Passing Observations 137

Dr Vernon Coleman

1. Many people have turned to God for support in these dark and difficult days. But, feeling betrayed by the Church, they have cut out the middleman.

2. The world has changed. The father of a friend collapsed in the street. A passer-by dialled 999 and then moved on. By the time the ambulance had arrived, a bad Samaritan had stolen his watch, his wallet and his shoes. What sort of lowlife steals a man’s shoes when he is lying on the pavement?

3. Christopher Lee starred in the film `Dracula, Prince of Darkness’ but he doesn’t speak at all. Mr Lee said he thought his lines were rubbish and he preferred to remain silent throughout the movie.

4. A copy of one of my recent videos received 7 no thumbs of disapproval in the first two minutes. The video was 17 minutes long. The CIA and the 77th Brigade clearly don’t bother to watch a video before condemning it.

5. The first thing any new company does is to make an answering machine tape saying: `Sadly, we are experiencing a large volume of calls at the moment. Your call is important to us. Please visit our website…’

6. I have new research books delivered most days of the week. Our letter box is huge and even large book parcels will fit through it. But many of the new commercial delivery companies now insist that drivers take a photo of the recipient receiving their parcel. So the poor delivery driver (aka the new version of paparazzi) has to ring the bell and wait. And the hapless recipient has to race to the door. The elderly find it tricky to get there before the driver has given up and gone away. I wonder how many broken limbs result from this entirely unnecessary piece of new administration.

7. Have you noticed that anyone left wing is always described as a left wing libertarian while anyone to the right of Karl Marx is described as an extreme right wing fascist.

8. I see that 100,000 civil servants are going on strike again. Apparently no one noticed their last strike so they’re going to do it again.

9. People believe what they need to believe and people such as Hitler, Blair, Gates, etc., take full advantage of this.

10. Is the UK’s Conservative Government the most corrupt administration in the world? Just asking.

11. It’s frighteningly easy to set up a charity and to then run it as a business. Chief Executives of charities these days pay themselves £150,000 a year and think themselves hard done by.

12. Why and when did nurses become so cruel and inhuman? I blame those who, long ago, decided that nurses should stop nursing and transform themselves into cheap, second-rate doctors.

13. The three most damaging inventions of all time are: the computer, the internet and the aeroplane. How much better life would be if those could be un-invented.

14. I wonder how many people realise that Ukraine, which the Americans and Europeans and the UK are desperate to control, has some of the world’s largest reserves of minerals such as titanium and also natural gas. 15. It cheers me enormously to realise that Darwin, Snow, Lister, Semmelweis, Paracelsus and Galileo would have all been banned by YouTube and suppressed by Google.

16. I overheard this in a restaurant: `How much discount are you going to give me? Or would you rather wait and read my TripAdvisor report?’ 17. Comments on social media often have the quality of that sort of graffiti which used to decorate the brickwork in public conveniences.

18. `I drank my death today’ said Hesketh Pearson’s father, who was in India in the 19th century and who had just drunk water taken from a water course downstream from a small village. He duly developed typhoid and died. (Hesketh Pearson, as you know, was a great writer, cricketer and explorer and he invented sniping – the sort you do with a rifle, not with a social media account.)

19. Never show bullies that you are weak. It gives them strength they didn’t have before.

20. At one point in my life I thought of joining the army. They were short of GPs at the time and were advertising for GPs to join at the rank of Major but (and this is the good bit) without being subject to Army discipline. It was that `perk’ which tempted me for nearly a whole minute. Would have been fun, wouldn’t it? `Stand to attention, Major Coleman!’ `Fuck off, General.’

Vernon Coleman has written three volumes of autobiography. The books, titled Memories 1, Memories 2 and Memories 3 are available from the bookshops on and

Copyright Vernon Coleman February 2023