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Ah, sweet mystery of life, at last I found you!

By Mike Cunningham On March 29th, 2015 at 11:18 am

I read of mass hysteria; there are stories of thousands of people, mainly young, overwhelmingly female, seeking compassionate leave due to stress, or sadness, or something. One very young woman stated that her world had ‘stopped turning’. Now this is all very revealing, or worrying, or indeed not.


But the question in my mind remains unanswered:-


Who or what is Zayn Malik, and why does he feature quite so much in the minds of all those silly bloody females who really, really, should ponder on the probability of getting a life?


she does take after us a bit

By Mike Cunningham On February 24th, 2015 at 11:13 pm


No, no, I said “We have got to get her fit, not fat!


..Because their lips are moving!

By Mike Cunningham On August 13th, 2012 at 10:22 am

It is a certain truth that, in order to guarantee failure to a project, an idea or even a belief; one must import the voices of politicians who wish to place their ownership of aforementioned idea firmly before the public (and of course, voters) gaze.

If anyone believes that they can jump higher, run faster, row more vigorously than their fellow athletes, they will have had that belief for a long time. Some might even state that the impetus to do better is in their genetic make-up. Speaking purely personally, I don’t believe I have a competitive molecule in my entire D.N.A system, and whilst many might try to compete in a multitude of endeavours, without the basic genetic make-up which pushes them further than mere mortals; I just don’t comprehend that drive at all. In short, Sport, and sporting endeavours, and more exactly watching sports, bores me stiff. But I can understand that I am in a miniscule minority, especially when it comes to major sporting activities such as the Olympics.

My late brother, who was himself the sports fanatic in our household, said as much one day after he asked me if I had watched some (to him) very important World Cup match. When I replied that I had in fact been watching a documentary on the African Fish Eagle, his reply was to the effect that ‘I had no soul’!  But that’s just me!

However, I commenced this small diatribe with regard to politicians trying to muscle in on anything which they believe will give them leverage, or votes, or both. So it is with all the tiny-minded so-called  leaders, or would-be leaders, of our various political parties. We watch as Mr. Slippery himself, our unlamented Prime Minister, welcomes the victorious Mohammed Farah into his ‘hunger summit’ in Downing Street. As I have never met M. Farah, nor am I likely to, all I could give him are these words of warning when he listens to David Cameron; ‘Always get everything down in writing; every promise, every theory, every extravagant guarantee; whether it be about sport in general, or the supposed hunger in the Sahel region of Africa’. Then, when disappointment arises, as surely it will, because all politicians use people, and then discard them if they are inconvenient, he can point to the words he wrote down when those extravagant promises were made; and be able to call our slippery Prime Minister a liar to his face. Next we watch Ed Miliband as he makes a complete fool of himself next to two students as he prepared to lie to several thousand voters in Corby. Someone should have reminded our Ed that that type of gesture is frowned upon by the Party he professes to lead. And of course there is Nick Clegg, who has won new praise for winning the title, against strong opposition; of Britain’s most Untrustworthy Political Leader.

As with athletics, or rowing, or any other of the multitude of sports highlit in the past fortnight, I hope to remind you, dear ATW reader, that they are only in politicians’ eyes, because of the hope that some of the glory, or the soundness of the individual athlete’s campaigns, rubs off onto the shoulders of the politician in question. Having watched with a cynical eye for many years the antics of our political class as they once more prove that, as a class, they are amongst the most untrustworthy in the Universe, I trust that all of our athletes come away from the brief encounters with politicians whilst using the same gesture; which of course is wiping their hands to get rid of the slime!

Crisis! What Crisis?

By Mike Cunningham On May 31st, 2011 at 8:11 am

There was a discussion on the BBC Today programme just before the end regarding the FIFA lash-up, with criminal actions and fraudulent allegations rolling around like a football. The thieves have fallen out, the bribery and theft are coming out of the woodwork. The discussion centred around the question of how international football should be governed, but the suggestion which rang truest to the present shambles came from the BBC clown-extraordinaire:-


Let the United Nations run it!

The White Cliffs of Dover

By ATWadmin On June 30th, 2010 at 8:20 am

Ever noticed the lengths which some MSM commentators will go to to claim that England/Wales/Scotland/Northern Ireland (strike those inapplicable) still counts in the world of sporting endeavour, or indeed of any activity which we plainly do not compete because we don’t have either the talent or the money?

When Zola Budd, a nice, sweet young Afrikaans girl, ran her shoes off in South Africa, the clowns in the British Olympics excavated her grandfather, who had emigrated from England; and hey, presto, she got herself a British passport in FOUR days so she could run in the Olympics.

There have been five or six ‘British-born’ astronauts including Michael Foale, who was born in Lincolnshire, but we, as either British or any of the components of Great Britain, do not have a Space Programme, except the remnants of the Blue Streak test-bed bases in Spadeadam, Cumberland.

But the t.v. and news columns still fill up with references to ‘British-born’, as though it actually means something in sporting terms. As I am virtually a stranger to most sporting activities, I am not really qualified to comment upon the tales of the ’90’s Ireland team being the English ‘B’ team, but observe, from a distance the names of the English cricket teams including such names as  Basil D’Oliveira, Tony Greig, Alan Lamb, Robin Smith, Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Andrew Strauss, Matt Prior (all born in South Africa), Andy Caddick (born in New Zealand), Graeme Hick (born in Zimbabwe), Adam and Ben Hollioake (born in Australia), Phil DeFreitas and Devon Malcolm (born in the Caribbean) and Nasser Hussain (born in India).

But the lunacy of claiming a close relationship with the World Cup participants, which of course ended when our bunch of overpaid ballerinas and closet ‘Big Brother’ stars got hammered by Germany, still survives! Why? Because the Referee who may supervise the final may be British!



Do We Have Free Health Care Yet?

By ATWadmin On November 2nd, 2009 at 5:23 pm

There we are.  All three of us. Lined up like little ducks.  Holding onto the ballet barre for dear life.  Practicing en pointe.  None of us has much business doing this but we don’t care.  It’s still a free country, isn’t it?

Kristin stands next to me with a large grin on her face.  Thin and smooth, with neat, quick feet and graceful arms.  A lawyer  for a Human Rights nonprofit of some sort, Kristin was born to be a swan.  To my left, Monique.  Platinum blond, former professional dancer, dressed in a black silk ballet skirt and dusty pink tights; Monique  is now the mother of two small girls, and she can do a triple pirouette without thinking.

I’m in the center.  Average height, average weight, average looks. Flanked by greater talent, greater beauty . “If Patty can do it, I can do it! “my two comrades think to themselves. I have this effect on people sometimes.

“Is there free healthcare yet?”  Mikhail the Russian asks. His hand is out, looking for a government freebie, and who can blame him?   Teaching pliés to beautiful and compliant  adult women can be almost as monotonous as the constant sunshine and cloudless skies of LA.

“Nothing is for free!” I laugh, sneaking a glance at Kristin.

Kristin seems to unfocus her eyes  as I look at her, and she manages to somehow shrink her head.   She looks out-of-focus and fuzzy, her body distant and faraway. ”Universal health care is social justice. Health care is a right,” she says.

Suddenly, there’s a lot more room at the barre. Where did everybody go?

I try to explain,  “But the government has no money…”

Monique bends down to tie her already tied ribbons on the left pink toe shoe.  A cold lonely breeze blows upwards towards my reddening face.

“The country is 1.2 trillion dollars in debt…” My words bounce off empty walls, and fall, alone and rejected, onto the well-worn wooden floor.

“We can’t afford it.”  I say to no one in particular.  “The country can’t afford it!”