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Showing posts from November, 2020


 I'm sorry. I apologise. I was wrong. Now, that's not so hard to do, is it? Lord knows, as a man quick to anger, and quite frequently spectacularly wrong about things, I've had plenty of cause to utter those words over the course of a lifetime attempting (and quite often failing) to be on the right side of the argument (even as I type that I realise that seeing the world in those terms is, in itself, part of the problem). This is a post which is, in part, about politics, but it's also about football. I'm sure most have you have by now cottoned on to the fact that Priti Patel's mealy-mouthed non-apology for having been found to be in breach of the Ministerial code is the inspiration for this short piece. Despite an unequivocal report that found her to be a bully, and to have treated her staff to all manner of verbal abuse, the woman now immortalised by Boris Johnson's WhatsApp messages as "The Pritster" issued the standard defence of people who are

All I want for Christmas is....

Well, it's finally happening. The argument about Christmas has arrived. Not the confected culture war one about whether or not people get to bellow the word "faggot" in the Pogues' Fairytale of New York, though that one seems to come round earlier every year, doesn't it? No, the slightly more fraught one about whther we get to have a "normal" Christmas, whatever that is. Following Chekhov's dictum  of the gun on the wall in act one being used in act three, this little row's been coming down the pipe for a while; since July, in fact, when part-time Prime Minister impersonator, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson uttered the fateful words that it would "all be over by Christmas", and any keen student of dramatic cliche immediately felt their hearts sink. Clang, went the plot point. The young airman who's going to fly this mission and then go back and marry his girl? Dead. The cop one week from retirement? About to have a really shit da

Just let us enjoy it for five minutes, yeah?

He lost! The moment that most sane humans have been fervently praying for for the last four years has finally arrived. After an interminable period of watching numbers fail to move, more "Key Race alerts than I've had hot dinners, and much marvelling at the seemingly iron constitutions of all at CNN, the news was finally confirmed. And lo there was much rejoicing across the land. You'll have your own favourite bit, no doubt, Personally for me it's a toss-up between Nigel Farage losing a ten grand bet and the hilariously shambolic, bathetic ending, where a confused Rudy Giuliani, thinking he'd booked the Four Seasons Hotel for a press conference, stood blinking in the car-park of Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a crematorium and a shop selling dildoes.  I am not by any stretch much of a US politics nerd. I know that most UK politics fans have a slightly dorky obsession over the US process which probably stems from watching too much West Wing , but it's s

Lockdown 2: Back in the Habit

 The weather, suitably, is dreich. The sky's filled in, the drizzle is unrelenting, all the better, were I a glib columnist dealing in clunking metaphor, to reflect the mood of nation, as we collectively enter Lockdown 2: This Time it's Personal. As with all sequels, this Lockdown comes freighted with prior knowledge of the original. We should, arguably, know what to expect and so, in that sense, it should be easier. With a more clearly defined end point than the original, it should, in theory, be easier to bear. Only four short weeks of seeing whether or not the sourdough bread-baking skills survived the months back in work, and then off we go. Viewed this way, Lockdown 2: Lockdown Harder should be negotiated fairly easily. A pain in the arse, yes, but at least we know what we're dealing with now. That's the Panglossian version of events, of course. A bit of time at home, recharge the batteries, maybe we'll get it right this time, get that pesky R rate down, we can