Filed: Politics

Moral Turpitude

When we were applying for visas to visit the US a few years ago, I was left scratching my head over whether I was guilty of the sin of ‘moral turpitude’. I was pretty sure I wasn’t, but looked it up just to be sure.

It turns out that this is a legal concept covering ‘conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals’ and relieved that I had passed the test, I ticked the no box. But I wonder how many people simply lie? Read more ›››

Call Waiting

Nuisance Caller

According to Terry Pratchett, ‘inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened’ and I think he’s got a point. Inside my head I’m aged 27 then something comes along to confuse my inner illusions.

I was flicking through the technology pages of the Sunday Times because I like to keep up with the latest gadgets and gizmos, being just 27 years old in my head, and came across a review of the latest cordless phone systems. Read more ›››

The Good Die Young

Paul Goggins

It won’t come as much of a surprise to my regular reader if I were to tell you that I don’t have a lot of time for politicians. I met quite a few through work, so I suppose it could be a case of familiarity breeding contempt.

Take Cyril Smith for example. I met him years ago, long before we know what we know now, and even then he struck me as a slime ball who believed his own publicity and not a bit like the jovial, no-nonsense politico we saw on tv… Read more ›››

The Things They Say

Caroline Flint

Heard on Radio Five – Shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint, on fuel poverty, government intervention and EDF’s planned 3.9% increase from January:

“No amount of hot air from Ed Davey and the energy firms is going to keep people warm this winter.”

You really couldn’t make it up could you? Read more ›››

Sins of the Father


If you’ve read my Shooting Parrots for long enough you’ll know that I don’t have a lot of time for politicians. There are one or two that I admire, but most fall into the ‘waste of space’ category, while there is a select few that I actively detest.

But thinking about the latter group, would I think any worse of them if I found out their father was a war criminal, a rapist or a racist? Read more ›››

Anyone for Denis?

One of the many things that slipped my mind about the Thatcher years amid this week’s sackcloth and ashes was her dear departed Denis, the man who put the T in Mrs T.

Although I thought the business of his hereditary knighthood was a bit fishy, he was one of the great characters of British politics and for entirely fictitious reasons. Read more ›››

Not Sensible


Having seemingly given too much attention to the Ding Dong The Witch is Dead issue last week, it is only fair and in the interest of balance that I also mention I’m in Love with Maggie Thatcher by the Notsensibles.

Supporters of the late Baroness calling themselves I’m In Love With Margaret Thatcher for #1 have pushed the 1979 punk track as a rather frantic paean of praise… Read more ›››

The Division Lobby

The Aye Division Lobby

Ever since the death of Maggie Thatcher on Monday, the media has bombarded us with questions:

Should she be given a state funeral? Was she the greatest post-war prime minister? Should there have been a minute’s silence before the Manchester derby match? Should the BBC chart show play Ding Dong The Witch is Dead? Read more ›››