An everyday story of leftwing folk

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

Well, given current events I thought I'd just go ahead and determinedly NOT BE FUNNY. Just good old applied copology.

Not done a printed version this year. What with austerity and all. More like not having the time until it was too late, really.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Too happy

It's like the old saying about banging your head against a wall. Nice when it stops. I guess I was always aware that by working in the state machine, I was wading nose deep in stupid. I just wasn't aware of what a relief independence would be.

The down side is that it's become much more difficult to do the comic. I don't have the same anger any more. The anger of "this time it's personal". We all know that it's not really personal as far as bureaucracy is concerned. In a bureaucracy, we're all worthless. The process is king. But that's what gets the eyeball twitching.

Without my daily dose of bile, I'm left in a state of... happiness. Which dulls the venom a bit. I'm sure I'll get there. I've got a story planned out, but I just feel it lacks a bit of a spark. So I'm holding back until it feels right.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Thursday, 8 November 2012


I was so delighted to hear on the radio this morning that Downing Street has its own Dashboard App for whatever iKit the Prime Minister has. Really took me back.To this and this. I can really see him hunting down the Guilty Men. Also David Cameron comes over as such a tech innocent, he'll definitely be operating the virtual Levers of Power and Joystick of Strategy and going "Vroom".

It also tries to get around those slow-coaches in the Office for National Statistics by trawling the internet. I'm sure there's plenty of scope for consultants selling something along the lines of  "search engine optimisation meets LIBOR fixing" as a way of influencing policy. Hmm. Could be a nice little earner.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Strawberry Night

I've been amusing myself by watching Japanese movies and TV dramas that I get mainly from

The TV series Strawberry Night has been really enjoyable. It's a cop show, and like all cop shows, it's about work. In a dysfunctional hierarchical bureaucracy. Just my sort of thing.

This one is centred on Reiko Himekawa, a lone woman Assiustant Inspector (Shunin) in a very male environment. There's something about her that reminds me of a boss I used to have (yes, THAT boss). As you can imagine, life is pretty frustrating for her, but she manages to inspire extreme loyalty from her team.

I've been quite amused by the way that despite being quite a slight woman, she can be quite bloke-ish. This does help with fitting in with the culture, and (as in life) we are left to guess whether this is a deliberate strategy or not. It's just the way her character is, drinking beer with the lads etc..

And her boss has this way of cutting off conversations once he's got over what he wanted to say. I think I've commented on this trick of senior managers before, but I can't remember seeing it in drama.

Anyway, I'd really recommend this one. And because cop shows are cop shows the world over, the cultural differences really stand out.

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Lady Godiva's Navigation

Went to Rugby yesterday to see a giant animatronic Lady Godiva, the original Tax Rebel and defender of the Liberty of Coventry, on the first leg of her journey to London from Coventry.

There, she will do battle with a giant avatar of Danny Boyle dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man for the hearts and minds of the British People. I know who I'll be cheering for.

I hope we can count on your support. The tour takes in Northampton today, Milton Keynes tomorrow, then Luton, Hatfield, Waltham Abbey and Waltham Forest on Sunday 5th.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

I'm back!

Sort of at least. I gave myself a hernia last autumn and was operated on to get it fixed on Wednesday. Though I've done lots of stuff over the last several months, I've realised since the operation that I was getting through each day by a sheer act of will. And then collapsing exhausted.

So despite having some pain from having been cut open (especially when I cough) I feel so much better. And happy. I just seem to have been miserable for ages. So maybe I can get remotivated for Policy Police.

The National Health Service was interesting. In many ways it's still the same dysfunctional, hierarchical, inflexible organisation it always was. I found out why so many people are getting discharged in the middle of the night. Operation complete. Target met. So then once its past 5 o'clock, it's down to you to find the one junior doctor who's on call for the whole place so you can be let go. Luckily I have a bossy wife, so I got out at 9.30pm.

There was an amusing episode that shows how little has changed culturally since the "Doctor in the House" books and movies of the 1950s. I was initially spoken to by a young surgeon who said that he would normally carry out this operation, but as he was on call, I would either get another (named) surgeon or the Great Man himself. As I was being prepped by the anaesthetist and his team, the Great Man walked in and shook my hand. I knew it was the Great Man because he didn't introduce himself. He then barked a series of questions at me along the lines of, "Why are you here? How long have you had this thing?" I think I gave the right answers cuz I definitely felt I'd have been told off if I'd got them wrong. He then turned to the two terrified-looking students behind him and said, "Now YOU ask him some questions!" and left the room. As soon as he'd gone, they turned to the anaesthetist and said, "Do you have any students?"

Well, he may tyrannise his students, but he did a grand job.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Policy Police.... a sequel

This was my entry in the 2011 Manga Jiman competition. It's a kind of possible future for the Policy Police. At some indeterminate time from now.

Ground Zero

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Manga Jiman Awards Ceremony

I braved severe train disruption last night to get to the Japanese embassy for this. Can't help but be impressed by the very high standard of the shortlisted entries. Does the heart good. Here's a photo of the assembled crowd my son took on his phone before we found out you weren't supposed to...
Third place went to Dean McKnight and Jade Sarson, second to Lorenzo Fruzza and first prize to Elena Vitagliano. Totally worthy winners.

Results not yet up on embassy website, so I'll add a link when that happens.

(8th Feb - here's the link)

Also I'll post my entry in a few days, for those that want to see it.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

So much for January

A no-show in January, I'm afraid. What with the teeth and actually trying to earn some money... jobs doing the busses thing right now, nothing for ages, then several turn up at once. And, given this is a new story coming up, I'm trying to do some "look and feel" changes before I kick off... It's getting there, but I decided it'd be better to hold off until I'm happier with things.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

If you can't get off on Root Canal Treatment any more

Not really Policy Police content, but you never know, dentistry might figure in the future...

I've had RCT on two teeth, and I've had problems with both of them recently. One was a molar and the whole thing broke into 3 - one for each prong of the root. I had it removed yesterday, so it's a bit sore this morning.

The other tooth is one of my two upper front ones - I had RCT on this one over 25 years ago and it has slowly gone grey over the years. I bumped it the other day with a cup of tea and the gum has swollen up alarmingly. We're having a wait and see at the moment to see if antibiotics will sort it. My dentist warns me that its days are numbered anyway, and cuz its at the front, I should consider COSMETIC SURGERY. Well, having a titanium rod screwed into my skull and then a false tooth attached thereto. There are cheaper alternatives like dentures, but I mean, that's for old people, isn't it? Anyway, I'd better get saving.

As it happens, I also got a knock at the door from an itinerant scrap dealer yesterday. He'd got one of his front teeth missing. It's a look. A scary one. I don't think it's me.