RAF Manston officers’ mess party tricks. Revisited.

It was in 1993 when she was 70. I'd thrown a party and, of course, Ma was invited too.  She wasn't the sort of mother you'd leave off the invitation list.  Not only were parties her natural element, but all my friends adored her.  There would have been trouble had she been left on the bench. She... Continue Reading →

An open letter to the Chancellor.

Today, George, you delivered your first budget as a Tory chancellor. Those who voted for you - the people who believed Conservatism was about a hand up, not a hand out and who run their own businesses - are now sitting shellshocked, wondering how they could have been so utterly gullible.  They should have realised that the die is cast at prep school... Continue Reading →

Say what you mean

Councils and the public sector are very careful about how they use language.  This is no bad thing.  It demonstrates an understanding that language is massively, foundationally important. The National Council of Teachers of English rightly says "language plays a central role in the way human beings behave and think." But language can be used to obscure as... Continue Reading →

Rock ‘n Roll actually *is* noise pollution.

Oxford City Council has opened a consultation about the dreadful menace that is “non-compliant busking and street entertainment”. Presumably, this will mean that only council-sanctioned, compliant busking and entertainment will be - at a push - acceptable. In the meantime, there will have to be auditions... The scene opens on a meeting room in the City Council offices.... Continue Reading →

Top Gear = Middle Lane

The camera pans onto the three new presenters of "Middle Lane", the BBC's replacement for the disgraced Top Gear. They are John Prescott, Boris Johnson and Harriet Harman.  Each sits on a special chair, crafted from recycled Routemaster seats, complete with tartan upholstery.  Prescott gets two to himself.  They sit around a (fairtrade) coffee table... Continue Reading →

What happens if your speedo breaks?

Imagine.  You're driving - or riding - along and suddenly your speedometer breaks.  The dial in front of you suddenly reads zero and the needle's not moving. You have absolutely no idea what speed you're travelling at. One question... Can you still drive safely? The answer's rather obvious, isn't it?  There are probably not too many... Continue Reading →

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