It is a source of constant delight and unexpected entertainment that a news agenda varying between the absurd and the terrifying should provide a story that requires no less than Michael Heseltine to vehemently deny that he killed his mother`s pet Alsatian dog by strangulation. Quoted in the Tatler magazine, the former Deputy Prime Minister originally claimed that the dog Kim had started to exhibit irrational violence so my Lord Heseltine “took Kim`s collar – a sort of choke chain – and pulled it tight. Suddenly he went limp. I was devoted to Kim, but he`d obviously had some sort of mental breakdown. There was no choice.” Tarzan might have been on safe ground with the readership of the Tatler, but animal lovers and the RSPCA took umbrage at this conservative approach to dealing with canine mental illness and Heseltine changed his story to claim that Kim was later taken to a Vet and mercifully put down. (more…)
November 3, 2016
October 6, 2016
Following the marvellous Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, it has never been more obvious to any member of the voting public blessed with the ability to clutch a pencil and mark a cross, that Theresa May is the best Prime Minister that this nation has ever seen. We know this to be fact because her press secretary said so and it is her destiny to remain as Prime Minister for a glorious reign of at least a thousand years. We know this to be fact because of the number of votes she gained during the leadership election, the number of young people removed from the electoral role and with a spectacular piece of gerrymandering not seen since Gerry first Mandered, the redefining of constituency boundaries.
Even before the latest product of the Nightmare on Broad Street franchise hit the screens of Birmingham and beyond, the occasional confusion grenade was lobbed at a gullible public in order to distract from the main feature. The return of the grammar school was waved in front of Downing Street cameras as a diversion from the clueless attempts at an early withdrawal from Europe. “Oh you naughty boys,” giggled a coquettish government, “you have discovered my little secret.” (more…)
December 19, 2015
I freely admit that I have absolutely no idea if the process of extracting shale gas and oil using hydraulic fracturing is either economically viable or environmentally safe.
Mercifully, this shocking ignorance is quite rare as the rest of the planet is divided into those who are convinced of the definition of “viable” and others who are certain of the definition of “safe”. Even sensible “experts” not usually prone to the smooth hyperbole of drilling companies or the hysterical claims of anti-fracking campaigners seem divided. Some say; “Yup…it`ll probably work” but others remark; “Hmm…I dunno…needs more research.” (more…)
December 17, 2015
In a relatively short space of time, an awful lot of flying things happened in the years separating the Wright Brothers from Yuri Gagarin. Exactly 112 years ago, on December 17th 1903, Orville and then Wilbur took to the air each making two controlled, powered flights in a machine constructed of spruce timber, muslin and string. The first flight by Orville covered 120 feet and the fourth flight by Wilbur went for 852 feet. The average altitude was 10 feet and the average airspeed was 6.8 miles per hour. (more…)
December 15, 2015
The uncanny ability displayed by politicians to deflect any suggestion of responsibility or accountability when something goes horribly wrong is matched only by an inevitable clamour for praise when something accidentally goes well. Even when nothing happens at all, it is immediately redefined as being profoundly splendid and our leaders take every opportunity to remind us of their wisdom and selfless sacrifice.
One particularly fine example of this double talk came at the weekend with the conclusion of COP21 Paris Agreement on a global approach to reducing carbon emissions. Emerging bleary eyed after being up all night, the delegates from 195 nations at the Conference of the Parties indulged in an orgy of backslapping and self-congratulation not witnessed since FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar. (more…)