Between Iraq and a hard place.

Grown men don’t cry. They did. That day. 50 years ago. Those who were born or reached maturity after 1966 will not understand the world of that time; no mobile phones, no internet, no rolling news, we had not been groomed by the nightly parade of Sky’s ‘anything with blood’ version of the national news. […]

October 17, 2016

On Yer Ched, Evans!

The partisan reporting from all aspects of the media this morning, has resulted in headlines such as ‘Fury of women’s groups as footballer is cleared in retrial’. Football forums have disappeared under a deluge of derogatory comments regarding the sexual behaviour of the young girl. The most pertinent fact regarding the introduction of new evidence into […]

October 15, 2016


Marmgate is over. The threat to the British nation posed by one web site, belonging to one supermarket, no longer offering to deliver a jar of Marmite that very day, has been lifted. Never in the history of half eaten jars of distinctly unpalatable foodstuffs having to be sourced from other shops has the British […]

October 14, 2016

Mad Dogs and Englishmen.

I bring you an utterly bizarre case from across the pond to exercise your brain today. Just outside Windham, south west of Bangor in the state of Maine lived a man called ‘Skip’ Kilmartin. He was what we term in the UK a ‘care in the community case’. Following an assault on an elderly man […]

October 13, 2016

National Treasure – a national pleasure.

‘National Treasure’ was a triumph. Superb acting, though one would expect nothing less from Julie Walters and Robbie Coltrane; an impeccable script from Jack Thorne, if there is such a thing as thespian justice he should end up with a shelf full of BAFTA awards; every last detail showed the time and effort put into […]

October 12, 2016

The Clown Prosecution Service.

This is 18 year old Connor Jones wearing his Halloween outfit. It is unlikely to be a custom made outfit, which means that somewhere a manufacturer has made several such outfits and hopefully sold them. Wearing it, and standing with a group of fellow teenagers has just cost Connor £90 and a criminal record. He […]

October 12, 2016

Watch the Coppers, and the Pounds will roll in…

Ms Raccoon was distracted this morning by a fascinating portal called ‘‘. Doesn’t sound that riveting? For a Raccoon who loves scavenging through official documents it was manna from heaven! A Raccoon could, and did, get lost for hours in there. Here is all the minutiae of the deals to supply police stations with doughnuts […]

October 10, 2016

Governed by Consent.

In 1931, there were just 168,000 Britons living in India (including 60,000 in the army and police and 4,000 in civil government) – to run a country approaching 300 million people. In earlier times, a mere 31,000 stalwart Britons had achieved the same impossible task. A task made possible purely by the agreement of the […]

October 9, 2016

Vernon’s last wishes.

Vernon was probably about 70 when I first met him. A taciturn, socially awkward creature who found it difficult to meet your eyes. He would stumble into the tea room – he never seemed to be quite in command of his own feet; jacket akimbo – in dire need of a good woman to straighten […]

October 8, 2016

Penurial appropriation.

Penurial – newly formed adjective; pertaining to the state of penury. synonyms: poor, as poor as a church mouse, poverty-stricken, destitute, necessitous, in penury, impecunious, impoverished, indigent, needy, in need/want, badly off, in reduced circumstances,in straitened circumstances, hard up, on one’s beam-ends, unable to make ends meet, underprivileged, penniless, without a sou, moneyless, bankrupt, bust, insolvent; I have written before […]

October 6, 2016

When Louis laid down his friend for his career…

The late 90s were a time of geopolitical turbulence; the Berlin Wall had crumbled, then the Soviet Union. Nelson Mandela, so long the name of south London tower blocks, became reality as he walked out of Victor Verster prison before our very eyes. The upstart BSB was challenging Sky TV and both were challenging the safe solid […]

October 4, 2016

When Irish eyes should be sleeping…

Does the insistent buzzing of an alarm clock wake you in the morning? Depending on when you went to sleep, what day of the week it is, or how well you have slept, the chances are that you have little idea of where you are, or why that infernal bell is clanging in your ear. […]

October 1, 2016