The former political editor of the now-on-a-Sunday-too Sun, Trevor Kavanagh, has been complaining about how investigations into phone hacking and bribing police officers at the newspaper have turned into a witch-hunt.
You may think that’s a bit rich, considering we’re talking about a news organisation that hasn’t been exactly dainty in how it’s treated other people.
Some say it’s rich of The Sun to complain about witch-hunts, because it’s conducted plenty of them itself. But that’s really not fair. The Sun has never once conducted a witch-hunt against actual witches. I mean, okay, it has picked on one or two other groups, like…
Social workers Women in burqas Left-wingers Suburban swingers Binge-drinkers Forward-thinkers Gypsies, shirkers Public sector workers.
Underage mums Overage mums Spongers who sit around twiddling their thumbs Anyone who’s had a fight Anyone with cellulite Looters Saggy hooters FeministsContinue reading →
Sure why else would I have been lying here, but to be sat on? (I'm the one looking resigned. Dunno who the reader is.)
I’m fairly calm. When one problem builds on another into a concatenation of catastrophes, I tend to keep my cool.
No – not because I haven’t a clue about how bad things are. But because I can imagine them being worse. (That’s my theory anyway.) It’s come in handy over the years working in live broadcasting where the unexpected is not that, well, unexpected.
But calmness is not the same as serenity.
To be calm is to remain focussed and carry on, no matter what.
To be serene is to embrace the slings and arrows – or children piled on top of you while you’re trying to read – and feel an extra warm mmmm of contentment.
Oops, sorry. Wrong picture.
To calm is to withstand being poked.
To be serene is when the poking, pulling, jagging and squashing feels as though you’re being stroked.
Young people theose days… Out of control… No respect… Not like when I was a lad/lass… And here’s the evidence!
Your roving reporter met* a specially selected cross section of the population** who shared their own experience and opinions from the sharp end.
“We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They hang around pubs and have no self control.”
“When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of our elders, but young people today are disrespectful and out of control.”
“What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets… Their morals are decaying.”
“The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behaviour and dress.”
I blame the parents – the great great great great great …etc… grandparents, that is.
So what’s with this sudden display of concern for society going to hell in a handcart? Just a pretext really, to show you these clever drawings by Hark, a vagrant – and her lovely, clever, zany blog and book. History as it really/never was.
They couldn’t wait to cut the heads of carefully crafted snowmen. What could be so urgent to necessitate the introduction of saw to sculpted neck?
Saving the grass apparently – according to Hounslow Council.
Even as war, hunger and pestilence roam the world, somehow a decapitated snowman deserves his place on the front page. And in some parts of London like Chiswick, there’s been a wholesale decaptitatory crackdown.
Even my Fosters-drinking mate at the railway station has disappeared – and he was fine this morning. Gone without trace.
And for what? It’s snowing again.
Sure, it may be laudable to clear pavements to save people from slips and broken hips. But who begrudges a snowman?
As we’re having to wait for the sun anyway, why not have the cheery companionship of a snowy sentinel to share the icy times while they last.
We’ll be wading through mud, slush and rain soon enough.
These two faces of London are both trying their best to make the city and the people therein more grounded, more aware and more connected with each other – for which I salute both Christopher West and Emeka Egbuonu.
1. Christopher West brings London’ s history back to life in the persona of Charles Dickens – or perhaps it’s the great man’s ghost. I’ve seen this ghost in action and he’s a lively recreation. And topical given that it would have been Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday today (7th February). The Charles Dickens London blog is here. You can invite him to give a talk – in character and Dickensian outfit – at your gathering. For a sample – check out his appearance in this Voice of America news report by correspondent Dominic Laurie.
My favourite Dickens character? The villain Pecksniff from Martin Chuzzlewit. From Pecksniff we derive Pecksniffian – sanctimonious, hypocritical. (Do you have a favourite – good-hearted or malign?)
And what’s your Dickensian name? To find out take a first name from a great grandparent and add on the name or street name of your primary school (but leave out the “Saint” part to allow variety). Which makes me something along the lines of Charlie Derryvolgie – which has a good ring to it, I think.
2. Emeka Egbuonu arrived in east London from Nigeria aged seven, and survived the blows and temptations of teenage violence, to become an anti-gang intervention worker. He runs a scheme called Consequences – Breaking the Negative Cycle which aims to awaken young people to the alternative possibilities their lives can offer once they take responsibility for their actions. Continue reading →
Blackwatertown - the blog & the book - are by Paul Waters. (So is The Obituarist.) I present a podcast & radio show called We'd Like A Word with Stevyn Colgan. It's about books, authors, publishers, readers, editors, agents, illustrators, poets, script writers & lyricists. The podcast is at https://anchor.fm/wed-like-a-word or wherever you get your podcasts. And the website is www.wedlikeaword.com or on social media @wedlikeaword
I also make other radio, TV & podcasts. Leave a comment or email me at paulwaters99 at hotmail.com Thanks for reading. Paul