Thursday, 31 December 2009

There is but one prediction for 2010

- Gordon Brown will cut his gains in 2010
Gordon Brown has never been one to sell UK investments at the top of the market. Remember his expertly timed sale of half the country's gold bullion reserves at a fraction of their current value? The tax payer avoided roughly 5 Billion in extra profits through this cunning ruse.

It is clear that the PM must follow this masterstroke in 2010 by offloading UK investments in the banking sector - before the share values rise too high. It would look great in an election year, and Brown could claim "we got our money back". But true to his convictions, we would not have got too much money back.

Then again, there is perhaps another reason for Brown to cut his gains: Maybe these gains are illusory in the first place. Maybe we are fooling ourselves into thinking that things are getting better and that the banks are out of the woods.

Remember: This is the man who would never have believed in anything as foolish as a gold standard, this is the man who proved that throwing money at a problem could solve it, and this is the man who is happy printing money until the sacred cows come home.

As the PM probably realised long ago: Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Government: tough decisions and mixed messages

Then did Gordon turn the hundred billion into one trillion and he went amongst the people telling them that the crisis was now over.

Then Gordon paid the moneylenders their thirty pieces of silver even though they had caused the crisis, secure in the knowledge that they would render unto him around ten pieces of silver in the form of taxation.

Or perhaps it would be less than ten pieces, if the moneylenders had properly sorted out their tax planning.

In fact some of these ruddy moneylenders actually walked on water and would therefore render unto Gordon absolutely zilch.

But it mattered not. For Gordon had saved the world.

Monday, 28 December 2009

The Narrative is dead. Long live the Narrative!

Gordon Brown has been advised that an election in the year 2010 offers him the perfect opportunity to construct a defining narrative for the next decade.

Out will go the "old" narratives signified by slogans such as "A New Dawn", "Things can only get better" and "Britain Forward Not Back".

In will come a set of more righteous and traditional, yet still new narratives such as: "In the Beginning," "It's always darkest before dawn." "Once upon a time'" and "They all lived happily ever after."

We have asked readers to vote for the slogan they would most like to see in this, the year of our election, Two Thousand and Ten. Furthermore in keeping with our democratic principles, you the readers are invited to offer your own thoughts and come up with your own narratives.

You might as well, readers. It's between you and the focus groups...


Disclaimer: This blog is in no way suggesting that the word "innit" is going to be used as an election slogan nor as a basis for a narrative, and any suggestion to the contrary is entirely without foundation.


Sunday, 27 December 2009

Brown's Eton fixation

... Following on from his claims that Conservative tax policies were 'dreamt up on the playing fields of Eton', Gordon Brown was strangely reticent when asked, "On which playing fields were your tax policies dreamt up, Prime Minister..?"

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Message

Virus warning
Researchers have identified a new strain called Cowell virus. This is what is termed a 'concept virus' and it has a corrosive effect on the brain functioning of infected individuals, causing stultification, lack of imagination and a moronic obsession with vacuous issues such as fame and celebrity.
The virus will spread in 2010 unless people reject the spoon fed diet of drivel - that includes celebrity chat shows, reality TV, talent shows, property programmes etc. These are known to be the virus's perfect host. The virus has already spread from independent producers to the BBC, and even the government has risked exposure to it on numerous occasions for the sake of free publicity. It is time to act.

Watch this space.

Or don't.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Message to Gordon Brown: Britain needs more investment bankers!

It is time for the banking industry to end the closed shop. Britain simply hasn't enough investment bankers. If it had, then salaries and bonuses would not be so crazy!

This week it was announced that some staff retained by the Lehman Brothers' liquidators have been paid seven figure sums to help with the fallout from the bank's collapse one year ago. "The problem is that you have to pay these numbers in order to get staff who understand and can unwind these complex trades."

And why? Because only a small number of people know how to engage in the dark arts of securitisation and derivatives trading in the first place. It is a straightforward issue of supply and demand. Yes, of course you are going to have to pay crazy numbers, if these guys keep the dark arts to themselves.

More on this later....

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Stuff rich people ponder

During this religious festival, we'll be asking questions pertinent to believers of all faiths in the twenty first century. The first is particularly important at the end of a decade that saw a huge rise in the numbers of wealthy individuals - in both developed and developing worlds

We'll ask: given the dominance of global capital in the twenty first century are the banks now bigger than Jesus, and isn't it about time we started saying: Yes we can... take it with us?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Copenhagen – Ban Ki Moon calls it ‘The Essential Beginning’

When UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was asked whether he meant, the beginning of the beginning, or the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the beginning of the end, or the beginning of the beginning of the end of the beginning, or the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of the end, he replied, “I would go one stage further and say that by the time we get to the end of the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of the beginning of the beginning, we will have forgotten what the end was supposed to have been in the first place.”

Friday, 18 December 2009

Guest Bloggers

The serial killer blog will continue this weekend

Christmas comes early to Copenhagen

It was hardly thought possible just a few hours ago. But at the eleventh hour leaders attending the climate change summit in Copenhagen arrived at the draft text of an agreement which they hope will 'save the world'. And it appears that it is all down to the efforts of one man: Father Christmas.

Incensed by suggestions that Lapland was just an icy wasteland near the arctic circle, Father Christmas jumped onto his sledge and headed to Copenhagen. There, after having his picture taken with Gordon Brown, he implored leaders to lay aside their differences and to believe in Santa. In an impassioned speech he told delegates "All you have to do is close your eyes and believe... Believe that through the hope that has sustained you so long and that brought you to this make-believe world - the world of Hans Christian Andersen and his mermaid - Believe that through your will and through the striving that you will undertake..."

Santa continued in this vein for three hours until the delegates caved in. They have so far agreed to the drafting of a preliminary text. It is thought that this text might lead to a more extensive document by early tomorrow and one that is politically binding. Although precise terms have yet to be finalised, we know this much:-

1. You don't need a scientist to tell you Santa Claus is real.

2. Only through consensus will agreement be reached, only through talking will dialogue occur.

3. The world leaders convened at Copenhagen have to return home with their heads held high. They must look the kind of guys who save worlds.

4. Even if nothing concrete and binding is agreed at Copenhagen, it really does not matter. Any country that wishes to wriggle out of the agreement will do so unilaterally anyway.

5. It must appear that there was a point to Copenhagen. The world leaders must wave pieces of paper around when they arrive home, and proclaim something along the lines of, "This is peace in our time."

6. This is peace in our time.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Thought for the day

A spectre is haunting Europe... We're calling it a spectre because it is transparent, perhaps not terribly profound. This spectre will be, if you like, a way of moving on from the old discredited political hierarchies to a new, yet to be discredited 'Jerusalem', where you, the people, can sleep nights, secure in the knowledge that those old hierarchies will be given a makeover, a new name, a new direction for the coming decade. This spectre is certainly one with a modern, and I mean modern, agenda.

Now what shall we call it, this spectre? I don't know, let's call it 'Green Democratic Christians' for want of a better name (Although I doubt we'll come up with a better name.)

However, we can say this, if nothing else: If you, the tired, jaded people of this continent - who have lost faith in the political establishment, but who nevertheless still face a "global warming catastrophe that will make The Big Bang seem like a friggin' turkey shoot" (cf. G.Monbiot) - if you can come up with a better name, then by all means, be my, be our guests. Why don't you tell us what the future holds for this 'busted flush' that you cynical people all call politics? And if indeed you can tell us, then please... can we have them, these names, even any ideas you have... send them, on a postcard to us... if you'd be so kind. Really, we'd appreciate it.

And then, together, we'll make this spectre The People's Spectre!

That was a party political blog on behalf of the 'Green Democratic Christian' Party

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Silo of the Lambs - Serial Killer Blog

So Jesus comes back to earth and takes one look at all the institutions that call themselves 'Christian' and he says What the F-... and turns round and heads back home....

Nah! I'm not going to do one of Ned's Christmas Cracker jokes... any more than he would dare to re-write one of my posts to suit a particular agenda. Would you, Ned? Would you?

However, there's a serious point here, which is that institutions rarely do what it says on the tin(s). That is to say, religion isn't really about morals or teachings or prophecy. Religion is just a form of politics, a handy marketing tool. You take a figurehead, a mascot, what-have-you, and staple it to your own agenda - you know, that agenda you were developing to keep the people 'on side'. And, Bob's your uncle, everyone thinks you have a moral, rather than a control agenda. Been happening from time immemorial... Constantine is to Christ, what Mao is to Marx.

I'm not about to go all deep and shit. But as we all know, governments kill more people than serial killers. They often claim to be doing this killing for some moral purpose. But of one thing you can be sure: They're certainly not doing it on behalf of some prophet or political thinker they've never met and whom they'd probably chuck in jail for subversion were they to. They're doing it either to consolidate power or to please some guy called Arnie who runs a multinational. So children, when a stranger comes up to you and offers you some political theory or belief system, don't buy it. It might not be all it's cracked up to be.

Let's face it, you've got to be cynical to be a serial killer. I know that I could kill far more people were I calling the shots, were I the main man... what with war and shit. But I like being in control of my own destiny... oh, plus the destinies of one or two other poor souls, I admit. I operate my own hours... I don't pretend to be all things to all pond life. And I don't hide behind some moral bull. I kill because, well, sometimes there is a lot of killing to be done... and I'm hungry for it.

Now here's the problem: I don't get the same buzz from it as I used to. As any serial guy will tell you, the first time you kill it is absolutely fucking awesome - adrenaline pumping, heart racing, your thoughts going crazy. It's like your first time on crack or meth or junk. Second time its good but not quite as good... and after that happens, once you acknowledge that difference, you are from then on simply chasing the first high. Eventually you just do it, you just kill in order to stay level, to stay sane - it's a maintenance dose.

Ok, so, much of that has been endlessly recounted by psychological profilers and crime novelists and the like, I imagine. But when at lunch, I start relating all this to suave Sonya in her pinstripe suit and with her 'Eton crop', she says, come and work for me. I am speechless - would an outfit like yours hire pond life like me? Oh, most certainly. Pond life always know what is going on down on the street, you know with their ears to the ground and all that... In fact, much more than your poor, spoon fed suburban punters who wander through life thinking that only two worlds exist - the right world and the wrong world. We need pond life... as long as they're smart enough always to know on which side their bread is buttered. And know who to double cross and who not... and, of course, that if things go tits up at any time, you're on your own, hung out to dry etc.

So, that was quite a lunch. I don't know exactly what kind of outfit it is she works for yet. I asked her, is it something to do with HM Gov...? She said, not quite but, well sort of. I asked, well then, which department in particular might that be, if you don't mind my asking. She gave me a withering look and said, what the fuck? Department of culture. media and sports. What's with the dumb questions? For God's sake.

And now I am thinking... I wonder if there is a moral angle. She kind of did hint previously that there was a higher purpose to her job, or at least, there could be. But I really do not think that it is the right time to ask - despite all that stuff I was saying earlier about killing with a moral imperative and shit. I'll take it one step at a time, I think...

But... By God, I do hope that I'm not about to become just a teensy weensy bit of a hypocrite.

By George, serial, soon to be, contract killer

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Don't get me started - the serial killer blog

Sonya was the first call-girl I slept with. And she was the only one. I reckon I must have gone with her around a couple of hundred times. We developed a close relationship, shared our most intimate secrets. And it was Sonya who got me started on this whole serial killing thing.

I must have moaned a hundred times about the guy I worked for at the call-centre in Victoria. Sonya always showed, or at least feigned, interest when I told her what a misery he made my life. One day she came up with a solution. She was a Patricia Highsmith devotee and, flicking through 'Strangers on a Train' one day, a light bulb switched on in her head. It just so happened that she was being blackmailed by another call-girl named Amy who knew that she'd legged over her pimp a couple of times. She suggested I kill Amy for her, and she'd kill my boss.

And that's how we both started - and grew to love - killing. I visited Amy one fine day, pretending to be a 'trick', and smothered her with one of her pink polyester-covered pillows. I made it look like some sick bastard got carried away - and I suppose some sick bastard had. Sonya hung around the front of the call centre one night when Ed, my boss was working late and she 'accidentally' bumped into him. He was easy prey, a sex addict who'd go with any half decent woman, whether it involved money or not. He ended up laid out in the back of his Merc., with a stiletto positioned "somewhere in the region of the brain stem" as Sonya recounted. Smart girl, Sonya...

After Amy, I got a taste for this kind of stuff. So it became a bit of a hobby - work commitments allowing. Meanwhile, Sonya, who also grew fond of 'existence management', went on to become a contract killer. This is almost the same thing as a serial killer, except she gets paid. Bit like the difference between bloggers and professional journalists, I suppose.

Nowadays, Sonya and I more often than not just meet for lunch and catch up on the goss'... Just as we did a couple of days ago at her favorite vegan restaurant in Soho. Yes, it seems strange that a cold blooded killer could be a vegan. And she doesn't try to explain it with any 'work ethic' bullshit. She simply says she likes animals more than humans; finds it easy to waste the latter, impossible to slaughter the former. That's what I've always liked about Sonya, she's your classic whore-with-a-heart (or ex-whore).

Every time we meet, I rile her by repeating how alike we are in our 'undertakings'.

"Except I'm a pro," she protests as she toys with her tofu stroganoff.

"So what? You could say I murder for love. Or at least love murder."

"You murder because you're addicted to it. That's different."

"Well you're addicted to the money. That's not a higher moral purpose."

"Maybe I only kill people I want to kill.... for a higher purpose."

"Yeah, right, like all contract killers do."

"Maybe. Depends on who I work for."

"You've never told me who you do work for as it happens."

"That's because if I did, I'd have to kill you."

"Very funny... But of course... not if I killed you first."

"What? You mean, you'd kill me right after I had told you who I worked for?"

"Yeah, right after."

"But what if you liked who I worked for? Then you'd have a dilemma. How could you kill someone like me? You'd simply have to approve of me. You'd hesitate. Bang, I'd kill you."

"You wouldn't kill me if I liked who you worked for? You couldn't kill me then, surely?"

"Yes. I would still. I'm a pro."

"... Who only kills people you want to kill. Right?"

"Actually, George. I know it sounds paradoxical. But, I shouldn't even have hinted just then that I might be working for anyone you could approve of... Or that I could conceivably only kill people I wanted to kill. It sends out a really bad message. So, who knows...? Maybe I'm going to have to kill you anyway."

"I see."

"No you don't. You're an amateur."

to be continued...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Snuff's enough - The blog of a serial killer

We took another look at the 'serial killer' blog that caused a major stir earlier this month and decided we'd give it an airing. We thought that at the very least it might appeal to the followers of 'snuff lit'. Let's hope that somebody likes it.

"It is a common misconception that your common or garden serial killer washes down his victim's liver with a fine Chianti. Aside from the fact that I personally would choose a Marcillac, the very idea that you would hang around to remove, sear and eat the victim's liver is entirely preposterous. You either get the hell out of there with as little fuss (and leaving as little mess) as possible. Or, in the rare instance that you have to butcher the poor bastard to dispose of the evidence, then the last thing you're going to think about is getting the liver out in one piece. The very thought of it! It's more a case of slice, slice, saw, saw... or if you are lucky enough to have a Black and Decker knocking about, then its a bit of grind, grind, drill, chew, splash, splash, spray.

And I'll tell you another thing. I don't mean to sound disdainful but the kind of pond life your average serial killer preys on is hardly likely to be packing away a nice reddish-brown fat-free organ. Years of crystal meth and alcohol abuse will have taken their toll on the fucker. You'll be looking at the kind of thing you're more likely to find in a dodgy takeaway - fatty and swollen, or even worse perhaps, knarled and scarred. Not very appetising - even if you tried washing it down with something stronger like cognac.

And, yes, I know that in the ivory tower, make-believe bullshit world of this Lecter guy, who probably only slaughters people with PhDs, you think there must be a better line in livers. But no. Don't believe it. There are a fair old number of knarled livers in the higher echelons of society, that's for sure. Maybe not meth knarled, but certainly crusty from years of crusted port or whatever it is these guys drink.

So, rule one: Kill the fucker as cleanly and as quickly as possible. Rule two: the less blood the better - think of blood as a kind of forensic soup that will happily swallow up your DNA, your fingerprints, those tiresome but revealing threads and hairs that fall off you during the course of the day. Rule three: don't even think about eating the fucking liver. Kill... move on... kill... move on... live to kill another day.

And finally, killing is not an art nowadays. It might have been in the days of Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Patricia Highsmith etc. But it sure isn't any more. It is a science pure and simple. And you know why? Because of the fucking gadgetry they have at hand. No more Sherlock with his powers of deduction. You're up against scientists who will nail you on the kind of thing that you cannot see its so small. Fuck, you have always to be thinking, must stay one step ahead, it's so easy for them to nail you, so darned easy.

So when anyone ever starts talking about Lecter and his liver and Chianti bullshit, just tell them where to go. Tell them, that's not like it is, and it's not funny and it's not clever to repeat that bullshit... let alone do that stupid thing he does with his teeth. And as for fava beans, well... just don't get me started."

This blog will continue through the coming weeks with an analysis of the highs and lows of serial killing, the day to day routine and drudgery, and the long term job prospects for those engaged in the ancient practice of multiple murder.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Joke of the Day

Joke of the day:
A man walks up to a dictator. He says "Stop trying to tell me how to live my life".
The dictator replies, "Stop trying to tell me how to live mine."

So remember kids, stop beating up on dictators. They also have a life!

Devil in the DJ

As we all know, the Devil is still as busy as ever playing all the best tunes. So, for our year-end inane, pathetic 10 best ever list, we decided to ask people who they thought had danced most expertly over the past decade to the veteran DJ's tunes. As always, these lists can never truly be exhaustive, but at least they are democratic and therefore reflect your views (ho ho, yawn yawn). And so, here they are:

1. Politicians
2. Bankers

For legal reasons we have been informed that we cannot go any further...

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Spare a thought for the poor old banker, Guv'nor!

The Guv'nor of the Bank of England and the Chancellor of the Exchequer have today been explaining 'quantitative easing'.

This is what happens:-

The Bank of England (The bank that we all own) starts printing money, then it uses that money to repay its current debt to other commercial banks (This is called 'buying back Government bonds'). Those banks then charge a commission to the Bank of England (our bank) for repaying that money (that it just printed). They then pay their traders a bonus based on the profits that those traders made simply by being involved in the repayment transaction.

Everyone benefits, because it now appears to taxpayers that the banks are making money again, and will soon be able to pay back all the funds that those taxpayers previously handed out to them.

However, it does not really occur to taxpayers that the money that they are going to get back will look, but not actually be, the same as the money that they handed out - by virtue of the inflation that all of these new transactions (i.e. Bank of England 'repayments') have created.

But, and this is a big but... This is not a problem, because even the middle classes, with their superior educations and their familiarity with wealth accumulation do not in fact have the slightest clue what such money transactions really mean (or where the magician was hiding the coin, as it were)... Even when it is clearly their own, erm... money.

But, let's face it, we are all frankly breathing a sigh of relief that things are stable once more and no-one is queueing up outside banks... or burning them down...

(OK, so the bonuses that the traders get do piss people off. But what can you do? When in doubt, tax, I suppose.)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Second Sex

The diary of a polyglot call-girl, continued

"I encounter a problem with 'Giscard' (for want of a better name). I'd counted six jalapenos in. But when it comes to their removal, I count only five jalapenos out. He asks, why the pained expression, and I explain.

He shrugs and tells me that it is an occupational hazard. "When you do this kind of thing, you know... shit happens, as they say."

I chuckle and then pick up on the occupational bit. I finally pluck up the courage to ask why he is here in Cambridge. Is he an academic? His reply makes my heart sink.

"I am to take up a post as Lecturer in Modern French Literature. My specialisation is the post war feminist perspective."

"Oh my God! But that is one of my courses," I cry. My heart is racing.

"I worked that out just now," he says. "I noticed your essay on De Beauvoir."

"I don't believe it!" I reply. "But that is just too much of, of..."

"Of a coincidence?" He says. "Perhaps not. I was intrigued by your pen name, in the advertisement - Castor."

"Ah, I see."

"I wondered, could it be possible? Could this be a student who is reading de Beauvoir?"

"How embarrassing."

"Not really. When I was at the Sorbonne, I fuck my students all the time."

His sudden candour unsettles me. "I see." I reply hesitantly. "But not... not for money, I guess."

"Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't. Sometimes for the presents, sometimes for the, how should I say? Wisdom? But anyway none of this matters. I always enjoy it. They always enjoy it."

"I see."

"But the question I like to ask is this: By doing this, what you do, this job, do you then become the woman, as in...?"

"No, no, no." I insist. "This is strictly to pay my way through University. I am not trying to prove or disprove anything in... in de Beauvoir."

"Of course not," he replies. "But maybe you could prove something if you want..." He struggles for a moment, trying to find the words.


There is a look of relief on his face. "I think I find the sixth jalapeno."

I laugh nervously, then continue, "You were going to say?"

He sits up straight. "I was going to say that, maybe if you write these experiences down, like this blogger they call Belle de Jour... and then you publish these experiences, then you can ask yourself what kind of woman are you becoming?"

But sadly I don't have the opportunity to answer him. Because at this point the doorbell rings. "Oh, fuck!" I cry. "That's my next client."

He looks shocked. "So soon?"

"Yes, it's a busy night... Listen, you've got to, got to go. Like quick. Thing is... you could be seen. You better hide in the communal loo, the one on the landing. I'll, I'll buzz him in... The problem is, otherwise, if he sees you... He might just possibly recognise you."

"Yes? Really?" he says shocked.

"Yes, really, really. It's only bloody well my Director of Studies for French Lit..."


"Yes. Doctor Bertrand."

"Zut Alors! Bertrand? He is here?"

to be continued...

By guest blogger Campus Courtesan

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Homme Toujours

Tomorrow our very own 'campus courtesan' will continue her account of life on the game as an undergraduate student. And I think that you will find it gripping.

But today we want to offer the other perspective - that of the 'trick' who is prepared to pay for sex. Today's blogger calls himself 'Homme Toujours'. He describes himself as a professional, married man with mild cocaine, codeine and valium dependencies. And he is also happy to admit that he pays weekly visits to prostitutes in the Bloomsbury area of London. This is his contribution:

"I always head for Bloomsbury, an area packed with student prostitutes. I've always preferred hookers with degrees, or at least those studying for degrees. Not only is the conversation better, but the sex is more adventurous: These ladies have read stuff like de Sade and are pretty open minded.

Tonight I'm on my way to someone called Arabella, and she describes herself as a third year English with Drama student. I imagine that, because she must surely aspire to becoming an actress, this probably makes her a glamourous twenty something who fancies herself as an Ophelia or a Juliet. I also wonder whether the drama angle might offer some 'value-added' when it comes to role play. I hope so.

I creep furtively down to the basement of a four story Victorian terrace house near Gower Street and ring once. The door opens and a mature woman appears. I presume that she is the madam. She leads me through the dimly lit flat to the bedroom and asks me what I want. It now dawns on me that she actually is Arabella. "For some reason, I had you down as younger," I say, hoping that she won't take offence. "You know, being a student and all that."

"Yes?" she replies. "Well I am a mature student."

"I see," I say. "Well there's never a right or wrong time to start studying, I suppose."

Then I realise that she looks familiar, very, very familiar indeed. The penny drops - she is the spitting image of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. This is not what I imagined at all. And I certainly cannot see her as an Ophelia, or a Juliet for that matter. Her academic pursuits must be just that - academic - I decide.

I sit on the edge of the bed for a while, trying to think long and hard about what I actually want. Then I decide that I have to pop the question. "I hope that you do not mind my saying. But you do bear a remarkable resemblance to the German Chancellor, you know, Angela Merkel."

And she gives me a withering look and then says, "Yes, didn't you know? That is exactly why the gentlemen come to see me."

to be continued....

Rogue twaddle

Gordon Brown's son has denied that the garbled 'tweet' on his mother Sarah's account was sent by him. It was originally assumed that the three year old had sent the incoherent rant about David Cameron. But it transpires that the Prime Minister, who is prone to unintelligible tirades, sent the message. It is also denied that the 'tweet' was simply a cheap publicity stunt designed to raise awareness of the danger of cheap publicity stunts...

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Campus Courtesan

The Art Tsar, Lord Cheese has asked us to postpone publication of his piece on conceptual art. This is pending our own internal enquiries into a spiteful email campaign recently perpetrated by one of our own moderators. In its place we have decided to post another one of the 'people's blogs'. This one was sent in yesterday by a student calling herself 'Campus Courtesan'. It is an obvious attempt to cash in on the popularity of 'Belle de Jour'. And despite its occasionally left-field approach, we decided that it was worth publishing - if only to reflect the lengths students have to go to nowadays in order to complete their studies.

"The new guy arrives as I'm polishing off my essay on de Beavoir's Second Sex. I buzz him in and tell him to wait in the lobby. I figure he can sit there for a few minutes while I finish my work. It's ok to make a guy wait for de Beauvoir. Just think about how long women have been waiting for men...

I chuck on a silk wrap and tiptoe downstairs. The first thing I see is a bald pate and a strikingly prominent nose. Then I notice his long delicate fingers resting daintily on his lap. He looks up at me and I immediately know I've seen that face. My head spins, then I think he is the spitting image of the ex-French President, Valery Giscard d'Estaing. But it can't be him. What would Giscard being doing here in Cambridge? I suppose it's possible that he's visiting academics, perhaps the deconstructivists at King's. They are very much into French philosophy.

He stands up and smiles elegantly. He's clearly a man of class, of breeding. I greet him and want to tell him I recognise him. I can't do that of course; I can't make him feel uncomfortable.

But then, as though he knows what's on my mind, he says. "I know what you're thinking, and I'm not who you think I am. All the girls think I am who you think I am. But I am not him."

And yet, the accent is French as well. How much of a coincidence is that? Poor guy, he must get this all the time. And I tell him, "It can't help that you're French and you look like, you know, who you do look like."

He replies, "Yes, it does not help. And why do you think I can only ever visit les femmes when I am in out-of-the-way places like this? And then, even here it appears that I am mistaken for the great man, n'est ce pas?"

"In a south of England university town it's hardly surprising. Most people would know of the man you resemble. It could be different somewhere much further north like Aberdeen... Not that I'm saying that they wouldn't know, of course."

He looks a little confused and I decide that the conversation is starting to sound a bit surreal. So I lead him upstairs and take him into my bedroom.

"So what is it you're into?"

He opens his briefcase and brings out a pair of handcuffs and a jar of jalapeno peppers.

And I say: "I think I probably get the idea... I handcuff you and then insert the peppers..."

He stops me mid-sentence by putting his finger to his lips and quietly whispering, "Shhh..." He is nodding gently.

And, as we undress I am thinking to myself how funny it would be if he really was visiting academics, the deconstructivists at Kings. I wonder what they'd make of a man resembling the ex President of France turning up to see a lady of the night in Cambridge and wanting to be handcuffed and have jalapeno peppers inserted where the sun doesn't shine."

And he just says gently, "Now, I bet this is definitely not the kind of thing that the great man Giscard is into!"

to be continued...

Monday, 7 December 2009

Menacing emails

We sadly have to announce the departure of site moderator, Alvin Siftey. The rather unpleasant emails - as well as the vicious comments made on this website - all of which were targeted at his predecessor Steve were found to have come from Alvin's work-station. We will be continuing with the 'people's blog' as soon as we have found a replacement for Alvin, which we hope will be very soon.
In the meantime we are fortunate enough to be able to announce that tomorrow we will be featuring a post from the Government's new Art Tsar, Lord Cheese, who will be filling us in on some of his ideas about extending the scope and the reach of BritArt. We look forward to it.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

'Butler' Brown in new class war row

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has denied that during his years as Chancellor he was viewed as the 'lick-spittle' of a small coterie of wealthy businessmen and bankers. It has been suggested that during the 'noughties' his policies amounted to little more than a sycophantic attempt to wipe the bottoms of certain elite business friends who commonly referred to him as 'the butler'.
A spokesman for the PM said: "It is obvious that these allegations were dreamt up on the playing fields of ignorance - in an ignorant, poorly educated, vacuous Britain for whom celebrity is the new aristocracy, and which believes that playing fields are places where people spend their time dreaming things up."

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The 'People's blog'. Your contributions.

Hi, Alvin here, reporting back to you. Looks like Steve won't be returning, sadly. After the hate mail, then the vicious comments from the blogger known as 'snuff man', he has decided that it's too much for him and he is quitting. He'll be sorely missed. But it means that my sign-off yesterday as 'Chief Moderator' was really rather prophetic. (Yes, I know it appeared a little presumptuous at the time!)

Anyway, I was up until about two in morning reading through some of your blog proposals. Some, as I wrote yesterday, were frankly pretty pointless. I mean, how many Belle de Jour clones can there really be knocking about British Universities? Are things so bad that the only way students can get through their courses is by lying on their backs with their legs apart? And if it really is that bad, then how about focusing on the actual politics of this situation, girls? Hey?

Right, so leaving aside our serial killers and hookers, we have something that looks (initially) quite interesting - a cop blog. Daily life on the beat, policing the G20, G7, power stations etc etc. However, something tells me that this might not be the real deal. Where's the Old Bill we know and love kicking the shit out of protestors? What's more, we see a guy with an unblemished record... even looks forward to hanging out at the Notting Hill Carnival.... multiculturalism, the thought! He even calls it Caaar-neee-vaaal. And guess what? A few days later, he is back in Surbiton and, low and behold, able to get to a reported break-in within ten minutes of the 999! Somehow, I think not. Sorry PC Mungo, didn't you know that it is an offence to impersonate a police officer?

We move on. Politics - as in the insulated little world of the Westminster Village. There's a lot of this stuff. Oh, these dedicated party political bloggers. What a joy! People trying to imitate the Dales, the Finkelsteins, even the Fawkes's. Boring! Millions of these copycat blogs have shown up already. So why are they pestering us at boho? Get your own site! DO IT YOURSELF - if you're that good.

Okay, so now we have one that's maybe a bit left field: "The Hung Blog" - A blog that brings together writers from across the political spectrum who will be able to give us their valuable insights in the event of a hung parliament. Sorry, but THIS is the website that is bringing together people from across the spectrum, might I suggest? Although, I do dig the feature at the top... a cartoon, is it? Yep, the guy has even done a cartoon. Well, yes... I would dig it if I could work out what the cartoon depicts. Hold on... Oo-er. Is that..? That surely cannot be an MP hanging... by the neck? Okay, right I get it. Nice... cool. 'Hung Parliament', I wonder whether we could get away with that. Maybe maybe maybe. Better ask Ned. I suppose it'll be acceptable as long as the appropriate MPs are hanging (they know who they are!)

Now this is more like it: Climate change. The single biggest issue of the day bar none. But, and this is a big but, we must filter out the deniers, the ignorant people who appear to have no intention of looking at THE evidence, DOING the math! Room temperature IQs, that's their problem. Can they totally overlook the mountains of graphs and charts and computer models that arrive at the one conclusion and that prove beyond doubt the existence of global warming? Well, it seems like they can. Well they're sure as hell NOT coming onto this website. This is not going to be a repository of ignorance!

So, anyway, summing up: Yes there's some good stuff here and there's some really, really shit stuff. And I think that we all know which is going to get published and which is not! But, remember guys, be patient. We, moderators (not Ned) will be deciding in this instance what actually does get seen... Just as we decide in the normal way what comments get seen. So, as they say, don't call us we'll call you! And those of you whom the majority view as 'deniers'... please… please, just take a hike!
Posted by Moderator in Chief, Alvin Siftey

Friday, 4 December 2009

PM to say sorry

The Prime Minister will today respond to criticisms that he has not made any apologies recently. It was thought that he would make an apology this week for an historical event with which he is totally unconnected - perhaps the Black Death or the Magna Carta.
However Number Ten is hinting that the PM might make an announcement later today and possibly go one step further. There are suggestions that he might apologise for something that will happen in the future, with which he is also unconnected, but which might be perpetrated by the Conservatives, such as excessive bank bonuses...

More on this breaking story later.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Snuff's not enough

Hi, my name's Alvin and I work with Steve - the guy who did yesterday's post. I'm kind of assistant moderator, although in actual fact we're supposed to have a flat structure round here. But Steve still insists it's my title because he hired me and he has been doing this job longer than me... bla bla bla. You guessed it, he's a bit of an asshole.

Anyway, Steve's had to take some time off, sadly. He became a bit freaked out yesterday by someone who wanted to contribute to the 'people's blog'. You might remember, it was that guy who wanted to examine the mind and the daily ritual of a serial killer. I have to say that I have read some of what 'snuff-boy' sent in and it's pretty heavy. You need a strong stomach to wade through it.

Anyway, this 'Son of Lamb' as he calls himself started hassling Steve because his 'snuff' blog hadn't appeared on the site like immediately! He wrote a few comments in response to Steve's post - they were initially harmless enough. But when Steve didn't respond, snuff-boy's comments gradually became more and more agitated, and then nasty and aggressive, and eventually quite scary. Most of them had to be deleted, because despite Ned's views on free speech, no responsible web owner could possibly publish them.

Now, we at boho don't know quite where this guy is coming from. He could be an inspired contributor who thought that a fictionalised serial killer blog might be a departure from the usual blog genre - which in a way it is. Or he's a bit of a bullshitter who is trying to wind people up, just having a laugh - there are a lot of people like that rattling around the blogosphere. Or he actually takes himself seriously and in his horrible, addled mind thinks that people might really warm to his 'acts of mercy' (as he describes them) with as much ease as they warmed to Belle de Jour's soft porn.

So, whilst we are trying to work out what this guy's all about, Steve is at home with an 'old mate' who is a black belt in megendo, and he's popping valium like there's no tomorrow, and trying to cheer himself up by watching daytime TV on Dave channel and Sky One! Somehow, I think that poor old Steve has decided that the whole moderating malarkey is not quite for him anymore. Let's face it Steve, it involves some tough decisions, and you have to be prepared to stand up for your beliefs! And sometimes, Steve, there are some really, really nasty people out there and they will take exception to being 'moderated'. It can be quite unpleasant.

Anyway, whilst certain other people check out this 'Son of Lamb' and - yawn yawn - trace his IP address, and talk to the police, I have decided to take a long hard look at how we are going to develop the 'people's blog'. Okay, so Steve did not really say much about the political contributions - even though there were quite a few - he must have seen them. Now call me old fashioned but politics counts for a large proportion of what makes up the blogosphere. And when you ask yourself the question: Where should that blogosphere really be trying to make a difference? Do you answer: Solving climate change, or, relating the exploits of bourgeous whores who just haven't enough Jimmy Choo shoes? I, for one, think I know the answer to that one!

So tonight I will be reading through the blog contributions that Steve sadly overlooked. I won't be having nightmares about climate change - as he did when he read about the 'Son of Lamb' (poor diddums). But that does not mean that I won't take any contribution seriously. No, in fact climate change scares me shitless. But, by tomorrow, I hope that, midnight oil permitting, I'll be able to provide a list of political people's blogs that I, or rather, we at boho will be considering for inclusion. Then you'll all know the kind of thing that'll get published from hereon in... and the kind of thing that (most definitely) won't!
So folks (as Steve might call you)... here's to a new, less self-indulgent, less 'metrosexual' blogosphere! Let us all go forward and make the internet our own!
By Alvin Siftey, Chief Moderator.

Gordon Brown versus The Royal Bank of Scotland.

Gordon Brown is ready to prove that the Iron Chancellor has become the Iron Prime Minister. He will look the board of The Royal Bank of Scotland in the eye. He will emphasize unequivocally what history has taught him - That in circumstances such as these, when a Prime Minister must show the voters who governs Britain, he will do no more and no less than what a Conservative Government would do: Get down on his hands and knees and...

More on this breaking news story later this evening...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Sex, drugs and moderation

Hi, I am the moderator of this site. You can call me Steve, just Steve, as I am not going to give you my surname. That might simply lead to hate mail from people whose comments I deleted for breaking ‘community rules’. It might lead to hate mail for all sorts of other reasons as well. I should know - I receive a lot of hate mail. It’s quite disturbing really. But I try not to think about it.

Anyway, we handed this blog over to the ‘people’ yesterday. By ‘people’, of course we mean to the readers, you guys. The first slot was taken by Old Etonian prig, Hugh Juggs. When I say ‘prig’ I don’t want to seem partisan. I would call anyone a prig who expressed attitudes like the ones that he did.

Anyway, ‘the experiment’ (as Ned is calling it) was an enormous success. We have been quite literally inundated by readers wanting to give their two pennyworth. I tell you, it’s going to start sounding like ‘speakers corner’ around here before long. Although of course, I accept that the allusion is not perfect, as we are not literally putting people onto soapboxes. Anyway, who uses soapboxes nowadays, eh?

I’ll give you a bit of a run down today on what came in, and then, over the coming months and weeks we will be publishing some of the better contributions - you know, kind of like alternating with our guest bloggers and, of course, the big man himself, Ned Ludd (who, the way I see it, contributes very little to this site nowadays.)

So readers, this is your site now. Not mine, not the people who actually put in an honest day’s work. Not the people who do it day in day out. But yours! And, what the hell, that is what I call democracy! Or is it demagogy? Doesn’t really matter, does it? They’re probably the same thing - at least nowadays they are!!

So, anyway, kicking off… there were a lot of contributions from people who thought that Hugh Juggs was just a smutty pseudonym. And as a result we had people with names like, Hugh Janus, Mike Hunt, Mike Hunterts, Isla Vashit, John Cox-Ukker, and the supposedly oriental, Stin-Kee Cok! Great guys, I love a laugh too. Sadly these ‘blogs’ tended to be incoherent rants about the state of modern Britain and were a bit cliché ridden – and yes, we have all heard the terms New Lie-bour and ZanuLabour! They’ve been on the blogosphere for years.

More interesting, what I can only describe as a sex blog. It was inspired in part, I assume, by that of the escort, Belle de Jour. And it’s about a lovely lady who imagines herself to be in an extramarital love affair with the new president of the EU, Herman Van Rompuy. The housewife, who is bored with her hum-drum, suburban existence, apparently finds solace in the arms of this ‘Belgian Stallion’ and has a variety of encounters with him, including a ‘whipped cream weekend’ in his modest Brussels apartment. Full marks for imagination!

We also had something slightly more troubling: A serial killer blog – a description of a day in the life, or rather days in the life of a mass murderer. Let’s hope that this is one of those ‘thought experiment’ blogs, where the writer only ‘imagines’ certain scenarios (that never actually happened). God, I really trust that this is the case, because this guy is really fucked in the head, he’s really sick, and I’d hate to think that he was actually out there, on the loose. I read his piece last night and I couldn’t get to sleep afterwards.

Anyway, this is all that I have the time or space for right now. More later. Ned tells me that he wants to feature at least a couple of ‘people’s blogs’ in the next week. So we are going to be busy doing some screening over the next few days and will let you know what we come up with. In the meantime, keep commenting folks. We cannot all be bloggers, at least not all of the time. And as they say, the lion will lie down with the lamb. Or whatever it is they say.

And one final thing: Go easy on the hate mail, folks. Some of it can be quite vicious, and remember that I have feelings too. And please, if you are the guy who sent in the serial killer post, I can assure you that I was in no way being critical just now. I am no judge of my fellow man and I say 'each to his own' and all that. All that I was saying earlier was that what you sent in seriously scared the fuck out of me. But it’s ok, it’s cool. This is a relaxed environment we’ve established round here.
By Moderator, Steve. Anonymity is OK - No names, means no hate!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Democracy in action

We are trying something new today - something we hope might ultimately might encourage more contributors to the blogosphere. We received a request from a reader, asking whether he could cross to the other side of tracks and turn blogger for a day. His argument is that there is effectively no difference between the people who post (especially in the case of our guest bloggers) and those who comment. It is all opinion, it is all public. There's not a cigarette paper between them.

I think that this is a bit of an exaggeration as most (successful) bloggers have some kind of form, and have had to build up a critical mass in order to compete with the mainstream press and to gain traction. And even the minor ones do a bit more than just glorified commentary (presumably).

But, we thought the suggestion worth a try. Anything's worth a try. We have decided to allow our reader / commenter to post his own blog, whilst we, the regular bloggers will for today become the readers / commenters. Lord Trencherman, currently out on bail, is included. His wife is sadly not. If this works we might roll it out further. We also agreed not to censor the post unless it was libelous or racist (or irritating or boring.)

"Hello there, every day there's some article or other about David Cameron and Old Etonians dominating the Conservative opposition. Yes, after all these years the toffs are still playing all the best tunes. And to think, we all assumed that the 'closed shops' and the old school ties and the private members 'clubs' had been swept away by Maggie and Tony.

Well I can tell you now, it's a load of bull (and I do not mean Bullingdon). I'm a member of neither the Groucho nor the Soho House. And nor would I want to be. But were I to walk in to either of them right now and said, let me in, I want a drink, they would tell me where to go. If I told them that I was an OE (Old Etonian) like Dave Cameron, they would probably tell me where the fuck to go (though Cameron did work for Carlton media, once... so not a perfect example).

Sorry to be a pain, I would say. If my name were Simon Cowell or Alan Yentob, then it would be, "Ooh, yes. How are you today, sir (bow, bow, scrape scrape)? Can I take your coat, then lick your boots clean and polish your cheesy john thomas with my tongue, before finally slipping this dog-eared script that every other media company has rejected into your back passage so that you might at least spend a few seedy moments fingering it.. ?"

And what if say any of the three main political parties were dominated by members of the Soho Club - or to make it even less 'meritocratic' - the children of Soho Club members? This is not an unlikely prospect, as the children of media celebs have an uncanny (and some would say, untalented, knack of finding their own places in the media spotlight.) And would everyone go around saying, "Do you see the number of ex-media people cramming onto the commons benches? Isn't it terrible and elitist?" I don't think so, because it is the media that asks such questions.

So when people bang on about old school tie, why not tell them where to stick it. There will always be establishments and mafias and clubs. It's not only the toffs wot do this 'being clubbable' lark.

And one last thing: I was talking to a friend whose son is at Eton and he tells me that it has become terribly vulgar, full of the children of new money. It's no longer landed gentry, hasn't been for a long time. Macmillan and Hurd of course were both scholars - that makes them oiks, I suppose. But it is far, far worse nowadays. There are boys whose fathers are estate agents and DJs. How wretched! Charlie (the son) says that a new boy whose father owns a chain of restaurants (can you believe it?) was overheard the other day talking about the family villa in Marbella. Apparently he was also spotted wearing a monogrammed shirt!

So next time you hear that Mr Cameron has appointed another OE to his front bench, remember there's every reason to believe that he is as vulgar as those ghastly types who appear on Strictly Come Dancing and X-Factor nowadays!"
By reader and commenter Hugh Juggs