Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Quick and The Resigned.

Life continues to amuse. Once again the activities of senior officials in the UK makes me chuckle.
The gentleman in question on this occasion is Bob Quick. He was an assistant commissioner in the UK police force and more importantly the UK's most senior counter terrorism officer. The requirements of both roles must have expected a certain level of discretion and almost certainly, secrecy. The man was most likely cavorting with spies for pity's sake.
Imagine the embarrassment then when said Mr Quick emerges from a limo for an important meeting at 10 Downing Street. He has a clutch of files, folders and documents in his hand. He looks very important. One small problem; his filing appears to have gone a little astray. A document regarding something very top secret is completely exposed to the hungry lenses of the press, and then circulated around the world. A highly secret anti-terrorism grab raid across the UK is completed "slightly earlier than expected" presumably because the culprits had a rather unexpected heads up. Oh dear.
One can only imagine wailing and wringing of handkerchiefs that have been going on in the Quick household recently. Oh dear.
Having scanned the internet and gathered some comments it would appear that some people think his voluntary resignation regrettable. I do not share this view. Anyone whose job involves working with the intelligence community should be not seen and not heard full stop. Given the position Mr Quick recently occupied I should not even know his name, let alone what he carries under his arm.
Note to Downing Street, have you considered webex?

Richard Timney and Ms Smith…

When I am unsure about what to write about, I cast about the news stories of the UK to see what amuses me and as a consequence may amuse you. So first of all let's paint a picture… There is a big kerfuffle in Whitehall regarding MP's expenses. Ms Smith is an MP and she is one of the more prominent ones, Home Secretary in fact.
This kerfuffle was rather amusingly made even more public when it emerged that Ms Smith had mistakenly claimed £10 for two items of pornographic material rented through a satellite/ broadband TV provider.
It is for the record pointed out that Ms Smith, who has repaid the monies mentioned, is very embarrassed about the whole affair. It should also be pointed out that her husband Richard Timney also made a statement regretting the purchase of said material whilst his wife was away on business. One can only imagine how much grief he is getting at home.
Anyhow, what's happened has happened. Hotels itemise purchases of material of this nature as "insert non-descript narrative for services here". I imagine that said TV providers do something similar. So I guess a little tip for Ms Smith in future when claiming for items on the telly bill in future would be if it is not a specifically named program or film, ITS PORN!

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Cigarettes and Alcohol and Hiccups

Not as catchy as the Oasis song. Messrs Gallagher got it right from a rock and roll perspective when they talked about alcohol and didn't get involved in the hiccups, of that there is no doubt. This phenomenon (da daa di da da) however needs investigation. The phenomenon (da daa di da da) in question can be described thus: (from the notes of a defrocked and possibly mad scientist who happened to live 120 years ago.)
The subject was plied with a significant amount of wine. Not enough to make him pickled, merely a quantity associated with an average afternoon tipple for a gentlemen of leisure.
Twas observed at numerous points the subject lit a tobaccanous substance and began to suffer from the most precocious wind exuding from the vocal area but no doubt originating from the nether regions.
Furthermore, it was observed that the wind previously described seemed to be directly related to inhalation of the aforementioned substance by the subject. The exhalation
of noxious fumes from the subject did not elicit the same response.
These expurgations evinced much distress in the subject, causing dismayed comments regarding the nature of the described outbursts. The subject was an earthy sort from the mines no doubt, paid a shilling for his troubles, and as a consequence is not noted here.
And so it goes on in a bodice-ripping stylee.
I can fill out this charming (and completely fabricated) Victorian "science" experiment with some personal experiences that are akin to those of the "earthy sort" described in the paragraph above.
And it goes like this…
The subject was plied with a significant amount of wine.
Twas observed at numerous points the subject lit a tobaccanous substance.
And then come the hiccups, not every time, not even occasionally, but when they do I know about it. They are persistent, they are irritating, they plague every inbound breathe of the smoker. This is not fair. I, by choosing to smoke, accept many potential pitfalls, as documented by impeachable resources too many to number. Shortness of breath, life etc are well documented. This tobacco induced hiccupping has not been highlighted on the increasingly graphic packaging which contains my little coffin nails. I have been, and continue to be, annoyed by this.
Now, if science cannot find a solution (unlikely), then governments should use my dire as a warning to potential smokers. Not only does smoking harm your health, at times it can be damn irritating as well.