Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rubbish police e-fits

This guy would stick in the memory

So recently I was doing jury service and being very keen to be a decent, honest and understanding citizen I wondered where the court artist was. You know that guy (or could be woman) who does the beautiful pastel illustrations of the accused, jury, judge, baker, butcher and candlestick maker, that clearly depict nothing accurately but always end up on the News. Well I was destined to be disappointed (being a Sheffield Wednesday fan and Labour Party member this comes naturally and effortlessly) as no artist was present.
Thanks, but I'm done sharing my life's woes with you now and will revert to type: HOW CRAP ARE POLICE E-FITS? Seen that picture of the bloke above? You know the guy with a porno tash, matching mullet and police hat? Hint to the Police, I imagine he's probably not wearing the hat now. And you're well and truly screwed if he has had the decency to have a shave and haircut.
Obviously, this is not a laughing matter; it was a very serious heist - the biggest ever in the UK (or a personal best - PB - if I worked on Grandstand). £53 million gone. Shame that, but recognise the e-fit? I think they could e-fit me and I wouldn't recognise it.
Still, how's about this guy?

Police are pretty sure this man is, or is not, wearing a hat and may, or may not, have a beard.
And for some reason a photo has constantly been shown on the News of the Dixons. For some reason they have the single most unrecognisable picture of them at their wedding day (by the wedding dress I think this is a safe enough deduction). If the Dixons want their privacy protected, then fine. Don't print the pic. Why print this:

And bear in mind that the Usual Suspects was made in 1995 (over a decade ago) and the minute that suspect fit came through the fax, I knew Kaiser Soze was Kevin Spacey...

Romanian Meat and Greet

Red tomatoes always beat green peppers at the half-time Ready Steady Cook

This one is for the football afficionado. A real meaty issue that you can get your teeth stuck into, just like a burger in the Debate. I don't know what I was looking for but a random google search has directed me in this...direction. UT Arad. Who dey den? I hear you ask. A Romanian football team, of course.
And by looking at the photo you can clearly see they love their football. Or they are ex-Communist weirdos. You decide.
This isn't an opportunity to take a dig at football's poorer cousins however, well it is but not the sole reason. The main issue is their transfer policy. Luton Town's very own Mike Newell has come out about slimy, money-grabbing agents, even Sven alluded to it in an interview with some Sheikh but it really is a very MEATY issue.
Regal Horia (which is not Latin for Princess Di). Who dey den? I hear you ask. A Romanian football team, of course. A very skint football team. And now a very hungry team too. ("Hungry? How so? I thought you said they were Romanian", I hear you cry in utter disbelief.)
In one of football's dafter stories UT Arad sold a player in exchange for 15 kilograms of meat, local sport daily Pro Sport reported on Monday. Before you rush down to the newsagents I should say that, I assume, Pro Sport is local in Romania not England. But defender Marius Cioara decided to chicken out and instead swan off to Spain, retiring from football to take up a job in agriculture or construction (nothing else just those two possibilities).
A Regal Horia official was quoted as saying: "We are upset because we lost twice - firstly because we lost a good player and secondly because we lost our team's food for a whole week."
UT Arad seem to be quite the vultures of lower league Romanian football. As intense research shows that in 1998 struggling Romanian club Jiul Petrosani sold defender Liviu Baicea to UT Arad for a fee of 10 footballs and a set of shirts and shorts. Now there's struggling, there's struggling and there's Jiul Petrosani. Jiul Petrosani may well be the butt of everyone's jokes as midfielder Ion Radu was sold to second division club Vilcea for two tons of beef and pork. That's a lot of meat folks. And the moral of the story? Don't treat footballers like a piece of meat.

Update: Having just re-read this post, I noticed you will have to click on the picture for a better view.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bum deal

Ladies and Gentleman: beware! Meine Damen und Herren: Achtung! Mesdames et messieurs: Attention! The following is serious, and I bid thee not to laugh. What with the world teetering on World War III and even if we should survive this we will be wiped out by Bird flu and even if we miraculously survive that there'll be more Big Brother this summer. I have had the following email forwarded to me and I feel as your Beef Guardian I should pass it on. Please do not be taken in.

Generally, I hate warnings that get sent around but I have to admit that this one is important. Please protect everyone by sending this to your entire email list.

If someone comes to your door and says they are conducting a survey and asks you to show them your bum, do NOT show them your bum. This is a scam. They only want to see your bum.

I wish I had got this yesterday, I feel so stupid and cheap.

Becks fails latest test

Is stupid, looks stupid

Ever since he came onto the scene, people have derided Beckham for his stupidity. Not me. I couldn't care less if the guy's stupid or not. We need good footballers on the pitch, not the intelligensia. If it were that way, we'd have Stephen Hawkins in the holding role. Not a bad idea actually...
Anyway back to basics, the story here being that David Beckham has been outwitted by his 6 year old son. Yes, young Brooklyn asks Daddy for help on his homework, only for a befuddled Becks to palm him off onto Victoria (who says she is without talent?)
"Their homework is so hard these days," Beckham (30) "It's totally done differently to what I was teached when I was at school, and you know I was like 'Oh my God, I can't do this'." Different from what you was teached? Fair enough then.
This interview was taken from the Mail on Sunday so it may all be a lie (by way of a disclaimer can i say that I am sure the Mail lies no more than any other paper - fingers crossed)

And who says Becks is stupid?
Beckham: I definitely want Brooklyn to be christened, but I don't know into what religion yet.

Beckham: "Wayne was disappointed to not be the youngest goalscorer, but I am sure he will want to reclaim that title in the next match"
This quote is, I must admit, not verbatim as Beckham owuld not know the word 'reclaim'

Staring down the barrell

England's unavailable

I don't like cricket, I love it - not only the lyrics of the legendary Dreadlock Holiday, but also an accurate description of my feeling towards the most English of all sports.
Having followed England since I was a boy, the last two years or so have been by far the best and most entertaining. Demolitions jobs of the West Indies (twice), New Zealand and Bangladesh have been matched by solid professional, and at times inspirational, displays against South Africa and, of course, Australia.
This followed by a tepid and disappointing tour of Pakistan and now the hardest place to tour India. At full strength England would be hard pushed now, with all and sundry injured, the propsects look bleaker than those of Sunderland trying to stay in the Premiership. OK, not that bad; but on the road.
Captain and vice-captain Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick both gone (wuth a knee injury and personal problems respectively), shining light Pietersen and back-up Paul Collingwood both need a good long Radox for their bad backs. And then Simon Jones, the man we desperately need...badly, coming back from injury the poor man has been laid low with a case of Gandhi's revenge and now an ankle injury.
Things do not look encouraging, especially with captain-elect Freddie Flintoff and by default star batsman, Andrew Strauss bang out of form. Just not cricket, is it?

Smell my Cheese

Loads of cheese, Welsh cheese, St David's day...I know, WELSH CHEESE WEEK!

Previously, it has been the great British Food fortnight (so good, it stretched a fortnight. Actually, full marks to the brain-trust for getting away with menus consisting of Shropshire Chicken Tikka, East London Penne and Cornish Chili Con Carne and other such fraudulent dishes.) In the latest of the House of Common's Refreshment Department's great ideas to make their cr*p, over-priced and normally not-enough-to-fill-an-anorexic-model portions more attractive to the discerning public, or employees of the House, comes Welsh Cheese Week. Well, what a rare bit of good fortune for mal-nourished staffers eveywhere to gorge themselves on the proffered smorgasbord. If llanboidy (follow the link to explain comedic misspelling) fancies any of this, it is available everywhere and will advertised to the hilt for some unbeknown reason.
Personally, I will be caerphilly avoiding all this cheese. But for those cheeseheads amongst you, I hope this book has been consulted.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Not an anti-Semite, just don't like Jews

Ken in poll position for 2006 award too

So Ken has been suspended for four weeks. Apologists leap up and down, Ken's comments were in bad taste, they were not anti-Semitic. And, anyway, anti-Semitic is not only against Jews - aren't Arabs Semites too?
OK, cut the bull if Ken had likened the conduct of a Muslim journalist to that of a guard in Guatanemo Bay, what would the reaction have been? There is no question that Red Ken is inciting religious hatred, the question however remains the same: why do some elements of the Left continue to show an anti-Jewish sentiment? Anti-Zionist is another concept all together.
The Mayor of London should be permanently walking on egg shells and must be aware at all times of any possible offence he may cause to any religious or racial set. Like most Londoners, I am up for racial equality; but sometimes with Ken it seems that some are more equal than others.

p.s Sorry for the serious note of this post, but the shockingly poor visitor stats over the weekend led me to think my all-too-few regulars would not be too bothered.

p.p.s I nicked the cartoon off this site, click on image to make bigger

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Maybe it's because they're all Londoners

Still #1

I watched Eastenders last night and, although an avid and unashamed fan anyway, last night's was a particular treat. Kicking off proceedings were Rosie and Keith, the working man's Taylor and Burton, trying to reconcile their marriage. Keith, gawd bless him, is trying. Not only has he learnt to read (illiteracy in Walford is a regional tradition held in high esteem) but Rosie has also noticed him trying to woo her back by...combing his hair and going to the Jobcentre. In Eastenders this represents 'an effort'. Keith pops round to look after Alicia to give Rosie time to herself saying that he'd go to the Jobcentre too. So not only comb your hair and go to the Jobcentre, but also take your grand-daughter with you to the Jobcentre. Oh Keith, stop! You old romantic. Alas, Keith was lying cos he's a lazy bum and didn't go seeking JSA or getting on the New Deal.
Still this plot was small-fry to the main event of Martin and Sonia. Now let me get this off my chest (which Sonia might say if she ever decides to get rid of her fake boobs) I can't stand Sonia. She is the most irritating character ever. And ugly. Anyway, she's going to cook a romantic meal for her husband, the wonderfully neanderthal and personality-free-zone, Martin. Yes, for the hundreth time this year, they're going to give their marriage a go. For some reason, Martin gets into a big huff and invites the lads round for a game of poker (obviously Gary goes in ultra-confident only to be humbled by Bradley, the new Branning on the block, who later gets righteously hammered and celebrates with all-time legend Jim Branning - "Don't let Dorothy catch you like this"). So what will Sonia cook? Obviously, no romantic meal is complete without a delicious sauce. But where would you get that? Thank goodness for Walford's chic, haute cuisine wholesalers the Mini-Mart. Yes, Sonia goes to the Mini-Mart and buys a spicy chicken sauce (yum, yum). A half-dozen scenes later beautifully thought out scripting has Sonia consulting with Jane about the aforementioned spicy sauce. "You put it on the chicken and it makes it really spicy, but I just don't know" worries Sonia. What exactly do you not know? You've just said what you do and what it does.
Eventually, Sonia is cooking chez Pauline with, the almost-as-annoying-as-Sonia, Naomi. Just like a car-crash with everyone knowing the inevitable outcome but still watching. Martin turns up with all his poker chums and soon enough has another argument with Sonia culminating with Sonia telling Martin to stay if their marriage means anything, only for Martin to walk out. Just a great 1/2 hour's entertainment.

Smoking ban update

Anti-smokers, plagiarists lend me your wheelbarrow

I know, I know it's jumping on the bandwagon and not jumping in the wheelbarrow; sadly I couldn't find a good enough picture of a bandwagon so settled for this and my woefully adequate, yet imaginative, use of Paint.
The 14th February was a momentous day seeing the smoking ban get through, but just how popular can be seen from the current list of EDMs on the subject. Chronologically:


That this House notes that right hon. and hon. Members voted to ban smoking in all public places including private members' clubs on 14th February 2006; further notes that the will of the House may not apply in the House itself since it is a royal palace; further notes that this means that staff working in the Smoking Room could still be exposed to the harmful effects of second-hand smoke; and calls for this anomaly to be rectified by the House authorities as soon as possible.

First up is this offering from uber-eager Julia Goldsworthy, the Lib Dem MP for Falmouth and Camborne. Her EDM was submitted on the very evening the ban was passed, poor Ms Goldsworthy sadly having nothing better to do on Valentines Day.

Then comes this offering from Dr Hywel Francis MP, the Labour Member for Aberavon.


That this House welcomes the momentous decision to achieve a total ban on smoking in enclosed public spaces; believes that this House should practise what it preaches and apply the ban throughout the House, including the Members' smoking room; and believes that, in recognition of the founder of the National Health Service the Members' smoking room should be renamed the Aneurin Bevan room, forthwith.

Basically, the same but with a comrade nod to Nye Bevan. Spookily also tabled on Valentines night. Do these MPs have no amorous intentions?

The plot thickens with this amendment to the above tabled by Andrew George MP, Lib Dem MP for St Ives.


delete `Aneurin Bevan' and insert `Beveridge'

This was tabled on 15th February. Well I guess the MP for St Ives would have to spend Valentines with one, or more, of his seven wives. Sounds like John Hemming. This motion was signed by a few other Lib Demmers.

And finally this one from David Gauke, Tory MP for South West Hertfordshire


That this House notes the vote in favour of a complete ban on smoking in enclosed places including private clubs; further notes that the Palace of Westminster will be exempt from these provisions; and calls for those hon. Members who supported these measures to be banned from smoking in enclosed places in the Palace, including in the Smoking Room.

Is that not basically the same as Julia Goldsworthy's?? But perhaps there is a difference and I guess the only people who could answer would be the following five MPs who have signed both EDM 1646 and EDM 1663 - Peter Bottomley; Anne Cryer; Angus MacNeil; Jeremy Corbyn and Nigel Dodds.

Two Tales of One City

Liverpool readying itself for the 2008 title of European City of Culture

Say Liverpool to people and you're likely to get one of two polemic answers. On one hand people will wax lyrically about either 5 European Titles, the Beatles, the People's Club, the docks etc, whilst others would point towards Militant, thieving Scousers, shellsuits and 'Calm down, calm down'.
Today sees two pieces of Liverpudlian news hit the backpages. Firstly, the tragic injury to summer signing Momo Sissoko. The Malian international suffered a freak injury in Liverpool's defeat to Benfica on Tuesday and is now facing the prospect of losing the sight in his right eye. Let's hope that this doesn't happen and Sissoko is back sooner rather than later.
The other story is also injury-related. Few football fans would have not seen Alan Smith's leg snapping like a poppadom after charging down a John Arne Riise free-kick at the weekend. Today, it has emerged that some Liverpool 'fans' sought to overturn the ambulance taking Smith to hospital after it got stuck in traffic.
These people are real sick scum and there is no excuse at all for such behaviour. At least they didn't nick the hubcaps when the ambulance was stationary.

Bomb-making lessons in Parliament

Feel the bang

An eagle-eyed source formerly close to the PM passed on this tid-bit to me. It appears that the Mother of all Parliaments is offering the opportunity to become an instant expert on IEDs. I, like many others, would like to condemn this course and urge no-one to attend.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Fearless hack reveals 1st confirmed case of bird flu

Don't order the Green Chicken Curry

I take it all back if my approach had been flippant, my #1 hack Brandy Nipples has sent me this disturbing image confirming the virulent strain of bird flu H5N1 has reached our shores.
It is with a tear in my eye that I remember Keith and Orville's song:

Orville: I wish I could fly way up to the sky but I can’t,
Keith: You can,
Orville: I can’t!
Orville: I wish I could see what folks see in me but I can’t,
Keith: You can,
Orville: I can’t!
Keith: Look, Orville,
Orville: Yes?
Keith: Nothing that you can say
Will change how I feel today:
I know that we’ll never part;
Now hear what I’m saying, Orville?
Orville: Yes?
Keith: Who is your very best friend?
Orville: You are.
Keith: I’m gonna help you mend your broken heart.
Orville: Thank you. But my heart's fine, I've just been diagnosed with fucking Bird Flu

Not so great Scott

Not everything is so black and white

Having seen the following I was happy to note that Ilford North's MP, Lee Scott is above such tom-foolery, or is he? Here is the Ilford North Tory Site and just click on the bit offering "information about Lee Scott our Member of Parliament". Spell-binding. What a man of mystery you are.

Gary Neville - Not a robot

Not robotic

Following on from my last post on Gary Neville, he has, somewhat entirely predictably, wiped his hands of all blame for his action saying all he was guilty of was displaying passion, spontaneity and spirit and not being robotic. Well, I believe the above picture contradicts that sentiment, sir! For the Doubting Thomases who might suspect the image is not 100% bonafide I set this question:
If Gary Neville is not robotic how is it that when he is playing for England and the national anthem is played the self-same Gary Neville stands stony-face without any flicker of emotion? And no I do not believe it is because he is an ardent republican.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Can't argue

This one has obvously been a long time coming. Constant delays, loads of litter, staff shortages, staff strikes and engineering works regularly conspire to rob the London public of what we deserve. Daft excuses I have heard in the last couple of weeks include regulating the service defunct door suspect package and people are leaning on the doors And chucked into the bargain is Bob Crow, whose continued butchery of the English language is eternally grating. Follow this link for a musical ode (can odes be musical) to the Underground.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Doomed I tell you...DOOMED

Armageddon imminent

With nothing aside from a rapier's wit and devil-may-die attitude, I am doing my bit to instigate a Dad's Army renaissance. Sadly, this will not stretch to the cast - the vast majority of whom have already shuffled off this mortal coil, but rather to the catchphrases: Don't Panic (see previous post) and We're Doomed (stick with this post). But who to assist me in this most British and honest of all endeavours? Who? How's about H5N1?
It has been announced that the Ravens have been moved inside the Tower of London (Ravens, of course, being poultry???) to avoid being contaminated by (dastardly, chilling music) AVIAN BIRD FLU. None of you, darling readers, will need telling twice: if the ravens leave the tower of London its White Tower will crumble and the Kingdom of England will fall. Its White Tower will crumble and the Kingdom of England will fall. Do or damned really - if the ravens stay put they'll be ravaged by AVIAN BIRD FLU and if they go the kingdom crumbles. WE'RE DOOMED I TELL YOU, DOOMED.
For the raven enthusiasts amongst you the ravens are named Branwen, Hugine, Munin, Gwyllum, Thor and Baldrick. And no, there is not a great deal newsworthy about today.

Ugly man guilty of instigating ugly scene

Agent provacateur

Franck Ribery and Phil Neville's better looking brother, Gary has been found guilty of improper conduct and fined £5,000. That's it boys. The F.A, fearless and never afraid to court controversy, has fined him a minimal percentage of his weekly wage. That'll learn him. A typical gutless display there.
What Neville did was irresponsible, I believe he did it because he genuinely despises Liverpool - and everything is stands for. It's not like he hides his hatred though: "I can't stand Liverpool, I can't stand Liverpool people, I can't stand anything to do with them." Once when Man Utd players had heard Stevie Gerrard was injured it was Gary Neville who piped up "Shame it wasn't Michael Owen"
His loathing of Liverpool is not a secret, his actions - despite the most obvious of obvious protestations to the contrary by...who else?...Sir Alex Ferguson - blatant. So why is the punishment so minimal? Whether players should be allowed to do what they want on the pitch is an entirely different issue, but if it is on the statute book that what Neville did constitutes an offence there must be a more suitable punishment. Not even a one match ban. How do you dissuade players from provoking potentially ugly scenarios? Easy: do whatever the F.A don't.

Monday, February 20, 2006

This Aide was no help

Buckingham Palce? Where's that?

Don't let it be said I don't have my sources. Don't be put off by my lack of readers, almost total lack of comments and lack of concrete fact (apart from Wembley where all they have is concrete - and no grass). A Government insider, in an eerily similar scenario to Deepthroat wishing to only be known as Brandy Nipples, has offered me this gem.
Brandy phoned the Home Office with regards to the annual garden party at Bucks House. Brandy was informed, over the phone, that the Home Office did not issue the tickets, or deal with the issue at all and that all enquiries should be directed to Buckingham Palace. Brandy, still not deterred by this obtrusive...obstacle, persisted asking for a written reply to which she was told by the aide: "I suppose I could forward it [the letter] to Buckingham Palace, but I don't know the address."
Oi Vay! How can you not know the address of Bucks House? How's about Buckingham Palace, London? I can't quite see it being returned by the Royal Mail with 'address unknown'.
This kind of person is a real ham-and-egger, the person who answers the phone in Government ministries, or for Government Special Advisers and barely knows what day it is and has absolutely no knowledge*. Cheers dudes, a truly exemplary service.

* The lovely lady I work with rang a SPAD with regards to a particular issue and was told that there was nothing around and could she possible wait a day or so? A day or so passed and still nothing, so my Comrade rang the SPAD asked for the particular person she spoke to, only to be told: "Oh she is only an office temp".

Wembley planners have their balls in the air

We're not on our way to Wembley

I don't think you needed a crystal ball to predict this one. Indeed, it is the least shocking story since the last time it was delayed. For those interested, the initial completion date was Autumn 2005.
The F.A, that most fabled and illustrious of British institutions, wanted 100% certainty that the stadium would be ready and presumably Multiplex could only answer they were 100% hopeful it would be ready, which obviously cut no ice. The F.A, being no fools, realised that you needed a pitch and some seats to host a match and have consequently fallen back on the reserve option of the Millenium Stadium.
Still what do you expect for £757m? No marks at all if you say a world-class stadium ready and operative on time, but full marks, gold star and top-of-the-class honours if you answer: loads of disputes between contractors and legal teams putting the project further and further behind schedule and also £757m is a bit on the skinny side so spiralling steel costs coupled with all these delays are likely to push the price of the stadium beyond £1bn.
Whilst researching this post (why not?) I discovered two nuggets:
1) Multiplex will be penalised £1million a week for over-running the deadline.
2) Wembley Stadium, London. Originally known as the Empire Stadium it took only 330 days to build and opened on 23 April 1924. Still 6 years and counting isn't that bad???

Don't panic, don't panic!

Chicken conscription

Colonel Sanders together with Lance Corporal Jones have launched the above campaign entited Don't Panic!
May God save all our souls (and chickens)

We're all going to die

Gutbusters of the world unite

Fashions change. I don't know how, or why but they do. And in much the same ways as black is the new white, summer is the new winter and Dave is the new David, Avian Bird Flu (H5N1 strain) is the new BSE (Creuzfelt Jakob Disease). I don't mean to scare anyone but WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. Bring your poultry in-doors. You have no poultry? Well, go and do something good it's your last chance before you turn into a 20ft chicken (Alan Partridge) and die.
This particular potent strain, known as Tabloidus Panicus, is currently sweeping France (plenty of chickens there, you see) and after laying waste to France it'll come over to Blighty. And then it's all over. This strain has been carried across borders by nasty, smelly immigrants and WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. The strain has not altered to affect humans currently with only Daily Mail readers at risk. Boom, boom - I thank you!
So who's the world's saviour? Who is the world's saviour much in the way Bill Pullman acted in Independence Day? It is Markos Kyprianou, the EU Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner - no, not the baddy out of For Your Eyes Only and not that guy who lost in the final to Federer. He says "There's no reason for European citizens not to consume poultry meat and products. Products from infected animals do not enter the food chain. The message is that it's safe to consume poultry meat and eggs in the European Union". Well it's all Greek to me, but does Markos Kyprianou translate as John Gummer? I do enjoy this message. Don't worry, we shouldn't cull poultry, but go out and eat them all instead. Pay heed of this message supermarkets, Lord Sainsbury, Viscount Tesco, Earl Netto and Duke Tesco put your chickens on special offer. And hurry up, cos WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE.

Blackwell puts England selectors in a spin

The boy's doing good

Ashley Giles, a man who has been pilloried and vilified down the years for not being much good, actually came good, or at least good enough. A dedicated professional, Gilo's determination together with his consistency with ball and, equally importantly, bat made him an integral part of the England team. However, he is spazzed, not fit and not on the tour of India. Leaving England with a possible conundrum, actually it is a very apparent conundrum. Who comes in for Giles? The most obvious, and safest, option would have been Shaun Udal (36), who played in Pakistan. Sadly, he played poorly and 3 test wickets at an average of 90-odd does not impress, or fill anyone with confidence. Even more so as one of his three wickets was a very generous lbw decision. Udal, whilst being an alright batsmen, has been out of form with the willow too. Enter Monty Panesar, the new kid on the block. If he plays he will be the first Sikh to have ever represented England and whilst this is an honour he deserves and I am sure will get, I have doubts whether it should be now. Panesar is a bad fielder and bad batsman in the ilk of Phil Tufnell. If he were included it would mean Hoggard going in at 8 and that does not inspire confidence in the slightest. So the answer is in the rather bulky form of Ian Blackwell, captain of Somerset. Blackwell is what would traditionally be called 'a lusty hitter'. He is the best batsmen out of the three and his recent bowling performances would have encouraged Duncan Fletcher to take a chance on him. It seems that England will play one spinner and 4 seamers, so my XI would be:

M. Trescothik
A. Strauss
M. Vaughan *
I. Bell
K. Pietersen
A. Flintoff
G. Jones † (personally I'd play Matt Prior, but I don't think they'll drop Jones)
I. Blackwell
M. Hoggard
S. Jones
S. Harmison

All the top 4 have been in the runs recently, as opposed to having the runs thanks to delhi belly. Pietersen and Freddie look in alright, if not their best, nick. And all the bowlers having taken wickets. I am quietly encouraged, but still worry about the Indians scoring shed-loads of runs and then Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan and the spinners Anil Kumble and the Turbanator Harbajhan Singh cutting through us like a knife through molten butter.
Sorry for the long post, but I am an obsessive cricket fan. So there.

Youngster swears! Shock horror!

BBC somewhere close to value for money

I was in the pub with my beloved yesterday and all was good. Yours truly slyly trying to watch Villa vs. Man City on Sky. After a bit, the girlfriend goes allowing me to watch the footie and then come back to hers (what an amazing woman!). Soon after Villa score a pretty decent goal courtesy of ugly, greasy haired, cheating b*stard, Milan Baros.
It looks like City are going out until a 94th minute equalizer from youngster Micah Richards (17). Queue ecstatic celebations, final whistle and then the inevitable, and inimitable, Garth Crooks' post-match interview. Garth's off with one of his standard, crap starter-for-ten questions, something like: "Micah, you scored. Last minute. How do you feel?" In answer to which Richards leapt up even further in my estimations (he had been class all game) by saying "Oh f*ck it."
Sadly, St Gary Lineker of the Big-Ear loved by the Housewife parish instantly apologises. For what? A bit of emotion? I have very fond memories of Henrik Larsson being interviewed on BBC after a match and when asked what he thought of the match, he answered: "It was pretty sh*t". Excellent. I would feel the Licence Fee would be more justified with more swearing in football coverage, especially in Garth Crooks interviews.
It sounds quite random, but as a boy, like practically every other, I wanted to be a footballer. I wanted to score on my debut and get mobbed by my fans. Nowhere in that fantasy is Garth involved.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Great Scot!

Murray putting the great and good to the sword

What with the total shower that is the Winter Olympics, salvation is at hand for sporting fans. In the form of one Andy Murray. The man who shot to national prominence last Summer has continued his astronomic rise through the world rankings by winning the SAP Open in San Jose beating Llleyton Hewitt in the final (Tim Henman has been licked by Hewitt on loads of occasions) and Andy Roddick (not the bloke from Body Shop) in the semis. We now have 3 players ranked in the 40s with Messrs Henman and Rusedski at #40 and #43 respectively having their necks breathed down by Murray at #47. It promises a lot for British tennis, which despite the last decade's relative success of Henman and Rusedski, is still a bit in the doldrums. Not that either Henman or Rusedski should be blamed: it's not Henman's fault he's posh and it's not Rusedski's fault he's Canadian.

No fowl-ups as Fowler remarries

If anyone has page 36, please let me know

Isn't it wonderful? Pauline, the ashen-faced, grumpy cow (and former quite fit Miss Brahms) has finally gotten over ARFUR and wed again. Sadly the old maxim of Something New, Something Old, Something Borrowed, Something Blue could have been done better if she borrrowed Sonia's fake boobs and as something blue she wore her Conservative rosette.
Here's wishing the newly-weds nothing but misery.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Rocky Balboa


Great news! The man is back! Rocky Balboa. The Italian Stallion. Actually, the EYE-talian Stallion. Big, bad Rochester. I can hardly contain my excitement. Seriously, buying all 5 Rocky films on 1 DVD off some Oriental chap in the pub was the best £5 I have ever spent.
Whether it's Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago or Tommy 'Machine' Gunn Rochester wins out. Let's get the sad stuff out of the way: Rocky is now nearly 60. Adrian is dead! No sh*t. So if he wants encouragement he's either going to have to shout louder or get an Ouiji Board. His son had dissed him (by the way Rocky V is excellent for very funny early 90s bullying), Mickey's still dead and there's no sign of his dog Butkus (Hey yo Butkus!). The bad guy is Mason 'The Line' Dixon, played by Antonio Tarver! This is going to rock! And if you weren't excited enough, not only is Sly the lead and Director, he has also written the screenplay! Oh happy days.
Just to get you in the mood here's some of Rocky's most iconic quotes:


"Why do you wanna fight?" -Adrian
"Cause I can't sing or dance." -Rocky

"Yo Adrian! I did it!!" -Rocky

"What do you think of Apollo training Rocky?" -Reporter
"Apollo who?! You talkin about that old fool Apollo Creed?" -Clubber

"If he dies, he dies." -Ivan

"You knocked him down, why don't you try knockin me down now..." -Rocky

When asked if this would be the last Rocky in the series, Stallone answered that it would be saying that any more would not be practical and besides he wanted to make another Rambo movie. Jeez, the Rambo films are so old that Afghanistan were the good guys.

Beef Jerky of the Week

Dick Cheney, a man of vision

As sure as night follows day, there could have been no doubt that this week's Beef Jerky had to be this man, this legend, this Vice-President Cheney. You all know what happened, he went out hunting and, as you do, shot one of his co-hunters. Of course, this was by mistake Cheney having not seen him. His victim, Harry Whittington (78), is recovering in hospital after one of the shots gave him a heart attack.
In a rare moment of humanity, Mr Cheney was said to be distraught. Happens when you shoot people, I guess. Dubya broke his silence today saying: "The vice-president was involved in a terrible accident, and it profoundly affected him. Yesterday when he was here in the Oval Office, I saw the deep concern he had about a person who he wounded." Jeez, then the Iraq War must have shook him up a bit.

Update: It was decided today that no charges would be brought against Dick Cheney.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Straight out of the Adams(on) Family

No oil painting either

As a fellow Owl (although obviously I am a Bull) pointed out even the mighty Sheffield Wednesday have mingers and no more so than our current stand-in kepper Chris Adamson - above terrorising the good people of West Bromwich. Please feel free to post your teams ugliest players in the comments section.

Don't show this post to small children

Celine Dion was very happy with the operation

Had the unfortunate experience of watching a whole Bolton game on Wednesday and was treated to Bolton's high-ball, long-ball 0-0 draw with Marseilles. during the match my mate called Sam Allardyce "a fat, whinging slob". Yep, this time it was cast-iron penalties not being given. According to Sam, Bolton have not had a decision go their way since 1973 and his team makes fellow Lancastrian butchers Blackburn seem like ballet.
Any the how the gentleman above, one Monsieur Franck Ribery lined up for Marseilles. He is a white-trash, incestuous version of Gary Neville. Neville on the moonshine juice. And in a story you couldn't even make up (I doff my hat to Richard Littlejohn) Ribery has been linked with...Manchester Utd. So then with Gary Neville, Shrek Rooney, Ruud the half Tramp, half Horse, Paul Scholes, Too-long-neck Van der Saar, Dazza Fletcher and possibly Monsieur Ribery, I'll be sure to pre-reserve my Man Utd 2007 calender.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Get your Valentine's leftovers

Would you bid for this man?

Pretty-boy, socialist Cllr Cross (above) is now available. It's true and if you can't believe it, the evidence lays in this link
Honestly, podcasting is so last month, now it's about pimping on Ebay.

Update: Not a single person in the whole-wide world saw fit to bid for Kerron even though bidding started (and ended) and the less than princely sum of 25p.

Everybody loves Raymond

Thanks I've had a lovely time, but I'll take the money and go.

Raymond Van Barneveld has become the latest Benedict Arnold of the darts world by turning his back on the BDO and signing up for the PDC. Barney lost the BDO final in January and immediately denied rumours that he was going to do the offski. This is presumably what is meant by double dutch as he's just jumped ship.
This is a massive nail in the coffin of the BDO, as the majority of the world's elite will now be playing on the Sky sports sponsored PDC. It is a shame because I have very fond childhood memories of the likes of Bristow, Lowe, Wilson, Anderson et al battling it out on BBC. I am sorry to say that today's youth are not likely to have such happy and heady recollections of the current crop.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Galloway making a tit of himself

Come on Butler, you lecherous moron, run him over

Courtesy of Guido (like that link's really going to boost his viewing figures) who got it courtesy of the Sun. Absolutely brilliant. Follow this link. Oh and just in case he doesn't know YOU TOSSER.

Smoking ban victory for health and common sense


Common sense prevailed and smoking will now be banned in public places and work places with no exemptions. Determined not to praise anything the Torygraph has the following pertinent questions:

Q. What does the new law do?
A. It bans smoking in all enclosed or substantially enclosed public places and workplaces.

Q. Such as?
A. Bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and offices. These may seem obvious and there are many in which bans already operate, for instance trains, buses, shops, schools, sports centres and cinemas. But the Government also has powers under clause four of the Bill to extend the ban to particular places or types of place if there is doubt over their status.

Q. Is a vehicle an office?
A. Yes, if it is used for work. However, it is more complicated than that. A delivery van will be covered by the ban if the driver does not own it, but not if he does. This does not apply to a taxi. Also, if the van is shared it will be covered even if one of the drivers is the owner.

Q. What if the lorry is foreign-owned from a country where there is no smoking ban? Can the driver therefore smoke in his cab?
A. Er …

Q. What if a plumber visits your house? It is a place of work for him but your home. If you are happy for him to smoke, is that all right?
A. The Government says: "We are not defining the person's home as a workplace." So the plumber could light up if you approved. But could you smoke if he disapproved? It is his place of work, so he would be entitled to ask the owner not to smoke because the law makes it an offence to fail to prevent smoking in a smoke-free place.
On the other hand, someone who works at home but in a way that involves the public - for instance, a piano teacher - would be allowed to smoke, even though, strictly speaking, it is also a workplace.

Q. Are all private homes exempt? What about stately homes that are open to the public or a GP's surgery where the doctor lives?
A. The Government says that if the house is open for only one day a year and is not a person's workplace, it will need to be smoke-free only for the period when the public may be present. But what if the home doubles as an estate office?
Also, premises where members of the public go to give or receive goods or a service, including for example a solicitor's office or a dressmaker's shop, will be smoke-free at all times. But if they are also private homes, only those parts used for work purposes, including a waiting room, will have to be smoke-free.

Q. What about workplaces staffed by volunteers? Are village halls and community centres sorting clothes for a bring-and-buy sale on a voluntary basis "workplaces"?
A. Under the new law, the word "work" also constitutes voluntary work, so even if a village hall is being used to hold an event that requires volunteers, such as a scout meeting, it will still have to be smoke-free. The hall would be both a workplace and a public place.

Losers. Much like MERCHANT OF DEATH company Forest whose director Simon Clark declared: "People will continue to smoke and the idea that people are all going to give up smoking simply because they can't smoke in a pub is nonsense." With such belligerent and condescending arguments it is hardly surprising they had their collective smoky ass whooped by 200 votes. I actually went to a pro-smoking, pro-ventilation meeting and was amazed at the assembled tossers present (yes there were, at least, half a dozen Tory MPs). Their attitude was basically that all health campaigners were a bunch of puritan zealots (that term was actually used) and that it was infringing on civil liberties so yaboo-shucks and let's have another drink and rummage around in our humidors.
Other personal highlights included this quote from some demented Irishman: "That ban was the reason I left Ireland. If they introduce a ban here, I'll have to move somewhere else." Oh well Britain's loss...
And let's not forget Stephen Pound, MP for Ealing North, who was in his usual piss-taking top form insinuating Lynne Jones was a 'fag-end'; saying he would not like to ban Lembit Opik; advising Liberals not to take up habit-forming pursuits like making legislation and questioning Andrew Lansley's honourability. Even if what you said was wrong, the way you said it was wondrous.
And finally, well done to an unnamed gorgeous health charity employee on this victory. Without her, I might still be a filthy smoker myself.

Is this the worst #6 Premiership Top Scorer ever?

Marlon's got a lot to shout about

Sorry for the convoluted title of this post, I didn't know how else to phrase it and let's face facts; much like Ronsil, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Last night West Ham trounced Birmingham 3-0. And Marlon Harewood kept up his impressive record this season by bagging a couple of goals. I have had a soft spot for Marlon ever since he was mistakenly referred to as Malcolm Harewood on TalkSport. The thing about Marlon is, is that he is not very good. Watching him last season, I'd even have said he was very bad. His current partner in crime up-front for the Happy Hammers is Bobby Zamora - who also sucks. However, they both keep on scoring and Marlon now has 12 goals this season putting him 6th in the scoring records. Spookily West Ham are also 6th.
After comprehensive research into the subject looking for players who have finished 6th or higher in the scoring charts (Premiership years only) but are worse, obviously in my opinion, than Marlon Harewood, I have discovered: Hamilton Ricard, Marcus Stewart and Andy Johnson.
What odds on Marlon being Premiership Top Scorer? Marlon firing West Ham into Europe? Marlon being in Sven's summer squad? Funny old game, innit?

Yeh I Know

Retail therapy caused by losing 3-0 to Boro.

I was sent this picture by the captain of my cricket team, a decent enough fellow really, who puts up with my bad jokes, shocking footwear and woefully inept bowling and batting (all-rounder, you see).

Monday, February 13, 2006

New Labour, New Romance

Labour Roses are red...

Single? Ugly? Got a sh*t beard? Got no Valentines card? Are you Kerron Cross? (sorry mate, but you do go on, not that you're ugly of course) Then how's about this for an amorous idea? An I.D Card. Say it with roses is so passe, so say it with biometrics and fingerprints. Love is in the air

When even I.D cards wouldn't work

TB should have opted for Joan Ryanair instead

What's the old proverb? Oh yeh, once bitten twice shy. What with the blunder that was Tony Blair missing a vote (and the subsequent defeat of government legislation by one vote) due to a chronically inept miscalculation by the Government Chief Whip, you could bet your bottom Euro on Blair being present for the vote on I.D Cards. La plus ca change...
This time our intrepid PM is stuck in South Africa due to a suspect dodgy engine (an airplane's rather than his own). I am sure the Whips Office have done their sums correctly this time (chortle, chortle) or are we looking at another Government defeat by one vote?

Passion of the Pats

Not the only things Pat's being pulling

Frank would be appalled, Roy would be spinning in his grave, Peggie would probably denounce her as a slut and Mo 'Arris would think she was back on the game. Trough in hand, Pat has applied enough slap-on to seduce her latest beau, Mr Patrick Trueman. But Patrick you are married to Yolande. Not to mention Pat mings bad. Real bad.
My favourite quote of this triste thus far is from Patrick: "Pat Evans, you is one wanton woman". Too right pal! He also seems unperturbed that she has a face like a bag of smashed crabs.
And for those of you who suspect Pat is a bit of a dog...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Beef Jerky of the Week

Harking back to Budweiser adverts gone by; WAAAAAASSSSSSUUUPPPPPP???? Yo, it's me, I'm back. This post will be the first in a weekly (if I remember) post of the person most deserving of the soubriquet Barry's Beef Jerky of the Week. What's that then? You might ask if you are stupid. It is for the person who has done, in my opinion, the stupidest thing of the week. The little dude in the corner is Jerkyman and he hates idiots. Taken as a given that I have been out of Blogdom for a couple of weeks the inaugral recipient is not from last week but the week before (I think). So without further ado (clears throat) I humbly declare that the first winner of the Jerky of the Week is....Hilary Armstrong (queue a spontaneous and thunderous round of applause)

Of course you can take time off the whip. It's in the bag. Hey, why don't you go to Dunfermline and encourage people to vote Lib Dem?

So then the job of a Chief Whip? Ermmm...let's see. You get your backbenchers to vote for Government policy. Sounds fine. But what if a slightly contentious piece of legislation (which I must say I don't think remotely contentious) clashes with a by-election? In this case Dunfermline and Fife West. Queue Einstein, sorry Armstrong. You can envisage the meeting: "Listen lads (and lasses) Race and Religious Hatred? Pah! We'll win at a canter. But not so sure about the by-election. Not like the constituency is next to the Chancellor and PM-elect, is it? Not like he lives there or anything is it? How's about we send loads of you up there to persuade the Scots to vote Red? And, by my reckoning, we should hold Dunermline and West Fife and win this vote. Piece of cake. Tony? Take it easy big lad. Go home and have some quality time with the kids."

Next day...
(groggily through embarassment and hangover)Oh shit. Lost the vote in the House and lost a safe seat to the Liberal Demotwats.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Six Nations

Before I write this article it would only be fair to say I don't particularly like rugby. Growing up as a young Bull (or is it a calf? I have no idea or interest) rugby always struck me as what posh blokes with a unnatural penchant for violence partook in. I also smirked continually (literally non-stop for about a week) as England temporarily became cloaked in Rugby-mania after winning the World Cup. After a couple of days it became very apparent that whilst it was great to be world champions, only the diehards actually cared. I watch rugby quite regularly and like nothing more than watching grown men attempt to maim each other on a pitch that closer resembles a bog. Particularly if that grown man happens to be a cheese eating surrender monkey, so imagine my joy when my co-worker, a lovely Scot, texted me excitedly informing me that Scotland had beaten the French 20-16.
I do use this site as a platform for bashing the Scots. Or more aptly bashing their sporting impotence (curling and tossing the caber aside). So I'll re-dress the balance here. Well done. No-one really expected them to win, even those See You Jimmy look-a-likes with their hilarious ginger-wig and tartan combo. Before kick-off, the French were favourites not only to win this encounter but to win the Grand Slam. So it is an immense achievement.
And if things couldn't get any sweeter for the sweaty socks, who stands to benefit the most? Of course, it is their beloved neighbours the English. Nice one, fellas! And whilst I'm having a go let's have a dig at the the Welsh for getting stuffed by England. Still, they do sing their national anthem beautfiully. A chum of mine, a certain Gutbuster, was present stuffing his face with burgers. It seems the real feast was on the pitch. I would gloat more, but let's face it...who cares?

Shepherd gives his flock Glenn

Some things are puzzling. How does Pete Burns look in a mirror of a morning and think he looks good. How did Mark Oaten think he could get away with it? And, of course, puzzles. None, however, are as incredibly perplexing as a return to management (make that Premiership management) of Glenn Roeder. Glenn, for the uninitiated amongst you, does not have the most successful of pasts. Indeed, his track-record is about as impressive as that of a Scottish sprinter.
In his first managerial stint, at Gillingham, Roeder amassed a woeful record of 13 wins out of 51 matches. He then follweod this up by getting the sack at Watford and getting West Ham relegated. He also got sacked.
I am very happy to see Glenn has recovered from a brain tumour and wish him good health. That being said I hope his appointment does not become permanent. Basically, if he can sign one or two defenders the team should be good enough to stay up by themselves.
I would be amazed if Roeder does not fail spectacularly. Interestingly, Roeder has the smallest mouth in football and also enjoys standing on the touchline with his arms crossed. Loads.

Stuck in the Middle(sboro) with you

Maybe Souness won't be the only manager leaving the North-East?

It was with enormous satisfaction that I heard the news of Graeme Souness getting the sack. Not that I dislike him (I do, but this isn't the reason) but because I had called for his sacking and can only assume that Freddie Shepherd reads this blog. Similarly, I hope Steve Gibson is reading this.
It is unbelievable that McLaren has been mentioned in the same sentence as the words 'potential successor to Sven as England manager'. Having recently displayed his managerial nous by overseeing Middlesboro's 7-0 demolition by Arsenal, Steve once again displayed his shrewd tactical acumen by watching his team capitulate to Aston Villa to the tune of 4-0.
Steve Gibson, Middlesboro's chairman, has ploughed in millions and millions but has had some right turkeys as his managers. Bryan Robson, whilst currently enjoying a renaissance of sorts at W.B.A, under-achieved gloriously with numerous seasons of disappointment and such stellar signings as Branco. Remember him? Now he has McLaren a man who splurged £8.1 million on Maccarone (not cheese).
However, some light relief has come from the fans and media alike. The Times wrote of a 60 yard run weaving past 3 players at great pace - sadly it was the supporter who passed the (probably sleeping) stewards to run to McLaren and chuck his torn season ticket at the hapless manager. Further laughs ensued with a block of disgruntled Boro fans starting a 'McLaren for England' chant.
For my money McLaren is the most over-rated manager in the Premiership and his P45 may well be in the post before the season's out.

Locked up like an Egyptian

How good was this story? I don't care why he was incarcarated, I am just happy he was. Tragically, he was released and he has been let into Egypt. What other notorious news agencies have surprisingly missed is that this was the pilot episode of the Egyptian Big Brother Pyramid (hosted by Sheikh Davina Al-Mccall). With Galloway's release the showed was axed, producers and executives alike realising the idea sphinx.

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