Lucky Col
Dance as though nobody's watching, love like it's never going to hurt

Friday, February 27, 2009

Nottingham's best interests at heart ?

From the front page of the Nottingham Evening Post:


Dysfunctional, ineffective, meddling ... the findings city council tried to suppress

Quite strong stuff, yes ?

Simply, a number of years ago, the City Council decided to let an outside consultancy firm write a report on the top level of management, the report was a very critical of individuals and senior management in general and the report never saw the light of day, despite costing over £30k to produce. Over the last year or so, the Nottingham Evening Post has been trying to obtain a copy of the report under the freedom of information act, but as the report was never published, spiked in draft format, no luck. They've now been, ahem, leaked a copy leading to the aforementioned headlines.

The report is some three years out of date, the chief executive has changed at least twice since then, with most of those named no longer involved.

Isn't it hard enough trying to stave off the ignorant London based journalist w**kers, with their incessant digs at our city, without having to watch your back at the same time ?

I'm not saying that the local paper has to toe the party line, far from it, but dredging up stories three years old is hardly helpful.

Sites like "Nottingham City Council LOLs" don't help, but are explained with the line "Hmmm, from my experience working there I'd go along with that" (from here) leading to an observation the writer has nothing more than a Friday night's worth of chips on his / her shoulder coupled with an inability to just 'let it go'. "Inevitably my own experiences were limited to a particular backwater of the social welfare field". Were they ? Hardly a f***ing expert then, are they ?

And the less said about some of the retards on the Evening Post message boards the better. Living proof that if you give an infinite number of monkeys a keyboard, one of them will reproduce the complete works of Shakespeare, but give just one monkey a keyboard and he'll use it to write b******s to the Evening Post.

The council leader is seen as "a solution to the council's problems but also the creator of many of those problems". He has his heart in the right place but often gets involved in trying to micro-manage situations, setting unrealistic timescales and gets frustrated when these timescales aren't hit. Some harsh criticism for sure, but also an indication that here is someone trying to do the best he can.

But what is the Evening Post's role in all this ?

Bought out by Northcliff Newspapers (part of the Daily Mail group, gulp) in 1995, they have since had an anti-Labour stance on pretty much every major issue since, with this report no different. Also, being privately owned, they have the same objective as every other private company in the world, maximising profit for their share-holders. Not trying to get the best run City Council possible, oh no, money, sensationalistic stories to increase turn-over, sales and advertising revenue.

The City Council isn't perfect, but it's the only one we've got.

The Evening Post is far from perfect, and conveniently, I don't have to read its right wing bile.


From the Nottingham Evening Post:

Selectadisc store to close

A LEGENDARY Nottingham music store will shut its doors in March.

Selectadisc, which opened 40 years ago, has announced it will close in a matter of days.

The Market Street shop is now holding a massive clearance sale

I can't think of anything that's happened so far in this credit crunch that will effect me so deeply.

This is officially one of the saddest days of my life.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

26 things you never knew about U2

Helpfully, the NME list 25 here.

So, number 26 - Their new single is absolute s**t.

Glad I can contribute.

All that's wrong in football

Aston Villa, under the management of former Forest winger Martin O'Neil travel to Moscow for the second leg of their UEFA Cup tie, delicately poised at 1-1 from the first leg and all to play for. (From the BBC)

You'd be surprised to hear that MON has omitted EIGHT first team regulars from the trip, preferring to play a reserve squad, likening a UEFA cup tie in the Russian capital to an away Carling Cup tie at Hartlepool. And that's not considering the travelling support paying hundreds of pounds to watch reserve level football.

The reason ? Because of Villa's over-performance / Arsenal's under-performance in this years Premiership, there's a good chance that Villa could crack the top four and therefore earn one of the lucrative Champions League spots. And that's also hoping Arsenal don't pull out all the stops, finish fifth but nick the last Champions League spot by winning it this season in Rome in May.

Since when has finishing f***ing FOURTH in the league been seen as a better proposition than winning a cup competition, a European Cup competition at that. Where's the medals for finishing fourth ? Or f***ing third or second for that matter ?

MON was gutted when he was dropped for the European Cup final in 1979, figuring he'd missed out on the only chance he'd ever have for a European medal. It's a shame he can't remember that feeling when asking his players to give up the same opportunity 30 years later. But the players don't care either.

Simple answer ? Money. Villa would earn more from qualifying for the Champions League and getting knocked out in the first round than they would by WINNING the UEFA Cup this season. Players earn so much money that the kudos of winning a European medal is lost among the scramble to see who's got the biggest car, the stupidest tie, the most bling.

The Forest team in the late Seventies, of which MON was an integral part, didn't train. They played Wednesday Saturday week in week out. That was their training. What's up ? Can't the over-pampered, over-paid, injury-prone muppets handle playing twice a week ?

It's one thing trying to crash the big four party. It's quite another to behave in the same arrogant manner when you're not even there yet. I've never wanted the top four to remain the same as much as I do this season.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

One of those 'two word answer' things


Microsoft demands redundancy overpayments from axed staff

Employees made redundant by Microsoft are being asked to repay cash after the firm claimed their severance amounts were too high.

It is also believed some were underpaid, through the accounting mistakes made by Microsoft's human resources department in the US.

Microsoft made 1,400 staff redundant last month in response to the global recession, and the mistakes in the final pay packets of an undisclosed number of staff were uncovered by TechCrunch.

A Microsoft letter to those it says were overpaid reads: "An inadvertent administrative error occurred that resulted in an overpayment in severance pay by Microsoft. We ask that you repay the overpayment and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience to you."

Good luck with that, but I would imagine the word "OFF" is going to occur fairly regularly in the responses.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hustled away

What’s happened to Hustle, one of my favourite TV programs ?

Con men stealing from the less than clean in clever, subtle and completely unbelievable plots ?

Well, this series has seen the ‘theft’ of a rare painting in revenge for an IT developers suicide, a con on a bent judge and more recently the group posing as lawyers to save a youth club scheduled for demolition.

It’s all a bit 118-118, isn’t it ?

Presumably soon we’ll see them all locked in a garage with only an old car, large fruit, compressed air cylinders and acetylene torches for company, with Detective Gene Hunt’s brother shouting “I ain’t getting on no plane”.

Friday, February 20, 2009

It's been a while ....

The Joy Formidable - Cradle

White Lies - Death. They're supporting Snow Patrol this summer apparently, so that's a good reason to get a ticket. Although, to be honest, that just makes one good reason.

The Airbourne Toxic Event - Sometime Around Midnight

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A few quid here, a few quid there

I don't like Big Brother, either the cretins who appear on it or the sub-intelligent morons who watch it.

But, sometimes, something bigger comes along to make the hatred of what is just a game show at the end of the day seem a little bit insignificant.

From the BBC:

Brown 'applauds' Goody's attitude

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has expressed his sympathies for reality TV star Jade Goody, who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

He said people should "applaud her determination to help her family", by selling the media rights to her wedding this weekend.

The former Big Brother contestant's plight was "very sad and tragic", he told his monthly press conference.

Ms Goody, 27, has been told she has only a few months to live.

OK! magazine has bought exclusive rights to Sunday's ceremony for £700,000 and Living TV has paid £100,000 to broadcast it.

Ms Goody has decided to use money to ensure her sons are looked after.

Mr Brown said: "It's very sad and tragic that such a young woman has this cancer.

"It's very sad indeed that the treatment has not been successful."

He added: "Her determination to help her family is something that we have got to applaud and I wish her family well."

As someone who has personally had a taste of the treatment Ms Goody has been through recently I can say I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Fortunately, I never even got close to understanding how it must feel to be told you've only got months to live.

So, being the caring mother that she is, she decides to make sure her kids are looked after in the future. Nothing wrong in that at all, and the £800k should help, if only in financial terms.

But, what is it exactly she is "famous" for ? How can she suddenly command nearly a million pounds at such short notice ?

Not a lot, just another example of the celebrity (and I use the word liberally) culture we live in.

I'm not going to slag off Jade Goody, fair play to her and good luck to her family in the future.

But, what about the other families in similar circumstances ? What about the hundreds of other women going through the same ordeal who won't even get close to accruing a similar financial lifeline.

If you want to buy OK! magazine for the photo-shoot, or watch the live coverage, then that's fine by me.

But while you're doing it, think about the others going through exactly the same hardships.

Put your hand in your pocket and go here, here or here.

That's all, serious mode, off.


From the BBC:

How to train your cat

Cat training is the latest fad in the US, with people flocking to see if they can get their cats to stop tearing their furniture to shreds.

Firstly, why bother with cats, dogs are FAR better pets, what with not being rodents 'n all.

Secondly, they shouldn't waste their money going to these cracked up yanks when I can do it for free.

I had a couple of cats once, and I sat them both down, looked them in the eyes and trained them the following techniques:

  • Lounge around all day doing f*** all

  • Wait until you get your dinner served up before peeling your fat carcasses off the settee for the first time in the day

  • Come and go out the house like it's a hotel

  • When you go for a s**t, it's OK to do it anywhere other than that plastic tray I've kindly provided for you

    Worked a treat.

  • What's going on

    Live in Nottingham and want to know what's going on in the best city in the World ?

    Don't live in Nottingham any more, but want to read articles written in a Nottingham accent to remind you of home ?

    Never lived in Nottingham and want to see what you're missing ?

    Unfortunate enough to live in Derby ? ( !! Shudder !! )

    All you need to know is here, the Left Lion. Unless you are unfortunate enough to live in Derby in which case you'll need to learn how to read first.

    The latest issues of the Left Lion magazine can be downloaded here.

    That's better. I don't feel guilty any more for slagging one of their pubs off.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Why Don't You ...... ?

    I don't do Twitter. Charlie Brooker does, although neither of us have ever done Docking, which he helpfully explains in great detail for the straight & Jewish gay communities.

    I can't really see the point, I don't imagine for one minute that anyone gives a s**t what I get up to 24/7.

    Hell, even I don't care what I'm doing myself ALL the time.

    And I can't think of anyone of whom I'd enjoy a similar level of interaction.

    There's laws against that sort of thing. It's called STALKING.

    If I did do Twitter it would be a very repetitive entry:

    If I wasn't wasting my time on this b******s, I'd be doing something a lot more interesting.

    Now, for those who ARE interested, I'm just off to look up the word "Irony" in the dictionary.

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    You learn something new everyday

    It's been a while since I've been inside Nottingham's beautiful centrepiece, the Council House, so as soon as Nottingham's latest Light Night was announced, including guided tours around the afore mentioned triumph of design & purpose, we were there.

    So, what did I learn ?

    When you want to meet someone at the Lions, don't specify Left or Right, use their proper names .....

    Oscar & Leo.

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Up his own a**e

    I don't like Craig Bellamy. Never have done, and never will. To me, he's the personification of giving a thug too much money and too much time to spend it.

    Because, in my opinion, he's not that good anyway.

    But obviously Craig thinks differently.

    Heckled by a supporter after Wales's friendly defeat by Poland this week, Craig defends himself by saying:

    It's a shame. I've shown my commitment to Wales turning up for these sorts of games, ...

    What does he mean, "these sorts of games" ? He's a professionally paid footballer, who doubtlessly gets substantially even more money because of his international status, yet moans about then having to play in international games.


    But in true pot & kettle fashion, he then states, and I quote:

    I was trying to do an interview but that happens, that happens... a lot of them drink, ...

    Do they, Craig ? Do they ?

    Ever done anything like that, Craig ?

    No ? (Drunken texts)

    No ? (Bellamy faces uncertain future)

    No ? (Bellamy cautioned for assault)

    Monday, February 09, 2009

    How to ruin a good pub

    A nice mini-crawl up Mansfield Road the other night took me past what used to be one of the best pubs in Nottingham, The Golden Fleece.

    The Left Lion, which I'm a bit loathed to disagree with, describes it thus:

    The Golden Fleece used to be a bit of an old man’s pub, much in the same vein as the Lincolnshire Poacher, The Rose of England and a few other pubs along the Mansfield Road strip. That was until it was bought out by the crew who run Detonate and given a complete overhaul.

    Inside it is now a discreetly cool venue, with great music and entertainment on offer. Many of the original features remain in tact (such as the window in the floor at the end of the bar that looks down into the beer celler), but the place itself is enitrely different. The food is really good (winning the best bar food award at the 2007 Nottingham bar awards). They pride themselves on their Sunday lunches and having sampled the beef dinner we can only concur. Drinks-wise they serve the usual selection of beers, wines and spirits at fairly normal prices. There are plenty of nice places to sit with your mates too.

    Being owned by the same people as one of the biggest nights in Nottingham club music has its obvious advantages. There is always a chance you might get to see an exclusive pre-gig set.

    The place is also home to the brand new LeftLion quiz. Every Wednesday members of the LeftLion crew rock up and ask the questions that matter (…or not) with a unique audio experience. Come along and join in the fun!!

    So yeah, all in all we like it a lot and think that with this place alongside Fade, The Maze and The Loft, Mansfield Road is becoming a new hive of Nottingham drinking cool!

    They're not wrong, but this also describes the best way to ruin a good pub.

    It may have seemed like an "old man's pub", lots of snugs, a real fire, an older customer base, but it suited everybody. Where there's a lot of different areas in a pub, you can get a lot of different people inside, all happy with their piece.

    Unfortunately it's now all open plan, decorated like a Travel Inn bathroom, the music's s***e and it's full of people who think nothing of spending a fiver on a bottle of cold piss with a foreign name, but who can't nip down to TK-MAX and spend £2.50 on a belt to keep their f***ing scruffy trousers up.


    (Photo courtesy of Flikr)

    Proof, as if any more were needed

    That ITV shouldn't be allowed anywhere near football.

    Try to resist

    Following on from the battle of words between Nottingham's own World Champion, Carl Froch and Wales's slapper of old men, Joe Calzaghe, comes the inevitable retirement of said slapper.

    Try to read Calzaghe's retirement without flapping your arms and making a loud chicken noise.