Please close the gate

Now that the boys n’ girls in da house are rushing to don their sack cloth and ashes to atone for their sins (mainly because of David Cameron’s boot up their collective arses) and try to find out which right royal bar steward dobbed them in.  I thought it would be nice to consider other scandals.

Y’know of course, of Watergate (1974) which first coined the phrase -gate for political scandals; Irangate, Monicagate, Iraqgate etc. There’s a whole list of them here.

But what about all those scandals from history that haven’t had their own –gate attached because they were too early?

Here’s a few contenders …

Caesargate (44BC). Oh he of the multiple stab wounds. Poor Julius. Worst case of suicide I ever did see. (Old joke but what the hell, it’s an old story.)

Marygate (1586). Mary Queen of Scots. Caught sending crypto messages and beheaded for her part in a plot to overthrow Elizabeth I. Swore to the last she was just writing to an old pen-pal about nothing in particular. Swapping knitting patterns I think.

Appeasementgate (1938). Easy mistake to make. They just like to do a bit of off-roading with tanks, armoured vehicles and the like. No harm in them. It’s not their fault they get a bit lost and drift over borders accidentally. All 100,000 of them.

And finally one of my own …

ItWillBeOverByChristmasgate (1914). Oh it will, will it? That old chestnut appears under different guises with the same regularity as real chestnuts at Xmas.

So what are we to call the present -gate then?

I guess it could be named Allowancegate or CaughtWithYourDamnFingersInTheTillgate or StickyFingersgate.

But I prefer NewGardengate.

Can the can

I was mooching on the net yesterday, wondering if the irritation in my nasal passages was Swine Flu or just pepper from teatime. (Spicy burgers don’t y’know.)
Anyway, I had next to me my trusty can of coke (other beverages are available) and I got to thinking that this little guy had done nearly as many miles as the dreaded lurgy.

I couldn’t decide whether I should be appalled or impressed by the coke can. On the one hand it’s amazing that you can mine aluminium, move the metal half way across the world, produce a can from it, print on it, fill it with a liquid and sell it in a multi-pack and all for a few pence.  It truly is a modern wonder.

But then again what an amazing waste of resources! All that effort just so I can have 330ml. of fizzy, frothy, nothing.

So I finished my drink and pondered, “How can we justify the enormous infrastructure that it requires just to present the bloated Westerner with a piddly bit of a drink?”

And went and got another …

can

The end of the world as we know it

Quoty quoting from The Washington Post: Scientists have produced strong new evidence challenging one of the most fundamental assumptions in biology: that female mammals, including women, are born with all the eggs they will ever have.

In a provocative set of experiments involving mice, Chinese researchers have shown for the first time that an adult mammal can harbor primitive cells in her ovaries that can become new eggs and produce healthy offspring, they reported yesterday.

Well folks, now I know how the world’s gonna’ end.

One of these re-engineered mice will escape somehow, breed and produce a new race of super mice that’ll be able to reproduce for their entire naturals. Cut to five years down the line, the world is awash with mice. End of story.

Come on, you know it’s just gonna’ happen.

Tragedy in Mouse Utopia

The shape of fur to come. A tale of many tails

The pen is mightier than the sword

(Especially if you’re using one to fill in a claim form. A bit easier too.)

I’ve got an expenses claim form I’ve been struggling with.

The problem isn’t what items I can claim for. You know, should I claim for that coffee? Was the taxi really necessary or should I have got the bus? Nah, I can claim for whatever the hell I want basically. The problem I’m having is I don’t know when to stop.

“What!” You cry, which company do you work for? Well I’m joking really (how could you tell?). I do need to worry about claiming for coffee and claiming for a taxi to take me to my garage is very much frowned upon.

But it seems that our erstwhile elected leaders don’t need to worry too much. Now that it’s been revealed that MP’s can legitimately claim for wide-screen TV’s and their kids Xmas present list on their allowances I thought it might be interesting to come up with a few new definitions for the initials MP.

They are (in no particular order):-

Morally Pliable
Mightily imPlausible
Maybe Presentable
Mainly Predictable
Mastercard Preferable

Most of these claims are within the rules but as rules go they are incredibly flexible. What is emerging is that our golden ones have well and truly claimed the moral low-ground with their expense claims. If it’s within the rules and everyone is doing it then why the hell not?

It’s an attitude of mind I find hard to trust. If you can stoop so low as to claim £40,000 for wages paid to your son, supposedly as a researcher, when in reality they are a full time student in Newcastle, then why should I trust you?

Really they should be above, above suspicion. No wonder we vote with our arses, by keeping them firmly attached to the sofa on Polling Day.

By the way, what’s the difference between my sofa and an MP’s sofa?

Well you guessed it pretty easily.

I paid for mine.

Sources: BBCbbc (again)

… and lots more. Go discover!

Crap: A Guide to Politics

             Quick! Claim for your lives!

G2 or not G2? That is the question

So what’s this G20 thing all about?
Apart from, that is, the chance for certain well known leaders to hang around Obama and catch a bit of the glow?
Is it a meeting to solve all the Worlds financial ills? I don’t think so, they’ll hardly have time to get their abacuses out before it’s roll up the red carpet time.

Looking at Gordon Brown’s beaming face through the numerous photo opportunities it almost looks like he thinks it’s job done already.
“I’m a world statesman.”

“My place in history is assured.”

“Don’t I look good in this suit?”

Blah, blah, or Blair, Blair as that seems to be the diplomatic model he’s copying.

But why not knock the Zero off and call it G2, after all isn’t this what the whole thing is about?

Apart from Sarkozy threatening to throw his toys out of the pram and have a hissy fit and some very upset people giving the police a chance to try out some new public order tactics, isn’t all this just a smokescreen?

It looks like a summit between a superpower and an emerging one, namely USA and China, on neutral territory. Or put another way the meeting of a client (US) and a banker (China.)

America may be the world’s biggest economy but it’s also the world’s biggest debtor, hocked up to it’s eyeballs. And China is the one holding them balls. Estimated at 1 to 1.5 Trillion Dollars.
China doesn’t want the US to fail. It can’t afford for it to fail, it’s necessary for it’s continued growth. But it’s important to show the US and the West that they hold the purse strings now.
This is their chance to subtly do just that.

Yeah, the Chinese will be incredibly polite and subservient to the great West but it’ll be made clear that if your country wants a new overdraft then you’ll have to show this particular banker some new found respect.

The other 18 are little more than munchkins dancing attendance who gather round to queue up and utter the immortal line, “Please Sir, can I borrow some more?”

Their task will be (with the exception of the dear old French, trust them to try and ruin the party) to shut up, put up and tow the line as well as turn up for breakfast and piccies for the family album outside numerous doors and on various steps.

Oh and the UK has one other additional, very important, responsibility …

… pass the hors d’œuvres round.

For what we are about to claim …

… may the Lords (house of) make us truly thankful (that we don’t get caught.)

You know you couldn’t make this stuff up better if you tried. I can’t imagine the atmosphere in Jacqui Smith’s household right now, but I imagine it’s a right Carry On.

The country’s going to the dogs and all the while someone’s fiddling (in more ways than one) while Rome burns.
It would be nice to see the Government’s finest tightening their belts, rather than watching people undoing them, in these troubled times and lightening the load (ahem!) on the taxpayer by avoiding outlandish claims.

There’s lots of jokes n’ puns I could use here but I must restrain (ooh!) myself and not view the situation too pessimistically. Maybe parliamentary instructions are not explicit (aah!) enough for layman’s (sigh!) interpretation.
Let’s face it, legal small print is usually too hardcore (Mmm) for most of us to swallow (now stop it!)

But hey give them a break. After all, where on the allowance claim form does it say you CAN’T claim for porn?

Maybe it was research?

Oh this has been a fun post to write.

Help! Someone I Know Has a Problem with Porn

Help! Someone I Know Has a Problem with Porn

The Apprentice – you’re inspired!

Lock the doors, take the ‘phone off the hook, give the cat some prawns, banish the kids to their bedrooms, get granny an extra sherry. Yes The Apprentice is back!

March 25th. (Wednesday) sees the welcome return of this classic suited n’ booted, tycoon finding, knockout TV extravaganza.

Hosted as usual by the Sid James of the corporate boardroom, as Jonathan Ross refers to Alan Sugar, The Financial Times readers version of X-Factor returns for a Fifth series.

I love it when the contestants all start off luvey duvey with each other, talking about team building and giving their all, while all the time hoping and planning to stuff up one anothers chances at the first opportunity.

Though I do think some of the contestants must be looking to be awarded the business persons version of the V.C. because they seem very keen to put themselves right in the firing line.

For example who’d be a team leader in the first programme? Whew, lamb to the slaughter or what? Anyone who’s smart won’t do it but you always get some schmuck who’s talked into doing it by having their vanity massaged.

“We think you’d be great.”
“As soon as we saw you we thought you were the one to lead us in this first task.”
(Titter, titter)
“Aw shuks, sure okay then, ‘course I’ll do it.”

You can almost hear the taxi driver starting his black cab up, ready to whisk them off to business oblivion land. (Though personally I reckon they just get dropped off by the bustop at the end of the road, London taxi fares, do me a favour!)
They won’t be remembered by anybody except possibly some drunken guest at their next party, “Oh you were the prat that went out first weren’t you? You got well stiched up!”

Sometimes their personal competition winning tactics also seem a bit strange to me. Do they not realise that if they get in the bad books of that weeks Team Leader they are going into the boardroom for sure?
If you don’t agree with your boss, shutup, look helpful and take solace in the fact that their gonna’ get theirs sometime soon and you’ll be smiling right at them when they do.

“Et tu, Brute?”
“Damn right matey. BIFF!”

It’s nice to see that Alan Sugar’s cockney accent hasn’t been rounded off by his many years of champagne and limos. It will be a welcome return of some of his not so chirpy cockney catchphrases including:-

“You’re not pissin’ my money up the wall!”
“I don’t like liars, I don’t like cheats. I don’t like bullshitters.I don’t like schmoozers. I don’t like arse-lickers.”
“You’ve gone out and lost me money!”

His accent is so strong I keep expecting him to say, “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”, at any minute.

But it does beg the question what will the eventual winners actually be doing? I thought he’d sold his manufacturing empire and was just involved with property?

Perhaps they’ll just end up as glorified secretaries.

If that’s so I do hope the winner has brushed up on their shorthand and typing.

The Apprentice - The Best Of [DVD]

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