Ben Stokes, the bad boy of English cricket is not an idiot. Ben Stokes, the man’s man of willow & leather is not a have-a-go hero. Ben Stokes, the hard-living embodiment of Beefy Botham is a thug and a criminal. With a rap-sheet that includes spending a night in the cells, a six-month driving ban and a formal on-the-record caution for obstructing the police, slugger Stokes went one better in the damning video of last week’s street brawl and was rightly arrested on the suspicion of causing actual bodily harm.
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In the aftermath of last week’s mass shooting the most perverse certainty is that gun sales in Las Vegas & Nevada will now be going through the roof. This has been the US public’s response to each and every mass-shooting in recent history, from Columbine’s High School to Orlando’s night club via Aurora’s cinema, and there’s no reason to expect it to change any time soon.
Living in the same two-up/two-down for almost twenty five years you’ll get the picture that I’m not particularly motivated by property. I can honestly say I don’t care how many bathrooms or bedrooms I have as I can only be in one at a time. However, I have to admit that when researching the earlier ‘wind & p*ss’ article I was fascinated by Trump’s Xanadu, Mar-a-Lago, as it appears to have enjoyed a whole life of its own, and one equally enthralling as its current owner.
It goes without saying that we all usually have an natural allegiance to both the place in which we grew-up and the place we live. Personally, I won’t hear a bad word said against central Lancashire but, by the same token, I’ve spent twice as long in the beautiful south and have no intention of leaving anytime soon.
Calm down, dear. Uber is not going to lose its licence to operate in the capital. Sadiq Khan’s acceptance of the company’s open apology, agreement that it could try harder in the future and request that all parties make themselves available for immediate conversations, has all but waived Transport for London’s initial hard-line stance. It’s my understanding that the company will be allowed to operate during the appeal process and it will make a new, and continuous, application thereafter. Phew.
Germany goes to the polls this weekend and it will surprise no-one that Angela Merkel will be returned for a fourth term. And why should it be any different? Theirs is the largest, wealthiest, most powerful, politically stable and downright happy country in Europe, if not further afield. Furthermore, Merkel herself has anchored her image as a safe pair of hands, reliable, competent, unassuming yet tried and tested; dare I say ‘strong & stable’!
At the risk of stating the bleedin’ obvious, cycling makes you healthy. It’s exactly how healthy it makes you that is surprising. Just imagine the impact on their stock price if Glaxo Smith Kline developed a wonder drug that significantly slashed our chances of developing cancer and heart disease, of massively reducing our likelihood of dying early by over 40%, helped us stay slim and warded-off the probability of type two diabetes and the early onset of dementia. But before you hit ‘buy’ on GSK that miracle pill already exists and yep, it’s cycling.
The rollercoaster ride for bitcoin investors continues unabated as they’ve seen its value recently fall by 40% from a high of $5000 to below £3000. The tumble came after Beijing-based Chinese authorities ordered a halt to trading in the crypto-currency amid fears that the increasing numbers of traders and investors could spark wider problems within traditional markets. Never one to miss an opportunity to put the knife in was Jamie Dimon, CEO of the largest US bank, JP Morgan, who immediately described the currency as ‘a fraud, a bubble, and the emperor with no clothes’. Way to go, Jamie, especially as bitcoin was devised directly as a result of Jamie’s actions.
I realise an early morning rant probably isn’t the best way to start your day but has there ever been a less likeable blonde hottie than Maria Sharapova? Following her recent dismissive remarks regarding her fellow players who dared consider her to be any less white than the knickers she so fabulously flaunts, I read an interview with her and have to say she’s probably the most deluded, ugly sportsperson I’ve ever come across. Why, she even makes the bully of the peloton and king of all dopers, Lance Armstrong, appear a thoroughly well-balanced, easy-going chap who you’d love to have a cold-one with. As it transpires, the only cold-one Maria would give you would be a cold-shoulder.
A couple of days ago a Brexit-voting pal of mine popped several well-thumbed articles from his favoured right-wing press through my letter box (see, I am an inclusive kinda guy, not a rabid member of the metropolitan liberal elite as some of my best friends are Tories, dontchaknow). Once, I’d recovered from the shock of being mail-bombed by the BNP I did what any right-minded individual would do: junk anything penned by Jeremy Clarkson without reading, ceremoniously set-fire to the many photo-shopped portraits of Jacob Rees Mogg, and take the rest with a sizeable pinch of salt. However, one article by resident columnist Caitlin Moran, really tickled me and hit the proverbial nail right on the bonce.