23/05/2019

The Final Straw

If you have a plastic straw in your house, keep it. It could be worth something one day. Antiques Roadshow will feature people's McDonald's straws in the original packaging.

The Government has announced a ban on plastic straws by 2020, which will mean we'll be telling our great-grandchildren what it was like to drink through plastic and they won't believe such fantastical stories.

While I am in favour of stopping this plastic blight getting into our seas I am saddened by the replacement; the paper straw. I used one for the first time on the weekend and they taste like paper.

You might not find that shocking but it ruined the drink. It's much like the reusable coffee cups with rubber lids, they make the coffee taste like rubber. I'm spotting a pattern.

I am all for saving the planet, it's where I keep all my stuff, but we have to do it in a way that doesn't ruin all the drinks.

Here's how I got around the problem of the paper straw. I took it out and drank from the glass. Thankfully I don't need a straw because I'm not five.

That's the real problem here, not the plastic straws but how often they're popped into drinks. You pay for the round, thank the bartender, and then take the straw out and put it on the table. That's not even single-use plastic. All it does is risk poking you in the eye if you forget to take it out.

Some say the straw culture came in when people claimed drinking with a straw is better for your teeth. I think it may have been when we were told if you drink through a straw you get drunk quicker.

Stop using plastic straws, stop cutting down trees to make paper ones and simply use your mouth.

I'll drink to that.
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10/05/2019

The New Politics Is A Load Of B******S

[Warning: Contains a lot of swearing, but they started it.]

Have you seen the new eye-catching part of the Liberal Democrats slogan? It's bollocks.

That's not a judgement, that's the actual angle. They have put a swear word on their latest campaign. It is clearly a bid to sound more relevant. You get the mental image of a meeting with one Lib Dem says, "OK guys, we need to relate to the younger voters. So, what do you people do?"

Five to sevens minutes of silence pass before one of them says, "Swear?" And a campaign slogan was born.

Will it work? Seeing someone of Sir Vince Cable's age starting to swear more is normally the first sign they're starting to lose it.

My sarcastic analysis is wrong though, and it's proved wrong by its own existence. Without dropping the b-bomb on their posters I wouldn't be talking about it, lots of way more important people in the media wouldn't be talking about it. Every mention of how shamelessly publicity-seeking this is rewards it with the publicity it seeks.

So let's learn from this and come up with other swear-based campaigns. Politics could be more successful and more fun if it includes a little potty-mouthed terminology.

Labour could go with: "For the many, not the poo." (Starting tame.)
Who wouldn't love Theresa May repeating, "Brexit means Brexshit!"
Let's dub video of George Bush saying, "Suck my dick, no new taxes."
Tony Blair would only need three words, "Masturbation. Masturbation. Masturbation."
And how emotional would you be looking at the iconic Obama poster in red, blue and beige sat atop one simple word, "MINGE".

The main downside to all this is that it won't be long before Gordon Ramsay ends up Prime Minister. Still, we have had worse.

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27/04/2019

Woman Comes Out of 27 Year Coma

It’s nice to find the good news stories in a landscape of otherwise negative stories. This week we heard of a woman who has woken from a coma after 27 years. Obviously it’s still early days but let’s hope that she goes on to live a life she enjoys.

It’s a story of hope and medical success. She had been taken to several hospitals and specialists including one in the UK during her coma.

Now she has to catch up with all she has missed since 1992. That was the year that Bill Clinton became the American President. You’d have to tell her what he did and when she was shocked you’d have to say, “Oh, you wait till you hear about the recent one.”

Until she’s caught up she’d be likely to make some social errors. She’d say how much she liked OJ Simpson or call a radio station and request a Rolf Harris song.

Some of it would be great. She’d get to discover the sitcom Friends for the very first time. Some of it would be less fun, she’d have to watch the third season of Lost and that's a waste of anyone's time even someone who's just happy to be alive.

She has so many firsts that we have all experienced and forgotten. She'll get to see someone using a Bluetooth device and cross the street because she thinks they're talking to themselves.

I know what you're thinking, "As she catches up with all the news that's happened in the last 27 years what will she think when she hears about Brexit?"

To that I say, don't be daft. Some people think that when you're in a coma you can still hear and if she's been in the UK even briefly someone is bound to have gone on and on about Brexit to her. She already knows.
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10/04/2019

How To Boycott The Dorchester

I have taken part in a protest and I didn’t even know I was doing it.

I saw in the news that, “Hundreds protested against the Sultan of Brunei's new anti-LGBT laws outside his Dorchester hotel."

They have brought in laws that could include the stoning of gay men. That's the kind of news story that makes you check the top of the page to see if we’re actually in 2019.

Some people might not care about LGBT issues, and to those we should point out this new law also includes chopping off limbs for theft and capital punishment for adulterers, so everyone has something to lose here.

People are joining this protest by boycotting some of the hotels owned by the Sultan of Brunei. That includes The Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London.

It dawned on me, I have been boycotting those places all my life. Admittedly, it has been less because of the human rights issues and more because of the "£35 for a single whisky" issues.

In the same way I have been boycotting opening up a bank about in the Cayman Islands. I guess I care about tax evasion after all.

It raises a difficult question, how do you boycott something that most people can't afford?

I have been taking all the overtime I can get, saving up, and when I have enough I am not going to spend it at The Dorchester. Ha! See how he likes that!

Even though it’s hard to make a dent in his fortunes by not going to those hotels, especially when I wasn’t going to go anyway, I like the idea. Deciding where you spend your money on ethical grounds is a pretty good plan. They say people vote with their feet and that's true, especially if they were previously caught thieving in Brunei.
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30/03/2019

The Mash Report's Steve N Allen

It's good news for BBC2's The Mash Report as it received a BAFTA nomination.

Some episodes may still be available on the BBC iPlayer and many clips from the show have gone viral on social media. A little search can easily find comedy bits on Brexit, Doctor Who, some of the oddities of sports coverage and what really happens in a relationship if we say what we're actually thinking.

With the satirical show set to return later this year here are a selection of clips from the show featuring stand-up comedian Steve N Allen.

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Newspaper Columns - The Update

Good news. The Steve N Allen newspaper column is now available in more newspaper. Sorry trees, it looks like Steve won this one.

You can find the weekly topical comedy rants in the Ilford Recorder and Romford Recorder if you’re in those parts of East London and Essex.

Now you can read them in the Ashfield and Mansfield CHAD, Hucknall Dispatch, Eastwood Advertiser, Retford Guardian and Worksop Guardian.

If you live in any of those areas you should be able to get a copy of the newspaper column or find it on the online versions of those papers.

More newspaper titles coming soon.
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29/03/2019

Podcast ep78: Brexit and Probably More Brexit and Other Stuff

Yep, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E78 (I'm starting to think series 2 won't happen), we look at Brexit and other stuff. News is becoming all a bit of a blur really.

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Brexit Got Worse

I can admit when I was wrong. I thought Brexit had already got as ridiculous as possible. And then Uri Geller got involved.

You’ll remember him from the 1980s when he would turn up on TV and ruin people’s cutlery sets. He could use the power of his mind to bend spoons. I don’t know if that was the best way to use supernatural powers, to harness them to achieve exactly what everyone can do with their hands.

Now he’s back and he has decided to use his gift to stop Brexit.

At first I wasn’t sure how. I had mental images of him stood near Theresa May as she goes to sign the official leaving documents and he bends every pen nib just as she’s about to use it.

It seems odd that Uri would get involved. I knew that his politics, much like all of his spoons, is slightly to the right. In the past he has said he will use his powers to stop Jeremy Corbyn becoming Prime Minister.

Uri said: “I am ensuring that Jeremy Corbyn never gets the keys to Number 10 Downing Street. I will ensure that they bend out of all proportion to ensure that he never takes up residence there.”

Good plan but they have someone behind the door to open it. You never see Theresa May get out of a car and go through her handbag looking for the keys.

I’m not sure how the ability to mess up cutlery helps you on the issue of Brexit. Surely he should be helping the Government with knife crime.

As it turns out it’s a mass-telepathy experiment, he is asking people to think about Brexit at 11:11 AM and PM. I wish we only had to think about Brexit twice a day. It’s non-flippin’-stop.
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22/02/2019

Podcast ep73: Sue Parents, Drone Swarms and Seaborne Freight

Yep, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E73, drone technology gets a really useful use, there's a man suing his parents and you probably won't believe why, and Seaborne Freight, the ferry company that doesn't have any ferries lost a ferry contract. Shocker.

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20/02/2019

The Labour Defectors

Do you remember where you were when it happened? The seven Labour MPs who split from the party caused the biggest upset in British politics since the last one which was probably to do with Brexit and was probably only last week. It caught on and has taken more MPs with it.

It was like watching the press conference where we heard Take That were splitting up or like hearing the devastating news that Geri was leaving the Spice Girls.

It was also confusing, because it seems the issue is the seven who left were the kind of Labour MPs who’d fit the old way Labour was when it was called New Labour, but now the newer version of Labour is more aligned with the old Labour which was older than New Labour.

No wonder they left.

It was all slightly undercut by the BBC who left someone’s mic on during the press conference. You can find the clip on my Twitter feed. While the MPs were telling us how they were starting solo careers to release a new single (that may have been the Geri one I’m thinking of) we could hear a man giving a very sweary commentary. It was like I’d pressed the Red Button and got Gordon Ramsay’s take on things.

The voice over said, “Between this and Brexit we’re...” and then he said something that needs bleeping.

It’s not the first time Labour have struggled with mics being left on. We all remember when Gordon Brown called Gillian Duffy a bigoted woman after she had said to him, “All these Eastern Europeans, where are they coming from?”

I don’t know if she was a bigot but she certainly wasn’t a phone-a-friend if you have a Geography question.

Where does the Labour Party go from here? I don’t know, why not ask Gillian Duffy for directions?
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15/02/2019

Podcast ep72: Ooohs and Aaahs, Neighbourhood Watch and the Case of the Missing Hawk

Yep, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E72, the case of the missing hawk (although it's not missing anymore) experts look at the oohs and aaahs sounds that people make and it all kicked off over the Neighbourhood Watch.

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The Bed Issue

Ford are making a “smart bed” that can detect when someone is taking more than their fair share of bed space and then it can tilt to roll them back. This is probably good news for divorce lawyers everywhere.

The problem comes down to human nature. We expand to occupy the space available. It’s true of the planet and our own homes. I have watched enough episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo to know that no one ever has an empty cupboard or drawer. Do you? Of course you don’t.

The same issue happens in bed. As soon as your partner gets out and you deploy the starfish it feels so good.

Put two people in a bed and they both want to starfish. And so the battle begins.

Everything would be fine if we could split the bed 50-50, a two-state solution, but that never seems to happen.

I’m a big lad, 6’2” and certainly not what doctors calls skinny, or even healthy for that matter. I think I could make a strong argument for a greater that half share of the bed territory.

That never seems to cut it with my other half. Actually, seeing as I call her that I have just ruined my own point. She goes to bed earlier and has the “I was here first” argument. I have woken balanced on the edge of that bed like a circus act.

Both sides of a relationship want more that 50% of the bed. So a bed that polices the issue seems like it would solve it. Harmony at last?

You try telling your partner you want to spend thousands of pounds on a new bed because you think they’re hogging it.

You’ll get half of the bed. And half of everything else in the settlement.

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08/02/2019

Podcast ep71: Facetime, Posh Voices and Vampire Shoppers

Yep, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E71, there are problems with Facetime, there's bad news if you have a posh voices and the future of retail isn't as bad as we often here and it's all thanks to Vampire Shoppers.

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Neighbourhood Watch

Someone has upset the Neighbourhood Watch. It wasn’t me. They haven’t spotted what I have been up to yet.

It was comedian David Mitchell who wrote a newspaper column saying that the Neighbour Watch are only useful for spotting low-level crime. He said they’d only catch a mafia boss 'if he plays music too loud at Christmas party'.

I for one am going to defend the Neighbour Watch. If a mafia boss is playing music too loud at a Christmas party I’m glad they’re going to say something because I wouldn’t. You’ll wake up with a horses head in the wrong recycling box outside your house.

The Neighbourhood Watch chief executive – yep, they have one – John Hayward-Cripps has hit back saying Watch toolkits 'tackle human trafficking and terrorism'.

Yeah, if it wasn’t for Navy Seal Team 6 it would have been the Watch that got Bin Laden.

It has a reputation for being an excuse to curtain twitch, to make people feel better for being nosy, but John says that’s “lazy stereotyping” of his 2.3 million members. And he should know. If anyone if an expert at lazy stereotyping, it’s someone who thinks they can judge what other people are up to.

It’s hard to know if it works. When I see those This is a Neighbourhood Watch Area signs I always think to myself, “I’d love to nick that.” But I never have, so maybe there’s something in this.

One way to measure its success. Since starting a Neighbourhood Watch have you noticed more suspicious behaviour?

I have. A lot of people on my street spend all stood by the windows, looking out and making notes. I’m not sure if they’re waiting for a secret delivery or a visit from someone dodgy but it’s all very suspicious if you ask me.

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27/01/2019

Podcast ep70: Dog Snitch, Adult Entertainment Pays for the Wall, and Oscars

Oooh, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E70, we made it to 70. No one thought it could happen. We cover the news of a dog that has a price on his head, there's a way Trump's wall might get paid for and it's sexy, and we get the latest take on the Oscars.

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P.S. The new eBook is out now. Lasted Another Year is only 99p on Amazon, so get it now.





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Vegan Paint?

We love news about the royals. We also live TV shows about bad drivers on our roads and recently those two categories of news have overlapped.

Not all the royal news has sounded like an advert for Lawyer4Money, Meghan Markle hit the headlines when reports came out that she is using vegan paint to decorate her ‘gender-free’ nursery.

I’m sure people got upset by the use of the phrase ‘gender-free’, but we have done that for decades. If you don’t know what you’re having you’d paint a nursery a natural colour. We weren’t being snowflakes we just didn’t want the hassle of more DIY when the nappy stuff starts.

The part that caught my attention was vegan paint. We are living in a vegan age. Just before Christmas the turkeyless turkey sandwich sold out from Marks and Spender in record time and the infamous Gregg’s vegan sausage roll was all over the news.

I have tried one. It’s been a few weeks and I haven’t become ill, gender-fluid or a communist, so I don’t know why Twitter was so upset.

I perform stand-up all over the UK and spotted down in Brighton a vegan shoe shop. I didn’t know shoes were edible. I’d have to be really hungry but it’s better than some kebab shops I know.

Vegan paint is in the same category. I didn’t know animals were used in the production of paint. I knew there’s a dog that helps to flog Dulux but it’s not harmed in the making of it. I still don’t really know how animals are used but I won’t buy any more duck egg blue just in case.

I’m sure some people will moan about Meghan going the vegan route but isn’t it about choice? Have whatever paint you like. Just doesn’t get the grandfather-in-law to drive you to the shops.

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20/01/2019

Podcast ep69: The Early End of Dry Jan, More GDPR and Illegal Kisses

Oooh, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E69, Toto's Africa has found the perfect home, the legal status of a kiss has been sorted and if you have stuck with Dry Jan you have done better than most.

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19/01/2019

Brexit Week - Mini-Wrap

Who would have though, in 2016 as we were being asked what we should do about the European Union, just under three years later we’d find ourself here.

We haven’t had a week like this since, well, last December when this whole thing was meant to have happened.

I sat and watched Theresa May, our Prime Minister (correct as of going to press), I watched the news pundits and I even saw the protests outside Parliament. I think there were some Yellow Vest people but it is hard to tell. If you see someone wearing high-viz they’re either protesting or collecting litter. I thought I’d stumbled on a far-right rally the other day but it was just some people doing community service.

I watched the TV, cramming popcorn into my face, as the speaker, John Bercow shouted, “Order, order!” I smiled because he always sounds like a man having a difficult poo.

The vote came in. 202 for, 432 against. In Theresa May’s defence it could have been worse. 201 for and 433 against. But it wasn’t great. Rejected by 230 votes, the largest defeat for a sitting government in history. So, at least Theresa will be remembered for something other than wheat field vandalism.

Where do we go from here? Is Brexit dead in the water? In the Channel probably. Shouting m’aidez just to annoy us.

How long will Theresa May last? She’s already lasted longer than David Cameron would have. He’d have heard the result, stood up and said, “Right, I’m off to my shed in a field. It’s not a pig field before you even start.”

One thing is for sure, it’s three years after the referendum and people are still trying to work out what we should do about the European Union.
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17/01/2019

Podcast ep68: Doorbell Licking and Brexit

Oooh, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E68, a man is caught licking a doorbell, the snowflakes get upset and it's good news for certain divorces.

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07/01/2019

Podcast ep67: Vegan Sausage Rolls and North Korean Holidays

Oooh, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E67, a football club gets an interesting new sponsor, Gregg's the bakers upset some meat addicts and we look at how quickly you'll be over January.

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P.S. The new eBook is out now. Lasted Another Year is only 99p on Amazon, so get it now.





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Snowflake Army

With some of the bizarre things that happen in the news these days you hear a lot of people say, "You couldn't make it up."

I like those news stories. They save me going to the effort of making it up.

That's why I like the snowflake army story. A recruitment campaign took the famous Lord Kitchener posters that say, “Your country needs you!”

In the new version they said, “Snowflakes. Your army needs you.”

If you don’t know, “snowflake” is a term used to describe someone who is easily offended by something. Or “everyone,” as it seems is the case these days.

Is it a good idea to try to recruit snowflakes to the army? You have to do some pretty tough things in the forces and you can't no-platform the enemy because they used the wrong pronoun for you or clapped too loudly at something.

It wasn't just snowflakes. The ads also said, "Phone zombies, the army needs you." I've seen phone zombies walk right into lamp posts so they'd been less good at urban warfare.

One ad said, "Binge gamers, your arm needs you." They would be very handy if the insurgents are throwing a lot of candy at you and you need someone to crush it.

The twist is that the soldier photographed on the snowflake advert claims he didn’t realise he’d be called a snowflake when he agreed to be in the ad.

It was claimed he complained and threatened to leave the army over it.

You're on a sticky-wicket there. If you get upset when someone calls you a snowflake, you're kind of proving them right.

I realise this is a bit of a controversial issue, so if you have been offended by any of my jokes about snowflakes... well, you should be pretty used to it by now.

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04/01/2019

Podcast ep66: A review of 2018

Oooh, a podcast.

The Friday night show on BBC Radio Kent that reviews the week's news is now a podcast too. Edited highlights are packaged up into pod-form for you listening pleasure and it's free.

In this week's episode, S01E66. This is the biggy. It's the massive review of the last year. Yeah, it takes an hour and a half of your life up but it's worth it.

Subscribe to the podcast now to get it free every week.




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P.S. The new eBook is out now. Lasted Another Year is only 99p on Amazon, so get it now.





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