Chris Croft's Personal Blog

May 26, 2010

Sax I admire.

Filed under: Lists, Music — chriscroft @ 10:58 pm

This will be added to for a while to come, but to start with:

All The Things She Gave Me – the Waterboys

Bruce Springsteen’s wonderful sax player Clarence Clemons on Badlands, Jungleland, Thunder Road, Prove It All Night, Born To Run, etc – the list goes on!

Baker Street is OK but the guitar solo on the end is better than the sax bit.  Another example of ebing overshadowed by the guitar is the great sax on Pink Floyd’s ‘Money’ – pity Dave Gilmour is so good!

It’s got to be the tenor sax. Alto doesn’t count – too wimpy.  Though Hazel O’Connor’s ‘Will You’ nearly qualifies.

Supertramp on The Logical Song – John Helliwell really goes for it!

Great sax on the end of Aha’s ‘I Call Your Name’. I think it’s played by Sigurd Kohn (who was killed in the Tsunami in 2004 – at least this thrilling sax lives on)

Spandau Ballet – I’ll fly for you.  Though I have a feeling that one of their less good songs has better sax.  The one on Gold is pretty good.  And the one on True is even better.  Hmm, no I’m going to give the Spandau pride to the fadeout of Through The Barricades – almost Springsteenesque

The Beat – Mirror in the Bathroom, and Jackpot (two saxes!!)

INXS have to be on the list – maybe the track Kick, or What You Need, maybe there’s a better one –  I’ll have to check it

Walk on the wild side is wonderful of course, but more jazz than rock (nothing wrong with that though!) and if you want effortless jazz you’ve got Billy Joels’ Just The Way You Are, Grover Washingtons’ Just The Two Of Us, and lots of really nice Steely Dan tracks on Aja – but I want to go for rock sax in this blog.

.. maybe Shame by Evelyn Champagne King?  and Billy Ocean’s Carribean Queen – funky!

Hall and Oates – Maneater.  I love the way it starts with one note, then two, then three, then four, then off it goes!

…..What did I miss?

PS –  We’re just talking rock here.  Don’t start me on John Coltrane and Eddie Lockjaw Davis and Sonny Rollins and Illinois Jacquet!  (Though I just discovered that it’s Sonny Rollins playing on the Stones ‘Waiting on a Friend’ – that’s got to go on the list.  I prefer it to the one on Brown Sugar, good though that is).  And Roland Kirk and Gato Barbieri, and Earl Bostic — mmm, jazz….


What are your ‘core values’?

Filed under: Managing People, News and Politics — chriscroft @ 9:42 pm

Everybody’s got Core Values these days.  But they make me feel uneasy, since they smell of spin, which is maybe a bit too cynical of me.  Maybe people really do have values that can be written down in bullets, or at least they have values that they want everyone to aim for, which isn’t a bad thing.

I suppose my other objection is that I can’t help analysing them, and my brain just beats itself up with impossible questions like…

  • What’s the pattern to them?
  • Do they overlap?
  • Did they miss anything?
  • Do they actually mean anything?
  • How do you make them happen, as opposed to just talking about them?  Maybe talking about them is enough to make a bit of a difference at least?
  • Are they actually happening?
  • Are you allowed seven, or is four the maximum?  Would three be better, or even two or one??

Here are some real examples from some of my customers:

Core Values are as follows:

  • Customer
  • Spirit
  • Teamwork
  • Energise

Our core values are:

  • Honesty
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Responsibility
  • Quality

Our core values:

  • Tailor made solutions
  • Inspirational
  • Integrity
  • Responsive customer service
  • Strong relationships
  • Encouraging diversity
  • Understanding client needs

We have four core values, described internally as ‘Passions’.

  • Passion for results
  • Passion for our customers
  • Passion for people
  • Passion for the world around us

Then there’s Freedom, Fairness and Responsibility…  I expect you recognise that one?

So: Who’s got the best list?

May 21, 2010

The 20 basic plots, or maybe just 7

Filed under: Books and Culture, Lists — chriscroft @ 1:06 pm

I’m fascinated by the idea that there may be only a certain number of plots to books, films or stories.  For example, did you notice that Avatar, wile looking brilliant, was basically the same as Dances with Wolves and also Pocahontas?  “Evil natives turn out to be nice, man changes sides and saves them”

My friend Paul, who is much cleverer than me, found this list – it’s fascinating!  (Though I think it’s more about story components than complete plots)

The 20 Basic Plots are collected by the Tennessee Screenwriting Association. After you come up with your own system for generating ideas, the next step is to put them in some recognizable story form (the basic plot idea), build your central conflict (the story premise sheet), then build your character and underlying themes (the thematic premise sheet).

1. QUEST – the plot involves the Protagonist’s search for a person, place or thing, tangible or intangible (but must be quantifiable, so think of this as a noun; i.e., immortality).

2. ADVENTURE – this plot involves the Protagonist going in search of their fortune, and since fortune is never found at home, the Protagonist goes to search for it somewhere over the rainbow.

3. PURSUIT – this plot literally involves hide-and-seek, one person chasing another.

4. RESCUE – this plot involves the Protagonist searching for someone or something, usually consisting of three main characters – the Protagonist, the Victim & the Antagonist.

5. ESCAPE – plot involves a Protagonist confined against their will who wants to escape (does not include some one trying to escape their personal demons).

6. REVENGE – retaliation by Protagonist or Antagonist against the other for real or imagined injury.

7. THE RIDDLE – plot involves the Protagonist’s search for clues to find the hidden meaning of something in question that is deliberately enigmatic or ambiguous.

8. RIVALRY – plot involves Protagonist competing for same object or goal as another person (their rival).

9. UNDERDOG – plot involves a Protagonist competing for an object or goal that is at a great disadvantage and is faced with overwhelming odds.

10. TEMPTATION – plot involves a Protagonist that for one reason or another is induced or persuaded to do something that is unwise, wrong or immoral.

11. METAMORPHOSIS – this plot involves the physical characteristics of the Protagonist actually changing from one form to another (reflecting their inner psychological identity).

12. TRANSFORMATION – plot involves the process of change in the Protagonist as they journey through a stage of life that moves them from one significant character state to another.

13. MATURATION – plot involves the Protagonist facing a problem that is part of growing up, and from dealing with it, emerging into a state of adulthood (going from innocence to experience).

14. LOVE – plot involves the Protagonist overcoming the obstacles to love that keeps them from consummating (engaging in) true love.

15. FORBIDDEN LOVE – plot involves Protagonist(s) overcoming obstacles created by social mores and taboos to consummate their relationship (and sometimes finding it at too high a price to live with).

16. SACRIFICE – plot involves the Protagonist taking action(s) that is motivated by a higher purpose (concept) such as love, honor, charity or for the sake of humanity.

17. DISCOVERY – plot that is the most character-centered of all, involves the Protagonist having to overcome an upheavel(s) in their life, and thereby discovering something important (and buried) within them a better understanding of life (i.e., better appreciation of their life, a clearer purpose in their life, etc.)

18. WRETCHED EXCESS – plot involves a Protagonist who, either by choice or by accident, pushes the limits of acceptable behavior to the extreme and is forced to deal with the consequences (generally deals with the psychological decline of the character).

19. ASCENSION – rags-to-riches plot deals with the rise (success) of Protagonist due to a dominating character trait that helps them to succeed.

20. DECISION – riches-to-rags plot deals with the fall (destruction) of Protagonist due to dominating character trait that eventually destroys their success.

The article at describes just seven archetypes:

RAGS TO RICHES Story of an ordinary person who finds a second, more exceptional, self within.

Examples include CinderellaDavid CopperfieldGreat ExpectationsJane Eyre and Hollywood films such as The Gold Rush and My Fair Lady

THE QUEST A long, hazardous journey to reach a priceless goal far away.

Examples of this include The OdysseyJason and the Golden FleeceKing Solomon’s MinesAround The World in Eighty Daysand Raiders of the Lost Ark

VOYAGE AND RETURN Story in which some event — a fall, crash, shipwreck — propels the hero or heroine out of their familiar surroundings into a disconcerting and abnormal world. Examples include Alice in WonderlandRobinson CrusoeThe Ancient MarinerThe Time Machine

COMEDY Not just a general term, but an identifiable form of plot which follows its own rules.

Examples include Tom Jones, the novels of Jane Austen, The Importance of Being EarnestFawlty TowersSome Like It Hot

TRAGEDY Is an archetypal plot, with a five-stage structure culminating in destruction and death. The main character is overcome by a desire for power/passion, which destroys them or they become monstrous. Examples include MacbethDoctor FaustusLolita, and King Lear

REBIRTH Someone falls under a dark power or a spell that traps him or her in a state of living death. An miraculous act of redemption takes place and the victim is released and brought into the light. Examples include Sleeping BeautyA Christmas Carol,The Sound of Music

OVERCOMING THE MONSTER A hero or heroine confronts a monster, defeats it against all odds and wins treasure or a loved one’s hand. Examples include David and GoliathNicholas NicklebyJack and the BeanstalkDraculaJames Bond stories,Jaws

…  but then, I don’t think Avatar is any of the above really…?

What ‘White’ people like

Filed under: Books and Culture, Lists, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 12:58 pm

This isn’t necessarily about colour / race, but something more subtle than that.  It’s a really clever blog that’s been made into a book, and I’d recommend following the link to read the articles about each item.  Some of it is a bit too american for us Brits to understand, but other parts are spot on. I have listed the ones that amuse me below.

Stuff White People Like

My selected highlights:

#132 Picking Their Own Fruit

#130 Ray-Ban Wayfarers

#129 Banksy

#128 Camping

#126 Vespa Scooters

#125 Bob Marley

#123 Mad Men

#122 Moleskine Notebooks

#121 Funny or Ironic Tattoos

#120 Taking a Year Off

#119 Sea Salt

#117 Political Prisoners

#116 Black Music that Black People Don’t Listen to Anymore

#115 Promising to Learn a New Language

#112 Hummus

#111 Pea Coats

#110 Frisbee Sports

#108 Appearing to Enjoy Classical Music

#106 Facebook

#103 Sweaters

#102 Children’s Games as Adults

#101 Being Offended

#99 Grammar

#97 Scarves

#95 Rugby

#93 Music Piracy

#90 Dinner Parties

#88 Having Gay Friends

#87 Outdoor Performance Clothes

#86 Shorts

#84 T-Shirts

#83 Bad Memories of High School

#82 Hating Corporations

#79 Modern Furniture

#78 Multilingual Children

#77 Musical Comedy

#76 Bottles of Water

#73 Gentrification

#72 Study Abroad

#70 Difficult Breakups

#67 Standing Still at Concerts

#64 Recycling

#63 Expensive Sandwiches

#62 Knowing What’s Best for Poor People

#61 Bicycles

#60 Toyota Prius

#59 Natural Medicine

#56 Lawyers

#55 Apologies

#54 Kitchen Gadgets

#53 Dogs

#51 Living by the Water

#50 Irony

#49 Vintage

#48 Whole Foods and Grocery Co-ops

#47 Arts Degrees

#45 Asian Fusion Food

#44 Public Radio

#43 Plays

#42 Sushi

#41 Indie Music

#40 Apple Products

#37 Renovations

#36 Breakfast Places

#34 Architecture

#33 Marijuana

#32 Vegan/Vegetarianism

#31 Snowboarding

#28 Not having a TV

#27 Marathons

#24 Wine

#23 Microbreweries

#22 Having Two Last Names

#21 Writers Workshops

#20 Being an expert on YOUR culture

#19 Traveling

#18 Awareness

#17 Hating their Parents

#16 Gifted Children

#15 Yoga

#14 Having Black Friends

#13 Tea

#12 Non-Profit Organizations

#9 Making you feel bad about not going outside

#8 Barack Obama

#7 Diversity

#6 Organic Food

#5 Farmer’s Markets

#3 Film Festivals

#2 Religions their parents don’t belong to

#1 Coffee

Full List of Stuff White People Like

Apologies if anyone is offended by any of the above, but I would say

a) read the article before being offended, it might not be what you think and

b) it’s only a bit of fun!

May 19, 2010

My music on the web

Filed under: Lists, Music — chriscroft @ 10:51 pm

It’s all a bit odd, so I haven’t publicised it much, but what the hell, here’s a list:

The world’s only Time Management rap:

The world’s only Project Management Rap:

Words by Jolyon Sylvester-Bradley based on the scanty ideas I gave him to use.

Modes of Transport – a song I wrote and performed, started off as a joke but actually I really like it now!

My daily dog walk, accompanied by music I recorded with Trevann when we were doing a jazz duo called Toucan Funk. The track is called Evening, and has flute and sax by me, piano by Trevann, and we used real session bassist and drummer. I love that shuffly brush rhythm on the drums, it fits perfectly with the dog’s footwork …

The band, Lost At Sea, live at the Christchurch Regatta Festival, doing a song called Time:
There are some other songs from the same performance there, and also some samples of studio music from the band, with photos superimposed, at

Then there’s Marylyn’s song “Coastlines Calling” where I have added flute and uploaded it with pictures:

and The Ether Song, now added, at

and a new song that I love: “Chasing Shadows” acoustic version made at my house

Video of Chasing Shadows with Edvard Munch paintings, full bad version, live gig:

Video of Why Can’t You See,  full band recorded live

and me keeping Victor Chetcuti company at The King Charles, June 2010

Here are a couple of tracks by Valeria Poate on which I have done the sax

Earrings in my pocket:

Cherry Cherry Pop:

And then there’s the jazzy/groove project with Dave Carson and Dave Thomas, with Mike of Classic Drums

videos I have made, in order of making them:

Frozen   (don’t miss the last minute where it all opens up)

Back Then  (filmed in my house, pretending to be Cuba or somewhere)

Surveillance   (featuring some of my photos from my walking with wolves day)

Never Gonna Hart Ya    (Great rap from Jolyon and Lauren)

Revolution Club live at The King Charles with Jolyon rapping – on ‘L.A. California’

Revolution Club sampler

Rap sampler  –

Space Walk

Tall Green

Sugar Star

You left me like this

Off Piste –

I hope that at least one of the above floats your boat!


May 8, 2010

my Bucket List

Filed under: Books and Culture, Happiness, Lists — chriscroft @ 10:52 am

30 Things to do before I die

  1. Own a big fluffy Alsation
  2. Be a grandad
  3. Master snowboarding
  4. Snorkelling in the Maldives
  5. Read every good book
  6. Play the sax on Jules Holland
  7. Record an album of my own stuff
  8. Balloon trip
  9. Cycle across Europe
  10. Get good at the drums
  11. Do a talk to 1000 people at once
  12. Publish a really successful management book
  13. Tour southern India
  14. See Ayers Rock
  15. Explore the Greek islands
  16. Cycle through Italy
  17. Drive a lotus Elise
  18. Master driving with the back end hanging out (powerslide)
  19. Sail round a floating iceberg
  20. Have a laugh with Joan Armatrading
  21. See Louise as Chief Exec
  22. See Miles running his own business
  23. See Sally win a singles tennis tournament
  24. Walk across a wilderness and arrive somewhere great
  25. Make a TV “guru” programme
  26. Visit Rennes Le Chateau
  27. Discover the secrets of the freemasons
  28. Ride a trail bike off road for a longish distance in good weather using skill to stay on
  29. Motorcycle tour of the Alps
  30. See the stars while staying overnight in the desert

Were on my list, but now Done:

  1. Eclipse
  2. Dolphins
  3. Whales
  4. Taj Mahal
  5. Koalas
  6. Great Barrier Reef
  7. Book published
  8. Marquee club
  9. Pub gigs
  10. Recording studio CDs
  11. Machu Pichu
  12. New York
  13. Pyramids
  14. Bob Dylan
  15. Rock climbing
  16. See a volcano erupting
  17. Relax and let my mind be still in Katmandu
  18. See the northern lights
  19. See Mount Everest

PR vs. Hung?

Filed under: News and Politics — chriscroft @ 10:47 am

I’m wondering what the difference is between proportional representation and a hung parliament?

Everyone says that a HP is bad, and at the moment it’s all pretty chaotic with no overall leader, but surely with PR, even though it’s obviously fairer, we’d have the same thing every time – but with a few extremists thrown in as well (even the BNP would probably get a seat).

Surely that’s just a total pain, or have I missed the point?

Why I love Tom Waits

Filed under: Music — chriscroft @ 10:42 am

He’s done so many great songs, where do you start?

Here are just some of his wonderful lyrics…

She sends me blue valentines
Like half forgotten dreams
Like a pebble in my shoe
As I walk these streets
And the ghost of your memory
Baby is the thistle in the kiss
It’s the burglar that that can break a roses neck
It’s the tattooed broken promise
I gotta hide beneath my sleeve
I’m gonna see you every time I turn my back

With this blind and broken heart
That sleeps beneath my lapel


Romeo says, “Hey man gimme a cigarette”
And they all reach for their pack
and Frankie lights it for him and pats him on the back
Throws bottle at a milk truck
And as it breaks he grabs his nuts
And they all know they could be just like Romeo
If they only had the guts


Put a dead cat on the railroad tracks
Get the eyeball of a rooster
Stones from a ditch
Wash ’em down with bilge water
Say you’ll never snitch

Catch the tears of a widow
In a thimble made of glass
Tell your mama and your papa
They can kiss your ass

Strangle all the christmas carols
Scratch out all you prayers
Tie ’em up with barbed wire
And push them down the stairs

Sink your teeth into my shoulder
Dig your nails into my back
Tell that little girl to let go of my sleeve
You’ll be a woman when I catch you
C’mon baby, fall in love with me

We’ll do 100mph
Spendin’ someone else’s dough
Drive all the way to Reno
On the wrong side of the road


I’ll get a dollar from my mamas purse
Buy that scull and crossbones ring
And you can wear it round your neck on an old piece of string

Then we’ll spit on Ronnie Arnold
Flip him the bird
Slash the tires on the school bus
Now don’t say a word
I’ll take a rusty nail and scratch your initials in my arm
And I’ll show you how to sneak up on the roof of the drugstore

I’ll take the spokes from your wheelchair
And a magpies wings
And I’ll tie em to your shoulders and your feet
I’ll steal a hacksaw from my dad
Cut the braces off your legs
And we’ll bury them tonight out in the cornfield


Frank settled down out in the Valley
And he hung his wild years in a nail that he drove through his wife’s forehead
He sold used office furniture out there on San Fernando Road
And assumed a $30,000 loan at 15 1/4 %
And put down payment on a little two bedroom place
His wife was a spent piece of used jet trash
Made good bloody marys, kept her mouth shut most of the time
Had a little Chihuahua named Carlos
That had some kind of skin disease and was totally blind
They had a thoroughly modern kitchen, self-cleaning oven (the whole bit)
Frank drove a little sedan, they were so happy

One night Frank was on his way home from work
He stopped at the liquor store
Picked up a couple Mickey’s Big Mouths
Drank ’em in the car on his way to the Shell station
He got a gallon of gas in a can
Drove home, doused everything in the house, torched it
Parked across the street laughing and watching it burn
All Halloween orange and chimney red
Then Frank put on a top forty station
Got on the Hollywood Freeway
Headed north

Never could stand that dog


No spirits, no bilgewater and eighty dry locals
And the high noon sun beats a hundred and four
There’s a hummingbird trapped in a closed down shoe store

The train smokes down the xylophone
There’ll be no stopping here
All ya can be is thirsty in a town with no cheer


Don’t you know there ain’t no devil, there’s just God when he’s drunk


How do the angels get to sleep
When the devil leaves his porchlight on?


It’s the cool of the evening the sun’s goin’ down
I want to hold you in my arms I want to push you around
I want to break your bottle and spill out all your charms
Come on baby, we’ll set off all the burglar alarms


I’ll be clickin’ by your house about two forty-five
Sidewalk sundae strawberry surprise,
When you’re tired and you’re hungry and you want something cool
Got something better than a swimming pool

‘Cause I’m the ice cream man, I’m a one-man band
I’m the ice cream man, honey I’ll be good to you

Diamonds on my windshield
Tears from heaven
Pulling into town on the Interstate
I got a steel train in the rain
The wind bites my cheek through the wing
Fast flying, freeway driving
Always makes me sing

Wisconsin hiker with a cue-ball head
Wishing he’s home in a Wisconsin bed
Fifteen feet of snow in the East
Colder then a welldigger’s ass

Radio’s gone off the air
And gives you time to think
You ease it out and you creep across
Intersection light goes out
You hear the rumble
As you fumble for a cigarette
Blazing through the neon jungle
Remember someone that you met
One more block, the engine talks
And whispers home at last
Whispers, whispers, whispers
Whispers home at last


With the platinum blondes and tobacco brunettes
I’ll be drinkin’ to forget you


Yeah I got designs on a moving violation
Yeah baby, you put me on hold and I’m out in the wind
And it’s getting mighty cold
It’s colder than a gut shot bitch wolf dog
With nine sucking pups pulling a number four trap up a hill
In the dead of winter in the middle of a snowstorm
With a mouth full of porcupine quills


Step right up, step right up, step right up
Everyone’s a winner, bargains galore
That’s right, you too can be the proud owner
Of the quality goes in before the name goes on, yeah
We got a year-end clearance, we got a white sale
And a smoke-damaged furniture, you can drive it away today
Act now, act now, and receive as our gift, our gift to you
They come in all colours, one size fits all
No muss, no fuss, no spills, you’re tired of kitchen drudgery
Fifty percent off original retail price, skip the middle man
Don’t settle for less
How do we do it? How do we do it? Volume, volume, turn up the volume
Now you’ve heard it advertised, don’t hesitate

That’s right, it fillets, it chops, it dices, slices,
Never stops, lasts a lifetime, mows your lawn
And it mows your lawn and it picks up the kids from school
It gets rid of unwanted facial hair, it gets rid of embarrassing age spots
It delivers a pizza and it lengthens and it strengthens
And it finds that slipper that’s been at large
Under the chaise lounge for several weeks

If not completely satisfied, mail back unused portion of product
For complete refund of price of purchase
Step right up
Please allow thirty days for delivery, don’t be fooled by cheap imitations
Removes embarrassing stains from contour sheets, that’s right

And it entertains visiting relatives, it turns a sandwich into a banquet
Tired of being the life of the party?
Change your shorts, change your life, change your life
Change into a nine-year-old Hindu boy, get rid of your wife
And it walks your dog, and it doubles on sax
Doubles on sax, you can jump back Jack, see you later alligator

It’s the only product you will ever need
Follow these easy assembly instructions it never needs ironing
Well it takes weights off hips, bust, thighs, chin, midriff,
Gives you dandruff, and it finds you a job, it is a job
And it strips the phone company free take ten for five exchange
And it gives you denture breath
And you know it’s a friend, and it’s a companion
And it gets rid of your traveller’s checks
It’s new, it’s improved, it’s old-fashioned
Well it takes care of business, never needs winding,
Never needs winding, never needs winding

It gives you an erection, it wins the election
Why put up with painful corns any longer?
It’s a redeemable coupon, no obligation, no salesman will visit your home
Receive our free brochure, free brochure
Read the easy-to-follow assembly instructions, batteries not included
Send before midnight tomorrow, terms available
You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away
C’mon and step right up

And I struggled out of bed
Cause the dawn was crackin’ hard just like a bullwhip
And it wasn’t takin’ no lip from the night before
As it shook out the streets
The stew bums showed up just like bounced checks
Rubbin’ their necks and the sky turned the colour of Pepto-Bismol


I know you seen my headlights
and the honkin of my horn
I’m callin out my bloodhounds
chase the devil through the corn
last night I chugged the Mississippi
now that suckers dry as a bone
born in a taxi cab
I’m never comin home

what you think is the sunshine
is just a twinkle in my eye
that ring around my fingers
just the 4th of July
when I get a little bit lonesome
and a tear falls from my cheek
there’s gonna be an ocean in
the middle of the week


I’m gonna tear me off a rainbow
and wear it for a tie
I never told the truth
so I can never tell a lie


May 3, 2010

Vote for me!

Filed under: Careers, Lists, News and Politics, Sport — chriscroft @ 10:01 am

Actually I’d hate to be an MP.  These days the media attention is so close, and so negative, that it would only take the 5 minutes to find something wrong with me.  Anyone with character gets weeded out by the system.

Having laughed at the Americans with George W when we had Blair, they now have Obama and we’re stuck with the Twins.  So depressing!  Our parties are too similar, having converged into the middle where the votes are, and our individual MPs are not high enough calibre (with a few exceptions) – and this isn’t surprising, since the pay isn’t enough for such a difficult job.  It’s unpopular to say, but my first policy would be to double MPs pay so we get some really good people coming in.  How else can we get Richard Branson etc to run our country?

My 17 policies:

  1. Double MPs pay, as explained above.  And get rid of the senile freeloaders as the new pay brings in better people.
  2. Ban Christmas carols and decorations in shops until December.  No cheesy music allowed in November.
  3. Clearly label low fat and low sugar food so that I don’t accidentally get the crap marmalade or the tasteless pate.  In fact this is a partly serious point as the labelling of food with health traffic lights never got through, and it should have.
  4. Ban speed cameras and speed traps, since all they do is make law abiding people hate the police.  Instead, still have traps and unmarked cars etc but fine people for dangerous driving instead of speeding.  You can be dangerous below the speed limit (too close, not indicating) and safe above it (sunny day, empty road).  Let the police have discretion, and of course they have video evidence if it goes to court.
  5. Get rid of copper coins – they are just annoying, and you can’t even get rid of them into parking meters.
  6. Stop the war on local government and the insidious agenda of replacing council people (who care) with outside contractors who cost more and mostly don’t care.  Instead of giving up and replacing swathes of local government with private companies, manage them properly by, for example, measuring performance and only targeting the underperforming areas (instead of having complete reorganisations all the time) and by having stronger HR Departments who will actually DO something about the outrageous levels of sickness in the councils and NHS.  Of course some sickness is genuine, but when you’re averaging 14 days per person per year (self employed is about 1) them strong management is needed.
  7. Make football goals wider so we don’t get nil-all draws any more.
  8. Combine England with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the Word Cup, so that we could win it easily, with Giggs on the left wing (yes, he’s not too old) and then Wayne Bridge can have his sulk and we wouldn’t care. Plus it might make the Scottish bond a bit with their English friends down south – come on you guys, you aren’t going to win it on your own, and stop supporting Argentina when they play us!  We support you against them!
  9. To get the dole you have to work for just 5 hours a week on volunteer / community projects, helping out the Council, cleaning up litter and graffiti etc – so people could learn a work ethic, and to care about their environment, as well as getting all these jobs done and making our country nicer.  Admin would be easy – supervisor signs off the fact that you’ve done the 5 hours – or not.
  10. I’d make it illegal to put Heating ‘Engineer’ on the side of your white van if you don’t have a DEGREE in Engineering.  No wonder we’re short of Engineers (and hence industry and hence jobs and balance of trade) if people think an Engineering degree is to teach you to fix washing machines.
  11. Your status photo on Facebook would not be allowed to be yourself as a baby.  It’s not clever and it’s not funny – I want to know what you look like NOW.
  12. Encourage live music in pubs – there would be no tax on the beer if you’ve got a band playing
  13. No cones on motorways if men aren’t working – so you’d have to work round the clock.  Instead of 3 roadworks jobs taking 3 months you could blitz each one in one month with three times the people.
  14. Teach time management, negotiating, financial skills and nightclub skills (how to dance and chat people up) at schools, instead of Latin etc.  I didn’t feel prepared for life when I left school.
  15. A better careers system, which really does help kids make the most important decision of their lives.  I know two marine biologists who never got a job in MB and have not been happy ever since, and loads of Economists who were wrongly advised into auditing, and why on earth did I go into running factories for a living?  Personality testing and computers could solve this if we put our minds to it.  The Bournemouth University computer that I tried a few years ago suggested that I joined the Army!
  16. Ban wasps in public places.
  17. Only joggers who are going five miles or more will be allowed to carry a bottle with a hole in the middle.

What did I miss?

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