It is reported that King’s College London (KCL) has banned one of its lecturers (Dr Perkins) from giving a talk entitled The Scientific Importance of Free Speech.

A university should be,
A place where one can hear and see,
Discussion on most any kind,
Of subject to improve the mind.

So very few things should be banned,
And surely not at the command,
Of those who simply don’t agree.
With what the speaker’s views might be.

But this is now what comes to pass,
With student groups acting like Tass*,
And saying certain talks should not,
Be given any speaking slot.

Perhaps some topics should be banned,
But most folk know what these are and,
If you looked down the list for each,
You surely wouldn’t find ‘Free Speech’.

So it seems quite wrong and bizarre,
That KCL in London are,
Refusing a talk that might teach,
The Science Basis of Free Speech.

They are refusing it, they say,
Because it is too hard today,
To avoid riots, maybe fights,
Which some objectors might incite.

But maybe they are simply mugs,
Acceding to these verbal thugs,
And, really, they should not give in,
So the intolerant can’t win.

*The Russian news agency




It is reported that the Government is to review the coinage and may decide to scrap the copper (copper plated steel, actually) coins.

The Government plans a review,
Of penny coins – that’s one and two,
Because they are of little use,
Both singular and also deuce.

They stamp out lots and lots of them,
So that when you’ve bought an item,
From some shop’s ninety-nine pence range,
They have the coins to give you change.

So you then give the man a pound,
Which, sadly, is no longer round,
And when it’s tinkled in the till,
The honest shopman likely will,
Produce a penny for your purse,
Eliciting, perhaps, a curse.

Your purse is almost full of these,
You get them in ones, twos and threes,
And they are really such a pain –
You’d rather not see one again.

So you look for the plastic tin,
Inviting you to put them in,
Where they’ll mount up to more than three,
For some good cause or charity.

But if no such tin can be found,
Collecting pennies from your pound,
A lot of people, so it’s said,
Just throw them in the bin instead.

The Royal Mint’s annoyed at this,
Though some coins might the dustbin miss;
“We make these coins here every day,
And you just throw them all away!

When we check up and do our sums,
Because of you less thrifty bums,
Of all these coins which should suffice,
A half are just used less than twice.

So we expect these coins will go,
It will be a sad day and so,
That birthday card you thought was cheap?
Might find the price now rather steep!



It is reported that Stephen Hawking has sadly died at the age of seventy-six.

Professor Hawking was well-known,
As tributes on his death have shown;
He was a genius, it’s true,
And far more so than me or you.

His theories of space and time,
Set out in prose instead of rhyme,
Were lengthy, not so very terse,
And describe the whole universe.

His book, Brief History of Time,
Was not translated into rhyme,
But many bought it nonetheless,
Though some of them would then confess,
That, as they read, try as they might,
They really struggled to get right
To the end of this book on time –
It would be easier in rhyme.

But one more thing made him stand out,
And maybe did enhance his clout,
And that is that he couldn’t walk,
He very nearly couldn’t talk,
But it seems the professor’s brain,
Was well-nigh perfect in the main.

It seems amazing, now, to me,
That he could all these insights see,
And work out the equations which,
Describe them all without a hitch,
When, whether wearing suit or gown,
He couldn’t, himself, write them down.

So his great fame is well-deserved;
Not only has he science served,
But despite all his toils and strife,
He has brought science back to life.

Image – Doug Wheller / Wikimedia commons


10p new set

It is reported that a new ten pence piece is to be introduced with twenty-six different designs on the back: one for each letter of the alphabet and each portraying an aspect of British life.

All silver coins can come and go,
But ours are here to stay and so,
Considering the need for cash,
Demand for which can be quite rash,
Economists say we need more,
For far too much gets spent in store.

Gauging this mood, the Royal Mint,
Has launched new coins with silvern tint;
In place of the quite old ten p,
Jaded though that old coin may be.

Kilos of these will now be made,
Loose change, so should there be a raid,
Masked men will likely leave them be,
Not take them as they try to flee.

Of course, the coin designs are nice,
Portraying quintessential life;
Queueing and Tea, to mention two,
Remind us of the people who,
Sailed far and wide across the world,
The Union Jack to be unfurled.

Umbrellas, p’rhaps, to finish off;
Victorious against a cough,
Weather as well, when it is bad,
X-rated or just simply mad;
You also should do as I tell –
Zip up your anorak as well!


christmas traa-2837187_960_720

It is reported that shops have started selling ‘Easter trees’ and, of course, baubles and other decorations to go on them.

Prince Albert, many people know,
Invented Christmas trees and so,
We all have had to buy a tree,
For longer than a century.

I don’t mean that we person’ly,
In every year have bought a tree;
That would be stupid to assert,
For in that time one’s death’s a cert.

But, anyway, you know I mean,
That one’s Yuletide domestic scene,
Has had to sport a Christmas tree,
And this applies to you and me.

It’s tolerable, I would say,
To make the effort for a day,
That is quite special, one to share,
And which comes round but once a year.

But now, it seems, we’re under threat,
Which could soon lead us into debt,
For some shops have begun to sell,
These trees for Eastertide as well.

We must resist! Where might it end?
Will trees the calendar transcend?
As through the year there could be more
Trees up for sale throughout the store.

We could have trees for Mothers’ Day,
For which we men would have to pay;
Saint Swithin’s day would be a pain,
Attracting, as it does, the rain.

Then, later on, comes Halloween,
With trick treat-firmly on the scene;
But if the trees do not look right,
Then get them out on bonfire night!

And that is it, the trees destroyed,
For six weeks we will be devoid,
Of greenery in our domain,
Until the whole thing starts again!

26 x 10p = £2.60

10 p piece

It is reported that a new ten pence piece is to be introduced with twenty-six different designs on the reverse – one for each letter of the alphabet. But where is the most important one?

You likely own a ten pence piece,
But if you spend it that will cease,
And then you will be poorer for,
You’ll have less than you had before.

The coin in question’s rather nice,
Or excellent, to be precise;
It’s shiny, that much can be told,
But it is hardly solid gold.

To compensate, the Royal Mint,
Pretending that we’re not all skint,
Is introducing this anew,
And there will be a lot, not few.

By this I don’t mean lots the same,
Although that is, in part, its aim,
But there will be, though not in verse,
Some differences on the reverse.

There will be twenty-six in all,
Perhaps too many to recall,
But with each one you get a clue,
To help remember one or two.

So, A for Angel of the North,
The Double Decker comes in fourth,
And Cricket starts with letter C,
A match which might be stopped for Tea.

The Union Flag comes under U,
Ten ginger persons in a Queue,
And English Village starts with V,
Complete with Postbox, letter P.

But one thing’s missing, I would say,
We talk about it every day:
The sun might shine but don’t forget,
It is more often cold and wet.

“It is the Weather!” you all shout,
“How could they think to leave it out?
It should replace the World Wide Web –
Use I for Internet instead.

Then the Ice Cream could disappear,
There’s not much call for it round here,
Because the Weather’s seldom warm –
We all know that ’cos it’s got form!”

So celebrate our British race,
Shake hands but don’t try to embrace,
Drink beer or ale or maybe stout,
But please don’t miss the Weather out!



M&S logo

It is reported that Marks and Spencer has changed the design of its ladies’ underwear. (Knickers to you.)

If you are needing underwear,
The best place you can buy a pair,
Is – though I’m sure you all can guess –
That favourite clothes shop – M&S.

They have all kinds and colours too,
But one that should appeal to you,
Is the ‘Supima Cotton’ type,
In colours, plain, without a stripe.

They’ve been on sale a long long time,
As you are learning from this rhyme,
And though they seldom are displayed,
They are worn as a comfort aid.

And that is what the ladies like,
With all pairs very much alike,
The pants in which the wearers sit,
Have always been the perfect fit.

But now, they find, something has changed,
Which makes the fit feel rather strange:
The seam has been moved to the side –
It’s raised and is, perhaps, less wide.

The upshot of this re-design,
Is, while the old ones fitted fine,
The new design some comfort lacks,
Beneath a skirt or even slacks.

So they appealed to M&S,
To now relieve their new-found stress,
And to the old design revert,
For comfort underneath the skirt.

Well, M&S, as you may know,
Were keen to sort this out and so,
They fished out their old patterns and,
The new ones could forthwith be canned.

So if your knickers don’t fit right,
Perhaps too loose or even tight,
You should on what you like insist –
Not get your knickers in a twist!