The Stan and Eddie Fan Club

Hilda, Eddie and Stan

Hilda, Eddie and Stan

When I was about 19 I shared a house with a couple of friends. When we were not working we spent most of our time in the pub. We formed a loose drinking group named The Stan and Eddie Fan Club after Stan Ogden and Eddie Yeats in Coronation Street.
Stan Ogden was played by Bernard Youens who died some years back. Eddie Yeates was played by Geoffrey Hughe who went on to play Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances a part very reminiscent of Stan. Sadly Geoffrey Hughes died yesterday at the age of 68.

Along with Stan and Eddie in Corrie, there was, of course, the indomitable and super realistic Hilda Ogden, played by Jean Alexander. In my youth, these three formed the only thread of fun and interest in a very dull soap opera. Who can forget Hilda’s “murial” or the storyline where Stan thought he may be allergic to beer? Stan and Eddie were true pub drinkers, happiest when they had a pint in their hands and a bar to lean on. We wont see there like again.

brighton bulldozer

brighton bulldozer

Marvelous boots

I recall sitting on the rail on a sailing trip over to France wearing a pair of rubber sailing boots. As the weather deteriorated my feet felt like they were clamped to a block of ice as mother nature sought to suck out my soul through the soles of my feet. When the sun came out the next day my feet were broiled in sweat as the sun burned down on the dark rubber.

So a while back I bought a pair of Dubarry sailing boots and they’re amazing. They’re Gortex covered in leather with insulated rubber soles. So they are breathable yet waterproof. Magic! My feet stay warm (or cool) and comfortable.

We live in a society which idolizes stuff. No sooner have we bought our new iPhone bloody 4 and they’ve brought out a newer better version so that we can feel we have a lesser product and become discontented. However, there are a few things that I’ve bought in my life that I am completely happy with and these boots are two of them. I was discussing them with a friend and she said that when she got her first pair they were so comfortable that she sat on the sofa watching TV with them on and I had to admit: so did I!

Dubarry sailing boots

Dubarry sailing boots

Fantastic Art Photography

Fantastic Art Photography

Bribery – The Official Sponsorship method of the London Olympics

London Olympics - Sold Out

London Olympics – Sold Out

The woman on the BBC2 program Newsnight yesterday said that visitors to the London Olympics wont be able to buy pints of British bitter because some bloody lager company has obtained “sole pouring rights” at all Olympic venues.

What utter BOLLOCKS! When did the concept of “sole pouring rights” appear in British law?

This evening’s BBC Radio 4 PM program reported that to buy Olympics tickets one must have a Visa card and that this will be the only card accepted in the Olympics area! Credit/Charge cards now form an intrinsic and necessary part of the money system in Western countries and to allow a monopoly in this area is atrocious. The board of the Olympics Organising Committee (IOC) have obviously confused sponsorship with bribery. The Deputy Chair of the IOC is Sir Keith Mills who has worked extensively in the the loyalty card industry. It will be interesting to keep an eye on his future career choices.

It’s not just beer and cards of course, Powerade is the “official Sports Drink” of the London Olympics. Leaving aside the ludicrous claims that a fizzy drink has anything to do with sport, what does it mean to be an “official” sports drink? Are the Olympics athletes obliged to consume this stuff? Are the officials obliged to consume it?

In fact, what does it mean to be a sponsor? In the case of the Olympics the word “sponsor” has two meanings. First it means that Coca-Cola, the owner of Powerade, have paid the Olympics organisers to use the Olympic branding material. The word sponsor is used here incorrectly as this is merely a commercial transaction.

When some bloke asks me to give £10 to a cancer charity providing that he runs a marathon, that is sponsorship. If I demand that he only wear clothes made by my company then it is no longer sponsorship, it is a commercial transaction. He is earning money by selling me advertising space and the fact that he donates part of his money to charity reflects well on him but, as the advertiser, my motives are commercial not charitable. I am not a sponsor, he is.

The second meaning of “sponsor” is worse. In the UK we have various laws ensuring competition and a level playing field for wholesalers to get their products to consumers. But, as with many supposed sponsorship deals, the organisers of The London Olympics have somehow insisted that normal free market competition rules are waived and that corporations are granted monopolies. One has to ask: Who gave the IOC the right to suspend British and European trade rules?

Corporate sponsorship is a questionable activity as any contribution made by corporations is met by shareholders or customers who may be oblivious to the costs incurred. A quick perusal of the web reveals that the legal authorities are becoming aware of the slippery slope from sponsorship into bribery. In October 2011 the Stuttgart Public Prosecutor’s Office filed an indictment against Volkswagen employees in connection with T-Systems’ sponsorship of the VfL Wolfsburg football club and specialist marketing companies are monitoring the effect of UK 2010 Bribery law on the sponsorship industry.

The absence of British beer brands at a major international event hosted by the UK in London is yet another example of how the corrupt and greedy British elite have sold out our culture for cash. It’s notable that the London Olympics web site does not refer to firms donating money as sponsors but as “partners”, a term usually reserved for the owners of giant business consultancies such as Deloitte who, incidentally, are another Olympic partner.

Father of Olympic branding: my rules are being abused

Roses

Roses

Terry and Ferdinand Live

"Who you fucking calling 'cunt', cunt?"

“Who you fucking calling ‘cunt’, cunt?”

Today the national conversion on racism appeared to descend into the depths of absurdity as The Independent and The Sun reported on the trial of England footballer John Terry charged with a racially-aggravated public order offence by making racist comments about fellow footballer Anton Ferdinand on the football field. It seems that the altercation began after they each barged into each other. The Independent and The Sun report the stories differently but it seems to have gone something like this.

Ferdinand claims: “He called me a cunt. I called him a cunt back and he gave me a gesture as if to say my breath smelled.” Ferdinand then said “How can you call me a cunt, you shagged your team-mate’s missus, you’re the cunt”. At this point the prosecutor claims that Terry shouted back: “Fuck off. Fuck off. Fucking black cunt. Fucking knobhead.” but Terry claims he asked Ferdinand if he had asked him if he’d called Ferdinand “a black cunt.” Terry agreed that he had been “stitched up right and proper” as he was sarcastically repeating the words that Ferdinand mistakenly thought he had used.

The prosecutor asked: “You said that your response was to repeat back ‘a black cunt’, or ‘calling me a black cunt?’ How about ‘what?’ Straightforward, ‘what?”‘ and Terry replied: “At the time I was shocked and angry. I had never been accused of it on a football pitch and repeated it back.” and added: “Hindsight’s a wonderful thing. At the time I was shocked, I was angry, you can’t control your emotions.”. He said he would have repeated the word “nigger” back if it had been used.

However, according to The Sun lip-reader Susan Whitewood told Westminster Magistrates’ Court that Terry had said: “You fucking black cunt . . . you fucking knobhead.” though under cross-examination Ms Whitewood conceded that lip reading is not an exact science.

Of course I am interpolating here as both The Sun and the Independent would not print many of the abusive words. Perhaps Ms. Whitewood did err in her reporting as The Independent seems to have changed their earlier version of the story and removed the word “knobhead”.

Since the British elite have fucked up so badly recently, what with the Credit Crunch, MPs expenses and phone hacking, we British seem to have acquired a taste for dragging the great and the good before judges and interrogating them. The Levenson Inquiry seems to be morphing into a version of Big Brother staring bankers, politicians and journalists.

I’m all for it!

However The Levenson Inquiry can be a little dry and lofty. Alright, for broadsheet readers but most of us like to have a quick browse of the Red Tops too. The Terry / Ferdinand controversy fills this gap nicely providing a more accesible insite into the antics of the rich and famous. It seems that Terry and Ferdinand are the comedic successors to Derek & Clive.

I hear that FIFA are at last to allow goal-line technology to help the referee determine the legitimacy of goals. Perhaps they should also mic up all the players and record what they say. It might prove quite useful in enabling a few more court actions and could prove vey entertaining.

Fantastic Art Photography

Fantastic Art Photography