Notepad on Life

March 7, 2014

Alec Baldwin on social media

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English: Alec Baldwin at the Tony Bennet Birth...

(Photo: Wikipedia)


Whatever you think of him, this is not far from the mark…

“In the New Media culture, anything good you do is tossed in a pit, and you are measured by who you are on your worst day”

March 3, 2014

Where civilised values and business collide

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Image of sado-masochism

(Photo: Wikipedia)



Looking around the vet’s reception area this morning, a thought: if you’re running a sado-masochism parlour, do you bother with one of those ‘Aggression towards staff will not be tolerated’ notices?

September 3, 2013

Simpering Britain – the counter-revolution begins

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Bet this bloke didn’t do hugs…


August 8, 2013

Two new inductees to The Enemy Within

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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

Notepad on Life now has a Tumblr page

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Introducing The Enemy WithinA roll-call of the men, women and madness bringing Britain to its knees…

February 25, 2013

Modern Britain – by their signs shall ye know them…

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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

Bradley and Lesley – the best and worst of British

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PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 22:  (3L-R) Christopher F...

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

Naughtie, Naughtie – now even Radio 4 yanks an Englishman’s chain

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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

Boat race protestor Trenton Oldfield was way off-course

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Exhausted crews at the finish of the 2002 Boat...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Related story:

January 2, 2012

New Year’s Honours and a question of tatt

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Baronet of the United Kingdom Badge

Image via Wikipedia


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?

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