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This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working
It’s a very short one, I suspect there is only one item on it: “US soap operas called after a hill in south east Essex”
It turns out that journalists working for Rupert Murdoch routinely gave cash to police officers for inside info to use as the basis of their articles. It is broadly agreed it is a gross dereliction of duty, borderline corruption etc. for a police officer to accept such payments.
Which reminds me of the Gillian Taylforth saga: the only really hard (sic) fact to emerge from her libel action against The Sun (the weekday edition of The News Of The World – both of them are Rupert Murdoch newspapers) was this:
Here was one of the best-known stars of EastEnders [a British television series] suing over allegations that she and her lover, a wealthy businessman with a criminal record, had been having oral sex in their Range Rover when they were spotted by a policeman… The couple’s case was not helped by the fact that Mr Knights signed a caution admitting the offence of indecency after being taken to the police station.
It struck me at the time that the only way The Sun could have found out about this was if a police officer told them, no doubt in return for cash in a brown envelope – there were no other witnesses. Unlike criminal convictions in an open court, the details of cautions (= an admission of the alleged offence in exchange for charges being dropped) are not made public.
So while Ms T lost her libel action (the court appears to have decided that, as a matter of fact, she did give Mr K a blow job, and telling the truth is absolute defence against a defamation case), isn’t there a police officer somewhere who ought to be locked up and/or have his pension rights taken away etc?
On an OK turnout (thanks to everybody who took part) the results to last week’s Fun Online Poll are as follows:
Do you think you are on the UK police database?
Yes, as a victim of crime – 15%
Yes, as a criminal – 12%
Yes, both as criminal and as victim – 12%
I don’t think so – 49%
Other, please specify – 11%
So that’s only about half who reckon they won’t be on it, rather less than the official estimate that three-quarters of us won’t be on it, which gave rise to mucho shock-horror headlines just over a week ago.
Another shock-horror story which caught my eye was in the weekend’s red tops, see e.g. Daily Mirror: “Ashley Cole is to jet back to the UK for a reunion with ex-wife Cheryl so they can discuss their future together. The Chelsea star is due back from his US holiday next week and his number one priority is to meet Cheryl and try to convince her to take him back. And friends of the former X Factor judge say she is considering giving the serial love cheat another chance.”
So that’s this week’s Fun Online Poll: Should Cheryl Cole go back to her serial cheat love rat overpaid prima donna ex-husband?
On a good turnout, the results to last week’s Fun Online Poll were as follows:
Which stuffed toy is cooler?
The PG Tips Monkey -44%
The Bird’s Eye Bear – 16%
Other, please specify – 3%
Don’t ask me, I never watch the adverts – 38%
If you really want to know a bit of background you can read up here.
On a low-ish turnout, the results of last week’s Fun Online Poll were as follows:
Who’ll be the next manager of West Ham?
Chris Hughton – 12%
Steve McLaren – 4%
Sam Allardyce – 4%
Martin O’Neill – 3%
Neil Warnock – 1%
Gus Poyet – 1%
Other, please specify – 3%
I’ve never heard of any of these people – 71%
The 71% ‘don’t knows’ cheered me up no end, so let’s see whether Mr Hughton actually gets the job.
On an even lighter note, there are currently two stuffed toy vying for the consumer’s attention, the Bird’s Eye Bear and the PG-Tips Monkey, see examples: Which one do you think is cooler?
Vote here or use the widget in the sidebar.
I don’t mean that Terry Wogan doesn’t do the sarky comments any more, this is more fundamental. When I was a lad, only proper European countries entered the Eurovision song contest, but then they went a bit mad and allowed Israel to enter.
Cue much heated debate at school about whether Israel was actually a European country or not, primarily done to wind up Collins (who was Jewish). Then the same all over again when Turkey was allowed to enter, much muttering and spluttering about whether it’s a European country or not (quite clearly it isn’t – it’s not on the continent of Europe, and unlike Israel, doesn’t even have any European inhabitants).
And so on and so forth. Every time they allowed yet another even-less-European country enter, there was much righteous indignation (especially if they won).
In the smart arse corner, then there is usually somebody who points that Eurovision is merely the name of an international television distribution network, which happens to have named the song contest after itself, and this does not imply that it is restricted to European competitors only (in the same way as the British Grand Prix is not restricted to British Formula One drivers).
But it seems that nobody can be bothered to do the curmudgeonly thing and point out that Azerbaijan is not, repeat not, a European country. It has borders with Chechnia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran, FFS. So I’ll have to do it myself.
Geek points for the first person to point out that Eurovision is the name of a television distribution network and is not meant to imply that the competition is restricted to entrants from European countries etc.
UPDATE. Here’s my personal opinion of what’s Europe and what’s not. There are a few countries which I’d consider to be ‘Not really Europe’, the fact that they aren’t Arab or Asian either is not my problem. Romania just scrapes in because it uses the Latin alphabet and is predominantly Christian. Plus, it gives us access to those strategic Black Sea ports: