Robert Hampton

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June 2009

2nd June 2009

Good riddance

Jacqui Smith is to step down as Home Secretary. Under her watch we have been subjected to a series of draconian laws which have threatened to erode our civil liberties completely, combined with some good old fashioned fearmongering and general rubbishness.

She will presumably be spending more time at home, although which home has yet to be confirmed…

3rd June 2009

Today’s sequence of events
Posted by at 7.41pm | Fun, It's My Life | No responses
  1. Send lots of text messages
  2. Run out of credit
  3. Buy top-up
  4. Receive message from 3 stating: “as a thank you for topping up, you now have 600 free texts”

I really didn’t think that through beforehand.

4th June 2009

Oh, Boris
Posted by at 11.42pm | In the News | No responses

The comedy mayor of London delivers again:-

10th June 2009

Loaf, the universe and everything… and a mouse
Posted by at 7.50pm | In the News | No responses

Don’t click the link if you’re about to eat — especially if it’s a sandwich:

A man got the shock of his life when he opened a loaf of bread and found a whole mouse inside.

North Antrim Magistrates Court heard how a man purchased a Hyndman’s malt loaf from a supermarket in the Ballymoney area before Christmas 2007.

When he unwrapped the loaf he discovered the small lifeless mammal embedded in the base of the bread.

The judge fined the company, D Hyndman and Son Ltd, Maghera, £1,000 plus costs for placing unsafe food on the market.

It would have been a much better story if the mouse had actually been found embedded in a lump of cheese — there would be a whole poetic justice angle to the story.

Meanwhile, the Guardian is not taking this story seriously — there’s no liveblog, for one thing — but does have a helpful round-up of other food horrors. The tale of a chicken’s head amongst some nuggets is a long-standing favourite of mine.

11th June 2009

Very big down under
Posted by at 11.29pm | Television | 3 responses

I must confess to being quite ignorant of what goes on in Australia. My knowledge of that fair land comes entirely from watching Neighbours — from which I’ve concluded that it never rains and there are no black people.

I mention it now because I was alerted by Popbitch to a minor kerfuffle in Oz over taste and decency in broadcasting. Last week a comedy show, The Chaser’s War on Everything, aired a sketch poking fun at the Make a Wish Foundation. The cast have subsequently been vilified by the Aussie press for their poor taste, and heads have rolled at the ABC (Australia’s equivalent of the BBC).

I thought it’d be interesting to compare notes with our own very British broadcasting scandal. On the face of it, all the ingredients are there: controversial comedy stars pulling a stunt on a publicly-funded broadcaster causing an outcry, resulting in suspensions and resignations.

The sketch has been banned from ever airing again, so be grateful for YouTube:-

That’s it? Not only is it quite funny; on my offence-o-meter it barely registers. If this had aired here in the UK, I can’t imagine even the most antagonistic Daily Mail reader getting the antique pen and monogrammed stationery out to write a letter of complaint.

What’s wrong with you, Australia? Your chief export is people who wrestle crocodiles for a living, and you’re upset by this? I highly recommend you don’t ever watch British TV — Mitchell and Webb tonight featured Queen Victoria saying “cum” about 20 times (also very funny).

I’m not angry, Australia. I’m just… disappointed.

15th June 2009


Twitter has been playing a crucial role in Iran, allowing protesters to disseminate information. Simultaneously, other twitterers have been heavily critical of CNN and other news outlets for under-reporting events, using the #cnnfail hashtag.

Surely now is time to say goodbye to the dinosaurs of broadcast television and hello to the new world of Web 2.0! The mainstream media is dead! Long live Twitter! Except…


Oooh. That is… awkward timing.

Update: The downtime has been postponed.

21st June 2009

Meanwhile, in a country far, far away…
Posted by at 12.12am | In the News | No responses

The courage and determination of the Iranian protesters continues to amaze me. To continue battling on against repressive forces like this, in the face of an increasingly violent situation, shows remarkable tenacity. History could be made over the next few days.

If something similar were to happen in the UK, would we stand up as a nation and fight the tyranny, or would most people just sit back and accept it? I worry that it would be the latter.

22nd June 2009

BBC Four on Everything
Posted by at 1.15pm | Television | 1 response

Wow. Just a few days after I mention The Chaser’s War on Everything on this blog, I discover that BBC Four have picked the series up and start showing it this Tuesday.

This is just a coincidence, but it’s much better for my ego if I consider it a result of the publicity I’ve generated.

26th June 2009

Gone Too Soon
Posted by at 12.19am | In the News, Music | No responses

The tragic tale comes to an end at last.

Hopefully he will be remembered for his music, and not the creepy feelings he aroused in people during the last few years of his life.

Posted by at 8.24pm | Trains | 2 responses


No trains for three days?! I need those trains to go places and do things!

As I tweeted earlier, the flooding is not Merseyrail’s fault, but… THREE DAYS?! That’s just taking the piss.

Seriously, THREE DAYS?! What are they thinking?

Three days?!

29th June 2009

Game, Cassette and Match
Posted by at 1.34pm | Music | No responses

Another tale to make me feel old. Teenager compares an ancient Walkman with iPod for BBC News. Among all the oh-wow-this-is-primitive complaining, is this marvellous quote:-

I’m relieved that the majority of technological advancement happened before I was born.

Yes, because technological advancement has STOPPED. You just wait a few years, and you’ll have Spotify beaming tracks directly into your BRAIN.

I had the CD version, the Discman, which at the time was hailed as the most wonderful thing to happen to portable music ever. The adverts didn’t mention that if you ran, walked or moved slightly in any way, the music would skip and jump all over the place. Good times.