Ed Lines

After a fashion I quite admire the brass balls of self-made millionaire Raminder Ranger (his name rhymes with ‘clanger’  I think, rather than ‘danger’).

Raminder is trying to sue the House of Lords for twice declining his applications to be made a Life Peer (and no, I didn’t know you could, either).

But in so doing I suspect that Raminder, who is already an MBE for his good deeds, has dropped a clanger. A Big Ben-size clanger.

It’s quaintly naive, this sense of entitlement.

Raminder has made his millions, done lots of charitable deeds and he’s even been a Tory donor!

So how dare the ‘old boys network’ decline him his ermine and a seat on the red benches, based (he says) on a bit of negative tittle-tattle?

How indeed? Following Raminder’s noble lead I shall dispose forthwith a missive to Westminster expressing high dudgeon at my own missing knighthood! Sir Locky or bust!

Apparently Raminder suspects “elitism” at play. What, in the House of Lords? Get away! (Clearly his fortune owes nothing to a sense of irony).

Raminder asserts that he “wishes to contribute more to British public life”.

I wasn’t aware that sitting one’s fat arse in the House Of Lords and drawing their generous expenses contributed so much as a mouse dropping to the public good, old chap.

But if that’s your motivation Raminder, why not donate your time to one of the dozens of worthwhile charities on your doorstep or better still, some of your millions to all of them.

Failing that I would suggest that rather than funding leeching lawyers in pursuit of a hopeless legal case, you follow the noble, time-honoured means of being elevated to the Lords.

Just increase your donations to the Tories. Works every time.


I ALWAYS thought her stony-faced lack of remorse contributed as much to the public vilification of Sharon Shoesmith, the ex-social services chief in the infamous Baby P case, as it did to the initial scepticism about Kate and Gerry McCann after their daughter Madeleine was stolen.

It probably unfair, what we expect of parents in a state of shock like the McCanns. Not everyone can turn on tears like a tap as Karen Matthews  did when her daughter Shannon was ‘kidnapped’.

Lord knows how people in such legitimate – and ongoing – distress function publicly at all.

Still, Shoesmith really was her own worst enemy. And yet the moment Labour’s Education Secretary Ed Balls summarily sacked her, my heart sank. I could already picture Shoesmith rubbing her hands in glee.


Balls acted completely improperly and illegally, a fact plain to anyone who’s ever had to hire or fire staff.

Did she deserve the boot? Undoubtedly. But there are processes to follow and for the sake of a moment’s public glory, Balls, as usual, ballsed it up.

Mind you, compared to the billions he, Brown and Ed Miliband cost the nation with their ruinous Private Finance Initiatives, her £600,000 is nothing more than a penny down the back of the sofa.

If there’s any consolation it’s in the time it’s taken Shoesmith to get her dabs on the money and the public opprobrium she’s held in.

I suppose it’s too much to wish that Balls could be made to pay her off himself.


THERE’S a simple reason that Dewsbury MP Simon Reevell ‘believes’ the Mid Yorks NHS Trust’s self-appointed experts and their justification for basically taking a wrecking ball to Dewsbury District Hospital – they talk ‘his’ language. Lawyerspeak. 

Glib platitudes and baseless assertions that selfishly assert their position, regardless of the facts, arguments are real concerns and difficulties of ‘ordinary’ people – the great unwashed.

Reevell might have been a decent MP for Harrogate or some Tory shire that only requires a part-time hob-nobber.

He is so, so out of touch with this constituency’s needs or its people.

He was elected to fight their corner, not buy the bullshine of the duplicitous Stephen Eames and his catastrophic cabal.


I OPTED out of the second half of the ‘Educating Thornhill’ series but understand the producers saved the best for last with a Hollywood-style tear-jerker finish. Not a dry eye in the country by all accounts.

I’ll park my cynicism for a while and just say that I’m pleased the school community came through the project in one piece, with reputation largely enhanced.

It’s clear that headteacher Mr Mitchell (pictured) and his staff have produced some excellent results in recent years.

I trust that the national spotlight they’ve had shone in their eyes for the past couple of months has aided that process and that the benefits have outweighed any of the predictabe pitfalls along the way.

It’s back to ‘real life’ now and the Thornhill Community Academy deserves our best wishes in turning out more and more young people equipped to contribute to their, and our, communities, as responsible citizens.


Life, as the saying goes, begins at 40. Or at least it used to. 

I never did quite understand that, because it seems a nonsense that your worries all fade away just as you lose your hair, libido, the use of your knees and the only noticeable ‘growth’ in your life involves your belly, nose hair, and overdraft.

So it was with a measure of some delight that I read the results of a survey suggesting that men don’t hit that imaginary ‘contentment level’ until the age of 54.

I certainly don’t worry about hair loss like I did at 40. I wouldn’t have it back if it was offered, actually (a grey mullet? No thanks).

I weigh a good stone less than at 40 and am two waist sizes down, too. Even the knees are in better shape!

But having had about six days off work in total this year, and having made only marginally more money than when I was working on the ladders for my dad and pulling pints at Morton House WMC in 1977, I’m not quite sure ‘contentment’ comes into it.

Still, I’ve six more weeks left of being 54. Lots of time for my fairy godmother to find her wand! Not.


At the risk of unfairly inflaming public opinion towards a woman who may well be a doting mother, grandmother, and thoroughly nice all-around person, can I wish that someone would give Angela Knight a smack in the teeth on behalf of the nation?

That’s not nice, I know, but I can’t help but feel someone who is the chief executive of Energy UK (ie lavishly-paid spokeswoman for the thieving gas/electric cartel), and who was before that chief executive of the British Banking Association, should have a conscience like a concentration camp guard.

Strong stuff? I mean it’s not as if she’s a dirty lousy politician. Actually she was – Treasury minister in the last Tory government no less.

So, sorry for my ill temper and all that, but, I really, really don’t like this woman or the system that begets

creatures like her.

On the take and on the make, one and all.

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