Thursday, 10 February 2011

Just leave us alone, you interfering bastards!

I’m pretty sure that, when it’s time for me to meet my maker, I will be just about half-way through the morning paper. That’s when my blood pressure reaches its highest point of the day. I expect that, as I stand at the Pearly Gates, St. Peter will take one look at me and say, in a sad but comforting voice, “You were reading the Telegraph again, weren’t you?”. “I’m rather afraid I was,” I’ll reply.

Given that my diastolic and systolic readings must have been off the charts this morning, I’m quite surprised to still be here. 

Apparently, there are plans to make NHS “customers” phone a call centre rather than their GP receptionist to make an appointment, thus placing yet another barrier between patients and “their” doctor. We prefer the old system. Leave it be!

Communities are to be offered bribes to commit self-harm by accepting vast, unsightly, expensive and utterly pointless wind farms to help this disaster of a Coalition government meet “strict climate change targets on renewable energy”. Here’s a thought: scrap these nonsensical targets and leave the little that’s left of the world’s most beautiful countryside alone!

The Prime Minister has sided with Tory rebels on the “votes for prisoners” fiasco. Why didn’t he just tell that ghastly old crypto-communist, Ken Clarke (the Injustice Secretary) to take his recommendation that Britain had no choice but to follow a European Court of Human Rights ruling on the matter, and stick it up his enormous, wobbling bottom, and order him tell the pack of deranged European liberals who dreamt up this nonsense in the first place to do the same. In general, tell Europe to bloody well leave us alone! 

I am meeting a friend for coffee later – and I’m already dreading it because I know that, wherever we end up, staff will be playing loud music for their own amusement, while my younger companion will have to shout to make himself understood by me, so then I’ll have to ask for the music to be turned down, which, it will be – with ill grace – before being turned up again five minutes later. Sir Peter Maxwell-Davies walked out of a Canterbury restaurant yesterday because of the “idiotic pop” being blasted at him and his companions. Well done, Pete, but I’ve run out of local places to walk out of. When are the proprietors of otherwise civilsed pubs and cafes and restaurants going to leave us in peace!

25 Tory MPs have signed a Commons motion pleading with arch-tosser Nick Clegg to stop trying to force top universities to dumb down entry requirements for “poor” children – a subject that always has me wondering whether it’s time to invest in a pair of those resuscitation paddles which never fail to bring patients back to life in TV hospital dramas. Look, Cleggover (Westminster School and Oxford), why don’t you concentrate on sorting out the spectacularly crappy state school system and leave the few tiny pockets of educational excellence that have somehow managed to survive decades of malign government interferencebloody well alone! (And why only 25 Tory MPs? Where the hell were the rest of them?)

The BBC Trust has come up with recommendations to turn Radio 4 into a haven for thick, cultureless Philistines (thereby bringing it into line with much of the rest of the Corporation’s output). Some malevolent liberal twerp of a radio producer just killed off the Archers’ only upper-class character. The questions on Radio 4’s Brain of Britain quiz are now so easy, our cat could win it. Enough with the levelling, already! Rather than dumbing down Radio 4 and Radio 3 to make them “relevant” to uneducated morons, what about clevering up Radio 1 and Radio 2 to make them relevant to those of us who can spell our own names without the help of a team of experts? Stop tinkering!

The Church of England has voted to dumb down the language of its baptism service so that it can be understood by the average vegetable (sorry – Eastenders fan). I actually can’t bring myself to quote the drooling inanities produced in defence of this astonishingly stupid scheme. The baptism service remained unchanged for 400 years, until 1980, since when it has been revised no less than three times. Don’t these blithering nincompoops realise that the reason people don’t attend the Anglican church is because it’s run by a bunch of blithering nincompoops? Eastenders enthusiasts who front up at baptism services – the men in their vulgar, ill-fitting suits with their stupid spiky hair-styles: the women smothered in make-up and ponging of perfume in outfits that would mark them out as trollops in a nightclub, let alone a church -  would find any language that wasn’t text-speak as incomprehensible as Sanskrit. Might as well forget language at all and conduct the ceremony in a series of simian grunts that even the baby will be able to understand. Now, that’s what I call inclusiveness! 


  1. Just how did you manage to survive all those years in TV news? You must have been in a permanently foul mood.Judging by this blog, you may still be.

    A few minor disagreements with what yousay. I don’t mind the look of windfarms. They don’t suit some landscapes, but they add drama to others. I’m against any of them in the sea. Trying to book an appointment with my GP is impossible in any case, and I have no desire to be on first name terms with the incomprehensible Carribbean who answers the phones as she seems to suffer from permanent PMT. They can stick the call centre in Calcutta as far as I’m concerned, it could only get better.
    Simian grunts would improve many a Radio 4 programme.
    Nick Clegg went to your old place, not Oxford. You don’t get out of it that easily. He studied something called Social Anthropology.
    As for everything else, I’m in agreement but probably not as angry. Ever considered Prozac?
    Thursday, February 10, 2011 - 05:54 PM

  2. You must calm down. We have spoken about this."Ta det med ro, gutten min".
    Friday, February 11, 2011 - 09:08 AM

  3. Around about Shakespeare's birthday four years ago, the Centre for Policy Sudies published Crossing the Threshold: 266 ways the State can enter your home, a paper by Harry Snook*.

    In his contribution, Jesse Norman, now a Conservative MP, quoted this extract from AJP Taylor's English History, 1914-1945, Oxford University Press, 1965:

    Until August 1914 a sensible, law-abiding Englishman could pass through life and hardly notice the existence of the state, beyond the post office and the policeman. He could live where he liked and as he liked. He had no official number or identity card. He could travel abroad or leave his country for ever without a passport or any sort of official permission. He could exchange his money for any other currency without restriction or limit. He could buy goods from any country in the world on the same terms as he bought goods at home.

    I list below the progress we have made since then.


    Friday, February 11, 2011 - 11:38 AM

  4. An excellent comment, DM.. Very well observed, if I may say so..
    Friday, February 11, 2011 - 05:18 PM

  5. Oddly enough, Harumphrey, I’m a pretty happy bunny, these days – maybe because I get rid of so many of my frustrations writing this blog. Pure therapy! As for working at the BBC, well, the political bollocks only really impinged when I was working in News, when I was either so intent on getting a mistake-free piece to air that there wasn’t time to worry about anything else, or so bored waiting for a big story to break that nothing mattered as much as the crippling ennui one was experiencing: it was only on the days when I was fairly busy that the political bias business began to prey on my nerves. When I became Management, I was too busy fighting for survival to worry about anything else! Wind farms - no, sorry, they are just horrible, and such a symbol of human stupidity. As for Clegg and Cambridge - oops!

    SDG, despite my Donald Duckish outbursts, I assure you I hang pretty loose these days (as it were). But thanks once more for the advice, which I do try to follow.

    DM, that’s a truly fascinating quote, and almost makes me inclined to forgive AJP Taylor for , blaming the US for the Cold War and being a member of CND, while supporting the crushing of the Hungarian Revolution by the Soviets in 1956 – he evidently felt that freedom was something so special that it should only be enjoyed by Britons!
    Friday, February 11, 2011 - 10:51 PM

  6. Thank you, SDG. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Have found a copy of the CPS paper,

    Scott, I didn't know that AJP Taylor had that disreputable background. A shame.
    Saturday, February 12, 2011 - 10:09 AM

  7. I was staying at a hotel last year oop North, where piped music seems even more intrusively ubiquitous. I sought out the manager and asked him whether on his day off he came down to breakfast and thought "I know what will really make the start of my day complete. A bit of badly played heavy metal at a volume to render conversation impossible. No? So why do you think I'm any different?".

    It worked, at least for as long as I was there. If enough people try it....
    Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 02:12 PM

  8. Well done, Ex-KCS - my victories are always extremely short-lived. Similarly, I'm always astonished to receive appalling customer service from people who'd be outraged to be treated that way by any other organisation than the one which pays their wages.
    Sunday, February 13, 2011 - 05:43 PM