Chaos and genius ran wild tonight as Europe’s leading countries bought and sold cities and towns in an attempt to prop up the ailing currency. Call it panic purchases, call it shrewd imperialism, call it what you like – it’s happened and without the intervention of war, from now on the Atlas will look like this.

Limoges, formerly of France, has moved to Albania where it will enjoy the Adriatic breeze.

Gdansk of Poland is now Gdansk of Wiltshire, England.

Portugal have sold Faro to the Republic of Ireland, although it is understood that they may sail Inishmore Island south as part exchange.

Malta, a free agent, has upped sticks and relocated to Monaco in order for the principality to achieve ‘struggling’ status and so qualify for £47bn in convergence funding.

Brest and Bucharest have swapped homes as they simply liked the look of each other’s name.

Denmark is on loan to Greece for an undisclosed sum – nice one Mr Papoulias.

Bern put in a written transfer request but there hasn’t been a whimper of interest.

And just in before the transfer window closed…Italy has signed every major city in The Arab Spring on one condition – they forgo their faith and unite under new improved formula Catholism.

As and when we get more news throughout the night, we’ll let you know just in case you wake up as resident of a new country.

THE (insert your name here) EFFECT

We’re all incredible.

Every single one of us.

8 and half a billion miracle workers, but all but a few of us aren’t quite sure what our magic powers are or how to use them.

We need role models if we’re going to be everyday role models to one another.

At Liverpool FC Kenny Dalglish has created The Dalglish Effect by convincing people of their talent and allowing them to play the way their instincts tell them.

Across Africa, women have created The Girl Effect by persuading people in wealthier nations to help fund their education in order for them to carve out careers in all kinds of industry and everso quietly change the course of history for their continent.

The You Effect is yet to be decided. This is the hard part – deciding what it is you were born to do, the path you really want to follow, the mark you truly hope to make. There are two ways to get there. One is keep your mouth shut and work your arse off until the signs of change appear stark enough for someone else to say “Hey, that’s The (your name) Effect”. The other method is to tell the world you’re gonna do or be something so extraordinary that it puts irreversible pressure on you to deliver and you actually achieve your most far flung dream.

Either way, it’ll end up on your tombstone. And if it does, make sure your inscription doesn’t take itself too seriously even if you end up saving the human race from our own doom. Try instead to bring a smile to those who visit you long after you’re gone.

Here’s one of my favourites:


To The Memory


John Talbot

Who at the Age of Eighteen

Had His Ass Shot Off

In a Honky-Tonk

November 1, 1936

This Mayonnaise Jar

With Wilted Flowers In It

Was Left Here Six Months Ago

By His Sister

Who Is In The Crazy Place Now


A series of forced mergers are planned this week as a last ditch attempt to save Britain from its economic plight. Millionaire stars have pledged to share their wealth with random Jonny nobodies in exchange for an hour a day’s humility tuition. The financial markets will collaborate with schools across the UK with a tombola-style trading floor in an unprecedented move to ensure stability and steady growth.

Greece has come up with the most radical of proposals in its deal with Silicon valley. A third of the Greek population will relocate to the Californian centre of technology to reinact the philosophical glory days. Apple engineers will wear robes and laurels in exchange for historical vision, while 1000 engineers will be deployed to Athens to reboot the country and its islands.

Policies will be formed on youtube by anyone who has a decent idea and implemented as soon as they reach a million hits. George Osbourne was not available for comment but is in talks with Max Clifford. An advisor told us ‘he’d be up for anything as long as he still gets to wear a suit and carry his attache case’.


It’s a grim time for most people. I won’t go into the detail as it’s like a child showing you under their 3 day old scab. Instead, I’m going to take the pessimist view in order to get to the bright side of life. A friend once told me the joys of being a pessimist – if you imagine everything is going to be terrible and it only turns out bad, then you end up cheered up.

It’s a principle I’m prepared to throw at the plight of the nation.

The Triple Dip.

In one way it sounds so dire, so bleak, that we might all as well check ourselves into that Swiss centre for foreshortened life. In another way, it sounds like a bloody lovely sherbert ice cream. But the third and most upbeat way of viewing The Triple Dip is to expect Armageddon and when it doesn’t rock into town, we all toast a brighter future and a grateful now. Just think of how we’ll all feel if we brace ourselves for a Triple Dip and we end up not even seeing the full brunt of the Double Dip – it’ll be like winning the lottery and not being fucked up by it.

So, fellow gloomsters, pray for the worst. Get down on your knees and plead to hell to rise up and fry us to pieces, money-first. The best part is the more we want this epic end to get here, the further it’ll run away.

Just like love.

And butterflies.


It just can’t be. England 3-0 up against India and 75-0 in torrid conditions. They can’t be that bad and we can’t be that good. Call me a pessimist but it’s not cricket in its truest sense, more a case of it’s cricket in its altruist sense. I have this nag in my neck, a ‘crick’ you might say, that something’s not right with this 4 test series between the world’s outgoing number 1 team and the pretenders to that crown.

I know bugger all about cricket. If I tried to spin a ball I’d dislocate my wrist. As a half-baked fan, I have however kept petty close tabs on this one and it still doesn’t add up. Last winter Australia had lost their legendary players, so the 1-3 Ashes triumph was not such a big upset, despite being a roughing up in their own back yard. India came as gods and are leaving as county plodders. There must be a reason.

Money. Not payday money but backhand, underhand and slight of hand money. The official line is one day games being where all the bucks are. The subtext of this is bungs. South Africa were at it, Pakistan are still embroiled in it and jockeys flirt with it on a daily basis. Sport and betting are the deepest of lovers. So, it’s hardly a revelation. But the papers will make it one. It will run and run, almost as long as the wait for Tendulkar’s 100th ton.

Now, anyone fancy a pony on it?


I should have posted this a few days ago, but like the Police I’m a bit slow off the mark. Not sure if you caught the Panorama guide to the troubles last night but it sparked a few resolutions in my head which i’d like to share with you now. In no particular order, here are a few ways of ensuring it doesn’t happen again in a hurry.

  1. Make looting part of the National Curriculum (then they’ll all fail)
  2. Sentence each one to an all-night romp with Theresa May
  3. Do away with welfare and get them to work in the city with one of their alleged enemies on a ‘bonuses only’ scheme
  4. Open shopping malls in prisons and give them all loyalty cards
  5. Appoint Darcus Howe as Met Police Commissioner
  6. Water pistols (as opposed to water cannons) filled with oestrogen-laden Thames water to tame their testosterone levels
  7. Policemen who tell jokes on the beat to lull the anarchists into hysterics
  8. Release all-over body acne gas
  9. Swagbag Top Trumps – tease out the gaming instinct to unveil the UK’s top ransacker
  10. Introduce The Bill of Rioter’s Rights with small indecipherable legal print that condemns them to some kind of exile in Lundy

As you can see, I’ve spent years refining this list. Please add to it and forward on to the powers that used to be.


The world economy has been found out. Just about every currency on planet earth is in freefall, which means what? On a simplistic level, it reveals the real value of every nation – not their debt, that’s a misnomer which I’ll come onto later when we’ve both had a lot to drink. It means we’ve all been conned for far too long. What something is ‘worth’ isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.  ‘Value’ on the other hand is the lifeblood of all living matter.

Value takes up a fair chunk of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. it’s the most distorted word in the English language, or any language for that matter. Value is not what someone is prepared to pay. It’s not just a monetary term. Value ain’t shallow, it’s deep. Unfathomably deep. If you took a cross-section of value it would cause colour-blindness. I’m not sure how, I’ve just got this feeling.

So, if we accept value is the most complex emotion known to mankind, we start to understand money is a waste by-product of value. The bile of value, if you like. Now, don’t get me wrong, bile has its uses. Bankers love bile. They trade in it and we reward them with it. We force-feed them with it, whereas footballers graze on it. When you think about it, money works in exactly the opposite direction to food, which makes banks our national sewage system and the IMF the biggest toilet attendant of all time.

As we’re charged more for everything we need to buy (fuel, food, water, etc) yet the currency we’re using to pay for everything is worth less by the day, then is anything actually changing at all? Maybe the rioting kids of the UK are the smartest creatures of all. Their actions demonstrate how little we’ve developed as a species, how we take as many steps back as forward in our lifetime. We might as well go sideways. Yes sideways, that’s it. A new way of growing, of thinking, of acting, of doing, of being. Let’s get on our bellies and look up to crabs. They have the answers. Stop boiling them. Start interrogating them. You can bet your bottom sea dollar they know why the universe exists.

And why nothing rhymes with purple.


We’ve all tried it. I’m trying to write this post by going cross-eyed but I can’t sustain each attempt for longer than a couple of seconds and the keys are swimming around on the keypad like small invisible jellyfish who have been drinking too much tequila.

Our mothers would say we’d stay that way if we pulled a cross-eyed face, which made us do it even more – especially when Daktari came on the TV with the remarkable Clarence. And just in case you’re feeling nostalgic, here is the lion with the crazed expression:

But what if cross-eyed actually enhanced our sight? Tonight I came across a story by Buckminster Fuller who was born cross-eyed. He discovered at the age of 4 that this was not so much a disability as a gift in that his cross-eyed condition was caused by being abnormally farsighted. He always considered himself lucky to be born cross-eyed, Lucky Bucky if you like.

As I write this last line with my eyes crossed, I too feel a surge of fortune swing my way in time for the morning.