Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Believe it, or what?

Another curiosity from the Olympics World: we’re invited to believe that an athlete dropped his bronze medal in the shower, it broke and the rotten sons running the Olympics won’t give him another. But who takes an Olympic medal into the shower? And bronze is tough stuff; it doesn’t shatter like glass. Which leaves me wondering who’s making up this stuff to pad out the adverts in the newspapers?

Monday, 30 July 2012

Status confirmed – attendance not required

Typical, innit? The Olympics freebie squad – they know who they are – would kick up a real fuss if they didn’t get free tickets, and then they can’t be bothered to turn up on the day, leaving events full of banks of empty seats.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

What do you expect from people who do only a fortnight’s work every 4 years?

I watched some of the Olympic bike race yesterday and I was surprised at how bad the coverage was compared to what ITV 4 did for the Tour de France. No time-gap info most of the time, and no sense of what was happening up and down the course.
p.s. One of the staff found out that the Olympic Broadcasting Service was in charge of the fiasco, not the BBC.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Getting there, but not quite

One of the staff had an interesting letter from ING Direct the other day. He is on his second bonus saving account with them, having closed the first one when the bonus ran out and the interest rate dropped to 0.5%. This time, they’re offering to keep the bonus going for another year to give him a 2-year deal – presumably, because it’s cheaper to hang on to an existing customer rather than to keep closing accounts after 12 months and opening new ones. The only snag is that they’re offering an APR of 3% when their current bonus account pays 3.24% and The Coventry pays 3.25%. So ING might just find they’re short of the mark by a quarter percent.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Brains well hidden

In January 2010, a guy whose local airport was closed by snow did a tweet saying he was going to blow it up if the operators didn’t get their act together. The boneheads at Doncaster magistrate’s court decided it was “a message of a menacing character” in May 2010 and slapped a fine plus costs on the prisoner at the bar. In November 2010, a crown court judge and a brace of magistrates dismissed his appeal, saying that the tweet was “clearly menacing”. It has taken until today, two and a half years after the event, for the Lord Chief Justice and a pair of judges to decide that the lower courts were talking tripe and allow another appeal.
     Which leaves us with two possible conclusions: 1. Everyone associated with the court system and the Can’t Prosecute Service up to the rank of crown court judge is an idiot; or 2. The system really is all about cramming dosh into the pockets of everyone associated with the courts, no matter how flimsy the pretext for doing so.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

The Devil made me do it!

North Korea’s female footballers storm off the pitch when South Korea’s flag appears on a giant screen at the ground. Given all the checks that go on for these occasions, it invites the speculation that it was done deliberately. “This will annoy the buggers! I know I shouldn’t do it, but, what the hell? I just can’t resist it.” Could happen.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Why I got a tattoo at 170

Why the wife of former Liberal leader Sir D. Steel did it is obvious – she did it to get herself noticed and get her name in the papers. And the only cause for wonder is whether it is particularly ladylike to go in for this type of self-decoration.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Surprise! We’re good for something!

Our barmy bikers have won gold medals at the Olympics and world championships, but it takes a win in the Tour de France to put them on the map. So that’s Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome scoring a British 1-2 in the race and Mark Cavendish taking the sprint finish in his customary fine style. And even Jenson Button getting 2nd in the German Grand Prix because Vettel broke the rules. Oh, well, back to real life and strikers vowing to shut down the whole country as the Olympics loom.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

One set of rules for all?

The world waits with bated breath. A German driver in the German Grand Prix broke the rules to gain an unfair advantage. Will he suffer a penalty, as would have happened in seconds if Lewis Hamilton had been involved, or will he get away with it because he’s not British?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Posturing for Britain!

Man of the people Davy Boy Cameron reckons he will be going to work on the Tube during the Olympics and none of his ministers can use a chauffeur-driven car and the VIP-lanes to get to the Games. If they want to go, they’ll have to use a bus or a train “like everybody else”. So if you can’t get on your usual mode of public transport because it’s full of armed ministerial guards, that’s why.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

I vote the latter

“It’s a humiliating shambles, yes or no?”
(1) Someone getting to the truth of failure of G4S to fulfil its Olympics contract or (2) a bullying Labour MP trying to get himself noticed and on TV with a cute sound-bite?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

What good did it do?

I happened to catch a BBC advert yesterday. Panorama was outing a couple who had dumped used tyres instead of recycling them and shot off to Mallorca with £15,000 profit. We were expected to be impressed by some clown of a reporter and his cameraman harassing the male perpetrator, who just ignored them and shot off in his car. So how was that not a total waste of licence-payers’ cash?

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Broken and disconnected society

Schoolkids in Barnsley have been given lessons in which swear word to use in a particular situation. Which tends to reinforce the conclusion that schools will do anything to avoid teaching their charges the 3 Rs. Even worse, despite a deluge of complaints, the local council is denying there were any at all.
      “What did you learn at school today, son?”
       “Appropriate Swearing and Dishonesty, Dad.”
       “Getting you ready for a job in the public sector, eh?”

Friday, 13 July 2012

No chance of a refund, though

The Olympic geniuses (on time, on budget – well, wheels coming off and four times over the original budget) paid G4S the best part of 300 million quid to hire security guards for the Games. Result: gangs of school leavers are got the bag and body searches gig, and half the army in Afghanistan has been recalled to plug the gaps G4S failed to fill. So it would appear that G4S stands for Good 4 Sod-all.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Right time for this place!

If a bunch of burglars had been on the ball yesterday, they could have laid waste to the Mansion and no one would have noticed. What, with a MotoGP motorbiking around in Germany, a Grand Prix here at Silverstone, Indy cars at it in Toronto and the Tour de France biking into Switzerland, not a lot of attention was being paid to their surroundings by the staff.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Wrong place, wrong time

The staff were watching some motor racing at lunchtime yesterday. “Where’s that? It looks bloody wet,” I remarked. “Silverstone, qualifying for tomorrow’s Grand Prix,” I was told.
     I looked out of a window. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. Meanwhile, just a few score miles away, they were waving a red flag because even with “wet” tyres, the cars were aquaplaning.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Reality check needed

The West Midlands police grabbed a car, which they thought wasn’t insured, and dumped it in a pound. Two days later, they searched it and found a couple of guns; not automatic weapons; and a few bullets. Suddenly, the newspapers are making comparisons with the massacre in Bombay in 2008, which was organized by terrorists from Pakistan. So is this just the papers being silly, as usual, or cynical senior coppers dropping hints that we’re in deadly danger and the “savage cuts” should be booted into touch and they should be allowed to grab as much taxpayers’ cash as they can spend? When you take into account the Staffordshire force closing a motorway for 6 hours because someone was “smoking” an electronic cigarette on a coach, the choice is obvious.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Accentuate the positive, you blighters!

They’ve spent money in amounts that Gordon Broon could only dream of at CERN. They’ve spotted a new boson, they reckon. But is it the Higgs’ or God Particle? Well, that’s going to take a bit more cash to decide. It’s a bit like the Great Global Warming Swindle, the racket at CERN. The more money they’re allowed to chuck around, the more they need to extract.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Wilful misunderstanding?

The newspapers seem to have got their brain cells in a twist over the “HMD” message issued by the daughter of disgraced banker R. Diamond. Clearly, it’s an invitation to Hug My Dad – a not unreasonable request in view of the incestuously close relationship between bankers and politicians over the last decade.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Some days, the Universe gets it right

If it had to be either of them, Spain’s beautiful passing made them the more attractive champs of Euro 2012. Okay, so the passes ended up at a blue shirt a lot more often but at least someone had explained to the “forwards” that they needed to put the ball-thing in the net-thing, and get it done a bit sharpish. I just knew that ref was Portuguese before I looked it up. Some neighbours don’t get on and there has been a strong tradition of partial refereeing in this competition.