Bill Lawless column

Bill Lawless.
Bill Lawless.
Share this article

Came over all philosophic recently and arrived at a couple of conclusions. One is that great men are often great pillocks. Secondly, that the media is dominated by cliches.

Consider if you will one Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) novelist, politician and orator. This, would you believe, is the great man who reckoned that the pen was mightier than the sword.

I would loved to have seen him trying to ward off a mad mullah’s scimitar with a goose-quill pen. And if I was under attack by a bladdered Scottish drunk wielding a claymore, I would prefer something slightly more offensive than, say, a Bic medium.

Something like a Colt .45 would be a sight more use than a Parker 51. Or perhaps he was thinking of a Waterman Magnum, the most powerful hand-pen in the world as not used by Clint Eastwood.

Switching now to journalistic cliches of the sort you will never find in this column; why is poor, suffering humanity always ‘rushed’ to hospital by ambulance?

If you are unfortunate enough to be taken from Morecambe to the RLI at peak traffic times, where’s the rush? It would be quicker if they shoved you on a trolley.

Police cars always ‘swoop’ on addresses of ‘drug barons’ who live in ‘leafy suburbs’.

The ‘grim terraces’ are used solely for the cultivation of cannabis plants by a crew of illegal immigrants who work fourteen hours a day for all of 50p an hour.

Strange, this world of cliches. Mail always ‘plops’ through letter slots; does it hecker’s like. It falls gently on the hall carpet where it suffers a ‘savage’ attack by a ‘devil dog’, usually a ‘killer’ Staffie.

Does this tick your boxes? Bring out the wow factor? And at last there’s a new one just invented by our pie-faced prime minister and echoed parrot-fashion by dozens of fawning MPs: ‘ordinary hard-working people.’

That takes some swallowing when the UK workforce logs up a gazillion sickies per annum. Mercifully, some die out.

There was a sports editor on my first newspaper who actually wrote: ‘deftly avoiding the custodian he booted the leather into the onion bag.’ Haven’t seen that one for a bit.

Finally, the one that really pulls my chain. When some TV twit referring to a forthcoming event says ‘I can’t wait.’

Well, you’re going to have to, you silly sod. Obvious, innit?