18 June 2006


I teach a History of Journalism course. Best so far from the exams:
John Spargo's expose ... of child labour in the sweetshops.

16 June 2006


Manchester United 2-0 Scunthorpe United.

They didn't score until the 83rd minute, and they were lucky not to have gone down 1-0 in the 44th. What a load of rubbish. Let's hope the Parsnips turn them over 6-0.

13 June 2006


Google reports:

Your search – "put the muselman to the sword"– did not match any documents.

11 June 2006


All right, I know I said no more posts for a fortnight. But England were such a giant heap of steaming ordure today (for reasons I spelt out earlier) that I can't resist it. They would have been tonked 5-0 by either the Argies or Ivory Coast on today's performances and would struggle against Trinidad and Tobago.

My original scenario has, however, been falsified by events, so here's another (taking into account England 1-0 Paraguay and Sweden 0-0 Trinidad):
Sweden 4-0 Paraguay
England 0-0 Trinidad
Paraguay 0-2 Trinidad
England 1-1 Sweden

Final group table:
Sweden p3 w1 d2 l0 pts5 gd4
Trinidad p3 w1 d2 l0 pts5 gd2
England p3 w1 d2 l0 pts5 gd1
Paraguay p3 w0 d0 l0 pts0 gd-7

6 June 2006


So the university lecturers' pay dispute has been settled, it seems. Damn. We were just about to get into postponing exam boards. Now I've got to mark all those bloody exams in double-quick time. No posts for a fortnight, even jokey ones on football or femdom ;-)


The Town have got a new boss, and he says: "They knew what I was like as a player, but they have no idea what I'll be like as a manager." Er, quite.

4 June 2006


I was born in Scotland and my dad was an anyone-but-England Scot, so although my mum is a Londoner and I sound as English as they come - we moved to East Anglia when I was three - I've never been able to give enthusiastic support to English sports teams. I'm not going to get all Nick Hornby, but one of my first football memories is of us beating England in 1967, and I've stuck to a shamelessly nationalist position ever since. (Some dubiously Scots lefties say they're revolutionary defeatists: I'm just a sweaty at heart.)

This is not a particularly sensible position, particularly among England fans when strong drink has been taken. I shall never forget the abuse I got for cheering on Argentina in 1986, a friend of a friend has never spoken to me since I supported West Germany against England in 1990, and I came close to being beaten up in a pub when when I celebrated Dan Petrescu's 90th minute goal for Romania in 1998.

But, what the hell, I'm not supporting England in the World Cup this time either. My ideal scenario goes something like this:
England 1-1 Paraguay
Trinidad 0-3 Sweden
Sweden 1-0 Paraguay
England 2-0 Trinidad
Paraguay 3-0 Trinidad
England 1-1 Sweden

Final group table:
Sweden p3 w2 d1 l0 pts7 gd4
Paraguay p3 w1 d2 l0 pts5 gd3
England p3 w1 d2 l0 pts5 gd2
Trinidad p3 w0 d0 l0 pts0 gd-8
That's not crazy. All right, I accept that England should do better, but the England team is not as good as we're being told by the press, and they could easily come a cropper simply by not winning games. Without Rooney, the forward line is seriously shonky: I can't see Crouch scoring many against serious defences, and Owen is not what he was. Six-nil against Jamaica looks good until you reflect that England v Jamaica was Manchester United v Oldham Athletic and Oldham had nothing to play for. The England midfield is great if it's given the space but Beckham/Gerard/Lampard/Cole lacks width and pace - neither Beckham nor Cole plays wide enough - and the shape gets lost badly when Lennon or Downing come on as wingers. I could see the midfield (good as it is) being closed down well by technically inferior players who force them into the centre of the park. I was also underwhelmed by the England defence in the Jamaica game: against a more potent strike force than Ricardo Fuller and Deon Burton, Campbell and Carragher would struggle. True, Terry and Neville will be back, but...

For what it's worth, my money's on Brazil to win (boring), for Spain to be best European team and for an African side to get to the semis (not sure which one). But that's enough crystal balls.

3 June 2006


I'm sick and tired of cretino-leftists whingeing that the Victoria and Albert museum is exploiting the image of Che Guevara, turning revolution into a commodity and so forth. Guevara should be no one's hero. He was a Stalinist scumbag who played a major role in the creation of a police state in Cuba, and his political strategy of guerrilla warfare set the left in Latin America back two generations. OK, he was good-looking - but so were Oswald Mosley and Eva Braun.


OK, I know I promised no more sexist postings in the small hours, but John Cooper Clarke was on my train home tonight.
The boys are on the wagon
The girls are on the shelf
Their common problem is
that they're not someone else
The dirt blows out
The dust blows in
You can't keep it neat
It's a fully furnished dustbin,
Sixteen Beasley Street
He got out at Colchester and did not give a performance.

1 June 2006


Well yeah, I’m a man – but I’m not aged 21, and the pistol in my pocket ain’t keeping lots of folks alive. I’ve been “Say it loud, I’m bald and I’m proud” for 15 years, I reckon. I’m a pathetic specimen. So I compensate by blogging.

That’s what Catherine Bennett says (I summarise) in the Guardian today in a column on middle-aged male bloggers – Gauche even gets a name-check for posting a couple of lines last weekend about the death of Desmond Dekker – and it’s so true.

Like a lot of bloggers, I’m a sad and lonely middle-aged bloke with no friends who never meets anyone apart from other similar blokes. I spend my time with them talking politics and football and music and birds. I know no one from an ethnic minority, I have spent the whole of my life running away from strong independent women, and my main priority now is to escape my domestic responsibilities. I have never grown up, I have an entirely callous attitude to feminism and I often have sexist thoughts.

Aaaargh! I have confessed! How did you get it out of me? I’ll never post in the small hours again, I promise! I’ll stop caring about football and rock’n’roll! I’ll do the housework! I’ll stop listening to the Rolling Stones! I’ll never use rude words again!

And so on.