Writer, opinionista, essayist, perfumista, picker-up of unconsidered trifles, contributor to all sorts and conditions of publication from the Daily Mail to New Humanist, devoté of Pliny Maior, author of The Chronicles of Bargepole, Big Babies and Lost Worlds, currently working with the great Mike Stoller (of Leiber & Stoller) on a musical about Oscar Wilde. Teach the occasional spot of Tragedy to keep my eye in. Pilot, harpsichordist, cook, photographer, red-hot lover  and self-deluding old goat.

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    Float Like a Butterball, Sting Like a Squid

    Another own goal by the Telegraph in its hurtle downhill to the Mail and beyond; posing under false names and making secret recordings is the stuff of the lower-order red-tops. But facilis descensus Averno, and their "findings" haven't helped their Tory cause. What have we discovered?

    • Vince Cable could utterly tuogh up the Graber government
    • He also loathes Murdoch and everything he stands for
    • They don't think Wanker Cameron has actually become a Liberal
    • Wanker isn't immediately clearly a hundred per cent sincere
    • George "Slitherin" Osborne has a capacity to get up one's nose and has no experience of how people live.
    • There are some Tories you can live with and others who are beyond the pale
    • You have to play the hand you're dealt
    • Ken Clarke is a decent man
    • Janet Suzman is an admirable figure
    • etc.

    How is this wearily self-evident stuff meant to support Cameron and his chums? And why pose as LibDem-voting constituents to get the "scoop"? A conversation between an MP and his constituents is neither privileged nor private; it is a continuation of public discourse, no matter how much the Telegraph may wish otherwise, a bit like those old BBC interviews which went

    BBC MAN: Today we are privileged to have the Chancellor of the Exchequer to tell us a little about his forthcoming Budget. Chancellor, perhaps you could tell us a little about your forthcoming Budget.

    CHANCELLOR: Blah drone waffle etc

    [20 minutes later] BBC MAN: Thank you, Chancellor.

    Poor politics. Poor journalism. Poor Telegraph.




    Promise :: Deliver

    New Year Resolution (if we make it):

    (1) Under-promise

    (2) Over-deliver

    In this, I am inspired by the Government.


    The Big Society, everyone nice to everyone, Citizen Government, fairness, accountability, no education cuts, a spirit of friendly co-operation etc. etc.


    Riots, tuition fees, reducing most universities to penury without actually closing down the bad ones, Clegg feeling "really bad, really bad", the country feeling even worse, Julian Fellowes be-lorded as some sort of "arts" representative (but a decent chap, knows which knife and fork to use, won't rock the boat, one of us, may not be so much a representative of the arts as a bogus-heritage peddled of startling genius but as we used to say in the Bullingdon, "Oh bugger, I think I'm going to be sick"), tax-avoider Philip Green as unelected demiurge, "Lord" Sugar, a delisted Spanish shopping-mall outfit fucking up Heathrow when it snowed, British Airways wheeling out that ludicrous little Ulsterman Wee Willy Walsh to not apologise for taking the phones off the hook and the pages off the website after the Spanish shopping-mall outfit BAA fucked up Heathrow, a horrible and cost-uneffective assault on the poor, the damaged, the vulnerable and the losers who are the price we pay for a society in which the winners really really win, GPs running the NHS whether they like it or not (they don't, except the few GPs who were so bad at medicine that they had to go into medical politics... Well, happy Christmas, Lord "Wanking Robot Carved from Ham" Snooty and your blank-faced punch Nick "Lube" Clegg.

    That's the way to do it! cries Mister Punch. Just before Jack Ketch comes with his little noose.




    Why is it surprising when you discover what this young woman actually does for a living?


    (You can see her in action here.)


    Function Follows Form

    Second iPhone 4. Second inexplicably shattered screen. Second "insurance excess" of £150.  A known problem.

    Apple seems to have jumped the shark with this one. It looks beautiful. But it doesn't WORK beautifully. Jonathan Ives, their industrial design genius, finally broke the rule that form follows function, and reversed it.

    So that's £300 so far spent on an iPhone which should have been "free" with the O2 contract.  Someone's getting that money. But shouldn't it be Apple who pays?

    (Film at eleven...)


    The Secret of Success

    Current events remind me very forcefully of a principle of life which I may have thought up myself:

    You can achieve anything, if you don't mind everyone thinking you're a shit.