Welcome to The Grambler, the most ill-informed blog you are ever likely to see.
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 https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3 .
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. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/lifestyle/heartbroken-widow-geraldine-smith-raises-3452997
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. Read on and enjoy…
There was a news item on today about people paying too much for their gas and electric bills because they don’t switch to a cheaper tariff to pay their bills. They were bemoaning the fact that the bills were really quite hefty. The reporter asked them why on earth they hadn’t switched and I thought, hold on a minute, why the f*** should they. Why do energy suppliers get away with charging different rates for the same product? Do you know what electricity and gas suppliers, wouldn’t life be a lot simpler if you just charged everybody the same rate? Other businesses don’t pull that trick...
‘Can I pay for my petrol?’
‘The petrol you’ve just put in your car?’
‘That’s right. Yes. The petrol I’ve just put in my car.’
‘Do you know that is a very expensive way to buy petrol. Why don’t you sign up to pay a fixed monthly amount for the next two years and if the price of fuel goes up, your payments won’t.’
‘And if the price comes down, as it has in recent years?’
‘Erm... tough sh*t.’
So well done Saint Nicola of Sturgeon for advocating that a supplier of cheaper energy should be set up so that everyone pays the same, low, rate. It would be like nationalising the industry. Can’t think why nobody has come up with the idea before now. Erm...
Of course, you have already noted the point I am making; it has been done before. After the Second World War, the Labour government took the bold step of nationalising many industries - coal mining, steel production, the railways and, of course, gas and electricity supplies among others. It cost a lot of dosh to buy out all the private companies of the time but the industries I’ve listed then became the property of the electorate; the people. Yay!
Things didn’t run as smoothly as hoped, perhaps - too much power to the unions maybe, too many strikes - so when the majority Conservative government led by one Margaret Thatcher announced that these nationalised industries would be privatised, there was not enough opposition to prevent it happening. The government made it look like a great idea by allowing us, the general public, to buy shares in the new privatised companies (although the majority of the shares would go to business ‘investors’)... Basically we were being asked to shell out to buy a little slice of those companies which we already owned. The government was selling off what wasn’t theirs to sell.
A labour MP of the time likened it to selling off the family silver. How right they were. How many companies that were de-nationalised are still even owned by British businesses? How many are even in existence?
So I say, well done Nicola. To my mind, it is only a start. In my ideal world, all such industries should be nationalised. Any industry that is providing a necessary service should not be profited from. Water, gas, electricity, public transport, telephones, health care, even basic food items should be available to all at low cost. Nobody involved in any of these industries should be allowed to amass great wealth. Maybe my socialist ideals don’t sit too well in the 21st century where ‘make money’ is the mantra of all businessmen, but I don’t care.
Whatever happened to the caring society? [Whatever happened to the Likely Lads, surely. - Ed.] Don’t call me Shirley.
Were any famous or notorious people born on the 14th of October? Of course. Here are some I’ve even heard of. Eamon de Valera 1882 (Irish rebel/president.), Dwight D. Eisenhower 1890 (The well-known president. Known as Ike. Later had hits with Tina Turner.), Lillian Gish 1893 (Actress and rhyming slang.), E. E. Cummings 1894 (Racist poet. I’d give you some examples, but as they contain words such as n*gg*r and k*k*, I thought it best not to.), Allan Jones 1907 (Jack’s dad. Also a chanter. Want a clip? Here’s RCA Victor’s third highest-selling single ever.), Roger Moore 1927 (Tree.), Ralph Lauren 1939 (Deodorant and shirt salesman.), Perrie Mons 1940 (Snookery bloke.), Cliff Richard 1940 (Peterpantastic!), Christopher Timothy 1940 (Ectaw. In a long and varied career, Timothy is still best known for portraying vet James Herriot and having to stick his arm up a cow’s [Enough! - Ed.].), Roger Taylor 1941 (Tennisy bloke who later found fame as Queen’s drummer [Some mistake, surely. - Ed.].), Lesley Joseph 1945 (Ectress. Played the neighbour in Birds of a Feather. Erm, that’s it.), Justin Hayward 1946 (A Moody Blue. Time for a clip? Here’s Question, originally planned as two different songs. Can you spot the join?), Dan McCafferty 1946 (Singer from Nazereth. Not the place. The group. From Dunfermline. Nowhere near the Middle East. Yes. A clip? All together now. Look out the left the captain said...), Katy Manning 1946 (Ectress. Played Jo Grant in Doctor Who. Erm, that’s it.), Joey Travolta 1950 (John’s less fortunate brother.), Thomas Dolby 1958 (Musician. Time for another clip. Here’s Flying North.), Steve Cram 1960 (Athlete and now TV presenter.), Steve Coogan 1965 (Aka Alan Partridge, Paul Calf, Pauline Calf, Tommy Saxondale, Duncan Thicket, Ernest Eckler and Tony Ferrino.), Jason Plato 1967 (Racey car bloke and now TV presenter.), Matt Le Tissier 1968 (Footy bloke and now TV presenter.) and Paul Hunter 1978 (Snookery bloke.).
'Ready for our scene, Mr Timothy.'
I’ve received a letter...
Dear Mr Gumboil,
You include in this week’s edition of thegrambler.com [I thought you said it was a letter. How did this get in before the blog even got published? Something funny going on, if you ask me. - Ed.] a clip from The Firefly with Allan Jones singing The Donkey Serenade. We are four really big fans and we know that he starred in a couple of Marx Brothers films, but can't remember which ones. Can you help?
Yours ever lovingly,
A. Knight, R. T. Oprah, A. Day, Arthur Aces.
Well, time to get on with some grambling. How did The Grambler’s predictions for last week fare? Not bad. We actually won some money. £4.39. Almost double. Brill! What happened? Read on...
Doncaster vs Southend - Prediction Home win
Result - Doncaster 4 Southend 1
Ben Whiteman scored a 10-minute hat-trick to help Doncaster come from behind to beat Southend.
Southend took the lead when Anthony Wordsworth headed home after Niall Mason cleared off the line for Doncaster.
Wordsworth was arguably lucky to still be on the pitch after appearing to kick out at Jordan Houghton off the ball earlier in the half.
Doncaster hit back in first-half stoppage time when John ‘Mary’ Marquis poked home from close range after excellent work from Tommy ‘Dizzy’ Rowe.
And that equaliser laid the groundwork for Whiteman's second-half heroics.
He scored his first after 47 minutes when he fired in after a James Coppinger free-kick hit the bar.
He then extended the lead with a stunning volley from just outside the area.
By 57 minutes, Whiteman had his hat-trick when he fired home from the penalty spot after Michael Timlin fouled Alfie May.
Southend captain Anton Ferdinand was sent off after the final whistle for dissent, compounding a bad day for his side.
Cheltenham vs Swindon - Prediction Home win
Result - Cheltenham 2 Swindon 1
The hosts took the lead after 20 minutes when Harry Pell broke down the right wing before crossing for Brian Graham to slot home from close range.
Swindon were deservedly level eight minutes into the second half when Matt Taylor's free-kick found the head of centre-half Matt Preston to nod home.
A minute later Cheltenham's Joe Morrell was adjudged to have been brought down by James Dunne inside the box.
Substitute Danny Wright stepped up to take the penalty with his first touch of the game, only to be denied by Reice Charles-Cook in the Swindon goal.
Then, in the fourth minute of time added on, a Morrell free-kick was flicked on by Pell for striker Wright to rifle home the winner.
Lincoln vs Chesterfield - Prediction Home win
Result - Lincoln 2 Chesterfield 1
Michael Bostwick gave City the lead when his shot took a huge deflection off Bradley Barry and spun beyond wrong-footed keeper Joe Anyon.
The Imps doubled their lead on 25 minutes and again a Spireites player had the final touch as Andy ‘Les’ Kellett inadvertently drilled Harry Anderson's cross into his own net.
Chesterfield pulled a goal back with eight minutes left. After Anderson was adjudged to have brought down Barry in the box, substitute Kristian Dennis netted from the spot.
Newport County vs Yeovil - Prediction Home win
Result - Newport 2 Yeovil 0
Newport’s Josh Labadie scooped a shot over from six yards before Padraig Amond headed home a corner just before half-time.
Skipper Labadie hit the bar early in the second period before he finally headed home a corner on 55 minutes.
Notts County vs Forest Green - Prediction Home win
Result - Notts County 1 Forest Green 1
Ooh! ’It the bar!
Rob Milsom's stoppage-time header preserved Notts County's unbeaten home record as they were held to a draw by Forest Green at Meadow Lane.
The Magpies midfielder met Matt Tootle's cross to power a header past Sam Russell which cancelled out Omar Bugiel's first-half opener for the visitors.
How close was that to a full house! Come on Grambler, give us some good predictions this week...
Game - Result - Odds
Brentford vs Millwall - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Fulham vs Preston - Prediction Home win - 17/20
Leeds vs Reading - Prediction Home win - 17/20
Norwich vs Hull - Prediction Home win - 19/20
Sheffield Utd vs Ipswich - Prediction Home win - 3/4
Oh dear, The Grambler’s love affair with the English Championship continues. All five predictions are from that division.
The bets have been placed (10 x 20 pee doubles plus 1 x 20 pee accumulator) and if they all go according to The Grambler’s Prediction, the Bobby Moore Fund stands to receive a whopping...
Hmm... Almost exactly as whopping as last week..
Teaser time. Yay! Last week I asked you who is the only player to have played in three World Cup Finals. The answer is Marcos Evangelista de Morais, better known as Brazilian defender Cafu. He actually represented his country in four World Cups between 1994 and 2006 and is Brazil’s most capped player with 142 appearances.
One for this week? In the Liverpool dressing room of the 1970s, why were Steve Heighway and Brian Hall known as Big Bamber and Little Bamber? Stop sniggering at the back.
As usual, 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 http://www.bowelcanceruk.org.uk/campaigns-policy/latest-campaigns/never-too-young-campaign
And finally, Cyril? And finally Esther, I am indebted to a Mr T. Ferrino and Miss B. Guomundsdottir for our finishing item. Was it really 20 years ago that this was on Comic Relief?
That’s all for this week folks, but remember you can read the musings of The Grambler every week by going to the blog at www.thegrambler.com