F.A.B.


Mr Tracy wondered why the phones had fallen silent over at International Rescue

Mr Tracy wondered why the phones had fallen silent over at International Rescue

Total Recall


For those who missed it, we bring you exclusive and unadulterated transcript from David Cameron‘s appearance at the Leveson Inquiry today:

Mr Robert Jay QC (the Inquiry’s lead counsel). “Good morning, Mr Cameron, we thank you for taking the time to appear here this morning, and for submitting your evidence beforehand. It must have taken you some considerable time to put together”

Mr Cameron (Prime Minister of Great Britain & NI and [referendum pending] The Falkland Islands) “I’m sorry I don’t recall how long it took me”

RJ: “No matter, Mr Cameron, it is not important, but thank you anyway.”

DC: “Can I just point out that I have also been thanked by the editors of the Telegraph, Mail, Mirror and the Independent, not just the Sun and News of the World”

RJ: “And now me…”

DC: “Yes, I just wanted to make that point”

RJ: “But not the Guardian”

DC:”I don’t recall the exact details, but no. They never thanked me. Bolshie bastards.”

RJ:. “…… Quite.  Now before we start, Mr Cameron would you like a glass of water ?”

DC: “I can’t recall. I do know, that if I did ever want a glass of water Rebekah Brooks would always offer me a glass of water, as she would any thirsty person. There’s nothing sinister in that

RJ: “Did she ever off you a glass of water ?”

DC: “I don’t recall. But I do recall perfectly her telling me that she had once offered Gordon Brown a glass of water. And Tony Blair. And Lloyd George. ”

RJ: “……………………….!!”

RJ: “Do you remember on the 18th of the 9th, at the Stupid Arse’s Club, Piccadilly, taking water, and indeed lunch with Mrs Brooks, Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch, Andy Colson, Joeseph Goebbels, Jeremy Hunt, General Pinochet, Matthew Freud and Frederick West where, over seven-and-a-half-hours you discussed the BBC licence fee, phone hacking, the planned assassination of Tony Blair, global domination, the BSkyB bid and pasty tax ? You dined on goat curry, ackee and jerk truffles, served by young black men and women dressed in Tongan Marines Outfits”

DC: “hmmmm…..  that’s all a bit vague, I’d have to check my notes in my diary…”

RJ: “ok, Mr Cam…”

DC: “…but I do clearly remember Gordon Brown saying that he had enjoyed many cosy suppers at the Ginger Jock’s Shellfish Bar on the Penge bypass, with John Prescott and all of the above mentioned people, except, of course, Jeremy Hunt. Who was away at that time. With me. Honest.”

RJ: “Now, Mr Cameron you are, are you not, friends and neighbours  with Mr and Mrs Brooks?”

DC: “I can’t recall”

RJ: “You don’t remember going round to their nearby house on several occasions for breakfast, dinner and supper ?”

DC: “No”

RJ:”No ? You’ve never gone round to their nearby house on several occasions for breakfast, dinner and supper ??”

DC: “No, I mean I don’t recall if I don’t remember if I ever went to their nearby house on several occasions for breakfast, dinner and supper ? There’s nothing sinister in that. I do know that Gordon Brown went round. I specifically remember that. And that Blair bloke. I remember saying to my wife at the time (her name escapes me) that that was very sinister. Very sinister indeed

RJ: “So just to sum up before the break, Mr Cameron, you don’t recall any of the 723 dinner engagements you took with the Brooks’ and the Murdochs? or the 19 occasions when Mr Hunt walked around the Cabinet Office handing out Sky Subscription vouchers and News of the World-emblazoned Flags of St George ? Or the 17 week holiday in 2010 which you and your wife, who’s name escapes you, spent on board Rupert Murdoch’s Yacht the Wendi Boat Comes In, moored off the Turks and Caicos Islands ? Even though in his evidence, Mr Hunt states that he acted as cabin boy for you and whassername for that vacation ? You do, however, remember catching a glimpse or Tony Blair and Gordon Brown in 1998 passing brown envelopes, full of cash, to Rupert Murdoch and his son, round the back of the drive-in MacDonald’s, Wapping Highway ?”

DC: “Correct. Especially the last bit.”

Lord Justice Leveson: ” I think it’s time for a short break now, Mr Jay.  Thank you Mr Cameron, we shall resume at 1 o’clock, if that is ok with you ?”

DC: “I can’t recall, sir.”

RJ: “Oh just fuck off”.

The 1992 Committee


Ed Miliband’s getting a little full of himself for his own good. Buoyed by the local election results and the turmoil within the Tory Party, you can imagine Ed leaning across the dispatch box in the House of Commons and asking Dave Cameron “Surely you’re not the best politician to lead your party?”
“Maybe not,” DC might reply “but at least I’m the best politician in my family” (copyright Paul Collingwood).
A weak man is a short time in politics, so who can blame Mr Ed for crowing while he can? For a good few months the press and his party has been on his back, accusing him of being dull, uninspiring, distant and not his brother, but following the recent council polls, he and his adenoids feel vindicated in irritating a nation for the past couple of years. If it wasn’t for Bonking Boris, last week would have been a true disaster for the Tories, spurring on the bank-benchers to launch an immediate revolt. As it is, the win for the incumbent London Mayor merely highlights just how much more popular he is than the resident PM…er…sparking an immediate revolt among Tory back-benchers.

There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching the British GOP knock shite out of each other, fighting like cats in a sack in attempt to gain the high ground. A wave of nostalgia washed over me this morning as the late, great John Redwood took the the airwaves of T’BBC to launch version #738 of the Tory Right’s plan to get back into power (under its own steam). In re-hashing and re-launching the old battle cries of “Europe Out/Lords In/Wogs Out/Cronies In“, the former forgetful Minister for Wales reminded all listening of just why the Conservative Party hasn’t won an election in this country since 1992.

You know when you’re in trouble when chinless twerps like Nadine Dorries and Amanda Platell are calling you out of touch and if there’s a better blood sport to watch than the Tories fighting like a bunch of pissed wedding guests, then I’d like to see it. The Posh Boys’ honeymoon is over and they have painted themselves into a corner (easy on the metaphors, Harry). On one side they need to remain faithful to Sir Bufton Tufton of Tunbridge Wells – shooting, flogging and hanging anything that moves, but on the other thy need to give their coalition partners a good luvvie-cuddle as they try to convince the Liberals that they really are a new, warm green version of the old Right. It’s as convincing as watching Tom Cruise walking out with Katie Holmes.

As if things weren’t bad enough for Dave and Gid, then Frank goes and wins in France. A socialist hasn’t been in elected in France since Johnny Hallyday turned 80 (1981) yet the people of France have decided they no longer want the Poisoned Dwarf anymore and will try Francois Hollande for a while, especially as he’s promised to stand up against big bad Angela from Allemagne. Rather him than me.

The French people have spoken and ousted the little git. Across The Channel, however, no matter how awful Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown were for the UK, and however long Labour were in power, enough people still couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Cameron for PM. It doesn’t look good for him. I mean, I fancy myself up against Miliband. AT ANYTHING. And I’m sure you do too. But, even with the wholehearted support of The Mail, The Sun and Fox Skinning Gazette this charmless berk can still not rally enough support to attempt to lead the country out of recession without the shameless toadying support of the former Liberal Party. When you have to look to Simon Hughes, Chris Huhne and Beaker (whatever his real name is) to be electable and to get your policies through, times are indeed tough.

The Liberals appalling showing at the elections have led the wonderful Lembit Opik to call for Nick Clegg to resign. Jesus, no wonder Ed Miliband’s happy. In a few months he could be fighting a coalition of parties led by Boris Johnson and Limpet Optic. And if that doesn’t spell another 20 years of socialist government, I dunno what does.

Buy, Buy, Bye, Bye.


I think I must have put them all in a box which is now in the loft. I remember separating them, dividing them by type, each having their own little baggie. When we moved all my stuff out of Railway Cuttings down to The Potting Shed I’m pretty sure that they were in a box which ended up in the loft. Or the garage. Or under the stairs. Wherever it is, I want to find that box because I’m gonna need it. With the Euro’s future likely to be confined to Pathe News, episodes of QI or International Baccalaureate history exams, I’m gonna need something to spend on my next trip.

There was a bag containing Marks, one which had about thirty quid worth of Francs therein, and another with a collection of Pesetas, Drachmas, Italian lira and and Dutch Guilder. In total I reckon there’s at least 60 quid’s worth of old foreign currency,nearly enough to buy me a cup of coffee on Rue de Rivoli. How glad am I that at the time I couldn’t be bothered to hand over all my loose European change to those charities who, back in 2002, were asking for the coins “we wouldn’t need again”? At last my inertia and apathy towards helping others is paying off. Well that’s my guess anyway.

Now I know I’m only guessing, and my glass is typically half empty, but guesswork is all I’m left with as I’m no economist. No, really I’m not. I know I’m a world authority on cricket, lemons, modern art and movies, but I fall just short when it comes to economic nouse.

Not that the supposed experts know what’s gonna happen either: Tony Blair said that the collapse of the Euro would be “catastrophic” for the UK and urged all of us to get behind it. I don’t actually know how to get behind a euro, but on the other hand Tony once told me that I had 45 minutes to put on my tin hat and get to the air raid shelter before the nasty beardy-wierdies attacked. Well, as Tony’s mate George Bush once said “Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me … You can’t get fooled again.” So I think it’s fair to say I won’t be heeding what Blair says. Let’s look farther afield for help:

Chancellor Merkel has indicated that Germany either receives Britain’s support for invading Belg…sorry, for economic treaty changes or Germany will go it alone, drawing a new map of Europe with Germany at it’s fore. Where does she get her ideas from ? The German Chancellor can’t stand the French President Sarkozy, which doesn’t make her a member of a particularly exclusive club, but both countries hate Britain more, and this antagonistic feeling is only second to their disgust at Greece for dropping us all in the mire, so they have common enemies: David Cameron and this week’s Greek PM, [subs: please fill in name here].

Events in Italy seem to have muddied the waters even further. Berlusconi’s finally gone, just not that very far. He’s made it clear he still intends to make a comeback (this man has the Blair-like gift of being unshakeable and unshameable), and anyway, Super Mario Monti looks like he’s in Silvio’s pocket. No measures or acts will get through the Italian Parliament without the former Milanese Media Mogul’s nod. He’s still the leader of the biggest political party in the chamber, and we have learned from past events, he’s never out of the limelight for long. Once he gets a firm grip on either power or a woman’s gusset, he’s a bugger to shake off.

If you believe (and why the hell would you?) the analysts queuing up to talk to reporters, France looks like the next in line to go tits-up. The Euro economy domino theory goes thus: If Greece goes, Italy goes. If Italy goes, France goes. If France , Britain goes, (always bearing in mind that love grows where my Rosemary goes, and nobody knows like me).

No wonder Sarkozy, David Cameron and his attack-poodle George Osborne are looking nervous and sounding unusually vicious, even by their standards. Every one is blaming everyone else for the big pile of doo-doo we find ourselves in. But of course, still no-one is attacking the banks. Small businesses being refused bank loans, poor people being given huge mortgages which they could never have afforded to repay; mass redundancies and huge unemployment causing the collapse of the highs street: all these factors seem to have been forgotten.

The Brit govt blames the public sector workforce for striking in an attempt to save their pensions and pay.; the French blame Greek bin men and schoolteachers for not paying tax; the media blame the Italian citizen for voting for Berlusconi in the first place. UK finance minister Osborne has been blaming the referendum on Scottish devolution for the state of finances north of the border. Sarkozy accused Uraguay of being a tax-haven. Rare indeed for a French politician to consider tax havens as a bad thing. They’ll be coming out against extra-marital affairs next. Merkel, of course, is blaming everyone within spitting distance.

The shites are coming out, all over Europe.

Just when I thought I was out..


So, how are you feeling today ? Ok ? Good. I’ve had a pretty shitty couple of weeks, to be honest, since you ask. The medication still doesn’t seem to be doing everything the docs want it to do. Still suffering from dizzy spells, the bouts of sickness are still around. All this prevents me from attending The Shovel or any of its sister boozers. It’s rather annoying, although getting annoyed is a no-no for me at the moment. As my blood pressure is higher than a astronaut’s arse the GP is concerned I’m a strong candidate for Stroke II: The Ramipril Strikes Back, so I’m under orders to take it easy and chillax, as young persons say.

I was under a shrink, to whom I was sent in a bid to calm me down and reduce the chances of my head popping off. But this shrink started to annoy me so I’ve stopped going.


It certainly wasn’t  the thought of being analyzed that phased me. A life-long Woody Allen fan, it’s always been a dream of mine to go see a headshrinker (and to play clarinet with him at Michael’s on a Monday). I fancied myself as a bit of Tony Soprano, sitting there in my triple-breasted suit, the tassles on my loafers gleaming and my hair greased back over my ever-expanding pate. But it didn’t do it for me and it didn’t last. My quack was no Lorraine Bracco. He was a bloke for a start. No, you gotta feel comfortable in front of these guys, I reckon, and I just wasn’t. Probably a personality clash. Closing my eyes and chanting OM while listening to a tape of a whale’s sphincter was enough for me, so I left.

So, without the aid of a safety pint, and without Sigmund Freud‘s help I’m supposed to let go all the things that at some stage along the line would have made me, shall we say, a tad tetchy.

I may be no Tony Soprano, but try telling that to my girth. Not walking to the station in the morning, being barred from virtually all physical exercise, and the supreme boredom of having no work coming in has led me to nibble on anything within my chubby arms reach and to me becoming rather portly. My armpits have started to chafe and the soap isn’t going as far as it used to, even though I can no longer reach half of me in the shower. The kids are gonna by me Jacamo vouchers for Christmas and The Incumbent seems keen to rotate the mattress more often than usual.

The fledgeling business seems like it desperately wants to get back into it’s shell. Hours spent tickling-up the website and mailing clubs and associations have brought very little response. Well, that’s not true. I have had plenty of responses, just very little work. I’ve had several “Where did you get my email address from ??” replies. A few “Nothing I cannot do myself” answers, and lots of “Please strike me from your mailing list, we do not associate ourselves with tradesmen” emails. You’d have thought I was selling them anthrax.

In days gone by I may well have reeled off an abusive note telling them to to fvck themselves and wishing them good luck in the recession. But the now the new me simply thanks them for their time, apologises for disrupting their mailbox and promises to delete them from any further mailouts I may or may not do.

There was one bloke, the Chairman or Chief Poohbar of the Lions of Warrington or Wilmington or Wigan or somewhere who wrote to me in such an insulting and supercilious manner, complaining that I had actually used his public email address to try to earn a couple of quid via his club members that I did indeed tell him to go fvck himself and enjoy the recession. But that was a one-off example. Honest.

Having told him, in between expletives, what and why I was doing what I was doing and that there was nothing either coorperate nor sinister about it, and that I was just an ailing old man striving to put food on the table for Tiny Tim and his frail mother, the man backtracked and wondered if, when my business got on it’s feet I might consider joining his association. I suspect this was a genuine re-assessment of the situation on his part, feeling embarrassed at his original high-handedness with me.

I told him to go fvck himself again. So maybe we should call it a two-off example. I don’t know why I haven’t tried a life in Sales before.

MOVEMBERADVERT

The Blair Peach Project


So after all that, I thought it was about time you took a little breath and took in some considered thought. Honestly.

The Police (we are told by the BBC’s very impartial Nick Robinson) have been telling MPs that the only reason they were stand-offish during London riots the other night was because the last time there was a major disturbance on the streets of London, one of their member ended up on a manslaughter charge for acting too robustly.

So let me get this right: They are saying that the only alternative to killing middle-aged innocent newspaper vendors is to stand idly by and let teenagers burn down shops and houses and flats. Nothing in-between those two tactics ? Death or indolence.

It’s not been a great week or three for Pc Plod. They keep having to roll-up, and maybe sober-up, another Deputy Assistant Acting Commissioner, as the Met scurry to find a replacement for those top cops who have either been arrested, or have merely resigned in the belief they’re about to be arrested due to their culpability in the Murdoch/News International scandal.

Please, please let their new guvnor not be Sir Hugh Orde. Even by Police standards he has a face only a mother could love. He makes Ian Blair and Andy Hayman positively trustworthy.

Then three coppers show up to a riot only to find they’re slightly outnumbered. Not their fault, I know, (yes, you’re right, it’s the fault of holiday-loving George Osborne again) but nevertheless it seems a pretty poor show. Not that this is my main reason for putting pen to teller today.

If I had a grievance against the Old Bill (note the word if) I’d like to think I’d go and kick one or two of them in the goolies. If my beef was with the government (heaven forfend) I’d like to think me and my hoodie mates would attack Downing Street. Or maybe, just maybe I’d use my vote at the ballot box and vote the bastards out next time (I told you I’d mellowed).

If anyone can tell me what looting and torching, among other places, a party novelties shop in Clapham, poor and sheltered housing in Tottenham and a sandwich shop in Manchester has to do with some idiot coppers shooting a father you are a better man than me. That was a disgrace and heads should roll. They have a long and shameful track record of murdering people and it’s gotta stop. But what rent-a-mob have been up to since then has nothing to do with it. Anyone who says different is talking a load of old bollocks.

The Beeb are forever calling it “copycat violence”, or my favourite word of the week “thuggery” (which is still illegal in some states). Sadly I can’t find myself in a position to disagree with that. I’ve seen too many crying council house tenants who’ve fled their houses to think any other way at the moment. Maybe I’m just going pink.

You can see the despair and the shame on the faces of the poor community workers, people who have worked so hard with these kids (cos that’s what the majority are) to put them on the straight and narrow, only for them to set light to a furniture shop in Croydon and a Miss Selfridge in Salford in some bafflingly justified act of defiance against the man and the machine.

Do me a favour. Can you all fuck off home to your X-Boxes or PS3s, children?

I have decided that The Shovel can wait for a bit. I’ve had a particularly wobbly week: Too many dizzy spells and headaches for me to deal with for some reason, after making pretty good progress last week, so a trip up to the pub will have to be put on hold for a while.

I’m very happy that the NHS has provided me with a nice hard walking stick which, not only do I need to stand upright at the moment, will be deployed in a testicular-direction should any hood-wearing, leisure-suit donning little prick attempts to interfere with my or The Incumbent’s passage around the streets of Dartford.

Now I have to stop cos my new GP says I shouldn’t get would up. She reckons I have high blood-pressure (who’d a thunk it?).  I asked for a second opinion: She told me I was fat as well.