Ministry of Uncool

My posting seems to be having a brainstorm so here’s trying again. I’ve just about seen it all now; my eyes are streaming, my sides have split and I’ve almost been rendered speechless. I have to thank my lovely daughter Ems and top son-in-law St who came over yesterday for lunch and showed me this little video tweet that has stormed twitter world. Or should that be twat land? It features my favourite Secretary of State for Duplicity. Can you guess who it is yet?

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New norm

Yesterday was a little bit of a special day. You see I’m a big sports fan and yesterday afternoon I found myself watching the F1 GP qualifying sessions and between times catching up with England’s progress in the Test match v the W Indies. And then I checked into Sky’s Soccer Saturday and gorged on Jeff Stelling and the footie all afternoon. For the last 3 months we haven’t been able to do any of that of course and it felt decadent and good at the same time. Ah welcome back top level sport that we are pretty darn good at. Do you ever wonder what it must be like doing that if you’re say Scottish or Welsh? Ha! Cheap joke sorry.  And not that funny. And a bit offensive. Sorry again. Well slightly amusing.

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Politicians

I’ve been browsing around Facebook and other social media and been pleasantly surprised by the number of postings from folks who are generally very supportive of what people are doing in the current pandemic. I don’t just mean praise for NHS front line and care workers, support staff, supermarket people, refuse workers, lorry drivers and all the many folks who are keeping essential things going for us all. I’m also talking about the large number of postings in praise of what our Government is doing in the face of this dreadful virus. Wow.

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Coronavirus updates

So here’s an image of the newly-restored to health, Minister for Health, Matt Hancock leading yesterday’s Government briefing on the coronavirus situation. The daily event has become compulsory viewing in our household as we are desperate to discover whether the outbreak of cases and deaths figures are starting to recede. Sadly it’s not the case as yet. So I try and take some reassurance from the spokespeople. Boris was slow to act at first but he’s actually been growing on us a little until he got isolated with the symptoms. The health officials are a little starchy as you’d imagine so for confidence I’ve been examining the Cabinet understudies to see who’s plausible as a PM in waiting, just in case Bojo doesn’t make it.

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Tosspots

I’ve travelled down this path before, it’s called Tosspots-on-TV Lane. Or people I see on the box who drive me fu**ing crazy. I could fill two pages with names but I might be repeating myself from earlier postings so I’ll try to keep it fresh….

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Laws…out and down

And so it’s taken just the 3 weeks for the first scandal to hit the new Government following the resignation tonight of David Laws the Chief Secretary of the Treasury. He’s been caught fiddling more than £40,000 in expenses claiming for rent from the tax-payers’ purse paid to his long-term live-in lover James Lundie, who he claims is not really his partner because they have separate bank accounts. Ah somebody should presumably tell all those married people with personal accounts that their marriages are annulled then.  This guy is, er was, one of the ‘stars’ of the Lib-Dems and clearly a clever bloke  having been tasked by Cameron with leading the fight on reducing Ministerial overspending to help the new coalition Government meet its budget reduction targets. It’s reasonable to assume that he understands finance and fiscal propriety and yet most of today we were being asked to believe that this guy wasn’t breaking the clear Parliamentary rules about claiming expenses from spouses, family members and partners. Yeh right. And not only has he been knowingly doing this for years, this is the Minister who over the last week or so has been telling the country how to act with more fiscal responsibility.  How on earth do these people sleep at night?   Continue reading

westminsterese

The man who wrote the words for the great communicator was answering questions before the Iraq Inquiry yesterday and gave nothing away. Well Alistair Campbell did reveal that PM Tony Blair had written to President Bush before the invasion of Iraq to pledge his country’s support, militarily and diplomatically, to ensure the removal of Saddam Hussein. Well talk about a shock revelation. Who’da thunk it? How surprising that the former Director of Communications to the PM’s office was able to answer questions for hours on end without saying anything which could be regarded as even remotely incriminating. What were they expecting – that Campbell would speak with complete honesty and openness? What is it about politicians and their advisers that prevents them from every answering a question directly?

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odd sights

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You must have noticed something rather odd about the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling. It’s not that he’s still in a job (which is inexplicable rather than odd), it’s his extraordinary eyebrows. How on earth does he end up with pure white hair and jet black bushy eyebrows? Just look at them; it’s like looking at Jimmy Saville after he’s received a face transplant from Grouch Marx. Very odd. And this got me thinking about  things that look decidedly strange, unbelievable or plain funny.

Take sport. Have you ever seen anything as ridiculous as the nonsense sport of competitive walking? It’s like watching a group of people who are attempting to run a race but they can’t get beyond a scuttling action because they’ve got a very large stick of cucumber  lodged up their bums. It just looks so unnatural. How can they describe this as sport and why do you they persist in allowing it as an Olympic event? Its world-wide popularity?  I don’t think so. Do you know anybody who does it or enjoys watching  it?  No, but some people with very odd habits must get tuned in and turned on by it.  On that basis morris dancing must be a shoe-in as the 2012 demonstration sport – and I bet we’d do no better than bronze even though we are the only country on earth which does it. 

But even in the world’s greatest game I still get amused by some of the things I see. Have you   
noticed the tendency, particularly amongst the Premiership centre back fraternity, to wear their socks completely unravelled so that they extend above the knee? This has the effect of making the socks look like stockings which are very fetching of course…on women. But on John Terry and Rio Ferdinand  it makes them look like the chorus line from Lady Boys of Bangkok. Bobby Moore must be turning in his grave at the sight of them. Sigh.

And have you ever noticed that strange warm-up routine that coaches get players to do in training sessions and on the touchline? I can’t find a vid to show you but they jog sideways and swivel at the waist with arms out swinging to the left then the right. I guess it’s intended to limber up the players’ upper bodies but get 3 or 4 subs doing it in sequence and it looks like the chorus line warming-up on the touchline. It’s about as camp a routine as you can get. And nobody seems to look or feel embarrassed, apart from me. Back in the day I had to endure squat thrusts from a rather sadistic footie coach. ….but that’s another story.

This seems to be turning into another camp rant because the next thing which has caught my attention a lot of late is the number of cars coloured pink. Pink! I know we spend most week-ends with the kids in Brighton, a town which has it’s bohemian side, and you  might expect to see a few cute-coloured Clios down there. But no it’s here in staid Staines that pink pops up on Puntos and Polos with alarming regularity. Why would you buy a car coloured candyfloss? Who do you think’s going to buy it from you when you’re fed up of people pointing at it? And why is Staines so shockingly pinkophile? It’s a complete mystery to me but if anyone can throw some light on it, I’d be interested to know. Pink Staines – sounds like something Blackpool hoteliers have to put up with when they change the sheets each morning. Nice. 

Staines is also famous for Ali G and his Massive (noun not adjective – though who knows for sure with Sasha BC?). And I’m pretty sure that a stylistic feature of the Massive is the jeans worn very low on the hips by fellas showing almost all their underpants. Now this makes the crotch of the jeans feature somewhere close to their knees and it makes them look and walk like they’ve truly cacked their pants. Who dictated that this was a look to be copied? I’ve worn some right fashion faux pas, as I’ve admitted to before on this site, but this has got to be the most unenviable and unfathomable style statement ever hasn’t it? Do young girls really find this fashion look attractive? Really? If so can somebody please explain its appeal? 

Finally a list of things that are very odd to look at but I can’t be bothered to expand upon them:

–  cravats, sovereign rings, facial tattooes, men wearing lurid-coloured crocs or flip-flops on the train to work;

–  that Shirley lass off Eastenders who’s at least 50 years of age but wears skirts so short they’re almost belts. Cover up love.

–  Newcastle Utd’s new away strip – lemon and custard coloured! It’s a trifle odd;

–  Real Madrid’s triumphalist public unveilings of their new signings. It’s a Real circus show and oddly amusing and how I pray that it all ends in tears;

–  the Marquess of Bath, owner of Longleat House and a complete wacko. He’s shrill-voiced, rarely washes or takes a bath (a little odd given his title) and has a wilder dress-sense than John McCririck. Somehow the extraordinarily rich aristocrat has managed to have a wife and more than 75 ‘wifelets’ in his time despite looking like this. If that’s not odd, I don’t know what is.

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I could add to this list a lot and will do so over the next few days but happy for you to suggest other oddities!

pp