Cannon to the Left of them (Jokers to the Right)


As a bloke once said to me:

Half a league, half a league,
  Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death,
  Rode the six hundred.
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.

01_1936 Charge of the Light Brigade LC

My regular reader, George in Cheltenham, will tell you that I’m no fan of war. Like Woody Allen in the event of war I’d be recruited as a hostage (that’s where the comparison between us ends). The army wouldn’t want me. I’m hopeless. I faint at the sight of blood, mine especially. Khaki is not my colour. I once soiled myself during a game of Paintball.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldiers knew
  Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
  Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
  Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
  Rode the six hundred.

So let’s all hope it doesn’t come to this again. You can be sure of a few things: If and when The Crimea War II bursts into action, there will be a few more than 600 involved, and the Russians won’t be just to the right of them and to the left of them and in front of them , they’ll be over the top of them and not just lobbing shells at them. Me?  I’ll be digging a hole in my back garden, wearing my tin hat, inside a Chieftain Tank. I shall be singing selections from Running Songs and Surrendering Ballads by the Queen’s Own Cowards, and crying a lot.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turned in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
  All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

1936 : The Chargeof the Light Brigade.  Errol Flynn flashes not only his Sabre but also his avocado collection.

1936 : The Charge of the Light Brigade. Future (alleged) Nazi Spy Errol Flynn flashes not only his ‘sabre bare’ but also other, favoured weapon. Like the murderer, Ruth Ellis, Flynn was famously well hung.

You see, there are a couple of things that worry me. Ok,ok, President Obama has said that there will be ‘Costs’ if Russia invades Ukraine (bit late on that one, methinks, O). But he also warned Syria’s Assad that he risked crossing a “red line” if he engaged in chemical attacks on his own people. That seems to have gone well, doesn’t it ? Shouldn’t someone tell POTUS that when warning someone not to do something, it’s always best to do it BEFORE they’ve done something, or it may come across as a bit of an empty threat.

 Not that I am against empty threats, you understand. Some of my largest threats have been absolutely bereft of any substance whatsoever. Only last week I threatened The Incumbent that if I didn’t start selling enough T-shirts to sustain us soon, then I would go and find some work back in journalism. Absolute bollocks. Never meant a word of it.  And she knew it. It was seventeenth-such threat since 2011.

No, I’m happy with Obama pretending he’s gonna do something about the pesky Russians, when really he knows (and they know. And what’s more they know he knows. And they know he knows that they kno…) that he’s gonna do no such thing. And I’m all in favour of that. We’ve had enough of mad wars for the time being, haven’t we? Yes, yes, I know the Crimea is very strategically important and all that; and “you can’t just let the bullies get away with it” argument; and that Putin is illegally invading a sovereign state (full of Nazi sympathisers, I might point out— if I hadn’t pointed that out before). But do we really want to go back down the David Hemmings’ route again ?

1968. David Hemmings tries to make a better stab of it than Errol Flynn. He failed too.

1968. David Hemmings tries to make a better stab of it than Errol Flynn had back in 1936. He failed miserably too.

If Obama goes to war, Cameron won’t be able to resist sending what’s left of the British Army (if Gideon hasn’t sacked them all by then). There’ll be months of slaughter, then we’ll pull out and let the inevitable civil war kick off. Then we’ll get weeks of graphic photographs in the papers, and footage on the news, up until the editors/public get bored and they concentrate on the new series of  X-Factor or Strictly.

Then Hollywood spots an opportunity for a remake or three. I don’t think the world needs another epic, sprawling, bloody awful movie about the Battle of Balaclava, Sevastopol or Crimean War, do you ? Haven’t we already had enough wars to write and make movies about without starting a new one ? It won’t be David Hemmings this time, it’ll be Brad Pitt. Cate Blanchett will play Florence Nightingale, Oprah Winfrey as Queen Victoria, and Matthew McConaughey in the old Trevor Howard role as Lord Cardigan.

Could McConnaughey possibly drink enough on set to do the role justice ?

Could McConaughey possibly drink enough on set to do the role justice ?

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
  All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
 Noble six hundred!

It’ll just be a matter of time before EA Games gets involved and produces Medal of Hono(u)r CRIMEA edition— when a team of crack Hussars (hussar !!) will slaughter thousands of commies (humour them) to knock out the guns at Sevastopol/Navarone/Moscow (pronounced Moscouw)* (delete where applicable). There will be bigger body count than in an average Hospital in Stafford. Don’t believe me ? There’s already been an attempt at it. Good old Atari back in 1991.

Charge_of_the_Light_Brigade_-_1991_-_Impressions_Games

“From the producers of Rorke’s Drift” ????? Do they mean that other crap Atari game or the actual battle? Perhaps Obama could bill the Presidency as : “POTUS : From The Producers of Operation Iraqi Freedom(ish); The Directors of Shock, Awe & We’ll Leave You to Clear Up all the Mess  After We’ve Left; and the writers of Somalian Disaster.”?

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

The Charge of the Light Brigade

1854
.

So please, Mr President, enough with the threats. We don’t want no war, we don’t want no movies about war, we don’t want no games about movies about war. You blokes in charge of things sort it out between you without sending us lot over the top again. Please.

This post was bought to you by the makers of “I Told You So” and “I’ll Sign up for the Military Right After Politicians Send Their Sons to War.” and by the letters F and O.

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End Gunshot Victim Shortage Misery


Come early, avoid the rush:

phptutqa0

From Yahoo News:

“The US military is reportedly testing a smart rifle that aims automatically, so whoever is firing has more chance of hitting the target.

Start-up company TrackingPoint says the military bought six of its precision-guided firearms for between $10,000 and $27,000 each. One journalist who tested it said he hit a target 1,000 yards away on the first shot.”

(see the whole article here)

Well about time too. I’m sick and tired of hearing all those news reports of those poor nutcases going on the rampage in Walmart car parks, Colleges, High Schools and Shopping Centers who keep missing their targets. Now they can kneel at the crucifix on the wall in their bedroom, tool-up, leave home and head for the local University Campus or Naval Dockyard, safe in the knowledge that now they can’t miss. Praise the Sweet Baby Jesus and the 2nd Amendment.

(also available from Amazon Norway— free Plastic Swastika with every gun sold)

And as if by magic, we also have this from today’s Daily Telegraph

Screen Shot 2014-01-18 at 08.57.34

“Twenty-three mass shootings have occurred in the US in the year since the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, leaving more than 100 dead across 17 states.

Today marks the anniversary of the Newtown shooting, in which Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lanza, who also killed his mother before leaving home for the school, reportedly had an obsession with mass murders, especially the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, in which 13 people died excluding the two perpetrators.”

For the full article and interactive graphic, click here

ALTOGETHER NOW:

“…And the Laaaaaaand of thaaa Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”

cameronradvert

Get Out !


From stuff.co.nz

By RACHEL OLDING

His organisation is in the midst of yet another internet sex scandal but the Chief of Army, Lieutenant-General David Morrison, has emerged as the unlikely poster boy for feminism.

Following revelations of further “demeaning, explicit and profane” behaviour by his army members, the tough-talking army chief released a powerful video message on Thursday night telling defence members who degrade women: “We don’t want you.”

The three-minute “smack down” has earned him the tag of “feminist hero” on social media and even suggestions that he should run for prime minister.

I Swear by Almighty God…


Well I suppose the time has come to stop moaning about how skint I am, get up off my arse and go get a job. That may sound a ludicrous idea in this day and age, but there seem to be a lot of jobs available at the moment, and I’ve been pondering their various merits. I wonder if I could find something to do part-time to supplement the millions I’m making out of designing T-shirts ?

Coronation Street actress Jenny McAlpine

By the way, if anyone from the BBC Newsnight Team is reading this, that last line was a joke. I’m not making millions out of T-shirts, I merely put that line in by way of a joke. I hope to include several more jokes in this piece, and hopefully much funnier ones. But please, if the rumour spreads across the internet that I’m worth a fortune due to my printing business, and you feel it would be a story worth airing, please call me to see if there is anything to the gossip. Back in the day when I worked in the journalism business, it used to be called fact-checking.

So there’s my first application off in the post : for the job of Newsnight Editor. There presumably isn’t one at the moment, and if there is I think I back myself to make a better fist (easy !) of it, being pretty sure as I am that a multi-collaborated story about systematic and widespread child abuse on BBC premises, covered up for over 40 years would probably be worth airing, whereas some bloke approaching me in the World Food aisle of Sainsburys, accusing a Tory peer of abusing him, adding “I’m pretty sure he looked a bit like that Lord McAlpine bloke, or someone…probably” might merit some further investigation before broadcasting it. D’you think?

The Renault Alpine

The Renault Alpine

As mentioned previously, The job as the new Arch Bishop of Canterbury has already gone. I was never really cut out for that anyway. Firstly, and most obviously, I’ve never been a treasurer for Enterprise Oil Plc- a post which, if you know your scripture as badly as I don’t, is spelt out in the book of Colin18:15 :- and Yea verrily, the Lord sayest unto me -“if you want a jobeth up here, mate, worketh you for ten plus one years (including Bankest Holidays) for a FTSE 100 listeth multinational, then I might consider you. And for My sake, shaveth off that beard – I’m not going down that route again” – amen.

So I clearly need to look elsewhere. Only to add that it’s nice to see the new ABC stamping his sandal down heavily on gay marriage right from the get-go. I certainly wouldn’t want to lead any church which welcomed all and understood the needs and differences of all HIM UPSTAIR’S flock. On the other hand, it may just be his way of ridding the church of paedophiles, because, as the Prime Minister has already said this week, there is a concern that this hunt for child abusers could turn into a gay witch hunt. 

Lord McAlpine and a Friend (unknown)

It’s taken a while to arrive, but I wondered how long it would take for someone to link child abuse with homosexuality. What a brilliant device to justify the non-outing of child abuse offenders. Hide behind a human rights statute which, given half a chance, Cameron and his mob would chuck out at the drop of a Top hat (and demand the right to bend over and pick it up). The BBC spent all week slating Philip Scofield for having the temerity to ask Cameron about the rumours, but not once did anyone pick up on the scandalous accusation that paedophilia is a product of homosexuality.

So there’s application No.2: Witch Hunter (Gay) General. Just point out all those gay witches to me and I’ll be on the case. A rather well-off bloke called Cliff, who drinks in my local pub (known to me as Fiscal Cliff – a joke only I enjoy) reckons statistically that “all poofs are perverts”. Who amongst us could argue with a beautiful, well constructed argument such as that ? He’s also a champion of the “all rag-heads are terrorists” school, and founder of the Dartford chapter of the “Illegal Immigrants Smell” society. It’s a real joy chatting to him, as you can image. (Note to BBC journalists that last paragraph was a joke too. It’s not a joy to speak to him)

As an aside, I was recently asked to be a driver and take the X-Factor Cheryl and her former husband Ashley up to St James’ Park for a charity gig. But I didn’t fancy it, so I turned it down. To me it seemed a bit like taking Coles to Newcastle.

sorry

An Undercover Paedophile

But I mustn’t be too hard on the Prime Minister. It is, after all, a well-known fact that if you let gays into the armed forces, they will be distracted from their task of fighting the enemy by their uncontrollable urge to shag the nearest NCO up the Tactical Retreat. It’s obvious that these degenerates blend in with normal folk, dressing and acting in a manner which makes it incredibly hard to tell them from us regular chaps.

What a sensational idea. To conceal the fact that you are a paedophile in a children’s home by dressing up as…. a paedophile. Who on earth could have realised what he was up to ? No wonder the PM is concerned that we will be hunting down the wrong sort or paedophile  individual , and accuse any random cabinet minister person that they were either colluding with the offenders, indulging in nefarious activities with them, or simply so incompetent that they unwittingly turned a blind eye to these crimes in a bid to be popular. I can’t see that sort of admonishable behaviour ever having happened, frankly.

Unknown Man with An Undercover Paedophile

Useless Twat with An Undercover Paedophile

If the Witch Hunter job has already gone, there’s always the job of the head of the CIA to apply for. The incumbent one, David Petraeus, has just fallen on his sword after having admitted having an extra-marital affair. It’s apparently not the done thing to have the Spook-in-Chief play away from home, in case he goes all John Profumo on you and starts pillow-talking with the opposition. Petraeus is an all-American hero and the suggestion that he may have betrayed state secrets is vigorously denied by both the US Government and his lover, Mrs Edith Taliban, Hut 5, Nad-e Ali, Helmund Province. Telephone: Afghanistan 4.  (Note to the remaining members of the CIA: That last bit was a joke also. I made up her phone number. My hat size is 6 7/8, should you want to bring a canvas bag with you when you call. I also have Aspergers. Honest).

Oh fuck it. I think I’ll apply to be a Police and Crime Commissioner. By the sounds of it you’ll only need about 5 votes to get in, such is the apathy for the upcoming UK elections. In Kent, The English Democrat candidate is the wonderfully named Steve Uncles.  Here’s the opening to his website:

“Steve Uncles Kent Police & Crime Commissioner English Democrats – “More Police Catching Criminals” Born Blackheath (Traditional Kent), child hood Bexley (Traditional Kent), adult & family life Dartford (Kent), I am an English Kentishman. I have worked within public and private sectors and for 10 years ran my own business.”

Zeig Heil

(NB: I made that last bit up.)

Do you get the idea he’s from (Traditional) Kent ? I can’t read that without hearing the “We Want to be Togevva” voice in my head. I’m amazed we haven’t run over each other in the past. If I can’t beat him I might as well give up and go and make T-shirts or something.

Alpine Skiing

Alpine Skiing

Over There


Mr Horrible (left) prepares for his first rant on French/German soil. 1 minute into the campaign.

Can’t stop long, this morning. Gotta get moving:  6:30 Ack Emma I shall wake The Incumbent with a cup of cha, hurry her into her fatigues and we’ll be off down the road, Folkestone bound. From there we’ll plonk the jalopy onto a chuff chuff, cross the channel, hang a right and be off on our trip down into Normandy and to memory lane, just like Generals Montgomery and Bradley before. To confuse the Hun (sorry – the French) we’ll be landing in the Pas de Calais (they won’t be expecting that this time) rather than the more direct approach of our fivefathers, we will travel under the cover of sunlight (well, rainlight) and hope soon to be liaising with our two most trusted men out there.

Agents Plastered of Paris and Monsieur Horrible (A better names for a couple of Twits I’ve yet to hear) are well-known to readers of The Sharp Single and who form what we like to know as The Malaise Pocket. However, their Anglo-Saxon insight into all things garlic and Gallic has been invaluable over the past couple of years, and by way of thanks The Incumbent and I will be touring the area, handing out hilarious, quality T-shirts (at very competitive rates) and drinking as much of their booze as is possible.

If Mrs B is very lucky, she’ll get a couple more tours of D-Day beaches and war graves thrown into the mix. What a Lucky girl.

Agent Plastered blends in. With what we are unsure.

So pip pip !  See you on the other side. Just as long as my head, foot, arse and knees hold up I should be back in a week.

If not, talk amongst yourselves.

Who Do You think You’re Kidding?


Things are definitely changing around here, and some of them not for the best.

I took off this morning on another one of what my doctor, Mr Lansley, calls “life-extending promenades” this morning. I know he means well but I’m not sure Dr Lansley understands just how far “a half hour’s walk” is. Or, come to that, if he understands anything at all about my health. Anyway, the novelty of the yomp to the post office is wearing off already so today I decide to turn the other way into the village itself. This way is a little more interesting as I pass by or through all the hustle and bustle which country life can offer.

I therefore reach the top of the lane and turn left this time, past the school with its newly installed metal detector and courtesy black maria which the children seem to find very interesting indeed. I stand to watch several of them playing a game of Hopscotch (or HopCaledonian as they are told to call it nowadays) through and around the metal detector. I started to reminisce about my time at the school and all the lovely knife-free years I enjoyed there, before I am awakened from my daydream and shooed away by a man pointing a Taser and wearing a flak jacket in school colours. I am a mixture of embarrassed and annoyed, but in any case shuffle off in the direction of the newsagent’s and the football fields beyond.

I no longer use this newsagent. I spent years gleaning from it all the info about the outside world I could. It was a lovely sight. A lovely big sign outside reading “The Village News” above the window was flanked by smaller ones of a bygone day: The News Of the World, News Shopper and even Horse&Hound were all represented in enamel signs down the sides of the shop. Proudly and efficiently run by old Mr Turnbull and his younger wife Susanna, it was a constant source of news, gossip and entertainment.

Sadly, as in everything nowadays, the shop has had a makeover, renamed itself “T’News of T’Village” and is daubed with posters for the Yorkshire Post, Salford Sentinel, and Whippet Magazine. The shop window has been widened, the counter brought closer to the door, and there’s even a space in the background for customers to enjoy a cappuccino or a flat white, run by the serial liar Mrs Kirkwood. (Amazing they haven’t pensioned her off yet.) The company has brought in a whole new staff to help out old Bill. I went in there one Sunday afternoon and found Jack Duckworth and Seth Armstrong serving. I had not a clue what they were on about and left sharply, never to return.

Mr Turnbull takes to the streets to sell the riveting Tameside Express

For your information I now pop along to Mr Humphrys who runs the paper stand on the corner. He doesn’t carry any of the tabloids or the magazines, and is only interested in the broadsheets, but at least I can understand what he’s talking about. And he and his friend Mr Naughtie (“Naughty Naughtie”, my mum calls him) do have a laugh when one of them accidentally mispronounces Mr Jeremy Hunt‘s name.  The only alternative place to get my news from is Holmes’– the convenience store in the high street. But I fear that if the manager, Eamonn, doesn’t stop tucking into the pasties (“well, no-one else is buying them any more”) they’ll be no room for anyone to get into the shop to buy anything. Fat eejit, so ye are.

As I passed them, Old Bill had young Charlie helping him pile up sandbags outside the door of the shop. They looked very sad. Mrs Kirkwood had her sunglasses on, so I knew it was about to rain. I put up my brolly, upped the pace to a stroll and continued up the path.

The school football pitches lay silent, save for the rustling of Ginsters Dwarf packets being blown about in the goal netting, and old Mr Fry, the omnipresent caretaker re-marking out the lines with his trusty, squeaky wheely machine. I’m sure that’s not what it’s called and that Mr Fry would take the time to tell me, at length, what its real name is, but I intentionally don’t catch his eye. I’m getting bored of him telling me everything about everything. It seems like he’s everywhere I go. And he keeps asking me to follow him. It’s creepy, I reckon. Why he doesn’t find himself a nice wife I’ll never know.

A small boy is told that Mr Moon is unable to play at the village concert.

Much excitement was to be had, apparently, up at these pitches at the weekend as two of the immigrant boys did frightfully well in their respective soccer matches. Young Fernando scored three goals. IN ONE MATCH. Putting to bed the fear had by his new PE master, Signor Baldio, that the boy needed to be fitted with calipers to sort his legs and feet out.

Over on another pitch, little Adolf Suarez also scored three times, even though parents were assured at christmas that he was to be expelled for calling some of the other boys “Schwartzers”.  His coach, Mr Kenneth Gorbals (pronounced Goebbels), sadly now blind in both eyes, did offer something by way of excuse, but no-one understood him. And on Pitch 3 John the School Bully amazed everyone by staying on the pitch for the whole of the match, and without abusing or maiming anyone. He got rather excited when he scored a goal, but his dad rushed on to the field of play and administered some pills, which he’d secreted in a little baggie down his sock. After the match ‘Bully’ was seen talking to the nurse, Mrs Bridge who seemed to be backing in to him. A lot.

It’s sad to think that in a matter of weeks the pitches and the ancient trees that surround them will be dug up and tarmacked over for use as an Olympic car park. Oh well, we all have to do our bit, I suppose. What’s hundreds of years of history and a few old Oaks when compared to ensuring the success of a corporate carve-up sports tournament ?

The Terry family takes on the Suarezes in a friendly kick about on Sunday morning.

The school’s newly-appointed Temporary Chief Coach, Mr W.O.T. Wovers (Cantab) said that he was “wery happy with all the boys he’d seen in twaining” and that he was confident in their ability to do well in the tournament this summer “especially against fwance and the Ukwaine”.

On the far side of the football pitches I could see the SBS training in the village pond. Their activity was only hampered by having to steer their boats around the Astute-class nuclear submarine which the Royal Navy have parked, sorry moored in our pond, much to the annoyance of both the ducks and the local flasher.  Sadly, since the local ARP warden, Mr Johnson, announced that our village was a prime Al Qaeda target this summer, the whole place has been a hive of activity, with varying degrees of success and popularity.

The site for the gun emplacement – originally destined to be on top of the Conservative Club – has been moved (thank the Lord) and will stand proudly, perched on top of the ICU building at the local Hospital. Mr Johnson tells us that, not only will this deter the “Mad Raghead Mullahs” from bombing our NHS hospital, but it will ensure the general security and safety of all those waiting hours in corridors to be seen by the woefully short-handed staff”. I can certainly see that no right-minded burglar would want to break into the hospital now.

A crack team of nurses abandon their posts at the gun emplacement as they
remember they’ve left an elderly patient alone with young Dr Shipman

As I turned for home, I paused for a moment and removed my cap as a funeral cortege passed by. They were burying old Mrs Blears who died suddenly and horribly in a freak razor-wire accident. She was wrapping the aforementioned wire around her chimney in an effort to dissuade the Taliban from mounting an attack on her home, when she slipped and fell through the wire to the ground. Only the wire catching her across the neck and in her mop of lovely ginger hair saved her fall. Sadly she died from the injuries sustained. Had she been rescued in time she may have lived. Apparently she hung there for four weeks before anyone noticed she’d gone. One neighbour said “I’m so relieved she’s dead: I thought I’d gone deaf”. Another was quoted as saying “Let’s just remember what she did for us and for herself and enjoy the peace and silence now she’s gone”.

I buy my paper from Mr Humphry’s I see that they’ve decided to allow drug users to represent the village in the summer sports day. That’s good. It’ll give School Bully something to do in the closed season. I did see his dad and Mr Chambers having a good old chin-wag earlier (which is strange, given Mr Chambers’ colour), but I’m sure whatever was said could be easily taken out of context.

Ok, gotta go now. Have to buy one of Mr Coe’s lottery tickets for a place in the Air Raid shelter. S’funny, I always thought there’d be a place for all of us in the shelter when the time finally came, given all the taxes we’ve paid over the years and how long we’ve lived here. Not to mention that many of us had to move out of home to allow Mr Coe to build that big bunker of his. But apparently some seats have to be reserved for special friends of Mr Coe, and their friends and their families. Which is only right, I suppose.