Friday 9 October 2015

Week 10 - The Grambler's tribute to Denis Healey

Stewart was an amazing person - A wonderful husband, a fantastic brother, a loving son and an adored uncle. He was also a brilliant friend and colleague and is missed by so many people. His family are determined that his death will never be in vain and are doing their part to beat bowel cancer for good. We are fundraising for the Bobby Moore Fund which is part of Cancer Research UK and specialises in research into bowel cancer. If you wish to donate to the fund, you can via .

If you haven’t already done so, please read the article which appeared in the Daily Record and learn from Stewart’s story that you must never be complacent. It makes grim reading for us, his family, even though we were beside him throughout his ordeal, or battle; call it what you will.

Similarly, if you haven’t heard it, please listen to Geraldine’s moving radio interview which was on Radio Scotland recently.

Stewart began writing The Grambler when he was between procedures and hoping for some form of recovery. He loved all aspects of football and was a lifelong Motherwell supporter. His wish was that The Grambler should continue after his death and I have been happy to oblige. Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see. Read on and enjoy


Well, there goes another one. There seem to have been a few folk falling off their perches of late - Christopher Lee, Ron Moody, Patrick McNee, Joy Beverley, Brian Sewell - and this week it was the turn of Denis Healey. Dennis? Manufacturer of fire engines? No... Mind you, a Dennis-Healey might have been a good mix; the ‘sports’ fire engine.- Just think how quickly that would have got to a fire... Sorry. Rambling. No, this week Denis Healey, him from off of politics, popped his clogs just two years shy of getting a telegram from Queen Liz. I don’t recall him too well as a politician. I know he was chancellor of the exchequer for a time; I’ve seen pictures of him standing in front of No 11 holding up the battered red budget box. Other than that, I recall he was a caricaturist’s dream with his mop of black hair and those eyebrows. Oh yes, the eyebrows were his trademark. They were possibly the bushiest eyebrows ever seen on a human being; The Muppet, Sam the Eagle, didn’t come close.

Mike Yarwood, Britain’s favourite impressionist of the 60s and 70s, used to take him off and even gave him a catchphrase... ‘What a sillllly billllly.’ All the Ls are there to emphasise just how slowly he uttered the words. Healey never actually said it, of course, but everybody expected him to.

In the late 80s there was a programme on Channel called Saturday Night Live [Excuse me? I thought you were talking about Denis Healey. - Ed.] or Friday Night Live depending which series you were watching [Look, is this relevant? - Ed.]. It introduced us to Harry Enfield as Stavros the Greek kebab shop owner - ‘Allo everybody peeps’ - and his other characters Loadsamoney - ‘Bosh bosh, shum shum’ - and Buggerallmoney - ‘Ah smurk tabs, me.’ It also made a star of Ben Elton aka Motormouth. Future stars, Ade Edmondson and Rik Mayall appeared as the Dangerous Brothers. Liverpool not-very-good poet Craig Charles and ho-hum impressionist Chris Barrie also appeared. Who would have considered them as spacebum, Dave Lister and anally retentive hologram, Arnold Rimmer in Red Dwarf based on those less than starry beginnings (Do you geddit? Starry? Never mind.). [Excuse me for asking, but where is all this leading? - Ed.] Occasionally, this programme threw up some real oddities. One was when ex-politician, Denis Healey [Ahh. - Ed.] walked calmly onto the stage and recited a ‘political’ take on the Marriott Edgar monologue ‘Albert and the Lion’ (See called ‘Ode to Westminster’ and I make no apologies for including it here. Remember, this was recited by somebody who was a top politician; indeed he has been called the best prime minister Britain has never had, although I recall that was also said of Aneurin Bevan. Before you read the monologue, it might be useful to have a bit of background information so I include this quote from Wikipaedia...

The Westland affair in 1985–86 was an episode in which the British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her Defence Minister Michael Heseltine went public over a complex cabinet dispute with questions raised about integrity and which senior official was not telling the truth.

The argument was a result of differences of opinion as to the future of the British helicopter industry. Westland Helicopters, Britain's last helicopter manufacturer, was to be the subject of a rescue bid. While the Defence Secretary Heseltine favoured a European solution, integrating Westland and British Aerospace (BAe) with Italian (Agusta) and French companies, the Prime Minister and the Trade and Industry Secretary Leon Brittan wanted to see Westland merge with Sikorsky, an American company. Heseltine refused to accept Thatcher's choice and suggested she had lied about it. She had leaked a confidential letter, then tried to cover that up. It resulted in resignations in January 1986 by Heseltine and Brittan. The episode embarrassed the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher in 1986 and damaged her reputation.’

as recited by
The Rt. Hon.
Denis Healey MP

There's a reet famous place called Westminster,
That's noted for hot air and fun.
And Mr. and Mrs Heseltine,
Went there wi' young Michael, their son.
A grand little lad was young Michael,
In 'is flack jacket, 'e looked a swell,
'e'd a dinky new toy helicopter,
The finest that Westland's could sell.
Well, they didn't think much to the speeches,
The questions was fiddling and small,
There was no wrecks and nobody drowneded...
In fact, nothing to laugh at, at all.
So seeking for further amusement,
They paid and went into the zoo,
Where they'd Leons and Lawsons and Tebbits
And Fowlers and Parkinsons, too.
There were one great big Leon called Brittan,
His nose were all covered in scars.
He lay in a somnulent posture,
With the side of his face on the bars.
Now Michael had 'eard about Leon,
'ow he were ferocious and wild,
And to see Leon lying so peaceful
Well, it didn't seem right to the child.
So straight'way the brave little fella,
Without showin' a morsel of fear,
Took 'is dinky new toy helicopter...
And stuck it right in Leon's ear!
You could see that Leon didn't like it,
For giving a kind of a roll,
'E pulled Michael inside cage wi' 'im
And swallowed the little lad whole!
Well, the Prime Minister 'ad to be sent for,
She came and she said "What's to do?"
Pa said, "Yon Leon's ate Michael...
And 'im in 'is flack jacket, too.
The Prime Minister wanted no bother,
She took out 'er purse, rightaway,
Saying, "How much to settle the matter?"
Pa said, "What d'ya usually pay?"
But mother 'ad turned a bit awkward,
When she thought where 'er Michael 'ad gone,
She said, "Someone's got to be summonsed...
And that was decided upon.
So they complained to t'Defence Committee...
But the witnesses called, never came,
And the chairman, 'e gave 'is opinion...
That no-one was really to blame.
At that, mother got proper blazin'...
"And thank you sir, kindly!" said she,
"What!!!... spend all our lives raising Michaels,
To feed ruddy Leons... NOT ME!!!"




Any birthdays to celebrate this Saturday, the 10th of October? Why, yes. Literally, some. Giuseppe Verdi 1813 (Translation - Joe Green), Fridtjof Nansen 1861 (How is that first name pronounced? Fridge off? Quite apt, given he was an Arctic explorer.), Thelonious Monk 1917 (Religious law breaker), Nicholas Parsons 1923 (Religious commandos), Ed Wood 1924 (Officially, the worst film director of all time.), Harold Pinter 1930 (Possibly the greatest playwright of the 20th century. Clever bloke he was. He said, ‘Apart from the known and unknown, what else is there?’ Er... wise words, mate.), Daniel Massey 1933 (Ectaw, dear laddie. Abraham Farlan’s son. Ooh, obscure one there.), Judith Chalmers 1935 (Trivia: She never wore knickers when she was working on Wish You Were Here. Who’d have thunk it?), Peter Coyote 1941 (The Roadrunner’s nemesis.), Charles Dance 1946 (Strangely, he never does.), Chris Tarrant 1946 (Don’t mention the armadillo.), Midge Ure 1953 (Midge Ure? This means nothing to me.), David Lee Roth 1954 (Trivia: Climbs mountains. Never married. Speaks Spanish.), Chris Lowe 1959 (The other Pet Shop Boy.), Kirsty McColl 1959 (Scumbag and maggot.), Martin Kemp 1961 (Ah’m an actor, ent I?) and Matthew Pinsent 1970 (Row, row, row your boat.),

Now, who amongst that lot could provide us with a toon to gramblerise? I think the honour should go to Spandau Ballet bassist, Martin Kemp...

With a thrill in my head and a pill on my tongue
Gramble the nerves that have just begun
Grambling to Marvin (all night long)
This is the sound of my soul,
This is the sound...

Hmm... Doesn’t work does it. However, can somebody please explain the next few lines to me...

Always slipping from my hands,
Sands a time of it's own
Take your seaside arms and write the next line
Oh I want the truth to be known

What the f... What are seaside arms? Is a pub? You know, like the King’s Arms. It’s got me stumped.



Let’s move on to grambling matters. How did our bet go last week? We made an improvement on last week. Yay! Again. Yes, this week The Grambler’s predictions brought us a return of £2.00 instead of the £1.79 of the previous week. Woo! Here is just a quick rundown of the results.


Derby vs Brentford - Prediction Home win

Result - Derby 2 Brentford 0


Gillingham vs Oldham - Prediction Home win

Result - Gillingham 3 Oldham 3

Ooh! ‘It the bar!

Hartlepool vs Luton - Prediction Away win

Result - Hartlepool 1 Luton 4


Plymouth vs Crawley - Prediction Home win

Result - Plymouth 2 Crawley 1


Portsmouth vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win

Result - Portsmouth 0 Yeovil 0

Ooh! ‘It the bar!


So near and yet so far. What has The Grambler randomly selected for us this week? Not many games to select from thanks to international games and cup matches, but he/she/it has come up with these five games which take place on Saturday the 10th of October at 3pm...

Game - Result - Odds

Barnsley vs Crewe - Prediction Home win - 3/5

Carlisle vs Morecambe - Prediction Home win - 5/4

Luton vs York - Prediction Home win - 21/20

Oxford vs Wimbledon - Prediction Home win - 10/11

Queen of the Southg vs Morton - Prediction Home win - Evens

…and if the bets (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) all go as predicted by The Grambler, the Bobby Moore Fund will benefit to the tune of fanfare please…


Could this be our first big winner of the season? Don’t hold your breath.



Answer to last week’s teaser next week.




Once again, let’s finish with a mention of the main reason for continuing to publish this blog – to raise awareness about bowel cancer. If you have any bowel problems, don’t be fobbed off with the line that you are too young for bowel cancer to be a consideration. Just point your doctor in the direction of .




Happy Grambling.






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