Friday, 29 April 2016

A Week Is A Long Time

It has been my habit to blog from the ferry as we (being JB, Big Willy and the OG) set out for Ireland on our annual golfing gallivant and thereby to publish the result of the Bull Bay Classic, played every year over the prize links at Bull Bay. But somehow this year I got distracted by the need to rant against St Barack of Obama. I stiil don't regret it.

So better late than never I confirm that perennial favourite Big Willy duly won his umpteenth Classic but only by one point from a near-competent OG and with the help of a handicap hike given to BW by the good burghers of Cavendish Golf Club on account of some rather alarming ill-health. The OG was typically magnanimous in defeat. Sadly but not at all unpredictably the OG's golf did not stand up to the greater rigours of the Dunmore East Golf Classic and he delivered four epitomes of sporting ineptitude. Quite seriously he is considering whether to knock golf on the head altogether because there is a demanding degree of public humiliation about his efforts.

Fortunately there is much much more to the Dunmore East Classic than four piddling rounds of golf and the week was rescued by the quality of the company. OG and his travelling companions were joined in Ireland by the legend that is Mikey B. The good times rolled. Everyone bar OG caught a cold. BW and JB were sufficiently incapacitated to hire a buggy each day, leaving OG and Mikey B to lead the foot soldiers. OG actually carried his clubs throughout - this was the only notable part of his game. For those who may care to tread in the footsteps of these golfing gods, here are a few tips: Dunmore East is the least prepossessing of the courses but has the best clubhouse hospitality and food; Like Dunmore GC, the Haven Hotel has been refurbished following a fire - the seafood chowder remains a world beater; Faithlegg is a testing golf course but unlovely; Waterford GC is (in the eyes of the poor old OG) quite unplayable; Waterford Castle is the best of the four but still unplayable by the OG.

Despite there being rain, hail and sleet, Mikey B did not at this renewal incinerate his golf glove.

Having typed in these words OG is already reconsidering his mooted retirement from golf. After all it's only a game.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Kindly Leave Us Alone

In principle I was in favour of Barack Obama when elected, if for no greater reason than that my old friend Jeff Blodgett in Minnesota both worked for and endorsed him. However there is something irritatingly smug about Obama, first signified by his deliberate references to 'British Petroleum' rather than the correct 'BP' at the time of the oil spill fiasco. Now he has excelled himself by his pompous and semi-informed urgings on behalf of the EU Remain campaign. Quite why he feels the need to be so raucous on the topic would be a mystery were it not for his lame duck status back home and the consequent desire to think that he actually still matters. So it is that the sainted one has taken the lead from the equally smug (but massively less photogenic - one has to concede that Obama looks presidential) Boy Cameron and has chucked the truth out of the window in making his euro point.

Here's some verbatim Obama drivel:
From the ashes of war, those who came before us had the foresight to create the international institutions and initiatives to sustain a prosperous peace: the United Nations and Nato; Bretton Woods, the Marshall Plan, and the European Union. Their efforts provided a foundation for democracy, open markets and rule of law, while underwriting more than seven decades of relative peace and prosperity in Europe.
Can we please get this straight - the European Union was created only in 1993, progeny of the EEC. And as for it being a bastion of democracy, well don't get me started.

More Obama:
In this complicated, connected world, the challenges facing the EU - migration, economic inequality, the threats of terrorism and climate change - are the same challenges facing the United States and other nations. And in today's world, even as we all cherish our sovereignty, the nations who wield their influence most effectively are the nations that do it through the collective action that today's challenges demand.
I'm sorry but really - 'cherising their sovereignty' - what he really means, condescension being his long suit, is that untrammelled sovereignty is fine for the big boys but that a little bitty piss-ant has-been like the UK should stop being so twee about something as passe as representative democracy. That is, as I have said before, a perfectly arguable point but what I also keep coming back to is that it is one that should be made openly and truthfully. Obama is an impressive and symbolically important figure but his utterings on the EU are mere sententious claptrap. Shame also on our Prime Minister for encouraging him in this sort of smallness, although it's pretty much what one has come to expect.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

National Treasures

Two comedians recently deceased should be marked.

Ronnie Corbett was perhaps lost both literally and figuratively in the shadow of his accomplice Ronnie Barker, but Corbett was a real trooper in his own right. My favourite joke involved his grandfather having died at the Battle of the Little Big Horn - 'He wasn't involved but he was camping in the next valley and went over to complain about the noise.' National treasure.

Victoria Wood was beautifully funny. We had the pleasure of seeing her live many years ago and she was side-splitting. Bloody, bloody clever as well. National treasure.

There's plenty of both of them on that YouTube so go on, knock yourself out.

Monday, 18 April 2016

Now For You Chancellor

Now I wouldn't be me if I didn't have a view on the EU referendum and you may well have guessed what it is. However I will be keeping my final opinion powder dry until a little nearer the day when I intend to publish the finest constitutional analysis this side of Lord Denning. Bet you can't wait.

This self-imposed ban should not however stand in the way of excoriating pitiful purveyors of plain old porkies. The Boy Cameron copped it a few weeks ago with his mendacious presentation of the 'deal' he had so assiduously won from the good burghers of le Grand Projet. But his best mate Gideon, our not very esteemed Second Lord of the Treasury (Dave is the first in case you wondered), has today usurped his boss as the biggest tosser on show in this unpleasant spectacle.

man with smokey pants
Gideon has had the unreliable elves at the Treasury beavering away (at our expense mind you) on a fourteen year economic forecast for good old GB & I should it disentangle itself from the EU. Fourteen fucking years. Apologies for the profanity but yes you did read that right. Fourteen years. This from people who can't get it right month to month, never mind anything measured in years. What guff. The entire purpose is to create a headline which suggests to the gullible that we will be £4300 per household worse off if we leave. Note the clever 'per household' usage, which naturally gives a far higher total than 'per person'. And Gideon has the bare-faced cheek to describe this misbegotten pile of speculation as 'fact'. I don't care which side of the debate you stand but we really do have to agree on one thing: as they say in political science circles, liar, liar, pants on fire.

This tripe is available for your delectation - Pick a Number - all 206 pages of it. As I will at later length explain, this is not primarily an economic issue and there should not be any need for either side of the debate to indulge in this sort of pathetic fiction. Both camps are up to it but to use the minions of the Treasury to produce such bilge is offensive. I think the best I can say of it is that it is exactly the type of blustering certitude one might have expected from Gordon Brown. Remember him? He was the Chancellor who abolished boom and bust. God preserve us.


Sunday, 17 April 2016

Credit Where It's Due

It is only a couple of weeks since I was bemoaning the gobshitery (yes it is a word) of Saracens winger Chris Ashton. I stand by that but we at the OG are even-handed if nothing else.

Yesterday Ashton was part of the Saracens team that saw off Harlequins in front of eighty thousand souls at Wembley. He scored two tries, both on the wing opposite to that he nominally occupied. His predatory nature is second to none in English rugby. Scoring points is the rarest and most precious gift in rugby union. Mind you he should please be told to drop the vainglorious swan dive as he scores. People hate the English enough already without stirring the pot further. There would be a place for this particular gobshite in my England team and I suspect that Eddie Jones will feel the same.

talented but prone to gobshitery
On yesterday's game also - Alex Goode outplayed Mike Brown. Another point which Jones may care to note as he seeks to go beyond the limited European horizon.

St Elmo's Fire

We watched this dated piece of 80s brat pack iconography last night. This is most definitely not a geat film nor indeed, in the final anlysis, even a particularly good one, but it does have a certain resonance for those of us of that certain age who were dragged kicking and screaming unwillingly into adulthood in that ferocious decade.

Most critical comment seems to have focused on the objectionable nature of the majority of the principal characters. But isn't that rather the point? And they do make some emotional progress as the film unfolds. And wasn't Rob Lowe beautiful? My man crush on Johnny Depp may have to be demoted.

Conclusion? Worth a look even if you only want to marvel at the outfits and the very big hair. Oh and Demi Moore keeps her clothes on for once. 5.5/10. 

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Stockholm Syndrome

You do have to admit it, the beastly George Galloway can be very perceptive and funny. I have just heard his take on the absolutely lamentable speech by Jeremy Corbyn this morning - in case you missed it you'll find edited highlights here: Jezza Loves Europe . Galloway descibed Corbyn as a hostage in full Stockholm Syndrome mode. Spot on.
Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors.
Galloway also went on to make some nicely indelicate remarks scotching the notion that we need 'Johnny foreigner' to help us achieve clean beaches and other environmental positives. Cracking stuff. I do love it when poilitical debate gets edgy.

Corbyn's line is depressingly Cameroon in its Pollyanna optimism. He acknowledges faults in the EU (too bloody right we all shout) but believes that by staying in we can influence it to change. Well how's that gone for the last forty years Jez? Even more crackers, he believes that the answer to migration of EU nationals to the UK is best addressed by universal minimum wage legislation throughout the EU. Seriously he actually said that. International Collectivism is alive and well. There are strong reasons for arguing in favour of staying in the EU but we didn't hear any of them from Labour's pet hobbit this morning.

Galloway also referred to Tony Benn's notion - you're not living in a democracy if you can't change the person making the laws. On which topic there will be more from me later.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

The Summer Of 81

I was away earning an almost honest crust in the US of A in the Summer of 81 - well actually I was masquerading as a basketball coach. A golden summer of new friendships.

I missed a lot back home mind - Botham's Ashes, riots, and some seriously mixed-up music. Shakin' Stevens and The Specials vied for number one and by the time I got back the beautifully queer Soft Cell cover of Tainted Love was at the top of the charts.

So it was a pleasure to catch a late-night BBC4 showing of a Summer 81 Top of the Pops. It confirmed that singles (45 rpm vinyl recordings) used to matter and that you therefore got a right old melange of music in your state sponsored earholes. I also affirmed my recollection that, notwithsatnding many common personnel, Legs & Co were never as blatantly sexual as Pan's People. I'm sorry if you haven't got a clue what I'm on about but it's a bloke of a certain age thing. This stuff matters.

One should not underestimate the cultural importance of Pan's People  to the OG's generation of men. We now run/own the world.
A song I had half-forgotten was featured: Bill Wyman's gloriously knowing and ironic Je Suis Un Rockstar. It's up there with Joe Walsh and Life's Been Good. Video at Je Suis Un Rockstar - I'm not allowed to embed it I'm afraid. Bit bloody precious.

That's us - once were warriors.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

The Pope And The Archbishop Walked Into A Bar ...

Don't worry I'm not going to tell you a terrible dirty joke, much less a clean one, knowing as I do absolutely no clean jokes. All jocularity is the Devil's work.

Habemus Papam
Our newish Pope (Francis - who succeeded that nice little German one we went and waved to on the Hagley Road) has worried me a bit at times. Not that I suspect he's much bothered by the part-informed ramblings of this particular fallen angel. No, I was just a bit concerned that he was, by papal standards, a bit of a hippie. That better known (than the OG) convert Papist, Charles Moore, hinted at this type of concern when the Pope went all Green last year - The Pope is Wrong . You see when it comes to Popes this particular parvenu (me not Charles Moore) likes to have his cake and eat it; he wants religiosity and a forbidding mien but also humanity flecked with approachability. Above all he wants a quite certain impression that the pontiff actually believes in God. This combination of characteristics is necessary because he has to carry the weight of his congregation's doubts - and believe me that's a ton of baggage just from this correspondent's direction. Thus when the current incumbent got into an unworthy Twitter spat with the malodorous Trump I was a bit concerned that his mind wasn't fully on the job at hand. But it seems I was wrong because his two hundred and sixty-four page Amoris Laetitia (every page of which you can download here: Papal Exhortation ) has done its job and satisfied loonies at neither extreme of his higgledy-piggledy church. Nice one - even the Guardian seems grudgingly impressed - Papal Score Draw .

Boy played a blinder
I'm a big fan of the Church of England if for no other reason than that the King James Bible knocks spots off all other translations (says he like he's read them all). I also think it is key to our constitutional monarchy - Prince Charles (yes I know you follow the OG) please note. However it can get itself into a squirmingly equivocal mess on the matter of faith. By which I mean I have encountered a disturbing number of its clergy who didn't seem to have any - faith that is. I may just have been unlucky because I exclude from this criticism the Archbishops of Canterbury of my lifetime: the one with the shock of white hair, whose name escapes me (just looked it up - Ramsey) who thanked me when I held the door open for him when he was walking down a King's College corridor; Coggan, who looked very scholarly; Runcie, who won the MC as a tank commander for God's sake; Carey, who perhaps wasn't the sharpest tool in the box but who is a King's alumnus and we need to stick together; Rowan Williams, now I really like him because he is far closer to my idea of Gandalf than Ian McKellen and I don't like the way the media persecutes bearded clergy; most recently, Justin Welby. Two things got Welby off to a bad start: firstly he's another sodding Old Etonian; secondly and more rationally, Archbishops just aren't called Justin, are they? Come to think of it neither are Old Etonians. Anyway, putting such reasoned prejudice aside, I am pleased to say he strikes me as a top sort of bloke and he talks sense with a strong inflection of faith. What has really brought this home is the astute way that he and his officials have handled the bizarre case of his paternity - Archbishop's Paternity . Now, of course, this stuff shouldn't be news at all but the C of E has played a blinder on this one - perhaps Welby should give lessons to the boys at Conservative Central Office who have served their Old Etonian boss so dimly these past few days.

Mind you, I still don't think Justin is a good name for a religious leader notwithstanding that St Justin was around as long ago as 100 AD. The trouble may be that I am a Moody Blues fan and cannot dissociate the name from the sainted Justin Hayward. You see the emotional and intellectual baggage I have to carry? It's a wonder I can even lift a pen. (Has lifting a pen become a metaphorical activity? I ponder this because this afternoon and for the first time I composed some poetry on screen without first scribbling notes. It was still crap. So it goes.)

Grand National - Advance Notice Of Winner

I like to give back to my public. Thus I am letting you now that Goonyella will win this afternoon's Grand National. Because I love you all, I am even giving you an illustration of the colours to aid your enjoyment as you watch the money roll in.

Get on and take the price!*

All the best,

Honest Dave, the People's Tipster.

*Hi Readers, Honest Dave here. It's 6.26 pm and most disappointingly it's clear there isn't going to be a stewards' enquiry which will disqualify the four who finished ahead of Goonyella. Still if you did as I said and took the price (generally 20/1 this morning) and also took the precaution of backing each way to five places then you will have had a tidy little pick-up, unlike Dave himself who was in full-on death or glory mode and backed win only. That's the sort of bold adventurer he is. 
I think it is clear that Goonyella stays forever, but regrettably quite slowly - if they'd gone another lap I think he might have won! Keep tuned for further bad betting advice. OG aka Honest Dave. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

What A Tangled Web We Weave

Cameron and the Panama Papers continue to garner headlines - Cameron Owns Up To Completely Legal Investments

What a lot of complete tosh from all angles. As I so sagely pointed out the other day Cameron has rather made himself a target in all of this by his pathetic 'ordinary bloke' stance. He's not ordinary. Villa fan my arse. I would rather hope my Prime Minister wasn't ordinary - I'm a fan of the extraordinarily gifted.

So now he's suffering as the result of an entirely legal and puny investment with a company his dad helped set up and run. Had he fronted up on Day 1, we could by now have got back to the serious issues we face. Instead he got all pedantic with us and proved pretty crap at that as well. If you want to see the quality (or more precisely lack of it) of argument that is raging in the blogosphere take a look at the tail of comments at Jerry Hayes' blog: Jerry Hayes 6 April .

Paedofinder Pursuivant, Tom Watson MP
And now here he comes riding over the horizon on his charger of moral high dudgeon, yes it's that fearless king of the unactionable slander, Tom Watson MP, Deputy Leader of what's left of the Labour Party. Just watch this space - the Boy Cameron will have been fingered (bad choice of verb I know but shit man I'm on a roll) as a paedo before you know it.

Here's the OG's FAQ's for you:
  1. Has the OG ever had any foreign registered investments? Actually yes and all utterly lawful and all tax paid thank you.
  2. Can OG thereby sleep at night? Too bloody right he can. I've paid a shitload (sorry, it's a technical term) of tax over the years and I'll be buggered if I'm going to pay more than the shitbags who govern us are actually legally entitled to have and waste.
  3. Does the OG think any less of the Boy Cameron as a result of the Panama Papers? No. He was already dead to me after the EU deception.
  4. What is OG's favourite Beatles track? I Am the Walrus.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

The First Day Of A New Year

6 April, the first day of the fiscal year. Back to zero and working (if you sully yourself with such things - I rather tend not to these days) for the government of the day. And hasn't the news been kind to us - matters fiscal are to the fore, most particularly the information that certain people have been taking advantage of overseas tax planning, sometimes, oh Heaven forfend, with the aid of those most heinous of beasts, foreign bloody lawyers - the Panama Papers  .What vile scumbaggery. Most deliciously for our slavering know-nothing press, the name of Dave 'Boy' Cameron's late father is implicated. Mind you, it's a frigging miracle to me (being from the ghetto and all - well Erdington anyway) how anyone can afford to send offspring to Eton without fiddling their bloody taxes.

But my task is made even more urgent by the serendipity of yesterday's allocated New Testament reading in my free-to-Kindle 'the Bible for the Weak and Lazy' (all right it's not really called that but you get the drift). Yesterday was Day 22 of that little project (I have actually read it before - for a bet with my father when I received a Gideons Bible at school) and up popped (inter alia obviously or I'd be at it forever) Matthew 22:21. Here it is in its full King James glory:
They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's
Which, I invite you to agree, is as close as scripture gives us to a Tax Collector's Charter. But, and here's the rub, your obligation is to render to Caesar only what is properly his. All else is God's. Which is a bit of a problem for that piece of political detritus, Jeremy Corbyn, who doesn't believe in God or anything smacking of a supra-legal morality. The state is all. Now Jezza the problem with your pathetic indignation at this latest concatenation of public affairs is that the genus of state you so worship has, pretty much everywhere, turned out to be a vile and inadequate vehicle for governance. So we should dispose of Corbyn's views on this subject as readily as we do most of his others. However, the Boy Cameron is not home and hosed I'm afraid, and if you sit patiently, I'll explain why.

You've brought this on yourself PM. The Mirror is being no more disingenuous than you. The editor went to Malvern College by the way. No wonder he's a cad.
Cameron and his mate Gideon have been at the forefront (well just behind the ludicrous Margaret Hodge) in the lazy and unhelpful elision of two perfectly understood and distinct concepts: Tax Evasion (unlawful) and Tax Avoidance (lawful). Corbyn also gets these things muddled up but one is inclined to be generous and to put this down to his being thick. Instead of the legal clarity that bathed these two terms we now get our old friend 'morality' casting a shadow. Morality is best not left to politicians. And that elision, Dave me old mate, makes you totally fair game in the outing of your dad as a perfectly innocent tax avoider. Ladbroke's offer a teasing 3/1 that you won't be PM by the end of 2016 - Cameron Bets. * I can see a perfect shitstorm of Europe and tax making this a diverting little wager.

*In the two days since I posted this I note that the odds have plummeted to 7/4. This can only have been due to my loyal followers placing serious money on the Boy Cameron biting the dust this year. Please note that at about 12.15 on 9 April I will be announcing the winner of this year's Grand National five hours ahead of the race.


Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Musing On Metacriticism, Or Do I Mean Metacriticism On Muse?

To which question the answer is, of course, who gives a shit?

Lat Saturday I started the day on the Island - you know, Anglesey. That is a good start in anybody's book. We ended our short stay and returned to Brum for the particular purpose of seeing Muse at the NIA or whatever it is now called. I am happy to report that this proved a very good finish to the day even if we had missed closing time at the chip shop by the time we got back to Four Oaks.

This was the second time that the Groupie and I have seen Muse. The first time was at the Etihad Stadium and we were a bloody long way from the action but it was nevertheless close to 'transplendent' as the Shelley Duvall character says of the Maharishi in one of the countless great scenes in that transplendent film Annie Hall. The 'transplendent' remark is in the same exchange as the quite brilliant throwaway excuse that Woody Allen's alter ego, Alvey Singer, offers for having missed the Dylan concert, 'I missed that one, my racoon had hepatitis.' If you can't see that this is one of the funniest lines ever uttered on screen then  I feel sorry for you.

But back to the boys in the band. This time we were witnesses to the first UK iteration of Muse's Drones in-the-round arena tour. I can't put it any better than the Guardian did: 'Space rock behemoths begin massive military offensive.' Bluntly, this is the sort of show that Gabriel era Genesis would have wanted to put on. It was, well, transplendent.

You might just have noticed this - 'drivel' is one of my favourite words, as in, 'Bono talked the usual sanctimonious drivel.' This is an unfortunate but necessary example because I like U2, just as long as Bono stops telling me to rely on his judgement over my own. But one must of course be even-handed in these things so we will have to address the rather quaint anti-war sentiments that apparently underlie the Drones tour and album. I say apparently because you'll be pleased to hear that neither the frighteningly talented Matt Bellamy nor anybody else delivers a sermon during the show. In fact the only talking of substance is a projected JFK speech, which even an old fascist like me can put up with. However I have tracked down the following words of Bellamy about the 'concept' behind Drones:
To me, drones are metaphorical psychopaths which enable psychopathic behaviour with no recourse. The world is run by drones utilising drones to turn us all into drones. This album explores the journey of a human, from their abandonment and loss of hope, to their indoctrination by the system to be a human drone, to their eventual defection from their oppressors.
Now I have decided to give him the benefit of doubt and therefore assumed that he might just have been taking the piss out of an over-earnest NME journo when he came up with that. Either way I'm glad he didn't choose to unburden himself of this stuff during Saturday's show - which was, and I repeat this very loudly, utterly transplendent.

Incidentally I've got a new word for Bono the next time he annoys me - try 'pecksniffery.' I repeat I like U2's stuff, indeed Bullet the Blue Sky would have a run at my Desert Island Discs list. But I also like a bit of Wagner from time to time and he was a bloke who really could talk vile drivel. Proving, as if we didn't know it, that education ain't everything.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

I'm Sorry But You're Ruining Our Game

Chris Ashton, a very talented winger with the happy knack of scoring lots of tries, returned from an unjustly long ban last night and promptly scored two tries. Well done lad. But not so good was his part in getting Bath's Anthony Watson sent off. Here is the relevant action:

If you don't think that Ashton is running a clever line to block Watson challenging for the ball then you've never played the game. It is Ashton's line that sends Watson careening under the leaping Goode. No cheating Ashton, no foul in all probability because Watson gets to make the jump he wanted ie for the ball. Instead of which we get a red card for a player who has chased the ball with the object of regaining possession and, at the very worst, been guilty of clumsiness. Defuse the situation with a yellow card by all means but the red disfigures the match. The guidance given to referees on these matters is guff which allows unempathetic officials to betray the spirit of the game. It's a dangerous game lads and officiating it is not a science but an art. Discretion is required. I'm all for efforts to promote player safety but not at any cost. Shit happens.

As well, watch Ashton's reaction when Goode goes down. His first thought is to throw his arms in the air and appeal for Watson's dismissal. Like I say, talented player but he too often acts like a gobshite.

Are Brilliant ... Mark XXI

Am on the Island (Ynys Mon) with the Groupie so naturally well disposed to the world at present. We are going home today to see the brilliant Muse tonight.

So what's brilliant? Kenneally's Bitter by Bragdy Brewery of Conwy. It definitely helps that I was drinking it at the Ship Inn at Red Wharf Bay where I had the sausage sandwich as accompaniment to the beer. The Groupie had the coronation chicken sandwich, which I sampled in the interests of science. Jolly good.

The Thick of It. We have been binge-watching all four series over the past few weeks and it confirms me in the view that Armando Ianucci is a great modern writer. A stimulating commentator also - take a look at this excerpt from his defence of the BBC : Iannucci MacTaggart lecture 2015 What this has also called into question is OG's judgement in not including The Thick of It in the advent calendar of great television 2015. Oh well, maybe I can get another year out of it further down the line. Revisiting the final episode and the political demise of that great monster Malcolm Tucker, I was put in mind of Coriolanus's overpoweringly succinct farewell to Rome, 'I banish you'. Tucker draws his breath for one final act of coruscation, thinks about it and merely utters, 'It doesn't matter'. Less is more. Great writing.

Another piece of television - Line of Duty. If this were American we would be raving about it. Series 3 is playing right now but we have also re-watched series 2 and will shortly embark on series 1 which somehow we missed altogether. Line of Duty is not the only tale of British televisual brilliance to appear on our screens of late. There ought to be a mention for Happy Valley starring the very reliable Sarah Lancashire who sure has come a long way from barmaid at the Rover's Return in Corrie.