Feb 26. I’m off on a bit of a working tour: Brussels, the Black
Forest and Bologna so this blog will remain off-line. But it’s
good to see a new Sunday newspaper has hit the stands today, in
theory at least. Sadly the Sun On Sunday – SOS for short – has
little to recommend it. No must-read columnists (Toby Young?),
a bland ghost-written Katie Price page, and tedious "fashion expert"
Nancy Doolallio. The paper is in serious need of a radical free-thinking
columnist who hits like Eric Joyce to reflect working class frustration
with the status quo. A bit of kiss & tell filth wouldn’t
go amiss either. Like it or loathe it, The Sun is still a class
operation but it has lost much of its punch, and all of its principles.
At least in the eighties it rattled politicians and stood for
something. The Sun’s decline set in during the following decade
when senior management forced the paper to abandon its core beliefs
to become the Pravda of New Labour, turning somersaults to do
the bidding of its ideological masters. The litany of shame stretches
from Mandelson and the Millennium Dome to its slavish adherence
to Blair’s Gulf War lies. Now I see Rupe wants our forces to shed
more British blood in a new Middle East conflict. US “neo-cons”
are itching for an all-out war on Iran, and there’s the Sun on
the side-lines as the cheerleader. SoS? Same Old Shit.
Why aren’t our politicians up in arms over the extradition of
Kent businessman Chris Tappin? This honest English businessman
has been indicted by a grand jury in El Paso without ever being
told the case was being heard! It’s like something out of Kafka.
Now he has been transferred to a US jail on the basis of an unproven
charges he has not been allowed to contest. Our extradition agreement
with the States is a one-sided farce and this is a travesty of
JK Rowling is writing her first novel for adults. I believe it’s
called Harry Potter & The Goblet of Werther’s Originals.
Feb 23. R.I.P. Frank Carson, who died today aged 85. Britain
is now a much quieter place. Belfast-born Frank was an old-fashioned
joke-teller without a bad bone in his body who rattled off gags
like a Gatling gun. It was the way he told them. And he was a
cracker. It was a privilege to have known him. Classic Carson
quips: My father fought in World War I single-handedly destroyed
the Germans' lines of communication. He ate their pigeon... I
don't think my wife likes me very much. When I had a heart attack
she wrote for an ambulance. A fella said to the doctor: “What’s
the good news?” “You’ve got 24 hours to live.” He says: “What’s
the bad news?” And the doc says: “We should have told you yesterday”...
An Irishman's wife gave birth to twins. Her husband demanded to
know who the other man was... Paddy calls a wrong number at 3am.
"Is that O'Malley's Bar?" he asks. "No it's not, this is a private
residence." "Oh, I must have the wrong number. Sorry to have troubled
you," says Paddy. "Ah it's no trouble," says the stranger. "I
had to get up to answer the phone anyway."
Ken Goodwin passed away last weekend too. It must be like the
Wheeltappers & Shunters Club behind the Pearly Gates these days.
There aren’t many of the comedy giants left. Someone should throw
a fence around Ken Dodd. Better yet, someone in television should
get the last of these old boys on film. They are living gold.
Feb 21. The blog’s not back, but Iain Duncan-Smith deserves
a special mention for boldly identifying the cause of youth unemployment
today - The X Factor. Well who knew that? It takes a politician
to cut through all the crap about the economy, double dip recessions,
migration and welfare and show us the bigger picture. And clearly
he’s right, it was obviously Simon Cowell who took us into the
EU and slippery Louis Walsh who is stopping banks lending to small
businesses. Gary Barlow personally destroyed our manufacturing
backbone, and if you look into it you’ll probably find that Tulisa
is responsible for the on-going immigration fiasco. New girl Alesha
Dixon is not in the clear either. After watching her on the Alan
Carr show I reckon she’s behind the on-coming drought.
Feb 19. David Haye and Dereck Chisora turned this morning’s post-bout
press conference into a bar-room brawl. Haye provoked Chisora
into a rage, and then delivered the kind of right-hander to the
chin that he’d repeatedly failed to produce when fighting Wladimir
Klitschiko so badly last year. Security men hung back as the two
hot-heads scrapped. Chisora claimed he’d been glassed and repeatedly
threatened to shoot Haye. It was horrible. “Bad for boxing, good
for box office” say cynics who point out that a Haye/Chisora bout
will now be a must-see event this year. But let’s stick with the
“bad for boxing” bit, shall we? The noble art has enough critics
without fighters at the top of their craft dragging it through
the mud. What do they think the Marquis Of Queensbury is, a boozer?
If we tolerate this kind of behaviour we might as well broadcast
car park fights at chucking out time. Chisora had already shown
himself up as a charmless berk, slapping his opponent Vitali Klitschko
at the weigh-in and spitting in Wladimir’s face. Previously he’d
bitten an opponent in the ring. That he fought well last night,
and showed considerably more heart than Haye did last summer,
doesn’t come into it. Both men should now be banned for at least
a year. It’s the only way to preserve the good name of British
boxing built up over generations and preserved by gentleman pugilists
like Cooper and Bruno. Boxing is one of the last remnants of cultural
machismo, a sport where honour, courage and discipline still matter.
It is, wrote Joyce Carol Oates “a celebration of the lost religion
of masculinity, all the more trenchant for being lost.” These
morons could drive it into extinction.
Word is Greece will get a new bail-out next week, but will it
be any good for them? Even the German finance ministry realises
that the Bubbles won’t be able to meet their repayments, and are
said to be privately pushing for the Greeks to declare themselves
bankrupt. Billions have already been spent trying to keep Greece
in the Eurozone, when it would have made much more sense for the
country to get shot of the Euro, bring back the drachma, devalue
and reap the benefits. The Greek economy sank by seven per cent
last year, manufacturing output was slashed by about one sixth
and 60,000 small firms went to the wall. The EU’s austerity agenda
has pushed the country into a financial death spiral, yet Europe’s
political class would rather condemn a generation to poverty than
face up to the reality that the Euro isn’t working. All that matters
to them is maintaining The Project and they will trample over
democracy and sovereignty to secure it.
Feb 12. This blog is shutting down. Back soon, I hope. Cheerio.
RIP Whitney. Another giant talent wrecked by bad drugs. Remember
Whitney Houston in her prime, not for what she become. As she
said: "We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is
to create something that will.” And she did. Great Whitney pictures
through the ages here.
My latest pod-cast is up here,
with guests Mik Whitnall (Babyshambles) and DJ Paul Hallam; tracks
from Argy-Bargy, The Selecter, Marching Orders, Phyllis Dillon
and many more.
Feb 11. My next signing and reading session for Dance Craze
in the UK will be at the 2-Tone village in Coventry at 2pm on
March 24. Admission: £2. That evening, I’ll be joining Lady Cardboard
and Mod legend Paul Hallam as guest DJs at a fund-raising gig
starring The 2-Tone Collection (including Horace Panter, Charley
'Red Dreads' Anderson and more) plus supports. There will be another
reading in Shoreditch, East London, before the end of March, details
I’m no fan of The Sun, for obvious reasons, but today’s
arrests are absolutely absurd. John Kay is one of the giants of
what we used to call Fleet Street. John, who must be 69 now, is
an exceptionally good reporter and is as honest as the day is
long; he does not deserve to be treated like this. These OTT dawn
raids look to me like an entirely fraudulent gesture designed
to humble the press, largely to please and appease corrupt politicians
who resent having been caught with their fingers in the till.
But there’s a widespread suspicion that senior management
have had a mucky hand in setting this up too, sacrificing journalists
as a cynical ploy. My prediction is that no prosecutions will
stick and none of the hacks who had their collars felt today will
be found guilty of anything.
Feb 10. Barack Obama has released his Spotify playlist – the
29 songs he’ll be playing on the campaign trail. Can you imagine
David Cameron’s Spotify list? It’d surely include The Great Pretender
and Bend Me Shape Me; Nick Clegg should go for Magazine’s Shot
By Both Sides, while Ed Miliband has Yesterday’s Man written all
over him. No straight answer could ever be had from Tony Blair,
but I suspect he’d be tough on grime and tough on the causes of
grime. And that his anthem should have been Steve Miller’s Take
The Money And Run.
Feb 7. I'd like to thank the European Court of Human Rights
for reminding us once again that Britain no longer controls our
own borders. Thanks to Strasbourg, the Islamist nut-job Abu Qatada
will be freed to sponge off the British tax-payer for pretty much
as long as he likes. Qatada has been described as Bin Laden's
main man in Europe, and "the key UK figure in al-Qaeda"; he was
a "spiritual guide" to one of the 9/11 terrorists and the man
who advised shoe-bomber Richard Reid. He fervently believes that
it's okay to kill Jewish people, women, Americans, Brits and any
Muslim who renounces his faith. An all-round nice guy. Qatada
is wanted in his native Jordon for conspiracy to carry out terror
attacks, but we're not allowed to send him home in case the authorities
there torture him (even though Jordon has guaranteed that it will
not.) So he'll be released from prison on bail to trouser a bucketful
of benefits. Lucky old Abu. It's the liberal equivalent of winning
the Lottery, and he didn't even have to buy a ticket...
Most weeks we get fresh evidence that the British can no longer
make our own laws or decide who can and cannot remain in this
country. A recent report showed that 3,775 former foreign prisoners,
who were due to be kicked out by the UK Border Agency, have been
released from custody and are living here, many on benefits, thanks
to Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the "right
to a family and private life". One of them was a Nigerian rapist
who brutally attacked a 13-year-old girl. His rights apparently
trump our rights to protect our kids. If it was down to me, the
only right he (and any other child rapist) would have is the right
to choose whether or not to wear a blindfold when he dances the
Tyburn jig. Last week Lady Justice Hallett, while hearing a rape
charge against a known Lithuanian sex offender, commented: "Do
we just let anyone in, even if they have such a serious conviction?"
Indeed we do. Suspected terrorists, big time criminals, foreign
paedophiles... in they come and if Strasbourg says they stay,
then stay they must. What mugs we have become. What a sick joke,
what an unholy mess. Up to our neck in debt, bossed around by
unelected European judges, addicted to welfare, scared silent
by the PC thought police, Twitter hate-mobs and the equalities
industry, and "led" onwards and downwards to ever increasing misery
by the great PR con-man and self-serving Quisling David Shameron.
Be proud people. This was Britain. Now it's crap. Still at least
that bird in TOWIE has got nice implants.
* I'm glad 102 Tory MPs want to repatriate powers on crime and
policing from Europe to Britain. But I wonder if they have noticed
that it was the Conservative Party who took us into Europe in
the first place and have slavishly supported EU legislation for
years. When are they going to wake up and realise they are in
the wrong party?
Welcome to Bushell On The Blog – the web-page that is proud
to drink Top Totty beer.
Feb 3. Top Totty ale has been kicked out of Parliamentary bars
after feminist MPs objected to the glamour model silhouette on
the label. It’s believed to be the first time the phrase “the
Totty’s off” has been used outside of Walford. Obscure Labour
MP Kate Green, who looks more of an Old Peculiar kind of woman,
has brewed up this storm in a beer glass prompting speculation
about which beers she’d prefer to see. Possibly a Miliband Mild
& Bitter. The first instinct of the joyless clown is to ban anything
they don’t like, and this is a depressing 1980s mindset is gaining
ground again, with campaign group Turn Your Back On Page 3 boring
the tits off of the Leveson Inquiry. But don’t these middle class
control freaks patronise women far more than the newspapers they
hate? They paint glamour models as simpletons manipulated by scheming
men, when in reality many are bright and strong-willed, exploiting
their own lucky genes to make a few bob and escape from the poverty
they were born into. It’s their decision, their choice. If you
don’t like Page 3 don’t buy the papers that run topless shots.
If you don’t like Top Totty, boycott bars that sell it. But stop
trying to tell the rest of us how to live our lives. The real
Commons bar scandal is that our taxes subsidise the prices.
Kate Green: Scottish-born divorcee, elected via a women-only
shortlist, previous claim to infamy, failing to declare an interest
when tabling an amendment... which part of this surprises you?
I don’t know whether Chris “Buff” Huhne was driving or not,
but he’s in the right seat now... the ejector seat. It’s just
a shame we can’t get shot of his barking mad energy policies so
The US republican race has moved to Nevada. Ah, Las Vegas, home
to endless buffets and wedding chapels – so, perfect for Newt
you might think. But I reckon the big winners are likely to be
Mitt and Ron Paul. Here’s why. The large Mormon vote in the state
will swing massively behind Romney. Gingrich knows he’s blown
it, while Santorum hasn’t bothered campaigning here. Ron Paul
on the other hand has a strong campaign machine in Nevada, and
a philosophy that ticks all the Vegas boxes. His stand on public
land is popular, and he’s right on the Constitution, pulling out
of foreign wars, and beating the state out of the lives of the
citizens. Ron Paul is the freedom candidate. He’s the man.
Feb 1st. What more fitting development for a Big Brother society
than the Two Minute Hate? Fred ‘The Shred’ Goodwin has been stripped
of his knighthood, two days after the current RBS boss was bullied
into handing back his bonus. Who next? Former RBS chairman Sir
Tom McKillop? Or Sir Callum McCarthy, of the FSA? I’m not sticking
up for Goodwin who drove RBS to the brink of bankruptcy, but this
kind of demonization diverts our attention from the real problem.
Fred’s a totem, a smoke screen. Why not turn the righteous spotlight
of wrath on the politicians who let it happen like ‘Lord’ Prescott
and ‘Lord’ Mandy Mandelson, the man who was always “intensely
relaxed” about the filthy rich, especially those with yachts.
If Fred can be stripped of his title, then why not LORD Archer,
LORD Taylor, BARONESS Udin, LORD Hanningford, LORD Browne and
the rest of the lying, cheating, fiddling scumbags? When will
we wake up to the scandalous corruption, avarice and largesse
that runs through Brussels – the real seat of power? My heart
goes out to Mandy’s chum Tony Blair who is struggling to get through
these difficult times on a measly £45million. Let’s hope our former
leader isn’t forced to flog one of his seven houses.