Now Steady On !

The Incumbent tells me that she was once arrested for calling a Policeman a wanker. On what grounds I’m unsure. I wasn’t even aware that Hendon English classes had reached advance swearing as yet. They’ll be able to write next.

I was listening to Peter Tatchell the other day defending the rights of people to use “insulting language” against others. Quite right too. This page, for example, would be nothing if it wasn’t for the right to call people a wanker when the author felt the need. It may be insulting but surely it can’t be illegal ? It’s an opinion. It attacks no race or religion (although wanking is treated by some as such), but is an outlet which allows people to vent their displeasure at someone without resorting to baseball bats and bricks. Ban someone from calling another an arsehole and, not only would my mailbox be empty, but we start on the route which Herr Hitler, Mr S.Hussein and that nice Mr Putin have already embarked on so successfully. Now there’s three big c*nts if ever I saw some.

Jobs for the Boys and Girls.

I’ve had a few decent jobs. I’ve had a couple of bloody awful ones too. I spent a good deal of my working life at The Telegraph; then a decent amount of time in London at TIME Magazine. I spent only a few months in the employ of Rupert Murdoch, but I don’t think he misses me. He’s probably got plenty on his plate to worry about at the moment anyway. Mr Dacre doesn’t lay awake at night wondering why I only did a couple of weeks freelancing on his Daily Mail. At least I assume he doesn’t. How much time Alexander Lebedev spends wishing I was still at The Independent, only he knows. When he gets too depressed about it, he goes off and punches someone, I hear. Robert Maxwell fell off his boat before I got the chance of working for him. Pity.

So you’d think that the constant moaning and whingeing from her father might have put a young Bealing off of journalism, wouldn’t you ? Well apparently not.

If you click on the picture above you’ll see an interview with former Tory politician Ann Widdecombe, the first raft of questions being asked by my eldest daughter Lucy (bottom right hand corner of this photo) . The more observant of you will notice Lucy keeps here questions to Ann’s role in Strictly Come Dancing rather than tackle her on political issues. It’s probably for the best: Her dad, whereas he would have struggled to come up with anything coherent or relevant to ask about Strictly, would have ended up on an assault charge should he ever have had to ask Widdecombe about her “struggle against Socialism”. Probably why her dad ended up as a picture editor, rather than an interviewer. You’ll also note that Lu speaks the Queen’s English unlike her father. Another advantage she has over me.

So that’s my eldest sorted out for the future, but the job market is a precarious one. My current job of “Watching Columbo and Printing T-Shirts” is one of my favourite jobs I’ve had, it just doesn’t pay anything like I thought it might. Almost the opposite in fact. On the other hand, I’m working at a place I like (home) with people I like (my mate Rob) and the hours are pretty good.

It could be worse, I could be Andrew Strauss who’s looking particularly precarious in his job as England cricket captain, his team having lost its fourth test match in a row. There’s no disgrace losing in Sri Lanka. The conditions are brutally hot and the pitches are so different from those in England that you’d need to be a particular talent to pull off a win, especially in Galle which has the reputation of being a graveyard for English players, and in particular English bowlers.

Bealing leads off The Fleet St Exiles having taken 6-22, taking them to a
3 wickets victory against the Sri Lankan Airways XI, Galle, Sri Lanka 2005

Then again some people are luckier than others. My good mate Dave has finally ended his long wait for a permanent job by landing a plumb one on a magazine. It’s been a long wait for him and I was thrilled when he called to tell me he’s landed it. Well done, Wavey ! Then there’s rugby’s Stuart Lancaster who has just been given the job which everyone in the country (57 Old Farts aside) thought he should have been given weeks ago. The new English Rugby Coach has fought off seemingly nearly every other coach in the world for the job before the old Twats of Twickenham finally run out of South Africans to turn them down. The RFU were forced to give the job to Lancaster, something they should have done when it was clear he a) knew how to coach a rugby team and b) had no time for show ponies. Celebrity coach he ain’t. And thank fuck for that.

Andy Robinson keeps his job. Yes, really. The Scotland coach had presided over a team which last won a match in black&white but somehow managed to convice the SRFU that he’s the one for the post. Can there be another man in the country (and yes, we can still count Scotland in that) who’s luckier to be still employed ? No, not if you don’t count Francis Maude there isn’t.

The Idiot Saville Row Tory Cabinet Office Minister Maude emplored drivers to fill up their Jerrycans with petrol and prepare for fuel shortages due to the tanker driver’s strike and that “there are lives at stake”. Once people had Googled what a Jerrycan was (apparently not everyone’s obsessed by WWII like me), checked that there is no strike (and won’t be one for at least a fortnight, and even then, probably not) and that the tanker drivers weren’t using Mad Max II technology to threaten people’s lives and protect the remaining gasoline, everyone assumed Maude would be taken round the back by Dave and Gideon and pummeled to death with his own Jerrycan. Sadly not.

“Half a tank of unleaded and 3 lucky dips for tonight’s lottery, please mate.” – a scene from Mad Maude II: The Road Warrior

For starters, Dave was too busy telling us how much he loved Pasties, and about the hilarious incident when he recently bought a pasty on Leeds railway station from the West Cornwall Pasty Company. MMMMmmmmmmm….Yum Yum. Trouble is all the poor sods at the Leeds station branch of the West London Pasty Company lost their jobs in 2007. So all that justification by Dave, all that gettin dahn wiv da prols an da kidz was, ow u say,¬† a load of old bollocks.

Still, Dave’ll soon have some proper opposition in Parliament to point out all his mistakes, scandals, lies and wrong-doings. George Galloway is back in a job. Sadly, it’s true. The Big Brother Cat Impersonator is back in his job as an MP, this time by winning a by-election in Bradford West, a once Labour stronghold. George won by a landslide by campaigning on one issue: An anti-Afghan War campaign in the predominantly-muslim neighbourhoods of Bradford West. He even intimated earlier in the campaign he actually was a musilm (he isn’t really).

Just fancy that: A tv celebrity, however micro and annoying to you and me, campaigns in a Muslim area against a war seen by many to be anti-muslim, securing a 10,000 majority and WINNING a by-election in a previously Labour heartland. Now who could have predicted that ? Should anyone in Labour be brought to account for this humliation? Should Mr Millipede still be in his job ?

Abide with Me

Let me tell you where I am.

I am becoming a little tired of what the Anzacs are trying to do to my game of Rugby Union. We know they cannot scrummage, ruck or maul, but trying to rid the game of all three scenarios really gives me the ache. Union is in danger of becoming a bastardized (and very boring) form of Rugby League. Two long strings of uniform-sized men spread across the pitch, two men diving into secure the ball while the test of the team hang off in readiness for the next surge. It’s like watching Hull Kingston Rovers verus Wigan. In 1978.

It won’t be long before someone from Sydney or Auckland suggests tapping the ball back through the legs after the tackle (to speed up the game, of course). We won’t have to have scrums at all then. Yes, since that horror of horrors in 2003 when everyone’s Auld Enemy won the bloody thing by pummeling everyone into the ground, forces down under under have been hard at work trying to think of a way to rid the game of a front-eight confrontation. Tune into the Tri-Nations and you could be excused for thinking you were watching an expanded Middlesex Sevens, or your tv set’s on the fritz.

The game’s been played in pretty much in the same way since a bloke called Webb Ellis picked up the ball when a game of soccer was getting too boring (imagine that!). For 180 years the game’s been pretty much the same until Johnny Wilkinson tapped the ball between the posts to win the cup. In the name of speeding up the game, or the ever-popular ‘health and safety’ someone came up with a plan which doesn’t involve those horrid displays of of brute strength after knock-ons and forward passes.

(Please don’t think I’m living in the past, hate change or tinkering with originals. As I pointed out to a pal when having this argument earlier, Godfather III was no improvement on what went before. Leave what’s good well alone, I say.)

Only the South Africans seem to be playing the same guy as you, me, and my sister Julie (now Dennis) used to play all those years ago. Thank Allah for the Boks (and the Argies, while we’re at it- who recently beat up, and should have beaten a very poor England side) for still playing the game how it was meant to be. I even found myself cheering for the SAffers the other day – a first for me – though, in my defence, they were playing against Wales. Who knows, I may find myself shouting for the Taffies one day, if they end up playing Australia or New Zealand. As I say, who knows ?

The English and some of the northern hemisphere nations are branded by the southerners as dull and neanderthal. Their matches are slow and boring, too consumed with the set plays and the loose mauls. Rugby cannot be attractive to new audiences if dirty great lumps of men push and rip against an opposing dirty great lump of men. The game should be about speed of hand, fleet of foot and tries, TRIES, TRIES !!!

Yes to fleet of foot, yes to tries (yes to the trees!), but some of the greatest games ever witness have involved both speed and brute strength (and ever so occasionally a nasty confrontation up front. Remember them ?). The donkeys up front grunt and groan, push and pull and secure the ball for the girls in the backs to tip-toe their way towards the opposition’s try line. I am watching a game at this very moment and it has all of those elements and is very very enjoyable indeed. The USA are playing Russia (no potential for a punch-up here, then ?) A bunch of WWF rejects, bedecked in gaudy stars’n’stripes scrum-caps are competing against¬† a group of chaps who’s names sound like a collection of weapons, missiles and helicopters (“Sikorsky….passes to Molotov who links with Kalashnikov”). The standard isn’t great but it’s fast, furious, passionate and thoroughly engrossing.There even seem to be locals in within the stadium, watching and enjoying the game too. Perhaps that’s because neither team is managed by Martin Johnson. (Their latest gripe is that England have taken black kit with them. And we’re whingeing poms!).

So let’s hope that during the next match-up between the Blacks and the Wallabies¬† a game of Rugby Union breaks out. Both are very capable of winning the tournament and one probably will. But I’ve watched more interesting episodes of The Sky at Night than the match I watched between those two recently.


Disgusted of Dartford
God’s County

Lenin and McCarthy

The old Soviet Union could be a tough place to live. According to some commentators food shortages and the suspension of personal liberties were commonplace. The absence of a free press and freedom of speech was a constant worry. Censorship was also rife in the arts. Some songs were completely stripped of all lyrics. Please give generously.

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One last thought: Is he miming ?