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In a press conference earlier today, a shadow cabinet spokesman announced that the conclusion of the Period of Reflection and Contemplation Commission on why things went wrong last Thursday is that ‘It wuz the sheds wot dun it’

“It cannot be a co-incidence” he said “that the appearance of all of these festively-decorated wooden sheds on our high streets during the last two weeks of the campaign, and particularly on polling day itself, distracted voters from their main purpose of electing a Labour government.”

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My new attention-seeking Envy printer from HP may not be quite as bad at using-up ink to preen itself before every print-run as the previous one was, but it does have an annoying habit of dropping its WiFi connection a couple of times a day so that I have to turn it off and on to reconnect it before it will print anything.  It must have had an update overnight, because the first reconnect today brought-up this new and informative notice:

BBC Statistics

It is difficult to understand how a media organisation that, over the last few years, has consistently failed to correctly predict major election results can believe it retains any credibility.  Yet that’s what we have from a BBC statistics department that now has to go into full spin mode to cover its embarrassment even during a live results programme.

Such was the case on Sunday when it became immediately obvious that the Brexit Party were absolutely creaming the opposition, as if that hadn’t been widely predicted from the point, just six weeks ago, when Nigel Farage launched it.   But this article is not about the politics of these elections, it’s about whether our national broadcaster is fit for purpose in the field of political analysis.

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Back in the summer of 1969, the world’s eyes were on just one thing – the moon – awaiting the first man to set foot there.  Around the same time, a haunting song began receiving airplay telling the story of a stranded astronaut, Major Tom, sitting in a tin can far above the moon and musing that planet earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do.

This was my introduction to David Bowie and, along with thousands of others, I bought the original mono single – although not enough of us did so to get it too far into the top twenty.  It eventually made the grade six years later and topped the charts as it really should have done at the time of its genesis.

By the time that belated first number one arrived in 1975, both alter-egos of Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane had been and gone, and Bowie had moved on to what he termed his plastic soul phase.  So while a somewhat different promo video of Space Oddity, showing Ziggy singing it, was rounding-off that week’s Top of the Pops, Bowie was on tour with a brass section squeezing-out sax-riffs for Young Americans and Fame.   But that was Bowie, always years ahead of his time. Continue Reading