The Saint of Longsight

I’m full of admiration for the people who do jobs I know I couldn’t or wouldn’t want to do myself. People like Gerry O’Shea whose inner-city GP practice caters for the most chaotic of people – drug users, the homeless and the dysfunctional. Or working in a busy city A&E; where gun crime is rife and likely to arrive at the front desk. Read more ›››

Who’d ‘a thowt it

One of the highlights of my week is watching QI on tv on Thursday. It’s a quiz show hosted by Stephen Fry and the questions are absurdly difficult, but the answers incredibly enlightening in a font of useless knowledge sort of way.

For example, last night I learned that Charles Dickens invented the word boredom in his novel, Bleak House. Read more ›››

Thick as Thieves

I had to smile at a story in tonight’s Manchester Evening News about an armed robber who stole £3,000 from Ladbrokes bookies in Sale. As he was making his escape, he took his mask off in front of the CCTV camera. Not the brightest bauble in the swagbag!

The Phaethon Phenomenon

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 ›››

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