Monday, 19 March 2018

A Look at Manifestoes: Lyndon Farnham

This is a look at his  2014 Manifesto.

“Tourism - It’s time to LOVE Tourism again! I will ensure that the Visit Jersey board is fully established and properly resourced to ensure that this important pillar of our economy can once again prosper.”

One of the features in his manifesto was the formation of Visit Jersey, in which he was successful, or to be more exact, he made the right choice in appointing Kevin Keen to set it up and head-hunt Keith Beacham. That has been successful but whether that is more down to Kevin Keen or Lyndon Farnham, I’d leave to the reader. I know where I’d place my bet.

Kevin Keen, it may be remembered was also brought in by Durrell Wildlife Trust to help head hunt the right kind of CEO when it was facing an uncertain future, a task which he did very successfully.

“Economic Diversity - Helps to defeat economic decline and offer new opportunities in employment, skills and the availability of goods and services. I will ensure investment in emerging industries and small business start-ups by fully utilising innovation and development funding and support”

Unfortunately Kevin Keen was not at hand when it came to oversight of the Innovation Board, and the States Innovation Board was something of a disaster, not least because of the rogue Chief Officer of Economic Development, who also was notorious for apparently taking friends at taxpayers’ expense to freebie Rugby Matches in England, and playing golf in South Africa when down there on a trade mission, after taking possibly the most expensive flight possible to go out there.

Signing off States loans on the Innovation fund, and being unaware of the way in which Mike King appeared to be out of control does suggests that the success of Visit Jersey was more due to Kevin Keen, and the failure of the Innovation Fund was more due to Mike King.

This leads me to the view that when Lyndon Farnham picks the right person to delegate matters to, it will be a success, when he does not, it will turn into a disaster, but he seems to lack the ability to judge whether he is picking the right person, or, if they turn out to be the wrong person, exercising any kind of control over them.

It may be remembered that an immediate suspension of the Innovation fund only came about when Philip Ozouf was brought in to troubleshoot the mess it had got itself into, and either Lyndon Farnham did not exercise enough oversight to know, or he knew but trusted that under Mike King, matters would somehow sort themselves out.

Lurking in among “putting tourism on the map” is the “rejuvenation of Fort Regent” which seems to have passed him by.

Interestingly low down on his agenda, and very delayed in emerging was the Rural Economy Strategy. Indeed that does not even feature in his 2014 manifesto, and yet forms part of the brief of the department he hope to attain, and did attain as Minister for Economic Development.

Much delayed, taking two years to emerge after promised, it was supposed to contain a policy on food security – something which might come to mind when strong winds curtail ships bringing food to the island – but that didn’t form part of it and was only after repeated FOE requests published, first an out of date policy document from around 8 years ago, and finally a more up to date one which is more of a sketch for a policy. Basically, if something doesn’t interest Lyndon, he doesn’t bother much to it.

Hence we have the Triathlon coming to Jersey, and lots of interest by him in that, but complete neglect of what to do with Fort Regent. Likewise, the inter-island ferry agreements were delayed and nearly scuppered, not because of Guernsey who had agreed terms, but because of Lyndon’s tardiness.

With regard to Condor, he has more or less been content to let things drift, and not pushed hard for a better service. In that of course, he was partly hamstrung by his predecessor Alan Maclean, who cheerfully signed a contract which made no demands or put no penalties on Condor for a poor service. The most we have is “Clearly the situation is unacceptable”. He called for a “comprehensive service review”, said it would be examined carefully, and then went quiet on the whole issue.

Now Condor is up for sale, and as a major transport of tourism and food to the Island, you’d expect him to comment but all we have are a set of blog postings on visitor numbers, important, but as he cites Condor as supplying some, you’d expect more comment that: “I am delighted with the news that we are finally beginning to grow our visor economy on a year round basis.” Perhaps if he took the visor off he’d see the misprint and the important issues in this vital supply line.

“Economic Growth if properly delivered does not lead to excessive population growth. We need to plan carefully for sustainable population growth which, if prudently and consistently managed, will assist us to develop as an economy and a community for the benefit of all we must pay particular attention to immigration which must be tightly controlled.”

Not much has happened on that score with the Senator’s input. No propositions when the interim policy came to an end, and yet the Senator was admirably placed to raise the subject as a member of the Council of Ministers. But then that might be more controversial, and Lyndon seems to prefer proposals which lead to feel-good stories in which he can feature as the architect.

“The size of our States Assembly should be reduced. We must keep the island wide mandate. I believe that Connétables should continue to sit in the States by virtue of their office. I also believe that the number of Deputies should be reduced.”

To be fair, Lyndon did bring an amendment to Andrew Lewis’ proposition to do exactly this. That is to his credit, but against that it should be noted that, firstly, he was making a reactive amendment to Andrew Lewis’ proposition, and had not taken the initiative himself, and secondly, he had done nothing until mid-2017, despite getting back into the States in November 2014.

“I do not favour party politics, I favour TEAM politics.”

This, of course, is the Minister who broke from Collective Responsibility when it came to a vote on the 20% retail tax, and yet was happy with Collective Responsibility when it enabled him and some fellow Ministers to force Ian Gorst’s hand on sacking Philip Ozouf. Quite what team politics means in that context, I’m not sure. It sound rather like the so-called team sports you find in a public school.

In conclusion

There have been some successes – Visit Jersey, Events Jersey, Sport Jersey – although control of the these Quangoes and their subjection to FOE requests is something which perhaps needs firmer resolution. But having hived them off, what is left for Economic Development? Charlie Parker is probably right to scrap it in his reorganisation, along with the rump of a Housing Ministry.

Lyndon Farnham’s record has been patchy, and where matters are successful – and generate a lot of good publicity – he can be seen at the forefront. When matters go awry, as with the Innovation Fund, Fort Regent, or Condor, or do not have the publicity of a splash – like the Rural Economy Strategy, he is not so visible. Occasionally, he has given Assistant Ministers the job of imparting bad news, or of taking on impossible tasks – such as the Jersey Aircraft Registry. So perhaps he is a bit of a narcissist, like other well-known politicians whose primary focus has been on their self-image.

He's a smooth talker, and that will probably stand him in good stead with some voters in the forthcoming election, but he also sees himself as Chief Minister, and no one I have canvassed on that has seen him in that role: the immediate response has been incredulity and laughter. He's seen as far too lightweight for the demands of that office, and I'm inclined to agree with that.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

On Reconciliation

On Reconciliation

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, “I’m saving these starfish, Sir”.

The old man chuckled aloud, “Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?”

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, “I made a difference to that one!” 

Sometime this year, perhaps by the summer, or maybe by the end of the year, I think it is very likely that there will just be one lifeboat charity in Jersey. As pretty well all commentators on either side have noted, there really is no room for two operations.

And with that will come hurt, upset, wounded pride, and disappointment. With any charitable enterprise, there are ordinary people who support charity events, take out charity boxes, look for small ways in which they can “do their bit”.

These are the people of the starfish parable, those who are not the big names, not the crews who go out to save lives and risk their own. They cannot do that, but they do their own small bit, and make an emotional investment: they make a commitment.

The late Stephen Jay Gould said that we should not overlook the “10,000 acts of kindness, too often unnoted and invisible as the ’ordinary’' efforts of a vast majority.” These “uncountable deeds of kindness” make a difference.

But when an enterprise comes to an end, when it is acknowledged that for everything, there is a time and place, a time to live and a time to die, there will be very much a time of grief over what has been lost, over all those small efforts that seem to have been pointless.

They are not pointless, of course, because they point to the fundamental decency and compassion of ordinary human beings. It is the way we travel on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho and how we respond to that calls help others, that call to the heart, that is just as important.

But what is not needed is gloating by those victorious, or for that matter, anger at the other parties by those who are not: the cause that survived, while yours did not. They acted in good faith just as you did. They wanted to help in a small way, to contribute to saving lives, to making the world a better place. They acted for the same motives, the same good motives, for the same good ends: to help other people.

What is needed, which is always hard, is reconciliation and forgiveness. Forgiveness is a hard thing. It is easy when there is no hurt, no pain, no grief, but where there is, anger can the response: to hit out at the others, to see the world in black and white, just us and them. Forgiveness is perhaps the hardest thing anyone can do, because the things that truly need forgiving are usually those that hurt the deepest.

But until there is a breaking of the barriers, there cannot be reconciliation and peace, where there was enmity.

So whatever the outcome of the lifeboat saga, don’t forget the unseen people, the ordinary people, the people who put their heart and soul into this, only to have their hearts broken. And it may well feel like that to them.

Reconciliation is a very difficult and slow process, but it is our only hope for a better future. Mennonite peace builder John Paul Lederach describes it as "a meeting ground where trust and mercy have met, and where justice and peace have kissed."

For Christians, reconciliation is at the heart of the gospel message. The apostle Paul says in the letter to the Ephesians:

“‘For he [Jesus the Messiah] himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”

Hostility and anger end in the cross, when we try to crucify others for the hurt they have caused us. We don't need to go down that path. Kazuo Ishiguro in his book, "When We Were Orphans", tells us that just like the starfish parable with which we started, it is small steps by ordinary people which take us on that path:

“Perhaps one day, all these conflicts will end, and it won't be because of great statesmen or churches or organisations like this one. It'll be because people have changed. They'll be like you, Puffin. More a mixture. So why not become a mongrel? It's healthy.”

Saturday, 17 March 2018

A Brief History of Hawking

My poem today is a brief tribute to Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018)

A Brief History of Hawking

Hawking radiation at the Black Hole
An event horizon, greatest mind
Stephen Hawking, so confined
As his illness took its toll

To understand all was his goal
On his speaking machine he signed
Hawking radiation at the Black Hole
An event horizon, greatest mind

Nevermore to walk again, to stroll
But never gave up, never resigned
A wonderful life, but poor aligned
The genius professor was his role
Hawking radiation at the Black Hole

Friday, 16 March 2018

1891: The Loss of the Regimental Colours

This is an interesting piece from an old book, “Historical Records of the 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment” By Raymond Henry Raymond Smythies.

1891: The Loss of the Regimental Colours

1st Battalion of the Prince of Wales Volunteers, South Lancashire Regiment

A most unfortunate occurrence took place at Fort Regent during the afternoon of 19th January 1891, through which the battalion suffered the irreparable loss of its "Old 40th” colours. The circumstances were as follows

At about 5.45 one of the officers, who was alone in the ante-room, accidentally upset a lamp which was filled with mineral oil. The glass receptacle broke, and immediately the oil, which ignited and flamed up, spread over the floor. Almost before it was possible to recognise the danger, the room was in a blaze. One thing after another caught tire, and all efforts to suppress the flames proved unavailing.

The fire alarm was sounded and the fire engine in charge of the battalion was quickly on the spot; buckets were also used, and everything that could be reached through the flames and smoke removed from the room.

The behaviour of the non-commissioned officers and men deserved all praise. There was no confusion or panic, and gallant efforts were made to rescue the regimental relics, especially the colours; but these latter, being at the farthest end of the room, were utterly unapproachable.

The drum captured at the battle of Maharajpore was also burned, only the shell remaining; whilst the pictures of the Queen and Prince and Princess of Wales were totally destroyed, together with two miniatures of former officers and several presents. The silver-mounted drum-major's stall, taken from the French just before the battle of Salamanca, was fortunately saved, as also was the valuable collection of old war medals.

A handsome album, presented by Captain J. S.  Walker, containing photographs of many officers of the regiment, past and present, was badly damaged, but happily, owing to the thickness of the cover, most of the photographs remained uninjured.

An interesting picture of the old uniforms of the regiment, presented by Captain L. C. Arbuthnot, was also rescued, although the frame was scorched all round and the glass cracked.

Adjoining the ante-room, and only separated from it by a wooden door, was the officers’ mess-room, which contained a quantity of plate and other articles of considerable value. This at one time seemed in imminent danger, and a tongue of flame did actually penetrate into it and set fire to the hangings; but, being luckily noticed by one of the men. It was instantly extinguished with a pail of water, and the room saved.

After the fire, every effort was made to replace and repair those things which had been lost or damaged, and this was in most cases successfully accomplished. The shell of the Maharajpore drum was refitted, the pictures replaced, the miniatures reproduced from photographs, and the album rebound; but the only things which could not be replaced or repaired were the old colours.

A few fragments which had dropped off before the fire were carefully preserved and framed; but new colours were a necessity, and were accordingly asked for.

H.R.H. the Prince of Wales was approached, in the hope that he might be able to present these new colours to the regiment, but-owing to his many engagements—His Royal Highness was prevented from doing so. His Excellency Lieutenant-General C. B. Ewart, C.B., R.E., lieutenant-governor of Jersey, was therefore invited, and consented to perform the ceremony.

This interesting event took place, in perfect summer weather, at the “People's Park," St. Helier, on 16th July 1891.

A liberal display of hunting in the streets of the town was the first outward sign that some unusual occurrence was about to take place. The occasion had clearly been regarded as a holiday by all classes in town and country, and a number of the leading business establishments in St. Helier remained closed during the morning; the country people, too, made the occasion an excuse for a. holiday, and came pouring into the island "metropolis" in hundreds.

From 9 am, the ground commenced filling, and every point of vantage was quickly taken possession of, whilst beneath the trees were long rows of carriages, and in the windows of neighbouring houses crowds of interested spectators.

The regiment, under command of Colonel J. B. McDougal left Fort Regent about 11 o'clock, and marching down through the crowded streets, reached the People's Park in time to be drawn up to receive the lieutenant-governor at 11.30.

His Excellency rode on to the ground accompanied by his staff shortly after that hour, and was received by the regiment with a royal salute. The line was then inspected, and the ceremony began.

Owing to there being no old colours to troop, the usual procedure on occasions of presentation could not be followed; the ceremony, therefore, opened by the line forming three sides of a square, after which the drums were piled in the centre and the new colours laid on them.

Major Moberly and Major Linton, the two senior majors of the battalion, then took post on either side, and behind them the two senior lieutenants, Lieutenant C. F. Menzies and Lieutenant W. L. Watson, with the four senior colour-sergeants.

Colonel McDougal informed the lieutenant-governor that all was ready, and then, still remaining mounted, took his place in rear of the colour then, still remaining mounted, took his place in rear of the colour party.

The lieutenant-governor now rode forward, followed by the Bishop of Guildford [The Right Reverend George Henry Sumner], the Dean of Jersey [George Orange Balleine] and the other officiating clergy, and the religious part of the ceremony commenced with the singing of the well-known hymn, "Brightly gleams our banner,” in which the whole regiment joined.

[The Bishop of Winchester (Doctor Thorold) had kindly consented to perform the ceremony, but at the last moment was prevented by severe indisposition from doing so. The Bishop of Guildford, therefore, most obligingly came over to Jersey, at very short notice, to take his place.]

After this the bishop read prayers, and then, addressing the regiment, said that he should be sorry for the service to close without his having the opportunity of saying a few words to them. Its significance could not escape the notice of those who had entered fully into the meaning of the prayers just offered up.

Some might wonder how a man of peace like himself, one set apart for the service of the Most High God—the God of Peace—could consent to consecrate Colours to lead a regiment on to war. But it was just because he was a man of peace—and not a man of war—that he did so. They were men of peace, as he was; they were not men of war, but if men wanted peace they must be prepared for war.

War was often necessary in order to secure the blessings of peace. He longed for the time when wars should cease, and when their swords might be turned into ploughshares; but because they had not yet reached that millennium, God forbid that they should therefore dissociate the profession of arms from all that was holy, sacred, and true.

He looked upon many in the military profession now living as the personification of all that was manly, high-minded, and faithful, and in times gone by he had only to recall the names of Havelock, Lawrence. Hedley-Vicars. Gordon, and others.

He trusted that the Colours now to be committed to their faithful keeping would ever lead on to victory.

Let all remember that it was in the hour of victory that the true manliness of the soldier was shown. To savage nations, victory often meant massacre, rapine, and loot, but the true soldier, in the hour of victory, showed moderation and true Christian character.

He felt sure they would ever show courage and bravery in the time of danger, and would urge them, if ever called to face the foe, in the hour of victory—for he threw no doubt on that~-to use it as Christian soldiers.

He hoped, however, it would please God to avert war, but if it ever did come in their day, might God defend the right, and might His blessing rest upon them both in times of difficulty and in eternity.

The Bishop then pronounced the benediction.

This concluded the consecration service. The lieutenant-governor then invited Lieutenant-General Sir A. A. Nelson. KCB., and Major-General Solly-Flood, CB.—the two senior officers connected with the regiment—who were present, to stand on either side of him, and, having received the new colours from Major: Moberly and Linton, he delivered them to Lieutenants Menzies and Watson, by whom they were received on bended knee.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

And so to bed

And so to bed... my regular Thursday compilation of night time quotes, with pictures added.

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Tom Wright:

To Athens, then, they came, searching, searching, for wisdom, virtue, truth; to see what others, stumbling in darkness, could not see. Athene welcomed them; and, as symbol for their quest, the master of night-vision, at her side, bestowed his owlish blessing on their labours. 

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Charlotte Eriksson:

I am the way a life unfolds and bloom and seasons come and go and I am the way the spring always finds a way to turn even the coldest winter into a field of green and flowers and new life. 

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Albert Camus:

Don’t walk in front of me… I may not follow
Don’t walk behind me… I may not lead
Walk beside me… just be my friend 

And so to bed... quote for tonight comes from George Eliot:

Mighty is the force of motherhood! It transforms all things by its vital heat; it turns timidity into fierce courage, and dreadless defiance into tremulous submission; it turns thoughtlessness into foresight, and yet stills all anxiety into calm content; it makes selfishness become self—denial, and gives even to hard vanity the glance of admiring love. 

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Ken Dodd, when in hospital earlier this year: 

I have had a lot of time to think and, because this is a place which cares for people and makes them better, a wonderful thought came to me – ‘an ounce of help is worth a ton of pity’. 

And so to bed... quote for tonight is from Zeina Kassem:

Our dead become the photographs and words we hang on the walls, but they also hang on the walls of our hearts, the windows of our lips, and the sobs in our voices. 

And so to bed.. quote for tonight is from Alan Bell (adapted from Bill Owen):

Now perfumes of earth and vine
Of meadows when the rain has gone
These friends with their black armbands on
Salute his summer wine.

The fullness of the life that slipped
The other day all mortal pain
Free now to roam fresh hills and lanes
And taste eternal wine.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

In the news....

"As you can imagine, we are all rather cramped in the Chief Minister’s residence", said Lord Snooty, who has just taken up residence in Jersey with his pals. "And where is Charlie Hungerford, I want to meet him".

Information about the Information Spend.

An FOE request reveals that Moneygrab Limited have produced a draft of a glossy brochure which has lots of lovely pictures of the Health Minister, some organs (but not his), and the following explanation:

Organs can be used after people die for other people who are suffering organ failure..
  • It is currently voluntary to opt in to donate organs
  • It will be voluntary to opt out not to donate organs
  • Organs will include liver, kidney
  • They are not currently used in Steak and Kidney pies in the new Hospital food. 
  • They will still not be used in Steak and Kidney pies in the new Hospital food. 
  • That's it, folks!
An invoice for £20,000 has been sent to the States for payment.

Will they run themselves ragged running round the ragged rocks? Probably not, because the ragged rocks have been depleted. Dr John Renouf would like those stolen to be returned "They are not rolling stones," he said, "just jaggered ones".

The new "knowledge" test will be conducted on the roads, so that potential taxi drivers show that they know how to get from A to B when there is diversion through C, D is closed for resurfacing, E is having emergency repairs done, F has too many potholes for the suspension, and a tree has just fallen across G. And H is a yellow brick road with size limitations.

"This is a much more realistic test," said Minister Eddie Noel, "as the new knowledge involves knowing how to navigate the various obstacles and pitfalls placed in roads by the Department of Infrastructure".

But do gulls who steal food face prosecution for feeding themselves?

"Future Hospital Plan: Take 2" is the prequel to "Reasons to be Cheerful: Take 3". Released by the late Ian Dury, it shows the Blockheads rising to the sky near Patriotic Street. Lyrics as follows:

Future Hospital Plan: Take 2"
One Two
Is Andrew Green a wally, with a working folly
Good golly this folly, costing golden groats
Cost-a-lot this Palait, No In House Buffet
Bigger footprint alley, add cash in groats

Senator Andrew Green is very pleased with the plans. "They said I needed a bigger footprint", he said. The Senator's new footwear can be seen below.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Ken Dodd in Academia

"I suppose when I go, I'll have to turn the lights out". (Ken Dodd on music hall and variety theatre)

Ken Dodd in Academia

Sir Ken Dodd, who has just died, aged 90, featured in a number of academic works as examples of types, whether of the grand tradition of music hall, or inventive wordplay.  Rather than re-running old ground with an obituary - after all the BBC and others are doing far more and better than I ever could, I thought it might be quirky and distinctive to look at references to Ken Dodd in academic publications

The Liverpool Music Hall Variety Heritage

In “Taking Humour Seriously” by Jerry Palmer, Palmer notes how Dodd actually took the business of humour very seriously and had engaged in his own research into what makes us laugh. Far from the one-liners, this is the more introspective and serious Dodd:

The comedian Ken Dodd is reputed to have said that the difference between himself and Freud was that Freud had never had to do a performance at the Glasgow Palais on a wet Monday night. The implication is that amateurs should keep their mouths shut, and perhaps that learned writing on the subject of jokes is simply a waste of everybody's time. And yet Ken Dodd is also reputed to have read Freud, and to have a substantial library of eminently serious books about humour-which he himself takes very seriously.

In “A Gallery to Play To: The Story of the Mersey Poets”, Phil Bowen sets the scene of Ken Dodd in a grand tradition of Liverpool Musical comedy, and its distinct geographical location, and places Dodd at the tail end of this tradition with roots firmly in its soil:

'Over the water', echoing to the mournful piping of ships' horns, lies Birkenhead. Here at Cammell Laird's, the Mauretania and the Ark Royal were built. Tugs' sirens could be heard as river ferries and ocean liners entered what was still the biggest shipping pool in Europe. A melting pot of races, it spawned a vital working-class characterized by resilience and an extreme sense of humour. It was also famous for its sarcasm, the distinctive, quickly spoken glottal accent giving rise to a dynasty of music-hall comedians from Billy Bennett, Robb Wilton and Arthur Askey, to later maestros such as Ted Ray and Ken Dodd.

Rock Eras: Interpretations of Music and Society, 1954-1984, by Jim Curtis, also looks at the historial roots of Ken Dodd:

The music hall flourished in the working-class North of England; at one time there were no less than 22 music halls in Liverpool alone....

As music hall merged with variety theater after World War I, talent continued to come from the North, though. Such comedians as Billy Bennett, Ken Dodd, Tommy Handley, and Albert Modley—all household names when the Beatles were growing up—came from Liverpool.

The difference between working class comedy and middle class comedy is explored in “Twentieth-Century Theatre: A Sourcebook” by Richard Drain, where he locates Dodd’s tradition within life and experience of the working community from which he came:

My experience of working-class entertainment is that it is in subject matter much closer to the audience’s lives and experiences than, say, plays at the Royal Shakespeare Company are to their middle-class audiences. Of course there is a vast corpus of escapist art provided for the working class; but the meat of a good comic is the audience’s life and experience, from Will Fyffe to Billy Connolly, or from Tommy Handley to Ken Dodd. Certainly in clubs, pantos and variety shows this is the material that goes down best.

The bourgeois comedy, largely of manners, or of intellect, tends to assume there is a correct way of doing things and that that is the way of the average broadminded commuter or well-fed white, etc. Working-class comedy is more anarchic and more fantastical, the difference between the wit and wisdom of the Duke of Edinburgh and Ken Dodd.

“Merseypride: Essays in Liverpool Exceptionalism” by John Belchem suggests that there was a very distinctive nature to Liverpudlian comedy and its working class and dockland roots.

There is a touch of Private Eye's pseuds' corner on the final sentence :

As the pearlie cockney ossified into a nostalgia figure–‘an intermittently renewed metaphor for the corrosive character of modernity’–a succession of Liverpool-raised (and ‘slightly touched’) comedians (Arthur Askey, Tommy Handley, Derek Guyler, Ted Ray, Bill Danvers, Harry Angers, Billy Bennett, Robb Wilton, Billy Matchett, Beryl Orde, Norman Evans, and on to Ken Dodd, et al.) acquired national celebrity for their humour. Although at the time there was little emphasis on Liverpudlianism, this comic efflorescence appears as a defining moment for scouse, an early instance of the Merseyside symbiosis of economic decline and cultural assertion.

In “Gladsongs and Gatherings: Poetry and Its Social Context in Liverpool since the 1960s” by Stephen Wade, again Dodd joins a list of names of a great tradition of variety comedy, and interestingly, also includes Jimmy Tarbuck at the modern end, although I would put him as more modern. Dodd never was a game show host, but Tarbuck was.

Rob Wilton, Tommy Handley, Arthur Askey, Ted Ray, Ken Dodd and Jimmy Tarbuck are six names from generations of famous funny men who were cradled in a city where, for as long as anyone can remember, it has been claimed with a perverse pride that ‘you have to be a ruddy comedian to stick the place.

Looking back at Ken Dodd's career, a highlight on television has to be "The Good Old Days" when he performed for a live (but period) theatre at the very height of his powers.

The Shakespearian Actor

Famously, Ken Dodd played Yorick in Kenneth Brahagh’s version of Hamlet, which not only has a skull, but also the original character seen in life.  As Martin White explains in “Renaissance Drama in Action: An Introduction to Aspects of Theatre Practice and Performance”

Kenneth Branagh's film version of Hamlet (1996) includes at this point a flash-back in which the veteran British comedian Ken Dodd plays Yorick

“Shakespeare: The Two Traditions” by H. R. Coursen, adds something not mentioned before – continuity. We know Yorick in flashback is the same as Yorick the skull, because of Dodd’s distinctive teeth:

Branagh's is the first production I have seen in which Hamlet should recognize Yorick. The skull has the same buck teeth as the Yorick (Ken Dodd) in the flashback that accompanies Hamlet's apostrophe.

Ken Dodd and his wordplay

A little of this enters into academic books, but not, alas, "tattyfilarious" and "discomknockerated.

In “A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day” by Eric Partridge, we have:

by Jove, I needed that!
(A drink understood.) A 'gag' popularized by Ken Dodd, who presumably 'thought it up'; he used it as an 'opener', after playing 'a quick burst on me banjo'.

nikky, nokky, noo
Nonsense phrase devised by Ken Dodd, “Humour is anarchic, I suppose, ” he says, “So, like a child, from time to time you revolt against the discipline of words and just jabber!”'

And in “Shorter Slang Dictionary” by Rosalind Fergusson, the following are linked to Ken Dodd:

small, little. Nursery slang of the 19th-20th centuries. The term became more widespread in the later 20th century, popularized by the comedian Ken Dodd and his 'Diddymen'.

tattie-bye! or tatty-bye!
goodbye! A form of farewell popularized by the Liverpool comedian Ken Dodd from the 1960s. Probably a conflation of ta-ta and bye-bye.