Bet this bloke didn’t do hugs…
September 3, 2013
August 8, 2013
Just added to the Notepad On Life tumblr page:
- British politics’ Dead Man Walking, Nick Clegg, for a meddle too far.
- The ‘progressive’ BBC, for confirming what we’ve long suspected, that the 9pm watershed is about as meaningful as the Tooth Fairy. “We felt it was discriminatory towards the little f******,” said a senior BBC executive. Actually, he didn’t but he might as well have done.
July 17, 2013
February 25, 2013
Seen around Peterborough recently:
“Bus passes that expire on 31st March will not be valid for concessionary travel after that date”
Your pass runs out – you can no longer use your pass. Even the patently obvious must now be spelt out. Coming soon on footpaths near you, in bright yellow letters – “Right foot forward…Now left…Now right…Now left…”
“Cavell Blue Car Park is closed for a makeover”
Not sure I’m getting the connection between a car park and a 44-year-old with bags under her eyes. What on earth was wrong with “renovation”?
July 25, 2012
Who’d have thought that in a matter of minutes last Sunday, we would see what’s great and not so great about Britain, on – of all places – the Champs Elysees?
We were even allowed the luxury of getting the naff out of the way first and so finish on a high note.
What better way, after all, to momentarily take the gloss off the first British Tour de France winner than to have our national anthem flogged to death by the ever full-of-herself Lesley Garrett? That a woman of 57 doesn’t take one look at a skirt like that and say “no ******* way…” tells you everything you need to know about the collapse of taste and dignity within these islands.
The look on Bradley Wiggins‘ face as this artistic car crash unfolds says it all, yet his moment is yet to come.
I’ll let you enjoy the ‘raffle numbers’ triumph for yourself if you haven’t heard it yet but know this: there is much of which I despair where my country is concerned but the deadpan, pomposity-busting humour of its people is one of its few qualities in which my faith remains undimmed.
I’ve seen the label ‘people’s champion’ wasted on some deadbeats in my time but I believe it may have finally found its rightful home. This being professional cycling, however, one caveat remains to be dealt with.
Please God, let Bradley Wiggins be clean.
July 24, 2012
Never mind the BBC’s relocation to Salford: it’s the Corporation’s insidious creep Stateside that should concern the people who bankroll it.
Presenter James Naughtie presumably wouldn’t dream of going all guttural and bringing a Gallic idiom to Radio 4′s Today programme, any more than he would start speaking in clipped Teutonic tones and pronouncing every ‘w’ as a ‘v’.
So why on earth did he feel the need to bring America’s bastardised son of spoken English to yesterday’s programme, telling us (at 0824) how the wife of former Liberal leader, Lord David Steel, “snuck off to a tattoo parlour”?
“vb, US and Canadian, not standard,” is how The Collins English Dictionary defines ‘snuck’. ‘Not standard’ being the key part. It doesn’t matter how cool it sounds when they say it on CSI Miami, Mr Naughtie, it has no part in spoken English this side of the Atlantic. Far from sounding hip, you sound like the sad uncle trying to get down with the kids at a family party.
And this in one of the BBC’s flagship news programmes. Does anyone actually fight this particular corner at the Beeb any more, do you suppose, or is modish surrender to Uncle Sam by his unofficial 51st state now seen as just another facet of ‘embracing diversity’?
I bow to no man in my fondness for America but if it did to animals what it routinely does to the English language, the country would be on a sex offenders’ register. If he really wants to talk like them, James Naughtie should do us all the courtesy of going back there to work, where he can ‘snuck’, ‘ dove’ and ‘different than’ to his heart’s content.
April 14, 2012
Sad thing is, there were any number of vessels in front of which Trenton Oldfield could have swum this year and been able to count on my whole-hearted support.
Had he waited until the summer Parliamentary recess, he could have intercepted the lilo/dinghy/inflatable banana of just about any holidaying MP known to have voted both for war in Iraq and an end to university grants, given him or her a right dunking in the process and I would have gladly held his towel for him.
There are your villains in your fight against elitism, Mr Oldfield: the people who ensured that we have money for the pursuit of military folly but not for educating our young, thus betraying a generation and nudging higher education a little nearer to that wretched place where it is less about talent and more about the size of Daddy’s wallet.
Instead of attacking the system at its heart, sadly, you went to its fringes and in doing so inflicted purely collateral damage. I’m no expert where rowing is concerned and the University Boat Race leaves me utterly cold as a spectacle but I suspect its 18 participants last Saturday are beyond reproach where graft and commitment are concerned. What’s more, the message you received from one of them afterwards – a masterpiece of controlled derision – probably speaks volumes as to their average IQ.
Or did you know better about the worth of these young people before you took it upon yourself to mar what should have been one of the highlights of their lives? Did you know for a fact that, if it was indeed an alliance of brains and money that got them to university, it was money that hadn’t been toiled for long and hard by parents for whom no sacrifice was too great?
Did you even bother to ask yourself that question, or was it purely secondary to making a name for yourself?
I don’t speak from the perch of privilege here. University will, I fear, be financially beyond my own sons, both of whom may well have thrived on the opportunity it afforded them. I hate the political priorities that bring that about but I hate what Trenton Oldfield did last Saturday even more. Partly because people who can’t see the target shouldn’t be throwing punches and partly because his little stunt ultimately achieves only one thing: affirmation that inverted snobbery is every bit as pathetic as the prototype.
January 2, 2012
And so the race goes on, the gap between the contestants narrowing, the competition fiercer than ever.
Just what will be the next hallmark of stylish exclusivity? Not being mentioned in the Honours List, or not having a tattoo?
October 24, 2011
I suppose that Spiked‘s consistent excellence mean that we were due a stinker sooner or later but Mick Hume’s article on the bigger picture behind the Hillsborough disaster still comes as something of a shock, maybe because it’s precisely the kind of breathless polemic from which Spiked normally takes a step back in search of a better perspective.
The stall is set out early in Hume’s piece…
“…the current narrow focus on the details of exactly who said and did what in Sheffield on 15 April 1989 risks missing the most important factor of all: the wider political context of the state’s war against football supporters in the 1980s”
War? With the real thing still scandalously rumbling away in Afghanistan, Hume might have picked his words more carefully but in fairness, the inadvertent hyperbole does at least fit beautifully with what follows. Football and those who despised it 20 years ago were but a metaphor for class warfare, we learn; football fans were “demonised” by media propaganda, vilified by middle-class society and used as “lab rats on whom police tried out a raft of control measures”.
On this kind of roll, you’d be disappointed if Hume didn’t have a quick stab at equating Margaret Thatcher’s attempts to transform one-man power trips into responsible trade unionism, with the crushing of the. Fear not, he does precisely that.
“Call me a bitter old Red (in every respect),” the Manchester United supporter invites us. Nothing wrong with his mind-reading skills, then.
I think what jars most about the article is the way in which a very pertinent contemporary issue – the bereaved’s hunger for truth – is shrouded in one man’s obsession with the past. Hume indeed, may eventually look back on the following paragraph as self-absorbed condescension worthy of the very worst kind of Tory twit:
“No doubt it is understandable that the bereaved families of the 96 victims…should want every shred of evidence about how and why their loved ones died. For the rest of us, however, this should be more than a question of setting the historical record straight or naming, blaming and shaming a few guilty coppers.”
Step aside, mourners. Man with a real axe to grind coming through.
Only it’s not a real axe. It’s yesterday’s axe. One that loses its edge in the face of scrutiny.
People hated football fans in the ’70s and ’80s because some of them were violent and damaged people and property with a collective callousness that could put the fear of God into you. The truism that it was always only a minority is irrelevant – it was a minority sufficiently significant to present British society with a serious problem that required serious answers.
If it unearthed snobbery among those looking on in distaste, that was just human nature; knee-jerk embroidery on a crisis of public disorder that for so long seemed insuperable. You might expect genuine class warfare to outlive the general demise of hooliganism, yet ‘gentrification’ of football crowds has been a buzzword beloved of cod sociologists everywhere since the fences came down. Funny, that.
I stood in football crowds as Mick Hume did and came in for the same suspicion and brusque treatment from police officers. Where he and I part company is that any irritation I may have felt at the herding and post-game confinement in the visitors’ enclosure was aimed at the knuckle-draggers who’d got us into this mess, not at the forces of law and order trying to keep a lid on it. So we were subject to a raft of control measures: would Hume have rather they hadn’t bothered?
Truth is, while the Hillsborough families’ desire just to know the full story is as fresh and urgent as it ever was, the venting that rides on its shoulders in this article is way past its sell-by date. When it comes to football, swaying crowds, baton charges and every-day-a-riot don’t live here any more: if you want the new address for Them and Us, ask an Occupier.
By the end, even the author seems to have recognised the limitations of his argument. His grand finale after 2,000 words – “…the authorities play on a different team from us.“
Well blow me down. Who knew?
June 18, 2011
In the archive of Justice Gone Soft, file this one in the same drawer as policemen referring to gunmen on the run as “Mister” during media interviews, or prison officers asking rooftop protestors what they would like from McDonald’s:
“Racegoers have also been offered a drugs honesty box as they enter the royal racecourse. The single white box, which sits beside a security post at the gate to Royal Ascot, tells racegoers…’Please deposit your drugs here’” - Racing Post
If you thought Thursday’s brawl was the racing festival’s odious lowlight, I’d invite you to think again. I’m sure this gentrification of anti-social activity, politely inviting us to drop off our dope as if it were a coat to be left at the cloakroom, wasn’t the only example of mutton dressed as lamb these last five days but it was surely the most repugnant.
Perhaps Ascot will build on this ‘initiative’ in 2012 and appoint an official drug honesty box attendant: let him know your shooting-up time in advance and he’ll have a fresh needle and heated spoon on standby. Maybe they’ll streamline the whole procedure and simply stipulate an intact nasal septum as part of the dress code.
Sadly, the least likely option is that they will come to their senses and let the law of the land do its job, instead of pandering to those who break it.
One of the ironic beauties of a conservative approach to law and order is that it occasionally allows you to be more liberal than liberals themselves. A better country than this wouldn’t dream of patronising Royal Ascot’s smackhead contingent with an honesty box, for example. It would welcome them unquestioningly onto the Heath with open arms, subject to a simple understanding.
If they are caught in possession, then by the time they’ve been reunited with their family after three months inside and contemplated a career reduced to rubble, they will rue the day their taste for white powder went beyond anything made by Johnson’s.