Cameron in control

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"I have to do another five years?!"
“I have to do another five years?!”

Gosh but wasn’t that election result depressing. Even that pun about ‘I don’t trust the polls and neither does Nigel Farage’ isn’t going to cheer me up. (You’re disappointed?! How do you think I feel? -Ed. Miliband.)

In fact, I think the only way I can bring my spirits back up – even now, almost a month on – is with a bit of an election-themed square dance…


Who’s minding the Sussex store?

Michael Farthing: saving money on graphic design since 1961
Michael Farthing: saving money on graphic design since 1961

In order to dispel accusations of being a over-commercialised and profiteering body, Sussex University has opened a smug shop in a premium area of Brighton city centre.

The “pop-up shop”, christened quite simply @SussexUni, has been around for a month and, according to Registrar John Duffy, “gives us an opportunity to showcase our high-quality research”.

Because obviously everyone visiting North Laine in the summer wants nothing more than to learn about the demand and impact of crop microinsurance in India in between buying fudge and taking funny selfies on the pier.

A cynic might think that the entire project was just a stupid idea designed to promote the Vice-Chancellor’s self-aggrandisement at enormous public expense. But I’m pleased to confirm that this is not the case, because the shop is only costing the University…


Once again, the University has confirmed to me that it has “no information” regarding any assessment of the value for money offered by the project. But on the plus side, the FOI office’s internal email correspondence in processing my request said: “We know Mr Webber very well.” Aww, what it is to have friends in high places.

But £20,000, though… Absolute bloody bargain.


Kent Police’s lost [and found] battle

_44709534_beartag226[1]There was a furore recently when Kent Police announced that they would no longer be accepting lost property, saying that it “is not a police matter”.

Their website advises members of the public who have lost things that many premises “should have their own lost and found procedures”, including nightclubs, schools, public transport (which will be of some comfort to this guy) and “private houses”.

Yes, my private house has a sophisticated lost and found procedure, and any item not reclaimed within 28 days is sold, the profits off-setting the legal costs accrued by this blog.

Reassuringly, though, the BBC confirms that Kent Police will continue to accept lost property “believed to be associated with crime, such as guns and knives”.

Now that isn’t really ‘lost property’, is it?



IMG_4134Well, the Board of Deputies elections are over for another three years, and what a marathon live-streamed public meeting it was! (Although admittedly my own contribution was not appreciated by all.)

But for those who can’t face wading through the full four-hour video, I’m pleased to welcome on the cast of The Muppet Show to provide a one-minute summary:

Other highlights of the drama included:

  • Question: “Why did you describe Islam as ‘not a religion but an agenda for world domination’?” Candidate: “That wasn’t me, I was requoting a tremendous woman called Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She was actually brought up in Islam. She’s black.” (Well that’s OK then. -Ed.)
  • Question: “Why did you tell the community how to vote in the general election?” Candidate: “I was not telling the community how to vote, I was simply stating which party was in the communal interest.”
  • A comparison between pro-Israel pro-peace group Yachad and anti-Israel pro-Holocaust denial group the Neturei Karta.
  • A slew of graceful tweets from Sussex Friends of Israel members heralding the new President as “a real Jew” and proclaiming, “Out with the rubbish”. Charming.

Democracy, eh, you can’t beat it.


She’s black (pt 2)

The friendliest ghost you know
The friendliest ghost you know

The Copes family of Long Island, New York, received a nasty surprise last week in the form of an anonymoous letter addressed to “Attn: African-American family”, warning them that they “don’t belong here” and should “leave as soon as you can”. Rather touchingly, the note ended, “Sorry if this is rude.”

‘Sorry if this is rude’ as a softening addendum to threatening notes, messages and ultimata is an oratorical device of vast antiquity, its use stretching back to the days of ancient Athens


Five of the best

In tonight’s episode, John Duffy went into small business, ideally suited to his small mind. David Cameron appointed a government of none of the talents. Israel failed to win Eurovision, Kent Police failed to win ‘most publicly-spirited police force’ and Tal Ofer, David Berens and Roslyn Pine failed to win the Board of Deputies Vice-Presidential election. This was an Gabrielquotes production!


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