Another helping of Porridge

Slightly mixed feelings about the recent Porridge one-off. Porridge is one of my two all-time favourite sitcoms (the other being Yes Minister/Yes Prime Minister), so it was with trepidation that I sat down to watch the new version. It was written by the original writing team of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and starred Kevin Bishop as the grandson of Ronnie Barker’s Norman Stanley Fletcher.

It felt a bit like a long-lost episode of the original series, but with different characters. And therein lies the problem, I think. It did nothing new. Which shouldn’t necessarily be a problem, as it exists to honour the original. I was hoping for something different, while at the same time, desperately hoping it wouldn’t try anything different. Hence the mixed feelings. It was a decent enough tribute, I think, and I don’t object to it existing, but I do hope it doesn’t go to a full series.

Cameron’s Legacy

So, we’ve not yet left the EU, but the British public has voted to, by the smallest of margins. The British public has chosen to believe the lies and fear-mongering vomited up by the Leave campaign. The British public, when presented with actual facts, and advice from pretty much every economic expert, has chosen to side with Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.

I’m still trying to get my head around that.

Overnight the pound drops to a 30 year low, Scotland considers leaving the UK again, as does Northern Ireland, Greek banks are (at least temporarily) not exchanging sterling, several other right-wing parties in European countries are talking about holding their own referendum to leave the EU and my daughters have lost the right to live and work in 27 countries. Due to a 52/48 vote.

I had zero respect for our government before this. Is it possible for respect to drop to negative figures? Cameron called this referendum due to internal struggles within his own party. He gambled the entire UK economy on a whim, and lost. It now remains to be seen whether Cameron’s legacy will merely be the wholesale destruction of the British economy, or whether he has started the avalanche that will destroy Europe, too.

You did this, Cameron. Although you claim that you wanted us to Remain, you ruined the future for our children. This is your doing.

And yes, you had help from the floppy haired buffoon, the racist and the other liars, as well as half the UK voting population, who were spoon-fed lies and empty promises, but this is your doing. You will forever be remembered as the worst prime minister this country has ever had.

But still – you’ll get on the board of several multinationals and maybe negotiate a few last-minute sales of British institutions to your friends before you leave, so you’ll be all right. While the rest of us have to try to find a way to move forward through this stupidity.

It feels like today will be the day the calendar started, again, that in a far-off post-apocalyptic future, people will look back on Brexit day and wonder how we could have been so fucking stupid.


That is all.


(Nothing to do with parking, for once).

More parking fun

So, I’ve now sent off my 2nd appeal against the parking fine. (Details here and here).

I’ll post my (4 page!) letter here, once I get York Council’s response.

Fingers crossed they see sense…


The Greens and Copyright


This is currently doing the rounds, and (understandably) getting a lot of creatives concerned.

The copyright thing is annoying, certainly, but I doubt it could ever get any real traction. First of all, it’s highly unlikely that the Greens will lead in the next decade or so – it would take at least 15-20 years for them to amass enough support for that to become a possibility. And if they happen to be the smaller party in a coalition (unlikely, but not *completely* beyond the realms of possibility), I doubt that copyright reform would be high on their list of priorities. And the likelihood of that level of copyright reform going through is pretty low, I’d say. And it would only materially affect those who rely largely on UK-based backlist royalties. Anyone whose main income is overseas will remain largely unaffected. Disney will still have to pay you for your rights if they want to produce and distribute it in the US and elsewhere. And while I don’t for a second agree with a 14 year copyright term, I do believe the current legislation is too restrictive.

And if/when the Greens *do* come into power in 15-20 years or more? It’ll be a different bunch, with different views, and decades more experience under their belts.

Voting Green this time around won’t be a vote towards copyright reform, but it will help indicate a general dissatisfaction with the current 2.5 party system we suffer under. If you’re against Lab/Con/Dem at the moment, don’t let the prospect of a discussion about copyright in 2 decades’ time dissuade you from voting with your feet.

Or your pencil.

York Council’s response…

to this letter (click).


Dear Mr Harris,

Thank you for your letter of objection against the issue of the above penalty charge notice. 

The points that you made in your letter have been carefully considered.  I regret to advise that you have not established grounds for cancellation of the penalty charge notice and it remains payable because you were parked in a council car park without a valid ticket or valid resident discount permit.

I understand the points you have made regarding the advertisement of the changes to the Minster badge scheme, however, I am unable to cancel the PCN based on the effectiveness of it. The council took measures to ensure all residents were notified and these were deemed sufficient. I understand that you do not wish to purchase a new permit, as such, I am unable to cancel this PCN.

You have a period of 14 days, beginning with the day that you receive this letter, to make payment at the discount amount of £25. If you wish to pay by debit or credit card you can do so online at  or by contacting the Parking Office on 01904 551309. If you wish to send payment please make your cheque or postal order, payable to ‘City Of York Council’ and send your payment to; Parking Services, City Of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA. Please quote the above penalty charge notice number with your payment. 

If the payment is not received within a 14 day period, beginning with the day that you receive this letter, the discount amount will no longer be available and the full charge of £50 will be payable.  You are legally deemed to have received this letter two working days after the date it was sent. 

If the penalty charge remains unpaid after 28 days from service, we may then serve a legal document called a ‘Notice to Owner’ on the owner of the vehicle. At that stage, the vehicle owner, or driver on behalf of the owner, will be able to make further formal representations against the penalty charge notice.  We will consider further representations even where we have previously concluded that the evidence presented is not such that we can cancel the penalty charge notice.  In order to ensure impartiality if you decide to make further representations a different Council Officer will consider them.

If we decide to reject the formal representations and the owner, or driver on behalf of the owner, is not satisfied with the decision that has been made, they may then appeal to the independent ‘Traffic Penalty Tribunal’ within 28 days of the service of a ‘Notice of Rejection’ by us.  Further details of the ‘Traffic Penalty Tribunal’ are available at and further information regarding the civil parking enforcement procedure is also available at  Information concerning our parking and enforcement policies and procedures is available on our website at If you have any further queries regarding the matter please do not hesitate to contact the Parking Office on 01904-551309.

Yours sincerely 

Lindsey Kelly
Technical Administrator


Needless to say, as the council did not inform me that the undated residents’ badge that they issued had been cancelled, I will be appealing this decision. How silly that they feel it worth going through the time and expense to try to get an extra £25 out of me!

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