I’m told we made an appearance on the BBC’s “Match of the Day” last night, although by then sleep had caught up with me and try as I might, I couldn’t stay awake long enough to see how big the banner looked from a Spur’s fan’s perspective.
Flicking through today’s papers after a lie-in, I’m once again left with the impression that the world is collapsing around me and it’s not just the footballers.
There’s Wayne Rooney’s Metatarsal for starters. My own theory is that the present generation of footballers are the first to demonstrate calcium deficiency, growing-up after the end of free school milk. As a consequence, their bones may be more brittle than their predecessors. If I’m right, then it’s the young women of today who will really suffer once they pass the menopause into old age, and the strain on the health service in forty years to deal with broken bones, if we have one, will be even worse than it is today.
Staying with the theme of things falling apart today, we have the story in The Times, of a grandmother who spent a night in a police cell after a scuffle with a group of children in which she was threatened with a piece of wood.
The Times reports that Brenda Robinson, 66, a church volunteer in Bournemouth, said that she was given only a glass of water by police before being interviewed the next morning.
She was arrested for assault after challenging the youngsters, one of whom had kicked a football against a family car.
She said she had given the boy, 11, “a clip around the ear” after he called her a “f****** bitch”. Mrs Robinson was then threatened in her garden by a teenage boy carrying a lump of wood, and two 13-year-old girls, one of whom starting pushing her. She said that she pulled one of the teenage girls by the hair and threw her out of the garden. Shortly afterwards the police arrived and arrested the grandmother for assault.
Mrs Robinson, who said her daughter-in-law’s partner had been killed by a gang of youths five years ago, told The Times that “the dice were loaded against law-abiding people”.
So we have literally thousands of foreign prisoners running amok in our society, kids committing vandalism and violent assault with impunity and grandmothers ‘banged-up’ with bread and water, overnight in a cell, for reportedly slapping an aggressive foul-mouthed little thug. No wonder so many of us express despair as our society continues its spiral down the plughole of social history.
Meanwhile you’ll be encouraged to read, also in The Times, that under the rules that replace the scheme by which employers were encouraged to give their staff personal computers to use in order to boost computer literacy, office computers used in part for non-business purposes are now treated as a benefit in kind, meaning that employees will have to pay income tax on them, and employers will have to pay national insurance contributions for them as well.
This means, in principle at least, that I will now have to pay tax for writing this weblog.
On a computer bought for £2,000, an employee paying higher-rate tax would face a £160 bill each year and an employer would have to pay an extra £51.20.
The Chartered Institute of Taxation said the result could be “a new bureaucratic burden” on employers to make sure that private use of computers was kept to an insignificant level.