Too Many children?

If you think you had your fill of family over the Christmas period spare a thought for this guy. A polygamous dad with 102 children has told 12 of his wives to go on pill because he can’t cope.

With 102 children around it’s amazing that he gets enough alone time with any of his wives to actually make the 103rd.

With 102 children and 568 grandchildren birthday gifts must bankrupt him. He can’t go and get extra work to cover it because all of his spare time will be spent wrapping. Wrapping the gifts, not anything else. If he would have popped something in a wrapper he might not be having this many kids.

He has now ordered his wives of "child-bearing age" to take the contraceptive pill. Just when the other wives were thinking their luck was in. It’s great that he didn’t think of this before he got to 102 kids.

Musa says he struggles to tell his grandchildren apart and doesn't know some of them by name. That part is understandable. With so many children I’m shocked they all have names. It must be tempting to start adding numbers into the naming system like astronomers do with new planets.

His advice is to not marry more than four women. Obvious advice for most of us but really mean news for his wife number 5. After saying that about her, don’t worry, you won’t need her to take the Pill.


Man with 9 wives... made a rota

♬ original sound - Steve N Allen
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Are You A Netflix Criminal?

You might be a criminal and you don’t even know it. I would call you scum but I don’t want to upset you because you know what you criminal types are like.

It is now officially a crime to share your Netflix password. Thankfully it doesn’t effect me as I would never be so low as to share my password, but it is very bad news for the person whose password I use.

According to the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) password sharing for streaming accounts may amount to ‘secondary copyright infringement’. Avoid any risk of that by getting your TV from bit torrent websites via the Tor browser because you wouldn’t want to do any secondary copyright infringement, would you?

It’s still one of those crimes that people struggle to take seriously probably because we can’t imagine being in prison, having the, “So what are you in for?” moment and having to say, “Watching that Harry and Meghan documentary.”

If you did end up in the slammer for it they would probably make a TV show about you, which would be on Netflix, not that you’d get to see it.

Netflix has started to clamp down on customers sharing their accounts with people they do not live with. To be fair they dropped their cheapest offering to £4.99 a month so it’s still better to pay that than move in with someone just to get their free Netflix.

Disney+ does not allow users to share their password with other households. Amazon Prime customers can share their account with one other person.

That one seems like a risk. With the others the biggest risk is that the viewing habits of the person with your password might impact the suggestions you get from the algorithm, but with Amazon Prime they can order all kinds of items to be sent to your house.

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Liz Truss's Money For Nothing

A petition has been started to stop Liz Truss claiming her ex-PM benefits. And you’d imagine the average Liz Truss fan wouldn’t like people on benefits.

As it stands she will be entitled to claim up to £115,000 from the taxpayer per year. It would make her 50-ish days in the job some of the best paid work ever. When she promised she’d make the UK a high wage economy we didn’t realise she meant just for her.

It’s the Public Duty Costs Allowance (PDCA), which was introduced to assist former prime ministers still in piblic eye. That raises an important question, will we still have Liz Truss in the public sphere? Will she be called up to use her valuable experience? Unless someone needs advice on how to tank the economy and tank it fast, she might not be the go-to girl.

Will she write a book, like David Cameron? It would be a pamphlet.

Surely her best bet would to be on I’m A Celebrity and therefore she can earn her own money.

It seems unfair that someone can claim all of that money when they resigned after 44 days. If it were a normal job, she’d still be on the probationary part of the contract. She wouldn’t even get paid holidays yet.

To do this when the rest of the nation has to deal with a cost of living crisis seems perverse. The only hope is at that at this rate pretty soon everyone will have had a stint at being PM. If we all get £115,000 a year we have a basic income by the backdoor. Imagine if that was the legacy of Liz.

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Suella Braverman's Classy Deportment

It’s hard to know if this Government is in crisis or if they just enjoy leaving do cake. Another minister has gone. Hot on the heels of Kwasi Kwarteng, who was fired for his mini-budget, we see Home Secretary Suella Braverman leave her post.

Over the past few (what feels like weeks but is) days we have heard of the Hone Secretary disagreeing with the PM on policy. Well make up your mind. Kwasi was sacked for agreeing with Liz Truss, Suella for disagreeing.

Suella was home secretary for only 43 days but by the standards of this administration that’s actually quite a long time. At 43 days at least she got to turn over the page on her wall calendar.

Suella said she was asked to resign after ‘sending an official document from her personal email to a trusted parliamentary colleague as part of policy engagement’. The details are set out in the letter she sent to the PM that Suella tweeted. We’re not sure she was meant to tweet that. With her security record maybe she thought that was how you send it to print.

In the letter she says that she ‘reported her mistake as soon as she realised’, but that stepping down was ‘the right thing to do’. Oooh, nasty. That’s dropping some serious hintage to anyone else who might have recently said sorry for making a mistake. *coughs while saying Liz Truss*

To add context, Suella’s mistake didn’t cause the pound to crash and for mortgages to cost more just at the time when everything else is already flipping expensive.

Ex-Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been announced as the UK’s new home secretary. So, that’ll be a fun week for him.

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Another One Bites The Truss

Previously on Liz Truss. The UK PM said that she wouldn’t perform a U-turn on her Chancellor’s plan to abolish the 45p tax rate in the mini-budget. That plan was then scrapped but Liz Truss said she wouldn’t change direction on scrapping the increase to corporation tax. Oh, and Kwasi Kwarteng insisted, “I’m not going anywhere,” when questioned in the news. I think that sets it all up nicely.

And now the conclusion.

Liz Truss has sacked Kwasi Kwarteng as Chancellor. As Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth has been saying, Liz Truss fired Kwasi for carrying out the policies of Liz Truss. It seems strange to blame him. We all remember her setting out her plans in the run up to the Conservative leadership selection.

It’s like when you have a builder come round, look at your extension and say, “I don’t know which cowboy you had doing this,” and you point out it was them!

But, Liz Truss decided Kwasi was not to be trusted with the UK economy. If he was willing to listen to people like Liz Truss, she couldn’t rely on him.

Then came the U-turn on corporation tax (which won’t make us worse than the rest of Europe,
here are some figures on that). The rate of U-turning is so impressive if you could hook a generator up to her we wouldn’t need to develop more wind farms, which she would be happy about.

The new Chancellor is Jeremy Hunt, which is bad news for radio broadcasters everywhere. He has the name that you get wrong once and never work again. The only way it could be worse for radio presenters is if the new Heath Secretary was someone called Vassive Magina.

In a tweeted letter to Truss, Kwarteng began: “You have asked me to stand aside as chancellor. I have accepted.” Some people are saying Liz Truss threw Kwasi under the bus but thanks to decades of cutbacks there was never a risk of a bus turning up. He’ll be fine.

Is Kwasi carrying the can? Why doesn’t he use that suitcase they have in Number 10? You can carry bottles in that.

This reshuffle came before Liz Truss held an emergency Downing Street press conference. It was nice to see one of those that didn’t result in us having to avoid the pub and wear a mask for two years.

Did this settle the markets? It’s too early to tell. The markets surely were aware that Kwasi wasn’t the only brain behind the plan and the other author is still in the top job. Plus, once the markets get spooked it’s harder to settle them. If you were upset by someone slapping you on the head with a dead fish and then they U-turned on that policy, you’d still remember that they were willing to trout you up in the first place. Or first plaice. It’s my fault for starting the fish puns.

As everyone takes their side in the Twitter shouting match it is worth remembering that part of the problem here is the way the mini-budget was done. Even if you like the ideas you have to admit the lack of mathematical rigour caused much of this mess. If they had shown their workings we might not be paying through the nose for our variable mortgages.

Now we have a situation where everyone who hated the mini-budget is upset that they tried it and everyone who liked it is upset that they folded.

Labour and the SNP have called for Liz Truss to resign. That’s what people said about Boris Johnson presuming it couldn’t get any worse. Imagine what the next one could be like. It's the same mindset as a Doctor Who troll.

To be continued... probably.

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Your Essential Guide to (The Odd Bits) of the Coronation

The details of King Charles' coronation are being released and like most traditions in the UK there’s a fair amount of oddness that we would judge if it was another country doing it.

Remember, we’re the country that burns an effigy of someone every year in November. If you saw that happening in the Middle East you’d condemn it as savage but when we do it it’s seen as entertainment for the kids.

During the coronation there will be moments of pageantry. Here are the stages it will go through.

The first stage is “Recognition”. This rite dates back to ancient procedures of the Witan – the supreme council of England in Anglo-Saxon times. I would have assumed that’s where Charles turns up and people say, “Oh, hey, Charles” And that way we know the right person is being made king.

What actually happens is the sovereign turns to show himself "unto the people". He’ll turn east, south, west and north. Despite frantic Googling it has not been confirmed if he must do this with the royal dong out.

The Archbishop of Canterbury will proclaim Charles the "undoubted King". Or he might say something about vaccines or gender just to wind people up, which is what he does a lot these days.

Then we move onto the “Coronation oath”. In this oath the King will promise to reign according to law and exercise justice with mercy. It’s OK though because even if he doesn’t promise that there’s not much he can do. It’s mainly prop work.

The King then kisses a Bible, as inspired by someone who’s away on business and had too many miniatures from the little fridge in the hotel room.

Then get ready for “The anointing”. The sovereign is "anointed, blessed and consecrated" by the Archbishop of Canterbury. That means you can’t install double-glazing on him or change exterior walls. Or maybe that’s when he’s Listed.

The anointing is done with holy oil. If he pays extra it might have a holy happy ended, or am I thinking of the wrong royal?

The archbishop will use a golden eagle-shaped ampulla to pour the oil. That bit sounds like it’s made up but it honestly isn’t. The whole event would fit into an Indiana Jones film.

Traditionally the choir sings the anthem Zadok The Priest as the anointing is carried out but seeing as the theme to this coronation is “Cost of Living Crisis” maybe it will be a short advert for Castrol GTX to bring in some sponsor money.

Under the chair is expected to be the Stone of Destiny. That can happen when you’re nervous sometimes.

Then we move to the “Investiture”. The King will put on a sleeveless white garment called the Colobium Sindonis and then go and try to kiss Hermione Granger. He then puts on the Supertunica, a robe of cloth of gold from Claire’s Accessories.

The King then gets a jewelled sword, golden spurs, armills, the Robe Royal gold cloth, an orb, the coronation ring, the sceptre and the rod and the last one to put something on him before he bucks wins.

Then the crown goes on and the congregation shouts "God Save the King". Save him?! You’d be lucky to find him in there.

For the “Enthroning” he is lifted by the bishops who will be regretting putting that many heavy mental objects on him.

A lot of this seems silly and outdated but if it gives us an extra Bank Holiday it’s all fine with us.

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Podcast - What’s In A Storm Name

The list of names that will be used for this year’s storms has been published. The practice of naming storms has been copied from America but is it something we should be doing?

Giving a storm a nice friendly name, like we do to our pets, might make us less afraid of the destructive force of these natural events.

It’s also really unlucky for anyone who shares their name with a storm. If your namesake storm is a bad one it will change the way people respond to you. You introduce yourself at a party with a simple, “Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Steve.”

The person you’re talking to could then run off and someone will say, “Don’t mind her. She lost her family in Steve three years ago.”

If you live in America and you are called Katrina there must have been a stage when you opted to go by cat.

This topic and much more (including the breakdown of the HMS Prince of Wales and the Queen changing the venue for swearing in the new UK PM) is covered in this episode of the Mr Steve N Allen On The Radio podcast.

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Death Slide Reopened

A video of a slide in Detroit went viral because it showed people hurtling down the slide banging into the hard surface. It’s a heath and safety nightmare but that’s entertainment these days.

It's 40 feet high, six lanes wide and probably invalidated medial insurance. It’s like someone has invented “extreme” playgrounding. There has even been a rap song inspired by it, which doesn’t help break the link between rap music and violence.

It’s reopened after a slight redesign, which the organisers claim will have slowed it down. Either that or they may have built a hospital nearby just in case.

Here’s a video to explain more.

@mrstevenallen #DeathSlide #HealthAndSafety ♬ original sound - Steve N Allen
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They Have Invented A Material That Can Think

In overstated science news: “Scientists discover material capable of ‘thinking’”.

It’s probably not actually ‘thinking’ or that would elevate that material about many animals and quite a few people.

The researchers behind it said that this is the “first example of an engineering material that can simultaneously sense, think and act upon mechanical stress without requiring additional circuits to process such signals”.

This is a great step forward in material science if you want a kitchen counter that can be in a mood with you.

At Penn State University that created this technology that is based on integrated circuits, which process information in a way that is similar to the way the human body does it. From personal experience that will include burying the feelings deep down inside and overeating to compensate. It’s amazing what circuit boards can do.

The team found that integrated circuits capable of performing computational tasks could be achieved using “nearly any material” around us, which makes you feel special now, doesn’t it?

The material can perform complex arithmetic, but it can also be used to detect radio frequencies to communicate light signals for applications like autonomous search-and-rescue systems.

Yeah, but it won’t do any of that, it’ll turn against humanity and enslave us all. That much we can workout without needing a computer to do it for us.

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Finnish PM Sanna Marin Has Backup Dancers

Hundreds of Finnish women have posted to social media supporting their prime minister Sanna Marin. She was caught up in a scandal when video emerged of her dancing at a private house party. Is dancing outlawed in Finland? Did they think the film Footloose was a documentary?

Sanna faced criticism of her behaviour when two videos appeared in which she sings and dances at a party with friends and another enjoying herself in a private VIP room of a well-known club in Helsinki.

She defended herself by saying she did nothing but “dance, sing, hug my friends and drink alcohol”. “I hope that in the year 2022 it’s accepted that even decision-makers dance, sing and go to parties.”

In 2022 yes. But in 2021 that hugging part would have been the problem.

Watch more coverage in the video below.

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Trump and the FBI

A little while back Donald Trump had his home raided by the FBI. It made Trump fans very upset with the FBI because he has been elevated to the status of a man who can do not wrong in their eyes. Sadly for them, the same week the FBI said that Alec Baldwin did fire the gun in the fatal film set shooting, and they don’t like Alec, but they’d just gone off the FBI. Oh no. Awkward.

How do you square that circle? Donald has found a solution.

The former president has claimed rank and file FBI agents “love” him. Well, I bet they love the overtime.

He said this on Truth Social, his own platform, which doesn’t seem that “social” as it’s not free for just anyone to join, but that’s probably not the biggest problem with its name.

Meanwhile his new lead attorney, a future person he hates who’ll write a book about him, Jim Trusty promised to “come out swinging” as he prepares to file a new legal challenge against the breadth of the Justice Department search warrant.

The warrant says that while searching for classified documents, if you find some, you can confiscate the boxes around it. That’s the complaint. Not, “How dare you! There are no classified documents here.” The defence is, “When you find what you’re looking for you shouldn’t be able to take the other stuff.” We’re in a post-innocent era.

Mr Trump wrote: “I hear the the great Agents and others in the FBI are furious at FBI leadership for what they are doing with respect to political weaponisation against a President (me) that always had their backs, and that they like (love!) a lot.”

Will the FBI find the proof they’re looking for? Certainly not the proof-reading.

@mrstevenallen #Trump #passport snatched by the #FBI ♬ original sound - Steve N Allen
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How Not To Give A Birthday Gift

If you enjoy the misfortune of others but wish you had an exact value for that fortune here’s one for you. Someone was given £100 for her birthday but it ended in disaster (for her, but a nearby seagull has probably ended up living it large).

Here’s a video that explains it all.

@mrstevenallen How not to give a #birthday gift. #comedy #schadenfreude ♬ original sound - Steve N Allen
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Get Ready for 50-Year-Mortgages

If you like owing money but wish it could go on for longer we have some good news for you.

A new lender is to offer 50-year fixed-rate mortgages to borrowers looking to beat inflation. They will have rates of around 4.5%.

With a retirement age of 66, this is great news if you’re a 16-year-old buying your first house. The youth have it so lucky when it comes to buying property these days.

It’s Perenna, a UK-based specialist lender, that has said it would initially launch 30-year loans before later rolling out longer terms. As long as life expectancies suddenly go up in the next few year this will work out just fine.

Clearly the idea is that you don’t pay it off the long way. You sell the house and with a 50 year mortgage there is sure to be lots of the debt still attached. You pay off the leftover debt with the sale, which basically means it comes out of any money your kids would have got from your estate.

Yes, we have found a way to use the money of the next generations to fuel our house buying now. We’re unstoppable.

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Will Smith Says Sorry For Slap Heard Around The World

Will Smith has posted an apology video in which he discusses slapping Chris Rock at the Academy Awards in March. He says he "reached out" to Chris, but that just sounds like he was going in for seconds.

In the video on his YouTube channel Will said, "So I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you." Shame he didn't act like that during his acceptance speach, but I suppose there are two types of acceptance.

In the five-minute video, Mr SMith talked about his decision not to immediately apologise saying he was in a fog. He didn't mention why he is doing this now, but after a ten year ban from the Oscars maybe he's thinking there's some work to do.

Here's a video looking at Will Smith's video.



Tory Leadership Race – Update

What a time to be looking at politics. Boris Johnson hasn’t caused such an angry race since probably some comment he made in the Telegraph years ago.

Already the daggers our out for anyone who might do well. There’s an anti-Rishi ‘mucky memo’ being sent round Tory WhatsApp groups. In it they call Rishi Sunak a “schoolboy” and a “liar”. Oh, you wouldn’t want someone with a track record of lying to be PM. What a culture shock.

It also says, “There is nothing Conservative about the ‘Big Tax and Big Spend’ agenda of Rishi Sunak”. His track record on spending may have been slightly skewed by some sort of bug that went round.

It’s interesting to see how the Conservative Party works. We always knew the front-runner never wins the leadership and now we’re seeing why. As soon as someone stands out they’re brought down.

What’s great is that all of this name calling and attacking is done on Whatsapp like they’re teenagers doing some cyber bullying.

Meanwhile Nadhim Zahawi is being investigated over tax issues. The National Crime Agency investigated Nadhim Zahawi’s finances in 2020, and are understood to have now passed information to HM Revenue and Customs. The taxman investigating the chancellor. It’s not a good luck.

As soon as we talk about offshore tax someone will say, “It’s not his fault if he uses a loophole. If you have a problem with it, close the loophole.” Brill, who do we have to convince to close loopholes? Oh, the Chancellor who loves a loophole.

He is the second richest Tory MP, after Rishi, and the Times says, “Who better to place in charge of the nation’s finances than the second-richest MP?” Not if he got that rich through fraud and dodgy tax like he’s Neo in The Matrix.

As other candidates start to do well more information will be released about them, no doubt. It’s a great system to make sure the only one who survives and becomes leader is the most slippery politician out there.



AI Knows Too Much About Your Face

In worrying computer news: Clearview AI, a facial recognition company used by Met Police, has been fined £7.5m by the information watchdog and ordered to delete billions of Facebook photos after breaking data protection laws.

It’s a bit creepy that they went through out Facebook pages looking at old photos. That’s what you’re meant to do when you fancy someone and try really hard not to accidentally click “Like”.

They harvested images from social media accounts without the owner's knowledge or permission and used them to train its computer algorithms to recognise faces.

I’m personally not worried because most Facebook pictures of me are when the OH has wanted to take one, and she edits out of the ones where she doesn’t like how she looks but leaves the ones in of me looking like I’m mid-yawn-and-tricky-poo.

Its database has more than 20 billion faces and its service is used to identify people and track their movements. People say why are you worried if you don’t do anything wrong? Well, I do things wrong. Lots of things, and I don’t want this company finding me.

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) said that all of these law enforcement agencies had been offered the technology on a “free trial” basis. That is the part of the story that feels like it doesn’t help. You can’t claim you did nothing wrong because you were offered the service on a free basis. “No, I’m not guilty because that hit-man was doing a first hit free promotional offer.”

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Will Robots Replace Doctors?

New research has found that robotic surgery can lead to quicker patient recoveries and cut down on complications.

Is anyone shocked? Machines are precise. I can sit and watch videos of Jaffa Cakes being made by machine for hours. Robots also have the advantage that they don’t need sleep or several afternoons off to play golf like a human doctor. It’s the future.

In a first-of-its kind clinical trial led by scientists at University College London and the University of Sheffield, researchers divided 338 bladder cancer patients to receive either normal or robotic surgery. All patients had their bladder removed and a section of the bowel taken to make a new bladder.

There’s a chance that there was a third group who had that last stage done by someone who is good at balloon animals.

When they looked at the results they found those who had normal surgery needed 10 days recovery time in hospital, compared to just eight days for the robotically assisted patients.

It makes sense. The cuts are smaller as you don’t need to get a whole hand in there. Robots don’t need to cut a hole so they can see in there too.

These aren’t automated. There’s a surgeon controlling the machine, and it’s a high-tech machine too. It’s not the one where you try to hook a stuffed toy out of the case at the seaside.

Currently, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that open surgery should be the first stop for highly complex surgeries, but the researchers said they hope the study would encourage greater use of robotics.

One day all surgery will all be done by machine, unless it’s a trendy hospital in Hackney that boasts it’s artisanal hand-performed surgery.

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A Quick Look At Beergate

We have all had some regrets after a beer and a curry and often it can leave a mark, but not like it is doing with the Labour Party.

Previously the excuse was that Keir Starmer had some curry and beers during a break with people who were working on the local election, which was allowed. But a memo has come out that shows it was pre-planned.

What? Someone planned to have breaks in a workday? How is that possible? Planning that food will be eaten by people in a day, what is he, Machiavelli?!

If planning a break is criminal then every theatre is going down.

In the plan the order of events looks like nothing else was planned afterwards, so could you call that a break? If you have your break at the end of the day did you day simply end earlier. These are philosophical questions up there with working out how noisy trees are when we’re not there.

There’s quite a difference between that and someone laughing at a fake press briefing about a party or someone sneaking a suitcase full on wine into Downing Street.

At least I hope there is. If your break from work includes a suitcase of wine you may have a problem.

It’s great to see people who have spent ages defending Boris Johnson from the pointlessness of such accusations suddenly do a 180. They were saying things like, “Was it a party? Just because there was a birthday and a birthday cake? If the presence of a birthday cake means it’s a party then the bakery aisle in Asda must be arrested. It’s nothing.”

They have all flipped to, “A curry and beer? The debauchery?!”

It’s another story where everyone has picked their side and they’re making the facts bend to fit their beliefs. It’s heading towards the big question, if fined should Keir resign. Boris has already had a fine and not resigned, so should Keir do any differently? Maybe they should agree go at the same time. But if every there was a man you wouldn’t tryst to “go on the count of three” with you, it’s the PM.



Would A 50:50 Parliament Fix Sleaze?

There has been more fallout of the political scandal that we should called “Tractorgate” but we can’t because that’s actually just a normal gate.

Oliver Dowden said the Conservatives promise that half of their MPs will be women in the wake of the Neil Parish porn scandal.

Firstly, you can’t promise that because there’s a little thing called an election to worry about. You can have 50:50 representation at the candidate level but if they could control who wins each seat they wouldn’t be worrying about how they come across in the bad headlines of late.

It’s a strange reason to aim for a 50:50 parliament. We should want it to be made up of 50% women and 50% men because you think having more women is a good thing, not because you’re saying men are inherently porn-watching problems. If that’s your claim a 50:50 parliament will still have half of them watching The Hub. They’re going to need a better router.

As a man myself I’d like to point out we aren’t all sat around watching adult material. I am a few paragraphs into the story now and I haven’t looked at porn more than one or twice.

The same sentiment is also forgetting the women of this land who like a nice blue movie. They should be represented in Government too.

This is following the scandal of Neil Parish, the Tory chairman of the Commons environment committee, who claimed he accidentally watched porn while trying to look at tractors. It would have been more believable if he said he was searching for a garden hoe.

Everyone has been getting in on the story. Nadine Dorries, the Culture Secretary, told the BBC: “I always thought that if we get more women, then things will get better.” I’m now searching for a German word that describes someone managing to prove themselves wrong as they say a thing.



Should We Have The Right To Sleep At Work?

A new survey has found that half of millennials would love to have a nap at work.

That’s the kind of result that could make you worried if you see a millennial is your pilot.

In the poll the 25 to 39-year-olds said an office kip would boost their physical and mental well-being. They’re not wrong. It’s only the fact that we’re stuck in our ways that makes us think it’s a bad idea. The same survey says that only one in ten over-40s like the idea. Why? We’re the age group that needs to snooze more.

For many people there is a stage in the afternoon when you start to flag. If we could take a nap and then return to work with a fresh mind we could get more done.

Instead we plough on with a brain that’s only half working and that’s how ideas like The Masked Singer are created.

Other surveys have shown that younger workers are more likely to be in favour of working from home instead of going back to the office. I think we can work out why. It’s harder for your boss to catch you sleeping when you’re doing it at home.

I know you still have to have Zoom meetings but if you record some video of you sitting at your laptop awake and then use that video as your Zoom backdrop you’re all set.

If you want a job where you can sleep all afternoon why not try working in a call centre? From the amount of time you have to spend on hold I presume they’re getting their forty winks most of the day.

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Unlike Angela Rayer, The Mail On Sunday Doesn't Have A Leg To Stand On

The latest political scandal is #Pantygate.

The Mail on Sunday ran a story saying an unnamed Tory MP claimed that Angela Rayner uncrosses and crosses her legs to distract Boris Johnson like in the film Basic Instinct.

If you haven't seen that film, do you remember that Kenny Everett character? Or possible like Neo in The Matrix getting up after being knocked down. It’s hard to know what the motion was like because it very probably doesn’t actually happen.

The whole claim seems ridiculous. Are we to believe that the Prime Minister of the UK is a priapic, lascivious fool? OK well, that bit checks out but the rest…

As you can see in the photo there’s no way Boris Johnson could even see her legs; he’d only see the box.

There is an attempt to find out which Tory member was behind the claims. They’re looking for someone who might hold outdated views about women. No doubt that’s numbered it down so much they’ll be telling us who it is any second now.

Boris Johnson called it, “Sexist tripe.” Or maybe he said, “Sexy tripe,” which might be how he refers to us Northerners.

The article wasn’t only dripping with misogyny there was classism and snobbery. It’s become a huge distraction from the real issues. Normally the only bit of knee in the Labour Party the Mail on Sunday gets upset about is when someone is kneeling on it.

If the claims are true this is an embarrassment to politics. If he claims are false, it’s an embarrassment to tabloid journalism. Why not be on the safe side and think less of both?

Tech minister Chris Philp said there was “ongoing, active work” to root out such “offensive views” within the Conservative Party. Yes, and leave those comments where they belong… in a Boris Johnson Telegraph article.



Russia Bans Boris

Russia has banned Boris Johnson and twelve others from entering country. Oh no, that’s so mean.

It means Priti Patel can’t go to live in Russia, and we know how much she likes the idea of migration.

It manes Rishi Sunak can’t go to Russia. How dare they ban someone who very recently had an American green card.

The Russian Foreign Ministry has banned them in retaliation for sanctions amid the Ukraine war.

That’ll really hit them where it hurts. I know someone with the first names of Alexander and Boris must have an affinity to Russia but right now I bet no one was planning to go there.

As if anyone British politician would go there now. Your guide would say, “Want to shop in duty free and buy some perfume? We have one called Salisbury Cathedral.” They’d run for it.

I’m surprised that it’s only just happened. We brought in sanctioned, banned some Russian officials and they only just got round to it. I suppose they have been a bit busy. This is what happens when you have to do you official meetings on a table that’s 100 yards long.



The Cost of Oil and Living

There has been an interesting development in the battle with Russia. Joe Biden announced the US is to ban Russian oil imports over the Ukraine invasion.

That the benefit of having a President who’s so old he can remember war with Russian. The Russo-Swedish War of 1495-1497.

It’s a strong move but Russian oil imports only make up 3% of the US’s crude imports, 8% of all oil imports. I’m not sure what falls under the “other oil imports” category but I’d stock up on Vaseline just in case.

It’s easier for America to do this than Europe. Natural gas from Russia accounts for one-third of Europe’s consumption of the fossil fuel. It needs to stop because if you were buying your insulin from someone with crazy eyes who might want to stab you, you’d shop around for another supplier.

OK, we’re probably going o get fuel from Saudi Arabia, so it’s like going to a different neighbour who likes killing journalists.

Biden said he was reluctant to do this as he wanted “to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump”. That’s the bit that sits funny to a Brit. Petrol is already so cheap over there.

In the UK the average price of filling up a diesel car has just passed £90. Wow. Are you filling up the back seat as well?

I’m not going to type the numbers here because it would annoying you to know what they pay for a tank of petrol. Put it this way, buying petrol in America is like when you go to the North of England and buy a pint.

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Are The Elgin Marbles Going Home?

A marble fragment that once adorned the Parthenon has been returned to Greece as part of a loan deal The Greek government hopes to make permanent and become a “blueprint” to reclaim the Elgin Marbles.

The 2,500-year-old fragment, the foot of the goddess Artemis emerging from the folds of a gown, has been lent by the Antonino Salinas museum in Palermo, Sicily. If you just keep a bit of a foot it looks weird.

The Italians will receive a 5th-century BC statue of the goddess Athena, which is that women playing tennis and scratching her bum.

Greek culture ministry officials told The Times that the loan of the fragment could be made permanent in agreement with Italy to help “reunite” the country’s cultural heritage.

So maybe it’s time for the marbles to go back. I know they were stolen, they were taken for safekeeping, from the Ottoman occupiers.

The Elgin Marbles, meanwhile, were made the property of Britain by act of parliament and placed in the British Museum’s collection. Give it a couple of years and we’ll be able to use a 3D-printer to make a really good copy. It’s like buying a print of a painting from a museum gift shop. It’s a lot of agro for some marbles you can’t even play with.



Trains Are Even Worse

Rail companies across Britain warned passengers that they face cancelled trains, delays and rail replacement buses. And passengers said, “Oh, so pretty much as bad as normal, then?”

Train firms have slashed hundreds of services due to thousands of Covid-related staff absences, with bosses warning passengers to expect last-minute cancellations and more crowded trains due to fewer in operation.

But more crowded trains means more spread of Omicron, which will mean more pings. Extrapolate that and in a few weeks there’ll be no trains.

What’s amazing is that the service during a pandemic-fuelled staffing disaster is no where near as bad as it was when Chris Grayling changed the timetables.

This comes as Southern Rail has finally reintroduced trains to and from London Victoria after the post-Christmas closure was extended by a week. I bet they couldn’t wait. “What? You’re looking for a company to run a hugely delayed service? This sounds like a job for Southern Rail!”

Staff absence for all reasons is now at 11 per cent across all operators, up from 8 to 9% in December, and it’s not just staffing. The train companies say the lower demand is a reason to cut the services.

I guess they’re right but one of the few upsides to living through the pando was getting a seat on a train. That and it’s been a great time for ugly people with nice eyes.



Dominic Raab Costs Us £238m

Dominic Raab’s department wasted ‘staggering’ £238m on array of botched projects last year. An increase of 14 times on the year before. Is is staggering? Are you staggered? Or do you hear that and think, “Yup. If you think you can’t go swimming because the sea is close, you’re the guy to oversee a £238m waste.”

The “botching list” includes the electronic tagging systems that were never used. People think the vaccine has a nanochip in it that secret tracks us. The Government can’t get a massive one to work.

Labour called for an urgent National Audit Office investigation into the losses at the Ministry of Justice. And the people in charge now have a great track record when it comes to complying with investigations. Dominic Raab is now desperately trying to move all his emails onto an old pay-as-you-go phone.

Humiliatingly, HM Courts and Tribunals Service then spent £18m on a software system to manage cases which was so bad that courts staff are now threatening strike action over it. Strewth, not even Windows Vista was that bad.

The department also had to pay an extra £72.1m HMRC because it had incorrectly reported the employment status of some of its workers, being hit with a further £15m penalty for breaching the rules.

Meanwhile in good news, HMRC got £87.1m they were owed.

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