John Wayne: Big John or Big Jessie?

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Unlikely as it may sound, psychiatrists recognise a condition called “John Wayne Syndrome”. Although the Duke’s ailment has since become synonymous with battle fatigue, it was originally coined to describe someone who could not come to terms with their own perceived lack of heroism. When he wasn’t campaigning in favour of guns or against Socialism, […]

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East Europeans Cleaning Up

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We have a Polish cleaner. There, I’ve admitted it. For a liberal, woolly-minded Old Labour person like me, that’s a big admission. Or, at least, it used to be. Now it’s perfectly normal to have ‘help around the house’, and to justify my actions I’d just say that if I didn’t employ her, she’d be […]

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My Blog Shame

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It’s all Richard Herring’s fault. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’ll start at the beginning… One major benefit of owning an iPhone is, instead of listening to other people speaking rubbish to each other via their own handsets, you can inflict podcasts on yourself. I subscribe to 63 at last count, ranging from […]

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Interesting Facts About Europe (Can You Trust The Truth?)

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The title ‘Interesting Facts About Europe’ is misleading, but that’s the problem with facts. One person’s truth is another’s lie. As it’s not in my nature to disappoint anyone, I kick off with 5 very Interesting Facts About Europe: 1. The World’s 14 Most Charitable Countries are in Europe. (Official Development Assistance by country as […]

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Complaint: From Minor Moans to Principled Protests

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Profile have just published a book called Complaint by Julian Baggini. It is claimed that this 224-page paperback is the first to be devoted to the subject and all I can say is: It’s about bloody time! Call yourself a publishing industry, making us wait 568 years for a book we obviously need? Idiots. Complaining […]

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Total Cost of the Credit Crunch

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You’ve got to feel sorry for the banks and credit card companies. They sustained us through the good times, barely taking enough profit to carpet their meagre offices and keep their executives and shareholders above the corporate poverty-line. Always willing to help those less fortunate than themselves, they tried to provide mortgages for poor Americans […]

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Life As An Out-Of-The Loop Music Promoter (Part 1)

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I’ve been a music promoter for most of my working life. It’s basically the same as being a theatrical impressario except, instead of plays, I organise rock ‘n’ roll shows. The wife likes to think of it as being something like a professional gambler, but that’s just her. A music promoter hires a venue, finds […]

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Write A Novel The Easy Way

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Never mind the old cliché that says ‘there’s a novel inside everyone’. It might well be true, but the tricky part is getting it out and on to paper. After 23 years trying, I think I’ve finally discovered the secrets of writing a novel the easy way. I’ve served time as publisher, reviewer and writer […]

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Boris Johnson is Mayor of London. Yippee!/The End is Nigh* (*delete as applicable)

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In hindsight, it seemed inevitable that Conservative Boris Johnson would defeat Labour’s Ken Livingstone and be elected Mayor of London. Although the Member of Parliament for Henley-on-Thames was initially perceived by some as a joke candidate, in reality Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson had everything going for him. For a start, the media was rabidly […]

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The Lies Start Here…

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Although I’ve never kept a diary, the idea of a blog is strangely appealing. Thanks to the European Nuclear industry’s Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau, it is now possible for just about any living person to read what you have to say about the world. George Walker Bush. Fidel Castro. Gordon Brown. Paris Hilton. All […]

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