Mark Steel

GLW author Mark Steel

Mark Steel on Tony Benn -- defiantly, stroppily, youthfully socialist to the end

The older you get, apparently, the more you abandon the daft socialist ideas of your youth to become sensible and conservative. There will never be a greater retort to this miserable myth than the life of Tony Benn.

Because somehow he became more defiantly, inspiringly, stroppily, youthfully socialist every year up to 88. If he’d lasted to 90, he’d have been on the news wearing a green Mohican and getting arrested for chaining himself to a banker.

Mark Steel: Forget benefit rorts, what about bonuses?

I wonder how useless you have to be as a banker before they don’t give you a bonus.

If you turned up for work drunk on Special Brew and Dubonnet, and wet yourself over the computers causing the FTSE to short circuit, bankrupting Brazil and forcing the defence ministry to pawn its tanks at a Cash Converters in Southend, maybe they’d say: “You get just half a million this year, until you wipe yourself down with a sponge.”

Mark Steel: Blair feted by gov'ts, sought for arrest by citizens

If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t like your kids mixing with problem families, the type who are always getting arrested, you wouldn’t want them going near Tony Blair, would you?

Five times now he’s been the subject of a citizen’s arrest. This fits with what the police often say, that the vast majority of crimes are committed by a handful of repeat-offending troublemakers.

Whenever he’s asked in interviews about the war that caused his problems, he gives an exasperated sigh and says: “Oh look, I mean, huh, we’ve been through this many times before.”

Mark Steel: How 'leftie' academics hijacked the Great War

Now the centenary of 1914 has got going, we should do as British education secretary Michael Gove suggests and celebrate the First World War, instead of taking notice of “left-wing academics”, who complain it was a regrettable waste of life.

But the other day, on the radio, they played an interview with Harry Patch, the last man alive who fought for the British in the war. Harry said: “Politicians who took us to war should have been given the guns and told to settle their differences themselves, instead of organising nothing better than legalised mass murder.”

Mark Steel: All hail Prince George — us commoners are unworthy

What a week! Oh such boundless joy that transports us to the very heavens! It began with BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell gasping statements such as: “I am informed the royal cervix has currently widened to 9cm, and the Queen is said to be ‘thrilled’ at this level of dilation.”

“The world waits” were the words the BBC put up, and indeed the whole world was thinking of nothing else. Somali fishermen abandoned their nets, saying: “Today I cannot concentrate on mackerel to feed my village, as we pray that Nicholas Witchell soon brings us news of the royal head emerging.”

Mark Steel: World football's legal fixing just as bad

According to a report by Europol, hundreds of football matches across Europe have been fixed by betting syndicates, which must surely leave all genuine supporters of the game delighted.

Because this is so much fairer than the current method of fixing matches, in which three clubs owned by trillionaires buy all the top players, making it impossible for anyone else to finish even close to them.

Bribing a referee and a goalkeeper is much more democratic, as it can be done for a few grand, a fraction of the sum Manchester City spent on buying the Premier League.

Mark Steel: We must support Sussex Uni occupiers against privatisation (VIDEO)

Comedian and socialist Mark Steel addressed a protest against cuts and privitisation at Sussex University on February 12. Students at Sussex University have been occupying the university's conference centre since February 6 against the university's outsourcing of key services.

Mark Steel: US gun lobby is right -- the more lethal weapons the better

We’re supposed to admire people who think “outside the box”, so you have to be impressed with Americans who still rage against gun control.

For example, if you were in an office and someone gasped, “I’ve just been informed there are some deranged lunatics amongst us”, it would take a certain imagination to reply, “In that case, the main thing is to make sure everyone in the building has access to plenty of guns”.

Mark Steel: Israel's claims the battle is even getting more ridiculous

To start with, why do the news channels ask Tony Blair for his advice on conflict in the Middle East? It’s like asking Gary Glitter for advice on what to do about Jimmy Savile.

But somehow it fits with the rest of the coverage. A report yesterday morning began with the sentence: “Rockets have continued to be fired from both sides...” Then, to illustrate this, we saw a demolished building in Gaza in which 11 people had perished, and a woman in Israel standing next to her car with a smashed windscreen.

Mark Steel: How to win a vote while loathing half the voters

Phew ... The US election is exactly the same as a night I had watching Crystal Palace play football. Palace were dreadful, but the opposition were even worse, a goal slid slowly between their goalkeeper’s legs into the net, and the man sitting behind me said to his mate, “This is marvellous. I’ve always said football’s much more entertaining when BOTH teams are shite.”

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