Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Political World

If The Right Honourable Gentlemen Derek Conway MP has come out on record and said, “I have let my family down very badly indeed and no judgement from any quarter could be more harsh than that which I apply to myself” when talking about the payments he made to his son for work it is alleged he hasn’t done then why has Roger Gale MP come out and said this is a “witch hunt” and that, “a man has been told he's guilty until he can prove his innocence. If Derek Conway says his son did the hours which he said he did, I do not doubt his word”?

It’s rare enough to hear a politician ever apologise for anything – he said, “I unreservedly apologise to the House for my administrative shortcomings and the misjudgements I made”, – so for one to do so, about something Mr Gale believes he isn’t guilty of, would be too ridiculous to contemplate. Or perhaps if you are guilty you deny it, and if you aren’t you claim you are?

The Commons Standards and Privileges Committee have said he should pay back the £13,161 he gave his son. Again, sounds like he has been found to be in the wrong to me. Clearly Mr Gale disagrees. While we are at it £13,161 wouldn’t even cover mine, or thousands of other hard-working students’ / recently graduated students’ debts so it’s not exactly a small amount that can be just brushed under the carpet.

What a sorry state of affairs. I don’t really want to vote for Labour or the Conservatives at the moment.

N E 1 4 10 Ice?

This article on the BBC Sport section is so strangely written. It’s just an endless succession of staccato sentences that is entirely unnecessary and makes the whole thing quite unreadable. Which. Is. A. Shame.

The following is just an excerpt from the piece. These are not selected at random; they actually do follow on like this from one another:

“Many years ago these scenes were probably played out night after night within a deep sleep and probably day after day on the practice court.

When Djokovic first picked up a tennis racket, on a court opposite his parent's Pizzeria half-way up a Serbian mountain, this was the dream.

His victory is thoroughly deserved because he won through the hardest section of the draw and dropped just a single set.

Hewitt, Safin, Bagdahtis, Nalbandian, Ferrero and Ferrer were all in his quarter and Federer was the man in the semis."

I just hear a robot talking.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sick as a Parrot

Ian Holloway’s column is always a fairly daft read, (I must admit I lost some affection for him when he left Plymouth), but to ask him to comment on a news story which dates from February 10, 2005, (not for the faint-hearted), shows that the journalist didn’t really check to see if it was a current story.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Examples of English Football Arrogance # 217

Last night’s Carling Cup Semi Final between Everton and Chelsea. Cut to shot of Fabio Capello in the stands. One of the commentators said (paraphrased), “I bet Fabio Capello has never seen an atmosphere, quite like this.”

This is a man who has managed Real Madrid, won the Champions League with AC Milan, and has also managed Juventus and Roma. And the commentators think the atmosphere at a Carling Cup tie between Everton and Chelsea will be something he has never experienced?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Just Shut Up

The news that the FA has chosen to forego a minute’s silence at the England V Switzerland game because it doesn’t trust the fans to respect the silence is one of the most depressing things I have read. Sadly they are right. The comments on this blog post on the Guardian make for bizarre and ultimately downright sad reading.

If Sir Alex Ferguson and a football club annoys you to the point you want to boo / whistle / talk during a minute's silence for young men who died in the primes of their lives, leaving wives, girlfriends, children, family, friends devastated then you really, and I mean, really, need to sort out your priorities.

We respect those men who died in WWI and WWII without caring which part of the country they came from, or what team they support, but if someone happened to play for a certain team that 'we don't like' it's somehow okay to ruin a memorial to them because they 'annoy us'.

People who actually feel like this, quite vehemently, and even worse seem to feel they are actually justified in this behaviour really need to get more going on in their lives and appreciate that they are alive and well and didn't die in a plane crash aged 22 with their whole lives ahead of them, leaving a grieving family behind.

It makes you wonder why we bother calling ourselves civilised.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Giving Science a Bad Name

Tom Cruise really scares me. It’s the misplaced belief and sense that his conviction seems worryingly ‘extreme’ that gets me the most. And the news about this leaked video just makes everything even more, well, sinister.

Regardless of the fact he is a film-star, celebrity, actor, etc if you just look at him and realise he actually ‘believes’ not only in the idea of Scientology, but also clearly ‘believes’ in his own conviction as a Scientologist, then it’s a bit disturbing.

If a man who seemingly ‘has it all’ can be turned on to something as strange as Scientology what hope can we have for people who are desperate for a direction, any direction, and who might well be susceptible to the weird propaganda or recruiting techniques these people may or may not have.

What price Britney Spears a Scientologist by the end of 2008?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Linking Up

Some more links:

First – I thought the coverage of the US primaries was a bit rubbish after all the banging on about Obama looking set to win New Hampshire and then, oh, wait a moment, Hilary won. Eh? But this is some truly terrible news coverage.

Secondly, I’ve been researching some unsung Cornish heroes for a piece I am writing and came across this woman whose life is nothing short of remarkable. Why she isn’t as well known as Emily Pankhurst or Florence Nightingale is a mystery to me.

Cashing In

Clearly some people will go to extraordinary lengths to get hold of money.


Somehow the BBC website has converted $355 in to £240. XE.com currency conversion calculator gives the conversion as £180, as The Guardian did. Worrying.