Saturday, May 12, 2018



A feast of flash fiction and short stories from writers in Worthing.

Wednesday 4th July 2018

5.30 pm to 7.00 pm

The New Park Community and Arts Association
New Park Road
PO19 7XY

Derek McMillan

Julian M Miles

Caroline Osella

Admission £1 from

Death Watch

From the forthcoming book "Death in Durrington"

It seems that Aaron Stephens really did die of a heart attack. That wasn’t a result of the limited imagination of Dr Winter. It was the considered opinion of a pathologist who could be relied on to tie his own shoelaces.” Ben Tillotson had dropped in for a pint of Harveys at the John Selden. He never ‘dropped in’ unless he wanted something. 
I waited for him to continue.

The first person on the scene relieved the corpse of his wallet and watch but they missed a twenty pound note in his back pocket. Aaron had a history of heart trouble and his poor old ticker just gave up. He had been on a bit of a health kick according to Mrs Stephens, eating rabbit food. It won’t make you live longer. It’ll just seem longer. Stephens knows that now.”

Where was the body found?” I asked. Ben noticed that Micah had her notebook and pen suitably poised.

It was found in Exmoor Drive at 8 am. It is usually quiet around that time. The road is supposedly on the route of the number 7 bus but nobody has ever seen one there and the locals are too canny to think of queueing at either of the bus stops. The body was found by Prince, the French Bulldog owned by a Mrs Percival who was taking him for a morning stroll. She has vowed never to go that way again because she was worried about the impact on Prince’s nerves.”

So as I say, it was an open and shut case.”

But you are not happy?”

No, Craig.” (the very fact old Ben called me by my first name led me to believe he wanted something from us), “I have a feeling in my bones. There is something funny. I don’t mean Les Dawson funny, I mean ‘brides in the bath’ funny if you see what I mean.”

He went on to explain to us that the ‘brides in the bath’ case referred to George Joseph Smith whose three brides had all perished apparently from natural causes in remarkably similar circumstances.

The pathologist got that one wrong although it was only the coincidence that three of his brides (he was never legally married to any of them) died in the same way that aroused suspicion.”

So have there been similar deaths?”

Possibly. A Mr Colin Spelman also died from a heart attack. He had also adopted a regime of drugs, diet and exercise following an angina attack. The drugs were the usual melange of beta blockers, statins, blood thinners and ACE inhibitors and there was no sign anyone had tampered with them and no signs of violence to the body.”

However...” I prompted.

However, he died in his own home and his wallet and watch were never found. It was put down to sloppiness or greed on the part of the investigating team but I am not so sure.”
Both cases are closed. That is to say they are closed to me.”

They are not closed to us,” I said. Micah nodded.

... to be continued...


Friday, May 04, 2018

500 percent increase in number of Labour Councillors

The results for Worthing are very good news for Labour.

There were only 13 seats in contention which means that 38.46 percent of the seats available went to Labour.

Kippers get a grilling

The final results

Labour up 77 seats
Tories down 33 seats
Libdems up75
Greens up 8
Others down 4

Best Labour result since 1971. Worst Labour result since 1971. So the BBC label it "disappointing" :)

Reasons to be cheerful, apart from the Labour gains, the Kippers lost a collossal 123 seats. Of course voters may find that the Tories are no more use than UKIP. In Durrington ward, for example, the Tory is a former Kipper who has not faced any denazification process before being reborn as a Tory.

While the BBC disingenuously confuses anti-Zionism with anti-semitism, this miraculous transition has gone unnoticed.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Jeremy Corbyn on Amber Rudd

There has been disquiet that Amber Rudd is merely a scapegoat for Theresa May's policies. May wanted to outdo the racism of UKIP and her hostile environment was part and parcel of that policy.

Jeremy Corbyn tweeted today. I think you will agree:

Today I've been meeting people from the Windrush generation. They’ve made an incredible contribution to this country.

With @AmberRuddHR's departure, @Theresa_May has lost her human shield.

The Prime Minister should end the “hostile environment” she created. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Case of the Haunted House

From the forthcoming book "Death in Durrington"

I do not believe in ghosts. However, I would not spend a night in an allegedly haunted house on my own. That was the reason Barker and I were sitting in an ill-lit house waiting for the ghosts to appear. I had a camera in case the ghosts were visible. I had a blunt instrument in the form of a monkey wrench in case the spirits turned out to be human after all. And of course, I had Barker as back-up. I know he is as soft as rice pudding but a stranger might not know so much.
We have been given some odd cases in my time but this was odder yet.
My name is Viktor Price,” said the neatly-turned out man in his mid-fifties with a central-European accent. He said it as though it meant something. Perhaps it did to him.
I have a house in Durrington which I am anxious to sell.”
We’re not looking to move at the moment, Mr Price.”
He gave a laugh I didn’t like the sound of. It was on the edge of hysteria.
No no no. I am having difficulty selling it because some stupid superstitious przygłup is going around saying it is haunted.”
Micah wrote something in her notebook and let me see it.
Viktor Price, Polish.”
I looked briefly at his shoes. Micah scribbled “from Poland” in case there was any confusion.
I only heard the word “przygłup” once more and that was when Mr Price addressed it to me. It politely translates as ‘nitwit’ but I must tell this story in the right order.
I tried to explain that we were detectives, not Ghostbusters. Mr Price said, ”very amusing” in the tone of someone who has never found anything amusing in his life. He then named a fee which I decided I could go along with.
After dark, any house will make noises. In a semi-detached house, you can often hear the footsteps of your neighbour going up the stairs except that it sounds like someone coming up your stairs, possibly armed with an axe. Floorboards creak when there is nobody treading on them. The wind can sound like cries. The mind can play tricks.
To be continued...

Monday, April 23, 2018

Charles to head Commonwealth

The accession of Charles Windsor to the leadership of the Commonwealth has been portrayed (at least by the more toady sections of the press) as a great victory for monarchism. Nothing could be further from the truth. The choice of Charles Windsor  as a new figurehead underscores the irrelevance of the Commonwealth.

The Australian Government for example couldn't care less whether Mickey Mouse or Goofy became head of the Commonwealth. Australia is now officially a South East Asian nation. In the terms which count to Australian big business - i.e. dollars - trade with South East Asia is seen as more important than clinging to the remnants of Empire.

Charles makes George III look like a model of sanity. According to legend, George made a tree on his estate prime minister. Charles regularly talks to his plants. If you find he tries to replace May with a hawthorn don't say I didn't warn you.

To underline how in touch he is with the modern world,  Charles told Anita Sethi that she didn't look as if she were from Manchester. This was laughed off in The Sun as "like father like son", another blunder in the mould of the loveable Prince Philip.

Anita Sethi did not find it amusing and regarded it as evidence that Charles had no business leading the commonwealth. In the Guardian article entitled "Dear Prince Charles, do you think my brown skin makes me unBritish?" she said "Most of all, I feel angry that there could be such casual ignorance in the corridors of power, an ignorance that also permeates society – not least because some British people of colour invited here have been threatened with deportation. They don’t look like they are from here, according to some."

It is way past time to sweep away these royal parasites.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cuts in Worthing

In WORTHING, your council will have £83 less to spend on your household by 2020 than they had in 2010. 

Under the Tories some of the most deprived areas in the country are hit the hardest, while Tory councils are given a better deal. 

On average, Tory councils will have £128 less to spend per household, while Labour councils are hit four times harder – losing £524.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

I see from the Worthing Herald that Christopher James has been allowed to stand as a Conservative candidate after a good five years with the obnoxious racists of UKIP. Is this a change of heart or a sober assessment of the chances of UKIP gaining or losing seats on the council? Doesn't the Tory Party have some kind of de-nazification process for former UKIPpers and if not why not?

Is there a principled difference between the Tories and UKIP?

UKIP started out as a protest against the EU but with the infiltration of the National Front a number of racist, misogynist and homophobic policies which are irrelevant to the EU came to the fore. Voters in Durrington should be aware of precisely what they are voting for. Is it a wolf in sheep's clothing?

AI blues

If people are seriously concerned about the impact of AI, they could do worse than remember the ideas of the  scientist and writer, Isaac Asimov, who formulated the three laws of robotics. The first of these was, "a robot may not harm a human being or by inaction allow one to come to harm.' 

This is a far cry from the aims of the military planners but it brings a human perspective to the problem. We could do with one.