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Month: October 2011

Are we human or are we football fans? We need to burst the bubble.

The big south coast derby just before Christmas promises to be an exciting affair. I have been to four Pompey v Saints games in my life – two at St Mary’s and two at Fratton Park. I have seen us win twice (1-0, 4-1) and lose twice (2-0, 2-1) and in none of the four games did I once fear for my own personal safety.

The only time where my senses were even peaked were when Pompey fans ran down Goldsmith Ave after winning 1-0 in the league game where Yak scored and Kevin Phillips hit the post deep into injury time. There were many arrests that day and I could see it going off from my vantage point waiting for the train on Fratton station.

The main point here is at the football games themselves I felt fine. Even on the bus after the Carling Cup game in Scum going back to the car park I felt safe enough despite lots of Scummers bashing on the windows etc… I felt safe and wasn’t in a position where I felt like I had to be on my guard.

Some may have noticed the issue – and that isn’t with the fans that attend the actual games. The problem arise with the hangers on. Very few who actually go to the games get involved in any violence. This can be seen by the amount of people arrested for these crimes who actually went to the games.

Hampshire Police though have decided that it is better to treat opposition fans as rats and in doing so saying it is for their own good.

Superintendent Rick Burrows is leading the planning for the policing operation on December 18 and spoke to The News aboout the forces plans for dealing with Southampton fans:

‘The most important objective of the day is to ensure that it is a safe environment for everybody coming to the football.

‘There is a history of trouble caused by a small minority at previous derby matches and balancing up the interests of everybody involved, this unusual tactic is the best one to ensure it is a safe event.

‘Although this tactic hasn’t been used in Hampshire before, it has been proven to be successful in other forces for matches such as Cardiff v Swansea and the West Midlands derby matches.

‘It would be great to have free access for all fans, but the reality is actions of the minority can disproportionately impact on the enjoyment of others.

‘We have to minimise their opportunities to do so.’

So there we have it. Shuttled in, shuttled out without being able to actually enjoy the day. Are SW Trains stopping all trains from Southampton that day and is the M27 being put on lockdown? What do you mean it isn’t? So people without a ticket for the football game can still travel into Portsmouth and cause a ruckus?

Score one for the hooligans and score zero for the local plod.

I think the club should make it an option for people travelling to the game to do so via official coaches but not make it compulsory. Football fans know the way it is and if they decide to go to a game then they should have the freedom to do so at their leisure. The last I heard human beings weren’t cattle.

The small minority as they call it who want to cause trouble will still be there and they will cause trouble unless the police are right on top of it. I fear that by employing this tactic the local police have set themselves up for a hammering because they are treating people differently depending on the colour of their shirt and that isn’t right nor is it fair.

I’ll be watching from my sofa as it is live on the BBC and I rarely get to games these days due to my location but I do not like the idea of fans – even Scummers – being treated like this. It sounds a lot like Tony Blair trying to scare the country into ID cards and other anti-terror laws that were just in fact an excuse to treat people inhumanely under the umbrella of ‘anti-terror’.

What I’m not doing is saying these fans are being treated inhumanely but what I am saying is there isn’t a lot of difference between the two. Just because someone says they are doing something ‘for your own protection’ doesn’t necessarily make it true. Football fans can choose their own way to make it to football matches and if the police are doing their job properly then it will be a safe way however they decide to travel.

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Eddie Howe seems to be edging towards a reunion with Portsmouth

Dave Jones was seen at Fratton Park 13 days ago. Sean O’Driscoll has interviewed for the job. Lee Clark was linked by The News but he had no interest. Brian Laws, Mark McGhee have both thrown their names into the ring. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer saw his name come up last weekend and the current duo of Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham have said they have no interest in the top job at Portsmouth Football Club but we are inching our way to a new manager and that man is going to be (if the rumour mill is to be believed) Eddie Howe.

The former Bournemouth and current Burnley manager has seen his odds tumble dramatically over the past 24 hours as the rumour mill got going. With a 50% winning record at Bournemouth and a very impressive 44% winning record at Burnley – Eddie Howe is a hot young manager whose teams play good football and succeed.

Howe, who is only six years my senior (it kind of makes me wonder what I’m doing with my life) was a former player at Fratton Park albeit briefly thanks to two season ending knee injuries in consecutive seasons. His appointment I suspect would be roundly welcomed by the majority of the Fratton Faithful as it would be progress with someone who has had two managerial stops in his career and been successful at them both.

Obviously there is one rather large issue that could still stop this seeming fait accompli from taking shape – the fact that he is currently employed and Portsmouth is not a job that Burnley would see as a bigger one. A lot of chairman won’t stand in the way of a manager moving to a bigger job but Pompey and Burnley are both in the same division and Burnley may well want a large sum of money for Howe to be freed to take the Portsmouth job should he want it.

There is obviously a way to go yet but all signs are pointing to the fact that David Lampitt has identified his man and now comes the hard work. I don’t think convincing Eddie Howe will be the hard part but getting permission to speak to him just might be. This one has legs folks…

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Big victory for Nick Clegg but he’s not getting the deserved credit

Today it was announced in western Australia by PM David Cameron and Australian PM Julia Gillard that a couple of big changes will happen in the rules of succession for the British Royal Family. All the realms have agreed that first of all the head of state can be married to someone of the Catholic faith and secondly that the sole determination will be age and not gender.

The head of state will still have to be Church of England due to the fact that they are the head of that church but freedom to marry a catholic is an important change. Everyone should be free to marry whoever they love. It shouldn’t matter what their religion is as of course Catholicism was the only religion which was banned by the rules of succession.

However the biggest part of the story is probably the fact that gender is now not part of the equation. So if the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter then she will be first in the line of succession behind her father even if the couple have younger sons. This is a huge step forward and in all honesty is something that should have been done long ago.

It isn’t something that is going to change our economic climate and therefore some might wonder why time has been spent on it but when you look deeply you’ll see very little time was actually spent. It was in April of this year when DPM Nick Clegg first said he was working on this and had contacted all the heads of state of the Queen’s realms to discuss making these changes. Writing in the Daily Mail on April 20 Robert Hardman said that, ‘it would certainly not be seeking to devote months — if not years — of parliamentary time to resolving a problem which does not even exist.’

However here we are six months down the line and the changes have been made. Mr Hardman continued to bang on about the issue of not being of any significance and actually being one that could harm the coalition, ‘It is an interesting talking point but a political issue of spectacular pointlessness since it concerns no one alive. Let us hope that Mr Clegg simply wants to reinforce his image as a fearless slayer of discrimination — and leaves it at that. Or is there another, darker motivation at work here? Because if he does decide to push this one further, he will be heaping untold troubles on the Coalition’s head.’

Well he has fearlessly slayed discrimination and made the system fairer and brought us into line with most of the other monarchies of Europe. Gender should not be a barrier and nor should the issue of who you fall in love with.

This is all Nick Clegg’s doing. He was the driving force behind this news story but I am not hearing his name being linked to this story at all. PM Cameron is taking all the plaudits when in fact he couldn’t care either way. It might be a small issue today but in the future this change will be huge and will impact the history of the commonwealth.

Whilst it might not be the biggest issue on the doorstep and isn’t what people are talking about over the dinner table or down the local pub it is yet another sign that Nick Clegg is all about equality. This change makes things fairer and brings the Royal Family into the 21st Century.

So I for one congratulate Nick Clegg on this. A job well done. Plenty more jobs to do but this one he can cross off his to-do list with a quiet sense of satisfaction across his face.

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‘If you have sex you *will* go to hell’

I do love cretins. Oh wait a minute. No. No I don’t. However I do love finding random videos on YouTube that show up cretins for who they are. Today I came across a video entitled ‘Lady Gaga’s “Judas” is EVIL!!!!!’ which I have embedded below.

The poor young woman clearly isn’t totally enamoured with Lady Gaga. She says amongst other things during her rant (which involves crying) that if you have sex then you will go to hell – not have sex out of wedlock – just have sex. Now correct me if I’m wrong but surely if there was no sex then the future of the human race wouldn’t be so bright as you know – sex is used to procreate. That’s what I’ve heard on the grapevine anyway.

She also had the vast insight to foresee that the song would be played on the radio. This woman is a seer folks. We should bow down and worship at her alter. Well maybe not. She also said that anyone who has listened to this song will go to hell – end of – although she does later backtrack when she says that she’ll need to confess to cleanse her soul on the off chance that her dreams of making it to heaven are still possible despite her listening to said song.

There was more but I found it rather amusing until I looked down to the right-hand side of the screen and saw another one by the same young lady entitled ‘Justin Bieber Should Have Won Best New Artist.’ which I have again embedded below.

So she’s a Justin Bieber fan, always a dodgy start but when you start watching the video she’s swearing. I’m not sure swearing is something that enhances your heaven CV but maybe god is willing to overlook it when you are swearing about how cruelly Justin Bieber was treated. However the fun bit is towards the end when she tells the camera (and Justin Bieber if he’s watching) about how much she loves him.

There is a problem with loving Justin Bieber though. He’s having sex with his girlfriend. He’s not a virgin therefore surely he’s already punched his ticket to hell. Surely she wouldn’t want to be with anyone who is going to hell?

Anyway I just thought it was funny – funny enough to write a random blog about anyway.

To sum up – if we went strictly by the title then heaven is still a option for me but alas I have heard Lady Gaga’s Judas song therefore I’m done for. Sometimes life is just too unfair.

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Labour in ‘rewriting history’ shocker over cuts…

So Labour think we are cutting too much. We need to invest and not cut growth. Spending money is the way out of debt. We have heard all the rhetoric (don’t forget the fact we need to tax bankers) – excellent point voice in the back of my head – taxing the bankers is the sole way to get us firing on all cylinders again. The bankers and taxing them is the future.

However what if I told you that the coalition are making less cuts than what Labour proposed going into the election…?

proposed tax cuts
Tax Cuts by Party...

A nod first to @LDKatz71 for pointing it out and then to the original TwitPic that I saw from @JasonJHunter.

So the Lib Dems have curbed the Tories to the tune of £15bn over the course of the parliament in terms of cuts to the public sector but as we all know the Lib Dems only do what their puppet masters tell them *rolls eyes*

Labour are banging on about cuts but they would have made the same amount give or take £1bn. However as we all know their proposals would be completely different now and they would in fact save the day – until we were bankrupt then blame the bankers and want them all ritually hung in Parliament Square.

Always nice to see a pretty graphic with a solid source to blow up a myth…

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Bookies have Martin O’Neill odds on for a dramatic return to Leicester City

I have seen a few comments on twitter and via e-mail that Pompey fans do not want Martin O’Neill to be their next manager. These people make my head hurt. Martin O’Neill is so far outside our wildest dreams (and my dreams have been wild lately – this morning I was visiting someone in prison but she was smoking hot) but who cares about my dreams.

My dream of Martin O’Neill being next Pompey manager is not going to be realised but with the news that Sven has got the sack at Leicester City the bookies are all around evens with two now having the former Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa manager at odds on for the vacant post.

A return to Leicester would be dramatic (Neil you have already used that adjective) ok…A return to Leicester would be thrilling, sensational, electrifying (ok you are overdoing it now). It would though mean that arguably the best manager out of work at the moment was ready to drop down into the Championship.

The man who could still get the England job in 2012 (certainly if Harry Redknapp is found guilty in his court case that we are not allowed to discuss) and he isn’t out of the running for the Manchester United job when it next comes up either. Surely if ‘arry went to England next summer then Martin O’Neill is the obvious name to replace him at White Hart Lane.

Unless I have missed a big media quote where he has said he’s happy to drop down to the championship then this potential move makes no sense to me. Martin O’Neill is a world class manager. People have said he’s only achieved with money but he took a rag tag Leicester team to Cup glory and into Europe. He was extremely successful at Celtic and the moment he left Aston Villa the team collapsed. He was also very shrewd in the transfer market buying players who would be sold at vast profits.

Martin O’Neill is better than Leicester at this point in his career (no offense Leicester fans – I did also say he was far too good for my club) and I can’t see how on Earth he takes the Leicester job. I wouldn’t be backing this one at 10/1 yet he’s odds on in some places. It’s crazy. Crazy I tells ye!

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Chris Foy derided on social media

So Chris Foy sent off two Chelsea players, booked a large handful and gave a penalty against them this afternoon in the live Super Sunday 4PM game at their old rivals QPR. Looking at the raw stats you might question it but watching the game as a neutral I saw nothing major that denoted Foy having anything but a pretty good game.

However my neutral view seems to be out of phase with that of Chelsea fans who believe that he not only had a bad day at the office but was also doing it on purpose due to a vendetta against the club. I saw a tweet saying that the ref had sent off Alex in a game at Fulham and therefore that was proof he had an issue with the club. Yeah…

There have been plenty of tweets saying from the boring ‘Chris Foy 1-0 Chelsea’ to the more abhorrent ‘Chris Foy is a **** )you know the word) to the much retweeted ‘Chris Foy should never referee a Premier League match again’ and everything in-between.

So let’s have a quick look at the three big issues.

Firstly the penalty was not a stonewaller but David Luiz was just stupid. Did he have to shove the QPR attacker in the back when he had no chance to get the ball? No he didn’t. It’s a foul all day long outside the box and a penalty is just a foul that happens to be inside the box. Therefore a penalty was a fair call.

The Jose Bosingwa red card was likewise not a stonewaller. The problem though is once the referee decides it is a foul then it is a red card. John Terry was not in a covering position as he is not getting between Shaun Wright-Phillips and the ball before SWP has a shot on goal. Was it a foul? I’m not sure and the replays were inconclusive. At full speed it looked dodgy so I can see why he gave the straight red.

As for Didier Drogba. That is a straight red every day of the week. No need for debate. If you leave the ground with both feet and studs showing you are going for an early bath.

Yes lots of Chelsea players saw yellow as well but most of them seemed pretty fair. Had he not blown for full-time when he did then Ashley Cole would have been sent off as well as he fouled Tommy Smith I think it was as Smith was going clear down the wing. Cole was already on a yellow so that would have been a second yellow and a red. David Luiz could easily have gone as well for several fouls when already on a yellow.

Terry and Lampard both got booked for going forehead to forehead with QPR players (the QPR players got booked too). Mikel’s yellow was clear-cut as was Cole’s. I can’t recall the other ones off hand but I don’t remember sitting there and thinking ‘Foy has lost this game’ and I certainly never thought ‘Foy is deliberately screwing Chelsea over’.

The hounding he is getting on social media is sad to see and we wonder why so few people want to become officials?

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Charlotte Berry aka @talktoteens and the case of the pathetic loser of a journalist

Many of you will have read the story of the 42 year-old teacher Charlotte Berry who used twitter. On twitter she would have conversations with people. Y’know like many of us do. In these conversations she was known to (om my god) use swear words and talk about being a slut and blow jobs. Why will somebody not think of the children?

Well somebody did. No wait. Somebody saw a story that would make headlines and give himself a boner. That man was journalist Sam Smith of the local rag. He describes himself as a journalist who has worked in different guises since leaving university three years ago, ‘I am currently employed on the Brentwood Gazette – an award winning weekly publication in Essex – and have previously worked at BBC Sussex and Surrey and have had stints at The Sunday Times and Guardian.’ He is billy big balls but yet none of those top publications or broadcast outlets were actually keen on hiring him. Sop what in effect he’s done is had work experience at these places. Ahh. That’s nice for him.

Anyway I digress. It was this man who spied the story and knew it was a ticket to fame and fortune. Well a ticket to having the story picked up in the nationals anyway and sure enough bang the story was all over the place including the Daily Mail which gave it the well rounded, well thought out, reasonable approach. Oh wait. No it didn’t. It basically made out the teacher to be a monster who doesn’t deserve to be within 100 miles of any children.

Look I have no idea whether Miss (or Mrs) Berry is a good teacher or not. However talking to people on twitter and using foul language is not going to sway my mind on the matter. All posting with foul language or talking about sex were messages sent to others so wouldn’t show up in her public timeline unless you were following both people and/or looked on her actual twitter site and not her twitter feed. At worse it was naive of the teacher but the hounds are out.

I read a fantastic piece by ‘scruffymatt’ entitled How To Ruin Someone’s Life For No Good Reason and it really is a great read. I implore you all to have a read of it. It shows actually that the local rag had been running stories about her for a while – but all positive – about how great a teacher she was and all the things she did outside of the classroom for her students. Sounds like the type of teacher I’d want my (hypothetical) kids to have. Someone who cared.

I couldn’t give two hoots about what a teacher says on twitter or Facebook but sadly there are many who do. They think a teacher should not have sex and think about the kids all day long, every day and are not allowed a normal life.

Having lived with teachers in the past I know how much they worry about these types of things. I recall once going to the supermarket with two of my house mates (one of whom was a teacher) and a group of her kids saw her on the way back and it turned into quite a big deal. These kids asked about who I was (and the other house mate) to her the next time they saw her in school. Teachers actually have a very difficult time separating their work life and their private lives.

However above all what I truly hated about this story was the following screenshot of the author tweeting the teacher asking her if she’d read the story. It is like saying ‘Hey I fucked you up big time and possibly ruined your career on a whim that I had. Aren’t I big and powerful and aren’t you small and insignificant?’

@{samsmith68 on twitter
@{samsmith68 on twitter

No Mr Journalist. It just makes you out to be a (the bad word – the four letter one). Nice way to make a mountain out of a molehill and pillory a teacher for y’know – having a life outside of work. You could make it big in the world of the low-brow press with that attitude. When an editor yells ‘Who can make a story out of nothing?’ the newsroom with all look at you – Sam Smith – for guidance about how you can be the man who’ll write crap as long as it makes good copy and whips up a storm.

I still can’t get over that tweet taunting the teacher. What a c word.

Lastly he’s a Saints fan as well. I suppose it all adds up now.

Note: It has been pointed out to me by a proper journalist and not a layabout bum of a hack like me that the tweet to which saw my rage and oitching keyboard bashing finger was dated 12th October and was in fact in relation to another news story written by the said newspaper to which they were praising Miss Berry (or is it Mrs? – I’m so lazy I haven’t checked). So on this part of the blog post my apologies. I still think the piece was garbage but the gloating allegation fails the Factcheck when people actually look into it and don’t fly off the handle.

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An SEO linkbuilding masterclass – well nearly…

On Wednesday I received the following e-mail. My comments are in italics.

from Joan Richardson
date 19 October 2011 10:55
subject Re: I Can Help Get higher!

Good Morning,


My name is Joan Richardson, and I hope you do not mind me contacting you. I have recently visited your website, , as I was hoping to be able to help you secure more traffic to your website via the Google, Bing and Yahoo natural listings.

I have no issue whatsoever with you contacting me. However you say you recently visited my website for the reason that you were hoping to secure me more traffic? You went to my website just for that one reason. Really?

I work for an established optimisation and Internet Solutions Agency based in the North West of England. We have been involved in optimising websites for over 10 years and are confident we can help you in achieving your goals for the forthcoming year. Furthermore, we are so certain we can deliver first page rankings for your chosen search phrases, that we will also offer your money back against the fee paid for each keyphrase that we fail to push up to the first page rankings.

My goals for the forthcoming year involve moving up the political ladder (maybe – I still really don’t know if I want to do that or not), lose a bit of weight, become a better writer and blogger as well as maybe find some new interests. Can you really help with that? As for first page rankings – I rank on the first page for quite a lot I’ll have you know…

Rather than simply sending you a general e-mail about our services, I thought I would point out a few simple facts about your website that are impacting on your current search engine rankings.


Firstly, I checked the number of back links Bing are reporting as this gives us an accurate reading compared to Google. Bing are currently reporting 148, which you can check for yourself by typing in, into Bing. Backlinks play a significant role within ranking of your website. Without relevant and quality backlinks, even the best of websites will not be found! Just compare some of your high ranking competitor sites to your own to see the difference!

My competitor sites? I think you’ve made a gross error there as I have no competitors. This is a personal blog. I’m not competing with any alter egos here.

Secondly, I checked the number of pages being indexed by Bing. The reported number of pages Indexed is 1180. The more pages indexed, the more information the search engines can return to their users about your website. If the content is unique and plentiful then you have a good chance of getting higher up the ladder! Your current page count suggests it can be improved upon significantly.

I think 1180 pages is rather high for a personal blog don’t you?

My final check was the Google Pagerank score. Currently your home page has a Pagerank of 4. which, when compared to other high ranking competitor websites, is definitely restricting your rankings.

High ranking competitor sites? Not too sure about that as again I don’t have any competitors. Can you tell me who my competitors really are? I’d love to know.

There can be many reasons for these low scores which we can help to identify and then resolve.

PageRank is such an old fashioned way of looking at SEO – and even then a PR of 4 is solid enough. These ‘low scores’ aren’t really low scores in reality for a personal blog now are they?

So, here’s a recap of my findings on

– Your Google Pagerank is 4 – You have 148 back-links – Your website has 1180 pages indexed

My apologies if I am stating the obvious here, but the higher your website is ranking for your most important keyphrases that outline what your business offers, the more traffic will visit your website, therefore securing more revenue.

Dang really? The higher in google the more hits I get? Well I never. It’s not as though I’m earning a living in the SEO industry myself now is it? Oh wait… – Also my business (with regards to this blog) offers nothing except my take on things happening in my world and in a broader sense depending on what is occupying my mind at this current juncture.

This is where we can help. We operate successful optimisation campaigns for many different types of businesses and have secured many top rankings such as: Maternity Clothes, Dubai Properties, Gravel, Health Store, Van Hire, Fire Extinguishers, Coffee Machines, Swimwear, Limo Hire and more.

Good for you.

If you would like to hear more on exactly what we can do for you to take your website to the next level or about our unique money back offer, then please feel free to contact me on 0844 740 4951 and press Option 1 or simply reply to this mail with a convenient time to call you so that I can produce a full and detailed proposal outlining exactly how we can help you dominate your chosen field of business. Alternatively please feel free to visit our service website at

You know what? I think I’ll give it a miss but I will blog about it as it’s awesome. This was clearly a template e-mail (due to the fact I work in this industry I can see them a mile off) and also the erroneous spaces in places where you have copied&pasted results in. A word of advice in future – make every opening paragraph of any e-mail personal – to show that you have actually been on a website and understand what it is about. Otherwise you look like a fool.

PS: I fucking hate the subject line, ‘Re: I Can Help Get higher!’ – I just fucking hate it.

Kind regards,

Joan Richardson

Senior Search Consultant

The SEO Co

0844 7404951

Providing SEO for clients since 1999

Note: This email is not spam, it was manually sent by us, our sole purpose being to introduce ourselves to you with no obligation on your part. Your email address was found to be publicly available and it has not been added to any list. We consider this to be a polite way to contact you and apologize sincerely if you have been inconvenienced in any way. We are obliged to offer you an ‘OPT-OUT’ from future mailings from us; should you wish to exercise this right, please reply with “OPT-OUT” in the subject field.

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Jo Swinson – ‘I think #pmqs (is) out of touch’

I am a huge fan of Jo Swinson. It isn’t a secret. I think she has it in her to become a very important player not only within our party but in terms of national politics and cabinet politics. Today she tweeted out from Prime Ministers Questions and summed up something that I have been banging on about for ages.

Jo Swinson Twitter
Jo Swinson on Twitter today

PMQs is out of touch. I watch most weeks if I remember but it is like a giant case of school yard politics with both sides leering and jeering at each other. Today Ed Balls and Ed Miliband were telling David Cameron to calm down (I have no idea if they were saying the term ‘dear’ afterwards) and laughing away at how funny they were whilst David Cameron was telling them what a shit job they had done over the economy previously.

If Ed Balls and Ed Miliband think the current financial crisis is a laughing matter then how can anyone ever take them seriously? It is like they both know they are spending a few years outside of government but they can sweep back in once the mess has been cleaned up. Both sides are as bad as each other but today it was Balls and Miliband who were leading the way.

When I had the opportunity to interview Nick Clegg last month the one item I didn’t get to was about how MPs come across with the electorate. They come across like a bunch of babies and it is like all of them are in the school yard talking about each other behind their back and bullying one another. It is pathetic and the weekly gladiatorial scene that is PMQs is getting worse by the week. ‘It’s your fault’ ‘No it’s *your* fault’ jeer ad nauseum.

I hate it so much as there are no doubt plenty of smart and mature MPs in the House of Commons but they all get tarred with the same brush due to those who act like pathetic babies. I’d install rules where you sit and listen to questions and answers like mature adults and if you don’t then the speaker can throw them out.

If MPs want to act like babies then we should treat them as such.

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