Archive for April, 2011
As first reported by the French website Mediapart (in French) and reported this morning in depth by The Guardian. It seems as though senior officials in the French FA were trying to limit the amount of non white footballers playing the game at a youth level.
According to the sources cited on the French website, the manager of the national side and former captain of the side Laurent Blanc is quoted as saying, “our culture, our history.”
When speaking about the World Champion Spanish, they say: ‘We don’t have a problem. We have no blacks.’”
If these quotes are true then his position is untenable. The French Media Officer has categorically denied that Blanc has said these things but the eyes of the footballing world is now glaring at him and waiting for his next move.
The lead of the story says, “For the top brass in French football, the issue is settled: there are too many blacks, too many Arabs, and not enough white players in French football.” Wow. Just wow.
It has been a terrible year for the French footballing wise with one of the most pathetic World Cup showings of all time. The French quite possibly should not have even been there as Ireland were beaten in the play-off by that handball ‘goal’ from Thierry Henry. So to go to the World Cup in South Africa and clearly a) not respect the manager and b) not respect the shirt disgusts me – and I’m not even French.
However the great French team that won the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships in 2000 were led by non-natives. Zidane, Vieira, Henry, Wiltord, Djorkaeff etc… but now they want to make the team more white? This is not good. Not good at all.
This comes off of the back of the ban of the burka not too long ago. Is France becoming the most racist country in Europe? Over 50% of respondents do a survey earlier this month said that there are too many migrants in the country and many migrants are being rejected from jobs just because of their surnames. This is not fair nor is it right. The riots in 2005 showed something but the undertones are becoming stronger and I must say I find the whole French situation very worrying.
After a few days offline whilst migrating servers the blog is back (and very basic). I’ll be working on other things over the next few days on the site and hopefully make it look and feel a bit better and it will allow me to do other things but still, I digress.
The NFL draft is one of the best parts of the NFL off-season but this year it just isn’t doing it for me. The lockout and the seeming lack of a possibility of trades during the draft leads me to think it just won’t have that it factor this year. Cam Newton looks like he’ll go #1 to the Panthers and I don’t think he’ll be a very good NFL calibre player. I know I’m not an NFL scout and I never will be but I saw him in college and he won’t be able to do what he did there in the professional game.
The best player might be AJ Green and it looks like he may fall as far as #4 and he could be a special player – a Larry Fitzgerald type talent at WR. I really like Joke Locker and if he goes to the Vikings at #12 he’ll be a great fit and a fine NFL QB with a couple of years of seasoning.
On a personal level my Jags are being mocked to take Ryan Kerrigan OLB from Purdue. He’d be good and we certainly need someone who can get into the backfield. We’ll surely take a defensive player from the BigTen.
Speaking of the BigTen my Nittany Lions will not see any picks in the first round but we have two players who might get drafted. Evan Royster may go late but Stefen Wisniewski will be a second-round talent who’ll be a steal. He’ll be a multiple Pro Bowl Offensive Lineman and I hope he has a great career.
Here’s to a late night…
Holly-Ann Battye in standing for council for the Lib Dems in the South Northants Council ward of Cosgrove and Grafton. She has a few rather sexy photos up on her personal website and it is newsworthy according to the right-wing media.
The Lib Dems are a pretty laid back sort. Sexually liberal I would say (I hope they are anyway…) and I don’t see this being an embarrassing episode at all but maybe that’s because I’m extremely liberal. Let’s see what the Daily Mail thought about it.
The opening paragraph sums it up:
A Liberal Democrat local election candidate has left her party red-faced after she posed in fetish gear in provocative pictures which she then posted on the internet.
If the Daily Mail really believe that the party are red-faced then they are dumb. If they really think a couple of photos in a ball gag is think kinky then boy they must be vanilla and boring. I wouldn’t even call those photos that provocative. The story actually says she is a councillor when as far as I can tell she’s only a candidate but who cares about accuracy when you can throw mud.
Just because someone poses in sexy photos doesn’t mean that they cannot be a good councillor. Anyone who thinks otherwise is what I’d call a moron. Good on the local party for standing by her.
Jane Hollis, chairman of the South Northants Lib Dems who is standing in the Castle ward in Northampton, stood by her candidate.
‘At the end of the day she is an artist and she sells images as a business,’ she said.
‘She is young and what I want to see is a refreshing change to all the elderly Tories sat on the SNC council.’
I can tell you one thing for sure and that is this young lady gets my full backing and thumbs up. She hasn’t shied away when these photos came to light and believes that the local stuck in the mud Tories (who are in general as kinky and perverted as the next person but don’t like it to be known) are using it to cast her in a bad light. Well to young people it will cast her in an extremely good light and they’ll not be impressed that some people think this is an issue to attack her with.
Good on her and I hope she sweeps into the fuddy-duddy council and ruffles a few feathers. Oh and if she wants any help in any photo shoots she needs to get in touch as they rock.
I’m happy to admit that my knowledge of the Vietnam War is extremely limited but from what I have read basically the American’s (along with their allies) propped up the anti-communist forces in South Vietnam to stop the spread of Communism. They were unsuccessful. Our involvement in Libya was first of all to ensure that a bloodbath of historic proportions did not happen in Benghazi but in recent days it seems clear that the end game is to remove Gaddafi and that we are going to throw our hat in the ring with the rebels and hope to topple the leader of Libya.
Now I was and without a doubt still am convinced that we had to step in when we did. What kind of nation and people are we if we sat back and watched a City with around two-thirds of a million people living in it being burned to the ground and everyone in sight brutally massacred? We’d have been a pretty shitty nation is the answer. For those that believe that Gaddafi would have stopped short and not killed everyone in sight then please join the real world. He said he was doing to burn it to the ground and kill everyone who opposed him and we have absolutely no reason to believe that he would not have done.
The problem is now whilst this is a very winnable war – this isn’t a war we are involved in. As it stands it’s a Civil War with some outside assistance for one side. Allied forced could easily step in and topple Gaddafi but the problem with that is it isn’t our place to do so. You might say it wasn’t our place to step into Libya in the first place to stop a mass genocide but I disagree. Sometimes the bigger boys have to protect the little ones. If you saw a little kid getting bullied in the playground would you stand and watch as he was beaten up and had his head bogwashed? No you wouldn’t. Whilst you not might attack the bully yourself you would protect the kid. This is similar (although on a very simplistic and much smaller scale) to our current position in Libya.
The facts are that even with assistance from the air it is pretty much stalemate. No-one wins, no-one loses, the process just drags on and on. If we pull out completely then the mass genocide will happen – we’d have just put it off a few weeks, which isn’t really an option so the other option is decide how to end the Civil War with as little bloodshed as possible and seemingly with Gaddafi not in power. Not ann easy one and I do not envy anyone who has to make these decisions.
Gaddafi was not a major problem for the UK any more. We could ignore him and by doing so we’d have served our own best interests to the full. However that point has past and now whatever we do Gaddafi is a threat to the UK and other allied nations. His removal seems to be the end game so do we back the rebels or go in and take out Gaddafi and install and interim UN sanctioned government whilst free elections are held? Both outcomes may make both Libyans and the Arab World distinctly unhappy. To cut a long story short whatever we as a nation do – we’ll pee off somebody so we have to tread carefully.
Also it must be pointed out that our knowledge of these freedom fighter rebels is somewhat lacking and they might be just as bad as Gaddafi for both the Libyan people and the wider world. Gaddafi still wields a good amount of support amongst Libyans and if there were free elections he could win them. That possibility should not be discounted.
To sum up this is an extremely uneasy situation for all and it is unlikely to end well. We had to step in when we did but without a clear short-term, medium-term and long-term strategy then we cannot complete our supposed end game and nor can we abandon the Libyan rebels. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place and decisions have to be made. Things can’t jus drift along as that isn’t doing anyone any good. How to sort it I don’t know but the way things are going, we are involved in another situation where our end result may fall short of our goals.
Like most sane people – I adore the awfulness of Eurovision. Yes I know that it has lost a bit of zest since Terry Wogan decided it had gotten too political even for him but it still is well worth an evening (or more if you watch the semi’s) of entertainment. For years the UK have put in piss poor entries that we knew deep down had no hope of winning. From Daz Simpson to Scooch we have been roundly kicked in the knackers by Europe and deservedly so but this year it might well be all different.
Now if you didn’t know our entry this year is Blue who have reformed and their song ‘I can’ is actually good and they can pull this off. They are still famous across Europe and the song has what most Eurovision winners need – a catchy melody (yes I know Lordi didn’t but they were the exception). If you haven’t heard the song yet then here is the video. Let me know what you think:
Now I’m not what you call a Blue fan but they weren’t the worst boy band ever. They had a few half decent singles and their European wide success should help us. Last years winner was fantastic and I do have Lena Mayer-Landrut’s song Satellite (Germany) on my iPod. I also enjoyed Tom Dice’s Me & My Guitar (Belgium) so not all the songs are terrible.
I do think it would be fun to win it all this year. People will moan about how its a waste of taxpayers money blah de blah and we should pull out of Eurovision but for what we spend on it – it works out as great value fr money for the BBC year in year out. Millions will tune in for the cheesiness of it and Ireland are throwing Jedward at Europe so surely we won’t be last – surely…?
PS: I bet if UKIP got to power they would want to remove us from Eurovision. This cannot be allowed to happen!
Give the #NotoAV campaign their due – their propaganda is compelling but that is all it is – propaganda
This morning through the letterbox I got a #NotoAV leaflet and I’m sitting her perusing it. If I wasn’t interested at all in politics I have to say that they put together some excellent points. However the fact that I am and know most of what is written is lies and misinformation my heart just sinks that little bit.
Howver I won’t swell on the insides – the back cover is where it is at. A big picture of Nick Clegg holding up his NUS pledge sign under the headline ‘AV Leads to Broken Promises’. Just to point out here that FPTP led to that broken being broken but who wants facts when they can have propaganda? They go on ‘Nick Clegg is unpopular because he broke his promises’
- job cuts
- VAT increase
- tuition fees
- public spending cuts
So the No team have decided that the best form of defence of the current system is to attack Nick Clegg. In a country where coalitions are not commonplace and tribalistic politics has long dominated this is no surprise. The No team don’t want a third-party (or heck even more) muscling their way in on the action. Labour and the Tories know that the Lib Dems are a threat (under any electoral system) but that also the party are at this current juncture down in the polls for going into a coalition. Nick Clegg is extremely unpopular because he’s the leader of this party so they are hoping that using short-term hatred of Clegg from the masses they can win the referendum.
Who knows the future will hold? To close their leaflet with ‘The only vote that would count under AV would be Nick Clegg’s’ shows just how desperate they are to win the vote. The people vote and the numbers are added up at the end and when that happens if a party has 50%+ of the seats then they can form a government. Seems simple enough and then it comes down to pure maths. Between them Labour and the Lib Dems could not put through any laws without help from the other parties so they would have formed a weak government. The maths show that the Tories and the Lib Dems could and therefore that is what happened.
The people of this country will vote and then we’ll see what happens. What happens if under AV Labour or the Tories win 50%+ of the seats in the House of Commons? Then Nick Clegg – or any other leader of any party has a say in what government would be formed. under AV – just like under FPTP – people will vote and then the votes will be added up and a government will be formed.
I just hate propaganda. Just deal in facts. I don’t know what will happen in the next General Election whether we have AV or FPTP and nor does anyone else and so to say that Nick Clegg will without a doubt be the only person that matters is a lie. Lies don’t go down well in my world so clearly I will not be voting No on May 5th. Tell me why FPTP is great in the 21st Century when so many people are disaffected with the big three parties and are moving towards fringe parties? Oh wait you can’t. Politics is a mess at the moment and our electoral system might be the biggest mess of it all. It might be simple but it is not a fair reflection of the wishes of the people in this nation. AV isn’t perfect but it’s a step in the right direction. If the Yes campaign lose then we won’t see electoral change for another generation and by then the rate things are going UKIP, Greens, Lib Dems et al may make up 40-45% of the electorate but only 10-15% of the House of Commons? Is that fair? I do not think so.
Those who know me will know that Hospital Radio has been a significant part of my life since the autumn of 2006. There was a two-year hiatus whilst I was living and working in Aldershot but I still did the odd show when visiting my Mum but in 2009 I moved back to the area and have been a regular ever since.
The show I primarily do is the Wednesday Night Request one and the cast of characters have changed over the years. Seems a long time since it was Lyn, Nick and myself. I still wonder what happened to Nick Holmes. He must be around 22 or so and living in the Westcliff-on-Sea area of Southend. If anyone knows his whereabouts or if he himself is reading this then please get in touch.
These days the cast list is longer and deeper but Lyn is still there ans the shows are just as entertaining. I have uploaded many of the shows on the right hand side of this page should anyone ever want to listen. The shows are all dated. However I thought I’d point out a couple of the more interesting shows for the curious. The show that caused Rhi to dream about Care Bears for several days is the 10th November Show. A few weeks ago Will shall we say had a ‘funny five minutes’ on the show dated 23rd March.
The week before last the lunatics were left in charge of the alyssum. I must say I thought the Request Show that night was first-rate and as a Brucie Bonus I also did a rare solo show covering the 60s Show. The latest show is the 13/04/2011 one.
I know I still hate the sound of my own voice on radio and think I’m awful when I listen back (although I think I’m amazing whilst on air – listening back I just cringe). However people say we do a decent job and they enjoy what we do and I have been requested for downloadable versions from more than a handful of people so what the heck – can’t be all that bad.
Anyone with any interest have a listen and if you are interested in volunteering in Hospital Radio then get in touch with your local Hospital Radio station. I’m sure they’ll be appreciative and you’ll be doing a good thing that really makes an actual difference and meet a few people too!
So Vince Cable is back in the news again. He must have said something interesting and by jove I think he certainly has. The PM today will talk about immigration and what his plans are to stop those nasty foreigners coming over here stealing all our jobs and women and making it difficult for a good British boy to earn a wage and find a lady. Is that the PM or the BNP speaking? Either way their policy on non-British people isn’t all that dissimilar although the PM doesn’t want to get rid of everyone who isn’t British (unless he thinks it will win him votes then he’ll go there).
Those who read this blog or anyone who knows me in general will know that I support the coalition but this is the biggest line that we as Lib Dems need to make cross we watch extremely closely. This is a bigger issue than tuition fees (even though the electorate may not think so). The freedom of movement and trade around the Globe is vital and not only that – it is right. If we have work then nothing should stop us from living and working in a country. Even if people don’t have work then they should be free to live where they like – although I grant the fact that people using public services they don’t pay for – or claiming benefits when they nor their families have paid taxes into the economy is certainly a sticky wicket.
It saddened me that immigration was the #2 concern on the lips of the electorate behind the economy in the 2010 General Election. People are afraid of the unknown and are afraid of foreigners. ‘What do people have to afraid of?’ I ask myself. I don’t know 100s of foreigners but heck I don’t know that many people. Those I do know work hard and give something back to society. Look at the amount of Polish food shops in most towns, people setting up businesses, working, paying taxes into the economy. Where is the problem? I know the new stricter rules the government are bringing in is killing TEFL schools around the country as it will be much harder for students to get visas if they don’t already know English – well TEFL schools kinda rely on these students.
I have written about this following scenario before but I’ll write it again. What happens if an NHS hospital needs to hire a doctor but there isn’t enough qualified British people and the immigration quota has been filled? Does an NHS hospital not hire anyone or do they hire someone good/experienced enough? Do you want your loved ones to end up in a situation where their life is in danger because of an immigration cap? No of course you do. Even the BNP would prefer an Indian doctor to save their life than to die – although when they recovered they would probably go find them and beat them up for touching them.
Any immigration cap on skilled workers in sheer lunacy and if Vince Cabel or any other Lib Dem wants to say it and rock the coalition boat then I say go for it. I don’t think there should be any cap at all and whilst people may say that is easy for me to say in my Utopian idealist ways, it’s not like I’ve been fed with a silver spoon all my life. Born and raised on a council estate and have dragged myself up (as have the rest of my family) through hard work and dedication to be where I am today (the ability to write rubbish on the interwebs – go me!). Hard work will get you along the road to where you want to be, yes it’ll need a lucky break here or there but it isn’t foreigners that is stopping people from achieving great things. Foreigners are a placebo that this country needs to stop taking.
Yes there are bad ones but heck there are plenty of bad British folk as well. Work hard and life will give you rewards. There will be ups as well as downs but if you honestly think that by capping the amount of foreigners are allowed into this country will simply make you life easier and/or better then you are wrong. Life isn’t easy for the majority of us folks and until we stop licking our own wounds and fight to where we want to be on our own merits then we are doomed to failure.
Ok this soapbox is getting rather scary. I’m going to get down now.
Labour supporter Gillian Duffy thinks the coalition are doing a bad job. I’m shocked. Shocked I tells ye.
Sometimes I do like to be overly dramatic and sarcastic in my blog titles. I really do.
So Nick Clegg was collared by Mrs Duffy today whilst visiting a factory in Rochdale. She asked the Deputy PM if he thought the coalition were doing a good job and he replied that it was hard but he believed they were making the right decisions. She says that he’s just saying the same thing he’s always saying on TV and on the radio. Which to me is good – shows he’s consistent and not saying one thing to one set of people and another to another.
Afterwards when asked about the government Mrs Duffy replied, “It’s gone wrong,” she said, “Let’s face it, it’s all gone wrong.”
I am still in shock that a lifelong Labour supporter would think the government are doing a terrible job. This without a doubt is headline news along the lines of Turkey’s don’t vote for Christmas and that I am too tight to buy a proper phone (Nokia 8310 ftw). What is next for Mrs Duffy? Maybe she should share a #bbcqt platform with some real politicians or maybe that isn’t enough for her? Maybe she should take #PMQs one day because the government are doing such a terrible job.
Look I know as a Journalist that the story is legit and the BBC (and others) are right in running with it. It just depresses me that nobodies can get their 15 minutes of fame and as an industry they are kept on the backburner and wheeled out if the opportunity arises. Had I said the same to Nick Clegg then it would not have been reported. The difference between Mrs Duffy and myself apart from the obvious is that I was never called a bigot by the Prime Minister. If that type of thing gets me a public profile then David Cameron can call me an arsehole who has a Troy McClure style fish-fetish if he likes.
Or you could argue Worthing is a large-seaside town. It has a population in the region of 100,000 so is that large or small? You decide.
On this evening’s episode of South Today (yes I still watch South Today despite living in Essex – I’m so cool – Sally Taylor ftw) the lead story was about the acceptance by the borough council to a planning application for a ninth Tesco Express in the town (it also has one Tesco Extra). Tesco have long been a force in the high-street but in recent times they have been spring up everywhere in the form of these smaller Tesco Express stores.
Around where I live there are several – a quick google search shows that there are six within five miles of my location, Thorpe Bay, Southchurch, Southend-on-Sea, Westcliff-on-Sea, Chalkwell and Leigh-on-Sea. So basically everywhere where there is a handful of stores sees a Tesco Express. Is this too many? I personally happen to think that it is. Back to Worthing and having a store for every 10,000 people in that area. It seems like saturation to me but obviously they wouldn’t build unless they believed they had a demand for it. However they claim that this 9th Tesco Express store will generate 775 jobs in the town – excuse me?
In my local Tesco Express I think I know every single person of the 10-12 strong workforce by sight. I know they’ll be jobs in putting the store together but these aren’t long-term jobs so how can a small convenience store provide 775 jobs? If it can then Tesco really don’t have a clue – therefore I suspect this figure might be misleading somewhat.
The Tory led council say that they ‘reluctantly’ approved the plans because there is no evidence that by building it would directly harm other local businesses. Tesco themselves refused to be interviewed but released a statement which said that by building the store it will in fact drags more trade to the area and everyone else will also see the benefit. I don’t exactly see people travelling for miles to go to a Tesco Express somewhat therefore locals businesses will surely suffer – certainly other small local supermarkets/shops as people will have even easier access to a local Tesco Express.
I know it isn’t a big thing but this is a worrying glimpse into the future. Tesco have been quite brilliantly managed and were at a point a few years ago where one in every eight pounds being spent on the high street was spent in Tesco. With the growth like Japanese knotweed of their Tesco Express empire then I’m sure that number will rise. Tesco is what it ois and in this era of more people shopping in the bigger stores then it leaves the smaller shopkeeper struggling and when you throw in a Tesco Express in every part of a town then there is a real problem.