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John Burns' Blog

Barrack-room lawyer; Economic Lessons; Speak Clearly; Cumulative Humour

Published: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I’ve been out of circulation for a week or two assisting a friend with a disciplinary hearing.  Nothing to do with Burns Pet Nutrition, I hasten to add.  It’s been very time-consuming but exciting too as I’ve always fancied myself as the barrack-room lawyer.
Picking holes in the evidence brings a glow but in the end it was more Rumpole than Perry Mason.  What I said probably made no difference.
People who don’t know any better say that the innocent have nothing to fear yet the media is full of examples of miscarriages of justice.  Being involved in one brings it home. 

Still, I’m looking forward to the appeal.Writing in yesterday’s Guardian Polly Toynbee quoted from a 2006 Times article by a prominent politician.  The article was entitled “Look and Learn from Across the Irish Sea.  A generation ago it would have seemed ridiculous to go to Ireland for economics lessons.  Not any more.”  I urge you to read it in full.

The author wrote “Ireland stands as a shining example of the art of long-term economic policymaking…  What has caused this Irish miracle and how can we emulate it?”Who is this expert on how a country should run its economy? None other than George (Slasher) Osborne, now Chancellor of the Exchequer.My wife recently attended a local group conference.  One of the speakers gave a talk on communication.  “I hadn’t a clue what he was on about” she reported.

Afriend gave me a list of Tommy Cooper one-liners. (I suppose all his jokes were one-liners).  I’d seen it before but as I read through the jokes my reaction was exactly the same as last time.  The first few jokes gave me a little titter but they gradually became funnier until before I reached the end I couldn’t read for laughing.  Was it that the later jokes were funnier or is humour cumulative?  PhD for someone?

This reminds me of a joke from my 1970 student rag mag.   A man with his face wrapped in a scarf runs round a courtroom squeezing all the women’s breasts.  What’s going on, someone asks?  Oh, that’s only a muffled titter running round the court.

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