If You Need a Blog on Court Fees – I’m Your Man

Some of the stupidest people I have come across are lawyers. Pompous windbags with no common sense usually photographed smiling smugly in front of shelves of law books they’ve never read. In the legal profession as a whole they are the exception, most lawyers are hard working, talented and in the job for the right reasons. For every clueless numpty there are ten skilled practitioners doing their best by their client. There is, however, only one Jonathan Sumption.

Sumption has been called “the cleverest person in Britain”. I usually treat such claims with suspicion ever since George Michael boasted he was “Britain’s best songwriter”. Now I love the poetic beauty of Club Tropicana, that ode to last minute holiday bookers who couldn’t get a beachfront hotel – “all that’s missing is the sea….but don’t worry you can suntan”- but I suspect he was probably off his head and about to drive his car into a corner shop when he made the claim. In Jonathan Sumption’s case it may well be true. Continue reading If You Need a Blog on Court Fees – I’m Your Man

Hero to Zero – We Need To Talk About Sarah

Are you one of Britain’s unsung heroes?

Do you go around pushing children into ponds, before jumping in to save them, on the off chance you might get invited to an awards ceremony where you can perv at Carol Vorderman in a low cut dress?

If you are then it’s good news. You will soon be able to rest easy, with your underpants outside your trousers, safe in the knowledge that you are protected by the grandly titled “Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Act 2015” or “SARAH” as it’s been dubbed. Continue reading Hero to Zero – We Need To Talk About Sarah

Why Pro Bono Sucks

What’s your favourite Lynx Bodyspray ?

I’ve always been partial to “Africa” – the scent of civil war and e-mail scams and “Inca” – the smell of distilled Peruvian tears. I also rather like their new fragrance “Peace” with its CND logo and the faint smell of stale tofu and marijuana.

For years Lynx have dominated the market for deodorants with ridiculous names but a rival has now emerged. Sure for Men have launched a new range of roll-on deodorant called Quantum. That’s latin for amount. If improving the nation’s personal hygiene is your thing then “quantum” is much sexier than “amount”. Amount of Solace would have been a rubbish name for a film, not a patch on Quantum of Solace which was just a rubbish film and I very much doubt that a TV show called Amount Leap would have become a cult sci-fi classic. Continue reading Why Pro Bono Sucks

Boro’s January Transfer Window Nightmares (2) – Michael Ricketts

Michael Ricketts – January 2003

Never buy a player who is named after a vitamin deficiency.

Boro broke that rule in January 2003 when a late transfer window triple swoop saw Michael Ricketts come in from Bolton for £3.5 million together with Chris Riggott and Malcolm Christie from Derby. It was one of those late night fax-tastic deals that Sky Sports News loves  but is usually born out of panic and is regretted before February is out.

It is typical of  Boro’s record of buying strikers that, of the  three players,   the centre-back Riggott  scored more goals than the two forwards managed between them during their time at the club. Continue reading Boro’s January Transfer Window Nightmares (2) – Michael Ricketts

Boro’s January Transfer Window Nightmares (1) – Afonso Alves

Boro are well positioned to mount a bid for automatic promotion. They are by a considerable margin the best defensive team in the Championship and, having completed two recent home victories, they have now  taken 47 points from the last 23 games.

There’s also the small matter of dumping  the reigning Premier League champions out of the FA Cup in front of 5,500 ecstatic away fans.

Things are going swimmingly so surely there’s nothing we need to do but keep it going. Yet, there have been calls for Boro to add firepower in this January transfer window.

Some have pointed to blank away days in which Boro have dominated but failed to convert chances. There are also demands that we should sign from a position of strength and build on our achievements so far. Extra cup games will also stretch our current squad. A failure to strengthen up front  may mean us missing out on our best chance of promotion in years. Continue reading Boro’s January Transfer Window Nightmares (1) – Afonso Alves

The Story of Boro’s Crazy Week In Seven Chapters

Well, that was a week that was.

It had it all-  heroes and villains, late home pain and away day joy, some scrapping and a sacking.


Here’s the story of Boro’s amazing week in seven chapters:

1.Clatt’s A Free Kick Surely

Five minutes into injury time and Boro are on the brink of beating Blackburn to go joint top of the Championship. Continue reading The Story of Boro’s Crazy Week In Seven Chapters

5 Ways Boro Can Increase Their Chances Of Automatic Promotion

On Saturday Boro played out a  dour 1-1 draw at Wigan Athletic. By all accounts, it was  a   pretty poor effort which lacked the intensity and style that have characterised many of our away performances this season. It’s not a match that will live long in the memory, in fact perhaps the most interesting thing about it was not the game itself, but the reaction on Teesside to the result.frustrated-face

Not so long ago, picking up an away point at a team who’ve just changed their manager and who possess, at least some, premier league talent would have been considered a decent effort. Yes, they were in the bottom three and we had an impressive away following cheering us on but, applying typical Boro inevitablility, that usually means a crushing defeat. An away draw in such a competitive league is always a decent result isn’t it ? Continue reading 5 Ways Boro Can Increase Their Chances Of Automatic Promotion

5 Ways That Aitor Karanka Has Transformed the Boro

A year ago today Middlesbrough  appointed Aitor Karanka to be their new head coach. He was unveiled at a well attended press conference at Rockcliffe Park. How did he come across? What initial impression did he make? Don’t ask me,  I couldn’t bring myself to watch it.

I hated the appointment. Partly for irrational and emotional reasons, associated with sadness and frustration at the dismissal of my Boro hero Tony Mowbray, but for sensible  reasons too.iloveak

Karanka ticked a lot of  the wrong boxes. He had no experience of football in this country,  either as a player or a coach. His English was not so much broken as a category A write-off; how  on earth was he going to get his message across to the players ? He  had unfortunate associations with  characters like  Peter Kenyon and Jorge Mendes which quite frankly scared me rigid and his last job  was assisting Jose Mourinho , the egotistical embodiment of most of the things I hate about modern management. How was this Spanish novice equipped to take  over a struggling team, 16th in the league, whose players,  and indeed fans. were  devoid of belief or confidence? Continue reading 5 Ways That Aitor Karanka Has Transformed the Boro

How Much Is That Doggie with The Asbo ?

There’s a new edition to the McCarthy household. Meet Jasper our pampered  pooch. Jasper’s an apricot and white cavapoo, a cross between a cavalier spaniel and a poodle. He’s not keen on Cava but boy does he like to poo.

His full name is Jasper George McCarthy. Is it unusual to give a dog a middle name? I think so, but my wife insisted. He’s named after Prince George, the royal baby. That’s because *woman talking to baby voice* –  ” You’re our little prince aren’t you Jasper, yes you are”.

Pet Area sign

I thought the middle name  was a stupid idea but then realised it was entirely appropriate  as he’ll be spoilt rotten, will never have to get a job and will be sponging off others for the whole of his life. Continue reading How Much Is That Doggie with The Asbo ?

UK Working Women Take On Walmart

What a brilliant few months it has been for us supermarket haters.

A  truly golden era for  those of us  who would rather walk down the Shankill Road wearing a Celtic top than spend a Saturday  pushing  a rickety trolley around a packed  soulless megastore trying to avoid  stray toddlers.


In September, Tesco announced that they had overstated their half yearly profits by  just over £250 million. A substantial sum, even for a premier league footballer. That was grossly negligent (if we’re being kind) or potentially fraudulent (if we’re  not). The news prompted a investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority and wiped billions off the value of the company whose  share price went down faster than  Oprah Winfrey on a death slide. Continue reading UK Working Women Take On Walmart