Sunday, June 12, 2005

Sunday Shorts

Richard Ingrams, in his Observer column, reminds us that Tony Blair said less than a month ago that even if the French voted no in a referendum, we would still have one. "That is a government promise".
Last week we were told we would not have a referendum.
Is this one of the fastest u-turns in political history?
To paraphrase what Gordon Brown allegedly said 'How can we ever trust another word that he says?'


Despite the clouds lowering about our house - I had to put the Big Light on at 4 o'clock to consume my muffins and Earl Grey - it must be summer because Saturday night television is a desert.
Last night I found myself watching Casualty. Although it's my second favourite hospital comedy after Green Wing, I don't often watch it now. I used to enjoy counting how many times Charlie scratched his head but we only glimpsed him once last night. Perhaps he was in one of the cubicles being treated for head lice.
It didn't prove much of a diversion from this week's blogging since it included a story about underage sex. A father had almost killed a 32 year old man for having sex with his daughter who was 4 months short of her 16th birthday. 'I'm not sure how I'd have reacted in the same situation', said the consultant soothingly, implying the possibility that even someone of his God-like intelligence might have been moved to commit attempted murder. If a week is a long time in politics, then months or weeks are an eternity where the age of consent is concerned, effecting a sudden and miraculous conversion from perversion to legality. But rather than revisit the subject let's recall an old joke:
A woman finds her husband sitting sobbing and asks him what's wrong. "Remember when I got you pregnant when you were 15?" he says. "And your father said he wouldn't go to the police if I agreed to marry you when you were 16."
"But that was 10 years ago", she says. "Why are you crying?"
"Because today's the day I would have been freed from prison."


I hate that new expression 'a senior moment'. And it's of dubious relevance to myself because I'm still many years from being a senior citizen and being statutorily obliged to attend Tea Dances, listen to Daniel O'Donnell albums and ask the checkout woman to count the right money from my outstretched, palsied palms.
Nevertheless, I must confess that today I came within a hair's breadth of spraying shaving cream under my arms instead of deodorant. If I hadn't noticed in the nick of time I might have had to go into denial about the neuro-failure and follow it through by shaving my armpits, donning a figure-hugging sequined dress and doing Shirley Bassey impressions at the local gay bar on a Saturday night.
Not that I've ever been a cross dresser, although I get pretty angry and swear a lot when I can't find my socks.


A woman called Grace Dent writes a column about soaps in the Guardian's Saturday Guide. Yesterday, writing about Coronation Street, she said that Danny Baldwin is Mike Baldwin's son. He is not. He is Mike Baldwin's nephew.
Similarly, Guardian TV critics have twice said that The Bill's Gabriel Kent is the son of June Ackland. He is not. All the other characters think he is but he invented this story and in one episode June met her real son.
I once complained to the Readers' Editor about this latter error (in a green, 20 point, comic sans font, naturally) but no correction appeared.
The Readers' Editor never even acknowledges emails, not even if you tell him that you have a collection of Second World War pistols and know where his children go to school.
But these particular errors annoy me out of all proportion to their importance, even more than when The Guardian said that Tony Blair went to Cambridge University.
If they want someone to write about television soaps who actually watches the bloody things, then I'm available. Whether they could afford me is another matter.


At 7:55 PM, Blogger Merkin said...

I know the feeling. I was always told that as soon as you read an article about a subject with which you are familiar, then you will notice numerous errors in the most basic of facts. Fuming, we turn to the next article (about an item previously unknown to ourselves) and believe every word. My SUnday newspaper of choice (sorry, Willie) is the Sunday Telegraph but I am getting so frustrated with the constant inaccuracies that I'm seriously considering returning to the Sunday Times. Even basic facts are not checked (the lead character in The Office was not called David Brett, the Royal Navy does not have any battleships, Daffydd in Little Britain does not read 'Attitude', Elton John is not going out with Daniel Furnish, etc etc etc). Grrrrrrr (in a slightly "disgusted of Milton Springsteen" way")

At 6:18 AM, Blogger Betty said...

Re: Coronation Street, isn't the Mike Baldwin Alzheimer's business odd? I thought Corrie tried to make out he was a few years younger to pander to Johnny Briggs' vanity. Was he originally promoted as "Britain's answer to Kirk Douglas"?

At 8:22 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Merkin, it was the Sunday Telegraph that invented the urban myth that schools banned Hot Cross Buns at Easter, still widely quoted as though it were true.
Although I don't usually buy Murdoch papers, the Sunday Times once emailed me very promptly to admit to an error and apologise, so fair play to them.
(Contrary to appearances, I don't often complain to newspapers. Anyway, I can now shame them in front of the dozens of people that read my blog).

Betty, yes, I knew he was retiring soon but couldn't believe the Alzheimer's storyline was planned. I'd have preferred a different exit for his character.

At 11:01 PM, Blogger portuguesa nova said...

Oooh, have you read the new (new in the US, anyway) Nick Hornby book yet? The Long Way Down. One of the characters is suicidal after ruining his life by sleeping with a 15 and 200 -some-days-old girl.

I'd personally like a post or an e-mail with some Brit tv recommendations.


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