It`s not that I`m ungrateful or that I`m unaware of the considerable expense but after years of resisting intrusive technology, Santa delivered unto me a smart phone on Christmas morning.
It would be an appalling abrogation of fatherhood to dismiss this kindness and tell my children that I would have preferred a bottle of Lagavulin or a ticket to the Edgbaston test match. So I thanked them profusely for clubbing together with the help, I suspect, of their mother to allow me to connect to the internet thingy when walking along the street. On reflection, this is a long-held ambition that I have never actually considered. It seems that my existing phone has caused them embarrassment due to its great age and although the screen is badly scratched and it requires a lump of Blu-Tack to connect the charger, it does what I want it to do. It can make and receive telephone calls and on some adventurous occasions, send and receive text messages. Call me old-fashioned, but I have no wish to join the throngs of automatons walking into lamp posts whilst immersed in a digital conversation with people they saw five minutes ago and will see again in half an hour. (more…)
Blow winds and crack your cheeks
In retrospect and with the clarity of vision that only hindsight can give, rather than designate 2015 as the International Year of Light and the International Year of Soils, perhaps the sixty-eighth session of the United Nations General Assembly missed a trick by not naming 2015 as the International Year of Victimhood.
Once upon a time, when powerful public figures were caught doing something illegal or immoral, they would own up, display heartfelt contrition, beg for forgiveness and quietly disappear. Now, with wealth and power more than willing and able to blur the boundaries of criminality and with an aggressive disregard for common decency; those that have will fight tooth and nail to keep what they have. Consider a character by the name of Sepp Blatter. (more…)
The head of the herd was calling
Regardless of the swirling opprobrium and the hysterical gibbering of social media, two things are certain in any future that approaches for Donald Trump. Firstly, he will not be the next President of the United States and secondly, he will not get even close to securing the Republican nomination. By spring, he will have packed his bags and said goodbye to the circus.
There are forces with more power, wealth, intelligence, guile and all encompassing self-interest that will not allow this showboating huckster anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. The United States Republican Party, or the “Grand Old Party” as they like to be known, currently hold majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives and have many more state Governors than the Democrats. The GOP would never in a million years adopt an erratic train wreck like Trump to go head-to-head against Hillary Clinton for fear of electoral collapse and decades of obscurity. (more…)
Via the plastic hippo
Should David Cameron tire of being the most disingenuous Prime Minister in living memory, he might consider a change of career and apply for a lucrative post as head of a corrupt sport. There are plenty of vacancies in rugby, cricket, cycling, boxing, athletics, horse racing and professional wrestling that would be a perfect match for his skills and experience. If Tony Blair can be a Middle East peace envoy, then Cameron would be ideal as the big boss of FIFA or the International Olympic Committee. He should, however, steer well clear of tennis as we seem to doing rather well at that. (more…)
Image via EPA
There are a lot of things in Rugby Union that can make you cry. Defeat perhaps and certainly the pain of being flattened by eight or nine huge blokes reeking of testosterone and bitter at being rejected as extras in a Lord of the Rings film because they were considered to be too ugly as Orcs are only two such reasons. Mercifully, my Saturday afternoons of violence masquerading as sport and Saturday nights explaining bite marks, lacerations to the back and the thighs and the odd facial stud impression to a sceptical partner belong to the days when James Callaghan was Prime Minister. In these more sedentary times, Rugby Union is definitely a game to be watched rather than played. (more…)