Saturday, September 18, 2021
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EDITORIAL

Popping out

The overuse of the word “pop-up”   On Radio 4 this morning, a presenter commented: “I refuse to call it a ‘pop-up’. If we have any more of them, I’ll pop”. At a lunch yesterday I...

The lady’s last turn

The funeral of Margaret Thatcher   As her coffin headed to St Paul’s Cathedral, I stood in Parliament Square to watch Margaret Thatcher leave Westminster for the last time.     Though many predicted riots and drama, the mood...

A tribute to The Iron Lady

The Right Honourable The Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, PC, FRS; Margaret Thatcher (1925 – 2013)   She cleared our rat-infested streets and she beat the unions. She taught people that “anything was possible” and...

Picture of the week: Don’t phone home

Kevin Waldrum and his mobile: a pair who should be parted   Our picture of the week comes from today’s Mail Online. Featured in it is a former security guard named Kevin Waldrum, along with a...

The cult of “celebrity”

Matthew Steeples bemoans an overused word   They’re everywhere: you’ll find them on magazine covers, on the television and at events. They stalk out the cameras, they behave badly and make utter fools of themselves. In...

BT phone home

The future for red telephone boxes   The red telephone box is something that tourists often cite as being symbolic of Britain. Just like the red London bus and the red pillar box, though, these Sir...

A monstrous murder in Mayfair

Matthew Steeples offers offers a tribute to the late Robert Troyan   I first met the larger than life Bostonian character Robert Troyan (1950 – 2013) with his partner Anthony Feldman in the early 2000s at...

Keep Calm and Get Certified

Is it time for “Keep Calm And…” to “Sod Off And Get Lost”?   Since 2001, whatever the situation and whatever the context, three words, “Keep Calm And…”, can and often have been applied. The rediscovery...

Taxes are only for the little people

HMRC publish a list of tax evaders but neglect to mention any large corporations   The hotelier and real estate heiress Leona Helmsley stated: “Taxes are only for the little people” before being convicted of income...

Knightsbridge’s playboy racers

A review of Channel 4’s Millionaire Playboy Races by Matthew Steeples   I watched last night’s Millionaire Playboy Racers expecting to find myself in agreement with Knightsbridge residents complaining about the noise generated by Arabs and...

A Robin Reliant of a drama

Our view on the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey   Christmas Day is meant to be a time for celebration and joy. After feasting likes kings, many of us sat down to a cheery cartoon or...

A prank too far

Matthew Steeples shares his views on the untimely death of a hospital receptionist   Suicide is sadly something that is at the forefront of my mind this week. My friend Andrew Embiricos sadly died exactly...

Reaching nowhere

Matthew Steeples highlights the peril of “reaching out”    “Reaching out” is a phrase that can be compared to Starbucks and their taxes.   This toxic platitude has sadly become common in both Britain and America and is...

When good men should do nothing

Matthew Steeples responds to the recommendations of Leveson   "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing” was one of Edmund Burke’s most famous observations.   Today, David Cameron's former spin...

Put a sock in it

Matthew Steeples takes a look at the farcical results of the PCC elections   A former ambassador to the US undiplomatically Tweeted the following an hour or two ago: “Prezza beaten. Humberside policing saved.” His dovetailed...

Name and shame at your peril

Philip Schofield and the protection of powerful paedophiles   Yesterday, when Phillip Schofield showed the Prime Minister a note containing the names of alleged politician paeodophiles who have been named on Twitter, little did he realise...

A long, long Savile road

Why does the Savile story really keep running?   We’re all Saviled out. It’s been more than eight weeks since revelations about Jimmy, formerly Sir Jimmy, Savile came to public attention. Yes, the horrors of his...

Twittering S-Pam

Pam Ayres makes a poem of Matthew Steeples   Yesterday, I found myself listening to a self-proclaimed “writer, broadcaster and entertainer” named Pam Ayres on BBC Radio 4.   An example of her style numbers:   “I am sittin’ on...

Bravo the Beeb

Matthew Steeples reacts to the BBC quietly dropping the “Sir”   This morning when I turned on Radio 4’s Today programme, as has become customary in the last weeks, the first item on the news was...

Picture of the Week: Sinking and stupid

A pair of pillocks piddling about in a puddle   All of us who drive have made stupid mistakes but most of us, at worst, have knocked over a gatepost or pranged a door in a...

Now then, now then, not now then

Matthew Steeples shares his somewhat mixed thoughts on the allegations against Sir Jimmy Savile   When Sir Jimmy Savile’s 2002 Rolls-Royce Corniche went to auction in July with a guide price of £60,000 to £90,000, he...

Plebs and ladettes

“Ladette”: A word and culture that should be consigned to history   Last week, in a BBC Radio 4 broadcast, the former Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox complained about the word “ladette.” Barely able even to...

Video of the week: Bush does Dr. Evil

George W. does a mean Dr. Evil impression   George W. Bush is a man who most of our readership no doubt loathe. Most people know that I take an utterly different view and like the...

Do you “chitter-chatter”?

The phrase “chit-chat”   This morning, as I walked through the streets of Chelsea, I heard a lady blabbering into her mobile telephone about how she’d had a “chit-chat” with her friend. I cringed. I don’t...

All lounged out

The misuse of the word “lounge”   “Lounge,” to my mind is a word that conjures laziness. “Lounging around” is something one did as a teenager and in the process annoyed one’s parents and school teachers.   “Lounge”...

No thanks needed

“Thank you for reaching out!”: a phrase that should be banned   “Thank you for reaching out” is a phrase that I’ve noticed is used far too frequently. During the Olympics, BBC presenters used it when...

Riotous celebration

Contrasting 6th August 2012 with the 6th August 2011   This time last year, I was on the Isle of Wight enjoying Cowes Week. A day’s sailing with my friend Andreas Widegren was proceeded by a...

Boris comes out kung-fu fighting

Boris Johnson hosts Rupert Murdoch at the Olympics   The Daily Mail and other titles are in uproar today. It has been revealed that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has invited Rupert Murdoch and his...

Keeping bankers out of the kitchen

The Steeple Times features in The Sunday Telegraph   Yesterday, we received our first mainstream press mention with a feature in The Sunday Telegraph’s “Dashwood” column.   Anna White picked up on a comment on Gina Miller’s open...

“Enjoy”: an overused word

It’s just not “enjoyable”   In a five star hotel last week, a waitress followed the delivery of every course with the phrase: “Please enjoy.” My guest and I commented on it each time and today,...

Long live the spies

Vadim J. Birstein wins the first Intelligence Book of the Year Award   Yesterday a reception was held in a fascinating hotel named the St. Ermin’s to announce the winner of the first Intelligence Book of...

Grabbing grabbers

“Grab”: a word that should know its place   After attending a cocktail reception for the Intelligence Book of the Year Award today and meeting a fascinating array of intelligent people from the world of security,...

Gin O’Clock

Celebrate World Gin Day at The Rib Room   At 12 noon I often receive a message from my good friend the photographer to the stars, John Stoddart. As a fellow gin aficionado, we regularly raise...

Welcome to The Steeple TIMES

Greetings readers: We are just sorting out a few details and glitches but will be going live shortly. May I welcome you to The Steeple TIMES - we'll be sharing wit and wisdom in...

Pip Pip Hurray!

My response to Terence Blacker’s piece attacking Pippa Middleton   Pippa Middleton is not someone I know. I have seen her in bars and at parties but never spoken with her. I do not especially find...

A fact isn’t a fact until you’ve checked it’s a fact

The case for the regulation of the UK’s property industry   Don’t get me wrong: I know many good estate agents. At the age of 15, I worked for an incredibly respectable firm based in Lancashire....

Sinking television

Sinking television A review of Julian Fellowes’s “Titanic”   Against better advice, I watched all four episodes of Julian Fellowes’s Titanic television drama. Nothing much happened in the first three episodes but unlike many others, I preserved...

Jog off

A phrase that should be consigned to history   Now “hijacked by chavs,” the phrase “jog on” first became prominent in The Football Factory film about football hooliganism.   This awful insult got wider use in recent days...

Lamer than lame

Zagat’s lamest list   I am a big fan of Zagat. I fill out their surveys religiously every year and always look forward to receiving their guides.   Yesterday, though, I read a piece by Kelly Dobkin on...