Tony Blair’s success in winning over the Labour faithful at their party conference in Bournemouth yesterday prompted me to go back to The Political Animal by Jeremy Paxman.

It was a Christmas gift from my son last year (okay, so I chose it) and is a good analysis of why someone might want to become a politician. Would you have got up on stage in front of hundreds of people, with millions more watching at home, knowing you could be completely humiliated? Read more ›››

Bad Joke Alert

A woman walked into a bar and ordered a double entendre, so the barman gave her one. I did warn you.

Comedy Subject

The list of the top 20 sitcoms compiled for the Radio Times Guide to TV Comedy surprisingly has The Phil Silvers Show at number one. I say surprising not because the show wasn’t funny – it was, very much so – it is more that it’s a show of distant memory for most people. Read more ›››

Worlds Apart

I got roped into our Freedom of Information working group today. In principle, this is a great idea, in practice it will be a nightmare to implement. Briefly, what it means is that anyone, anywhere in the world, can request what information we have on any given subject. So far, so good.

The problem is that to do this, you need to know what files your organisation “possesses”. I put that in quotes because in our case, this doesn’t just mean the files we have, but those we inherited from the six former health authorities and before them, the regional health authority and district health authorities going way back, probably to 1974. In other words, a mountain of paper. Read more ›››

Sunday, Sweet Sunday

One of the joys of my weekend is the Sunday Times. The first I do in the morning is to take a cup of tea into the office and go online to enter the ‘Where Was I’ competition in the travel section. Not that I ever expect to win the holiday prize, it’s more the challenge of solving the puzzle and sharpening up my web searching skills. The answers this week are Lullingstone and Chartwell, home of Winston Churchill. Read more ›››

Good game, good game!

The Manchester Evening News led me to Canyon Glider, an online game at Miniclip.com tonight. It was okay, although I haven’t yet managed to finish the course, even at novice level.

The site has some good, if slightly tasteless shoot-em-ups in War on Terrorism One and Two. System requirements: Pentium II or higher, latest Flash plug-in, 128 Mb RAM (256 recommended), fast trigger finger and a keen eye. Read more ›››

Spell-check Coincidence

I was using the Blogger spellchecker on the previous post. It had just decided that it didn’t like ‘couldn’t’ and suggested ‘coalition’ as an alternative at the very moment when there was a report about the Anti-war Coalition was mentioned on the radio. Makes you believe that there can be meaning in coincidence!

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