Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Err... Ken, what about that tenner I lent you?

I don't want to get too carried away with the London mayoral theme, but YouGov asked a fantastic question of voters recently. Which of the candidates would you feel most confident would repay you if you lent them money?

24% opted for the incumbent, Boris Johnson, 18% for former police commander Brian Paddick and just 17% for the former mayor, Ken Livingstone. A whopping 26% couldn't envisage their cash being returned by any of the leading contenders.

My personal view is that bumbling Boris would intend to give the money back and be quite well intentioned, but would almost certainly forget. When prompted, he'd look concerned and promise to take you out for a slap-up meal at some unspecified point in the future.

Paddick probably wouldn't accept your loan without a lot of paperwork to document the transaction.

Ken would refer you to his accountant.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Boris, your generosity knows no bounds

I've just received the latest piece of propaganda from incumbent London Mayor, Boris Johnson, in the run-up to the election on May 3rd.

The Tory toff tries to help me navigate the complex voting process. 'Vote for Boris Johnson as your first choice by marking a cross in column one,' he advises. 'This is essential.'

But then what? There's going to be a second column, Boris. What are my options?

'Then, if you wish,' continues the former Bullingdon Club eccentric, 'vote for your second choice by marking one cross in column two. Your second choice vote is up to you.'

We can rest easy, knowing that democracy is thriving in the heart of the UK's bustling capital. I have permission to vote for ANY candidate as my second choice. They could only dream of freedoms like this in places like Bahrain.



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Inject something new into your holiday plans

I couldn't quite believe my ears the other day when an ad on the music-streaming service Spotify invited me to visit Flu Camp.

The commercial spot was sponsored by a company called Retroscreen Virology Ltd, who are looking for volunteers to earn up to £3,000 staying in a hotel or 'other comfortable facility' for up to a fortnight. Their website promises all mod cons - ensuite bathrooms, wireless internet and Playstation - as well as three square meals a day and a mystery room mate.

By signing up, you're helping develop new vaccines and getting yourself a free medical check-up, which I suppose is not to be sniffed at. They're perhaps pushing their luck though with the claim that it's a place to make new friends and catch up on work and study. So is my local café. But when I visit the café, I don't expect to be offered the nasal sprays, pills, injections or drips which are mentioned on the FAQ page of the Flu Camp site.

There's only one thing that I can't quite glean from the online promotional material. Would I need to be given the flu before I was given the cure for the flu? And if so, would this put me off my three meals a day, work catch-up sessions and new friendship opportunities?

There's probably only one way to find out: a visit to Flu Camp. Unfortunately though, I already have a prior engagement at the Chicken Pox Country Club. I go there every year. Lovely spot.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Talking of rubbish

I've noticed an ad campaign from the Mayor of London on the tube which encourages people to recycle newspapers on the grounds that they block doors and cause delays.

I feel a Freedom of Information request coming on. How many recorded instances are there of newspapers causing delays on underground lines?

If it were real, it would have been used as an excuse in announcements. 'We apologise for the delay, ladies and gentleman. This has been caused by our inability to unwedge a Metro.'