Saturday, 15 October 2011


question I am most often asked is how I manage week after week to find topics about which to be scornful. Believe me, that is the easy bit. What is really difficult is to find comic incidents more bizarre than life offers unvarnished. I gave up writing satirical novels because whenever I invented a risible situation life itself provided examples that exceeded the fiction.

This week life beat me so comprehensibly that I am not even going to try to compete.

Here is the news:

We are hovering on the brink of a war of coloured skins. On R4. Woman’s Hour was doing one of those sensitive investigations into social ills which it does so badly, though not on this occasion by the Dolorous Dame Jenni Murray.

The subject was mixed race. Listeners were asked to ring in with their experiences. One said that she still hurts from being told to

“go home nigger”.

Shock horror in the studio and profuse apologies. Not to the poor woman to whom this terrible thing happened. The presenter was shocked to the core by the use on air of the word ‘nigger’. So affected was she that she twice, her voice throbbing with emotion, apologised with a lengthy explanation of how listeners would be upset at hearing the word.


Capitalism is collapsing round our ears. More than a million are unemployed, most of them youngsters. We have just suffered our first teenage riot against which the police were powerless. The EU toy safety directive states that balloons must not be blown up by unsupervised children under the age of eight, in case they accidentally swallow them and choke. Party games that include whistles and magnetic fishing games are to be banned because their small parts or the chemicals used in making them are decreed to be too risky.

Whistle blowers that scroll out into a long, coloured paper tongue when sounded – a party favourite at family Christmas meals – are now classed as unsafe for all children under 14.

As well as new rules for balloons and party whistles, the legislation will impose restrictions on how noisy toys, including rattles or musical instruments, are allowed to sound.

All teddy bears meant for children under the age of three will now have to be fully washable because EU regulators are concerned that dirty cuddly toys could spread disease and infection.

An EU official insisted that safety experts knew best. "You might say that small children have been blowing up balloons for generations, but not anymore and they will be safer for it," said an official.


Meanwhile officials running Telford Junior League have refused to record heavy losses - to spare young players from embarrassment. Scores are limited to 1-0 victories and 0-0 or 1-1 draws across 20 divisions in age groups from the under-10s through to under-16s.


Under yet another EU ruling posters showing ladies in lingerie must not be posted on billboards near schools.


BURNING poppies or abusing soldiers may no longer be illegal under plans unveiled yesterday.

Ministers are considering making it legal to use insulting words or actions to avoid "criminalising free speech".

Yobs can currently be nicked for being "threatening, abusive or insulting".

Emdadur Choudhury, 26, was charged last year after burning poppies and five Muslims were convicted for shouting insults at a homecoming parade.


From my panchromatic chum Colin Gower:

If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed.
-- Mark Twain

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.
-- Winston Churchill

A government which robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.
-- George Bernard Shaw

A liberal is someone who feels a great debt to his fellow man, which debt he proposes to pay off with your money.
-- G. Gordon Liddy

Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.
-- James Bovard, Civil Libertarian (1994)

Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries to rich people in poor countries.
-- Douglas Casey, Classmate of Bill Clinton at Georgetown University

Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.
-- Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850)

I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts.
-- Will Rogers

Talk is cheap...except when Congress does it.
-- Anonymous

The government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other.
-- Ronald Reagan

What this country needs are more unemployed politicians.
-- Edward Langley, Artist (1928-1995)

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have.
-- Thomas Jefferson

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.
-- Aesop

And consider this...

What one person receives without working for,.another person must work for without receiving.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work, because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work, because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation!