Tuesday, 30 June 2009
Monday, 29 June 2009
The batsman from the Greater Lurgashall XI had slashed at a quick ball of full length outside off stump, and had got a thick outside edge on it; instead of disappearing to the backward point boundary, it gave the very slightest encouragement to the fielder at third man. That fielder being Idle, you understand.
Showing startling acceleration for a fourteen stone lad not far short of 50, your correspondent headed along the boundary, reckoning that the further the ball had to travel, the greater the (outside) chance of intercepting it. The ball had never gained very much height, but was still comfortably airborne, and what had started as an attempt to field the leather orb suddenly became, at best, a 100-1 shot of catching it.
It has become an irritating custom in the modern-day game for someone to shout "catch it!" when the ball leaves the bat and does not immediately go to ground. However, idle plays his cricket with a) gentlemen; and b) people who do not expect their colleagues to pull off feats of athleticism in the field. So instead there was silence, even from the large crowd of WAGs and children. They all thought it a lost cause, maybe a six, probably a four.
What happened next? you ask; I shall tell you. Somehow, instinctively, idle turned a thundering, vertical rotund frame into a graceful horizontal one. The closest picture I can find on google images is the one posted above, who is a nameless Kiwi. I do not actually remember getting off the deck, indeed I am surprised that there was any muscle memory in the idle chassis capable of creating such a manoeuvre.
I did not see the last two feet of travel of the ball into my right palm, but it hit the sweet spot perfectly, and stuck true. The reconnection of the idle torso and terra firma might easily have caused dislodgement, let alone a small earth tremor in the Rother Valley, but I landed comfortably, despite the sun-baked turf and the velocity of the episode. I lay there, quite still, for a second, but cocked my wrist upwards to signal the completion of the catch.
A roar went up and the three nearest members of the Greater Milland XI started sprinting towards me uttering banshee noises, with every intention, it seemed to me, of knocking me to the ground and burying me, not unlike those who play that most loathsome of sports, soccer. So I did the intelligent thing and sped off around the boundary. Luckily I was moving away from the crowd at the pavilion, or it might have looked like an immodest victory lap. Eventually I jettisoned the ball towards the wickie and accepted the high-fives and manly claps-around-the-shoulders of my teammates, who had calmed down very slightly. All present declared it the finest and most unlikely catch they could remember seeing in a match.
There are two golden rules in ballgames: first, keep your eye on the ball; second, never give up. This, it seems to me, is a metaphor for life itself. I shall apply it to my employment situation, and beome idle no more.
Except for this blog, of course.
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Thursday, 25 June 2009
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Monday, 22 June 2009
You may say that the Speakership does not represent High Office, but an antique position of no real power; you may say that no one ever got to the Speaker's chair without planning and preparation; you may say that he is an improvement on the last Speaker. Nevertheless, his performance this evening, from the moment when, sat all agape on the Tory benches, he learned of his victory, to his poor, halting, somewhat smug and patronising victory speech, he struck me as less than credible. He speaks poorly, which is only forgivable if what is said is worthwhile - rather, he seemed clichéd and shallow.
The length of Bercow's first term is in the gift of Mandelson - when he withdraws support for Brown, an election will surely follow quickly. Bercow has until that election to convince Tories that he is worth his place, won as it was with the vote of the rump of the Labour party. But his Tory colleagues see him for what he is, which is a schemer and a greaser, and it is likely that the swathe of incoming Tory MPs at the next election will be broadly of like mind.
I decided against illustrating this post with a picture of the man.
Saturday, 20 June 2009
Gordon Brown: I could walk away from this tomorrow
Gordon Brown has admitted that he has been "hurt" by the personal attacks on him during the failed attempt to oust him this month (the truth can hurt, can't it?), and said that he might move to teaching after he leaves office. (You have got to be bloody joking! This from a man who admits in the same interview he has no communication skills. Perhaps he meant as a lecturer in neo-classical endogenous growth theory, etc).
Speaking to the Guardian in his first interview since the attempted coup by Labour backbenchers, the prime minister made an unprecedentedly frank (true, he has never been frank or honest with the electorate before) series of observations on his time in office, reflecting that the recent weeks have been the worst of his political life. (When your chickens come home to roost and shit all over you, this happens, mate).
"To be honest, you could walk away from all of this tomorrow," he said (All right, you bastard, we'll take you at your word - Fuck Off). "I'm not interested in what accompanies being in power. I wouldn't worry if I never returned to all those places - Downing Street, Chequers (I think we all know that your enjoyment of power has nothing to do with the real estate, you disingenuous creep - it's about social engineering and envy and spite)... And it would probably be good for my children." (Poor bastards. Best thing for them would be to get packed off to boarding school pronto, under assumed identities).
What an utter wanker this man is. Certifiably insane. Later in the interview:
"Brown insisted that Labour under his leadership could win the next election, for two reasons: that the action the government had taken on the economy and MPs' expenses would start to bear fruit; and that the Tories had admitted that they would make deep cuts in public spending."
Hold on - he is suggesting that reform of MPs' expenses is a tricky job, only he can do it, but it will take time, presumably a year before it "starts to bear fruit". The man's a babbling idiot - anyone, ANYONE could sort out the expenses mess in days:
1. Write a set of draconian rules
2. Publish every expense online within 30 days
3. Reserve the sanction of expulsion without pay and criminal charges for miscreants
How hard is that?
His second reason is based upon a lie of breathtaking audacity, that Labour will not cut (or has not already stated through the Budget that they will do so). Polls already show quite clearly that he is not believed on this point by the great majority of voters.
My suggestion three weeks ago that Brown is the Susan Boyle of politics is becoming painfully accurate.
Friday, 19 June 2009
Thursday, 18 June 2009
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, made legal history by agreeing to allow the trial to be heard by a judge alone.
The case concerns four men accused of an armed robbery at Heathrow Airport in February 2004. This will be the fourth trial concerning the alleged crime.
The judge made the ruling following concerns of alleged jury "tampering". (BBC)
This is momentous news, which will not, I suspect, get the coverage it deserves - all the evidence is that the British have become ignorant and apathetic about the Laws of England, most of which sprout forth from Brussels, and all of which seem to be subject to the interpretation of the European Courts of this and that.
My attitude is that if the guilty bastards (oops), or their friends and families, have abused the ancient jury system three times already, they can hardly complain with the decision of Judge Judge. But I wonder if this sets a dangerous precedent for the future, and I wonder if, when they are found guilty, this lot will not have a fairly straightforward case to take to the European Court of Human Rights.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
I don't mean to be beastly about the yank; it can only be a good thing that Ascot is attracting international stars consistently. And he can do what he likes with his racing colours, even if they are a touch egotistical. You can spot a chap who is first-time-out in a morning suit, though.
They certainly know about raw speed, the Americans. Both horses have been ridden balls-out from the starting stalls, with no subtlety required from the jockey. There are another four running over the next three days. Wade's son Randy (I'm guessing here) was interviewed by Clare Balding and let's just say that he was not exactly shy about predicting a treble with Yogaroo in the first race tomorrow. It's shortening in the betting even as I write.
Monday, 15 June 2009
Sunday, 14 June 2009
On the one hand, all those left-liberal dons, brought up in an age of austerity, fascinated by communism, contemptuous of those who would champion the liberty and self-determination of the common (uneducated) man.
On the other hand, all those late 70s and 80s students, listening to the Pistols, the Clash and the Cure, and embracing the New Romance of Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran at the same time as ploughing their way through the Old Romance of Blake and Wordsworth, Shelley and Keats. Hardly the sort of folk who would be natural children of the Thatcher Revolution.
As a result of which, the sainted Margaret was shunned by Oxbridge. Every time a fan (there were plenty, in truth) tried to get his or her college or university to acknowledge and honour her, she would be defeated in the vote, and it always made the newspapers - I suppose the dons made sure it did, so as to boast another badge of honour.
BUT WAIT! Is it that time heals, or is it that the awful realisation has dawned upon them that the sunlit socialist uplands they dreamed of have turned out to be barren, overcast, and unfriendly? Or is it that Dan the Man Hannan, held in such high esteem by this blog for his oratory and advocacy, has convinced them otherwise?
Whichever, the Oxford Union has decided that Margaret Thatcher Saved Britain, albeit by the slenderest of margins. It was Dan Wot Won It. Rejoice!
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Hear, hear, says I.
You never saw a harder-working actor. See his imdb page for the full astonishing list. The old boy is nearing 90 and has got at least half a dozen films still to hit the screen, in various stages of production.
We went to the same school, albeit 40 years apart. He hated it, apparently, but they managed to coax him back last year to award a prize and prove to him that even military-style public schools such as ours have now turned into country clubs with every known comfort and facility. No wonder they cost £30 grand a child each year.
Friday, 12 June 2009
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
There were no cameras or recorders in the PLP meeting, so thank heavens for Ben Dover-Bradshaw (Lab, Lickspittle North), who told us that the cyclopian doomster had given "the speech of a lifetime".
Phew! And there was I, thinking that he was a lame duck, a Clyde tugboat holed beneath the waterline, a defaulted bond, a one-legged man in an arse-kicking contest.
Onwards, comrades! We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Deep-fried mars bars all round!
Sunday, 7 June 2009
All weekend long, across the networks, media grandees who’d voted for Carter and Mondale, just like all their friends did, tried to explain the appeal of Ronald Reagan. He was “the Great Communicator”, he had a wonderful sense of humour, he had a charming smile… self-deprecating… the tilt of his head…
All true, but not what matters. Even politics attracts its share of optimistic, likeable men, and most of them leave no trace – like Britain’s “Sunny Jim” Callaghan, a perfect example of the defeatism of western leadership in the 1970s. It was the era of “détente”, a word barely remembered now, which is just as well, as it reflects poorly on us: the Presidents and Prime Ministers of the free world had decided that the unfree world was not a prison ruled by a murderous ideology that had to be defeated but merely an alternative lifestyle that had to be accommodated. Under cover of “détente”, the Soviets gobbled up more and more real estate across the planet, from Ethiopia to Grenada. Nonetheless, it wasn’t just the usual suspects who subscribed to this feeble evasion – Helmut Schmidt, Pierre Trudeau, François Mitterand – but most of the so-called “conservatives”, too – Ted Heath, Giscard d’Estaing, Gerald Ford.
Unlike these men, unlike most other senior Republicans, Ronald Reagan saw Soviet Communism for what it was: a great evil. Millions of Europeans across half a continent from Poland to Bulgaria, Slovenia to Latvia live in freedom today because he acknowledged that simple truth when the rest of the political class was tying itself in knots trying to pretend otherwise. That’s what counts. He brought down the “evil empire”, and all the rest is details.
“The Great Communicator” was effective because what he was communicating was self-evident to all but our decayed elites: “We are a nation that has a government - not the other way around,” he said in his inaugural address. And at the end of a grim, grey decade - Vietnam, Watergate, energy crises, Iranian hostages – Americans decided they wanted a President who looked like the nation, not like its failed government.
Is it just me, or does Gordon Brown look like his government - exhausted, shifty and unpleasant?
Friday, 5 June 2009
UPDATE 1130am: I was very slightly inebriated last night, but my prediction stands, particularly after the latest twist. I very much regret that John Hutton has left defence, but who can blame him. Hutton, fankly, could be a Defence Secretary in a Tory government and I'd be quite happy. Our wretched armed forces will suffer during the hiatus between now and the next election; one thing we know for sure is that the MoD civil servants care more about their own expensive furniture and their typists' RSI sore thumbs than they do about Tommy and Jock in the Afghan dust.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
Chin chin cheroo
Gordon's got three
And Jacqui's got two
Chin chinniny chin chinniny
Chin chin chereek
The free pies allowance is
One hundred a week
Chin chinniny chin chinniny
Chin chin cherown..........
.......Bad luck comes your way
When you shakes 'ands with Brown
Monday, 1 June 2009
The ambulance taking Gordon to the private clinic in North London was followed by a police car. A source at N0.10 told The Sun that he had been acting even more strangely than usual and staff became concerned. They told the paper: "When the paramedics and police arrived he agreed to go voluntarily. He didn't make a fuss. "The paramedics calmly took him out through the main lobby and into the waiting ambulance. It was all done very calmly. They didn't want to stress or upset him. He didn't look well - he looked lost, not all there."
The clinic specialises in treatment of mental health. Boil suffers from emotional difficulties after being deprived of fun when he was a child. A Britain's Got a Problem spokeswoman said: "Following the Andrew Marr show, Gordon is exhausted and emotionally drained. " He has been seen by his private GP, who supports his decision to take a few days out for rest and recovery. We offer him our ongoing support and wish him a speedy recovery."
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "Police were called to doctors assessing a man under the Mental Health Act. The man was taken voluntarily by ambulance to a clinic. At the request of doctors, police accompanied the ambulance."