one johnny neptune

A curmudgeon’s response to the return of Eddie Howe.

October 11, 2012

Oh how fickle we all are. Erstwhile club saviour and boo hiss turncoat Eddie Howe is expected to re-sign on the dotted line at any time today and us, the supporters are falling over ourselves to be #gayforeddie. In some quarters, people are even starting to praise chairman Mitchell for bringing him back.
While his return is exciting, and will, hopefully lead to an improvement on the football side of things, ultimately this is a desperate last throw of the dice by our Chairman, one that, cleverly, means that any future failure is our fault, not his. He’s done *what we wanted*, we’ll be to blame if it doesn’t work out. Whether it is actually what we wanted before the rumours that he was want we wanted started is a moot point. The chanting of Howe’s name prior to Groves’ sacking was more likely a standard response to mistakes made by Mitchell than a demand to get him back.
What, really, changes with his appointment? Has our debt level been wiped out? Are we suddenly not paying around 250% of income on wages? No. If anything, debt will be rising further. Compensation to Burnley (albeit countered by the vast sums they still owe us) for Howe, Tindall and anyone else who comes back, our backroom staff needing to be compensated when they’re laid off.
Not to mention inevitable new signings in January, who will all want parity, no doubt, with our current top earners, and will we be able to ship out any players already on over-inflated wages that Howe doesn’t want?
And what of Mitchell? Will he really have accepted a need for him to be nothing but a figurehead, will he really accept that he can’t just barge into the dressing room whenever he feels like it. Will his son (our, no really, Director of Football) be reined in? Have the Mitchells accepted the need to put the Club before the Mitchells? Time will tell.
We’re still hurtling towards oblivion, the appointment of Howe just means the view on the way will be slightly improved.

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October 18, 2011

Today, it’s rumoured, will see the return of the Stone Roses, with a host of dates announced, and possibly an new album.

I’m not sure what to feel. This was the band that, basically, defined what I am today. At 16, on first hearing their album back in 1989, I finally found a direction. While everyone else in my middle class, 99% white grammar school seemed to be listening to NWA, I found, through the Roses, and subsequently through the weekly devouring of the NME and Melody Maker a whole new world and new friends. Everything I’ve done since can be directly linked back to clicking play on my tape recorder and having the start of “I wanna be adored” wash over me.

I missed their great gigs, Blackpool & Ally Pally. Spike Island was too far away for a small town seventeen year old to get to. So I’ve never seen them.

Five long years went by, waiting for a follow up. Second Coming finally arrived. Along with a brand new needle for my stereo to ensure the best listen I could get. Curtains drawn, shut down one sense and the others get stronger and all that. I was, if not disappointed, then slightly underwhelmed.

Then it all fell apart and it felt like the right thing.

And now fifteen years after the band split up we’re waiting for news of a reformation. I’ve seen many bands reform these past few years. From the Happy Mondays (because of a tax bill the size of Canada) to the Pixies (unfinished business and a chance to finally make the money they were due) to Pavement. Some have been great (Pixies, pavement), some have been awful (Happy Mondays).

The jury’s out on the roses. If they’ve done it just for the cash, while not being able to blame them, it’s not going to work. While you feel Reni, Mani & Squire could still just phone in a performance without trying if the chemistry isn’t there it will basically shit over their past reputation.

If they’ve done it because, after 15 years, they’ve rediscovered what made them so very very great back in the late 80s, being best mate scallies that wanted to change the world, then it could be amazing.

It could be, and you’ll excuse me here, what the world is waiting for.

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don’t mind me….

July 1, 2011
1 Comment

…. just lighting up the calendar.

it’s what he would have wanted x

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We’ve all got good degrees in hindsight

October 20, 2010
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I’ve just read what i wrote below again.

“Over the next few days, initial feelings of despair at a Tory government dissipated as the first reports of how the coalition might work came out. The first draft of the ‘agreement’ was released and I found myself nodding to the majority of it. Civil liberty repeals! Green stuff! This is all good surely. Yes, there’ll be bad stuff but surely the liberals, with their “Minister for Biscuits” and “Minister for Cabinet jobs just to keep you sweet” portfolios would be able to rein in the most excessive parts of the Tory ideology.”

How wrong can you be?

More later.

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Now the dust is settling…

May 15, 2010

I found myself, last Tuesday, in the lucky position of being in central London during the final frenzied hours of the denouement of the 2010 General Election. As I made my way past College Green, with it’s vast refugee village of journalists, up towards Whitehall and then on to Downing Street you could feel the tension and atmosphere growing palpably. My friend and I settled in the Red Lion pub, just across the road from where Gordon was finally writing his goodbye speech. You could have got drunk on the atmosphere in the pub, civil servants giddy at the day’s occurances were huddling round the telly.

The next three hours flew by, we saw Gordon resign on the telly and then saw him drive past the pub on his way to see the Queen. This was ‘really happening’ and right in front of my eyes. The lib dem and tory negotiating teams walked right past us, drunkenly I expressed my feelings toward them. Then police came and moved us back in the pub.

Then it was time to go back over the road, the new leader was coming, we could see him arrive.
here's dave

I tweeted my feelings on this at the time. My tweet simply said ‘FUck’

Over the next few days, initial feelings of despair at a Tory government dissipated as the first reports of how the coalition might work came out. The first draft of the ‘agreement’ was released and I found myself nodding to the majority of it. Civil liberty repeals! Green stuff! This is all good surely. Yes, there’ll be bad stuff but surely the liberals, with their “Minister for Biscuits” and “Minister for Cabinet jobs just to keep you sweet” portfolios would be able to rein in the most excessive parts of the Tory ideology.

Maybe this is what David Cameron needed to realise his ambition of pulling the Conservatives towards the centre. Blair had Mandelson and Campbell to help drag the Labour Party away from it’s left wing excesses. Two dark knights that you wouldn’t want to cross. Cameron had no-one to help him modernise – the tory grandees were still disciples of Maggie. The 306 seats the Tories won were clearly a ‘we want to trust you but you’ve still got too much baggage’ cry from the electorate. With the liberals on board pulling to the left David has enough of ‘his’ party on his side to be able to ignore the more rabid shoutings of his party.

But is it enough?

Just five days into the new brave dawn of coalition politics there are mutterings from the Tory backbenches that they haven’t been consulted on the policy reworkings. Several from the right are already beginning to voice their doubts on how the new policies can work. While the liberals have clearly given up more of their manifesto to come to a compromise there are those on the right of the Tory who think they should have given no ground at all. Certainly in the area of political reform.

The new proposal of 55% of MPs being needed to bring about the dissolution of parliament is causing consternation across all sides of the house. While 50%+1MP is still all that is needed to bring about a vote of no confidence, the 55% idea means that the ruling government can still carry on despite having lost a confidence vote.

Obviously the 50%+1 rule needed amending now that we are working under a coalition. When a party has an absolute majority 50%+1 works well, you need to have an element of the ruling party that has lost faith for the vote to count. Under a coalition, where the ruling party has less than 50% of MPs it makes for an uncertain parliament where the minor party in the coalition could bring down the Government whenever it pleases. As can be seen in Scotland, under a proper coalition government, you need 66% to win a vote of confidence, as the party share of vote is that much smaller.

So how best to resolve this issue? Maybe the ‘dissolution’ percentage needs to be not set in stone. It needs to be flux in a way that allows the system we currently have to be maintained but in a way that recognises that a largest ruling minority party has to lose some of it’s own support before dissolution can be acheived.

Cameron has come out and said today that 55% can be debated in the house. That it has taken only 5 days for him to have to backtrack on a ‘fixed’ policy does not look good for the long term running of the coalition. We have to hope that it can be strong and that the backbenches can be kept in check. Because if they can’t we will be seeing the events of last Tuesday a lot sooner than we thought. Except they won’t be as exciting.

Rockin’ around the christmas tree….

November 28, 2009

Just down the road there’s a big town, goes by the name of Poole. The council there have decided against a 30ft ‘real’ fir tree this year and plonked a great big green cone in the middle of Falkland Square. The locals are up in arms about it. ‘WE WANT A TREE’ they shout, forgetting that last year they all complained about having a tree because the guy ropes needed to keep it secure made the square look like a building site.


Me? I quite like it. It’s a pared down version of a concept of a tree. As an example of abstract minimalism it’s perfect. It’s green, it’s thinner at the top than at the bottom and it’s taller than it is wide. What more do you need?

We should also not forget that it’s sited in the ugliest part of the ugliest part of town. Poole town centre is an abomination compared to the rest of the area. Any attempt to make Falkland Square look ‘pretty’ fails because of the nature of Falkland Square (and while we’re here, what a fitting tribute to that Conflict a concrete shopping area is)

So hurrah to Poole Council. And hurrah to the tree.

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