Losing my voting cherry

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m not a political person. Or rather, they would have until the EU referendum was announced (full disclosure, I voted in the referendum, so I’m technically not a vote virgin – more an election virgin). Since then, I’ve been somewhat more political; I opened my bedroom window at 5am on June 24th and yelled ‘YOU STUPID TWATS!’ out of it when the referendum results came in), and I frequently berate Donald Trump (each of those three words is a separate link!) and his supporters on Twitter.

But for the most part, I still couldn’t stand politics – because I’ve always hated politicians. They are self-serving, bullshitting morons who don’t give a toss about those they’re paid handsomely to represent. And the huge paycheck never seems to be quite enough, so why not claim expenses for everything from Duck Houses to Remembrance Day wreaths? Already own a property in London? No problem – just rent it out for profit and rent yourself another one at the taxpayers’ expense. And this isn’t a partisan dislike of MPs – I’ve always had a deep distrust of them all, regardless of their party affiliation.

MPs have been all kinds of people: marital traitors, sexual deviants, the easily-bought, even pig worriers. All in all, they are untrustworthy, self-serving shitstains. They lie constantly (they are the least trusted profession in the country), they spin questions all over the place, they’re completely out of touch with the people they’re supposed to work for. They’ve always been absolute arseholes, and I’ve never wanted anything to do with them. They’re not right, nor honourable.

Until now.

In September 2015, an old guy with a beard shook things up a bit. A fairly normal bloke who lives in a fairly normal house became leader of the Labour Party. Every time I’ve seen or heard him speak, he seems like a genuinely decent human being – a trait sadly lacking in any other British politician. He’s spent his life campaigning for those less fortunate, and consistently championed causes in which he believes.

Now, I’ll get this out of the way: I’m aware of the IRA/Hamas/Hezbollah thing, and that did give me pause, so I did a little reading. He has, at times, had lapses in judgement in some of the things he’s said and done. Introducing members of Hamas as ‘friends’ was one such time, but he’s explained it well enough to satisfy me (and also gave a grandad-bollocking to Krishnan Guru-Murthy in the process, which is always a bonus). It’s not as if he’s had them round his house for a sleepover; he was trying to help engineer some kind of peace – something for which he’s always advocated – and, in order to do that, was trying to treat people like people. Same for the IRA thing – yeah, he invited Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness and Gerry ‘crazy tweets‘ Adams for meetings, but he also met plenty of Unionists like Ian Paisley as part of his attempts to bring about peace. You can’t have peace without peace talks. Do I agree with all of his decisions in the past? No. But has he been photographed sniffing coke off a hooker’s tits? Also no.

I like Jeremy Corbyn.

There – I’ve said it. He strikes me as the closest thing to a normal human being that British politics has seen in a long time. And for some reason, this is why a lot of people seem to dislike him: “He’s not up to the job” – why, because he’s not devious enough to ’employ’ his wife and claim her wage back from us? “Even his own MPs don’t like him” – well that’s fine, because I don’t fucking like any of them; they don’t like him because he makes them all look like the grifting tossers they are.

Now, in doing this, I’m having to vote for Yvette Cooper (my local candidate) which I’m not exactly happy about. She falls into the category of shitty politicians (albeit slightly less so than many others) – I once wrote to her about the fact that someone was poisoning cats in the area, and asking why there wasn’t a bittering agent in antifreeze, and she basically just fobbed me off. So I’ll do that part holding my nose, knowing that I’m actually voting for Corbyn.

I’m aware that my vote probably doesn’t really make much difference; there’s a reason Yvette Cooper is my local candidate – ours is one of the strongest Labour seats in the country. But then again, so was Morley & Outwood. And with the number of people I’ve seen on Facebook chanting about UKIP, it’s just not worth the risk. I also know that Labour beating out the Conservatives is a long shot – especially as the Tories seem to have employed the cheap, misquoting, context-abandoning, vilifying smear tactics seen in the recent US election (which, let’s face it, has resulted in the absolute worst president that country has ever seen – ironically, after the best president it’s ever seen) and in the EU referendum; carefully selected sound bites, designed to mislead the easily-led. Or just plain lies, apparently that’s also a thing.

But I’m hoping beyond hope that the polls are wrong (again) and we wake up on Friday with a new Prime Minister unlike any we’ve seen before. He might not deliver once he’s in there, but hell – none of them have up until now, so why not suck it and see? It’s time for something different.

jezwecan

Oh, one more thing: The Sun ‘news’paper has endorsed Theresa May. So yeah, there’s that.

 

 

 

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Obligatory Referendum Blog Post

megatron

Wow. It’s been a long time since I posted anything on here. Over a year, in fact.

It’s been far longer since I voted though, because I’ve never done it. I’ve been eligible to vote for 20 years, but today I’ll vote for the first time in my life. You might think that’s irresponsible of me, but the fact is that I dislike politics, and I dislike politicians even more. Not once has there been a candidate or party that I’ve thought capable of adequately representing or running this country. “Vote for the one you hate the least,” people have said to me, but I don’t want that. I want to vote for someone I like. I want us to have an Obama. I’d vote for that guy all day long.

The fact that both of the EU campaigns have been run by politicians shouting the odds has really annoyed me. Neither campaign has showered themselves in glory in the run up to this referendum; both are guilty of scaremongering and, well, bullshit.

So, instead of listening to their ‘facts’, I’ve read as much independent coverage as I can stomach (The BBC’s Reality Check has been particularly useful) and I’ve made up my own mind. I’m voting to stay in, and it’s partly because I fear change, but mostly because I don’t like bullshit, and the Leave campaign has peddled way too much of it, from start to finish.

In an attempt to explain my reasons for voting remain, here are some of the Leave campaigns key reasons for leaving, along with my thoughts on each one. They might be wrong or ill-conceived, but that’s okay because they’re just my thoughts:


SOVEREIGNTY! We can take back control from these unelected bureaucrats. We can run our own country again!
I’ve got a few issues with this statement. Firstly, the European Commission only proposes rules. It’s up to our elected government, and our MEP’s (who we DO vote in and out) to either accept, amend or reject those proposals. So, if we’re getting rules we don’t like, maybe we should elect officials who will fight for the stuff we actually want and against the stuff we don’t? In any case, according to the House of Commons Library Report, the EU generated only 13% of the laws created from 1993 to 2014.

As far as I understand it, European Commissioners are indeed elected (albeit not directly by us) so the ‘unelected bureaucrats’ line doesn’t wash with me. Incidentally, we are at the mercy of a large number of unelected lawmakers, but they’re in the House of Lords in London.


IMMIGRATION! We can take back control of our borders, hurrah!
Except we probably can’t. I’ve seen posts on Facebook telling how amazing life is for Switzerland and Norway, who are in Europe, but not members of the EU. I’m not convinced – they’ve negotiated their own trade deals with the EU and, as part of those deals, both countries have agreed to the Schengen Agreement, becoming part of the Schengen Area.

switzerland facts

Switzerland FACTS* (*Does not contain facts)

In a nutshell, the Schengen Area consists of 26 countries which allow completely free movement of citizens between them. No borders or passports. No checks. No knowing who’s coming or going. At the moment, the UK has chosen not to be a part of the Schengen Area, maintaining our borders and the requirement for passports to enter and leave. Isn’t it reasonable to assume that, as part of any decent trade deal, the EU will require us to join Schengen, as it did Switzerland and Norway? Money talks, and if it’s a choice between either letting people in or not getting a trade deal, you can bet your elected officials will sell us out and sign the Schengen Agreement.

So, anyone who thinks we’ll be able to handle immigration on our own terms is, I think, in for a nasty shock if we leave the EU.


bus

LOOK AT OUR BUS! We send the EU £350 million every week. Let’s fund our NHS instead!
Okay, first things first – that number is utter toss. We get about £4.5 billion a year back in grants. We also get rebates, which are applied straight away and are never even sent, so no – we don’t send £350 million a week, Boris. Our actual net contribution is more like £163 million every week. And here’s how it shapes up against the rest of the UK’s public spending:

spending2

Not as much of a massive wedge any more, is it?

And secondly – do you REALLY think that our elected politicians, who have continuously cut budgets and run the NHS into the ground in the first place, will throw any significant amount of money at it, if they got the chance? The reason I’ve never bothered to vote is because they’re all as shit as one another. I can’t think of one UK government that’s done right by its people in my lifetime – why would they start now? I’d rather have a government that’s accountable to someone besides the public which it routinely ignores and defies.


MORE REASONS!
No wait, that’s basically it.


BUT WAIT! Look at all these awesome people who think we should leave!

Indeed. Like:

  • Katie Hopkins (Inexplicably famous for being an arsehole to everyone)
  • Donald Trump (The world’s richest bigot. Probably)
  • Nigel Farage (Leader of ‘definitely not racist’ UKIP)
  • Britain First (Definitely racist)
  • David Icke (Thinks the moon is an artificially-constructed ‘hollowed-out planetoid’ from which a secret race of ‘reptilian humanoids’, including The Queen, George W Bush and, inexplicably, Boxcar Willie, broadcast an artificial sense of reality to control the human race. I’m not kidding.)
  • Keith Chegwin (Has blocked me on Twitter)
  • Milo Yiannopolous (Cue Dr. Evil air quotes… “Journalist”)
  • The Sun newspaper (Known for always telling the truth about stuff)
  • Right Said Fred (Too sexy for the EU)
  • Vicky Pattison (Who?)

Now admittedly, there are a couple of wildcards in the ‘Leave’ list, like John Cleese, Michael Caine and Bryan Adams. For the most part, however, the list contains names that I either don’t recognise or cannot stand.

It has to be said, too, that the ‘Remain’ endorsements list has a couple of names that I couldn’t care less about (David Cameron being the most obvious). But, for the most part, it’s made up of people I like/respect/would dare to be seen in public with, such as:

  • Tim Berners-Lee
  • Sir Ian McKellen
  • Sir Patrick Stewart
  • Sir Richard Branson
  • Stephen Hawking
  • J.K Rowling
  • Sir David Attenborough
  • Eric Idle
  • Liam Neeson
  • Daniel Craig
  • Tim Minchin
  • John Oliver
  • Chris Addison

To summarise, then:

The leave team hasn’t done enough to convince me that life would be better if we left. If anything, their rhetoric and propaganda has only pushed me further towards voting remain.

You see, I’m not a big fan of jumping onto a frozen lake to see if it cracks and I drown. It might not. But it could. And I don’t fancy drowning. For me, it’s a similar theme for the referendum.

Vote Leave say that, as the world’s fifth largest economy, we’ll thrive outside the EU. But will we? Sure, we might. But we just don’t know. How do we know that it wasn’t our membership of the EU which helped us become fifth largest in the first place?

They say we can make our own rules. Hands up those of you who like all the rules and policies our domestic governments have made over the years? Oh.

They’ve spent a lot of time saying how, once we’ve voted to leave the EU on June 23rd, we’ll set up our own points-based immigration system, just like Australia’s. But will we? Sure, we could. But where’s the guarantee?

Here’s my guarantee: I’m voting to remain on June 23rd. Also, no matter what the result of the referendum is, I’ll be happily importing my very own jobless immigrant next month, and there’s nothing Nigel Farage can do about it.

 

#AskGalloway (but not if it’ll piss him off)

If there was one thing I would EVER advise a business or public figure, it’s that ‘Ask’ hashtags are usually a monumentally bad idea. There are exceptions, of course – if you’re one of the few celebrities or business who are universally admired.

I’m thinking of Olympic heroes like Jess Ennis, or an easily-lovable business like innocent drinks, who have a great twitter team and very few critics in general. Anyone else, no. Just don’t do it because it will not end well.

It’s a particularly bad idea, however, if you’re a controversial politician who clearly has no clue about how social media works. Enter (possibly on all fours and purring) George Galloway MP. But it’s okay – George had a strategy.

Yep. George decided to run an #AskGalloway hashtag on Twitter but, when the inevitable happened and the whole of Twitter began to take the piss (as they always do, no matter who you might be), Georgie just did a Cheggers and started blocking. Everyone. But he replied to some of them first. Throughout the course of the evening, he didn’t answer one serious question (save, possibly, to comment that Louise Mensch ‘marches to a different drum’). He did, however, manage to tick off the following:

Threaten legal action:

Legal

Casual namecalling:

Unhinged

Stigmatisation of mental illness:

Broadmoor

Madman

A mix of casual namecalling and mental health stigmatisation:

Carstairs Tsar

Trivialising alcoholism:

Gin

Resorting to ‘I’ve got more followers than you LOL’:

oops 941

Homophobia?

male organ

And whatever the hell this is:

Altar boy

Assuming he means ‘Altar boy’, I can’t even begin to guess what form of derogation this might be.

But the one that really pissed me off was this one:

Texan speaks

And this one:

Even Texans

As some of you might know, the person I love most on this planet is a Texan. She’s tolerant, liberal and intellectual. And I’m not just saying that. She has the highest moral values of anyone I’ve ever known. And so naturally, I wanted him to expand on exactly what he meant:

My tweet

…At which point, he promptly blocked me.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should also point out that I took part in the widespread hijack of the hashtag with a few comedy tweets, none of which were offensive. They’re here: Tweet / Tweet / Tweet / Tweet – but I wasn’t blocked until I tweeted and challenged for him to explain his prejudice, as above. I’m also not in any way interested in politics, so I’m not some Tory smear campaigner or whatever. They’re all idiots in my view.

So, anyway. I wasn’t sure if his ‘Texan’ tweet constituted racism at first. Having thought about it a little, I don’t think it does – the term ‘race’ doesn’t relate to a person’s nationality or home state, it’s more their physical attributes. However, it’s my opinion that George Galloway’s comment was xenophobic and bigoted. Not to mention the other pretty outrageous statements he made.

When you consider that Emily Thornberry was forced to resign following a tweet that contained an image of a house adorned in England flags, along with the caption ‘Image from #Rochester”, how is it acceptable for Galloway, an MP for the so-called ‘Respect Party’, to post such a range of bigoted statements publicly and expect not to be challenged about it?

peace, justice & equality (Unless you're alcoholic, mentally ill or from Texas)

peace, justice & equality
(Unless you’re alcoholic, mentally ill or from Texas)

He may argue that it was his interpretation of fact (despite the fact that the lady he replied to was in fact a native of Carlisle and now lives in Washington State), but he must then apply the same logic to all his other tweets, which I think would be difficult. Alter boy [sic]? Broadmoor?

It’s therefore clear to me that ‘A Texan speaks’ was intended as a derogatory remark, and I want to know why he would think that’s the case.

Luckily, George is hosting some kind of public meeting this Saturday about 20 miles from where I live. I’m thinking I might show up and ask him – respectfully, of course – to explain his responses tonight, in particular the one about Texan people.

I might even offer him some free social media advice – although it’ll mostly consist of the words ‘Just’ and ‘don’t’.

tl/dr: George Galloway is a bigoted dick who doesn’t know the first thing about social media.

I’m losing my head (get your money out)

When it comes to writing blog posts, I feel pretty lucky – usually, writing them comes quite easily to me. The fact that I’ve deleted and rewritten this first sentence about a dozen times tells me that this isn’t a usual kind of blog post.

Another way in which I know I’m lucky is that I got to meet one of the kindest, most loving people this world has ever seen. Even better, I was raised by her.

mum

Brenda. 15 March 1951 – 7 February 2014

Yes, I’m aware that everyone feels they have the ‘best mum in the world’, but I’m not just talking about that. Everyone who knew Brenda loved her. Everyone she met knew instantly that she was one of the nicest, most genuine people they’d ever encountered. I’ve been told that a lot since she died.

For over 20 years, she fostered children who needed help. I’ve lost count of how many kids came through our house over the years, but every last one of them ended up loving her. Considering, in some cases, their scepticism towards adults and authority in general, that’s no easy feat, but it’s one she achieved – just by being Brenda. In fact, several of them still refer to her as ‘mum’ – one of them even changed her surname by deed poll. Brenda was a doting grandmother to twelve children, all of whom adored her. In fact, telling my kids that I was taking them to see her for the last time was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. My oldest daughter (aged 8 at the time) wrote this for her. Reading it now still breaks my heart. It’s the first time I’ve ever shared it.

Maddy’s final goodbye

In 2008, mum was diagnosed with lymphoma. For over 5 years, she fought to keep it at bay. In November 2013 it became extremeley aggressive, and in January 2014 she also developed leukaemia.

Mum with my kids – January 2014

On 7 February 2014, I lost my mum to cancer.

On 7 February 2015, I’ll lose my hair to help fight it.

My head’s getting the bic treatment no matter how much I raise. If I hit the £500 target, I’ll get everything waxed (besides my butt & nuts – I’m trying to raise money for charity, not scare the daylights out of some poor beauty therapist). If I hit £1000, I’ll shave off both my eyebrows. How much you donate depends on how stupid you want me to end up looking. It’s your call.

Now, as trivial as a shaved noggin sounds, it carries risks. I’m 36 years old. My maternal grandfather was bald by the time he hit his thirties. My dad became a slaphead in his mid-twenties. My younger brother went ‘full Goodhew’ 5 years ago. When I give myself the Walter White treatment, there’s a good chance it’ll never grow back. If it does, the grey flecks on my temples will likely take hold elsewhere and I’ll look like a less-refined Philip Schofield.

Me. With hair. For now…

That’s not to mention the fact that almost my entire body will be getting waxed. According to many ladies I’ve spoken to, that’s some kind of big deal. Apparently, it hurts a bit.

Whatever happens, it’ll be worth it. The money I raise will be split equally between Cancer Research UK and Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. Most importantly, it’ll be donated in memory of the most remarkable person I’ll ever know, and I’d be humbled if you’d help me to honour her.

Please – give whatever you can. Head to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Finch

I’ll probably never ask you for money ever again. Unless my boiler packs in.

 

*Update* – We’ve hit the original £500 target, so the waxing will happen. Joy.

I’ve increased the donation page target to £1000 to see if we can’t liberate my eyebrows. If by some miracle we hit £1500, I’ll shave off ONE eyebrow and leave the other one intact. Whoever tips it over the £1500 mark gets to choose which eyebrow goes and which one stays…

Lloyds Pharmacy fancies my mum…

IMPORTANT:
There are updates to this story – Lloyds are innocent. I’ve left the original post unamended for posterity, with updates at the bottom…

Meet Brenda:

mum

Although I realise mine is a somewhat biased view, I’m pretty certain that Brenda here is the best mum who ever walked the planet.

And she’s the bravest person I know. This is the last photograph of her with her own hair. As she sat on that same stool, her head was shaved before the effects of chemotherapy took it from her.

But it seems that she has an admirer…

In the beginning…

A few weeks ago, my dad (also pictured – he doesn’t have cancer, he’s just bald) visited our local Lloyds Pharmacy to buy some things for my mum, including a bottle of own-brand Ginseng capsules. Because he had a lot on his mind (and because he was standing in a ‘reputable’ pharmacy), my dad never thought to check the expiry date on the bottle. Luckily, because she’s neutropenic as a result of her chemo, my mum *did* check it before taking the first one, just a few days later. The capsules were out of date by a few weeks. For those who don’t know (I was with you until last week), neutropenia is a condition whereby your immune system is basically ‘offline’. The common cold or a mild stomach bug can prove to be fatal, and consuming anything that’s past its expiry date is a big no-no.

After kicking himself, my dad trundled the (full) bottle of Ginseng caps back up to the same branch of Lloyds where he bought it. Because he didn’t have a receipt, they refused to help him in any way – obviously Ginseng fraud is a major concern these days and the branch staff figured that Lloyds simply couldn’t take the £4 hit that a refund or replacement might cause.

lloydspharmacylogo1
Bad medicine?

On Monday 14 October, Dad completed the ‘contact us‘ form on their website, outlining his unhappiness that he’d been made to feel like he was trying to pull the wool over their eyes, as well as the fact that he’d been sold out of date products in the first place. He filled in the optional field which asked for a phone number. That, it seems, was a mistake…

An admirer calls…

On Tuesday, 15 October, just before midday, my parents’ home phone rang (yes, they still have one of those – they’re in their 60’s) and my dad answered. According to him, a man in a call centre environment spoke to him and was quite abrupt. The conversation went roughly like this:

Caller: “Is Brenda there?”

Dad: “Who’s calling?”

Caller: “I need to speak to Brenda”

Dad: “Okay, but who are you?”

Caller: “Jonathan”

Dad: “Jonathan from where?”

Jonathan: “Are you going to let me talk to Brenda?”

Dad: “Not until you tell me what you want”

Jonathan: “Put Brenda on the phone”

Dad: *click*

Immediately, the phone rings again…

Jonathan: “Can I talk to Brenda?”

Dad: “Why do you want to talk to Brenda?”

Jonathan: “I want to stick my cock in her” *click*

Really, Jonathan? REALLY? She’s MARRIED, FFS. Get your own woman.

In an uncharacteristic moment of technological genius, my dad dialled 1471, which gave the number 02476 709090. He called it back, and someone answered, “Good afternoon, Lloyds Pharmacy…” Whoa.

He explained to them what had just happened, and a manager promised to look into it. Shortly afterwards, the manager called back. She said that there was no record of any calls being made to my parents’ house, and that they’d listened to some call recordings and found no evidence of abuse. Despite this, she offered to send them a £25 gift voucher – a little odd if there was ‘no evidence’, no? Anyway, that was that. Nothing more we could do, really. Until…

The admirer can’t let go…

Tonight, just before 8pm, the house phone rang again. My dad answered it to hear a now familiar voice say, “I’m closer than you think.” Needless to say, my parents are pretty terrified and have involved the police.

I’m not terrified in the slightest, I’m just angry. I’ve gone back to where it all began – the ‘contact us’ form, and added some feedback of my own. I hope Jonathan sees it:

lloyds comment

Having previously worked in the CEO’s complaints team before I joined the social media massive, I’m fully aware that customers aren’t always sweetness and light. And let’s face it, that’s even less likely when you’re dealing with a complaint, right from the off. I’ve no doubt my dad was pretty stand-offish when ‘Jonathan’ first called and demanded to talk to mum; he can be like that. But rude? No. Aggressive? No. Even if he had been, isn’t that the type of customer that complaints staff are paid to deal with? My advice to you, ‘Jonathan’, is this: Go find a job that you’re actually capable of doing (probably one that doesn’t involve much walking, just in case I ever get my hands on you).

So what happens next…?

Police: Like I said, the Five-O are now involved. My parents called them about 20 minutes after today’s threatening call. They said an officer would be over within 24 hours, he was there in less than an hour. They’ll pass it to West Midlands Police, who will visit Lloyds’ HQ in Coventry tomorrow. Impressed so far.

Me: As some of you know, I don’t take kindly to people badmouthing my mum and this time, I’m on the warpath. I’ve tweeted about it, posted it on Facebook and now I’m writing this. Tomorrow, I’m getting in touch with the press and hitting Lloyds with a Subject Access Request.

Others: A friend with a rather popular blog (one with more than two posts on it *cough* must blog more *cough*) has been in touch and offered to spread the word a little further. And, well, you know how social media can be…

Lloyds Pharmacy: To their credit, Lloyds’ Social Media Manager (Jo) has already contacted me on Facebook and asked me to email her, promising to investigate the issue personally. I have to admit, I’m very impressed – it was midnight when she got in touch. Even though they have a bad apple somewhere in that building, it certainly looks like their social media team are getting it right – and that’s something I can appreciate. Obvs.

Let’s see what, if anything, Jo can deliver.

UPDATES:

Thursday 17 October

Firstly, an edit note – I got the day of the first call wrong – it happened on Tuesday 15 October, not Sunday 13 October. Don’t blame me – I don’t sleep much. I’ve changed the text in the original post to reflect this update.

This afternoon, I received a call from Victoria, who heads up customer service across the whole of Lloyds Pharmacy. She had good news and bad news. The bad news came first: there was still no trace of a call originating from their building to my parents’ house, other than the legit one from the first manager who investigated.

The good news is that I have absolutely no doubt about Victoria’s shock at this, or about the sincerity of her promise to do whatever she can to find out what’s happened. She offered to get in the car and drive up to visit my parents, and she’s keen to also involve the police from their side. She did mention that it could be someone calling from elsewhere but presenting their number for caller ID. Although I know this is possible, I have to say that I think it’s unlikely; the fact that the call came just one day after the ‘Contact Us’ form was sent is a little too coincidental. Despite suggesting this theory, she wasn’t dismissive of what I feel is the most likely scenario, and accepted that the call could indeed have originated from within Lloyds. Investigations continue…

In short, Lloyds Pharmacy as a business is falling over itself to help us, and I don’t think it’s just to save face. Reputation aside, no business wants a dangerously incompetent moron like ‘Jonathan’ having access to their complaints data – I got the feeling that Victoria was particularly keen to find him and remove him, if that’s going to be possible. I can’t say I blame her.

Oh, and our friend ‘Jonathan’ has called again, today at 16.25. Seems like his enthusiasm’s waning – my dad said he couldn’t speak to mum, so he just hung up. The pathetic little moose knuckle.

January 2014

It has now been established that the call did NOT originate from Lloyds. The investigating police officer told us that something happened which neither he or his colleagues have ever seen before; it seems that the call from Lloyds, which yielded their number, came in at the EXACT split-second in which dad hung up on the obscene caller. This meant that no call-waiting was triggered, but the phone didn’t ring.

I want to say here – a huge thank you to Lloyds Pharmacy for the effort they put into investigating this, and for their uninhibited cooperation with the police. And also – I’m truly, genuinely sorry for the negative attention that this brought to your door – you handled it superbly, both publicly and behind closed doors. Mum’s really ill at the moment, but once things are calmer, I’ll figure out a way to put the £25 voucher to charitable use.

The police continue to investigate. At the moment, they’re looking into a ‘cash for gold’ type business, based in London. We’re waiting to see what happens next.