Wednesday, October 26, 2005

You'll never squawk alone

IN A WEEK when we seem to be living in a Monty Python sketch, it’s entirely appropriate that the news should be dominated by a dead parrot.

At least I assume that it’s dead. Does anyone know for sure? Maybe it’s still nailed to its perch, instead of pushing up the daisies or having joined the bleeding choir invisible.

And why are we importing parrots anyway? Who wants the smelly, noisy, feathered cousin of a pterodactyl in their home?

The only person I know who owns one is Blow Dry Burton, the village’s hairdresser to the stars (Madge Hindle, Joe Pasquale and Sir Roy Strong). It’s a big African Grey with a bad attitude and despite having owned it for seven years, he’s never got close enough to it to even give it a name.

The feathered monster has LOVE and HATE tattooed on its claws, it smokes roll-ups out of the corner of its beak and lurks swearing in its cage, snapping pencils with its beak every time you poke it, while a terrified Blow Dry is reduced to hurling millet through the cage door from the other side of the kitchen. It’s not so much a pet as a psychotic squatter. And the bastards live for years as well. Trust me, a sudden case of Bird Flu would be a mercy.

Of course, there were no guesses where this killer virus would first strike. Yep, the Scousers are in there already. And bear in mind the fact that these sad people had recently tried to claim hurricane-battered New Orleans as their twin town (utter nonsense) and had then gone on to issue a formal apology to a bunch of Welsh druids for flooding them out of their homes 40 years ago when a reservoir needed to be built.

It all began last Wednesday, when rumours started circulating in the Anfield district of Liverpool that the body of a baby had been found in a bin bag outside an angling shop. Overnight a Diana-esque shrine began to grow, with cards, teddy bears and more than a dozen bunches of flowers laid at the scene by neighbourhood grief junkies. One card read: "RIP Little Baby, safe in the arms of Jesus. From someone who is a loving mother."

Now no-one knew the “mother” involved in this so-called incident and no-one knew the “baby” who was the alleged victim. But that didn’t stop them. Soon there wasn’t a spare carnation to be had from Crosby to Croxteth. Welcome to Merseyside, the only place in the country where florists’ vans have sirens and flashing blue lights.

One small problem. After the cops had cordoned off the scene and called in forensic scientists, the dead “baby” turned out to be … a chicken carcass. Of course, that hasn’t stopped the Scousers. A drunken mob has already burned down a branch of KFC, wanted posters of Bernard Matthews have gone up on lampposts and Paul McCartney has reformed the band Wings to play a charity concert. Meanwhile the Liver Bird has been taken into protective quarantine.

Altogether now: “Squawk on, squawk on, with hope in your heart …”

I SEE that fat people are moaning that they’re being discriminated against in the workplace. Well why not?

As far as I know, there aren’t any fat catwalk models, slimming consultants, personal trainers or firemen. Why should there be? And there’s only one vacancy for a Dawn French and that’s filled (to some tune) at the moment.

Put yourself in the shoes of an employer. Two women turn up for interview. One is a 20-stone lard bucket who’ll spill out of her office chair, take days off sick with obesity-related illnesses, wear tracksuit bottoms to work and generally sweat a lot. The other is slim, fit and has big breasts. Which one would you give the job to?

“It’s me glands, me metabolism,” they moan. “I’m big boned.” No you’re not, you’re just fucking fat. Eat less and take some exercise, for Christ’s sake.

And let me make another suggestion. You know those metal frames that EasyJet have put up at airports to check the size of your carry-on bags? If it doesn’t go in, it doesn’t go on? Why not do the same with fat people?

There should be an average human-sized cut-out at every check-in desk. If the fatties can’t waddle through it without touching the sides, then they have to buy an extra seat. That way I won’t have to put up with someone else’s buttocks infringing my personal space at 30,000 feet for four hours.

THE DAUGHTER of Private Harry Farr, a First World War soldier who survived the Somme but was then court martialled and shot for cowardice after refusing to return to the front, has gone to the High Court to try to get her father pardoned.

She argued that his name should be cleared because he was suffering from shellshock, or “acute post-traumatic stress disorder”. Mrs Gertrude Harris said that the execution had been a stigma on the family, but her father had never shown cowardice and that the court martial didn’t take into account the evidence of his illness or his previous good record.

Well I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t wash. You didn’t see Baldrick bottling it, did you? What if every poor bugger who was trapped in the trenches decided that they didn’t fancy the next suicidal assault because they had “acute post-traumatic stress disorder”? We’d all be speaking German and eating Bratwurst. Applying bogus Nanny State bogus science to the case doesn’t change a thing.

And imagine if she wins. Won't a compo claim be just around the corner?

MORE DISTRESSING signs of the Times We Live In. Breakfast telly features a family of scrotes where both children AND their mother are taking the drug Ritalin because they suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, another recently-invented excuse for bad behaviour.

Another TV programme shows a 16-year-old girl drinking herself stupid every night, but doesn’t question why she’s been given her own council flat and £46 a week in benefits to get pissed on when she should still be living at home.

Meanwhile millions of people tune in on Saturday evening to watch a sad parade of desperate wannabees who think they can sing but actually sound like a pet shop on fire. I wonder what Harry Farr would have made of all this.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone surprised that after banning pig-related toys and calendars from offices, the Forces of Evil have now declared war on piggy banks, of anyone wondering if animal rights protesters will turn down their bird flu vaccinations because the drug has been tested on animals, or of anyone not celebrating Devon & Cornwall police’s attempt to stop dangerous old people driving. And how do you tell who’s dangerous? Well let’s start with anyone wearing a hat behind the wheel.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

And our survey said ...

WHENEVER newspapers have a space to fill you can be sure the dreaded “survey” will emerge from the news editor’s bottom drawer.

These nonsensical exercises are dreamt up by public relations drones to try to shoe-horn the names of the companies they represent into the national press as a means of obtaining free advertising. We therefore get a survey conducted on behalf of a bed manufacturer telling us that 99 per cent of adults think they need a new mattress while a survey conducted on behalf of a condom manufacturer tells us, with all due gravitas, that Welsh girls will drop their knickers for a free pie. Preferably meat and potato.

Occupying far too many column inches this week was a survey purporting to tell us how long we spend doing routine activities. I won’t tell you who it was “conducted on behalf of” because that will really annoy them, but to illustrate the pointless stupidity of the task, we will cast a careful eye over the conclusions.

Apparently, the average Brit spends four months of his or her life playing computer games, three months sitting in doctors’ waiting rooms, three months in the pub (well that’s a laugh for a start), five months wrestling with DIY jobs (more hilarity ensues), six months sitting on the toilet, nine months washing and ironing clothes (I’m in hysterics now), 16 months cleaning and 18 months shopping.

Further to that, we spend seven years working, five years eating, six years watching telly and over 24 years sleeping. In fact, if you add up all the days and months listed in the so-called survey, you arrive at the magnificent total of 57 years. Well I’m only 51, so that’s obviously utter rubbish for a start.

ANYWAY, I was reading this survey in the paper the other day that said that one in five women has hit someone because of premenstrual tension – sometimes even a total stranger. Never has a truer word been spoken.

I have largely managed to avoid road rage incidents in recent years, except for those involving people with Baby on Board stickers on their vehicles or those pushy Christians with the little chrome fishes on their bumpers, but twice in the past month I’ve been verbally roughed up by screaming women.

Both times I was driving sensibly and soberly around country lanes, and both times the hormone-crazed harridans have taken offence at the fact that I wasn’t doing 105 down what was basically a farm track. I think I know the reason why.

Now that our education system has collapsed into a complete shambles, parents are trying harder than ever to place their children in what are considered to be “good” schools. This results in them ending up with three different children in three different schools in three different parts of the county. Life then becomes one long race against the clock requiring manic journeys across country, usually behind the wheel of a large 4x4, just to get all the kids to the right place at the right time.

Add to this potentially-explosive cocktail a hefty dose of PMT, then it’s no surprise that these out-of-control mothers will happily spray spittle over any old fool who gets in their way. I used to argue that the most dangerous place on earth wasn’t the first corner of a Formula 1 Grand Prix, but Tesco’s car park at 4.30pm on a Thursday. I have now had to revise that opinion.

IT’S NOW getting silly in Self Pity City. Not content with trying to claim New Orleans as their twin town (never has been) the hand-wringing grief junkies on Merseyside are now desperately searching through their history looking for any previous offences they might be able to grieve over.

And so council leaders are proposing that the city apologises for the “hurt” caused by the decision to flood a valley in Wales more than 40 years ago to provide water for Liverpool. Residents of the small village of Capel Celyn protested after they were forced to move out of their properties in 1965 to make way for the reservoir. The council used an act of Parliament to compulsory purchase the homes despite the protests.

The apology reads: “We realise the hurt of 40 years ago when the Tryweryn Valley was transformed into a reservoir to help meet the water needs of Liverpool. For any insensitivity by our predecessor council at that time, we apologise and hope that the historic and sound relationship between Liverpool and Wales can be completely restored.”

First of all, why bother? It’s only a few grumbling Welsh who are going to hate the English whatever mealy-mouthed utterances the Scousers come up with. Secondly, when are they going to come clean about the major role they played in the slave trade, instead of trying to blame Manchester and Bristol for the atrocities that made their forefathers stinking rich?

LET’S IMAGINE that you are a male Cabinet Minister. You get caught red-handed appointing another man to a prime Turkey Army position instead of a better-qualified female candidate. What do you think would happen to you?

The sack, or an enforced resignation at the very least. So why then is Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt still in a job? Because she’s been caught doing the very same thing, only with the sexes reversed. In this case she over-ruled an interview panel that had decided that 52-year-old, white middle-class Malcolm Hanney was the best candidate for a development agency post, instead inflicting upon us the third choice candidate, a 60-year-old Devon county councillor called Christine Channon.

The decision, and the subsequent tribunal at which the Freedom of Information Act was used to expose the embarrassing evidence, has already cost us, the taxpayers, tens of thousands of pounds. More compensation may follow.

This is the women who is fond of lecturing the rest of us on the horrors of discrimination in the workplace and has regularly bemoaned “career sexism”. Now she stands exposed as a hypocrite and a manipulative cheat. So will she resign? Err … of course not.

IS THERE anyone out there who doesn’t think that Peter Falconio’s girlfriend had something to do with his disappearance? No? Just checking.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone planning on dressing their dog up for Halloween (outfits only £7.99 from a tat shop near you), of anyone who fancies Saddam Hussein’s chances of copping for an electronic tag and three months painting old ladies’ fences, or of any new father stupid enough to take six months off work to look after a wailing, farting, puking monster when he could be enjoying a lunchtime pint with the lads and ogling the typing pool instead.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Posted by Man of Bath on the forum

How about this for the latest situation vacant in Blair's Turkey Army?

Bath & North East Somerset Council
Location: Bath
Job Title: Dormouse Conservation Officer
Salary: £19656 to £21654 pro rata
Closing Date: 18/10/2005Reference No. 51224
Description: Part-time post 18.5 hours - £19656 to £21654 pro rata (3 year contract - Heritage Lottery and ALSD funded)
Based in Bath

We need an enthusiastic and committed individual to lead a partnership project, funded by HLF and Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund, focusing on the endangered dormouse. The project will enable local people to identify, look after and celebrate local heritage and biodiversity using the dormouse as a focal species. The project area includes parts of Bath & NE Somerset and South Gloucestershire.This wide ranging job includes practical conservation, data collection, working with volunteers, raising community awareness and project management. It involves working with a number of key partners including FWAG and the Bristol Regional Environmental Records Centre. You will need a degree/diploma in ecology, countryside management or related discipline with at least 4 years relevant experience including dormouse conservation. Good communication and project management skills are essential. Full driving license and access to a car required.

Application Details: To apply, please visit our website at

Alternatively e-mail or telephone 01225 396409 (24 hours), quoting the reference number and post title.

Closing date: 12 noon Tuesday 18th October 2005.
Interview date: Tuesday 25th October.

It's the four years relevant experience that gets me. How many Deputy Dormous Conservation Officers are there out there?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why we're all going to be as sick as a parrot

WE’RE ALL doomed. And we’re all going to die. Well, we are if you believe what you read in the papers.

Apparently Bird Flu is going to sweep the country causing the deaths of anywhere from 50,000 to five million people, depending on which rag you read. It matters not to the scaremongers that so far only 60 people worldwide have actually died from the bug, and that most of those only caught the disease because they had sex with chickens. (And anyway, wouldn’t bird flu only affect women?)

No, like BSE and CJD, which were predicted to wipe out at least 100,000 Brits a year (actual fatalities since 1990 – 107), a good pandemic trades of the fears of all those people who clog up doctors’ surgeries every time they get a runny nose.

My top medical expert (Doctor Chris of GMTV’s Good Morning) assures me there is nothing to worry about as long as I keep myself regular but the government, ever conscious of its self-preservation, has popped down to the chemists and ordered 14.6 million doses of the anti-viral drug that treats bird flu, enough for a quarter of the population. And no guessing which quarter of the population that will be.

MPs will get it (but not members of the opposition), the Royal Family, the police, the judiciary, and various other “key workers” – it’s the Turkey Army again folks. And don’t think you’ll be able to rampage through Boots to grab your own dose of life-saving vaccine. Plans are already in place for armed guards to protect the stockpiles of drugs.

There’s something very spooky about all this. That George Orwell bloke knew what he was talking about.

OF COURSE the destruction of Aardman Animation’s warehouse is a national tragedy, although the loss of the entire cast of Chicken Run – Feathers McGraw included – might help us stave off the advance of bird flu. But I ask you, what do you expect when you let your dog make the morning toast?

Also melted from the memory is Morph, the plasticine playboy of the Take Hart series. I was a devotee, along with the rest of us of a certain age. But sadly I still bear a grudge against Mr Tony Hart, the eponymous presenter.

Why couldn’t the miserable bastard return those pictures we sent in for display in The Gallery? Didn’t he realise how long it took to compose that portrait of Mrs Thatcher made entirely from pine cones and glitter? Is this what we pay our licence fee for?

BACK TO 1984. It emerged at the weekend that as part of Mr Blah’s drive to restore “respect” to British society, entire families could be rounded up, expelled from the homes they own and banged up on special estates of “neighbours from hell”.

I don’t think I’ve heard of anything so preposterous since his daft plan to make drunks and brawlers pay on-the-spot fines by marching them to the nearest cash machine. (Do you know anyone who’s ever had one? Have you ever heard of anyone getting one? Of course not. It was all nonsense from the start.)

Now I’m all for rounding up tattooed scrotes with ASBOs who are abusing their gift of free council housing and confining them in modern-day concentration camps, but property owners? How does that work then? Who gets the confiscated house? One of NuLabour’s “key workers”? In fact forget about 1984; this is far more like 1938.

IT APPEARS that we must celebrate National John Peel Day. What’s that all about then?

We don’t have a national Nelson Day or Churchill Day. Why should we have a day dedicated to the memory of a monotoned miserablist, most of whose broadcasting was utterly unlistenable?

Those poor Scousers won’t know whether they’re coming or going. They’ve only just finished mourning Mr Peel’s passing in the first place. On top of that it’s also the first anniversary of the demise of Ken Bigley and Emlyn Hughes. Don’t expect Liverpool’s match on Saturday to kick off before six o’clock at the earliest. On Sunday.

WE RETURN, regrettably, to the Turkey Army. It comes to something when the people in charge of creating all these public sector jobs don’t even recognise the jobs they’ve created.

Step forward, Mr Kevin Mitchell, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who was browsing his organisation’s website when he came across an advert for a “Corporate Social Inclusion Manager” at the not inconsiderable salary of £55,000 per annum.

Slightly baffled by the ridiculous PC job title, he read on: “This is an outstanding opportunity to make a major contribution to policy implementation, performance monitoring and service development. You will be able to maintain an effective balance between support, challenge and influence and be persuasive with senior managers whilst maintaining their confidence.”

Not surprisingly, Mr Mitchell couldn’t work out what the job actually was, nor discover a need for such an appointment, so he made his feelings known and the vacancy was soon removed from the website. But Tony’s soldiers are made of sterner stuff.

Two days later it was back, with the word “corporate” removed and at a slightly lower salary, alongside adverts for “reimbursement administrators” and “human resources assistants”.

Mr Mitchell may have won a small battle, but only one side is going to win this war.

NOW THIS is fun. Connect to the internet (if you’re old or Welsh, get someone to do it for you) and go to

Search for a random name, then make a note of the address. Go to the Post Office (if you can find one) and purchase one of the new 68 pence stamps. Then stick it on a blank postcard and send it to the aforementioned address.

It’s not often we beat Australia to The Ashes, and we shouldn’t let them forget it too soon.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone who tries to explain away the crack cocaine buried in their backyard by blaming it on drug-crazed squirrels, of anyone who doesn’t burst out laughing at a posse of ramblers carrying those Nordic walking pole thingies, or of anyone who can explain to me why every scrote couple appearing on daytime telly has one person carrying a disability benefit stick and the other one collecting cash as their “carer”. And they’re always pissed. At 10am, for God’s sake. That doesn’t come cheap, let me tell you.

Monday, October 10, 2005

RIP Morph, 1976-2005

Tragically melted in a warehouse fire in Bristol this morning. He'll be missed.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We have fan mail

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19:46 (3 hours ago)
\r\nu r a fat wanker and need to sort the fuck out wat u say about people and \r\nkeep your nose out your mum sniffs crack and your a dog ha ha woof woof ha ha \r\nxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx\r\n\r\n",0]


I don't know. Old people these days ....

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

When the truth is stranger than fiction

REMEMBER THE hoo-ha about the revised Prevention of Terrorism Act that was introduced earlier this year? I do. In fact, I can recall railing against it on the grounds that despite Mr Blah’s vapid assurances, it would soon be used against the very people it was designed to protect, i.e. us.

How appropriate then that the first widespread abuse of those new powers should occur at NuLabour’s conference in Brighton.

I’m not particularly talking about Walter Wotsit, who is the kind of Old Labour, ban-the-bomb, pseudo-Communist donkey jacket merchant who kept the party out of power for 18 years. I’m more concerned about the SIX HUNDRED (yes, that’s right) SIX HUNDRED people who were detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act during the week for such heinous crimes as “wearing an offensive T-shirt” or “carrying an illegal bag of sweets”. It’s like a Not The Nine O’Clock News sketch come to life.

Of course, none of these people were actually charged with any offence. They never got their day in court with the attendant publicity that would have exposed this appalling abuse of honest legislature. They were just there to be bullied by the local dibble at the behest of their control freak masters. It is absolutely shameful.

And even when they were caught bang to rights, when old Walter was turfed out by a nightclub bouncer for daring to utter a word of dissent during Jack Straw’ speech (which, to be fair, was the nearest we got to a sensible debate), what happened then? Out come the mealy-mouthed apologies, but no serious defence of the tactics.

“I wasn’t in the conference hall at the time,” whined Mr Blah. Well what if he was? What would he have done? Would he have rushed forward to stop the violent ejection of a lifelong party member? Of course not. He’s as complicit with the enforced gagging as the goons who carry out his instructions.

At least now NuLabour’s culture of spin, deceit and the ruthless extermination of any dissent has been exposed in the most visible manner possible. Little consolation to all of us who await the six o’clock knock for speaking out of turn.

YOU MAY have missed one of the most interesting stories to emerge from Hurricane Katrina. It turns out that armed dolphins, trained by the US military to shoot terrorists and pinpoint spies underwater, have gone missing in the Gulf of Mexico. No, really.

Up to 36 of them carrying what are described as “toxic dart guns” have done a bunk and are now presumably swimming around on the lookout for passing divers and surfers to kill. I wonder how many sick kids (i.e. those with a bit of a sniffle) will be so keen on “swimming with the dolphins” at someone else’s charitable expense in future?

And it also goes a long way towards explaining the expression “cross porpoises”.

NOVELTY PIG calendars and toys have been banned from Council offices in Dudley, West Midlands, in case they offence Muslim staff.

The ruthless extermination of what are described as “pig-related items” came after a Muslim worker complained about the council distributing pig-shaped stress relievers (yes, I know, I’m losing the plot as well) to staff. Now toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Poo’s pal Piglet have been banished from offices.

Councillor Mahbubur Rahman supported the ban, saying: “It’s a tolerance of other people’s beliefs”. But that’s exactly what it isn’t. A tolerance of other people’s beliefs is Muslims and members of other religious minorities understanding and accepting that they are now citizens of the United Kingdom, where the dominant religion is Christianity. And as Christians have no such problem with “pig-related items”, perhaps the whining busy-bodies ought to respect our beliefs for once, instead of inflicting their intolerance on all who come into contact with them.

Anyway, where would Mrs B be if she wasn’t able to raid my piggy bank in advance of her shopping trips?

I AM confused about all this fuss over Bob Dylan. Yeah, he can write a decent tune but let’s face it, he can’t sing to save his life.

He’s already got the guitar and the harmonica. I wonder how seriously he would be taken if you strapped a big drum to his back and some cymbals to his knees and turned him loose in Covent Garden?

MORE FROM Alison Lapper, the stumpy, no-armed pregnant woman whose statue disfigures Trafalgar Square. Apparently she has called her son “Parys”, condemning the poor lad to a lifetime of saying: “No, it’s Paris with a Y” to general bemusement.

Now she might be an attention-seeking publicity junkie, clearly over-compensating for the hand fate dealt her, but why inflict the same fate on your poor children? What is it with these people?

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone who didn’t think it was bizarre to be asked to vote on whether the Twin Towers or the Death of Diana was their Greatest TV Moment, of anyone who hasn’t called Ambridge social services on behalf of baby George, or of anyone who hasn’t popped down to the local Left-Footers’ church to light “fork handles” in memory of Ronnie Barker.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Popadoms from the past

I AM enthralled to read that the first Indian restaurant in England was opened by a Mr Sake Dean Mahomet in George Street, London, back in 1809. I can only wonder how its patrons might have behaved.

Just imagine it. It’s 11.30 pm on the opening night. Byron and Shelley are arguing over the bill because Sir Walter Scott has done a runner after over-ordering the popadoms. Jane Austen is crying in the toilets, being comforted by Florence Nightingale, after someone threw mango chutney on her dress. On the wall above her head, John Constable has already scribbled some libellous graffiti about J.M. Turner. (“Paint? The ham-fisted dauber can't even draw a horse! And his mother shags stage coach drivers!”)

And meanwhile the Duke of Wellington, having ordered a double portion of Ye Olde Super Hotte Vindaloo, turns to the Prince Regent and bellows: “Gadzooks, My Lord. Come the morrow mine ringpiece shall be likened to a Japanese flag”. Some things never change.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Pig Brother is watching you

NOVELTY PIG calendars and toys have been banned from Council offices in Dudley, West Midlands, in case they offend Muslim staff.

The ruthless extermination of what are described as “pig-related items” came after a Muslim worker complained about the council distributing pig-shaped stress relievers (yes, I know, I’m losing the plot as well) to staff. Now toys, porcelain figures, calendars and even a tissue box featuring Winnie the Poo’s pal Piglet have been banished from offices.

Councillor Mahbubur Rahman supported the ban, saying: “It’s a tolerance of other people’s beliefs”. But that’s exactly what it isn’t. A tolerance of other people’s beliefs is Muslims and members of other religious minorities understanding and accepting that they are now citizens of the United Kingdom, where the dominant religion is Christianity. And as Christians have no such problem with “pig-related items”, perhaps the whining busy-bodies ought to respect our beliefs for once, instead of inflicting their intolerance on all who come into contact with them.

Anyway, where would Mrs B be if she wasn’t able to raid my piggy bank in advance of her shopping trips?