Friday, 19 October 2007


One of the greatest benefits of using public transport is that for ½ hour a day I get to read the paper in peace. Hence today I skipped happily to my local newsagent, purchased my Daily Telegraph and jumped on the number 35. Faced with thirty minutes of uninterrupted reading, and in anticipation of some genial chit chat with South Tyneside’s urban warrior, Ahmed Khan (the source of my destination), the world was a rosy place. Five minutes later, it was all over, the idyllic destroyed by 3 paragraphs, all about 4 inches by 2 inches, all on the front page of the Telegraph.
Firstly, the £8 million fraud perpetrated by ITV and its phone in robbers. Not only have the public been well and truly mugged, but we in the north east have the added indignity of seeing those chirpy little Geordie chipmunks Ant and Dec, top of the list of high way robbers. Swelled to the tune of £4 million in fiddled earnings, they have cried “not me guv” and made no offer to refund the money. Well done lads, were all very proud of your generosity!
If that was not enough, right next to this crime report was the startling fact that MP’s are to see their holidays raised to 90 days per year. I’ll type that again in bigger letters in case you thought I made a mistake – 90 DAYS! Overworked, to much stress? – wrong, not enough to do. A lack of legislation has meant they have a bit too much time on their hands. Perhaps this gap could have been filled passing the necessary legislation for a European treaty referendum.
Finally I was bowled over by the news that Slough Borough Council has scrapped the town’s bonfire this year due to concerns that it will be too smoky and in contradiction to the areas green policies. So there you have it, no more bonfires and probably no more fireworks, unless there silent and don’t break permitted noise levels! To any young entrepreneurs out there, there is obviously a growing market for smokeless fuel “Guys”!
Luckily my conversations with Mr Khan was uplifting and entertaining, as they always are. If only we all had his enthusiasm and commitment.
However, I must apologise to the lady who sat next to me on the bus. I hope the steam coming out of my ears and the flames from my nose did you no lasting damage! Just tell the hospital you were burnt by a bonfire in Slough!

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