Saturday, 28 July 2012

Jeremy Hunt's Olympic Bell-End!

Hapless Minister Hunt holds his bell-end
The government's 'Culture Secretary' Jeremy Hunt caused a scare yesterday when the bell-end he was waving became detached, its heavy brass dome flying through the air and narrowly missing some woman bystander. 

Hunt was aboard HMS Belfast for the 'All the Bells' celebration, as people across the country rang bells to mark the start of London's Olympic Games. The nightmare mishap happened seconds after he had given a television interview, claiming the Games would be a complete success barring any last-minute hitches.

Asked to 'join in' for the cameras, calamity-prone Hunt weakly waved his bell around before the clanger occurred. He watched helplessly as the bell-end disappeared among a small group of Olympics fans. Fortunately no-one was injured, and amid peals of laughter the Minister slunk away like a scolded animal. The bell was later successfully repaired, it was reported, while the episode provided another moment of Olympic comedy gold.

Red-faced Hunt later explained: “I was ringing my bell in a very excited way, but it collapsed in my hand and came off." Unfortunately, the gaffe will lend support to those detractors who believe the Minister is a gormless knob.  Who'd have thought the expressions 'Jeremy Hunt' and 'bell-end' would ever be connected? 


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Oh No: Olympic Bungle!

Sadly, the London Olympics’ first day has witnessed an unfortunate blunder by organisers. Last night the North Korean women's football team left the pitch at their match in Glasgow, after their images were shown before kick-off on a giant video screen, next to the flag of hated neighbours South Korea.

The furious squad were only persuaded to return after the teams had been announced again, with each North Korean player's face displayed beside the correct flag. During the delay to the prestigious event spectators booed, and many left the ground. Unhappily for Olympic staff including Sebastian Coe, the fiasco immediately went viral. 

Grovelling British officials have apologised to the North Koreans for the gaffe. After all, displaying the wrong flag was an easy mistake to make, depending on the calibre of the appointed score-board operator. At any rate the episode has been a first taste of pure Olympic gold.

Since their conflict of the 1950s which ended in an armistice, North and South Korea remain technically at war. Today North Korea is a reclusive, renegade state led by a mad regime, with an arsenal of gigantic nuclear weapons.

An opportunity for more regrettable Olympic bungling will arise when the two countries meet in the men's table-tennis team event. To view potential fireworks, press the red button.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Bring Back The Real Olympic Games!

Like many people, I don’t like watching track or field sports, cycling, sailing or swimming on the box.  I’m in trouble then, because our televisions are about to be swamped by the Olympic Games.  So far the most tedious aspects of the coming event have been its relentless trailing, and coverage of the torch thing as it trundles round Britain.

But the Games weren’t always as awful.  Our foreparents knew how to enjoy themselves, with a variety of sports which show just how much we’re missing out today.

Shooting has long been included in the competition, first appearing in 1896. While competitors usually aim at disc-shaped clay pigeons, the 1900 Games in Paris adopted livelier targets: real pigeons were released, and more than 300 were killed.  But even in such unenlightened times there was a degree of protest, and from then on Olympics officials decided to skip the living targets.

Croquet was the first Olympic event in which women participated, its only appearance also at the 1900 Paris games.  Just a French team entered, while a single spectator purchased a ticket to watch. Afterwards an official report concluded croquet involved “hardly any pretensions to athleticism” and the measured, courtly game was dropped.  

In 1984 the rather contradictory sport of solo synchronised swimming appeared.  Surprisingly the event was retained for the Seoul Games four years later, and again at Barcelona in 1992.  Afterwards though, other participants were added and the event became a team competition, which probably made more sense.

The unusual art of pistol duelling has also featured, in the 1906 Athens Games. Disappointingly the event consisted of no actual duelling; competitors merely shot at plaster dummies dressed in frock coats, from a distance of 20 or 30 meters. An opinion poll held in Australia before Sydney 2000 found 32% of those asked wanted the sport revived.

If it helps, the countdown to the end of the London 2012 Olympics is currently 26 days, 10 hours and 5 minutes.

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Barclays and LIBOR: What A Muddle!

Well, pretty much as I originally predicted except the other guy resigned. Bob Diamond left the bank, while Barclays chairman 'Senator' Marcus Agius returned. Shocked by the intensity of public disgust at Barclays’ behaviour, Mr Diamond said: "Bloody proles didn't even know what a LIBOR was until last Thursday week."

To steady the helm at the troubled usurer, initially Lord Geezer had refused to quit. "I was quite disappointed,” he confessed yesterday, following his daily worship before a 20-foot ivory image of Beelzebub. “No one’s sorrier than I am about these events coming out. I'd hoped to stay on, to ensure nothing like this is ever detected again."

Leading the applause for Diamond’s years of valuable service with Barclays is his daughter Nellie. Privately-educated Miss Diamante, 23, rejected British government criticism of her father which appeared in the press. She tweeted: "George Osborne and Ed Miliband you can go ahead and #hmd." HMD is an expression of disgruntlement employed by low-end American teenagers; money well spent on Nellie’s schooling then. 

A handful of jealous detractors have claimed Ms Diamond is pampered, privileged, and unrepentant over her ‘show biz’ lifestyle being funded by daddy's piracy. But at least Nellie works for a living; using her degree in English to the full, she’s been lucky enough to find a job with Deutsche Bank. Meanwhile Barclays has sought cathartic resolution to its dilemma, introducing a new savings-account marketing campaign with hoardings like the one above; in other words, business as usual. 


Monday, 2 July 2012

Barclays Scandal: Bob Diamond Clears Up Everything!

Diamond: "Ask me no questions."
There’s been widespread horror and revulsion across the British banking industry, following the resignation of Barclays’ chairman Marcus Agius in the wake of the LIBOR fixing scandal. As pressure grows for a criminal investigation, the debacle has wiped billions off Barclays’ share price.

City insiders believe the resignation will prove an isolated incident. Industry executive Bunny Tuffington-Smythe, speaking today from his Wimbledon hospitality suite, explained: “It seems poor Agius suffered with outmoded business attitudes such as ‘taking responsibility’, and ‘doing the right thing’. You won’t find such claptrap has infected modern banking methods, thank God. Now, trebles all round!”

Barclays has been fined £290m for systemic misconduct, but Chief Executive Bob Diamond will keep his current role. “Honestly, pay-offs for senior bankers who resign always reach 7-figure sums,” he explained, “so by staying on it’s good for Barclays, good for Britain, and good for me. And anyway, why waste a perfectly good human shield?”

Sir Bob – who’s earned £100m from Barclays since 2006 and ran the division where the transgressions took place – will forfeit this year's bonus payment but remains in line for multi-million pound share payouts. Meanwhile, to reassure customers and more importantly the Serious Fraud Office over future conduct, Lord Geezer's announced plans for a new Director of Probity to join Barclays' board. Leading the shortlist of candidates is a current senior executive from the bank’s Asian arm, Mr Han Din Til.