Monday 18 January 2010

Two out of five

15st 4lb, 8.5 units. I started the day hoping to fit some or all of the following into a newspaper column:

1. The Phoney War. One of my daily newspapers has been running a “70 years ago today” series, which is chiefly noteworthy for highlighting the way that pretty much sod all happened for several months after the declaration of war in September 1939, apart from occasional morale-boosting skirmishes like the Battle of the River Plate. It reminds me very much of the pre-election climate now, in which politicians of all parties are desperate to avoid alluding to the huge avalanche of bad news poised above our heads and ready to descend upon us the day after the poll results are announced.

2. Haiti versus 9/11. Compare and contrast the numbers killed and the vigour of the international response. After all, it would make about as much sense for the United States to bomb the crap out of Iran in revenge for the earthquake as it did for it to initiate regime change in Iraq as a follow-up to the fall of the Twin Towers. Is Barack Obama any less barmy than George W. Bush? Discuss. The fact that he invited G.W. to stand beside him at a press conference about Haiti does make one wonder.

3. Full body scanners. An utterly hateful invasion of privacy and completely pointless since the loons have already moved on to stuffing explosives up their backsides, and the next step of having them surgically implanted surely cannot be far off. So surely to goodness someone could come up with a better argument against them than the one advanced in all seriousness in one of the Sunday papers, namely that the Equality and Human Rights Commission is concerned that they might potentially blow the gaff on pre-operative transsexuals (and that particular blowing is not a sexual practice, by the way, however it may sound).

4. Cheques. How can some cartel come along and announce that they are going to be abolished in 2018, if people still want to use them? Why isn’t the Competition Commission investigating? The answer is surely for us all to write more of them. As it is for us to keep paying over the odds to our doorstep milkman, and using our local shop, post office, bank and branch line railway. Though obviously what we would all prefer to do is write columns urging other people to do that, then further ones moaning about it when it turns out that they can’t be arsed.

5. Ofsted. I didn’t realize until Mrs H handed me a sheaf of reports last night that the nurseries we are considering for our son are graded chiefly according to their zeal in promoting “diversity”. So The Baby will be brainwashed with an approved, left wing, anti-old-fashioned-English-blokes-like-his-Dad agenda before the poor little sod can even talk. One might think that the monitoring agencies might be better employed weeding out perverts, but there we are. One nursery was marked down for not having enough materials presenting a positive image of disabled people. As Britain’s hoarder par excellence, I have a box of old toys at home that I am sure includes a number of plastic soldiers with their limbs either snapped or chewed off. I wonder if that is the sort of thing they had in mind?

I finally managed to work in the Phoney War and Ofsted, so only two out of five. But, let’s be honest, it’s a better mark than I feel able to award myself most days, and certainly a higher one than I’d get if Ofsted ever inspected me to assess my fitness as a parent.


CC said...

It may ease your fears some to know at least one of your "followers" is a socially liberal (American) who writes, illustrates and designs books and other educational materials for kids. (A number of of which have British editions). And I still appreciate your longing for many old societal standards and practices no longer valued. Your boy will do just fine, especially with the addition of his Pa's often amusing take on the world.

Keith Hann said...

Socially liberal, eh? Are you sure you are in the right place? But thanks for the reminder about the children's books. I must take a look at Amazon. Anything suitable for the challenging 0 - 1 age group?

Funnily enough I had been wondering about trying to write some children's stories myself, as part of my continuing efforts to track down a source of income from something that does not bore me rigid. Mrs H assures me that I have an appropriately infantile sense of humour. But is this enough?

CC said...

Not radically liberal.... moderately so. Besides, the term does not hold exactly the same connotation on my side of the pond. After all, you lot have universal health insurance.
Your wicked humor and take on life have great potential for writing for kids. However, its not a road to riches, there is JK Rowlings, then there are the rest of us.
I'd be happy to recommend several author's who's work I think could inspire and amuse you.