Di Can’tio Stand it Any More

The Waffen Sunderland Xi's first team photo since Paulo Di Canio (v far right) joined the squad. "Ve vos only obeying tactics"

Waffen Sunderland XI’s first team photo since manager Paulo Di Canio (v far right) joined the squad.  Said skipper Gerd “Nobby” von Rundstedt : “Ve vos only obeying half-time orders”

If I was Paulo di Canio I’d be feeling pretty hard done by. Why should he be singled out? I should imagine he was a bit peeved he hadn’t been offered the Chelsea Captaincy or the Liverpool no.7 shirt, never mind be savaged by B-Brains of I-I-International R-R-Rescue. It was undoubtably the Premiership’s laissez-faire attitude towards racism and fascism that attracted Paulo to the English game in the first place. .

But, as the man himself says, politics is politics and football is football, and they should never be mixed. Quite right too. (unless, like me you watched Escape to Victory yesterday, when that bloke Pele (from Trinidad, no less) certainly showed Anton Diffring and the other Nazis how to stick the old pig’s bladder in the back of the onion bag. And, like his new employers, Newcastle Reserves point out, it’s “insulting” to accuse Di Canio of such extreme views. If there’s any evidence to suggest otherwise, They’d like to see it.

Oh. Thank you.

Paulo Di Canio neither expressing a political view nor taking part in a football match.

Paulo Di Canio neither expressing a political view nor taking part in a football match.

Anyway, thankfully there’s plenty more to see and do with which to take one’s mind off all this fascist tomfoolery and racist high-jinks. Some of us have work to do.

Personally I am sorely tempted to stop what I’m doing and pursue a new role. It’s not that being North West Kent’s leading T-shirt designer and vendor doesn’t pay all I need to see me ok til the end of my days (provided I snuff it by Thursday week, to coin a phrase), but I feel my talents (sic) are wasted here. I feel sure I’d be more useful at New Broadcasting House, the home of the BBC now that they have well and truly put all that silly child molesting and those naughty serial serious sexual assault charges behind them.

This week’s BBC Director General (fill in name here) must be so proud that he’s taken hold of the reins in the week that the Great British Sewing Bee reaches our screens: A show which pits sewer vrs stitcher in a tense battle to see who can make the prettiest frock or cushion cover. This ‘Darn-off against the clock’ tugs smartly at the coat tails (see what I did there ?) of the previous hit “The Great British Bake Off” in which old women an effeminate men cooked scones at each other. You could have cut the tension with a dessert spoon.

So I have spent the morning compiling some ideas which would exploit and cash-in continue the success of the Sewing Bee with a contest to find our most productive pollenator: “The Great British Bee Bee“; best Robin Gibb impersonator: “The Great British Bee Gee Bee“; or most nervous performer “The Great British Hee Bee Gee Bees Bee“.

We need some more shows which capture the excitement and tension of the Bake Off. How about a head-to-head hand-bag forgery contest in “The Great British Knock-off“; an inter-county incontinence competition, “The Great British Piss Off“; or the hunt to find the best beer & wine shop : “The Great British Offie Off“.

"Celebrities" star in The Great British Wanna Be Bee

“Celebrities” star in The Great British Wanna Be Bee. Answers on a postcard, please. (clue: the bloke on the right is a woman, and vice versa)

Enough now. I’m off to take part in a pro-celebrity masturbating competition, entitled, “The Great British Toss Off”.

There’s a short series there, somewhere. Very short.


Oh My God, They’ve Found Tom!

British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband, wants EU countries to up their efforts in Afghanistan. There’s a feeling by the Brits (and the Yanks) that our continental partners could lend more men to the war effort. As Miliband puts it,”Some countries are doing significant amounts but other countries have got either significant caveats on the deployment of their troops or they’ve got their troops in parts of the country where there isn’t the same level of insurgency.”
In other words, European armies don’t want to get shot at. And fair enough: not being shot at is pretty high up on my to-do-list also.


Ever since Carry on up the Khyber, Afghanistan has been a little sod to conquer. The British Empire failed to control the Mullahs, the Soviet Army got its arse kicked, and the Yanks are having a few probs with the Taliban too (who, it turns out, were supplied arms by Tom Hanks in the first place). So what are the chances that the 3rd Copenhagen Rifles or a battalion of the Luxembourg Light Horse will fare any better? It’s a scary place, the Hindu Kush, with a soldier’s life-expectancy only slightly higher than that of a diner at Heston Blumenthal’s Dead Duck.

No. Leave it to the professionals. The US did, after all, defeat Nazism single-handedly, having captured Enigma machine and deciphered Ultra, landed virtually alone on the Normandy beaches, forced Hitler to retreat from Moscow and all without a single bit of help from anyone else. Rock Hudson chewed on a huge stogey throughout the D-Day landings, Steve McQueen was the only man on either side not to have to wear a uniform, and only William Holden understood war’s cruelty and madness. In-between shagging nurses on beaches.
The Brits were buffoons. If you were British and managed to grab a line you either sounded like Sam Kydd or Donald Sinden (right). While GI Joes were challenging strangers with the rather cool “Thunder” to get the friendly reply “Flash”, the silly Tommies used the rather more clipped “Leicester” and “Square” (pronounced “squar”). Brits were rescued from Stalags and Bulges by the the Marines or the Airborne, were always depicted holding a cuppa or downing a brown sludgy pint though buck-teeth, and sported some of the finest moustaches seen in modern warfare. And every Man Jack of them was a complete Berk. Edward Fox deserves particular credit for this one.

Alec Guinness built bridges for the Japanese, Dirk Bogarde sent Gene Hackman’s Polish Brigade to be slaughtered at Arnhem, Gordon Jackson said “thank you” when he meant “merci” and poor old Donald Pleasance couldn’t see a bloody thing. Only Richard Todd, who stormed the Pegasus Bridge ( “Up the Ox and Bucks, Up the Ox and Bucks”) gave any help at all to Ike and co. (In fairness, the actor actually WAS in the invading forces at D-Day). Richard Burton was Welsh and is therefore excluded from this conversation. But the rest? :Useless Limey wankers.


No-one, for the whole war, ever stopped for a pee. .

So perhaps the British government’s initial reluctance to attend the 65th Anniversary of D-Day is completely understandable. Miliband is only about 12 so all the movies he would have seen on the subject would show him that the Brits were never there. (In Saving Private Ryan Ted Danson does mention Monty once, as the bloke who’s cocking up everything). I wouldn’t turn up either— if I didn’t even make the end credits.

So Mr Miliband, the next time Obama asks you or your EU pals to supply more troops for Operation Certain Death, tell him you want at least 2nd billing, more and better lines and a cut of the royalties. Dunno why they need us there in the first place. We’ll only bugger it up.