29 Jul 2015

Lord Sewel needs to read this book

Lord Sewel, whose behaviour was of course deplorable etc, but who made some cracking off the cuff character assessments of fellow-politicians, should have read my new book 'The Manopause Manual'.  Then he would have realised that chaps of his age should be choosing a new shed and wondering whether to grow a beard, not organising "sex'n'drugs romps" in hotel rooms.

The real reason we are so upset about this scandal is not that Lord Sewel is a politician - I mean,what do we expect? - but that he is getting on in years. In your sixties it's undignified, right?  He should have done all that bad stuff in his youth.

So Lord Swell, if you're reading this, please contact me for a free copy of my book, which will explain how to behave at your fine old age.  It's not all boring - you can select a new hobby, go to the pub with your pals, and perhaps even buy a sports car at last.

The Manopause Manual was published this week.

17 Jun 2015

'The Manopause Manual' - coming soon

Press Release  - - -  StickIt Books

What is the Manopause?
A new humour book reveals what happens to men when they reach their fifties.  It’s not all about being grumpy and dreaming of sports cars – no, that’s only about 60% of it. 

‘The Manopause Manual’ takes us into the minds of married men having a midlife moment, who are in danger of thinking too much. The book encourages them to stop with the deep thoughts and get scheming for new ways to enjoy this stage of life:

·         Convincing our wives we need a new hobby
·         And a lad’s holiday
·         And a beard, and possibly a sports car

Humour author PK Munroe (‘The Thursday Night Letters’, ‘You Can Stick It’) explores suitable hobbies, and explains in detail why a shed is now the new sports car.  He warns his fellow-men about modern obsessions with health, exercise, food, sport, and philosophy: a brisk examination reveals the latest thinking on all of them to be riddled with contradictions, and best ignored in favour of taking it easy.  And he pours scorn on the way that the male talent for identifying important social problems is labelled ‘being grumpy’.

The Manopause Manual is a useful guide to male eccentricity for women, too.  Find out what he is he really thinking when casting sidelong glances at motorbikes and electric guitars, and discover why he needs hobbies and regular meet-ups with his pals. The poor chap isn’t made for thinking – he needs to be out there doing, just like his ancestors who went off hunting for days on end (or so they claimed).

PK Munroe’s new release joins his recent books How Not to be a Tourist in London and 50 Ways to Get Amazon to Pay More Tax as an essential slim volume for the loo bookshelf.
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3 Jun 2015

Helpful London Tube poem

Posters at tube stations with poems about tube etiquette that don't scan have been getting up people's noses lately.  I'm going to send this in to London Transport:

23 May 2015

Useful facts for tourists: London expressions


Barking
Lively, excitable. “He’s a bit barking, isn’t he?”

Dresses on the left
A polite way to describe someone who holds left-wing political views.

Flutter
Euphemism for sexual congress. As in ‘Do you fancy a flutter?’

Full English
A particularly confusing one – this is the ubiquitous name for a traditional fried breakfast, but more recently it has acquired a double meaning, as a euphemism for sexual congress. So use it with care at the breakfast table!

How’s your father
Polite enquiry about one’s relatives.

Knee-trembler
A powerful and moving experience, such as hearing a Shakespeare soliloquy read by a great actor, or a beautiful aria sung at the opera.

Leave it out
Please do not include it. For example, when offered salt or pepper at a restaurant.

Old chap
Father. As in ‘My old chap’s not been looking too good recently.’

Pigeon pie
Also known as a ‘Saturday night special’, the all-too familiar pile of vomit on the pavement.
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4 Mar 2015

London's hidden gems: the plague pits

The London Evening Standard has a competition to find 'hidden gems' for tourists to London. Here's mine:  
The Plague Pits
'The terrible outbreak of bubonic plague that swept through England in 1425 did not spare the capital's citizens.  The scenes of death and suffering are hard to imagine, but a few vestiges remain.  Dotted around London are various ‘plague pits’ where those who died from the plague were hastily buried en masse. Thousands of bodies were interred in these burial sites, to be covered over, filled in, and gradually forgotten.

The bubonic plague bacillus, however, is a living organism that can survive for several centuries in a dormant state. Very occasionally, fresh building work will uncover a medieval plague pit - at which point the medical authorities immediately take control of the site, putting the workmen through a rigorous quarantine. Thankfully bubonic plague can now be treated with drugs, but the dangers of it rapidly spreading through London’s population, aided by the tube and bus network, are all too apparent.

Most of these rediscovered plague pits are pronounced safe by the authorities, but a few where the live bacillus was detected have been sealed off with concrete and covered over again. There is one just behind Holborn station, another opposite the London Eye fairground, and a third (probably the best known) at the North end of Leicester Square.

A ‘safe’ plague pit can be seen up on Hampstead Heath, alongside the bathing ponds. It is quite small and takes some finding, since it is not signposted, but locals should be able to direct you. A visit to see ‘the pit’ makes for an interesting detour if you are visiting the Heath.'

Extract from my book 'How Not to Be a Tourist in London'      
 

16 Feb 2015

London tourist book now out in paperback

At last 'How Not to be a Tourist in London' is available in paperback,
'How Not to be a Tourist in London' on Amazon UK for you to read on the broken-down bus, or while strolling down Oxford Street.  Here at last is the honest-guv truth about why cabbies don't like tipping, what those little studs in the pavement are for, where to catch a Thames salmon, and which local delicacies to order 'off menu' at your favourite London restaurant. Packed full of such vital material, here is a book to get your touristic imagination working overtime.

Have a look on Amazon UK and USA.


1 Dec 2014

That new Starbucks 'no tax' logo


















"The new boss of Starbucks today admitted the coffee shop chain will not start paying corporation tax in Britain for up to three more years." Evening Standard newspaper

23 Sep 2014

The white t-shirt law

Here's new law to save the planet:  Only white t-shirts are allowed, all others are banned - until the climate agreements are met.  Enforced with fines, and swapping the offending t-shirt for a white one by police.

Why?

1.  Surely world governments can agree on this trivial thing
2.  Helps young people to focus on finding a solution to climate problems rather than worrying about whether their t-shirt makes the grade with their peer group / gang
3.  A constant visible reminder to everyone
4.  Very easy to enforce.

14 Sep 2014

The Dilemma of the Scots

Wave goodbye to your UK pals, take your country to the dogs, make all your pies and chips cost a fortune, never have a good job again, get invaded by anyone with a shotgun, and have to use the Bolivian Kip as your currency.

  -- or --

Delight all the effing Tories, get bossed around for the next 300 years by a bunch of patronising tossers in Westminster, be laughed at by bankers, and suck up policies designed to screw you and fatten rich Southerners.

Choose!

11 Aug 2014

New Kindle book - getting more tax from Amazon

My new e-book, 50 Ways to Get Amazon to Pay More Tax, is available on the Kindle, Amazon’s own e-reader (as well as other readers and formats).

Yes, a bit cheeky to publish on the Kindle But if the book does well, they might pay a bit more tax. Maybe.

Many of the 50 ideas in the book refer to Amazon’s treatment of its warehouse workers, whose toilet breaks are limited and timed; I suggest applying similar rules to shareholder meetings. Other thoughts focus on Amazon's steady march towards becoming the biggest retailer on Earth.

Toilets and world domination - always good for a laugh.
There are various suggestions for “consumer disobedience” and other ways to solve the tax issue:
  • dressing up as a tax inspector and hanging around Amazon’s offices,
  • incentivising them by re-naming the river Trent as ‘The Amazon’
  • setting up barrage balloons on the roof of your house to interfere with deliveries by Amazon drones.
The e-book is short, so it's priced low at £1.15 / $1.93. (Also I don’t want this putting me in a higher tax bracket.) 

See the book online on the Amazon UK Kindle store, and the US one.

Also available in other e-reader formats at Apple, Kobo, Barnes and Noble etc.

26 May 2014

Getting out the Grudge Vote

Voter apathy is bad, but logical in the British voting system.  If your area is solid Tory or Labour and you support another party, it can seem rather pointless to vote, since the candidate with the most votes wins outright.  They may only get 40% of the total, but whoever has the largest number of votes wins. This unfairness is why some people call for proportional representation instead.  But that is very unappealing; we want our local MP.

The Grudge Voting system will square this circle.

Here's how it works:  The candidate with the most votes wins the seat, same as now.  But their power in Parliament for the next 5 years depends on what % of the votes they got.  Take an MP who wins a seat with 60% of the vote.  In the current system they have 1 vote in Parliament.  Under my system they would only have 0.6 of a vote.  And an MP who won with just a 35% share - which is not unusual - would in Parliament get only 0.35 of a vote. 

The power of the elected MPs in Parliament would therefore directly reflect the amount support they command in their constituencies.

That's fairness for you.  And the beauty of the system is that nobody's vote is now wasted.  If you are a Labour voter living in a solid Conservative constituency, it is worth going out to vote Labour - your candidate won't win, but your vote directly helps to reduce the Tory MP's power in the next parliament.  Same thing if you are a Conservative voter living in a solid Labour area.  It's also worth voting for a minority party; they won't get in, but now you can help to reduce the clout of the winner.

Hence the title, the Grudge Voting system.  It appeals to that deeply felt need to do the other side down.  Just the ticket for alienated, fed-up Brits!