Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Finally Have a Term for Pointless Verbiage I Read on Sundays; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

I Finally Have a Term for Pointless Verbiage I Read on Sundays; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: Bernard Trafford

IOFTEN scan the Sunday papers for ideas to stimulate this column. They're generally full of bizarre stories. Many of them, dressed up as news, are merely a mixture of curious speculation and sheer invention. Some really aren't news, just the bleedin' obvious masquerading as investigative journalism.

For example, women's brains are more efficient than men's. The rationale for this startling discovery is the fact that their brains are smaller, yet there's no measurable difference in intelligence between the genders. Therefore, that smaller brain must be more efficient: QED. Astonishing! That ground-breaking report filled half a page of last week's Sunday Times.

As my wife commented wryly, the real difference is that men's brains are slowed down by lazy, lowefficiency areas able to focus on only one thing at a time, chiefly football, beer, chips and sex (but not necessarily in that order).

Next I learned that the Irish Tourist Board has discovered the Duchess of Cambridge, nee Kate Middleton, is related to Chris de Burgh. That fact will form the basis of a major new tourism drive. That's marvellous, but obvious.

If you go back far enough, everyone is related to everyone, because we've all got the same chimpanzee and Neanderthal Man DNA in us (OK, I may have made that last bit up.) You can't blame only the Sunday papers. Even real, serious news seemed to get pretty out of proportion over the last few days.

It was reported that Lloyds Bank has lost PS570m. But we shareholders (all the long-suffering taxpayers of Great Britain who own the damn thing), should be pleased, we're assured: the loss was smaller than in previous years and therefore counts as "substantial progress".

Hurrah! For the privilege of owning the bank, we've all paid another PS10 each to keep it afloat. Apparently that doesn't matter. HM Government just props up the bank with our taxes and sticks tax-rates up afterwards.

I don't claim to be an economist, so it doesn't make sense to me. But then, when the economy went belly-up, it didn't make sense to the experts either. …

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