Monday, 31 August 2015

Jeremy Corbyn is right again

The BBC's headline is 'Labour leadership: Corbyn under fire for Bin Laden comments'. So what are these dreadful comments that would cause such criticism? Well Jeremy says it was a "tragedy" that Osama Bin Laden was killed rather than being put on trial. What's wrong with that? It was a tragedy.

I wrote about why Bin Laden should have been taken alive here and here. It made perfect sense at the time and still does.

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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Reject membership applications not votes.

Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, has had his vote rejected for the Labour leadership contest. He has publicly claimed that he voted Green in 2010 but should that stop him changing your mind? The Labour Party are right to limit voting to supporters but how do they explain this ban? They've also banned other prominent individuals like Jeremy Hardy and Mark Steel. I don't know if these comedians are proven enemies of the Labour Party or whether Labour is trying to rig the election but I get the impression it is the latter.

If there are malevolent individuals who wish to join the Labour Party in order to vote for the person whom they feel would make the worst leader, then this is clearly wrong and has no place in British politics or British society. Anyone who tells you it is just a bit of fun is wrong too.

It is also wrong to exclude voters who are genuine members of the Labour Party and wish to see it do well. However my main concern isn't about the exclusion from voting. It is about the exclusion from membership. Why have I heard everything about thousands of votes being rejected and nothing about thousands of cancelled memberships?

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Friday, 17 April 2015

Ed's Groundhog Day


I shared a video on Facebook yesterday. It was a video of Ed Miliband repeating himself rather than listen to the questions from an interviewer. I would have left it there but I got a comment that the reason why poor Ed had to repeat himself was because of bad interviewing typical of right wing media.

Here is the clip and the responses. You can make up your own mind.

My initial comment was:
I am saddened by this video. W.S. Gilbert told us over a century ago that politicians leave their brains outside the House of Commons. It's still going on.

The reply:
Interviewers ask questions but don't listen to the answers. This is typical of the right wing media. Hence poor Ed having to repeat himself. There has been reckless and provocative government action but the interviewer still doesn't get it!

And my reply:
The first question was about Ed's leadership. The second was about the Tory Party's private and public image. Ed almost answered the third question about whether he has spoken privately with union leaders but then goes on to repeat himself. The fourth question is whether Ed, as a parent has been personally affected and again Ed almost answers the question before repeating himself. I remain saddened and it is Ed who should put aside the rhetoric.

This video is from 2011 and maybe the most surprising aspect is that I haven't seen it before. How did this ignorance and repetition not make headlines? I don't think Ed will have improved with age. In fact he is being backed by his supporters even now. They will say that the tape is obviously fake. Well here is the original BBC video.

It looks like we live in a world in which a potential prime minister can act like a broken record and nobody notices.

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Monday, 13 April 2015

Hustings

The election campaign has started and leaflets are being delivered, mostly by the post office. So if you get more than one leaflet from a party then the chances are that they have used their free delivery service and they have gone on to pay a lot of money to get their message over to you twice.

There is another way that you can hear about the views of your candidates and that's at a hustings meeting. No individual party can organise this as all the others would refuse to attend. Often these meetings are organised by Churches Together and unlike the TV debates you usually only get one chance to listen to local candidates.

If you live in Morecambe and Lunesdale then your chance is at More Music in Morecambe from 7pm on Tuesday 14th April. I'll be there and so will many of the party faithful of all the candidates. That's the trouble. These hustings don't reach out to the electorate. In fact the sitting MP didn't attend in 2010 probably because there must be a feeling that there are no votes in it.

It is worth attending the hustings meeting as however important this meeting is to the candidates it is the only chance that the electorate gets to see through the party propaganda and let's them make their own mind up.

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Thursday, 5 March 2015

More Role Models

I've just seen Jonny Evans from Manchester United and Papiss Cisse from Newcastle try to foul each other a few times. I didn't see much of the football. Oh yes and they spat at each other. Louis Van Gall, the Manchester United manager was reported to have said that his player should not be found guilty. On the BBC website he is reported as saying "I don't think Jonny Evans is a spitter. Maybe spitting on the floor, but we were on the bench and you cannot see from there." It's a nonsense quote based on ignorance. Sounds like poor management to me but Lous gets paid a lot for this nonsense.

The reason for this post is not Manchester United's poor management. It's not even the spitting - thank goodness we still have some lines that can't be crossed. The reason is not even that we have two players trying to foul each other and nobody mentions that they are doing anything wrong. The reason is that we continually hear that football players are role models. No they aren't.

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P.S. Jonny comes out fighting. He would never spit at an opponent. It is possible that he has seen the evidence and chooses to ignore it. This makes him (....) fill in your favourite word. Alternatively he did spit at an opponent and this make him (....) fill in your favourite word. Regardless of whether he has any idea of what he has done ignorance is not a defence in law and you don't need a judge to find him guilty of ignorance.

P.P.S. It's the same day and later reports use the word 'deliberately'. It doesn't matter Jonny. It certainly didn't matter to Papiss.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Whoever said footballers were role models?

Chelsea played Liverpool yesterday and the Chelsea player Diego Costa may face retrospective punishment for two stamps on Emre Can and Martin Skrtel that were not seen by the referee. In the press conference Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho did not understand what reporters meant by the word 'stamp'. Let me help him. To stamp means to bring down one's foot heavily on the ground or on something (or someone) on the ground. 

I think Mourinho's point concerned the intention to stamp and this is important when an opponent is on the receiving end but I don't think intention is that important to the person who is being stamped on. Jose Mourinho reckons both incidents were 'absolutely accidental'.  It may be that many people see the stampings as accidental and others may see them as deliberate. What is definite is that Diego Costa knew he stamped on other players and reacted as if they had not been there. 

Am I to presume he knew he had stamped on another player but was so carried away with the game that he could put the possibility of a serious injury out of his mind? Could it be the case that all professional footballers are trained to ignore possible injuries because the game is more important? Could it even be possible that the stampings were intentional, in which case footballers may be trained to carry on as if nothing had happened?

My one certainty is that Diego Costa knew that he had stamped on two players and chose not to react. Whoever said footballers were role models?

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Thursday, 27 November 2014

Andrew Mitchell and 'Plebs'

Andrew Mitchell probably called the police 'plebs'. This is according to Mr Justice Mitting.

It is a shame it has cost £2 million to find this out because I told you over a year ago.

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