A Far Fetched Resolution

I’ll tell you what happens with impossible promises. You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, you go through the years sticking to that, out-dated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs, and you end up in the grotesque chaos of a Labour council, a Labour council hiring taxis to scuttle round the city handing out redundancy notices to its own workers. I’ll tell you.. You can’t play politics with people’s jobs and with people’s services.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Athletico Prescott.

I was chatting with a few mates the other day about the moment in life when you realise that you only have a few years left of being able to play football and generally participate in athletic activity with any dignity and that maybe we should try to get fit in order to be able to do so. The alternative is wasting our prescious remaining years of athletic potential on the couch.

But that rather depressing thought has left me today - not because I've finally got fit and played a full 90 minutes of super-star football. But we now have an example from the very top of public life - if you're good enough, you're young enough. So no worries. I'll go to the gym another time.

In the beginning there was the word (szz...)

Sometimes being trapped in university purdah with nothing better to do than google things means you find something that amuses you enough to be delighted, nay, proud to share it with others. Here's that very thing. This is an article from the website of the very normal and sane Alliance for Workers' Liberty. You can tell how normal it is because it is....10,289 words long!!!!

Buggins turn

Part of my life these days is hanging around with psephologists and general politico-geeks. This is usually a very bad thing. But one positive outcome, totally unplanned, is that I'm now able to tell you quite how much bollocks this is. I can tell you - it's a whole lot of bollocks.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tapioca Jiggery-Pokery

Any Liverpool schoolchild of about my age, or pretty much any age, will almost certainly have had The Colomendy Experience.

This local authority managed centre (read: "camp") in the North Wales hills is basically a shrine to everything bad about institutionalised services in Britain in the cash-strapped 1970s and 1980s. Lime Green paint on the walls, dripping with damp and flaking.

And the food! The canteen was actually investigated by the International Atomic Energy Agency who, whilst confirming that it was largely intendended for civilian use, did comment on a number of safety breaches.

And that's why we love it. It was at Colomendy that I first discovered that when someone says "If you keep walking to the top of the hill there's a chippy at the top and we can all stop for a half and half with curry sauce" what they actually mean is "I wonder how gullible an eleven year old can be when they're really hungry and all they've eaten all day is a banana".

Go to Liverpool and tell a 10 year old there's no Father Christmas - no one will be overly bothered. Tell them there's no chippy at the top of Moel Famau and you'll be run out of town

(Don't tell me you can't see the chippy!)

But more seriously it was often the most exciting thing that happened in the year to a lot of the kids in my school. I saw lads who would have kicked my head in for looking at them a bit funny crying their eyes out when they were told some indiscretion had cost them their place on that year's trip. And it was genuinely educational - our biology and geography classes for weeks afterwards would be filled with things we'd seen, caught and all too often pulled the legs off whilst the teachers weren't looking at in Colomendy.

Which would explain why everyone's favourite Lib Dem council is determined to make such a pig's ear of sorting the place out.

not good enough.

Blogging, the final frontier


People I've always considered even more techno-phobic and t'internet illiterate than me have been talking about their blogs in the pub (a far more appropriate and convenient forum for most of the musings I intend to waste your time with here incidentally...) which made me, quite simply, envious.

Not in a kind of burning up with hatred way - just in a "Mum, why's Callum got a ....[Ewok village, Mountain Bike, Massive stash of illegal* substances under his mattress] and I haven't?" way.

But since my entire existence is ruled by such petty competitiveness and insecurities you can blame them for this - my new blog. I'm kind of semi anonymous for the moment - although anyone who knows me would spot it a mile off - since I'm pretty new to it all and I want to blame any errors and so on on someone else if at all possible. Whoever is most appropriate at the time.

Seems fair to me. Anyway, welcome, and enjoy.



*just to clarify that last was for comic effect and an in-joke between myself and acquaintances of of the mighty Callum and a post-ironic comment on how childhood friends change. I have never been envious of his massive stash of illegal substances...and he hasn't got one so nobody grass him up. Names changed for legal reasons.