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 →
Your embarrassing stories please. There’s an absolute corker at the bottom that will have you weeping. But to start with here’s this one:
I once recorded a rather rude message onto my Ex’s pda and set it as his morning alarm call.
That isn’t embarrassing in itself.
What is embarrassing, is it going off in a packed school assembly when you are a teacher as he’s left his phone in your handbag.
Here’s another short one:
After working a double shift at my part time care home job when I was at university, I came home exhausted. Got myself a into the bath for a long soak before having to head into Uni that afternoon for back to back lectures. I was really enjoying relaxing, eating chocolate buttons, eye gel mask on. When I took the mask off I could see the window cleaner at the window, he’d had a full eyeful! I was mortified.
Ten minutes later, he’d finished and… he knocked at the door to be paid Continue reading →
Today a London legend disappears for good. Oxford Circus Bill closes his newspaper stand for the last time.
Bill’s pitch is one of those fascinating sites/sights of alternative London. He’s not exactly off the beaten path. He’s a larger than life character who dominates a corner of one of London’s busiest intersections, where Oxford Street crosses Regent Street.
For years and years and years, he’s been selling the Evening Standard newspaper from his stand. And he’s also been providing general entertainment, chat and banter – and occasional shows – like this week’s bizarre Punch & Judy. He’s always been a source of stories, a haven for waifs, a fiercely partisan Tottenham fan and a downright den of mischief. If you want to know more about the chequered past, the football firms and the current mischief, check out his forthcoming book. It’s called Oxford Circus Bill.
Croc & Judy at Bill's pitch
So why is it coming to an end? Like other Evening Standard vendors, Bill has been under increasing pressure in recent years. The terms for selling the paper have deteriorated, there’s been mushrooming competition from the distributors of free newspapers, the threat of crime, assault and the wearing down of body and soul that comes with working outside in the cold, heat, rain, hail and snow for decades.To be fair, bawdy Bill’s body and soul seem to be as robust as ever. But the final straw was the decision of the Evening Standard, London’s main newspaper, to transform itself into a free newspaper. Falling circulation has led to this last desparate throw of the dice by the paper’s new owners – hoping to recoup on advertising off the back of increased distribution, what they lose on cash sales. But no sales means no Bill doing the selling. So that’s the end for Oxford Circus Bill, the London legend, the mouth, the yell, the wink, the laugh. Until he finds another pitch from which to advertise his greatest asset. Himself. Watch this space.
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