Thursday, June 28, 2007

Five Carcasses of Mutton anyone?


Diary Entry for 28th June 2007

It has been a long day. I have to have walked at least thirty miles, going by the worn carpet between my desk and the telephone. Thirty miles of anguish, thirty miles of expectation, and what do I get?

Well, bugger all, to be honest.

Mr Brown says that he will be looking for Talent. He says that he needs to broaden government to ensure the best of ideas. He says that he will work across the political guide.

The Spice GirlsAnd to that end, this old rat has been pacing, and willing, and gnashing the old teeth waiting for the phone to ring. And did it? Nope.

Talking of talent, or not as the case may be, it appears that 5 ancient lambs are off on a world tour. Fabulous. That should brighten up my day about as fast as a stale pork pie. So one of my erstwhile contemporaries called to ask would I be indulging in any tickets. I asked the usual questions:

  • Have they had singling lessons?
  • Has Victoria realized that pouting makes her look like she is about to throw up?
  • Has Baby spice discovered that boring does not equate to stardom?
  • Has Mel C discovered anything at all?
  • Please tell me that Gerry has gotten rid of that Union Flag dress!
  • And what has Mel B does with her locks?

If the answer to any of the first 4 is no, forget it.

As Graham Norton pointed out, reunions only happen when Solo careers have gone ... oh, we see.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

The Rat gets up to date

rat-dressed-upWell, tail at the ready, this old rat has just installed Windows Live Writer.

I was a touch nervous as I really don't like anything MSN flavored normally, and in fact have MSN blocked on my router.

But I have installed it and am trying it right now!

So paws crossed, eyes shut and tail firmly clenched ...




"pant pant pant"

Er ... I will be back shortly! Tags: ,

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ah, the racists nibble back!

Diary Addendum - 26th June 2007, about half past seven.

Some 18 months ago I wrote a short post about a bigoted little site called Majority rights, or some such. It basically said they were a horde of puerile gits and we should ignore them.

Much to my surprise, today someone posted a comment to this very old article. It read:

Dismissing opposing ideas as "racist" or "against human rights" is easy and callous, but regrettably all too common. Perhaps you discourage your readers from visiting the site lest they agree with some of the arguements made? Best to put your head in the sand and not participate in a debate - why, you might be persuaded that you're wrong. And we wouldn't want that now would we? (I have left his spelling mistakes)

Now this person is either part of that rather horrific little enterprise, or just a cowardly, sad little fellow; for all their wonderful words, they had not the guts to put their name, even a nick-name to the comment.

So I have rejected the comment (as it would have been buried many posts ago and out of people's gaze) and put it here so we can all giggle at it in our own, wonderfully multicultural time.

You see, unlike with many subjects where there are more than one justifiable argument, with racism there is no justifiable argument - it is hideous, destructive and full of loathing and bigotry, however it is presented.

Oh, come on, if I am not allowed to be nasty to racists who try and cover up their paranoia and fear of other cultures behind so-called learned texts about sick ideas like "Ethnic Racial Interests", then who can I be nasty to?

All together now - laugh at the bigots!


It's a Sheep!

Just rushing by, and really can't stay long!

It appears that one of the more garrulous Tory Darlings, one Mr. Quentin Davies has finally gotten fed up with Boy Cameron and has done a flying leap across the house to join the Labour benches.

A Europhile by nature, this precocious individual has had an unremarkable career in the diplomatic service, followed by hi-jinx with industry and finally ended up in a Tory safe seat in 1987.

Since then he has held several posts under Thatcher and was a member of the treasury select committee. In opposition he had a front bench cushion with Bill Hague speaking on Social Security (as one of the richest of the house he is well versed on that!) then he did Northern Ireland with IDS and International Select Committee with Dracula. During this time he and one of his shepherds got fined for mistreating sheep, whatever that means.

One way or another he has quite a lot of experience and, as we all know, Och Aye Brown is head-hunting.

Still, interesting to see how he fits in.

In his parting shot to the Boy he said: "Under your leadership the Conservative Party appears to me to have ceased collectively to believe in anything, or to stand for anything ... Although you have many positive qualities you have three, superficiality, unreliability and an apparent lack of any clear convictions, which in my view ought to exclude you from the position of national leadership to which you aspire and which it is the presumed purpose of the Conservative Party to achieve." Ouch!

Toodle pip!


And Baaaaaa!

Quentin Davies

Get Rich Quick Scheme for Young Victoria

Diary entry for Monday, 25th June 2007

It seems that the world of celebrity has never been in better shape. As I write these very words, little skinny Victoria (Beckham, by marriage) is running to the bank with a little windfall gained from Star Magazine. (Sorry, it is a Google cached page as they are off-line at moment)

It appears that the ignoble tome published some article where a crew member mumbled that VB could be “full of herself and not very nice.” Now, although all of us at one time or another have probably suffered far worse slurs than this, when you are such a little wall flower, like our Victoria, these comments really cut to the core.

It is all that thing about image, I suppose. It has become frightenly important in society these days. Time was that image was all about who your father or mother was. Riches were not so much earned as passed on, and the magazines were respecting of the people that filled their pages, and therefore justified the cover price.

Mind you, most celebrities of that time did hunt on a weekend, and magazine editors were all too aware that there is a fine line between guest and prey, if you get my drift.

Of course, times have changed, and it is now the celebrities who are wary of the editors. This is fine for those who have come from nowhere to fill that job vacancy of “being famous.” But for those born to it, it has become most tiresome. Many of the traditional celebrity families have gone into business, shoved the stately pile into the trusting hands of The Trust or English Heritage, and are far more likely to be found parking their Yacht in lesser know ports like Puerto Andrax than getting fleeced by the paparazzi outside of some club. Not all succeed, though. One royal prince has made a couple of errs in that direction and as for certain Heiresses, especially to hotel chains, well, this is what happens when the parents have no notion as to when and how to debut their daughter. She ends up doing it herself all over the internet!

Back to Little Mrs Beckham, I can’t really see her causing over much trouble, except if she got panicky. Many years ago, when the Spice Girls first launched their debut single, they came into the studio to record a syndicated radio interview. While they were there, we also asked them to record some A Cappella little idents for various DJs – the resulting flattery would help get the interview played. A little wobbly on their platform heels, they did an okay job – nothing so bad that a bit of reverberation wouldn’t sort out. And since Mel B had been performing in Cabaret in Blackpool for several years already, I kept her voice strongly out the front.

As for Victoria, however, initially I thought she hadn’t been singing the level was so low. But a little fiddling and I realised she was there – bless her, but I think the girl was nervous.

Remember, these were early days for this lot, and despite their brashness and bravado, and desperately trying to live up to the “girl power” image their management had dreamed up for them, they hadn’t yet come across many knackered old sound engineers like me, who tended to keep proceedings going at an almighty pace, and has an unfortunately good ear and hatred of using Auto Tune.

They did okay in the end. None of them are stunning singers or musicians or actresses or beauties or anything else really. But together they were a bit of fun – and sometimes that is all that is needed.

So, Little Victoria, go and bank the money and tell the nasty little magazine to go and stick it’s head in a bucket!


Friday, June 22, 2007

Wet voting papers at dawn!

Diary entry for Friday, 22nd June 2007

I can get very miserable at times. It takes a certain combination of unnecessary lumps in my life to achieve the state, but on occasions, a little like an obscure alignment of planets, things come together and I feel heaped upon!

The first one is tiredness. This I get in random amounts with no basis on the amount that I have had in sleep the night before. It is very computer orientated – or should I type “oriented” as lazy people do these days? Back in earlier eras, the quill was a very important form of communication. It had a certain method about it that brought the mind in line with the paper, or papyrus if you are that old, long before the need arose to start with the words.

First one picked ones feather – not too fresh, unless you enjoy being chased by next door’s prize goose. Next involved a gentle settling into ones favoured writing chair. Now, out with the knife, and a thoroughly therapeutic trimming of the above feather. Lay down the cut and split quill at the neat groove at the top of the lectern, and take from within blotter, ink and paper – always in alphabetical order!

Pour a little ink, not too much, into the ink well (expertly polished by the man, or course) straighten the paper, lift the quill, ink it and begin.

To be honest, by the time that rigmarole had been completed one had more or less written the piece in your head and the process of writing might as well have been copying.

Today however, I pressed the W on my computer and empty and hungry page leapt before my eyes. The machine might as well have yelled WRITE at me as it did so. Oh, the pressure of having to be so immediate is quite exhausting!

The next planet in my unhappy constellation is Europe. It is that time again. That yearly ritual when we bang heads in Brussels trying to make the Great European Experiment finally work, while trying not to remember that the real reason for this is to stop us Euros from shooting each other. Don’t mention the war, is the mantra. Someone forgot to tell the Poles, however, and they wanted to pilfer some votes from the Germans in return for having so many of their population killed in 1939 onwards. Well, that brought on winter a little more rapidly than expected!

This outing they are trying to get Europe to work with the efficiency of a single country without it actually looking like a single country. Because if it does look like a single country no one will want it.

It is like a family. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins – they all get a lot nicer when they go back to their OWN homes on boxing day, don’t you think?

Trouble is, Europe is one big country really, and always has been – at least since we out-bred, or wiped out, the Neanderthals, or whatever we did to them. You can tell we are – we like beating each other up way too much to be just occasional friends. We just have to be related!

A miserable alignment, I find needs a minimum of three sad planets. In reality, if it has any more one would rarely notice: after the first three one is far too busy being miserable.

Michael Portillo: The Future of the RightThird on my list is Michael “Twinkle Toes” Portillo. (Pron: Poor Tee Yo, or not, as the case may be)

Twinkle Toes, named for his ability to gently hop from one position to another, gives us the outpourings of his mind on a regular basis in the London Times. Being a foreigner really, his take on anything European can be more educated that most – well, at least until he tries to assimilate that into British Politics.

He should know that us Foreigners are genetically incapable of understanding the Anglo Saxon version of how to get on with their European Brothers. Therefore it is almost completely pointless to try.

But try, Twinkle Toes does.

I include this little offering:

“Most voters care little about Europe. They do not like it much and they do not want Britain to be drawn in deeper. They might once have been scared into accepting the euro, but Britain has held aloof since it was created and they can see that we have prospered. If the new constitutional treaty - whatever it contains - were put to the vote, it would probably perish.

“Voters are not obsessive. Obsession is a condition that affects politicians only. Obsession creates a gulf between politicians and their public because it reveals them to be other-worldly. Cameron needs to keep his obsessive’s under wraps.”

M. Portillo

Oh, Michael, dearest Michael! It is not that they don’t care, or understand, they have just been told what to think for so long that they have forgotten to think for themselves!
Hurumph! Do I believe that? No. But Borosso, the President of the wretched European Commission does – and he has the influence of a falling elephant, so that means something.
So, I am miserable. And I am hot. And I really want to compose something meaningful, but I can’t even get through chopsticks without reading the score. How useless am I this day?
I think I shall go into a corner and chew on the end of my tale.

Nobody (And feeling like it)

Monday, June 18, 2007

WE chose who’s honoured, not you!

Diary entry for Monday, 18th June 2007

It is that delicious time in June when all hard working civil servants run down the school corridors, anxiously cueing up at the school notice board to get the end of year results.

Who will be ringing the bells with their new gong? Will Chiverly-Morris get his bath orders? Has Jiggery-Spitell got an M or an O?

This year it appears I have been disappointed again. It would seem that my book about how The Prophet was a nice man really simply did not upset enough people. Even my publisher, who may or may not have forgotten to publish it.

Sir Salman RushdieHowever, that Rushdie fellow may be not so impressed with his prize. Because, by a calamitous oversight by the Prime Ministers office, someone forgot to consult the Pakistani Government to rubber stamp the final list. Had they remembered this necessity, dear Salman may have missed out on not only a Knighthood, but the possible necessity of going back into hiding.

One has to remember, you see, that there is a large part of this world who believes that they have the right to tell the rest of us what to think and believe; how to behave and which laws to follow. And surprisingly, that is not always the Americans.

Lord AhmedIn this case it also includes the Labour Peer Lard Ahmed. While conceding on News 24 that he never got round to burning Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses”, he did leave the impression that knighting one of the countries best writers was a mistake and that perhaps letting him publish in the first place was also a mistake, free speech being so important and everything. His free speech not ours, apparently. He also said that there are loads of great writers out there who should have been honoured instead who did not insult a religion.

Perhaps he would be thinking of Michael Palin, CBE, for his script for Life of Brian. He’s a good writer. And I rather enjoyed Life of Brian.

Maybe he thinks we shouldn’t have offered a knighthood to Alan Bennett. After all, being gay is an effrontery to Islam and Christianity. I certainly doubt that I will be offered by favoured Gong after this. Since I am an Atheist and think all religions stink like a dung heap.

So, all in all, between Lord Ahmed and the ridiculous minister of religion in Pakistan and, for that matter the Pakistani foreign minister, my enjoyment of the Birthday Honours has been thoroughly squashed – well that and the fact that I appear to have dropped off the list again ….


Friday, June 15, 2007

Supermarket Chuckle

Side note: 15/06/07

Oh, what a wheeze! With copious amounts of rain falling on our green and pleasant, erm, green, I took to following a little paper trail. I fancied a visit to the Internet homestead of the British Retail Consortium, which as far as I can tell is the mouthpiece of Tescos. I only say this for whenever I hear their representative, Dr. Kevin Hawkins (Safeways), speak on TV or the wireless, they are always defending Tescos.

They are also the brains behind the almost completely indecipherable nutritional info that they have used rather than the delightful little traffic light system that the noble Food Standards Agency recommended after a thorough 2 year study. (But then the food standards agency doesn't have Tesco as its leading member.)

Anyway, while on the website I noted a section about myths in the retail industry. One of these is, apparently, that small, local and totally independent shops are being driven out of business by the big chains and the out of towners. The BRC completely rebuff the All-Party report from 2006, calling it badly argued. They said that their figures didn't add up as if the independent sector reduced as the report claimed that there would be no one left by 2015. However. the BRC forget to tell you that as old shops close, new ones do open - even if they are hounded out by artificially high rents caused by the chains being prepared to offer more money.

Instead, the BRC suggest that one reads the more credible and balanced report by the totally independent, international think tank and registered charity, the IGD. (Who?) Well, I went to find out who this acclaimed and noble body was.

The answer was in the list of trustees for the organisation:

Name Title Company
Mr I Bacon Chief Executive, Sugars, Europe Tate & Lyle Sugars Europe
Mr D Blackhurst Trading Director Food ASDA Stores Ltd
Mr M Coupe Trading Director Sainsbury's Ltd
Mr A Garden General Manager - Western Europe Procter & Gamble AG
Mr C Hutchison Vice President, Europe Wilkinson Sword Ltd
Mr P Kelly Group Corporate Affairs Director Compass Group plc
Mr D Kittmer UK Finance Director, Petcare Masterfoods (Division of Mars UK Ltd)
Mr S Newiss FIGD Vice President, Global Customers, KIC Kraft Food
Garry Price Chief Financial Officer, UK & Ireland H J Heinz Co Ltd
Mr V Robinson Director of Sales Nestlé UK Ltd
Mr T Smith Sales Director Unilever Bestfoods UK
Mr D Turner Chief Executive Officer One Stop Stores Ltd (Tesco)

Obviously, a robust and totally independent body



PS: The tactic during interviews that the BRC have taken against the traffic light system is to make people think that there would be one traffic light (red, green or amber) for the whole of the packaging. In reality, each of the main areas of fat, salt, sugar, etc are traffic lighted. So you might have a red for salt, green for sugar, amber for fat. Clever huh? Read THIS article to get a clear picture.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A hundred trees and not one good word!

Diary entry for Thursday, 14 June 2007

Falling flat on ones face while stepping out of the old abode is, quite frankly, hardly the most edifying of sights. Nor is it one of the most expected. Though I suppose that would depend on the why one fell.

It started last night. Mrs Benedict, she of the more Catholic persuasion, held a small soiree for those of a literary bent. I, a small time wordsmith, invited as much out of courtesy as anything else, received my invitation but 30 minutes before the expected event. If ever an action were to lead one to believe that one was “filling a suddenly vacant chair,” then that would be it.

Attached to the invitation was a hastily scribed note requesting that perhaps I might say a few words to the assembled guests about literary experiences? It was one of those things that each one of us was no doubt likely to have to do. However, others of the assembled would probably have a little more time in preparation; for instance, finding out a little about the other guests. If I had sent a lad with a message to find out such delicacies, I would have arrived at the house at the same time as he; so it was pointless.

That morning I had been reading an interview with our dear First Lord (otT). It had taken me around 6 minutes to read at a leisurely pace and yet was billed as a thorough comment on his career prior to his impending retirement. It struck me then that the writer must have left out vast amounts of the original transcript in order to cram this witless little piece into it’s allotted column inches. Further study revealed how what was left so neatly coincided with this particular news journals tepid view of our FL (otR).

Ah! Thought I. A subject for the attention of the guests. I shall enthral them with my observances on the nature of modern political journalism in our over communicated environment.

Things never go as neatly as intended, and an argument over a bent penny with a London Cabby left me running the remaining 5 streets to the home of Mrs Benedict. This was especially galling as she lives but 5 streets from chez moi! Needless to say, I was one and a half courses late into a three course supper and had hardly had time to seat myself and offer my apologies than I was upstood once more to give my short deliverance.

Perhaps it was the fine Porter, but four sentence in I found myself in full flow. I offered up the problems I had had in communicating to the press in assured detail, when they had little time but to grab my first sentence and run. I described the spectacle of a rabid press, a feral pack, so desperate for a story that they ignore much else around them. I spoke of my own inadequacies in communicating clearly. I fleshed out the argument that the partnership between press and politics had become so keen as to alienate the general public. All in all it was a sound performance, well balanced, hardly laying much blame, but simply exploring a most difficult subject.

And then this morning came, and one of those details that I had had no time to investigate rose it’s face in a ten foot high pile of tree pulp, laced with vitriol, inaccuracy, and slander.

As I disentangled myself from the pile of First Editions stacked purposefully on my doorstep I realised that my assembled audience had been none other than representatives of the very media that I had referred to. On reading their comments, not one availed them selves of the balance that I so carefully put forward. Not one was interested in my admissions of failings in my own dealings with the press. All had just picked up on one word, Feral, and had built an entire fabrication around that.

Pah! Ungrateful, spiteful, arrogant lot! And to think I had been so kind, too!


See also:

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Media, The politician and Mrs Peach

Diary entry for Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Mrs Peach is a round woman. This is not, in my opinion, an insult, but more of an affectionate nod in the direction of roundness. Mrs Peach is also an efficient woman. Efficient in so much as what ever she starts to say, you can be certain that by hook or by crook, in spite of wind, rain or a blizzard, Mrs Peach will finish saying.

Efficiency and Roundness, all packaged in one person who is determined to delay the start of my, as you should know, important day. Not more important than any other, but important in the way that any day should be important.

I caught the beginning of what Mrs Peach had to say; it was roughly located in the direction of the somewhat unpredictable postal delivery in our Green. I also caught the latter end, the part where, despite protestations, I eventually made my escape. This part centred itself on the fact that our current, but rapidly fading, Prime Minister was going to at last tell the press where to stick it. That is correct; the woman said “stick it.” She didn’t say precisely where it was going to be stuck or, indeed, what “it” was, but stuck it was definitely going to be.

Unfortunately, and commonly, I did not absorb the middle part of the lecture that may have explained to me the connection between the first part and the last part. However, this would have to wait, and as I circumnavigated the efficient lady, I bid her a sunny day and attempted NOT to run to the waiting hackney carriage.

The Cabbie was a little clearer, in that he separated the two subjects for me (admitting ignorance of our green’s postal service) and concentrating on the speech made by Mr. Anthony Blair, First Lord of the Treasury. It appears that he feels very hard done by, “I mean right hard done by, if you get my drift sir!” The hard donners being the massed feral pack of the media.

One cannot help but have a momentary pang of sympathy for a man who has been media-pummelled so relentlessly of recent. But this pang should be, in truth, but momentary as it is the media not the PM that supplies one’s morning literature. And as I actually put my hand in my pocket to pay for such, I have loyalty if not to the organs, but definitely to my wallet.

Passing past the surprisingly dusty visage of the Labour Party Chairwoman, I had time to disseminate the entire context of the speech; graciously and, one hopes, accurately transcribed by Auntie:

John Snow, the anchor of the Channel 4 News programme, around a year ago on a rare debate appearance, said that he felt that the news people had got the balance wrong and that in a bid to "confront" the politician the answers required by the viewer were lost. Or something like that. A year on and I would say his style has not changed, though he did say at the time that perhaps it should. And Nicholas Robinson, Aunties reckless young Political Editor, has blogged noticeably about the subject.

He appears to be worried that Blair, and indeed others have traded accuracy in their reporting for impact. As if they would!

I kind of see is ire over this but I think journalists have traded accuracy somewhat, though not for impact, but intrigue. Over the years I have had many journalists wander through my line of sight, and I was often bemused by how their infatuation with intrigue, with the Westminster Village, would completely subjugate the heart of the story.

It is that old “affair” argument. Can a minister who has had an affair really do his or her job properly?

In reality? Of course he or she can. And do. John Major, the last First Lord that the Tories managed to put up, seems to be a prime example here. So much was he able to do his job that nobody even noticed he was having an affair till his partner in crime wrote about it in a book many years later.

However, can the politician do their job properly when the masses of the media will not let them alone over the affair?

No, they can’t.

But the public, to whom the politician is the servant, expects the job to be done. Indeed, we pay for the job to be done. But the intrusion of the press, the feral battle for those precious column inches, prevents that from happening.

The intrigue goes further. How often in reports has one heard “sources close to …?”

If a news journalist were submitting such an article to the Wikipedia, it would very soon be marked as not meeting standards as it was full of unsubstantiated claims. And quite rightly too! And yet politicians and journalists alike use this form of news dissemination more and more frequently and expect us, the paying public, to just except it. This is sort of taking us for granted and in the context of “news” rather than “views” should not be acceptable. Politicians and Journalists shouldn’t expect the public trust, they should earn it – with accuracy, substantiated fact and clear, unbiased opinion.

There is also the messy area of personality and celebrity.

When Mr Robinson interviews Mr. Prescott, to some it would be difficult to argue which is the most famous. Or which was just Rory Bremnner.

Dear Reader, it is not in my interest to shun celebrity, but it does well to admit the pressures that such an office can put on the way one delivers one’s life to the masses. Take the postal problems of our green. Now, the round lady may be having problems with the delivery of her favoured periodical, but those such as I survive on the literary content of the large sack of letters that our postman has to stagger under the weight of before he has even the chance to collect post for any other green dweller. Such is the price that has to be paid by the celebrity and everyone within a half furlong radius.

The journalist has become celebrity in this age of the media pack; one who must balance the needs of his editor with the needs of his agent. It would be a brave person who attempted to put those two into any sort of list of priorities!

So, I reflect, as I pick my way through the rubble of what had once been a prospective office. I reflect on the flashing bulbs and incautious pens of the media, I reflect on the departing back of the dusty candidate for the Labour Party deputy leadership, and most of all, I reflect that tomorrow morning I will leave my house, overlooking our green, by the backdoor!


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Logo Arrogance

BBC NEWS | UK | Olympic inspectors to visit site

And at the press conferance we were hit by a wonderful moment of arrogance when Lord Coe admitted that the logo had been signed off by the International Olympic Committee in Febuary - three months before they actually asked the public whether they liked it.

You can really go off people!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Sign the Olympic Logo Petition!

The debate about the obnoxious London 2012 logo has not yet gone away.

In fact there are TWO petitions to sign. So, why not sign both?

The Go petition has been extended, so you can still sign that one:

And you can sign one that goes to the Prime Minister too:

What are you waiting for?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Scrap the new London 2012 Olympic Logo - quick!

London 2012 logoThe London Olympic committee launched its new logo yesterday to gasps of derision.

Londoners hate it:

5000 odd people have posted their hatred on two BBC sites:

and ...

13,000 people have signed an online petition so far:

According to the Times, even Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London, hates it.

And people have been writing to the papers, phoning radio stations - you name it, people have complained about it!

But why?

It is simple. This waste of graphical space has just cost $400,000 pounds and wasted an entire year of our time.

Logos have a very fixed role in advertising terms.

  • They must be instantly identifiable
  • They must be easy to understand
  • They must NOT rely on technology to make them exciting since the greatest use is always in the static form
  • They must convey simple facts - in this case 3 facts: London, Olympics, 2012
  • They must not try and convey deep meanings as this over complicates them, but help make the complicated bits more accessible and identifiable.

Finally, they really should not cost a fortune. Whether you are a company or a committee, you ALWAYS have more important things to spend money on.

Now I know that the £400,000 is apparently private money, but watch how much public money is spent on trying to make this waste of space exciting - all that extra cash in animating it every which way, thousands of pounds putting it everywhere, hoping the public will grow to love it.

And then there are the sponsors. When they buy into something like the Olympics, they get to use the logo. Except everyone thinks the logo is a joke. How will that make the sponsors feel?

One person on the BBC site commented that this will make Britain a Laughing Stock. Lord Seb Coe, who arrogantly is ignoring the public and defending the indefensible, should start listening, listening hard!

Meanwhile - go sign the petition, and if the downing street lot ever get their fingers out and authorize one of the many attempts for a petition on there, sign that too! Oh, and moan on the BBC site and everywhere else.

It would be nice if the government listened to it's paymasters for once!