calling for her to be cast out as a social leper (which seems to be having your cake and eating it). he went on to point out that if this had been a white writer making a similar comment about students who had indian or african names there would have been a large outcry. which seemed odd as he had also claimed that ‘people can find racism in a bus queue’ (it is an analogy that doesn’t really work as often you can find racism in a bus queue, but we’ll gloss over that) so it is ironic how quickly he played the race card. ms abdullah’s friend claimed it had nothing to do with race, but was a poor attempt at humour based on class; in doing so proving that perceived racism is colour blind – it rarely comes in paler shades.

clarkson often defends himself by saying that those who are offended by his jokes don’t have a sense of humour. ms abdullah and her friend defends her by saying it was a mistake. neither of them seems to have been blessed by the comedy gods. perhaps both of them need to count to ten before they put their ‘jokes’ out there in the public arena.