Filed: MP3

P is for Harry Pollitt

Pollitt with his Stalin portrait

Harry Pollitt is little known these days, but as General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain and a friend of Russia, he was a significant figure in the turbulent politics of pre- and post-war Britain and achieved a sort of immortality in a song sung by the Grateful Dead among others.

He was born in 1890 in Droylsden, not far from where I live now. Read more ›››

Crises? What Crises?

It’s a strange sort of news day when the jokey item is about VAT, but that’s what happened yesterday as the confusion and silliness about what constitutes hot food and what doesn’t rumbled on.

After George Osborne was embarrassed for being unable to tell the select committee when he last bought a Greggs pasty, other senior politicos were busily establishing their own fast food credentials. Read more ›››

Regrette Rien


Frank Sinatra had a few of them, Edith Piaf had none, but the rest of us have plenty to regret, enough for us to fret about for 44 minutes a week.

This ‘I read it in the paper so it must be true’ statistic came from a survey of 2,000 people published earlier this week that claims to show that our main areas of regret are our love lives (20 per cent), family (18 per cent), career (16 per cent) and finances (14 per cent). Read more ›››

Bonfire of Inanities

My following is obviously growing. After I wrote about the Banished Words list the other day, the BBC followed in my wake when the issue was included on 7 Day Sunday on Radio Five yesterday.

Okay, so they might have read about it on the Hot Word Blog which is where I stole the idea from in the first place, but a boy can dream. Read more ›››

Dangers of Live Broadcasting

Yesterday was the busiest day of the year for the Royal Mail which was expecting to deal with 130 million Christmas cards and parcels as well as the usual slurry of business mail, household bills and junk mail.

Naturally, the BBC covered this staple seasonal news item by sending a reporter to broadcast live from the Mount Pleasant sorting office in London for the breakfast show in Five Live. Read more ›››

There’s a Hole in my Bucket

A combination of things got me coming over all nostalgic yesterday. I was in the garage to get out the Christmas tree and decorations when I noticed there was a puddle of water on the shelf.

The roof developed a leak a few weeks ago and not been very keen or adept at DIY, my solution was to put a bucket beneath to catch the drips. Read more ›››

Exotic Football Results

I sometimes feel sorry for the rest of the world that enjoys watching Premier League football live on tv, but has to do so in the early morning or the middle of the night because of the time difference.

But if England has the most exciting football league in the world, we lag behind somewhat in our team names. Apart from a few uniteds. cities and plain FCs, albion, athletic, rangers and rovers is about as exciting the names get. Read more ›››

P is for Mr Pietersen, Potjie and Penguins

Mr Pietersen and the Guys

This is one of my favourite photos from Cape Town and a happy accident too after I played around with an underexposed sunshine and shade shot. It looks as if it might be advertising Southern Comfort.

But the reason I include it on P day is because it shows ‘Mr Pietersen and the Guys’ (that’s him second left) who we came across playing at the waterfront every time we went there and presumably they performed there seven days a week. Read more ›››