The Candy Man


I’m sure you are, as indeed I am, thrilled to hear that Robbie Williams is back, where he belongs at Number One in what Jimmy and Fluff used to call the Hit Parade with his Noel Coward-esque ditty ‘Candy‘. If you haven’t heard it, you’re missing a treat. The lyrics are mind blowing:

Ring a ring of roses
Whoever gets the closest
She comes and she goes
As the war of the roses
Mother was a victim
Father beat the system
By moving bricks to Brixton
And learning how to fix them

You will notice how he brilliantly rhymes ‘Brixton’ with ‘fix them’, not to mention ‘roses’ with..er…’roses’. Apparently if you play the song backwards something amazing happens: It sounds exactly the same, or even makes a little more sense. You could plug John Lennon’s body into the national grid and with the revolutions he must be doing you could illuminate a small village on the Wirral for a fortnight.

It’s nothing new, of course, for someone like me, just out of his twenties, to attack the pop songs of the day. I remember when I was a kid defending Althea and Donna’s quite brilliant “Uptown Top Ranking” to howls of laughter and derision from my father. It seemed to me at the time (and my argument has not changed one jot) that “Love is all I bring inna me khaki suit and ting” was clearly a deep social comment on the dresses worn by young Jamaican women of the day, and it wasn’t my fault that my dad (from Slade Green, so he no excuse) couldn’t speak Patois. With the benefit of the Tardis I may have argued that if Robbie’s “Candy” had been written and sung in a foreign dialect it might have sounded better.

No, it’s not just that Robbie’s latest effort is as bad as his last one, it’s that I had subconsciously settled with myself that I’d never need to hear the dulcet tones of the Stoke-on-Trent warbler ever again. Like Mitt Romney, SmallPox and Rickets, I assumed he was part of my past, never likely to darken my door again, save Gaumont News Reels and editions of Top of the Pops 2. How wrong can you be? Not only has the tattooed twat taken his song to the top of the charts, but it looks like Mitt Romney may not be the Republican’s Michael Dukakis the whole world outside the US was hoping he was. (And I think I have Rickets. Or maybe it’s wind.)

Those who predicted that Good Ol’ Mitt the Multi Millionaire would crash and burn would have been the same ones who advised me not to bet on Sebastian Vettel making the podium in Abu Dhabi, having started the F1 Grand Prix from the back of the field. Or those who put their house on this Year’s US Ryder Cup Team, or Devon Locke. I was content in the fact that Robbie was gone from my life, and I would smile to myself about it often, as I put the finishing touches to my Lance Armstrong shrine in the study.

So the lesson for today, children, is never bet on a good thing, and never write off anyone. Just when you think you’ve heard the last of some useless cvnt he goes and gets himself a no1 single, or becomes President or something equally unlikely. And just because you’re riding high in those very same charts or on Le Tour de France, don’t think you’re there forever. You are just one shite performance on TV, or one raid by the USADA from being thrown out of your arse.

Althea and Donna became the victims of a rather unfortunate debut appearance on Top of the Pops. Having had the country bouncing and swaying to their wonderful sound, they chose to a) appear and; b) sing live on national tv. Bad move girls. It was very rare for a first showing on the pop show to actually do damage to an act’s chart position. Sadly, the girls gave a performance akin to an early Chuckle Brothers act. They were out of tune, out of rhythm and out of time with each other so spectacularly badly, you can see where The Smiths got their influences from. Still a great song though. And Ting.

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You’re Going Home in a Flipping Ambulance


Our Special Correspondent writes…
.
It can’t only be me who wondered what David Cameron was punching (or was it paunching) the air about in his dress down Turnbull & Asser alongside a young,smiling Morgan Freeman and several glum Eurocrats.
 
Upon further inspection,it seems the Acropolis Co-op cheque conference came to a halt as Dave’s beloved Chelsea won on Saturday. Now,of course our Dave could hardly support any other team,could he? What with his old mate the cossack yachtsman at the helm.
 
Apparently it was during one of the time out’s that coach Obama had called that Dave, not being able to watch,even through his caviar smeared fingers,was summoned swiftly back to the lounge bar where the footie was on.
 
Yessssss!! Come on you blues. Back of ones net my son!
 
Now,I know he’s down with the people and not a toff at all really,so he – also apparently – says “we don’t normally win a penalty shoot out against the Germans at home” What!!? Who’s he talking about. In one smooth manouevre he’s slipped into jingoese. It’s now a matter of national pride.How Blighty has given Fritz some of his own medicine. Don’t mess with us.
 
Light up another lardy and stroll enigmatically round the rose garden at Chartwell.Dictate another page of the memoirs. Angela was heard to splutter a “scheissen” that didn’t need trouble the translator. Damn those pesky Tommies.That Dunkirk spirit has done it again.
 
Hold on though. This wasn’t the bloody England team.This was a ridiculously overpaid collection of disparate foreigners,who got a win bonus bigger than my (and your) pension.
 
You prat Dave.
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David Rapley,
The Saloon Bar
The Old Mill Hotel & Lodge
Bath
Back to you in the studio

Thought for the Day


Having deserted t’BBC Breakfast program (eey oop, here’s t’beenees nooz) I’ve been enjoying a couple of week’s worth of The Today Program where, for reasons known only to themselves, journalists are allowed to report on the latest world events, the economic crisis, wars, famine and political intrigue, occasionally punctuated by a sports report or 20 seconds of guessing at the weather.

Icke (top right) with the BBC's first Breakfas...

The way they were. The original BBC Breakfast crew including the late, great David Icke. Whatever happened to Uncle Frank ? Dirty Boy !!!!

Spend an hour watching t’Breakfast program, then switch over to listening to the radio and you’ll think you were listening on a different day. Where, please tell me, are all the “Corn Flakes can give your child rickets” stories ? What about the “What comes first on a scone ? Jam or Cream?” exclusives ? And there’re no interviews with “last night losers on Strictly”. And thank fuck for that ! Radio 4 sticks to the stupidly crusty old news program format of bringing you the …er…news. There’s not even any vox-pops from the streets of Wigan, for christ’s sake!  When I worked for a living for the highly respectable and reputable newspapers of Fleet St, the Today program was required listening, and this was so for the best part of 30 years. Since I do sod-all nowadays I lapsed into Sian and Charlie, Bill and Suzanna’s grasp, My mind turned to mulch because of it. Well that stops here and now.

Woken up by nightmares last night, I switched on the BBC World Service in the hope that the dulcet tones of a foreign correspondent talking to me would enable me to drift off to sleep (it always used to work – especially in the office). Sadly for me the opposite happened. Some bloke who’d certainly never darkened the sweet red couch of t’BBC Salford studio, was explaining with ultimate clarity and menace what was happening and going to happen if (and when) the Greek economy threw a seven and went belly-up sausage-side.

So his tale went: the Greeks pull out of the Euro and immediately, people’s savings lose two-thirds of their value and there’s a hiatus until they sort a new currency out. If that can happen in Greece, the Spanish people will calculate that it can happen in their equally-fragile economy as well. Then the Italians, and so on, and so on…

But.

Intelligent Greeks, Spaniards and Italians will see that situation coming and they don’t wanna see their savings go down the toilet. So there’s a run on all banks as anyone with any money left at all withdraws all he has and shoves it under the mattress/missus. The economy collapses, the Euro-Zone closes due to lack of interest, Presidents Obama then Romney instigate Part II of the Marshall Plan and 30 years from now we all star in a documentary by an ageing Robert Peston explaining how poor we all were in 2012/3.

The alternative to all this, of course, is the German plan of austerity: raise the Greek taxes, cut all welfare and public expenditure for about, ooooh, ten years or so. It’ll be tough “but we put up with it when we took on East Germany andwecameoutstrongerontheotherside soyoulotbetterputuporshutupandtinkyourselfluckythatyou’renotstilloccupiedyouungreatful
littleshitsandsnywayitwasyoulotnotpayingtaxwhichstartedallofthisinthefirstplace.”

Of course, that’s the argument: Greek teachers and bin men scrimping on their taxes are the ones to blame for the state of the continent’s economy. The Euro would be strong, the Banking industry would still be making fortunes if it wasn’t for all you bastard nurses and Public Sector workers borrowing what you couldn’t afford, trying to cheat the Inland Revenue and then having the balls to expect a pension at the end of it. Jesus! Those poor men at JP Morgan and such places spilt their own blood for you, some of you walking out with less than a $32 payout. How is a man supposed to live on that ?

Perhaps I’ll go back to telly where all I have to worry about in the morning is that the heavy rain has affected this years asparagus crop ?

Still. it’s not all bad news. I actually made £95 quid this week. A combination of selling Tee-shirts and predicting the odd correct score means I’m flush, for at least a couple of hours. I do have options. I could give it to The Incumbent to spend on food down at Sainsburys’. It’ll take 15 minutes to spend and £95 quid’s worth of food lasts about 3 days round here; There’s a Ralph Lauren cotton sweater at Harrods going for exactly £95 but I’m not sure they do my size (quiet at the back, please!).  I could pre-order from Amazon 11 copies of Joey Barton’s autobigraphy (and still have change for a bag of chips). Like Hitler’s Mein Kampf this will surely mostly be written (or dictated) while in incarceration. I can’t help thinking that’s not where the similarities will cease. Although, I’m told, Hitler had a good command of English unlike the captain of the Waffen QPR.

8 quid seems a lot of money to me to waste on a book by a complete arsehole, even though many buy Jeremy Clarkson’s books. Times are tough, and I should spend my cash wisely.

I’ve got it.

I am going online today to reserve a ticket on the Water Chariot to take me from Limehouse Basin to the Olympic Park. I’ll have to go on my own, though. That’s £95. London to London. One Way. I’ll have to get to Limehouse first, of course, but can you think of equal value available today ? You could probably buy the Parthenon for 95 quid.

This stuff writes itself.

US Education Policy


There are ways of forming and indeed selling your education policy, Michael Gove has his way: Tax the shit out of parents and their families, allow colleges to charge what they like for courses then force the legislation through parliament, aided and abetted by your toadies in the Liberal Democratic Party, running roughshod over the demonstrations, arguments and pleas from the vast majority of the public.

Or you could take a leaf from The President of the United States: Reduce the tax on student loans, then sell your strategy to the people like this :

Now I’ve never won an election for anything, but I reckon there are those out there  (oh, I dunno, Miliband, Cameron, Sarkozy) who might not be able to pull this off.

By the way, James Murdoch doesn’t recall seeing this.

Foregone Conclusions.


It was a shock to wake up this morning (no changes there, then). No, I mean to say it was a shock to wake up this morning and discover Vlad the Putin had swept to an election victory in Russia, and once again the great man sits on the throne of the third biggest power in the world, after USA and FIFA. If only Barack Obama could be so sure of victory in this year’s election, but I guess there is no Jeb Obama resident in Florida who could steal the vote for him, so he’ll just have to trust  Minty Metro, the Republican Tool-of-Choice, to win it for him. Which he surely will ?

FIFA, of course have long-since had elections far more corrupt than that of either the Soviet Union or The Russian Federation, so we can expect Herr Blatter to remain in his position til he has accrued enough cash to be able to retire and hand over the reins to the Crook-in-Waiting, Michel Platini. Then, of course, we can all sit back and wait for Mad Michel to launch a series of decrees even more self-serving and dictatorial than his predecessor, Sepp the Swiss Soccer Swindler.

Who do I let these people get to me ?

Anyway, just to show that it’s not what you take out of life, it’s what you Putin, take a look on another on a theme. It’s quite fun, and includes a guest appearance from my old employer TIME, formerly of this parish.