People, politics, tech, money, sport, work and entertainment all intertwine to make up today’s ever-changing, crazy, delightful and frustrating society. The majority of my second-hand-views are about life within our society and, with a left-of-centre stance, there’s bound to be something here that gets your goat. When it does, buy a bundle of tibs, donate one to my charity of choice, Stay Close to Neve, and get it off your chest with a retort – better out than in. Have fun, be good and keep at ‘em.

a job for life

In a similar vein to the earlier discussed relationship between buying and affording something, our desire to retire from the daily grind is often at odds with our ability to do so. We collectively assume that at some point in our mid-sixties we’ll be able to jump ship and clamber off the hamster wheel of work into a twilight of blissful freedom from traffic jams, pressing deadlines, belligerent bosses and unrealistic demands. Sadly, think again.

bye-bye. buy, buy, buy

Better known as the king of the Ponzi scheme, former Nasdaq chairman, Bernie Madoff, died last month having served only a few years of his eventual 150-year sentence. Managing to beguile his well-heeled clients for almost twenty years, his simple plan of robbing Peter to pay Paul was only rumbled when plunging stock markets, initiated by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, caused a long-overdue run on his limited funds.

i promise to pay the bearer of

Now, being the technophobic luddite that you all know me to be, this will come as a bit of a surprise: t’other day I not only used a contactless form of payment but then actually declined the offer of the receipt. No, really. Okay, it was only a fiver at my local Costa but one-small-step-for-man and all that malarkey.

gang of four

The people have spoken. Unfortunately, I’m still struggling to understand what they’re trying to say.

shakin’ all over

Whilst the handshake is one of the most ancient of human interactions in the past year or so it has become taboo, a veritable lethal biological weapon of mass destruction to be avoided at all cost. However, with today’s easing of sanctions is it now time, contrary to the advice of US chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, to bring it back, centre-stage? As an unashamed advocate, for me it can’t happen soon enough.

reconnect to server

Notwithstanding Labour’s relative successes in the mayoral ballots, the Hartlepool result kinda show the bigger picture: they got bulldozered. If the Tories can win here, a town with the highest unemployment rate in the country, and where their new MP openly admits she’s spent more time in the Cayman Islands than in the town, they truly can win anywhere.

the glorious twelfth

No, I didn’t join the hoi-polloi’s legalised slaughter of wee game birds in the Highlands but on the first day of lockdown restrictions being lifted, I did go to the barbers for a short back & sides, the swimming pool for a dip and the pub for a pint.

What’s the time, Mr Wolf?

Most of you will have realised there are pretty much just two threads to this blog of mine: the first is that Tories are bad and, the second, that technology will turn your mind to mush. This particular post initially started out as the former and I was going to remind you that Boris Johnson is a cad, a liar, a charlatan and a thief. I’ve been saying it for years and I’m going to continue to do so until everyone knows it.

the great divide

Growing-up in the frozen north during the sixties it came as some surprise to learn that I was the product of a ‘mixed marriage’, an oft frowned-upon union of a protestant and a catholic. In a region where schools, estates, sports facilities, teams and community centres were demarcated along strict sectarian lines I admit to having been bemused by the whole malarkey and never truly understood the rivalry, let alone the hatred.

tax and be damned

It’ll come as no great surprise that the world is an unequal kinda place, principally comprised of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. Similarly, no bolts-outta-the-blue that, as well as killing more than two and a half million of us, the coronavirus pandemic has, according to the World Bank, plunged some 150 million people into what that they describe as ‘extreme poverty’ and it’s the poorest in society that have been mopping fevered brows in ICU, wiping a*ses in care homes, restocking supermarket shelves, teaching kids and Deliveroo-ing tasty chicken tikka masala to our collective door.