Welcome to my website!
I now offer a new service – please see my
purple prose below.
to “trump” (old meaning) : a card-playing term, to play a card of a previously determined suit to beat an opponent’s card of another suit.
to “Trump” (new meaning) : a cad-playing term, to storm out of the game, refusing to play any more by the generally agreed rules, complaining that they are unfair to the player with the strongest hand.
The poem that follows is unfair, but I have tried to make it equally unfair to all
parties, which is more than you can say for our electoral system.
IT’S MY PARTY & I’LL CRY IF I WANT TO
1 – THE GLORIES OF THE TORIES
Vote for her, vote for her!
She’s the one to make a stir.
Sound the trumpet, ring the bell!
give those continentals hell;
and sod the NHS as well.
If you give her your priority
she’ll amass a huge majority.
Her ministers will tow the line
and everything will turn out fine.
Theresa, jolly good fellow (X 3)
and so say some of us! (X 3)
So, vote for Mother Theresa,
and nobody make a fuss!
UKIP if you want to –
I can do it single-handed!
2 – LABOUR PAINS
All our promises are costed,
weighed, displayed and sugar-frosted.
Our leader knows what not to do –
that’s split the party right in two.
And Jeremy has told us that
he’ll pull a rabbit from the hat.
He’s getting quite excited;
one day he may be knighted.
On the other hand he may just fall down flat.
3 – LIBERAL HELPINGS
The other parties think we’re nuts
and falling off our axis,
coz we’re the party with the guts
to put up income taxes.
Our promises are better
than those we broke last time.
We’ll meet them to the letter –
for promising’s no crime.
There! And that’s a promise;
and promising’s no sin.
So do not mock, and do not sniff.
We’ll only break our promise if
we actually get in.
4 – THE PARTY OF THE PURPLE
We’re the purple people’s party, very small but hearty.
We’re the only party for purple folk today.
We actually delivered, while everybody shivered.
We actually delivered to all the lily-livered
folk our promises before election day.
And we’re the only party to save the Tory Party.
A party with a purpose, the need for which
has gone away and left us in a ditch.
Purple to the end, without a single friend.
And you lot all can sod off round the bend!
5 – EAT UP YOUR GREENS
We’re keen, and we’re clean
and we’re glad to be Green.
We mean what we say
and we say what we mean.
We think what the Tories
get up to’s obscene.
We talk to the others –
we’d talk to the Queen!
We think the political
system is mean.
We want to be seen,
be seen to be green.
We’ve twice as many leaders
as MPs who are Green.
While Caroline Lucas will keep us in focus,
we all know it’s great to be green.
6 – THE SCOT GNATS ARE BITING
“Oh, Brexit such a drag is.
Have a wee spoonful o’ haggis.”
says Tricky Nicky Sturgeon,
“I’m as good as any surgeon.
I could cut the British Islands quite in two.
We will hold a referendum.
If we must, we’ll never end’em.
We’ll show those Sassenachs a thing or two!
While the south gets on with Brexit,
we will make a sneaky exit
from the disunited kingdom and its chains.
We’re fairly close to Norway,
and we’ll slip through the back-door way
of the European project that remains.
I will stay a Scottish resident
but I’ll woo the noo French President.
He’s sure to like the way I sauté neeps
and my petite figure wiry.
I shall start to write a diary.
Folk’ll know me as “the bonny Scottish Pepys”.
7 – HOW PLAID REPLIED
Plaid Cymru – what do we do?
We all speak Welsh and we go to the loo.
We have a Welsh Assemberly
and we hold it here in Wayulls.
We’re good at counting sheep
and cutting off their tayulls.
We also take their testiculls.
Yes, that is what we do.
And if you make us very cross,
we’ll do the same to you!
We’re waiting for the day
when the Scots all go away.
Till then it’s a bugger’s mess that irks.
We see it in this manner –
that we’ll become the spanner,
the spanner in the UK’s rusty works.
SOMETHING NEW FOR YOU!
I am now offering a new service to my visitors – free comedy material. I realised that I had written a number of pieces – sketches, mini-dramas, song lyrics and so on, which might be useful for someone putting on a show. I liked the idea of sharing them with people with similar interests to my own. I felt it would be too much work to sell the scripts, so I am giving them away. Nearly all of them have been tried and tested by me or by people close to me. Do have a look on my new Comedy Material page. If you have any comments on individual pieces or on the service as a whole, I should be most grateful to receive them via the Contact Page.
NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
What do President Trump and ex-President Obama have in common? Politics? Foreign policy? Ethnicity? Previous experience? Temperament? Style? Charm? Obviously, none of these. What they have in common is that neither of them knows how to use an autocue properly.
Some 30 years ago, when I was a company speechwriter, I attended a class given by the television presenter, the late Bernard Braden. It was a demonstration of how to use a public-speaking aid that in the 1980s was comparatively new. “What you have to do,” he explained, “is memorise your opening phrase beforehand and, when you start to speak, say this phrase to the people in front of you. Then, glance to the left and read the next few words aloud off a little glass screen scarcely visible to the audience. Memorise the next few words, turn to the front and deliver those words to the middle section of your audience. Turn to the right, read aloud, memorise and so on. The device allows a perfect illusion of someone addressing the whole audience.”
Unfortunately, the American political system provides no training for presidents. And it seems that no one has the guts to say. “Mr President, now you have been elected leader of the most powerful nation in the world, you’ll need to learn the basics of public speaking.” As a result, Obama and Trump speak only to left and right, giving the game away and missing out the central block of their audience.The centre is where the main camera is placed, so the millions watching on television never once feel their president is talking to them. What a missed opportunity!
Bernard Braden’s lesson is easily learnt, with a patient tutor (and an equally patient student!). Even Donald Trump can hold a single idea in his head for a short length of time. To be fair to him, when speaking, he does manage the occasional tentative glance directly ahead. I wonder if he’ll get the hang of the autocue before he triggers World War 3. Watch this space.
Rather late in life, YouTube has introduced me to “Country Music”. The singers are as provincial as people you see in a motorway service station. Few of the men are good-lookers, beneath the facial hair. The women favour long hair, glossy or crimpy. In boots and big-brimmed hats, everyone dresses for a party not a concert. The songs are unsophisticated and sentimental. The tunes are easy listening and you can hear most of the words. What’s not to like? It would be fun to drop a coach load of country music performers at the Wigmore Hall and tell them they’re the warm-up act for a recital of German lieder.