Welcome to October

So, here we are… Summer has officially ended, the first X-Factor live show is just over a week away, and Christmas merchandise is quickly taking over the local garden centres. There are two other important things I noted this morning, both on GMTV.

Firstly, the weather forecast from Kirsty McCabe. Earlier this week she speculated that we would have a mild Winter with no chance of a white Christmas – a pretty safe bet, given the last one was thirty-nine years ago. This morning she said that October and November would be mild with temperatures slightly above average (I suppose that’s what mild means). Given that the forecast for today now differs from what she said it would be on Monday, how much faith do we have in her ability (or that of any weather forecaster) to tell us what the weather will be like in eight weeks time? As Paul Daniels used to say, ‘not a lot’.

And then we have the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. You have to applaud Gordon Brown and his gang for not treating it like an early wake, and for keeping up the pretence that they’ll still be in power this time next year. Mrs Brown, there’s no point in looking at the interior of 10 Downing Street and thinking “we could do with new curtains”. Mrs Cameron will take care of that next year. So I was amused by the comments of the sprightly little political bunny David Miliband who this morning said something to the effect of…

Britain loves an underdog, and sometimes Britain wants the underdog to win.

Let’s put this into context Mr Miliband… Britain loves an underdog when Luxembourg are playing Germany in a World Cup qualifier. We love the underdog when a British player other than Andy Murray reaches the third day of Wimbledon. We’ll cheer for the British guy who turns up for a skiing competition and stands alongside Swiss and Austrian competitors. Labour’s position is rather different – the reason that they’re the underdogs in the polls is that hardly anyone thinks they’re doing a good job or intends to vote for them. So come the general election next year, we’re hardly likely to cheer them past the finishing post like some marathon runner dressed as a smurf who’s taken seven hours but has raised £2 million for a cancer charity. Being an underdog, trying your best and valiantly failing with respect and dignity in a sport is one thing… making a hash of running a country is another.


  1. @3 – yeah, in Norway. Oh, okay, according to the Met Office it was a white Christmas. I was being parochial, it didn’t snow within 100 miles of Camberley.

    For my last last white Christmas I received a Raleigh Chipper (the baby brother of the Chopper) and I remember my dad helping me to ride it in the snow. Great bike…


  2. I remember them well, the Chipper and the Chopper.

    The last great bikes to come from Raleigh during the “Waccy Baccy” years.

    What were we like eh?

    I can still feel the agony of sliding forward off the Chopper seat into the incredibly badly placed gear shifter.

  3. So, apart from the Iraq war and foolish levels of deregulation combined with over-reliance on financial markets (… and ID cards but that’s dead) I’m curious to know what they’re doing so badly wrong? Genuine question. Apart from having a man it’s just sadly impossible to like as leader.

  4. @6 – I don’t know what they’re doing wrong, I was just taking the opportunity to have a pop at Miliband’s ridiculous statement about Labour being the well-loved underdogs. Clearly they’re not. Who’s to say that if the Tories were in power it would have been any different. I don’t think the general public like the fact that we spend money on expensive wars while our health service falls into ruin and we can’t offer decent schools to all children, and illegal immigrants queue up to come here knowing that our welfare system is a generous soft touch while our pensioners freeze to death in Winter.

    On that subject, if those immigrants in that camp near Calais knew what the weather was like during a British Summer I reckon they’d stay in France, and probably head further south.

  5. @8 – that’s really funny… Bing has only just arrived on the web and it’s already lost market share. That’s just plain careless.

    By the way Lawrence, did you pick up the posters and were they any good?

  6. Daz – hmm, I’m not sure our health service or schools are in ruin mate. Especially compared to oooo, let’s see – 1996? The public’s general boredom with Labour and their short term memory about how bad things used to be is going to really screw us over next year if the polls are right.

    Milliband is an arse of course, but I’d watch 10 of his speeches to one Caroline Flint interview.

    #8 – ooof, they can’t be happy with that. Just how much money are they going to burn through trying to fight google??

  7. Why would they even bother trying to fight them. It’ll cost Billions and they’ll never win.

    Google is now a verb, just like Hoover.

    Point just proved… Zoe is on the phone and just said that she Googled someone.
    I doubt you’ll ever hear someone say “I’ll Bing it” just as you’ll never hear ” I can’t come I need to Dyson the house.” Just sounds wrong.

    Can’t think of many other product names that have become so entrenched in the language as these two but it might be fun to see how many there are.

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