I’ve always been a bit of a news junkie and one of the many joys of being retired and living in the internet age is the ability to read the news online whilst you’re eating your breakfast. And one of the joys of reading the news online is that you can comment on and even join in a discussion about the topic in question.

There’s a definite art to commenting below the line. I have some personal rules

  • Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t be prepared to put your name to
  • Be courteous – be fair – acknowledge other points of view
  • Stand your ground, but be prepared to admit that you’re wrong
  • Don’t be abusive – below the line shouldn’t mean below the belt
  • Avoid the temptation to go for the clever one-liner

This last one’s a bit of a problem. I do try to resist the temptation, but sometimes it just gets too much and you just can’t help yourself – that’s the trouble with temptation. And sometimes, I’m not even sorry. I have absolutely no compunction, for instance, about –

“Would that be the same David Cameron that got us into this mess in the first place and then left it for other people to clear up?”. 

And then there was today’s story about the demise of the White Helmets display team. Apparently, the Army is disbanding the team because “its spectacular two-wheel acrobatic displays were increasingly seen as outdated and anachronistic by the public”. If ever an official statement demanded, nay – screamed, for a one-liner, it was this.

“An organisation that uses men on horseback armed with sabres to guard key public buildings thinks motorbikes are ‘outdated and anachronistic’. You couldn’t make it up.” 

Seventeen  Eighteen “likes”, one appreciative comment and one pale imitation. Not a bad morning’s work.Thinking about going into stand-up.