Friday, 19 June 2009


I was sitting in bed this morning drinking a cup of tea, when Autonomous Ed wandered in. He sat down near the wardrobe, glaring at me. After a moment of retching, that quite put me off my cuppa, he coughed a large hairball into my slipper! I was absolutely speechless. After all I’ve done for that animal! I’ll swear he smiled at me and then swaggered out.

Breakfast was disappointing. I couldn’t find my “Mr Tickle” cereal bowl anywhere (but I have my suspicions).

I met the Rev Thomas in the High Street. Nice chap. Really terrible stutter, it must be very difficult for him. He’s always cheerful though. There’s a lesson there.

The youth that served me in PC World appeared to have curvature of the spine and a bizarre speech impediment of his own. After nearly every sentence he grunted something that sounded like “ya-gemmie.”

“Most probably a virus or summink, ya-gemmie?” he opined.

“I beg your pardon? Did you say it was a virus?”

“Yeah. You ‘ave t’be careful what sites you visit, ya-gemmie? You have to arkse yourself if it’s safe, ya-gemmie?”

“I’m sorry… did you say ‘arkse’? I’m not sure I’m following this…”

“No worries, chief. I can sell you some software, ya-gemmie?”

“I hope you don’t mind me asking, but were you home educated by any chance?”

“Nah, mate, Hamperleigh Grammar School.”

“Good God…”

“I ‘ated it!” he went on “Couldn’t see no point in half wot they learned us, ya-gemmie? All I left wiv was a GCSE in woodwork an’ a ASBO in intimidation.”

“Worryingly, I see this sort of situation far too often,” I told him sadly. “It very clearly demonstrates a total failure in parenting.”

“Ya what?”

“It is the responsibility of parents to ensure their children enjoy the school experience. Are you seriously telling me that you didn’t learn anything?”

He thought for a moment. Actually, he thought for quite a while. I’ll be honest; he stood staring into space for so long I wondered if he’d suffered some kind of a seizure.

“Oh yeah, there was this one fing I learned.”

I was reassured.

“Dave Collins showed me how to hack the security lock on a nicked mobile phone. It was well wicked...”

“I was actually hoping for something you learned from a teacher.”

He looked confused. “Dave Collins WAS a teacher.”


“Maffs….’e taught maffs, ya-gemmie?”

Eventually I returned home £35 worse off, but reassured that my spell checker issues would soon be eliminated.

The phone was ringing as I came in.

“Hello? Could I speak to Mr Batman?”

“What? Look is this the same person that called before?”

“I just need to speak to Mr Batman. I need to tell him it’s ready.”

“What are you talking about? Tell him what’s ready?”



“Yeah! Dinner, dinner, dinner, dinner, Batman! Ha ha ha!” *CLICK*

I’m not going to stand for much more of this. I’ve been very patient with these crank calls, but they’ll suffer my wrath if it doesn’t stop happening.

I inserted the CD for my new anti-virus / anti-spyware program into the computer and it began installing. After some time I was prompted to accept the licence agreement.

Have you ever actually read one of these agreements? I was outraged. This software company actually assumes the right to access information about me and inspect my files and settings. It interrogates my hard drive and gathers data that it doesn’t have to share with me and then stores that information for as long as it likes. Potentially, it could hold data on me forever!

It determines if my processing speed is adequate and my provision for memory meets whatever standards it dictates. If it feels my system doesn’t meet this requirement it can refuse to install.

Even more insulting is the statement that failing to comply with the licence is regarded as an illegal act. In such an eventuality it will communicate in secret with the software developer and furnish them with a full and detailed report.

Who do these people think they are? How dare they inflict an arbitrary set of regulations and dress them up as a mechanism for support and protection?

I had to agree to the licence, just to continue doing something I had every right to be doing. It’s regulation gone mad, if you ask me.

After all that, I don’t know what this spyware thing is supposed to have achieved – but my spell checker issues are worse now then before I installed it!

I sat down and wrote a very stern letter to the manager of PC World… but I don’t think I can send it.

Every instance of the word “spyware” has been changed to “underwear”.

Dear Sir,

I wish to express extreme dissatisfaction with your recommendations for resolving my underwear problem.

I was assured by your senior sales manager, Darren that good underwear protection would resolve embarrassing issues I have been experiencing. Apparently underwear requires frequent cleaning, which I had never considered.

However your underwear product has done nothing to enhance my performance and left me feeling quite sore!

I am now considering wiping everything clean and avoiding underwear altogether


G. Badman,

I really am quite cross. I wonder if I could use the computer next door to send some emails?


  1. Mr. Badman

    You are the one who has criminalised an 80,000 plus community of law-abiding citizens and all 'for the sake of the children'.

    None of us are fooled by your bumbling efforts to curry favour.

    Remember it is our taxes that have paid your salary for all these years and as a civil servant you are beholden to us to use the authority we have delegated to you wisely.

    Sadly, you show yourself to be a blind leader of the blind.

    Many of us are praying for you that the Lord would have mercy on your soul and open your eyes that you may see the misery you have brought upon us.

  2. anyone got a tena lady?

  3. No, but it could be about the only useful thing to do with Badders' report :)

  4. Assuming you can get hold of a paper copy that is. I gather they aren't printing paper copies - something about it not being worth the paper...?

  5. Gratifying stuff. Glad to see that your IT knowledge justifies your position with Becta in much the same way as your broad grasp of education qualifies you to report on HE.

    Might I suggest that next door's eight year old could probably fix your spell check problem?

  6. Dear Mr Badman CBE

    Might I congratulate you on the excellent job you have done in raising the many concerns ordinary people have of home education. The people who live next door to me home educate their son ( or is it daughter it's hard to tell these days) and I have no idea what goes on in their house.

    I would however (if your government provided me with the necessary surveillance equipment ) be quite happy to monitor them and thus prevent any abuse that will take place.

    I could also keep an eye on the Muslims over the road as I suspect that they might be terrorists.

    Be seeing you!

    No 12

    P.s Does CBE stand for 'Commander of the Balls Empire'.

  7. re papaer copies...yeah I called for one and got sent to 5 diff phone numbers because none of them knew what I was talking about...despite the fact I said "Oh hello, I'd like to order a paper copy of Mr badmans report on elective home education dated 12th June 2009" The final person I spoke to wanted to know how I had got the DCSF's phone number as several people were calling to ask for a paper copy of this report. I told her that their phone number was on their website for all to see.

    "Oh, we'll have to see about removing that then as we dont want people calling us"

    Hmmmmm nuff said ;)

  8. LMAO the security word I had to type in for the last comment to be able to be posted was "crapper" again....nuff said

  9. I have a paper copy of the cost the best part of twenty pounds. It is the consultation you can't get on paper....

  10. I recently found software that helped me to learn about my daughter's problems, which she hid from me I advise everyone, as you can never predict what's going on in the mind of a teenager.

  11. Very convenient and affordable way for those who do not want to pay for something once again. I recently found a convenient software for the phone, it allows you to read the most hidden corners of chat rooms .