Category Archives: Brentian Man

How to get work done at work

Just as TED talks are becoming the subject of well-deserved parody1, via Business Insider, I find an old one  (2010) with useful things to say. Here, Jason Fried suggests ways the office can become a more productive place. I’m not entirely convinced by all of his solutions, but he doesn’t claim they are solutions. By the way, my answer […]

Identity Crisis

This week, a friend of mine who still reads The Guardian [online—does anyone not looking for a public sector job still pay for the print edition?] drew my attention to a piece there about how success by the Liberal Democrats at the upcoming General Election could “push out black and Asian MPs”. That is, because the […]

v v good fun

This [HD YouTube video] is a bonkers slab of wonderfully British-sounding soul-pop from V VBrown. Shame about the over-compressed production/mixing/mastering that turns every peak into white noise. This [HD YouTube video—censored version] is an equally bonkers slab of ironic hair metal from the self-proclaimed “modern Spinal Tap“, Steel Panther. I know it’s meant to be a […]

Single Transferable Mope

I picked up this Prospect blogpost, via the magazine’s twitter feed, where it carried a headline that falls into the Kamm/Rentoul category of “Great Historical Questions To Which The Answer Is ‘No’.“: “Is Afghanistan Obama’s Vietnam?” The article itself doesn’t bother with the question mark, but is a classic of the “another Vietnam” genre, once […]

Son Of English Teacher Resists Using Name Of Austrian Modernist Writer In Blog Post About Interminable Bureaucratic Torment

For the past four years, I have been involved in a dispute with a utility company over a sum that ultimately amounted to several thousand pounds. The company will remain nameless here because, today, thanks to the intervention of the relevant government watchdog, we finally settled without having to go to court. It is a […]

“Bringing this agenda towards fruition”

The resignation of Hazel Blears reminded me again that this nation’s government now has a “Department for Communities”. Letting that phrase pass my lips without implied quotation marks would be like vomiting into my mouth without washing it out. Thanks to Kevin Harris’s “neighbourhoods” blog, I can sample a little of that department’s output, a […]

The Squeaky Wheelchair

Paul Evans worked for a company that built Websites for political organizations long before the current crop of johnny-come-latelys started twittering about “digital engagement” and “campaigning 2.0″. This post of his about the kinds of people who use the Net to harass politicians and the kind of people politicians should listen to—two groups that, in […]

How I Became A Blogger

My getting into this game had nothing to do with some kind of 9/11 epiphany. No, it was the insanity of the property bubble that started me writing spoofs and screeds on the Web, originally at the excellent, skeptical, principled, and free Motley Fool UK site. I retired from posting on its “Property: Markets and […]

He Came From Planet Bathos

Some might question my claim to geekhood on the grounds that I have never read Tolkein or Herbert. Frank Herbert’s Dune is frequently described as the best science fiction novel ever. Over the past few weeks I have been reading a little bit more of it every evening before going to sleep. Whatever else it […]

Cliquey Back-Slapping

One of the nicest things about blogging is being able to congratulate other bloggers on (what you believe to be) good blogging, so it’s unfortunate in a way when you are seen as part of a gang because, if you congratulate another supposed gang member, then doing so looks like cliquey back-slapping. Worse, if the […]

Living In A Box

You don’t have to be a restaurant boss to be shocked by the size of this packaging. Like this:Like Loading…

British Tin Foil Hats For British Tin Foil Hat Wearers

The best way to reveal the true political colours of a bloggertarian is to call his bluff: there’s usually a good old-fashioned red-faced colonel underneath the shiny modern exterior. Right Next Time nails the UK Libertarian Party: all liberty, all the time, for all of the people—except for Johnny Foreigner. Like this:Like Loading…

Bin Laden Still Trapped In Underground Bunker Behind Wall Of Rubble With Only Webcam, Grecian 2000, And “Comment Is Free” For Company

“Gradually restores natural looking color to gray hair” It’s rambling, lying, conspiracist bollocks from a mass-murderer in a silly hat. He recommends Chomsky, the Kyoto Protocol, a universal flat tax, and an end to democracy. Someone give him a newspaper column. Whoops. Already been done. I’m not quoting the costumed cock here. You can search […]

Ex-Scientist Recommends Government Offer Financial Incentive To Encourage Members Of CBI To Study Basic Economics

Following on from Tim’s comment, according to BBC News online: More young people would take science degrees if they were given a financial incentive, claim industry experts. […but obviously we’d rather the government came up with this financial incentive while we continue to offer those with science degrees less than they are worth, and complain […]


This has been online for so long and is so funny that it’s hard to believe that no one has sent me a link to it before. Perhaps this is because it’s a German health and safety video and, for the first minute or so, is exactly as entertaining as that description suggests. But it […]

The Pathetic Bookshop

It is an important day for Britain. Since the abrupt collapse of our manufacturing base, our economy depends heavily upon fictional characters. Together, Lara Croft, James Bond, The Teletubbies, Simon Cowell, and Harry Potter now account for 43 percent of GDP. From time to time, J K Rowling dials 141, calls Buckingham Palace, and mutters quietly: “I […]

Round-Up For The Run Ragged

Over the past few days I’ve been busy. I’ll continue to be so over the next few days. Here are quick links to some of the things that have caught my eye lately. Following up my recent post about David Cameron, not only were the voting slips in yesterday’s Ealing Southall by-election labelled “David Cameron’s […]

The Whitney of Witney

British Spin fisks Dave’s “comeback” speech: First up, He keeps on with some horribly mixed metaphor. “then, brick by brick, you build your house. That is the plan I laid out when I became leader of this Party and that is exactly the plan we’ve been following. We started by preparing the ground. We stopped […]

Blogging Of Quality And Distinction

After this, Hamer Shawcross goes onto the ‘roll. Like this:Like Loading…

Rent Boys

A. N. Wilson has been writting cobblers for years. What disturbs me now is that The New York Times seems to be willing to pay him to write cobblers in its pages. Over at Tom Hamilton’s place there’s some more nonsense from Wilson. While you’re at Davos Newbies, I also recommend that you read the […]

They’re On A Mission To Explain And They’re Bringing The Pain

Am I hallucinating? Are any of you lot seeing this too? Right now Jeremy Vine is wearing a Harry Hill shirt and dancing to hip-hop next to a holographic Menzies Campbell. The caption behind him reads “MING’S BLING”. Has BBC Election Special turned into The Day Today? UPDATE: Iain Duncan Smith has just said of […]

If This Is The Answer…

They call themselves “Paramount Vehicle Solutions“, perhaps because the vehicles they sell are seen by some as a solution to the problem of having a small penis, but would you hand over seventy thousand pounds to someone who thinks the plural of “Aston Martin” is “Aston Martin’s”? Like this:Like Loading…

Shady Character

Having enjoyed “Guido Fawkes’s” (dis)appearance yesterday evening on Newsnight over my lunch today, there’s only one thing I’d change about my post on political blogging from last week: I’d call it “Squeaky Man”. I recommend this Google Blogsearch as well. In particular, whilst ranting about Tories, “Hamer Shawcross”, another anonymous watcher-of-parliament, captures something of Fawkes’s […]

Intensive Care

Over the past few years, both here and elsewhere, I have from time to time suggested that Robbie Williams is an individual of limited talent whose output has consisted mainly of hamfisted pastiche, northern English karaoke of the sort that belongs alongside the deliberately lighthearted performances of stand-up comedian Peter Kay rather than next to […]


Yesterday I had two meetings in London, so I spent a bit of time on the Tube. I am fascinated by posters on the Underground. There’s an hilariously “retro” one for the Cyprus tourist board up at the moment that I imagine being devised by two sideburned ad execs, fresh from lunch in the pub […]

Grammar Horror

[Brace yourself, dad.] I’m shopping around for a colocation service—crudely, a secure shed with a big pipe to the Net where I can install a server. As you’d expect I’ve been checking out local companies. One I won’t be using is Intramedia. The front page of their Website is dominated by what I suppose I […]

Demos Appoints New Director. English Language Surrenders.

Following the Madeleine Bunting farce, Demos is keen to emphasise the academic credentials of her replacement. Accordingly Demos’s press release announcing the appointment of Catherine Fieschi makes more references to her PhD than if it had been written by the cover designer of a self-help book. It also quotes her reaction to getting the job. […]

Show No Mercy

Their Website‘s tagline could be the most horrible “high concept” conceivable today: “Web 2.0 Reality TV” Their banner photo features a twentysomething in thick-black-rimmed retrospectacles and casual wear carrying a pile of chuggable soft drinks. Their About page contains the following phrases: “captures the promise, the perils, the pride, the pressure, the pain and pitfalls […]


But I’ll believe almost anything of the world of the media. Read the tale of OJ and Judith and Rupert before it disappears behind the New York Times‘ subscription wall. Like this:Like Loading…


Justin of Chicken Yoghurt is wearyingly obtuse in the comments at Never Trust A Hippy. In response to this from Paulie: The prize for the most telling response to the Tim Toulmin /Alistair Campbell dialogue and call for a ‘blogger code of conduct’ surely goes to Chicken Yoghurt. His response is that the blogosphere…. “…hasn’t […]

%d bloggers like this: