Thursday, 27 October 2005


Is it just me, or is anyone else getting just a LITTLE bit tired with Conservative MPs only ever seeming to want to talk about the needs of the vulnerable? I mean, they may need a disproportionate level of help, but they're not the only people that matter. Time for some love to be sent the way of the upper-middle and upper classes I say.

Also, let's shoot all those Labour MPs who want to scupper the Government's already timid reforms of education. Comprehensivisation has betrayed two generations. It's time to undo it all. And no, I do not want my future children to be bussed to a school in the middle of some plebian shithole.


Finally It’s Happened To Me

Some ten days after our contract began, I will finally start moving sizeable quantities of stuff, and acquiring new stuff, for my new pad in Oxford. It’s going to rock down to Electric Avenue to have my own space, and God knows I expect my parents are looking forward to it as well!

If you’d told me five months ago that I’d ever want to go back to Oxford I’d have told you that you were stark staring mad. Now I can’t wait.

By the way, RIP Rosa Parks. She will be long remembered.

Saturday, 22 October 2005

I Am The Greatest

As seems to be common among my blogging friends, I have just acquired a new home. Well, not acquired as such – m’great mate Paul and I are renting a flat in Oxford. I’m pleased to report that the total dickwads who call themselves letting agents will get not a penny; I found the place in the paper.

It’ll be good to have a pad in my old stomping ground. I really can’t wait to move in there. Oxford has so much to offer. I have found a remarkably cheap place to lift weights, and I will also be doing more aerobic work. I was persuaded to go to a boxing gym the other day. To my amazement, I handled the medicine ball sit-ups just fine (although I was sore for days afterwards). Turns out that you really can have a belly and strong stomach muscles. But the greatest revelation was hitting the pads.

I’ve always been annoyed that I couldn’t throw a good enough punch for my size. I find it hard not to just snap my arm, and always do craply on those fairground machines. Anyway, the guy who runs the gym came over and showed me how to centre my weight properly and throw from the hips. The difference was astonishing, and the guy holding the pads was very taken aback. I now have a lethal right hook.

Of course it would be a crime against humanity for someone as beautiful as me to risk my good looks in the ring. But I plan to do a lot of the training to whip myself into shape. And be under no illusion – Big Tommy G is a force to be reckoned with.

Although I am feeling a bit coldy at the moment …

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Once More

You wait for weeks for a post on politics, and then two come along at once. At Once More in fact, where I have made a case for Liam Fox.

Thursday, 13 October 2005

Modern Conservatism

From the BBC:

‘The four Conservative leadership candidates are preparing to be grilled by MPs’ wives and other Tory women at a hustings in the House of Commons. David Cameron, David Davis, Ken Clarke and Liam Fox will have 10 minutes each before the 40-year-old Contact group.’

What the BBC DIDN’T say:

‘The four candidates will then go on to a meeting of the Below Stairs Club, a 110-year-old organisation that represents the servants and slaves of Tory MPs.’

Nor did the BBC go on to say:

‘The would-be Prime Ministers have already addressed a feisty meeting of Boys ‘n’ Bitches, a new Tory grouping comprised of the illicit lovers of members of the Parliamentary Conservative Party. With 457 active patrons, the former is a considerably larger body than the latter.’

Wednesday, 12 October 2005

Once More

I have made a controversial post at Once More today. Please do read it. You can also comment on it!

Saturday, 8 October 2005

Liam Fox …

… is VERY, VERY sound. I sort of hope he can help me make the leap to believing he’s ready to be Prime Minister. On that note, what he has to say about foreign affairs is very attractive – combining Eurocynicism and compassion.

This may all be academic. It’s unlikely to come down to Liam versus Cameron. I’ll vote for either against Davis or Clarke.

Friday, 7 October 2005

The Davids

I’ve now listened to the speeches made by Davids Cameron and Davis at the Party Conference. One might have suspected that the difference in quality between the two had been exaggerated by the media. Not so.

Cameron’s was a virtuoso performance. Energetic, optimistic, and vital. Of course it was light on policy – a Conference set-piece is one of the few arenas where the mood music is legitimately considered more important than the detail.

Davis’s speech would have shamed a BNP rally. That’s not so much a comment on his being Right Wing; after all, I am too. Rather, his speech was deeply clumsy, patronising, and inelegant. If he wants to become Prime Minister, David Davis will have to do a HELL of a lot better.

I’ll listen to Liam’s speech next. I’m pretty sure I want him or Cameron. I share Liam’s perspective, but I have yet to be convinced he’s up to it. I have problems with some of the modernising agenda, and I dislike localism, but I like Cameron personally. He really does look like a star. We’ll see.

Thursday, 6 October 2005

Conference Soundbites

Herewith some of the things the Tory Leadership candidates said this week – in case you missed any.

David Davis

‘We were so poor that sometimes I had to go out and collect pebbles. My mum would put them in the pot – yes we only had one pot, and that was second-hand – and she’d pour boiling water over them. Hey presto, soup. You know that Charlie Chaplain scene where he eats a boot, the one everyone thinks is so funny? I never laughed at that. I’ve eaten plenty of boots in my time. Probably why I’m as tough as old ones.’

‘If you’re thinking of voting for someone else, I just suggest you ask yourself this question: “Could my preferred candidate press the button if that was what was needed?”. I could press the button. I’m used to this stuff. Look, I’m not in this to win the Nobel Peace Prize.’

‘Yeah, Hague’s OK. We went walking in the hills the other day. Of course I had to slow down from my usual pace, but he did fine. Good guy. I might make him Chancellor – he’d be good at all the number-crunching that I don’t have time for. Just don’t tell me that his judo would do him any good if me and him got it on. It doesn’t work in a real fight.’

‘I’m actually very bright. I was at Warwick University. That’s part of the Russell Group, which is our version of the Ivy League. So Warwick is basically the same as Oxbridge. Sometimes when people ask me where I went to university, I just say “Oxbridge”. It saves having to explain it all.’

‘I’m confident I can beat any of the other candidates. For length AND girth.’

‘I was talking to Andy McNab the other day, whom I know well from my SAS days. Of course that’s not his real name. I could tell you his real name, but I’d have to kill you (laughs) … No, but seriously, I would have to kill you.’

David Cameron

‘My favourite album is Straight Outta Compton by NWA. I truly believe that until every member of the Shadow Cabinet is happy to approach any African-Briton and say “Yo my Nigger, wassup, peace”, this Party simply hasn’t got a chance of forming the next Government of the 21st Century.’

‘Did you see that moron Davis trying to speak? He can barely read! It’s just as well that his first and last names are so similar – I doubt he could remember them otherwise. I can speak fluently without notes for hours if I have to. That’s the difference.’

‘I believe every child should have access to a first-class education, regardless of their background. So I will send every boy to Eton, and every girl to Benenden. That’s thinking outside the box.’

‘I wasn’t wearing ties long before even Michael Portillo wasn’t.’

‘The food in Blackpool is terrible, inexcusably so. Why should only us metropolitan types be able to enjoy dining at places like Whites?’

‘You see, Ken’s problem is that it’s TOBACCO he’s involved with. It’s fine to be into sugar, like Davis was, or drink, like I am. But tobacco is basically heroin as far as modern people are concerned. And flogging it to Vietnamese kids? Tut, tut. NOT the way the win The Guardian over, I suspect.

‘Whom would Jade Goody vote for? That’s the test.’

Ken Clarke

‘Look, we all know I’m the only person who can win. How many other members of the Tory Party do you think the public even recognise? You may as well just bloody vote for me. It doesn’t bother me though. I’m just as happy to spend the next few years in my slippers, cigar in hand, listening to Theolonious Monk.’

‘No I don’t want wine, I want beer. And so do the British public.’

Liam Fox

‘My name is Liam Fox, and I’m 8 ½ years old.’

‘When I was a doctor, I had to be able to look at naked women and not laugh. So I’m definitely grown-up enough to be Prime Minister.’

‘If the bad people try and get us, I’ll just throw a nuclear bomb at them!’

‘You know I’m friends with Natalie Imbruglia, don’t you? She’s a famous pop star and everything.’

Malcolm Rifkind

‘It’s high time that the Conservative Party was led by a little bald chap with a curious accent.’

Wednesday, 5 October 2005

How You’ve Grown

Courtesy of 10,000 Maniacs:

'My, how you've grown.'
I remember that phrase from my childhood days too.
'Just wait and see.'
I remember those words and how they chided me,
When patient was the hardest thing to be.
Because we can't make up for the time that we've lost,
I must let these memories provide.
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me.

I should have known.
At your age, in a string of days
The year is gone.
But in that space of time, it takes so long.
Because we can't make up for the time that we've lost,
I must let those memories provide.
No little girl can stop her world to wait for me.

Every time we say goodbye
You're frozen in my mind
As the child that you never will be,
You never will be again.
I'll never be more to you
Than a stranger could be.

Every time we say goodbye
You're frozen in my mind
As the child that you never will be, will be again.


Herewith a few websites for you to check out. Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, who strikes me as a FANTASTIC legislator, and who has as a member of staff one of the finest people I know, has a new site. It is unspeakably cool that Virginia is a Commonwealth.

Todd has this:

And a buddy who might prefer to remain anonymous has this:

On other housekeeping matters: I am more than moderately worried that all my friends who have my script haven’t commented on it. I take it you hate it!?!?!?!?! If so, I don’t blame you. The plot is much too predictable, and the draft you have was too rude. Ho hum.

Howdy …

… and sorry for the recent silence. Life’s been busy.

It has partly been sad. Mark Jennings, an estimable fellow with whom I sometimes powerlifted, has died suddenly. Whilst I wouldn’t presume to say we knew each other well, I liked him very much, and he was extremely encouraging and helpful. I had hoped that he and I would become friends over the years, and follow each other’s lifting careers.

A few weeks ago another friend died, and it was remiss of me not to mention it. Margaret Coe was a stalwart of my village – honest, hardworking, bubbly, generous and loving. My parents knew her better than did I, but her husband Peter, whom I am getting to know, has suffered a tragic loss. There are some people who give one a vital sense of continuity and security. Margaret and Peter are of that stock.

I would also like to record my sadness at the passing of Ronnie Barker. A magnificent comedian and comic actor, and by all accounts a fine man. I met him once, quite unexpectedly. My parents are frequenters of antique shops, and we popped into a local one a few years ago. There, larger than life and utterly charming, was Ronnie Barker. In his later years he owned the shop. We had literally no idea, and it was a very pleasant surprise. This brief encounter, and Mark’s death at a very early age, remind me how fragile and fleeting life is. Carpe Diem indeed.

Life has also been good. The other night I went to see my second oldest friend James playing with his excellent band Halfprice. I am in awe of anyone who can pick up a guitar and entertain, and these chaps do it in spades – great lead singer, superb (double) bassist, and the talented James on gee-tar and voice. Check them out if you get the chance.

Life has also been a-tic-up-the-end-of-your-penis annoying. On Saturday Paul and I went into Oxford, in order to view four different places with three different agents. That’s right folks – I’m moving to that splendid city. NOT ONE of the agents kept their appointment with us. The catalogue of murder, mutilation, carnage and cannibalism that ensued will take the police months to record.

Life has also seen changes. Not only am I about to move but, more significantly, I am changing gyms. The people who run the (crap) pub behind where we trained wanted their shed back, so we’ve moved all the weights into Franco and Fabio’s garage. I think everyone who pumps iron should train with someone called ‘Franco’. Those of you in the know will recognise why instantly.

I suppose I ought to be keeping tabs on the Conservative Party Conference, and commenting. But it’s hard to get interested when I can predict with 100% accuracy exactly what everyone is going to say.

By the way, take a look at this. I am more chuffed and amused than I can fully articulate that I am (i.e. this blog is) on a university reading list.

Monday, 3 October 2005

What Do We Think About ...

... stand-up comedy?
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