A 10-Point Plan for Real Reform


Now that Gideon Osborne has apparently ended the recession (the jury is still out, of course) , here’s my cunning plan which would really make life worth living in this country. This is no death-bed conversion, this is a manifesto years in the planning, months in the consultation, hours in its plagiarism and minutes in the typing. I give you:

A SPORTING CHANCE

1. Association Football

Can I suggest what all us egg-chuckers have been pleading for for some time now?: A yellow card means being sent to the Sin-Bin. Let’s see how long Jose or Arsene and their like will put up with playing with 8 men for 10 minutes. It’d take two weeks before all that swearing at the ref, formation falling-over and waving pretend cards at the ref ends in a melee of teacups at half-time. Bring back the orange ball and all games to be played at 3pm on Saturdays.

2. Golf

I propose two innovations to the PGA and European tours:
a) Dickouts:Any player not making the ladies tee with his drive, or more realistically in professional golf, driving the ball out-of-bounds from the tee should play the rest of that hold with his willy out.
b)Gotchas: Each player will have two Gotchas per round (one on the front nine and one on the back.) This allows anyone to shout “Gotcha” at the top of his playing partner’s backswing, in an attempt to put that player off his stroke. (The reader will note that a Gotcha often results in a Dickout). Tiger Woods will be exempt from Dickouts as it’s felt he’s been playing that game for far too long for his own good.

3. F1 Motor Racing

Before each and every Grand Prix, water tankers on corners 1, 5 and 7 should be emptied onto the track every 10th lap, thus ensuring some form of mild entertainment in the form of, dare I say, overtaking, would occur, thus eliminating the boring processions witnessed in Dubai, Barcelona and probably Monaco. In times of drought, the water could be replaced by oil sourced from the gulf of Florida. BP could do with a hand with getting rid of some anyway. Also only one pit open at any time. If you mis-time when you come off for new tyres or fuel, queue like the rest of us poor sods have to.

4. Athletics: 100 Meters

Let’s stop worrying about drugs. Come one, come all. Stick into your veins or up your nose whatever you like before you compete. Can’t wait to see your head pop off after 75 meters. It’ll give Sue Barker something else to talk about and Brendan might even sober up.

5. Rugby Football (League)

Northern rugger chaps: Let’s get of rid of your pointless, lame scrums.How about a nice hand of rummy instead ? Or maybe Rock/Paper/Scissors ? It’d more competitive. Oh, and play rugby during the winter months.

6. Rugby Football (Union).

Banned: Yellow cards, red cards, lifting in lineouts. Reinstated: Wheeling in lineouts, lifiting in scrums, 16-man punch-ups, touch-judges in blazers. Let’s get back to when you got a slap for cheating, not a yellow card. Second Row: if you don’t want to jump in the lineouts, ask for a ladder. Opposition props would then be allowed to shake it at the base to put you off your catch. Hookers: Our jumpers are in the same colour shirts as the one you’re wearing.

7. Snooker/Pool

Bring back heavy smoking and drinking for that real pub atmosphere. Encourage drunks in the crowd to shout “How much fucking longer are you two gonna be, mate ?” TV Adverts only allowed when it’s one of the players turn to go to the bar to buy a round for him and his opponent. If he hasn’t been served by the time the ad break is over, have another ad break. Also, one side of the table must be no further than 1 meter away from the wall. A half-length or child’s cue will be in a rack (underneath the dartboard) for when the cue-ball is near the cushion.

8. Tennis

Exile all TV coverage to UK Living. It’s not proper sport.

9. Darts

See 7.

10. Cricket.

Get rid of the dancing girls, helmets and pyjamas and wear white flannelled trousers. All games to last a minimum of three days. Uncover the pitches, give the bowlers a chance again. Give all cricket coverage back to the BBC and Channel 4. Also, compulsory South African lineage for all England cricketers. If you’re not called Pietersen, Kietvanwesser or Van der Kochderschmidt, fuck off: we don’t need you any more.

So there you have it. A sensible manifesto for a sensible country. A grand coalition of ideas.

VOTE BEALING, VOTE OFTEN

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Hold The Front Page


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Apparently we’re no good at tennis. In other news: Pilate washes hands, Bealing likes a beer.

Haven’t we always been crap at this game (since the days of long trousers, anyway)? Did anyone expect a Brit, apart from the miserable Jock (tautology), to do well at Wimbledon? There’s 15 year old Flora Robson, (sounds a bit of a Jock to me too) who Fleet Street have piled the usual pressure onto. Keep em peeled for that young girl’s head to pop off in the near future. Now that she’s fallen at the first, we’re left with young Andrew. The press seems to have him nailed on to win it, as is their wont, but that’s where our national charge on the Championship ends. As far as I can remember we’ve never had a mass of over-talented types in any one given year. Murray’s on his own, as was Tim before him. I suppose the Lloyd brothers offered a two-pronged attack—though they weren’t exactly world-beaters. Were Virginia Wade and Sue Barker contemporaries? I can’t remember, or indeed be arsed to remember. I can’t think about Virginia without that horrible image of Betty Stove honing into view, like Clare Balding’s big ugly sister.

Mottram

There was, of course, the great Buster Mottram, the darling of the National Front, who was only slightly less good at tennis than he was at being a politician. I mean who gets thrown out of UKIP for being too right wing? Not only did Mottram have no supporting Brits to play Davies Cup with (Mark Cox was about 78 and was still ranked higher than Buster) but he had no Mottramania to egg him on during matched on Centre Court. If it was Henman Hill and Murray Mound, I suppose he could have had Buster’s Bunker.

I suppose wherever he is today, Mottram will be content with the fact that his beloved BNP have done well in the recent elections. Though even they seem to be in trouble again. My teeth nearly flew out yesterday when i read that the Equality and Human Rights Commission have demanded the Nick Griffin’s mob drop their colour bar. I was shocked to read that the BNP has a “whites-only” membership policy. Really??? You’ll be telling me next that the Klan doesn’t allow in Pakistanis. What a complete waste of time that is. Is there really anyone in the UK from the ethnic communities who has been turned away from joining the BNP? If there is they should be taken around the back and flogged for a crime to their race. Don’t sue the BNP— ban them, beat them up, then lock them up. It’s not democratic, I know, but who gives a monkeys about democracy when it comes to that lot?

Here’s what you’re dealing with: In response to a question on whether a black Welshman would be allowed to join the BNP Griffin told Channel 4, “There is no such thing as a black Welshman – you can have a black Briton but you cannot have a black Welshman…Our party acts for the indigenous people of these islands. We will act for others but they are not allowed into the party.”
Well that’s ok then. I’m all for keeping the Welsh out of Britain (I’m collecting old bricks to rebuild Offa’s Dyke) , but there’s more than a whiff of Bavaria about this bastard. And anyway, what would Colin Charvis, let alone Shirley Bassey have to say about it?
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I don’t know if Arthur Ashe ever played Mottram, but one would like to think that Arthur would have stopped meditating, jump the net and thrash old Buster within an inch of his life with one of those lovely old wooden racquets. “Oooh I say” Dan Maskell would have said. “That’s a peach of an attack”

So I’ll leave you to settle down and watch the Scotchman fly the flag in his lone assault on the title. That flag would be the Union Flag. Which belongs to us (even the Jocks and the Welsh). Not to the Nazis.
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Hard-boiled Eggs and Nuts


I had to go to work yesterday. I know that sounds like no big deal, but I had to go to work yesterday. I felt like shit—I was streaming and sweating, coughing and spluttering, couldn’t taste a thing and my hearing was on the fritz. It was the start of a rotten cold and what I should have done was worked from home. I should have done that, however I couldn’t: Yesterday was “Take your daughter to school day” and so I took my eldest into the office. Glad I did in the end cos it was great fun. I’ve done it several times before and it’s always been good. My daughter enjoyed it too I think, even though this time she asked me why I couldn’t work for NME as she has a subscription and “it’d be sooooo cooooolll to work there”. There was a time when whatever I did or said or wherever I worked was “sooo coooollll” but I guess my kids have reached that age when they can make up their own minds as to what they like.

I don't want you to drink, Mr Bond, I want you to diet!

I don't want you to drink, Mr Bond, I want you to diet!

Their unconditional belief in what I say has long gone. No longer do they believe daddy’s tall tales about being James Bond in his spare time (they believed that one for a month when they were nippers) or was dating Rachel Stevens (about a week), and I’ve gone from funny, exotic, cool daddy who lives in London, to the old, fat, bald bloke up the road. Such is the life of an estranged dad of teenage girls. Clever little sods.

In an attempt to sweat-out my cold last night I filled up with a cocktail of chilli con carne and Lemsip and took myself off for an early night. Should have plumped for the hot toddies: I feel dreadful today.

Like most blokes I know, I suffer in silence.

Thumping head, red-raw throat, sore, scabby nostrils and every muscle (sic) left in my body aching like buggery (apparently). Called in sick to the boss who unsurprisingly was unecstatic. Having taken many of these calls from staff over the years you’re torn between the annoyance of being a man down, and the relief that you’ll be spared a day of being covered in snot and germs from a colleague. On the other side of the fence, no matter how ill you are, there’s always the guilt to deal with of not being in work.

Anyway, enough of this martyr talk. What’s more important is I’m bored. REALLY bored. Having no energy to do anything much more than fester, I’m stuck on the sofa looking out at cornflower-blue sky outside, inanely tapping up and down the tv channels with as much chance of finding something interesting to watch as there is of me winning the London Marathon on Sunday. Which is another thing: Sunday’s marathon is one of my favourite days in the calender. But instead of propping up the bar at The Angerstein Hotel, Greenwich on Sunday morning, watching the runners jog by, I shall doubtless be pouring mucus into a box of Kleenex while sat on my couch in front of the box. Even if I manfully struggled down to the pub, I wouldn’t be able to taste my pint, and what’s the point of that?
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We’ve been trotting down en masse to The Angerstein (known as The Loony Bin—you’ll find out why when you meet the locals) to watch the Marathon for the last twelve years-or-so. Many of us to soak up the atmosphere of one of the Capital’s great occasions with world-class athletes, huge crowds, the fun-runners and all the colours of the rainbow. Some go down merely to watch the Elite Ladies sprint past, then return home to a warm bed (you know who you are), then there are those who go simply to celebrate the opening of a pub at 8.45 on a Sunday morning. So there’s something for everyone. There was something quite liberating that first year standing in The Loony, pint in hand, next to a copper before 9 o’clock in the morning and there was nothing he could do to stop me. It’s the little things in life that count. A fourteen-hour session of drinking, eating (?) and endless, pointless Jazz one-Sunday-in-fifty-two: that’s not too much to ask for, is it?

As the years rolled by and the various members of our group came and went as they got loved-up, engaged, married, divorced, deported etc, it’s a nice feeling to have been almost ever-present (to my dying shame I missed one year due to a business trip) and still experience the thrill of that first pint 3 hours before I should, copper or no-copper. It’s a boy thing.

But I suspect this year, due to my disabilitating illness, I’ll have to endure the dulcet tones of Steve Cram, Sue Barker et al as I’m forced to watch the race on the Beeb. I wonder if they’ll sober-up Brendan Foster for the occasion? Probably not—just to rub it in.

Go on, my girl!

Go on, my girl!