Musings From The Padded Cell

Airfix For Adults

“To show how this decision was based on imperfect knowledge, which will now become informed knowledge.”
Mr T.Blair, urging a rethink on Brexit, conveniently forgets sexed-up dossiers, somewhere called Iraq and a career built on lying through his teeth.

There…I feel much better now!

My old blow-away greenhouse.

No more talk of Old Sleazy here I promise and on with real life.

I recently took delivery of a new greenhouse, all neatly bound in cardboard and cellophane, my summer mistress about to be unwrapped.

Not having any great pedigree in erections, nevertheless I decided to take it slow, trying to avoid panic or over-excitement.

The instructions advised a long, slim tool and a few plugs to boot. Fingers would be fine but numbness may set in so I hoped my tool was up to it. My dimly lit garage was cluttered; I decided to have a clear out to avoid undue fumbling in the dark.

I told myself to concentrate on one bit at a time and not to try anything I was not entirely sure of. Eventually, it rose hopefully to stand proud for many summers to come; or at least until a hard wind blew.

Brave New World?

I attempted to make an enquiry for the cricket club the other day re broadband. Why, you might ask?

Last week I attended a presentation from CRICHQ apparently the world leader in cricket websites. It is like a porn site for cricket statisticians.

There are apps for everything under the sun bar finding twenty-two fit players and two tea ladies each week. Nor have they yet to find an app that can sit on a roller with their extremities dropping off in the freezing rain.

Our hosts were keen to show us how we could interact with fellow players during a game. You can even watch a live Bradford League game this summer if your life is that devoid of excitement.

It struck me that, as the custodians of grassroots sport and the last hope for any kid wishing to avoid becoming a fat slob from the age of twelve, we were being encouraged to get them even more glued to electronic devices just as we had got them playing sport.

We score our games “live” now at the behest of our league and no doubt the worldwide audience is hooked weekly by our mediocrity. Perhaps this is why men buy greenhouses to avoid the temptation of Googling the local cricket scores?

Apparently we use something called a Dongle. So I thought I would enquire as to the cost of broadband and show I was on board the digital train.

As we are with BT this seemed a good place to start. Unfortunately it was like having a conversation from It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. I kid you not, they employ people the other side of the world on a pittance presumably just to hack customers off.

Over here they lavish billions on football but cannot afford to employ staff who can speak English. After several phones calls I gave up, not having a degree in Pidgin and before I said something I would regret. The Dongle it is.

Bitter Blow

Although I have cancelled my subscription to Private Eye, opposed as I am to their whining about Brexit, the recent issue continues their admirable stance against the pub operating companies (pubcos).

These businesses have fleeced the pub industry for many years driving up the price of a pint far above inflation by their sharp practices.

So you might think that the appointment of an adjudicator to oversee the hard fought for pubs code introduced in 2016 would be a step towards a fairer deal?

Unbelievably, the adjudicator, Paul Newby, was previously a director of Fleurets a company who offer “strategic advice and consultancy services …to operators, landlords, banks, insolvency practitioners and private equity funds” i.e. pubcos.

As Private Eye points out: “It later emerged that he (Newby) still holds shares in and has loans to Fleurets”.

In six months Newby has had 121 cases to review and yet has not made a decision on one. Yet the Government still consider there to be no conflict of interest nor “a reasonable perception of bias.” And we keep paying his salary for doing bugger all.

Small wonder most of us know they all piss in the same pint pot?

Pass The Buck Lane – How Councils Lie

Here’s a little story about how politics works at local level. This is how people are treated with contempt, especially when they can’t vote you out because you represent other idiots who live miles away from where you are.

In the path of naked ambition from those desperate to climb onto the gravy train, the truth is merely incidental.

Back in 2010 the local rag proclaimed: The district’s economy will suffer if plans for a huge business park are unsuccessful, according to a report commissioned by Bradford Council. That, in itself, should have been enough to get alarm bells ringing.

The plan submitted was to turn green space in Buck Lane, off Otley Road, Baildon, into a hi-tech business park…to create 723 jobs. The usual mix of offices, a business centre, a hotel, a restaurant and shops were all promised.

Bradford was going to have it’s own silicon valley – hoorah?

Young Dave complete with Ratners 2010 collection

Councillor Dave Green (remember him?) boldly claimed: “Buck Lane will be built with the needs of hi-tech industries in mind.” This from a man that gave the impression he would not know an iPod from a pea pod during his several years in high office.

Move forward five years and what progress? Well maybe not much of a technological boost but the new Morrisons would surely sell batteries!

“Damn that autocue! Help?”

Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe (all the usual suspects), executive member for employment, said: “The approved plans…included an area for a small scale retail development…I’m pleased the developer has been able to secure the Morrisons brand for this site.

“The initial outline…has inevitably been refined over time.” she babbled meaning – in Plain English – what we promised was a load of old cobblers. But who cares, perhaps you’ve all forgotten?

Move on again a year with plans approved to construct a further three industrial units and still promises – despite no evidence yet based on the existing tenants – of hi-tech companies.

The last word to my old colleague and resident of Baildon, Bob Watson who wrote to the local rag back in 2015 with a bit more precision that Green or Hinchcliffe could manage.

Bradford Council promised that this site would be for high-tech businesses, have prestigious buildings, and produce well over 700 jobs. And what have we ended up with? Some glorified sheds, little high-tech business and few jobs.

That’s how they work down in old La La Land.

Only this week another Buck Lane style proposal unquestioningly reported by the local rag – see this – and yet more promises of “hundreds of jobs“.

Roll on a few years and anyone want to bet against the outcome Bob describes above whilst the ridiculous new incinerator pollutes the air down the valley and beyond?

Footnote – of the four well-established businesses that have relocated to the sheds, none could be described as hi-tech. Nor do any represent the original claims of hundreds of jobs.

Still, who cares when you’re sitting pretty in your refurbished office in La La Land?

One Hundred Years Ago

In dealing with the probable conditions after the war, Mr J J Booth, president of the Bradford Cricket League, made a passing reference to county cricket.

In his opinion county cricket, as known before the war, is doomed. He pointed out that there will be fewer amateurs available who can be spared from business to play six days a week.

It is equally true there will be comparatively few people with sufficient leisure to spend six days a week watching cricket. That every available man and woman should do some productive work after the war will be imperative.

The Bradford League has been criticised for carrying on playing during the war, it having been said that it is ‘unseemly’ for cricket to continue.

Mr Booth neatly turned this criticism by saying that to be spending six days a week on cricket or any sport after the war would be more ‘unseemly’ still, especially as the nation would require the maximum production.

We agree with Mr Booth in the opinion that the future success of cricket is with those organisations which cater for the best class of cricket possible after the week’s labour is ended and that it must fit the strenuous times which are ahead by being keen and sparkling.

All In It Together

Would you hug this?

Beer time!

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  1. Don’t get me started on Diane Abbott… but if you’ve cancelled your sub to PE and are still quoting from it does that mean you are still buying it even if you no longer subscribe? Very silly if that is the case, it is far more pricey that way.

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