EXCLUSIVE Is it snowing outside? LIVEBLOG

11.26 – still going.

11.20 – yep, more. Bored now.

11.05 – stopped.

10.54 – more snow.

10.46 – snow.

10.42 – SNOW!

10.25 – it’s stopped.

9.58 – It’s started again. The flakes are big, like pieces of breakfast cereal.

9.30 – ooh, it’s stopped.

9.26 – a few lone flakes wafting around in the air now, like dust captured in a ray of sunlight through half closed curtains after someone vigorously hits a plump cushion.

9.22 – Spouse left her car to get the train today anticipating the snow. The car windscreen is covered already.

9.18 – Jesus Christ, it’s here and there’s hundreds of it.

9.10 – nothing yet but it’s grey.

9.0  – Snow has been threatened for the day in the weather forecast and my exclusive public service, “Is it snowing outside?” liveblog is set up primed and ready to go. We are told there will be snow in the mid afternoon.

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a hastily written rubbish topical poem on a parliamentary motion

The good Lord laboured six days on

Nation building thinks John Mason.

No fish based life came from the ocean

To lodge his parliamentary motion

That school’s the place to equate science

With beliefs that sound like real mince.

How does John cope with devolution?

It’s constitutional evolution.

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A carefully considered response to the dispute between a singer and a politician about privilege and the performing arts

























amis 2
















There you go, eh?

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A rubbish topical poem on the choice facing the voters of South Thanet

As Ukip’s electoral carriage

Is based on political marriage

Of ridiculous pat sloganeering

And PR friendly beerienteering

You’d expect scrutiny in a barrage

For commodity broker Nige Farage

But on the box twice or thrice weekly

Old Nick and the boys witter meekly

That issues the others daren’t mention

Should guarantee a Westminster pension.

But  Nige’s vacuity will be shown

By the guv’nor’s very well honed

Pitch to the voters of South Thanet

To choose a genuinely fake utter prannet.

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Front pages

The front pages of a number of British newspapers today confirms a development in the press over recent years. We live in a place where editors decide that they should put a picture of a man being murdered on the front page.

To write it still staggers me, but this has been the case for over three years.

We live in a place where editors decide that they should put a picture of a man being murdered on the front page.

This is the editorial decision in a number of papers. Not to publish the cartoons from the satirical newspaper, as in other countries (and there are reasons for and against doing that); not (as the Independent did) to take one of the many powerful cartoons drawn in response to the atrocity and make that the front page picture; not (as The Guardian and Scottish paper The National did) to concentrate on the vigils in the aftermath, ordinary people gathering together defiant, showing they were not afraid. No. They put a picture of a man being murdered on the front page.

There are issues of decency and dignity around this, and I have blogged about that before after reading an excellent piece by Andrew Collins on the topic. But there are other issues here.

What did the terrorists want the media reaction to be? What do they want on the front pages? What images do they want shared? What video footage? Do they want the murder of innocents played on a loop on rolling news, with video stills blown up to catch all the details of murder on the front pages? Or do they want defiance? Do they want the cartoons? Do they want the ridicule? Do they want the vigils?

I think the editors got it wrong.

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Review of the year

blah blah blah Commonwealth blah blah blah I agree with Usain blah blah blah sodding golf blah blah blah blah cultural energy blah blah blah momentous blah blah blah life changing blah blah blah village halls blah blah blah empowering blah blah blah energised population blah blah blah no one came to our door blah blah blah no posters here blah blah blah much more regionalised campaign than people blah blah blah victory rallies before the blah blah blah yah all right? blah blah blah  unknocked doors blah blah blah yyyyyaaaaaahhhhhhh aaaaaaaallllllllllll rrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhhttttttt? blah blah blah scintillating campaign on social blah blah blah small minority who blah blah blah mass turnout blah blah blah once in a generation blah blah blah (terms and conditions apply) blah blah blah balkanisation of politics blah blah blah bloody awful poetry blah blah blah hate filled misinformation blah blah blah proud to be blah blah blah sodding patriotism blah blah blah Irn bloody Bru blah blah blah think we’re bloody idiots blah blah blah if I see one more person witter on about their bloody journey I’ll blah blah blah hospital blah blah blah more tests blah blah blah well whoop de doo blah blah blah

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The secret milliner, or the triumph of hat over hope.

The competition to be hat wearer of the year is keenly contested. As always a large number of nominations have been submitted. The following post contains only top hats, but not top hats only obviously that would be ridiculous. The longlist will be cut down during the course of day to allow the hat wearer of 2014 to be crowned tomorrow.

_42513145_shetlandalcarmichael4161 - Copy BkVJ31aIQAAz53l brown hat cable hat cameron hat 2 coe clegg hat farage hat ed jaruzelski 2 salmond tunnocks roy keane hat 2 Pope hat Maggie fireman mccririck dr_martin_amis

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Sports personality of the year

The nominees for sports personality of the year are:

Cameron badminton salmond Brown's pledge to boost sport St James Park Westminster London SW1 08/07/13 ed 2 farage balls

Vote now.

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Person of the year

The nominees for person of the year:

jaruzelski chorlton-1a BkVJ31aIQAAz53l amis 2 alf-on-the-phone


keith-vaz-bellydancer-1 roy keane hat 2

Vote now.

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I was never one for climbing trees. Never nimble enough. Heavy-footed, clumsy, lacking the agility of other children. So the tree at the end of my grandmother’s garden, the tree adjoining the cut, the path through from her street to the little shop round the corner where you could buy chocolate buttons, remained unclimbed  (by me, at least). Summer passed, and summer after summer. I grew taller, more awkward, and while I would play in the park at the front of her house, on the swings, and on the roundabout, and on the rocking horse, I’d never climb the tree.

and then one summer, one holiday, dared by a cousin, I clambered up, grasping at branches, and managed to get up, managed to balance on a branch as high as the peak of the roof of the shed in her back guard. I sat on that branch watching her exit the back door, peg out the washing. I sat there, uncomfortably shuffling, as she came out of the kitchen shouting that it was time for lunch. You could smell the soup, a thick lentil soup made with chicken stock.

I never climbed it again.

And years passed and I got older, and the summer of 1988 we didn’t go to my grandmother’s to stay. Instead, we were despatched, billeted to relatives around the country, because my Grandfather was ill. My grandfather, a tall, gentle voiced, dark haired man, was ill, losing weight, his voice a croak where once it was mellifluous and loving. Cancer was killing him and we were not there, not playing in the park, not climbing the tree. And he died. And we cried. And life changed for all of us. Holidays were never quite the same. But that first year was the most difficult.

And that is why on the day the plane fell on the town, my sisters were there. That’s why I was there just before Christmas,  conscious of the stench of kerosene, standing in the kitchen looking past the tree at the top of my grandmother’s garden at the houses to the rear, the houses where windows were smashed, the houses where one seat – visible from my grandmother’s kitchen – was stuck, lodged in a window, the left arm of its occupant lolling to the side; looking past the tree to the hillside to the rear of those houses, where bright sheets and markers were randomly scattered.

And those days after I watched and read lots, watched and read as much as I could to work out what had happened, what on earth had gone on. I was drawn to the coverage, but it didn’t make me feel better, didn’t switch off the dreams. But I couldn’t look away from the stuff. And so soon after, a few days after a muted Christmas, I read Time magazine, and there in the pages was a picture of the tree, and in it, a child, so high.

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The blogpost North Korea tried to ban

[Following representations received the author has agreed to remove this blog post  for reasons of North Korea.

All hail the dear leader.]

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an open letter to Russell Brand

Dear Russell (if I may)

How do?

Give us an autograph.

Yours etc

Ern Malley

ETA (2.32 pm)  PS I now have a bowl of cold soup because of the time I wasted typing this.

ETA (2.44 pm) PPS have been told I need to add some misogyny to get this in the papers. Here goes. Ooh women, you’re scamps. (not sure I’ve got the hang of the casual hatred thing, but hope the papers appreciate the effort)

Ern Malley types his open letter to Russell "the brand" Brand

Ern Malley types his open letter to Russell “the brand” Brand

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Is it snowing outside? – the original liveblog

11.00 – just back. my god, it’s bad. I was stuck for literally seconds after a carol concert.

9.01 – just going outside. I may be some time. it’ s like hell out there, but a hell of snow lightly covering the ground, and ice, and a light wind.

8.56 – person has just slid on the snow covered pavement. Let’s be careful out there, people.

8.52 – much heavier now. You can see pushchair tracks on the pavements now.

8.50 – still going. Even the pavements have a light covering now, like dandruff on the shoulder of a man in a rented suit at a black tie event he would really rather not be attending.

8.44 – still snowing. Lying as well. A gentle covering, like the dusting of icing sugar on a soggy badly made cake, trying to disguise how poor the cake is.

8.40 -ooh, it’s started again. And it’s heavier. The skies are dark grey – like a black jumper that’s been washed lots of times.

8.31 -It’s stopped.

8.27 – yep, still lightly falling.

8.17 – yes, yes it is.

8.10 – yes.

8.04 – it has started. Light flakes and they are lying on the rain sodden ground, destined to melt.

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lines declining to be the new makar

I couldn’t be the makar

I haven’t got the time

I have no sense of poesy

And have no sense of rhythm

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a rubbish poem bemoaning bloody hackers favouriting tweets for MPs that are household names

Poor Karl McCartney turned his back

And when he did his tweets was hacked

The hackers’ actions seemed absurd

They didn’t change poor Karl’s password

But spent time trawling just for fun

Some local stories from Lincoln

And bondage porn and rating bits

To favourite for him (callous shits!)

And then with not one word to Karl

They sodded off, with leery snarl

When Karl found out he was angry

He quickly stressed “it wasnae me”

And everyone was satisfied

And very glad when Poor Karl tried

To write a long complaining letter

To the scoundrels running twitter

But as yet poor Karl’s had no reply

I can’t think of a reason why

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to be a political pilgrim

Let us go to the house of the three flags

Cast off our clothes, dress humbly in rags

Bare heads bowed, clumsy in silent homage

Genuflect, at Ed’s cue seethe with our faux rage

Mouth the condemnatory incantation

“Thornberry’s tweet disrespects our nation”.

Chant loud the tribute for an ordinary Dan

“Praise be! Cometh his hour, cometh his van!”

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Modern political rules: number 45

Don’t disrespect the van

Of any man called Dan.

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“some comedians push the boundaries in the name of entertainment”

I’d no idea that being a misogynist

Was a way for a comic to take a big risk,

That leering and jeering and shouting out “moist”

Was something a telly bod would want to foist

On innocent viewers across the country

In the name of pushing entertainment’s boundary.

To be frank ITV, this decision you’ve screwed

Taking a net clown with demeanour so lewd

To give him a show’s one of your biggest gaffes

For poor Daniel’s not dapper, and he’s immune from laughs,

And she knows that he knows that when he’s on the pull

That the only ones laughing are deluded fools.

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Griff Rhys Jones lives in a hice

Impoverished Rhys Jones

Discards mobile phones

And other costly devices

As he renews attacks

On Ed’s mansion tax

For targeting wealthy folk’s “houses”.

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A rubbish topical poem about the fuss about the Ukips and the Mock the Week

We want a new hero to help Mock the Week

Rejecting the nob gags, and Parsons’ stock cheek

To stand up for Ukip, to come off the fence.

Where is he? where is he? Where’s Andrew Lawrence?

To talk to the public, to say the unsaid:

About immigration and why Ed is red.

Ask the silent majority in the audience

Where is he? where is he? Where’s Andrew Lawrence?

So discard the woman, the fat bald one too

The crap one, the mad one, the comic who’s blue,

What we need is a ginger to stare down the lens

The one and the only: here’s Andrew Lawrence!

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