GAMBLING’S BACK

The betting industry’s radio commercials are already bark-ing like jackals, heralding “the return of sport”. Sport? Ha! The return of licensed pickpocketing more like. Football is back of course, but in its Covid-19 incarnation is rather like having a non-alcoholic brandy in your decaffeinated coffee, it just doesn’t do anything. With 50% of its attraction as a spectator sport missing (ie the fans), the stadiums of mighty premiership clubs now echo to the individual voices of coaches and sponge-carriers shouting instructions to the players like parents at a school football match. In other words, the experience is rubbish – unless you happen to be “betting in play” as TV pretend hard man and gambling spokesman Ray Winstone might beseech you. On commercial talk radio stations particularly, the ‘actors’ willing to sell their souls as ‘voice-over artistes’ rattle off the statutory disclaimers as though they were put there not to warn of the obvious dangers of gambling addiction, but because they are an unnecessary barrier placed in their way by the Gambling Authority. At the end of their unintelligible verbal gallop, the laughable phrase ‘When the fun stops stop’ is shamelessly spat out with all the conviction of a current cabinet member. The Gambling Act of 2005 states unequivocally that protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling is absolutely paramount, so why do the betting companies feel so confident they can treat these statutory warnings as merely a pesky hindrance to the task of removing money from your wallet? Clearly, the threat of a year in prison and/or a £5,000 fine for contravention is no deterrent at all. Go on! The wife’s purse is on the kitchen table! It’s a dead cert! You can put the housekeeping money back after you collect your winnings!


MAKIN’ SPEAKIN’ NOISES

I see Priti Patel is still tryin’ her best to talk proper. Although speakin’ and readin’ stuff out is not really the Home Secretary’s thing (along with thinkin’, and behavin’ herself when on international duty representin’ her country, and addin’ stuff up), at least she is makin’ an effort. 


SPIT THE DIFFERENCE

In keeping with the mad dash to ease the lockdown, the social distancing rule is being changed. After consulting the science (as Dominic Cummings’ focus groups are referred to) we are informed that the safe distance between people has now been reduced from two metres to one. As everyone walking around Hastings town centre already appears to know, this actually means reducing the distance from 5mm to 1mm. “They can’t miss!” as fish in barrels often complain to each other. Stay alert!


TWIN FREAKS

Dominic Cummings and David Ike – why do we never see them in the same room? They both employ the rambling over-egged prose style of wild-eyed conspiracy bloggers, plainly bonkers but convincing enough to fool the hyper-zealous, pound-shorting members of Boris Johnson’s pirate ship. That, plus their undoubted ability to persuade turkeys to vote for Christmas, points to the suspicion that they are one and the same person. As Japan’s motor industry gives notice of a no-deal pullout from the North East rust belt, the turkeys of Sunderland will be acutely aware that they have had their jobs destroyed by philandering chancers. They voted for Christmas and now they are going to get it.


DAYLIGHT RAABERY

Our foreign secretary, or should I say his ventriloquist Dom Cummings, claims to think that ‘the knee’ is something copied from ‘Game of Thrones’. Dominic Raab knows perfectly well what is meant by ‘the knee’, no one is actually that stupid. This is more dog whistle ‘information’ for his natural constituency, the terminally thick, to hurl around social media like hand grenades. 


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