Monday 1 October
The Savile story prompts questions regarding who knew about the celebrity DJ’s proclivities. Boris is there with Mo Farah at the launch of a report by the Young Foundation thinktank that is critical of the government’s plans for school sport. And just to reinforce the idea that school should be made as miserable an experience as possible for non-privately educated pupils, the government is to issue guidelines on school architecture that make sure our schools are smaller, duller and straighter than those recently built. JJB Sports goes into administration; thousands of jobs are at risk. England beat Australia to claim a place in the semi-finals of the Women’s World Twenty20 competition; in stark contrast, England’s men are dumped out of their competition before the semis. Eric Hobsbawn, everyone’s favourite Marxist historian, dies at the age of 95.

Tuesday 2 October
The Little Baron and Paul Deighton, both leading lights of the successful delivery of London 2012, appear at the Labour party conference to acknowledge the role of Labour politicians in delivering the Olympic Games. University students could soon leave college with a detailed report on their wider achievements instead of just a bare degree grade and a massive debt. Adele is confirmed as the chanteuse of choice for the new Bond movie, due out this month. The BBC declares itself “horrified” about the continuing disclosures regarding Jimmy Savile’s reputation as a serial sexual abuser; it seems everyone knew but nothing was known. The British Paralympic Association says that it has seen a huge spike in interest and enquiries about joining sports clubs since the London Games.

Wednesday 3 October
When you are worrying about your leisure budget consider the £40 million shambles of rail privatisation; while the cost of the national railway service has apparently doubled since it was taken out of nationalised control but the subsidy paid by the government has gone up five-fold to some £5 billion. Nice. Tower Hamlets council is to explore the sale of its Henry Moore sculpture, Draped Seated Woman, which is valued at £20 million and is effectively uninsurable. In Bosnia-Herzegovina the National Museum is the latest cultural establishment to be closed as a result of that nation’s continuing cash crisis. In Switzerland former pro cyclist and determined doper Floyd Landis is told by the courts that he defamed the UCI’s current and former presidents when he called the UCI “clowns”, even though they quite clearly are. Thank goodness then for Abdur Rehman, a cricketer with Somerset, who has been suspended by the England and Wales Cricket for failing a drugs test; amazingly, some marijuana found its way into his system. On Planet Football, a lunar body even further removed from Earth than Planet UCI, Peter Ridsdale is disqualified as serving as a company director but keeps his job at Preston North End, where he is director of football; presumably the post of director of traffic was already taken.

Thursday 4 October
Inspector Knacker of the Met is to take the lead in the inquiry into allegations regarding Jimmy “Sir Jimmy” Savile’s sexual abuse of minors. The head of GCHQ says we need a new generation of Alan Turings, while Norman “Sir Norman” Bettison, currently chief constable of West Yorkshire and formerly senior plod at South Yorkshire (see WoL passim), has decided that it is time to retire after all. In China cultural attractions are full to bursting as a result of a lifting of highway tolls and extended national holidays. Puerto Rican Orlando Cruz becomes the first professional boxer to be open about himself as a “proud gay man”. Back in the UK, Halfords announces a 15% increase in bike sales over the last three months. Roberto Mancini pops over the appropriately but belatedly named Alan Turing Way to the velodrome to talk training with the Brailsford boys; his conclusion is that footballers do not work as hard as cyclists. British heavyweight boxer Ali Adams tests positive for steroids and is banned for two years. Clive “Sir Clive” Woodward says that he is going to stand down from his role at the British Olympic Association after all, even though he had said recently he would not.

Friday 5 October
It’s 50 years since The Beatles released Love Me Do, their first single. The annual Frieze art fair opens in London, with this year a new shtick: Frieze Modern, which offers a whole new way to separate punters from huge piles of money. The new director general of the BBC declares himself “appalled” by the gathering pace of claims of cases of abuse by Jimmy Savile. As the Tories prepare for their annual conference, the chief executive of Barnet council, the local authority piloting the “privatise everything” approach to public services, resigns. Nepal is to offer a new set of war-related trails to tourists.

Saturday 6 October
Denmark is losing its ash trees to a new blight and the UK could be next, while in France they are to create their own version of The Great British Bake Off, the television show currently sweeping the UK into an enraptured pile of crumbs and crumble. Research undertaken at the University of Essex suggests that teenagers rank close friends, playing sport and a stable home life very highly.

Sunday 7 October
The Observer gives John Terry, Ashley Cole and the FA both barrels, calling for Chelsea to react appropriately to the proven racist comments and misleading statements by their players and officials during the Terry inquiry and court case. Better yet, the paper reveals that the FA threatened journalists with a withdrawal of co-operation in an effort to prevent them reporting the parts of the press conference with Roy Hodgson that dealt with the Terry issue. The chancellor says that he is going to cut £10 billion from the welfare budget, the Tory version of a dog whistle for the rabid Thatcherite faithful. Sandi Toksvig says she was groped while broadcasting at the BBC at the start of her career. Glastonbury 2013 sells out in 100 minutes. At Tate Modern a Rothko painting is defaced with a graffito in black ink and at Hampton Court Palace they have recreated Henry VIII’s crown, one of the many melted down by Parliament during England’s short-lived interregnum. The CBI, which has been consistently shown to be talking out of its arse on every subject it has discussed for the last three decades, says the government should privatise the motorways. Australia defeat England in the women’s World Twenty20 final.

Monday 8 October
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health urge the government to introduce recommended limits on screen time for under-threes. Aardman, the animation company most notably famed for Wallace and Gromit, shows a jump in profits to £66.8 million for the year 2011. The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions says the wet summer and the Olympics meant a big drop in visitor numbers for many London attractions. Blur announce tour dates for 2013. British brewers launch a campaign to preserve the hop-growing industry in the UK. Paramount Pictures want to build a Disneyworld-style park in Kent, subject to planning. The RFU says that Clive “Sir Clive” Woodward will not be coming back into their fold, despite his current status as a jobseeker. Usain Bolt says he will defend his three Olympic titles in Rio, while Aaron Cook, the taekwondo world number one who was not selected for the British Olympic team, says he may change his nationality. Meanwhile, the FA unveils its new training camp and the managing director says they want it to be more open, with no “big gatehouse that says, ‘You can’t come in’.” Yeah. Right.

Tuesday 9 October
Cams says that his mission has been to show that the Tory party is for everyone; ahem. One hundred Scottish artists add their name to a letter criticising the “deepening malaise” at Creative Scotland, the national arts funding body. Johnny Hallyday is to perform in Britain later this year, apparently for the first time, although he has visited. Jerry Sanders, a former coach at Penn State University, is sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison following a conviction for sex abuse, while back in the UK the police are now investigating some 120 claims of abuse against Jimmy “Sir Jimmy” Savile. David Lloyd Leisure is struggling to refinance a £365-million debt. On Planet Football, outrage at Newcastle’s new shirt sponsor – Wonga – and a code of conduct is launched for England players to combat further outrages. On the subject of the FA’s new coaching centre, Steven “Stevie” Gerrard says that the England players no have no further excuses. Start the clock.

Wednesday 10 October
One member of Pussy Riot, Yekaterina Samutsevich, is freed from gaol, having had her sentence suspended; “There is no split in the group,” she says. Atos, the company contracted by the Department for Work and Pensions to carry out medical assessments of benefits claimants, has subcontracted the work to the NHS; under the coalition terms agreed by Clegg and Cams, this sort of blatant and highly expensive stupidity is a model for future efficiency. Small presses account for half the Booker shortlist, while in Italy comedian and political activist Beppe Grillo swims across the straits of Messina to Sicily, where he is standing for election. The fate of the Olympic stadium is likely to be delayed until December but the legacy of Lance Armstrong has already been decided by the publication of the USADA documentation on “the most sophisticated drugs programme sport has ever seen”.

Thursday 11 October
The V&A’s autumn exhibition programme will include Hollywood Costume, featuring, as you might have gathered, totemic costumes from celebrated film productions. The latest buildings at risk register from English Heritage comprises 5,800 listed buildings. Ilfracombe has installed a startlingly ugly sculpture by Damien Hirst, titled Verity, for official unveiling later this month; expect an outcry from anyone who loves art or Ilfracombe. It seems that despite the alleged need for cutbacks the current government administration has more ministerial posts than any government for a century. Meanwhile, the PM has committed £50 million to commemorate the centenary of the start of the first world war. On Planet FIFA, that outlandish satellite of Planet Football with an even more rarefied atmosphere, suggestions begin to quietly hatch whispering that perhaps the 2022 world cup in Qatar should be held in the winter; apparently it gets quite warm during the summer.

Friday 12 October
It seems that sales of electric bikes are booming in the UK. The BBC launched two internal inquiries following the explosion of allegations against Jimmy Savile. Barnet’s guerrilla library, which includes volunteer staff and 5,000 books donated by local residents, is saved by a court decision in the face of attempts by Barnet’s “easyCouncil”, a largely discredited and increasingly defunct experiment, to close it. Johan Bruyneel, Lance’s former boss and someone heavily implicated in a generation of doping and dopers, is finally sacked by RadioShack Nissan Trek, the team that evolved from the now-infamous US Postal team.

Saturday 13 October
New Hillsborough documentation suggests that as many as half of those killed at the stadium disaster could have survived with prompt medical intervention. John Lewis is looking at building small stores in high-street locations, while the IMF, whose monetarist, neo-liberal experiments continue to wreak havoc on national economies across the world, says that George Osborne’s austerity obsession has cost the British economy £76 billion; in short it confirms that he has no idea what he is doing, economically speaking. It seems that the success of British women tennis players, including Heather Watson and Laura Robson, is having a positive impact on the number of young women wanting to play tennis. The Sport and Recreation Alliance says that our political parties have conveniently forgotten plans and promises for a post-Games legacy, noting that they were quite happy to seek reflected glory from all the medals. The Spanish Olympic Committee confirms it has paid €11,500 for the damage caused to the Olympic village by its men’s basketball team, who trashed their rooms after a defeat.

Sunday 14 October
A six-year study into national drug policy by the UK Drug Policy Commission concludes that decriminalisation of possession should be pursued. Austrian Felix Baumgartner sets a world record for the highest freefall descent, while everyone in the UK steadfastly refuses to snigger at his name. Early exposure to books and educational stimulation sets a child’s course for later intellectual development, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s centre for neuroscience and society. James Corner, the architect who led the New York High Line project, is working on the London Olympic park and he has high hopes for what can be achieved here. Heather Watson becomes the first British woman to win a WTA tour event since 1988, saving match points on the way to victory. Liverpool FC receive planning consent for the regeneration of Anfield, the idea of a new stadium having been ditched, while the fallout from the exposure of Lance Armstrong as one of the biggest sporting frauds of all time and the proud possessor of psychotic tendencies has included Geert Leinders, who has left his job as a team doctor with British Cycling’s road team.

Monday 15 October
With a handshake between Cams and Salmond, Scotland begins its journey towards a vote on independence. Two nuclear bunkers, in Rutland and Northamptonshire, have been listed on the fiftieth anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis. The Barbican announces that next year it will be holding a celebration of Marcel Duchamp, who has been, according to some experts, the most dominant single influence on the art of the last half-century. In Saudi Arabia a secret cinema movement is challenging the perceptions of film and film-making in the face of state hostility. Enjoying that coffee? Starbucks has paid just £8.3 million in taxes on UK sales totalling £3 billion, paying no tax in the last three years; tastes quite bitter now, doesn’t it. UK Athletics announces the recipients of lottery funding, revealing that there is a harsh wind blowing though the UKA accounts department.

Tuesday 16 October
Hilary Mantel, the second-best writer in Glossop now that some of the TLR team have moved, wins the Man Booker prize for the second time. A heist at that Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam and paintings by Picasso, Matisse, Gaugin, Monet and Freud, among others, are stolen. The British attorney general says that the original verdicts of the Hillsborough inquest will now be quashed, opening the way for a new inquest. Revelations of the minimal tax paid by global brands on huge UK sales to the UK Treasury provokes understandable outrage. Plans by Cornwall council to sell off £300 million of public services hit a snag when the leader of the council is ousted. Simon Timson, currently head of the England development programmes at the England and Wales Cricket Board, is to be UK Sport’s performance director, taking over from the celebrated, soon to be sanctified, Peter Keen. England’s international football match in Poland is called off owing to a waterlogged pitch even though the stadium has a roof. Meanwhile, the England under-21s’ match against Serbia is marred by racial abuse from the stands and violence on the pitch.

Wednesday 17 October
Bring back the education maintenance allowance, says the government’s adviser on child poverty and social mobility, Alan Milburn (yes, that Alan Milburn). Film-maker Bill Forsyth joins the groundswell of opinion that says Donald Trump is a bullying arse, while a study by Unicef UK suggests that an increase in breastfeeding could save the NHS £40 million a year. Ilfracombe unveils its latest attraction, Verity, a 20m-high statue by Damien Hirst. British bike manufacturer Brompton reports a surge in sales and profits, mainly owing to the bike’s popularity in Asia, and another retirement in professional rugby union on health grounds, this time Richard Birkett, fuels growing concern about the safety of the game for its players. Nike joins those sponsors walking away from the Lance Armstrong brand, all of which are professing themselves shocked – shocked! – by the evidence of doping.

Thursday 18 October
Orlando Cruz, the first boxer to come out, says he wants to be a force for change. Crossfire Hurricane, a film celebrating 370 years of the Rolling Stones, is premiered and confirms that Charlie is the only one with any remote claims to cool. Rupert Murdoch continues to use Twitter to reveal the mixture of deep-set hatred, chronic misunderstanding and general stupidity that comprises his personality. Newsweek, one of the world’s most famous magazines, is saying goodbye to paper and going digital; it will never catch on. Cav is leaving Sky and heading for Belgian outfit Omega Pharm-Quickstep; expect headlines along the lines of ‘Kettle calling pot Belge’ from desperate subeditors on publications such as The Leisure Review. A number of England footballers confirm that abuse of caffeine pills and sleeping tablets is commonplace on Planet Football, which could explain many of the England team’s lacklustre performances. A survey by the Sport and Recreation Alliance finds that the vast majority of community sports clubs think that the government has not done enough to help them deliver an Olympic legacy. Actress Sylvia Kristel dies aged 60.

Friday 19 October
Trenton Oldfield, the protester who disrupted the Boat Race by taking to the waters of the Thames, is sentenced to six months’ chokey. Donald Trump calls Bill Forsyth a “misinformed jackass” following Forsyth’s previous comments relating to the Donald being an arse. The Nigerian government is to fund a museum to commemorate Fela Kuti, the king of Afrobeat, who died in 1997. Chelsea admit that John Terry’s censure by the FA for using racially abusive language is a bit of an embarrassment for a club that makes much of its zero-tolerance policy for racism that occurs in the stands; on the pitch, it seems, doesn’t count and Terry will remain as Chelsea captain. Meanwhile, a number of players across the Premier League are saying that they will not wear the Kick It Out campaign T-shirts as a gesture of disillusionment with the failure to tackle racism effectively.

Saturday 20 October
Alex Ferguson says that Rio Ferdinand has embarrassed Ferguson and “will be dealt with” for not wearing a Kick It Out T-shirt in the pre-match warm up. Frankel the wonder horse makes it 14 out of 14 at Ascot and is retired to stud, his reputation as the greatest horse ever intact. Easkey Britton, the Irish woman who is a leading light of the professional surf scene, is working in Iran to promote surfing to women.

Sunday 21 October
The BBC enters a period of extensive self-flagellation as it investigates its response to the Jimmy Savile revelations. Michael Mansfield QC says that the Hillsborough investigation should be extended to encompass the South Yorkshire police’s attacks upon and subsequent framing of mine workers at Orgreave. In Nottingham the Contemporary is hosting an exhibition of Haitian art. Meanwhile, Alex Ferguson concedes that Rio Ferdinand had a reasoned explanation for not wearing the Kick It Out shirt, as he would have told his manager had he asked him before insisting to the media that all his players would be wearing it. Will there be a public apology to Ferdinand for this very public attempt to humiliate Ferdinand? Of course not. One of the competitors in the Birmingham half marathon dies on the course.

Monday 22 October
More than 2.3 million people own second homes, according to the Office for National Statistics; how many, we will no doubt be obliged to wonder by the Daily Mail and the Daily Express, are owned by benefit scroungers and illegal immigrants? Sales of beer, whether in pubs or supermarkets, has dropped in the last quarter, prompting the brewing industry to plead for an end to the beer tax escalator. In Russia the incarcerated members of Pussy Riot are shipped to a labour camp. Back home, the surging economy (qv the chancellor’s  perspective) accounts for another British manufacturing company, Manganese Bronze, the Coventry-based firm that makes London cabs. A Leeds fan, Aaron Cawley, is sentenced to four months in jail and a five-year ban from football grounds following his recent on-pitch attack on the Sheffield Wednesday goalkeeper, Chris Kirkland. UCI president Pat McQuaid says cycling’s governing body will endorse USADA’s banning of Lance Armstrong but denies any complicity in covering up the doping culture, although he does concede that taking large amounts of money on several occasions from a noted doping suspect might, in hindsight, have been unwise; about the governing body’s systematic attacks on those confessing to doping and those urging an end to complicity over doping he remained steadfastly silent.

Tuesday 23 October
In Italy the legal system blames scientists for the power of nature, demonstrating that it has not forgotten the lessons of Galileo. In Birmingham the leader of the city council, Sir Albert Bore, says that the continuing enforced budget cuts will result in the end of local government as we know it. Meanwhile, the government is celebrating an apparent under-spent of £377 million on the massively inflated figure of £9.3 billion that was the Olympic budget. The environment secretary (no, us neither) announces that there will not now be a badger cull because the department has actually read some of the research, only to find that there are more badgers than they had thought. The last British analogue television signal is turned off. Laurie Sansom is to take the helm at the National Theatre of Scotland when Vicky Featherstone leaves at the end of the year. The UCI issues a statement questioning some of USADA’s methodology, prompting USADA to challenge cycling’s governing body to sort itself out. Start the clock.

Wednesday 24 October
The Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation says that women’s sport is being under funded and ignored. Norman “Sir Norman” Bettison finally steps down as chief constable of West Yorkshire, the weight of Hillsborough finally weighing him down. The prime minister, whose austerity measures are based on a reduction on public spending, says that Whitehall mandarins are delaying public spending on capital projects designed to reflate the economy which, according to the prime minister, does not need reflating. Clear? Good. Let’s have an election. The fungus that has a deadly effect on ash trees has reached the UK and could spell disaster for Britain’s forests. While the Professional Footballers’ Association launches a six-point plan to deal with racism in football, including a regulation for the encouragement of black coaching staff, the FA announces it wants to make women’s football the number two sport in the UK. The route of the Tour de France is unveiled with appropriate ceremony and Bradley Wiggins suggests that the Giro d’Italia might be his focus for 2013. In Mali, a nation famed around the globe for its music, regional Islamist government is trying to ban music.

Thursday 25 October
In parliament MPs have voted against any continuation of the badger cull, kicking the whole plan into the large-mammal-ridden long grass. A list of Britain’s most influential black people is topped by architect David Adjaye, who is designing the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington. In the US the chief executives of 80 major corporations call for tax rises to cut the $16-trillion national debt. Back home, it seems that Penguin and Random House are holding merger talks. Hope Powell is on the 10-strong short list for FIFA coach of the year. Bobby Julich is the latest person to leave the British Cycling road team after the reiteration of its zero-tolerance approach to drug use.

Friday 26 October
It seems that a government review of building regulations is in the offing because the only model of economic activity that the current cabinet can imagine is composed entirely of conservatories. The Kensall Rise library, opened by Mark Twain and the subject of a two-year campaign to keep it open, is likely to be closed permanently after the owners of the building, All Souls College in Oxford, revealed they are discussing options with developers. Author Frank Cottrell Boyce says that literacy testing regimes are raising the chances of children being put off reading for good. Derry reveals plans for the programme that will mark its role as the UK city of culture and going up to the viewing gallery of the Shard in London will set you back £25 when it opens to the public in February. The UCI says that it will leave the seven Tours de France won by Lance Armstrong blank in the record books as a warning to prospective dopers; perhaps they will also serve as a memorial to a spectacularly inept and deceitfully complicit governing body (but it didn’t say that), although the UCI has “suspended” its action against journalist Paul Kimmage.

Saturday 27 October
The ash dieback fungus is reportedly taking hold in the UK, prompting further, more alarming predictions of disaster. US art critic Dave Hickey says that the world of modern art has imploded under the weight of money and self-reverence. Childline says that bullying is now the most prevalent problem among children that contact the charity.

Sunday 28 October
As predicted by almost everybody, include World of Leisure (see WoL passim ad nauseam), the government is preparing to waste billions on a replacement for Trident despite spending the last three years explaining that Britain is so skint that it must claw back every penny it can from public spending. A study by KPMG, that celebrated bastion of public-spirited altruism, finds that one in five workers are now living on less than a living wage. British Museum staff are planning to strike over outsourcing, while communities secretary Eric Pickles has made his mind up about the Leveson inquiry before Lord Leveson himself, saying that there should not be new press laws. Chelsea continues its assault on unacceptable behaviour by claiming that the referee racially abused one its players.

Monday 29 October
Who knew there was a new Bond film out? And it has broken the record for the opening weekend gross for any other of the 23 films in the series, although in light of the historic realities of inflation over the last 50 years this is not perhaps as surprising as some would have you believe. With a sad inevitability it seems that Defra was warned of the dangers of ash dieback in 2009 but deemed action unnecessary. The archives of Cecil Day-Lewis are to be donated to the Bodeleian in Oxford, while Bridget Riley wins the Sikkens prize, a Dutch award recognising the use of colour; Riley is the first woman to win the prize. Mumbai welcomes Starbucks, with women apparently particularly appreciative of a place they can sit alone without being hassled and the availability of a clean, functioning toilet. In Venice the controversy over moves to prevent cruise ships sailing through the Giudecca canal rages on.

Tuesday 30 October
Barclays and Coutts have threatened to end their financial support for Stonewall if the charity does not drop its bigot of the year award; Stonewall’s response has been along the lines of, off you go then. Austerity Britain take 27: Inspector Knacker is now looking at selling off New Scotland Yard to make ends meet. Take 28: the Arts Council to cut 100 jobs in a regional restructuring. Alan Bennett’s new play, to be staged at the National Theatre, is said to be taking a swipe at the National Trust. Official figures suggest that the London 2012 Festival attracted 19.8 million visitors. Of course they did. In Kent archaeologists have found the remains of a huge Anglo-Saxon hall but in LA (that’s Los Angeles, not Little ’Ampton) RZA out of Wu-Tang Clan is making a biopic of Genghis Khan. In Tehran the city’s symphony orchestra has disbanded owing to a lack of funding and in Kabul an enthusiastic crowd gathers for Afghanistan’s first professional boxing bout. In Serbia the police issue charges against two members of the England under-21 team for their role in the post-match brawl the other week.

Wednesday 31 October
Ash dieback may be joined by diseases threatening larch, willow and oak before long. ITV is said to have commissioned a celebrity diving programme, titled Splash, with Tom Daley as coach; it seems Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank involved too many locations.  The National Portrait Gallery is to show William Orpen’s portrait of Churchill following a long-term loan by the Churchill estate; Churchill thought it was the best portrait of himself. Still shocked to learn that there’s a new Bond film? The Vatican has now given it official thumbs in its in-house newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. The Williams sisters, Venus and Serena, are in Kenya as part of an African coaching programme. Back in London, MPs hear tales of threats by Barclays and other banks to leave the UK if banking regulations were to be strengthened against their wishes. But there is some good news: Formula One teams are finding things tough financially speaking, prompting some to insist their drivers bring in their own salaries in sponsorship.


the world of leisure
October 2012

"At Tate Modern a Rothko painting is defaced with a graffito in black ink and at Hampton Court Palace they have recreated Henry VIII’s crown, one of the many melted down by Parliament during England’s short-lived interregnum. The CBI, which has been consistently shown to be talking out of its arse on every subject it has discussed for the last three decades, says the government should privatise the motorways."

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