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SON OF GRIDKNOCKER last won the day on April 11

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  1. Now that we’ve got the Grand National out of the way, let’s take a look at the runners and riders who are getting saddled up and being gently eased into their racing stalls in readiness for the next big race: The Tory Leadership Handicap. The bookies’ Dream Ticket to run against current favorite Bo-Jo are Savid Javid & Jacob Rees-Mogg (a slaphead and a top-hatted toff. What a combination). Then there’s the unrivaled intellect of Sir Nicholas Soames paired with Dennis ‘The Beast of Bolsover’ Skinner. Known throughout Westminster as The Dim-witted Duo are David Davis & Chris Grayling, with the latter still having difficulty assembling the HornbyDublo kit Santa brought him last Christmas, let alone building Crossrail or HST2. For glamour and good looks there’s Yvette Cooper partnering the diminutive Liam Fox. And bringing up the rear of the field (and presently refusing to be walked into the stalls) are Chuka Umunna and Arlene Foster. The Daily Mail’s Golden Boy, former fireplace salesman Gavin Williamson, has had to scratch as he’s busy preparing to flood the streets of post-Brexit Britain with tanks, artillery and armed troops.
  2. Brexit is fast turning into a Dog’s Breakfast and though I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Mother Theresa, I do feel that that villainous quartet of Barnier, Junker, Macron and Tusk have shown her very little mercy in these last few days. With the annual May Fair due to arrive in town very shortly, I’d like to suggest that the operators rig up an extra stall, which I think would prove extremely popular with the crowds. It could be one of those old-fashioned shooting galleries with air rifles and lead pellets and there would only be 4 targets to hit to win a major prize: cut-out coloured tin profiles of the arch-villains of Brussels. Roll up, roll up!
  3. You’ve got to hand it to the good old Guardian when it comes to knowing which organ stops to pull out on the mighty Wurlitzer marked ‘Freedom of Information’. Last week they got the Cabinet Office to reluctantly admit that £5.5-million a month is currently being spent on management consultants, in “providing extra skills in planning Brexit-related tasks.” Pull the other one missus. The only ‘skills’ these suits are providing is in their ability to bank their ill-gotten gains as fast as possible, because their government-appointed paymasters – the Brexit ministers who are currently running in and out of radio and TV studios - are a bunch of no-nothing dimwits.
  4. I'll second that, Cambo... adding the name of the Indies' Angela Tyler (Aylestone Hill Ward), who called at our house last week to personally canvass our support. She seems to me to be a thoroughly good egg. So good luck to her!
  5. Ian Duncan Smith: popularly known as 'Ian Duncan Who' by cynical political sketch writers such as our local man Letts. Don't know anything about 'the Truss woman' - other than that it's a most unfortunate surname she'd be well-advised to change before the 1922 Committee's Leadership Election.
  6. With comedy actor Volodymr Zelenskiy set to become the Ukraine's President on 21 April (barring any intervention from humorless Putin), my money would be on Armando Iannucci as the next British PM.
  7. @twowheelsgood: Many thanks for this information. Since you say that HC has been picking up the tab for the rent of this safety structure, is there any way of discovering what it has cost us council tax payers over the last 14 years? Or perhaps Cambo (always an expert on scaffolding and roofing) would care to hazard a guess? Your observation that the occupants' properties "must be blighted" is extremely accurate: according to one report, an unfortunate owner discovered she couldn't move as there were no willing purchasers.
  8. Before you head for Ladbrokes on Monday morning, just run your eye down this race card to see if you can spot the winner. David Davis The first government Brexit Minister who should have seen it through to the end. Instead, there have been three further ministers. Liam Fox All anyone can remember about him is that he used to have a friend called Adam. Michael Gove Good at gurning. But gurning lost popularity in the era of the Victorian music hall. Matt Hancock His permanently vacant expression says it all: “Lights out, nobody home.” Jeremy Hunt The numpty with the Assad-like jug ears. Savid Javid The self-satisfied slaphead who chose to take his daughter on a £1700-a-night safari, instead of meeting Port Talbot steelworkers. Boris Johnson Now being described as ‘The pneumatic huckster’. That new haircut won’t garner many votes from the 1922 Committee. Andrea Leadsom Alleged Leader of the House who seems to have difficulty knowing which day of the week it is. Dominic Raab On 29 March he voted for the deal he had resigned from the Cabinet over in order to vote against it. Priceless. Amber Rudd The Home Secretary who couldn’t say how many Windrush migrants were forcibly repatriated to the West Indies. Gavin Williamson Former fireplace salesman, being heavily tipped by the Daily Mail, who describes him as having “matinée idol good looks.”
  9. The giveaway to the structure, when viewed from Kyrle Street, is that there are no work platforms and no access ladders. So it isn't so much a scaffolding structure in the true sense of the phrase (as, for example, can currently be seen along the frontage of The Green Dragon Hotel), but rather it is a temporary engineering support. But what is it supporting? And for how much longer will it be stuck up there?
  10. SETTING: Early morning in the kitchen of the Speaker’s Residence, Houses of Parliament. Rt Hon J Bercow: “Sally dearest, I do wish you would come in properly attired. A torn pair of pink knickers bearing an unsmiling emoji across the crotch is hardly appropriate for the Speaker’s spouse. Anyway, what time did you get it?” Mrs Bercow: “Just after 4.00 a.m. Is there any Merlot left?” Bercow: “I think I’d switch to Nescafé if I was you. Can you please pass me that tool kit under the sink?” (The chimes of Big Ben striking 9 o’clock ring out, causing the whole kitchen to shudder. With difficulty, the Speaker’s wife delivers the heavy tool box.) Mr Bercow lifts its twin lids, mumbling to himself: “It HAS to be Imperial. Metric would never do!” Mrs Bercow: (pouring herself the last of the Merlot): “What on earth are you on about, John?” Bercow: (Furiously rummaging through the contents of the tool box): “I’m looking for the 16” adjustable with the chromed handle. I need it for tomorrow morning. Before the Prime Minister’s final Brexit statement.” Mrs Bercow: “What are you planning to fix? My bathroom shower?” Bercow: “I’m not planning to fix anything, my dear.” (Triumphantly waving aloft a large mole wrench.) “THIS is to be my final Spanner in the Works!”
  11. Many Voice regulars will remember Dave Benjamin, Hereford Butter Market’s long-time fishmonger and tireless Its Our County councillor. It is hard to believe that he died eight years ago at the age of 56. I attended his funeral, held in Hereford Cathedral, and was impressed by his chutzpah in requesting John Lennon’s Imagine to be played for the coffin’s departure. The council’s cabinet (plus supporting ‘suits’) were there in force that day, doubtless celebrating the demise of one of the leading members of IOC’s Awkward Brigade. And of course they had the last laugh. When a modest brass memorial plaque (sponsored by marker stallholders) was fixed to a back wall of the Butter Market, Hereford Council approved the location of a cash dispenser directly in front of it. Memories of The Admirable Fishmonger came coursing back to me recently when I drove past the semi-derelict hulk of Victoria House on Whitecross Road. I realised that it was almost a decade ago that Dave (backed by his St Nicholas Ward supporters) campaigned vociferously for this former residence of the Victoria Eye Hospital’s Chief Surgeon to be rescued and refurbished for the benefit of the local community. From then until now, it has lain abandoned and neglected and is now perilously close to the point of extinction. Yet Herefordshire Council just sits and watches. Doubtless Victoria House will soon be demolished, to make way for yet more student accommodation for the new university.
  12. Well Done Cambo! Mixing it with Parliament's top echelons now. A very courteous reply too. I always much preferred her to her rather pugnacious husband and, frankly, I think she'd have been a better choice as Jezza's Deputy.
  13. I'm sorry to be such a wet blanket amidst all the smug mutual back-slapping, but I really don't think this lumpen structure even deserves to be called 'architecture'. It is a bland nondescript building, which pays little respect to the neighbouring Grade II-listed Victorian building, which two years ago was singled out by the writer Simon Jenkins as one of Britain's 100 best railway stations. Together with the dreadful Medical Centre, (which was approved last year) Hereford will soon become known as Leggoland.
  14. @megielland: my heart isn't exactly broken by the news that Debenhams paid out £80-million in business rates last year. However, what I WOULD like to know is how much they have paid Old Market developer British Land in rent since they opened in Hereford. Does anybody know?
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