Monday, 25 February 2008

Feb 25th


An inquest is being held into the death of a man who collapsed during a fairy-cake-eating competition at a nightclub in Swansea. Reporters asked officers from the local constabulary if they had found any clues. They replied “hundreds and thousands”.


In a survey 71% of school children admitted being bullies. Which does mean competition has hotted up in the search for suitable victims. A few years ago you had to be ginger, dressed in ADSA clothing and have a lisp to expect to have to trade in your lunch money to avoid a kicking. Now even a hole in your jumper or a lack of a comprehensive knowledge of text slang is enough to see you begging not to be given a wedgie. The news, though worrying for pupils and parents alike has been hailed as excellent news by captains of industry who have seen middle management ranks depleted over recent years.


Motorists will be targeted by a new generation of road cameras which work out how many people are in a car by measuring the amount of bodily fluid it contains. The rather sinister idea uses cameras which work by sending an infrared beam through the windscreen of vehicles which detects the unique make-up of blood and water content in human skin.

The idea is to catch out lone motorists who use car-sharing lanes and try to fool existing CCTV road cameras by placing mannequins in passenger seats or fixing photographs to windscreens.

The technology, originally developed by evil vampire armies, means that while the mannequin-photo strategies will no longer work, you can still use the car-sharing lanes if you have a corpse in the boot.


A suicide bomber in a wheelchair killed a top policeman and wounded four others in an attack on the police operations centre in the Iraqi city of Samarra today. You know your security is lax when a dude in a wheelchair slips through.


A care worker has lost her job over claims she used her mobile phone to film two old ladies fighting in a nursing home. Bolton council bosses have confirmed a full investigation has been launched and the carer is no longer employed at the home.

Now, as a legal precedent, what does this mean? Companies using CCTV seem to be allowed to film just about anything, as do the government and the police, but individuals who film stuff will get in trouble?

I can just see it now, Al Qaeda demanding punishment for all the people who filmed the airplanes flying into the World Trade Center. Or more likely it’s just the care home covering their tracks after realising somebody might notice the appalling conditions they in which they keep their patients? Surely the investigation should be into the care home who let two elderly women end up fighting.


Nine senior American directors of top international companies are preparing to quit Britain over the controversial "non-dom" tax proposals, the Daily Mail reported. The directors work for companies including Bank of America, McDonald's, Ernst & Young, and Bear Stearns and earn well over a million pounds a year and don’t pay taxes on it. So frankly I think at very least we’d all feel better about ourselves if we didn’t have to share our public spaces and services with them.

The nine are all threatening to move back to America, where they would actually have to pay a lot more tax on their earnings than the proposed £30,000 rate being proposed.

The Mail claims: "They are going to sell their houses in Mayfair or Kensington and Chelsea , dumping them on the market at an already difficult time. Then they will take their business overseas. Well, if they actually own multi-million-pound houses in Mayfair or Kensington, they can afford to pay as much in taxes as a highly-qualified an experienced hard-working UK-based professional who earns £90,000 a year. And anyway a drop in the housing market would be great news for all the young families finding it hard to get on to the property ladder.

The Mail adds, "Competing cities such as New York , Geneva ... and Frankfurt , would welcome these wealthy non-dom businessmen with open arms." That’s because New York , Geneva and Frankfurt would love to tax them.

You would think anyway given their usual coverage that the Daily Mail would be in favour of foreigners leaving British soil. Or could it be that the owners of the Daily Mail are all non-dom tax-dodgers...? You decide...

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Feb 21st


A group of Italian scientists are researching the G-spot and the female orgasm. This already begs a few questions about the way these scientists are funded. It would have to be Italy wouldn’t it where some bright spark wanders into the higher education funding bureau and says “I want to study female orgasms and I’m going to need a lot of money”. Mmmm. Anyway they have “discovered” that in those women who have vaginal orgasms there is an area of the vagina where the tissue is thicker. This they claim is proof that the G spot exists and can be scientifically located. I have an alternative theory. I think those women who experience vaginal orgasms spend rather more time rubbing their vaginas and maybe that thickens up the bit of the vagina that they rub the most. Call me Einstein but I’d be prepared to bet good money that the thicker bit of the vagina is, ooh, about a finger-distance in.

The Doctor behind the research believes it will lead to the development of (and I quote) “a simple, rapid and inexpensive method [to determine] if a woman has a G spot or not”. I can think of another simple, rapid, inexpensive way to find out if you’ve got one girls – give the damn thing a good rub and see what goes off.


Another piece of BBC non-news. Turns out that what babies are fed for the first few weeks of their life can affect the way their brain develops. Really? So let me guess, feeding babies mostly gravel and amphetamines would be bad for them?


Steven Schkolne, an IT Professional from LA has invented a new sport called “speedcabling” in which competitors race to untangle a mesh of electronic cables, such as those found underneath many multi-appliance office desks. The first competition winner Matthew Howell said his technique was like going down rabbit holes and that (and I quote) “[you have to] really call on the element of air”.

In response David and I here at the podcast have invented our own new sport. It’s called “work out which one of those two is the biggest nutter”.

In fairness you have to give some credit to Schkolne who obviously realised his desk was a tip and rather than clear it up managed to convince a bunch of people that it was a sport. If any listeners want to take up competitive doing-Kate’s-ironing or cleaning-Kate’s-kitchen they should get in touch.


Home secretary Jacqui Smith has unveiled new plans to make many migrants to the UK complete a probationary citizenship phase. During this period they are expected to prove they have blended in to British society by collecting two ASBOs, having a fight in a car park over a spilt pint and eating until they are medically classified as obese. Language tests seem set to be introduced and here again the pass mark is easy to define, when asked if they’ve taken any language lessons the true Briton will take offence and angrily demand “are you calling me gay?”. Then they’ll be welcomed into the country with open arms and offered a job with the Conservative party.


In Northern Ireland the Rev Ian Paisley is expected to resign shortly from his role as first minister and retire. The thing is Ian Paisley is quite a scary bloke, especially in terms of that frightening accent he has. I pity the local pensioners club who will soon be greeted with [Paisley’s voice] “I WOULD LIKE TO PLAY CARPET BOWLS. DO YOU HAVE THE FACILITIES FOR THAT”. I think sales of colostomy bags to Northern Irish hospitals could be about to sky-rocket.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Feb 20th


And a group of US-based scientists say the first stars in the universe may have been dark. Fair enough but I think I might need to go and check my definition of “star”. I think it has to be bright and shiny to be a star, I think what they’re talking about are vast lumps of anti-matter. It’s like Kylie Minogue is a star but Michelle McManus is a vast lump of anti-matter. Aww mean.


A 70-million-year-old fossil of a giant frog has been unearthed in Madagascar by a team of UK and US scientists. The creature was the size of a "squashed beach ball" and weighed about 4kg (9lb). “It’s a real shame it’s extinct”, said a French researcher brandishing a knife and fork.


The coroner investigating the deaths of four British soldiers in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq has called for better protection for troops. The Ministry of Defence responded saying there was "no such thing" as perfect protection. Oh well that’s all right then – we’ll all be using that excuse next time. “I ran over your kid, but hey, no-one’s perfect!”. Also there is a way offering perfect protection to our troops in Iraq. That’s by not marching them off to an illegal war in the first place.


A San Francisco court has ordered the closure of the website, This is the whistle-blowing website which allows people to anonymously post leaked materials with the goal of discouraging “unethical behaviour” by corporations and governments. The site has been doing a fantastic job so far of sharing documents revealing information about torture at Guantánamo Bay, and of what must be called for legal reasons, “possible evidence”, by which I mean “clear obvious irrefutable evidence” of companies colluding, polluting and thieving.

Now a case has been brought against the website by a Cayman Islands-based bank. Now before I explain the case any further lets play “guess who the good guys are”. Is it (a) the tax-haven-based private investment bank? Or is it (b) someone else. Scores later.

The bank claimed that a “disgruntled ex-employee” stole documents violating banking laws on confidentiality. Since when did banks have laws? I mean employee guidelines, sure, but laws are supposed to be set by governments aren’t they? And why would a bank need confidentiality “laws”? What exactly are they hiding?

The documents “allegedly” (i.e. really) detail how the bank helped people evade taxes and launder money. The first of these is a way of ripping of ordinary tax-payers and the second is used by criminals and terrorists alike to move their money around and make it untraceable. But for some reason the courts have decided that the breaking the banks internal confidentiality code is the bigger crime.

This is a bit like if you were filmed murdering someone or shagging a child and you managed to get off scott free and instead sue the owner of the camera for filming you without your consent. If that’s ever happened to you then thanks for listening to the podcast, Michael Jackson and OJ Simpson.


And you really have to ask how dim the police are in South Wales. A seventeenth teenager has been found dead in Bridgend, having taken her own life. At the ensuing press conference Assistant Chief Constable Dave Morris told reporters “We have found no suggestion of any suicide pact”. Right – what about the seventeen dead bodies. Surely that’s a clue. He went on to say “I would like to put to bed any suggestion within the media that we are investigating suicide pacts or suicide internet links”. No? Well you should be mate. Thinks it’s worth at least checking isn’t it? Before anyone else dies.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Feb 19th


And the BBC reports that psoriasis care around the UK is inconsistent. They interviewed a number of doctors and patients all of whom were trying really very hard not to describe the quality of care in the UK as patchy or flaky. The report is actually pretty gruesome with claims that even basic things like bathing and showering facilities were insufficient, patients are having to apply potentially dangerous creams and lotions themselves and counselling is unavailable to many who want it, including those feeling suicidal. The government responded saying it was up to primary care trusts to choose local priorities for improving services. True enough, but it was the government who established the primary care trusts, assuring us at the time that treatment wouldn’t be affected. It’s kind of like if you’re supposed to be running a kitchen and someone asks why the dishes aren’t washed and you respond with “it’s up to junior members of kitchen staff to prioritise cleaning duties in their own areas”. You’d get fired, of course but then that’s an important job, running a kitchen, not a trivial one like running the country’s health.

Intl News

Fidel Castro has stepped down as Cuban leader. The move prompted both Gordon Brown and George Bush to announce their hope that this would lead to democracy in Cuba, and that Cuba may sometime soon have a popular leader elected fairly by the people. Unlike the US and the UK. In case the Cuban people are still failing to see the benefits of a western democracy Bush has erected a small theme-park-style attraction in Cuba where the spoils of capitalism and democracy can be seen. It’s called Guantanamo Bay.


Mark Dixie, the man accused of murdering Sally-Anne Bowman really needs to think a bit more before he stands up in court and says things. Remember the story so far – his DNA is all over Sally-Anne’s body. He claims he didn’t kill her but he did have sex with her corpse as he was wandering home. Giving evidence yesterday he explained, so we wouldn’t all be totally horrified by his claims. He now says he didn’t realise she was dead until after he’d had sex with her. You really know your sexual technique isn’t up to much when you only realise afterwards that the person you’re shagging is dead.


The government’s counter terrorism watchdog has suggested that control orders – placing suspects under virtual house arrest should last no longer than two years and instead suspects should be given ASBOs. Now I’m not a fan of the ASBO, much as I dislike seeing behooded youths spitting, swearing and congregating in underground car parks kick cans about, I don’t think it’s the sort of thing that legislation solves and nor do I think that it’s a policy that stands any chance of being fairly implemented. The problem with ASBOs for terrorists however is isn’t it stretching it a bit to describe blowing up innocent people as "anti-social"?

Monday, 18 February 2008

Feb 18th

International News

John Prescott has warned people not to criticise China for its tacit support of the genocide in Darfur. He said “I always discuss human rights with China”. Adding “and I discuss paedopholia with the catholic church and global warming with Jeremy Clarkson.”


The government has announced it is to nationalise Northern Rock. The Conservatives responded saying they felt the bank should be privately owned. By them. The plans will include a downsizing of the bank and job cuts among the 4,300 staff, who will each lose an arm.

The bank’s new head, Ron Sandler assured the public however that it would be “business as usual” so shitty service, unnecessary charges and regular management trips to expensive lap-dancing joints. Seriously – “business as usual”, so lets carry on doing the same thing we were doing before when we went bust...! Great thinking.


Oral tests could be dropped from GCSE language qualifications because they are “too stressful”. Instead students will be continually assessed throughout the year. So basically an oral test that lasts a whole year. That would be less stressful, right? The move has been welcomed by the MoD who are experiencing a serious shortfall in Arabic and Pashtun translators. Although of course it is expected that in the future the military will have to communicate with insurgents using only multiple choice questions.

A few years ago they also stripped out the requirement for a written test in many GCSE language courses. If they reduce the standards any further I will be personally qualified in Persian, Russian and Swahili.


OK, not agriculture, American food. And the US has recalled 64.9m kg of beef, the largest recall in the country’s history. The department of health assured the public that the risk was minimal since (in their own words) “Much of the meat was purchased for school lunch and other federal nutrition programmes”. Don’t worry, only children and the poor are going to die. And they don’t vote republican anyway... The problem is that the meat came from animals known as “downers” in the inhumane horror-factories in which they exist. These are animals too weak to stand and you’re really not supposed to put them into burgers and feed them to people who are also too weak to stand. It just creates a vicious cycle.


The police are to be given 110 airport-style portable metal detecting arches to be taken to pubs, clubs, schools or wherever they are needed. The trouble with arches of course is that they work best embedded into a wall. I can’t help thinking that some of the most shrewd and canny criminal may ingeniously plan to walk around them.

Crime again

Mohammed al-Fayed has said Princess Diana and Dodi al-Fayed were murdered. He went on to say he wasn’t going to make any allegations. So I think next time he applied for British citizenship we can reject him on the basis that he’s not really trying to learn the language. Saying they were murdered is definitely an allegation.

Still Crime

A fifteen-year-old girl has been convicted of filming a “happy slap” on her mobile phone. The victim of the happy slap was assaulted and beaten to the point where his spleen ruptured and he died. How is it that if you film it it’s a happy slap and if not it’s manslaughter. Presumably if you film the crime hit and run car crime becomes “happy bumping”, shooting someone’s jaw off is “happy shaving” and rape becomes “happy groping”. Actually I’m sure somewhere in the UK right now there is a police officer trying to convince a very frightened looking young woman that she was probably asking for her “happy groping”. Puke.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Feb 14th

International News

MPs have expressed concern about the “tone and timing” of comments from Afghan president Hamid Karzai. Yes, the “tone and timing”. That’s the kind of thing you say when you know you’ve lost an argument. “It’s not what you said, it’s that voice you said it in and why did you have to say it now when you know I’m having a bad day?”. Apparently they thought the appropriate timing would be “When we’re not in power any more” and the appropriate tone would be “below the audible decibel range of the human ear”.

What Karzai said was that having British troops in Afghanistan was only making things worse. Now you know you fucked up when you invade a country, stick in a puppet leader of your own choosing and then he turns round and tells you to fuck off. If the British prescence in Afghanistan isn’t helping the Afghanis, why are we there? Is it helping us in some way? Do our brave boys and girls in uniform like getting shot at?


Five Muslim men have had their convictions quashed after they were convicted of reading extremist literature. The defence have argued that reading a book does not constitute intending to act on the information in it. Otherwise there’d be several million people commuting to work on broomsticks now and Man Utd would be playing quidditch.


A study for the Journal of Clinical Nursing suggests that post-natal depression is much more common in mothers who have male children. The study was carried out in France however and a UK-based analyst said the data could be affected by cultural issues in male-female relationships as well as the fact that delivery is more painful when the infant comes out with its hands in the air waving a white flag.


A group of US-based scientists have developed brush-like fibres that generate electrical energy from movement. They hope that these can be incorporated into clothing that powers the wearer’s electronic devices. I’m looking forward to the day when we’ll see people at bus stops shouting into their mobile phone “I’M LOSING THE SIGNAL, I’LL HAVE TO DANCE”.


The government is to launch a formal review into whether British astronauts should take part in the international exploration of space. What the hell are British astronauts doing now? Drinking tea and eating biscuits while the review is done. What’s the point of astronauts if they’re not going into space? They should be re-named staff-room-o-nauts. If they are going to send British citizens into space however I do think it should be done with a reality TV show “I’m a really annoying quasi-celebrity, get me off this planet” and a follow-up show “What not to wear in space where we vote whether or not to give them helmets”.

Crime (again)

Detective Superintendent Steve Richardson, who has led a series of drugs raids across London has said that the seizing of 111kg of cocaine was a “huge success”. He also said he was the supreme overlord of the universe. Then he sniffed a bit and said he was going to become a rock star.

500 police officers were involved in the raids, which means actually they’re only getting about 200g each. They would have taken more cocaine off the streets if they’d just given them all an early Christmas bonus and told them to take the night off and enjoy themselves. In one of the raids a JCB digger was used to smash through a wall. So the police deliberately drove a huge piece of industrial equipment in to a wall and then started telling other people not to have such a reckless lifestyle.


BAA has begun a six-month trial of a new baggage tracking system. They’re trialling a never-before-tested idea where they actually put the bags that belong to you on the plane that you’re on. No, they’re going to use radio frequency identification tags. They hope this could “significantly improve efficiency” by letting passengers find out online which land-fill their baggage has been dumped in.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Feb 13th


And the furore over the Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments about Sharia Law continues. This week he made a speech today to the General Synod – who I thought was a character from Star Wars - The Phantom Menace. Now it seems everyone has a view on his comments one way or another. Seems to me pretty obvious that if both parties in a dispute agree on mediation by whatever means – be it Sharia or arm-wrestling competition then they are well entitled to use such a means, but obviously if you want to go to a proper court, you should be able to. I also think we should all spend a lot less time worrying what the unelected head of a jumble sale organisation with plummeting membership thinks about our lives. Surely the whole problem with Sharia law is that it imposes religious laws on people who may not want them. I not only want no part of my life governed by Muslim Sharia judges, I also want no part governed by the Church of England.


Amy Winehouse won four Grammys but had to perform from London because US immigration officials refused to give her a visa because of her drug use. That’s fair enough because remember George Bush has a history of drug abuse and I bet they wish they’d never let him into the country.


The US military announced it is bringing death penalty charges against Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. They have apparently confessed to a huge list of crimes including orchestrating the September 11 attacks, the murder of Danny Pearl, the attack on the USS Cole and the bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya. But then that’s what water-boarding will do for you. They also admitted they were the illegitimate love children of Daffy Duck and Porky Pig.


A British photojournalist and his interpreter have been kidnapped. I don’t understand. The kidnappers say they want all Westerners to leave their country. But one thing I find makes it really hard to leave a country is being chained to the floor of a concrete bunker.


Steven Spielberg has withdrawn as artistic adviser for the 2008 Beijing Olympics over concerns China is not doing enough to end the atrocities in Darfur. I think he should have stayed put and used the opening ceremony to make his point. Everyone in black and white, and one little girl in a red dress. And we could have seen an unprecedented level of new world records being set if he’d incorporated a little bit of a Jurassic Park feel into the sprinting events.


Well, sorry, non-science. A report out yesterday says global warming could cut deaths related to cold weather in winter. Apparently if it isn’t cold, less people die of it being cold. They added that less people would die of obesity if there was no food.

Finally a quick headline from the BBC:

Agencies “failed” murdered baby. And they’ve got the word “failed” in inverted commas. I think we can pretty conclusively say that agencies charged with protecting the welfare of young children have failed when the baby’s been murdered.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Feb 8th


The Archbishop of Canterbury has come under fire after offering his support for some aspects of Sharia law in Britain. He said we needed to face up to the fact that some citizens do not relate to the British legal system. I thought those people were called criminals, ho hum. Trevor Philips from the equality and Human Rights commission said the “implication that British courts should treat people differently based on their faith is divisive and dangerous” although it would probably do wonders for attendance at my newly-founded Church of no Speeding Fines.


And Mitt Romney has withdrawn from the race for the republican presidential nomination. He said “In this time of war, I simply cannot let my campaign be a part of aiding a surrender to terror” which confuses me not only because the US declared victory in Iraq several years ago but also because how exactly would you surrender to terror? Go home and watch horror movies? He went on to claim that a Democrat president “would retreat [from Iraq] and declare defeat” whereas a republican would stay in there until they’d been properly defeated, and still claim victory.


A report from Iceland says people who marry a distant relative have more children. They suggest the results of the survey may be due to genetic compatibility. Alternatively it could reflect the cost savings of having less in-laws to visit around Christmas.


Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader has said the UK over-uses medication to treat mental illness. He highlighted members of his own party who have battled their demons using nothing more than litres of neat whiskey and legions of rent boys. The results of a survey by the Lib Dems found some patients waiting up to two years for counselling. Which is a bit like [timid] “Hello is that the Samaritans” [formal] “Your call is important to us here at the Samaritans and has been placed in a queue for the next available operator. There are currently 9,475,286 people in this queue. Please continue to hold the line.”


A poster published by the Christian Congress for Traditional Values has been attacked by the Advertising Standards Authority for using the slogan “Gay aim: abolish the family”. The ASA say the advert is “likely to offend gay people” but isn’t the issue more that it’s likely to make people think the group are from another planet? I’m really tempted to write to them and ask if they can send me the rest of the “gay manifesto”. I went and looked at their website and it turns out their other main campaign issue is telling people not to worry about global warming. Remind me to go back tomorrow and do a search for their policy on abortion. It’s bound to make great reading...


Robert Brown, the Jersey accountant who believes he is the illegitimate love child of Princess Margaret has won the right to put his case over access to royal wills. He says he realised he was related to the royal family in his early twenties when he lost the ability to talk without spitting and had to be fed from a nosebag.

Royals again

And if you heard the exclamation “Oh my God I can't believe these naans are so big. I've never seen anything like it” you’d be mistaken for thinking Wayne Rooney had walked into a roly-poly theme-brothel but in fact Prince William said it when he visited a curry house in York this week. The restaurant owner said he was proud to have served the prince. The off licensee next door was just as proud to have sold him a case of lager and a straw and a local resident said it was an honour and a privilege to have the young prince puke on his dog on the way home.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Feb 6th


A police reform report due out this week claims time and money wasted on red tape could put 3,000 more officers on the streets. A follow-up report is expected to explain that a further 50 could be on the beat if they stopped spending money on police reform reports. The author of the report Sir Ronnie Flanagan has spent a year compiling the report, a year he could have spent like Bob Geldof organising a big charity rock concert. The government is expected to face harsh questioning on why Live Aid 9 never happened.

The main culprit in the alleged overspend is the forms officers have to fill in when they perform a stop and search. These forms were brought in to monitor whether ethnic minorities were being unfairly targeted. So all that money being wasted making sure the police aren’t racist. What a waste eh? Let’s just assume they’re not and save all that money...


And in response to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith’s claims that she didn’t feel safe walking the streets at night a group of four Labour MPS went for an after-hours wander around Hackney, right near where I live. This was notable among local residents as the first time people had ever wished there was more gun and knife crime in their area.

Intl News

Osama bin Laden's son, Omar, and his British wife are in Rome in an effort to meet with the Pope on their self-proclaimed mission to promote world peace. Was the pope ever likely to go to war? Are they worried about a reprise of the 1527 sack of Rome by the Swiss Guards? How ironic that after your Dad’s army flies planes into the World Trade Centre you should be advising a group of guys dressed as court jesters to “put down those halberds”.


Glamour model Jordan has spoken out to warn other women about the dangers plastic surgery. This is significant a break from the past where just looking at her warned women about the dangers of plastic surgery. She is unhappy with her recent boob reduction surgery because, and this is a direct quote: "When I saw my boobs I was disappointed because they looked big … But I still want people to think I've got big boobs." The surgeon’s failure may well be down to his insistence on using a scalpel rather than an improbability drive.

And finally in Wales

A brass band that won an award contains five married couples. I don’t know why this is news, unless of course they’re a six-piece band. Maybe they just kept giving each other the horn...

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Feb 5th


The new low emissions zone in London came in to effect yesterday. This left many 4x4 drivers confused by the signs and unsure whether or not they should use their vehicles. Lets clarify for any confused listeners – if the road is tarmacked – you shouldn’t be driving a 4x4, fuck off, I don’t care how many precious little hypo-allergenic brats you’ve got in it, or how many council estates you pass on the way to your overpriced selective school – walk, cycle or use public transport, the whole climate change thing isn’t one last hilarious posthumous prank from Jeremy Beadle, if we don’t sort it out there’ll be no point having kids soon.

Still with the environment

The Independent reports that an area twice the size of continental US in the Pacific Ocean has become what they call a plastic soup. If you’re wondering what that would taste like – order a thick-shake at MacDonald’s. Researchers are calling the area a “trash vortex”, a term normally only applied to Birmingham. One way to get rid of an area of trash twice the size of continental US of course would be to dump it on continental US. Twice.


And a BBC headline screams “Workers had sex on double time” – as though having sex at work was perfectly acceptable as long as you were only paid at a basic, non-bonus rate. Seriously – they even interview a witness to the alleged shag saying “Everyone who was in, including them, would have been on double time”. One of the accused is the director of leisure – who can surely chalk this one down to research – and is genuinely called Mr Woodcock. Mr McNeil, the employee who shopped the shagging pair has since been fired and is taking legal action amidst counter claims that he traded sex for favours in the council’s sports department. Apologies if your office sounds a bit dull now.


New housing minister Caroline Flint has said people living in social housing should get jobs. Social housing by the way is the new term for council housing – social housing sounds like there might be no dividing walls, so you can just pop over for a cuppa any time. She says she is surprised to discover unemployment levels are higher among those in social housing then the rest of the population. Doh. Don’t you get it – people without jobs, have less money and are less likely to have just put a deposit down on a semi-detached with a couple of ornamental lions by the door and about half an acre of decking. Whatever next – turns out the unemployed also own less Faberge eggs than the rest of the population.


Another alleged breakthrough in franken-science. A group in Newcastle claims to have created an embryo with one father and two mothers. They said this was safer than having two fathers who would only fight about football and leave twice as much dirty laundry on the floor.


A study from The Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and Environment discovered that those with a healthy lifestyle cost taxpayers more in medical bills over their lifetime than the obese or smokers. For five-fruit-and-veg-a-day yoga enthusiasts the bill is £210,000, £165,000 for smokers and £187,000 for the obese. The government is expected to respond with a series of pro-smoking, pro-obesity adverts. Tag lines like “Your first £40,000 of cigarettes are on us!” and “Don’t be a healthcare scrounger, have an extra quarter-pounder”. Ok that doesn’t even rhyme.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Feb 4th

War on terror

The government has issued a new phrase book to advise civil servants on how to talk to Muslims about terrorism without implying they are to blame. Phrases to be employed include “The Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, wiccan, secular or Jedi suicide bomber ran into the building shouting “Allah Akbah”” and readers are advised to replace the term “jihadi fundamentalist” with “thug”. Which could backfire if the substitution is made the other way round. It’s quite a rough nightclub, they have a couple of right jihadi fundamentalists on the door.


The worst polluting lorries, buses and coaches are now being charged £200 a day to enter London. Boris Johnson (really) said this was “the most punitive, draconian fining regime in the whole of Europe” after which his spokeswoman said Boris was “in favour in principle”. So I guess he really likes punitive draconian regimes...


A group of scientists have announced what they describe as a major breakthough – they have succeeded in giving a mouse a cold. Well done team – how about focussing on curing the common cold? The last thing that’s going to make me feel any better when on the sofa wrappen a duvet sipping Lemsip is the sound of my rodent infestation sneezing in the basement.


The government has unveiled plans to have two students from every school in England sent to Auschwitz. When I was a kid the worst you could get was after-school detention. They hope that the students will return and tell the rest of their classmates about the experience. School’s Minister Jim Knight said “It was not hot-blooded brutality, it happened in a very planned way, with some people designing the process of death and others carrying it out. Every young person should have an understanding of this”. Those students with the best understanding of planned brutality will earn themselves the title “school bully”.


A major new report on honour killings and forced marriages in the UK has been released. Crimes of the Community presents a grim picture of life in the UK for women in many religious minorities. In the report one woman described how she had been tricked in to marriage to a mentally retarded man. Victoria Beckham said in retrospect she should have made more of a fuss.


A German travel agent is planning a nudist flight. The journey from Erfurt to Usedom on the Baltic coast will cost 499 Euros and take place in July. Regional baggage handlers have booked the day off. The cabin safety announcements have been modified to accommodate the naked passengers. The new advice says “in the event of a water landing, trust me the sharks are more scared than you are”. The life jackets will not have whistles since the passengers are likely to be well able to attract attention to themselves unaided.

International News

A UN report says women in Saudi Arabia should be allowed more basic freedoms. Follow-up reports are expected to advise nations that bear may shit in the woods and the pope may be just a little bit catholic. The Saudi government responded saying they hadn’t seen any discrimination against women. Mainly because all the women were locked up indoors unable to go outside on pain of being stoned to death. He really did say there was no discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia. Like he hasn’t noticed that Saudi women aren’t allowed to drive or travel anywhere unaccompanied by male relatives.


According to just released historical documents, a toilet attendant in Oxford Street foiled an IRA bombing attack. Thomas Hawkett spotted the bomb in a cubicle in 1939. He quickly dumped it in a bucket of water, knowing this would render the explosive charge inoperative. In recognition of hi courageous action, officials awarded Hawkett £5 for his "commendable and meritorious conduct". The next time Hawkett spotted a suspicious package, he shoved it up the official’s ass.


A group of computer hackers has targeted The Church of Scientology, manipulating Google so that a search for the term “dangerous cult” gives the official Scientology website as the first result. This is particularly bad news for those surfing the net for information about Catholicism who will now have to scroll to page two.

Friday, 1 February 2008

Feb 1st

International news

Abu Laith Al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda leader has been killed in Afghanistan after a US missile strike in the North Waziristan area. Now I don’t wish to sound cynical but – I AM. I’ve never heard of this guy, I didn’t know we were looking for him. Really sounds to me like it could just be that there hasn’t been much “good” war news for a while so the next time the army kills a couple of local peasants they get a call “Hey, guys, yeah we need some good news. Just make up a name and a location and make sure it’s got some Als at the beginning and a Stan at the end and we’ll get it out in the press and pretend it matters.” OK boss so Al-Ronaldo Mac Al-Donaldo has been killed following serious fighting in the Cheese-On-Toast-istan area”. Incidentally can you tell I’m hungry writing this...

In a vain attempt to make us think we might have heard of him, they explain “He has appeared in a number of al-Qaeda videos” which is like saying “we’ve shot the dark-haired ugly one on the right in the Boyzone videos” – NOOOO! Shoot Ronan, go for Ronan!

Now they’re saying this dude is in the top half-dozen figures in al-Qaeda that we’re looking for. So I think they should publish a big list of the others, maybe in a big Blue-Peter-style patronising graphic. Like a big test tube which gradually fills up with terrorist blood every time we kill one.

Of course the graphic we really need is a big see-saw showing how many jihadi terrorists we’ve killed versus how many we’ve created with the blindly aggressive shoot-em-up we have the misfortune to call our foreign policy.


And the UK is experiencing a surge in cases of gout. Add this to the recent reports of rising syphilis levels and seems like everybody’s got an 18th century illness. I might develop consumption just to join in.

Experts blame the rise on an increase in the amount of sugary soft drinks being consumed. That’s the gout rise, the syphilis rise is probably more closely correlated with the consumption of sugary alcoholic drinks.


A bizarre new mammal has been discovered in Tanzania. The creature, a type of elephant shrew is described as having a long flexible snout and a bulky body with spindly legs. So it could be the bastard love child of Barry Manilowe and Vanessa Feltz. OK, sorry, didn’t mean to put anyone off their lunch!


A judge in Rio has banned a carnival float which was to have depicted holocaust victims and a Hitler figure. The story has echoes of Britain in 2003 when Felixstowe carnival was forced to apologise for it’s Fred West theme float, sponsored by Wilson and Son Patio Tilers.


A Chinese shopping list thought to be 300 years old has been found in a vase in a York stately home. Archaeologists are now studying the list to see what it can teach us about life in the 18th century far east. One day our shopping lists could be discovered and analysed the same way so lets all plan to put one weird item on each shopping list we write just to confuse archaeologists of the future. Milk, eggs, pasta, giraffe dildo, muesli. Obviously don’t leave that list out for your Mum to get for you when she goes to the shops ... it could backfire.


A DNA survey has revealed that everyone alive today with blue eyes is descended from a single common ancestor. Which means I’m related to Cameron Diaz, Angelina Jolie and Uma Thurman, shame none of them inherited the rest of my good looks.


The Daily Mail has a rather confusing front page caption “And the award for best prime minister goes to...” underneath a photo of David Cameron, who has never been prime minister and Margaret Thatcher, the worst prime minister ever. In fact Mrs Thatcher was being given a lifetime achievement award sponsored by investment bank Morgan Stanley who we all know are the people with the interests of the British public most closely at heart. Cameron took the opportunity to describe Mrs Thatcher as “one of the greatest prime ministers of all time”, saying she had rescued people from “despair”. That would be the despair of having a job, the despair of the protection of trade union membership over pay and conditions and the despair of not being at war.


South Wales police are to adopt American-style phone answering methods in an effort to speed up dealing with 999 calls. In the past they’ve been too polite to ask what the problem is and have had to spend the first five minutes making small talk about the weather. “Lovely day to be out getting mugged isn’t it...” They hope the measures will have the added effect of reducing calls from non-emergencies. Recent – genuine – 999 calls have included people asking for help retrieving £1 deposit from a supermarket trolley and asking whether it’s safe to leave a chicken in the oven overnight.

Lets hope though that the American style of policing doesn’t spread across all aspects of the service in Wales, how scary would this be: [welsh accent] “Up against the wall and assume the position, you cocksucker”


15% of pupils in a survey said Winston Churchill worked in insurance. Their teachers responded (all together now) Oh no, no, no, no, no...