Archive | August, 2016

What’s an Omnium…and quite frankly who cares?

17 Aug

Now I don’t know a Keiran from an Omnium but golly gosh they were exciting yesterday. My Shorter Oxford tells me an Omnium is a ‘…miscellaneous assemblage of persons or things; queer mixture.’ Well the queer mixture did it for me last night and it was a bonus having the Keiran named after a buddy of mine. The Trott/Kenny combo added to a vast number of tear-jerking and admirable successes at the Olympics. A gymnast called Tinkler; a ballet-dancer-turned-hammer thrower called Hitchon; Grainger; DuJardin; those nice boy divers; the hockey girls …sailors, rowers, cyclists, swimmers;, gymnasts. Nicola Adams, Andy Murray, Justin Rose,Jess-Ennis-Hill, Mo…gosh it just goes on., doesn’t it?

There are points to be made here. What a release after the summer of Brexit and continuing Labour party infighting. Parliament’s recess has enabled the nation to enjoy Wimbledon and the Olympics and a bit of sun without the distraction and possible irrelevance of our sad politicos. I miss Andrew Neill savaging the Westminster upstarts but otherwise not much about politics inspires. I’ve even forgotten the misery of Euro 2016 because the real superstars – those whose annual pay is the equivalent of a day’s worth of Joe Hart’s mistake-strewn season – have shown the passion and spirit of true sportsmen and women.

The BBC goes into a ‘no news’ panic mode because Mother Theresa Maybe and Boris the Spider are on holiday and can’t hijack the headlines. Dave C’s shorts got some attention back in the day but Corbyn sitting on the floor of an Inter-City train just doesn’t cut the mustard. So thank God for the Olympics. The nation’s broadcaster is all over it like a virulent rash of measles. The Omnibus and KirRoyale cycling pushed back the 10 o’clock news to 11.30. Elections and Referenda can’t do that. Something good is going on!

Of course there is a downside. The inanities of Matt Baker on gymnastics and John Inverdale on everything else are stomach-churning in the extreme. Luckily the A team of Clare and Gabi with backup from Michael J, Sir Chris and Sir Steve, rescue each evening once the silly boys have been put to bed. But it’s the athletes themselves whose ordinariness in life makes their feats of derring-do so extraordinary. What UK Sport and the Lottery and visionary people in multi-sports have done is quite remarkable.

The Brazilians have yet to join in the party wholeheartedly. Why?  Dunno. Is it the cost of the whole circus, the price of tickets, their lack of enthusiasm for sports they aren’t much cop at? Dunno. The near-empty stadium syndrome is sad for all concerned. Who sets the prices? Why can’t the seats be filled by letting locals in free/cheaply? I did note that Beach Volleyball drew sizeable crowds. Copacabana beach, sunshine, fit boys and girls. I’d be there too. I was in London – it was in Horseguards, Sublime.

The first death-rattle of Autumn is signalled by the opening day of the Premiership season and already I feel myself sinking into the mire of soccer-gossip-scandal-recrimination chatter which characterises our myopia where football is concerned. I need to hold on to the Olympics for just a while longer before the winter of politics and Premiership discontent sets in.

Last words. Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt.

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Proper Charlies ……..

4 Aug

My son’s name is Charlie. A few years ago his passport expired and he missed meeting up with me on holiday. He took the consequences on the chin – along with suitable admonishments and savage subtle banter. ‘You d***head’ was my favourite. Lizzie Armistead’s going AWOL when three testers came calling is beyond careless, beyond banter. Her excuses shame her further: ‘…he didn’t do enough to find me.’ she said of her third avoidance.  She shouldn’t be at the Olympics.

Steve Woolfe is a potential UKIP leadership challenger. Not any more. He filed his nomination papers 17 minutes late. An important phone call got in the way, apparently. Another d***head. Now he’s crying foul. I do know some people who would put life on hold for an episode of the Archers but for the leadership of a party, I might prioritise: 1. Give papers to secretary, 2. Go to hotel room for cuppa and iPlayer.

I have been considering nominating my barber Louie for a knighthood. I understand that anyone who has done my hair or been on my side or given me money can get one. So my Mum should have featured by now and I can’t understand why she hasn’t. As she’s dead I remain hopeful of a posthumous award. I suppose all those worthy recipients of years gone by might carp at my indulgent, self-seeking, narcissistic, myopic, pretentious, cronyism but I don’t really give a s**t.

My recent protégé Kevin Roberts, Saatchi and Saatchi’s CEO, has resigned after his ludicrous, appalling remarks about women in the advertising business. He said to that important organ, the Business Insider Website, “Women say ‘Actually guys, I’m way happier than you,'” explaining that some women’s ambition is circular not vertical. Shock, horror, the female right-on mafia went for his jugular! Much like Charles Saatchi had done with Nigella. Gardening leave first followed by honourable hari-kari. He has fallen on his sword, saying “Fail fast, fix fast, learn fast.”

Would that a few other Charlies could follow Kevin’s lead. And he didn’t do much wrong in the first place.

Stop the World I Wanna Get off – in Jersey.

2 Aug

Stop the world I wanna get off – in Jersey.

No News is Good News – or is it?

2 Aug

When the improving cancer survival rates becomes front page news we know something is amiss in Fleet St. or Wapping. Boris the Spider’s gone missing, Pouty Gove is sharpening his autobiographical pencil and Farridge is fulminating about Dave’s final honours list which is all about style (ha ha) and no substance. Certainly little honour. This is must be distressing for that significant number of great people who really do deserve the nation’s approval.

Death by maniac hasn’t headlined this week but it’s only Tuesday. Corbageddon is not quite nigh  and the Olympics are in their pre-opening, potential disaster phase. Duran Duran will come to the rescue. All will be well.

In this climate of media indecision about ‘go to’ scandals, Kevin Roberts, Saatchi’s CEO, grabbed several column-inches for his shameful comments about why women in his sector aren’t desperate to climb ambition’s ladder. He suggested that some females view ambition as circular, not vertical. At some point many decide that happiness – in whatever form they judge that to be – is more important than a tunnelled drive for someone else’s idea of achievement.

How dare Kev suggest this from his 40 year experience of observing men and women in the workplace. Luckily the PC mafia at Saatchi’s have put him on the naughty step until Mother Theresa Maybe takes Sam Cam’s manicurist off the dishonour list. Then the media can get back to what it does best: invent news based on scandal and corruption in public life, imagining that we plebs will forever gorge ourselves on a diet of distress.

As for poor Kev, his tale is another reminder that in our shallow world of soundbites, those on a mission – in this case the right-on female mafia – will ignore context, intention and truth to pursue a vigilante agenda that ill-serves their cause.

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