Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Massing Massacre

When I set up my blog, I started on an odyssey of World Cup memories. One of these was Benjamin Massing's assault on Claudio Cannigia. Recalling it still makes me smile and now I have found it on YouTube so enjoy.

Inzi guilty of bringing cricket into disrepute

So the fat dude has been found guilty? Good. Ok, I'll qualify the comment a touch: he was cleared of ball tampering. To reiterate my view of this Darrell Hair is a liability; a dogmatic man devoid of senstivity. There is no proff that Pakistan had tampered with the ball but Hair was like a bull in a china shop. But who exactly does Inzi think he is not to come onto the field of play? The ban (4 One Day Internationals) is just and I hope he doesn't appeal. If the ban stands Inzi will miss Pakistan's first matches of the Champions Trophy.

The Geordie OAP shop

After Marlon Harewood's near criminal tackle on Newcastle keeper, Shay Given. Newcastle found themselves in a quandary. With Given, their #1 keeper, out for months with a ripped bowel; Roder has realised that he is left with Steve Harper, a decent enough keeper (despite his comical attempt to save a Xabi Alonso shot from a couple of miles away) and...well, that's it. So looking for an emergency back-up keeper Roeder is desperately sniffing around a number of old men. By that, of course, I mean veteran keepers. Names in the frame include Magnus Hedman (33) - who I thought had actually retired; Pavel Srnicek (38) - pictured wearing, perhaps, the worst keeper's top ever and Ronald Waterreus (36) - who you can see is a closer match to Pauline Prescott than Vicky Michelle ever will be.
Who else is going to be in contention? Neville Southall? Bert Trautmann? The mind boggles. Hopefully, he'll bring in Magnus Hedman whose crack-a-jack wife would be a welcome addition.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A date for your diary

Pencil it in dudes. 23rd October. Series V, Volume I

Bill and Tony's Bogus Journey

From friendship, to mutual admiration, to outright declarations of undying love, to Afghanistan and Iraq. Guys, it's been emotional; but it's over now. Perhaps post-politics, we could have Wild Stallions with Tony on guitar and Bill on sax? Maybe not, it's only an ugly rumour.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Thank you and good night (please??)

I do enjoy a gag and Blair, of all people, has hit a beauty. So funny it was that Comrade Hamburger rang me up just laughing down the phone:

"At least I don't have to worry about her running off with the bloke next door".

And after that top joke he follows (some days later, seriously is this ever going to end??) with the most vacuous comment I've ever heard: "The British people are good people."

Bloody hell, look at Conference, it's buzzing! Blair's got the troops rallying like the Hezbollah chaps marking out for Nasrallah. Say what you want about Blair but on a personal level he can sort of connect with people on a human level, i.e. humour. Watch and learn Gordon. Jeez, you have been watching since '94.

Still, I am not getting too misty-eyed and nostalgic. Time to go Tone.

C'mon...tick tock tick tock

Behind every great man is a Bliar, or is there?

My goodness me. It's Labour Party Conference and what's the biggest scandal thus far? What Cherie has (or perhaps hasn't but probably has) said. Such blogging luminaries as Guido Fawkes and Iain Dale have brought this scandal to the publics' attention.* It appears that Cherie has been somewhat forthright in slating the heir apparent, Gordon Brown. And what? Cherie is not a Labour Party MP nor is she in the official employ of the Labour Party.
Let's face it, people have always had it in for Cherie. Whether it is because she is a successful QC; or because she has a face that is prone to gurn; or because she is not a supermodel - everyone's happy to have a dig. I'm not casting stones, do what you want; let's face it the main purpose of the Blogosphere is to throw sh*t at/take the piss out of famous people. I love doing it myself. But type Cherie Blair into google images and see the cornucopia of images, she appears to suffer more than most.
But forget about all alleged past misdemeanours this time she's done for: she's been accused of calling Brown a liar and extolling the virtues of Alan Johnson to anyone within earshot. Of course, this whole episode misses the issue totally - through Cherie's denial granted - but the fact is that Brown is a liar. It is galling for him to be standing up to Conference and brazenly saying how much he has enjoyed serving Tony Blair. Who is he trying to fool? For once, even Mandy is right. Well done Cherie for saying what a lot of people think. And the minute she says something there's some lickspittle (NB: not a word only for NuLabour) hack salivating at the prospect of sticking the knife into someone who is saying what she believes. Actually standing up for her husband. Loyalty you might say. Who does she think she is?

* Not wishing to be self-aggrandizing they often proclaim the 'dead tree press' - so much more cutting (Get it? You cut trees down...) than newspapers - to be dying becuase they're not telling people what they want to read.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Abi (x2), Abbey (x4) and Fred Titmuss

So alleged coke snorting alleged WAG, Abi Clancy has, in a fit of pique, changed her name to Abbey so as not to be confused with Abi Titmuss who in turn never changed her name out of the risk of being mistaken for ex-England off spinner and selector, Fred Titmuss (I think this may be the only fresh mention of Fred Titmuss on the Internet today).
But what will happen now if Abbey is confused with other famous Abbeys such as Westminster Abbey, the Abbey National and former Norwich striker, Zema Abbey? What a bloody joke. Why doesn't she change her name to Alleged Coke Snorting, Alleged Girlfriend of Alleged Lanky Freak? We'd know who she was then without any confusion.

Watt the f*ck

I am a Labour Party member and whilst I am loyal to the Party, I don't mind having a dig when they are being rubbish. And then this email from Peter Watt floated into my Inbox. This really is a stupid idea. Unless, of course, they will accept some bloogers not signing from the same hymn sheet as the official line. Which I can't see happening, especially on a Labour Party url.
You know during my time in the Party, I have suffered electoral defeats galore; begging-bowl emails from such socialist luminaries as Jo Brand and Grant Mitchell and regular updates from London Young Labour but none have had me scratching my head as much as this crap idea.
Sometimes I really do despair, but given that Cherie walked out of Gordon's speech this morning perhaps the spirit of criticism may live again.

Striker's career over

I was genuinely shocked and sad to read that former Portsmouth striker, Dario Silva's career is over after a car crash that saw him fracture his skull and have his right leg amputated. Silva was one of the worst players I have seen in the Premiership, but is one of those I would like to happily reminisce about in the pub a couple of years from now. Here's wishing him luck, he is currently in a medically induced coma.

Great British grub

It's British Food Fortnight in the House of Commons. Oh joy. Once again we are to be blessed with such cultural dishes as jellied eels and liquer, faggots and peas and...ermmm...chips. Well actually, no. What we get is the exact same meals with the exact same ingredients apart from the marketing so, for instance, instead of Grilled Turkey Escalope with Lemon and Apricot Couscous you get Grilled Norfolk Turkey Escalope with Lemon and Apricot Couscous. Get it? Nice and subtle. This is clearly daft, but it gets dafter when you are offered Chilli con Carne made with East Yorkshire Beef (Debate, Monday), Jerk Suffolk Chicken with Rice and Peas (Debate, Thursday), Jerk British Chicken with Rice and Peas (the Terrace, Friday) and Rogan Josh made with Cornish Lamb, served with Rice and a Poppadom (Terrace, Thursday).
What a crock. Obviously, if you want to do it properly you should start with dressing ALL security staff as Beefeaters with compulsory Raven (defence in the War on Terror); there should be Great British quotes daubed on the wall ("We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender" ; "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. Out! Out! Out!" and "I'm not racist but it's unfair immigrants get free council housing the minute they set foot in the country" instantly spring to mind). And a 21 gun salute for every 100th customer. Bulldogs should be roaming freely amongst tramps getting loudly and abusively hammered on Tennent's Super.
It's just another opportunity missed.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

It's Mungday

Yet another working week begins. Some people get so down at the prospect of another week in the machine that I have deicded to refer to Monday as Mungday. I shall now include a little Ming in ever Mungday post. I hope this brightens up your week.
I also found this shocking picture of Sir Ming with Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Brunel is clearly younger than Ming and Brunel died in 1859. Shocking.

Ryder Cup mauling

Is it possible to tire of beating the US? Ever since they touched down in Ireland wearing the country gent get-up they have been asking for it. Did anyone see any of the US Big 3 (Woods, Mickelson and Furyk) smile at all? There were two hole-in-ones. Watching the singles on Sunday was just so good. Putts being sunk everywhere: Cink thrashing Garcia was something to be seen. I was happy that Dudley Eyebrows (24) had been listening to the Radio 5 Live coverage and heard the commentary that the ball was: "scampering away like a disobedient schoolboy". Top notch.
Inevitably, talk has switched to Darren Clarke being named Sports Personality of the Year. Ok so he is infintely more deserving than David Walliams. It's great that he appears to be overcoming his loss and can go about his life again, but Sports Personality of the Year. Gimme a break. All you hear about the Ryder Cup is this bollocks that Europe have started to win because they play better as a team. Personally, I don't buy too much into this thinking, but as Europe has won the last three Ryder Cup there may be something to it. Accepting that there is; what is the warped thinking in singling out one player from the collective of 12 for special adulation? Bereavement should not be considered in this issue. Sorry if that is heartless, but it's the way I see it.
And there was Monty, the most genial chap you could wish to find on a golf course. After every putt, Monty gives that little nod to crowd. It cracks me up, like the captain of my cricket team who will clap his bat on his glove after receiving a particularly good ball. Speaking of the big guy, I found this picture on eBay, it would make the ideal gift for someone you don't like a lot, I mean look at it? Who would hang that in their house? And no bidders? Quel surprise. And where are his man boobs?
Coincidentally, was nice to see the Observer's amateurish coverage of golf's premier event. Padraig Harrington was written as Hamilton, and Friday's US Foursome team of Stewart Cink/David Toms was referred to as Stewart/Cink.

Update on Glenn Roeder's mouth

Readers of this blog will be aware that I do not particularly rate Glenn Roeder as a manager. He also has the smallest mouth in football. However, to be fair, Newcastle looked pretty good against Everton - with the exception of the always dreadful Sibierski and the always calamitous Bramble - but in the post-match interview Roeder did something very ill-advised. He smiled. Judge for yourself.


After watching Europe pummel the Americans, I didn't know what to do today. Well work is, of course, a logical enough progression; but if you fancy listening to the man who should, without a doubt, be the next Deputy Prime Minister and leading light of the Labour movement; Labourhome is offering a live blog interview with Alex Hilton. He will be in conversation with Peter Hain. 1:30 today.

Friday, September 22, 2006

First it was the Crouch robo-dance, now it's the Ming Thing

Everyone remembers the Crouch robo-dance it was only a few months ago, but now rehearsed celebrations are reaching the political arena. Here is the how a simple wave was altered into the Ming Thing. Or to use its full title the Ming Thing (when he holds his arms aloft like he's doing the 'Y' movement from YMCA). It's just like the picture (left) depicting the evolution of pre-historic ape-like man into pre-historic, current day Liberal Democrat leader.
It started so innocently, as these things often do; with a little wave; almost impish (see picture 1). Lib Dem wonks knowing a thing or two about a thing or two urge Sir Mung Bean to change and in picture 2 (picture 2) you can see an adviser advising Ming how far apart he should keep his arms. The first sign that things could go a little wrong was displayed by the first attempt of the Ming Thing (picture 3). Advisers were furious and simply said one word to Ming, when he enquired how he looked, "HIGHER". A determined man, Ming displayed Olympian reserves by finally nailing it (picture 4) However, cameras not so close to the action saw that the Merciless One was casting a demonic shadow (picture 5) . Bemused by the very concept of shadows the intrepid leader goes for a Ming Thing at half-mast pose (picture 6) infuriating advisers who want Ming fully erect. In response the first of the Ming dynasty goes all out with this effort (picture 7) only to look like he is proclaiming himself the Son of God, or at the very least his/her (strictly speaking though God is a gas) older brother. Now at the end of his Sarah (cockney rhyming for tether) and taking inspiration from the very vases that bear his name, Ming loses it and strikes this "Hi guys. It's me, the big guy" pose (picture 8), leaving the two chaps in the background thinking; "Oh my God, this guy beat us."

* matched only by Simon Hughes' smile

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mung Bean and the fruit juice bar

So Sir Mung Bean Campbell was set to miss Charlie's speech and attend a fruit juice bar instead, only to have his plans changed due to the potential Ming disses Charlie. Maybe it was another of the old boy's cultural reference blunders.

Sir Mung Bean (to Chief Tofu adviser): I don't know what went wrong. I know...stuff. I'm down with the kidz. I used to be one. I think. Anyway what about that modern group Electric 7 - they sold more LPs than the Rolling Stones, you know?
I wanna take you to a fruit juice bar,
I wanna take you to a fruit juice bar,
I wanna take you to a fruit juice bar,
fruit juice bar, fruit juice bar.♫

Chief Tofu adviser (under his breath to Deputy Chief Tofu adviser): He's cracked. Mad, I tell you. It's like he's entering his bloody second childhood with this f*cking fruit juice bar. Oh let's take him to the fruit juice bar, he might shut up about it."

Clear now?

Studs, haircuts, style and Kerron Cross

Yeh, spot the odd one out in the title?

Anyway many moons ago, Kerron Cross, presumably in a day of little news, challenged me to come up with a load of dodgy football haircuts. Well, I am now in a position to oblige. Or I thought I was until it came to getting permission to publish the pics. It's not that they're not that disturbing (at least in a criminal sense) but rather are from a book called Studs! - a kind of living testament to mad and bad football haircuts. And when I emailed the publishers Ebury Press (via Random House) for permission, I got a confusing reply. Well, here's my email, the response and my reply...


I am emailing to ask permission to reproduce quite a bit of material from the book Studs! (published by Ebury Press). I run a blog and would like to post several pictures/articles after scanning.



Dear Barry

Thank you for your enquiry.

As this book will not be published until next month, we are unable to grant permission for you to use material at this stage. Because the book is not yet published I am unable to check the status of photographs included therein. It is usual (but not always the case!) that the photographer retains the rights and permission would have to be sought direct.

Should you still wish to use this material at some stage in the future, please reapply for permission. This will be subject to required copyright notices and time limitation.

Yours sincerely

xxxxxxxxxxx (she didn't send kisses, I am protecting her identity, you see...)

Dear xxxxx (once again not kisses),

Thank you so much for your prompt answer. I did not know that it was yet to be published, I am surprised as I bought a copy of it in a charity shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells for £1.50. I shall not publish any photos until publication.

Thank you again.


So somehow I have procured an unpublished book in a charity shop in Royal Tunbridge Wells for the princely sum of £1.50.

Oh, and as of 5th October, or probably 6th (the Friday and proclaimed day of fun and irreverence) myself and the delectable Kezza will be jointly presenting the best bits.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

London's free papers

I don't know whether I like or dislike the spate of free papers. Whether it is the Metro, City A.M, London Lite or thelondonpaper it strikes me as strange that people (myself included) readily read these free rags in lieu of the conventional newspapers, such as the Sun, the Daily Star, the Daily Sport or the Daily Telegraph for the apparent reason that people don't want to pay for these regular papers.
A modern day cutting your nose off to spite your face: "I will read this rubbish because it's free but I won't read that rubbish becuase it's not free." For sure the levels of rubbish differ, from educated, researched, biased rubbish through to unresearched crap with spelling mistakes. I don't mean to insinuate that all newspapers are rubbish but, well...they sort of are, really.
With that off my chest I can pass on the glories of the London Lite, which is as far as I can deduce the worst thing to be put to print since the script of any Martin Lawrence film script (aside from Bad Boys...and Bad Boys II at a pinch).
My favourite articles were football-related, but they did not appeal to my total anorak, obsessive side but rather the cultural side ("understanding of popular culture" as Mr A. Hilton, Ilford refers to it); that's right the world of hair styles and WAGs. And who better to talk hair than David Beckham, the man of a 100 haircuts? However, he was not about to discuss his own barnet but rather the locks of his beloved, Victoria.
And I quote:
"I said to her 'I'd love you to change your hair, and do something like a bob (1),' so when I saw the pictures I was like, 'Oh my God, it looks incredible'. It was my idea, she knew how strongly I felt about her going back to a bob because when I first met her she had a bob so I said it's the best haircut for me.(2)"

(1) Hmmm...a bob?
(2) And her.

However, you think this experience was unpleasant for Golden Balls? It's small beer when compared to the travails of ex-Emmerdale actress Sheree Murphy (Tricia Dingle who died when a building collapsed on her) and her lifestyle as a WAG (she's a W and not a G).
"The battle for the best clothes, she says, is fierce, particularly at Cricket, the Liverpool store loved by the northern WAGs, including Coleen McLoughlin, Alex Curran and Nicola Carragher. 'There is huge competition to get the new stuff first,' says the London-born 29 year old.
'We'll ring up and try to get the manager to put stuff behind (1) for us and make sure that none of the other WAGs buy it first(2). It is quite stressful, actually (3).'[...]Despite her clothing battles with her fellow wives and girlfriends, Sheree is the first to jump to the defence of footballers' partners who do opt to do little but shop and enjoy the media attention (4).[...] During a night out in Liverpool she almost got into a fight with a girl who was trying to chat up, Harry, 27. Sheree says: 'She was talking to my husband and began flirting with him so I wandered over and explained that I am his wife but the girl just carried on. 'She didn't care, I was shocked so I stood there until she got really bitchy and nasty. I wouldn't have been surprised if things had turned nasty.'[...] Recently she has made a name for herself as a presenter on MTV's Footballers' Cribs - a job she feels qualified for because her own house is so big(5). She lives just outside Liverpool in a sprawling property, which boasts everything from a swimming pool to a games room(6)."

(1) behind the bike shed.
(2) I am sorry to be pedantic but if 'we' phone up how can the manager leave stuff behind to stop another WAG to buy it? 'We' suggesting more than one.
(3) I bet!
(4) All's fair in love and shopping.
(5) As good a qualification as any degree.
(6) But surely a swimming pool and a games room are quite similar. For instance any question about swimming pools or games room would be covered by the same subject (Sport and Leisure - Orange) in a game of Trivial Pursuit. Maybe 'everything from a swimming pool to an Arga (Science and Nature - Green).' Or 'everything from a library (Art and Literature - Brown) to a games room'.
A quite exceptional piece of Simon Jordan, the Crystal Palace Chairman, aside the London Lite is a really bad papaer and only just warrants its extortionate price.

Ryder Cup

Some people find golf dull. Not me I could watch it all day and, in fact, plan to do just that on Sunday. This Ryder Cup is showing up differences between US and European culture. For goodness sake, what the hell are the US lot wearing? All very country squire. Frankly, they look ridiculous.
Not only do they look shit, they speak shit too. In a Press Conference after the US team eventually turned up in Dublin, the genial (annoyingly so) US captain, Tom Lehman bolloxed on about tortillas. I'll gratuitously cut and paste his comments into one monologue. This explains why the US were late.

"Tortillas. See the look on your face? (1) I love it. (2) Like 'what the heck are you talking about? Tortillas - what are they?' (3) We live in Arizona. It's the land of Mexican food.(4) And when we were over here a few weeks ago it was very difficult to find good chips and salsa.(5) I mean, good authentic chips and salsa.(6) So rather than try to find it we decided to bring our own corn tortilla.(7) Swear to God.(8) Three bags, this is the truth.(9) My wife ordered them, I packed them into my travel bag (10) and I tried to move it and I couldn't even get it off the ground. I couldn't even move it an inch!(11) It's a one-way trip absolutely because we're going to eat those babies."(12)

(1) It's because you're dressed like a prick.
(2) Good Naked Gun 2 1/2 quote.
(3) I know what tortillas are you stupid twat.
(4) No, that's Mexico.
(5) What you chatting about tortillas or chips 'n' salsa?
(6) Not shit fake chips and salsa? Got plenty of that.
(7) What about the chips and salsa? Good authentic by the way.
(8) Yeh f*ck 'im.
(9) I believe you.
(10) Ok I believed you when you said you had three bags full.
(11) I don't believe it.
(12) That's what Christians used to accuse Jews of.

So that's that. cheers, Tom. You give a great interview. It just reinforces preconceptions that Americans are a bit, you know, weird.

However, Ian Woosnam does his best to redress this balance with an equally nonsensical interview. This is about the highlights package that the European team have been watching to psyche themselves up. It makes Woosie sound older than Sir Mung Bean 'I love Bet Lynch' Campbell.

"We have a very good video this year.(1) There's bits of different music - a lot more modern stuff.(2) A bit noisy some of it!"(3)

(1) Video? Get with the kidz Gramps.
(2) Modern stuff? Like rock 'n' roll? Get with the kidz Gramps.
(3) I can just picture the Team Europe mosh-pit.

He capped it off with this cracker when talking about the European team's trip to a wine cellar.

"We don't want to drink too much." - What the f*ck are you going to a cellar for then??

Monday, September 18, 2006

Liberal Democrat policy blunder

It's Resevoir Dogs!

No it's Sir Mung Bean Campbell with his massive.

Ok for arguments sake let's say the Liberal Democrats are not bunging their own local parties to select women. This photo proves that they have made a slight bungle about what a woman is.

I mean they don't even look like women. The men that is...But what about dem wimmin? They sure are some snappy dressers.

BFR for W.B.A?

So Bryan Robson, one of the poorest Premiership managers ever, has left West Bromwich Albion or was he kicked out? We'll call it mutual consent.
The forerunners appear to be Alan Curbishley and Kevin Keegan. Watch out for the usual suspects to be wheeled out: George Graham (one last big club...), David O'Leary (they're just kids you know, but they're doing me proud), Glenn Hoddle (disabled people were evil in a previous life) and unusual suspect Gary Megson (I never wanted to leave in the first place).
However, a W.B.A supporting Comrade chum informed me that a name on the shortlist is Mike Wadsworth of Gretna. Hardly awe-inspiring. So how's about Ron Atkinson, or Big Fat Ron or that fat racist as he is affectionately known?
Fresh from a stint cursing through Big Ron Manager and a prolonged effort to figure out what a verb is in Excuse my French, he's available. Although he accidentally let slip a volley about Marcel Desailly (it was an accident that he hadn't clocked the microphone was still on) I am sure another spell of management in the Black Country would be appealing. Lest we forget this is where Big Ron cuts his managerial teeth and where he signed Cyril Regis, unequivocally proving that he is no racist.
To use Ron-glish (my own Ronglish, I hasten to add): It's a Dr Pepper situation, what's the worst that can happen?

NB: The genius photo comes courtesy of the Daily Reckless

ODIs getting a bit more spicy

England's woefully sub-standard start to the One Day Internationals against Pakistan (together with the capitulation against the Sri Lankans) did not bode well for the Champions Trophy. However, a couple of victories and a shared series against arguably the second best one day team in the world later has restored faith, or should that be hope, in England's chances.
Thousands of miles away, the West Indies upset the Aussie apple-cart by giving them a good and thorough spanking like only the Windies can. For those who don't know the Windies are my second favourite cricket nation and I am always the happiest Bull in the barn when they are victorious (that said I am equally happy when England humble them; see series of 2000 and 2004).
Stand-in captain, Mike Hussey - undoubtedly the find of the season blasted his maiden one day international century and helped by Brad Haddin, the Aussie stand-in keeper, smashing 70 a total of 272-6 looked good enough.
One thing I hadn't predicted was Chris Gayle and Brian Lara both hitting top form in the same innings. I am particularly happy cos these two are in my all-time favourite XI. Chris Gayle, the languid yet destructive Jamaican opener and Brian Lara, Trinidad and Tobago's imperious genius helping the Windies to victory with over two overs to spare.
The Aussies are all very good at mouthing off and, tobe fair, they are the best in the world; but they have big problems. Their team is ageing quicker than Fabrizio Ravanelli and although they will probably regain the Ashes, I think the cricketing world order may be set for another shake-up.

Ominous sign

Apparently, Steve McLaren is going to offer Paul Scholes a way back into the England team, although Scholes announced his international retirement some years ago. Sven used the same tactic on Shearer, who refused.
I am trying not to critcise Macca, let's face it so far so good. But this should have alarm bells ringing loud and clear. Lest we forget that Scholes' retirement was precipitated by his lack of form and the impossibility of Gerrard and Scholes playing together in centre midfield. Pressure was definitely put on Scholes and after he retired, Svennis could finally introduce Lampard and go for the Lampard/Garrard power combo, which also fired blanks, or at least failed to fire on all cylinders.
So now that Owen Hargeaves has broken his leg, rumours are that the England heirachy will send for Scholes. Despite him not being capable of playing the same role. Hargreaves has balanced our team. How on earth would it work with Scholes, who is perhaps the worst tackler in the Premiership?
We have so many midfielders who would be more suitable replacements. To name but a few: Scott Parker; Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton. Also as Micah Richards is playing right-back for Man City, should he not be in the squad as deputy to Gary Neville? Just a thought.

Outdone by #1

It comes as no surprise that a story I was going to blog has already been covered by Kerron Cross, the #1 in Labour bloggers.
The thing is the Liberal Democrats and women. Led heroically by Sir Mung Bean Campbell they are set to tackle the issue of female representation. Or lack thereof. Whilst Labour have persisted with the All-Women Shortlist, which whilst unpopular in some circles has tackled an issue and has sought to change what is fundamentally undemocratic; the Conservatives threw a £400-a-head summer ball employing, bikini-clad women to serve drinks. However, the Liberals are going to pay (bung) Lib Dem local parties some serious wonga for selecting women. Across the blogosphere, Comrade Monkey would probably bung someone a pint or thirteen to select Sarah Teather.
The world awaits Lib Dem suggestions for selecting people who aren't white. Isn't it a touch shameful that the Tory Party have more non-white MPs than the Liberal Democrats? Maybe free vegetarian curry classes for local parties that select an Asian candidate? Or free reggae musicians to play the fundraisers of local Lib Dem parties that select a black candidate?
What a shower.

And it's all gone quiet over there

Over lunch today, a fellow Stakeholder commented to me: "It's quiet here, it must be because the Lib Dems aren't about"
Yes thankfully, parliament's rowdiest bunch are not about arguing loudly about cardigans and advocating more tofu on the menu. No because they are off listening to their Chief, Sir Mung Bean Campbell. I did hear part of his sppech to Conference. Only one sentence mind: "Democracy is in the marrow of our bones." Forget about: "A week is a long time in politics"; "You've never had it so good" and "Maggie, Maggie, Maggie. Out, Out, Out" that is now my favourite political quote ever.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

New Tories, New Logo

Essex win inaugural Pro 40

Well done to the mighty Essex boys for winning the first ever Pro 40 League title. Having to beat Durham to be certain of winning the league, Essex surprisingly lost by 6 wickets but were relieved to see their rivals Sussex collapse to an 8 wicket loss to Nottinghamshire. It's good to support one team who are top of the league.

Motty's looking at you kid.

Although venerated by many, I have always held John Motson as a berk. However, one new thing I noticed during Sunday's Match of the Day 2 is how much he says the word 'looked'. Perplexing examples included: (When Michael 'no longer talismanic' Ballack blantly trod on Mo Sisoko): "And that looked like a stamp." No John, this looks like a stamp.
And then (after a Chelsea penalty appeal was turned down) Motty goes with: "That looked like a sandwich." John this looks like a sandwich (club variety with chips/French Fries) As you may tell, I am easily perplexed; but nevertheless when Motson saw Rafa 'I look loads like Nasser Hussain' Benitez going apoplectic after Lamps' 'push' on Stevie G was not given as a penalty and said: "It looks like Benitez is appealing" I had a double take! Benitez appealing? As far as football goes, Kirsty Gallagher looks appealing.

Friday, September 15, 2006

What are Trade Unions compared to stakeholders and corporate chums?

from the Daily Mirror
Yesterday delegates at the TUC Congress overwhelming backed left-wing outsider John McDonnell to win the Labour leadership election. Although the unions have a third-share in Labour's electoral college, the result which saw Mr McDonnell thrashing Mr Brown by 59 to 10 per cent is unlikely to be reflected in the real contest.

Who needs Union support?? C'mon John, it's not about having Union support, is it? What do they know about worker's rights? So far you have preached peace, socialism, environmentalism and freedom: what kind of policy initiatives are these? What about a BIG CONVERSATION? That's what the people want. Give out a few ASBOs; tough on crime. Start a war, c'mon John - time to get your head out the clouds.

Labour Party REBEL'S saucy EDM

Serial rebel Sion Simon, the Labour Member for Birmingham Erdington, tabled an amendment to Khalid Mahmood's EDM 2126 as follows. Is it just me or is the Motion incomplete? The obvious explanation is that it is a mistake by the Table Office, but I'd rather have a dig instead. You see Sion, this is what you get when you're a rebel without a clue.

EDM 2126A1


Simon, Sion

at end add 'further recognises that HP sauce is a national icon with its trademark picture of the Houses of Parliament on every bottle; and demands that, as long as production remains out of Birmingham or the United Kingdom, Heinz UK

What are you demanding, you demanding man? Possible ends of the sentence could be:

"replace the picture of the Houses of Parliament with a tulip/spliff/clog/chunk of Edam"

"should go f*ck themselves"

"products should be boycotted, including in the Houses of Parliament where they remain the only provider of brown sauce, so essential to a bacon sandwich"

"should cut my hair"

Metro gives Clare short shrift

Parliament is set to lose one if its most forthright members, as Clare Short has decided to stand down as a Labour MP. She may stand as an Independent in her Birmingham Ladywood seat. Expect many a bitter outburst from Ms Short during the remainder of her term in Parliament.
I don't particularly respect her and feel that her stance over Iraq was bordering on the egotistical/naive belief that she could hold more sway over Blair than Bush (or Blair's own thinking) regarding Iraq.
Anyway, the Metro, hardly a beacon of light in the pool of British journalism, report Short's standing down as above. If you want to read it, which I wouldn't particularly encourage, just click on it, but the humour of it is when you look at the whole page. There's the article and the photo of Clare Short; all balls and venom, but look to the side and there's a photo of Tony waving.

All together now: "Bye, bye Clare."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Who needs Mourinho? We got Paul Sturrocko

Signed a contract extension til 2010. Today is a good day. That is all. Tomorrow evening, Wednesday live on Sky Sports. Up the Owls.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Stick to knitting, love

Was listening to TalkSport and heard the tale of Silvia Regina de Oliveira, the female Brazilian referee who awarded a goal when the ball boy rolled the ball into the net. It is more ridiculous than it sounds. The goal, in the 89th minute, handed Santacruzense a 1-1 drawer with Atletico Sorocaba. This is even worse than Graham '3 card trick' Poll.

Encouraging sign for the Ashes

So Matthew Hoggard has become the latest England cricketer to get injured. This is Hoggy's second injury of the Summer after Tim Bresnan trod on his hand when wearing his spikes. Hoggy didn't miss any matches though so it is time for a proper injury and Hoggy has gone and got himself a side strain. At the moment it is expected that he will make hte Ashes squad comfortably.
But there is light at the end of the tunnell. Jack Bannister, the single worst cricket commentator ever whose career is being inexplicably continued by TalkSport and the Birmingham Post has declared that Strauss would be a better captain than Freddy. Given his endorsement, I am happy that Freddie got the nod.
Basically, whatever Bannister says is wrong. My Bannister moment of the Summer was him calling a bit of commentary live thus: "And that's short and pulled away by Pietersen for 4 (slight silent pause) actually it's a 6. (Another slight silent pause) and it was Collingwood." Just dreadful.

First Labour Minister sacked

Sadly not Brown, Hewitt or Reid, but Hugh Abbott. Charged, and definitely not found guilty, of some child porn shit (eight counts of indecent assault to be precise). Come on, get serious; there's no shit on this Government. Perish the thought...

Pro 40

Had the pleasure of going to the Oval yesterday for the Pro 40 match between Surrey and Gloucestershire. It was a lovely sunny day and laden with beers it was the way to spend the late afternoon/early evening. Surrey started brightly with James Benning (an outside call for the England One Day International team) and Scott Newman putting on a 100 in quick time for the 1st wicket. There were also half centuries for Ramprakash and Jon Batty and a total of 278-6 looked formidable and after quickly losing Craig Spearman (run out) and Philip Weston (caught at mid-on pulling) things looked bleak but the Aussie, Ian Harvey and the Kiwi, Hamish Marshall batted superbly. In one Schofield over (a good chant of England's #1), Hamish spotted the 'other' ball - the full toss - and dispensed it for six. Schofield then spun down the 'mystery' ball - the full toss - that was also swiped for a maximum.
And even two late Schofield wickets couldn't prevent Gloucestershire from sauntering home with 11 balls to spare.

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