Hard Times on the High Street and A Tale of Two Sarahs

Snow. Tremble, mortals, before its mighty power!
Snow. Tremble, mortals, before its mighty power!

The minute you no longer feel unabashed, childlike joy as you crunch across a blanket of fresh snow, I say go ahead and drink a cup of crushed hemlock; because this world has nothing more to offer you. An old friend of mine once told me that the act tapped into my destructive nature and if I would only accept my inherent regressive character traits then shame alone would quicken a better Parlett. Even to this day I regret not striking him with the back of my glove and calling him a scoundrel. Continue reading “Hard Times on the High Street and A Tale of Two Sarahs”

The Future’s Bright – The Future’s Dinosaurs

Middlesbrough, one afternoon.
Polishing the brass on the Titanic? – An economy in crisis; cheap, out of town hypermarkets; and the ease of internet shopping could change the UK high street as we know it forever.

Middlesbrough town centre’s future as a shopping destination has received an eleventh-hour reprieve in the form of two exciting initiatives.

The projects come at a time when the town’s failure to secure city status in its recent bid has disappointed many locals; the first is a ‘Portas Pilot’ town bid and the second, a proposal to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID). Continue reading “The Future’s Bright – The Future’s Dinosaurs”

A Full Life

And after a while – with my mother tearing out the hair I’m surprised didn’t fall of its own accord years ago, and my auntie and I playing good cop / bad cop to the duty Doctor’s idea of palliative care – my Nan is finally on morphine.

If it wasn’t for the wonderfully compassionate carers at the home, I’m pretty sure we’d be utterly lost.

There’s little point in ranting on here (he said, before ranting on.) We treat dying animals better than we do dying people. I haven’t yet met a person of faith to convince me that any of their holy books are worth the paper I wipe my arse with, but it seems that as wonderful as science is, technology is torture without morality.

I’m not talking about the morals some guy brings down a mountain, or whatever, but of the ideas and ideals we must take a firm hold of and shake when medicine prolongs the body, but not the mind. Continue reading “A Full Life”

Magnetic Gandhi

I read an interesting article the other day in which Stewart Lee raises a terrifying argument about Scottish Independence; a point summed up succinctly in the sub heading: The loss of 5.5 million Scots would mean 5.5 million fewer voices to say no to Cameron’s cronies. As you may know, there are more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs.

Now I was living in Glasgow last year and I voted for Alex Salmond’s SNP, thinking it a good thing as I’d recently walked up the Wallace Monument and had rekindled a healthy sense of colonial guilt; instead, it turns out I was shooting myself and every other red-blooded English liberal in the foot. Continue reading “Magnetic Gandhi”

Several Hundred Words About Money

Northern light, by Don McPhee
Sad about something? Don’t even bother reading this then – have another piece of chocolate, you deserve it, everything’s going to be just fine.

In Britain, welfare amounts to over 30% of overall public spending. If we ignore the bail outs – and we should, because £1.2 trillion could have built schools on the moon – then that’s the single largest area of public expenditure; a provision to guarantee a basic standard of living for all those in financial need.

The Welfare Reform Bill of 2011 was the biggest change to the welfare system for over 60 years. One element is the introduction of Universal Credit, a ‘streamlined’ replacement for six of the main means-tested benefits and tax credits that is said will ‘ensure work always pays.’

A fortnight ago, another change – the replacement of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) with a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – was the reason hundreds of thousands of Twitter users were trending #spartacusreport, relating to Responsible Reform, a 37 page independent report into the alleged general awfulness of the DLA reforms. Continue reading “Several Hundred Words About Money”

Santa Claus Arrested in Connection with Phone Hacking Probe

NAUGHTY OR NICE? Santa Claus is the latest name to be implicated in the phone hacking scandal.

Children across the world had their world shaken today when the Leveson enquiry into phone hacking saw Father Christmas taken into custody by Northumbria Police.

Exact details are not known at this time, however it is understood that the arrest took place at Santa’s Magical Christmas Grotto in The Mall Shopping Centre, Middlesbrough just before 9am this morning. Continue reading “Santa Claus Arrested in Connection with Phone Hacking Probe”

Three Years of Cuts and Closures

As I mentioned already, I intended on working my weird rant against non-recyclers into the last real work of the year – the vox pop assignment. However, the apathy of others and the growing realisation that I am just another hypocrite – three paychecks and some half decent head in a fast car away from turning my back on mother nature and concreting over the lot – gave me pause for thought.

I’ll get back to it in due course, once I get my mojo back. In the meantime I decided to work on something probably everyone’s sick of reading about by now but it remains a subject that really gets people’s backs up, and with good reason.

I have censored the names and faces of the people I spoke to as I’m not sure of the rules on putting stuff like this online without permission; it was hard enough to get anyone to speak to me as it was (I was mostly in the pub, mostly) so I’m going to play it safe and only let my teacher see the full version. Continue reading “Three Years of Cuts and Closures”

Lingerie, Whiskey and Burning Flags

Two Chinese Pandas are being loaned to Edinburgh Zoo. The thinking is that they’ll be so cold they’ll have to fuck continuously to keep from freezing to death.

Hey, am I wearing lipstick? When I’m getting fucked I want to make sure my face looks pretty.

– George Jung, Blow

I put the news in my brain today. It didn’t help my depression. Not one bit.

I hear the cuts with which we are being punished for the avarice and incompetence of our betters is going to plunge this country into a Dickensian level of class divide and destitution; the eurozone is breaking apart, another mistake that will have us all over the sodomy table before the decade is up.

Stories of increasing numbers of honour killings and the grooming of children are a proud racist’s wet dream – proof positive in their bloodshot eyes that if they were right about Europe then how about all these dirty immigrants taking British jobs. All the while the justice system is too PC to tackle problems by race, leaving the idiots among us to judge entire swaths of their communities by the diabolical actions of a few. Continue reading “Lingerie, Whiskey and Burning Flags”

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