Archive for November, 2022

Suck it up.

November 22, 2022 Leave a comment

Fresh rail strikes to hit peak Christmas travel, RMT union announces
— Read on

So, while most people are tightening their belts and riding out the inflation crisis this lot, and others, want to be cushioned at their expense. To hell with it, let’s have a twelve month wage freeze for those earning more than average UK annual salary, £33,000.

Categories: General

Extra time

November 21, 2022 Leave a comment

The criminal justice systems in the United Kingdom and in most other democracies are based on the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven. If an accused person denies the charges and has not been remanded in custody is it defensible that he or she should be excluded from their workplace while awaiting trial?

I apologise for another football related post, but these are the cases that tend to make headlines, illustrating the point. One made the news today, that of a young player accused of a range of offences. He has been suspended by his club over a year, since the police became involved. It has taken the CPS (Keir Starmer’s old team) a year to decide to charge him, with his trial being set for November 2023. No way should that be acceptable.

It doesn’t stop there. Ryan Giggs was arrested in November 2020, after a complaint of domestic abuse and was suspended from his employment. It took the CPS 21 months to bring him to trial, where the jury found itself unable to convict him on the basis of the evidence. In Scotland the verdict would probably have been Not proven, with the same effect as Not guilty. In Wales the CPS has been granted a retrial. That is the equivalent of a footballer hitting the post with a penalty kick and being given another shot because his manager didn’t like the outcome. In Giggs’ case it will mean that almost three years will have elapsed between complaint and disposal.

Just? Not in my eyes.

Categories: General

Bob Marley

November 21, 2022 1 comment

What is courage? I see it as a conscious decision to stand up for the principles that underpin one’s life, regardless of any pressure to abandon them, be it physical, emotional or financial.

When Harry Kane and Gareth Bale lead out their teams later today for their opening matches in the **** World Cup they will each be the embodiment of the cowardice of those who put them there.

The One Love armband is more than a symbol of captaincy, it’s a statement of morality. Its prohibition by ****, an organisation so abhorrent that I choose not to give it a name check, should be ignored. If the tournament was taking place in the USA and the host nation chose to wear the rainbow, this would not be an issue. In banning it, **** has set itself against all the rights and principles that are upheld by its display.

Categories: General, Politics, Sport


November 18, 2022 6 comments

Unlike many people who are offering critical opinions on Cristiano Ronaldo I watched all 90 minutes of his interview with Piers Morgan.

My view of modern professional footballers is coloured by the life experiences of those I knew when I was a kid. Back then, Ian St John combined the early years of his career with an apprenticeship in Motherwell Bridge. Many of those before and around him were part-timers from start to finish. They were also slaves: as soon as they signed a professional contract they were registered to that club until they were sold or released. Pre-Bosman players did not have freedom of contract.

No question, Cristiano is a lucky man to have been born into his era, Regardless of ability, anyone who can afford to turn down a €350 million offer, in the twilight of his career or at any other time, is blessed indeed.

And yet the slave mentality persists, Worse, it is supported by the attitudes and behaviour of media that haven’t really changed from the days when press boxes housed a disproportionate number of drunks and the semi-literate.

The response to the Ronaldo interview has been distorted. He has been portrayed as an uppity millionaire who is upset because his ego allows him to believe he should have special treatment. Possibly that criticism is valid, but he is also a man with undeniable grievances.

It is undeniable that chunks of the Morgan interview have been distorted and taken out of context, for example Sky Sports is reporting that he would be happy if Arsenal won the Premier League. It fails to mention his qualification, ‘after Manchester United’, or that his remark was in response to a question by the Arsenal supporting Piers Morgan. If he had chosen to give the interview to Sky’s Gary Neville rather than to a turd in a Savile Row suit I don’t need to ask how it would have been presented by the channel.

As a Man U supporter I am sad that Cristiano will never play for the club again. But given his emotional attachment to it, I am equally sad that he had been allowed to feel betrayed. That is classic mismanagement for which the club’s decision makers are entirely responsible. I’m beyond sad by his revelation that in the twelve years or so between his departure and his return the club’s infrastructure was entirely unchanged. I’m infuriated that its reviled owners have never met the man whose image has underpinned the countless millions they have trousered since they were allowed by our absurd corporate system to buy the business with borrowed money.

Today we are being told that the club has initiated appropriate steps. The (formerly Manchester) Guardian is reporting that these include taking CR7 to court. To me the most appropriate step the owners could take would be to meet with the finest player the club has known (with the possible exception of George Best) for a serious discussion, for it’s clear he knows a hell of a lot more about the business than they do.

Categories: Sport

An interesting question

November 17, 2022 Leave a comment

I am not sure what to make 0f this.

Categories: General

Help me

November 10, 2022 1 comment

I’m puzzled. I watched the Man U game tonight. Before kickoff the cameras picked out a young guy in the posh seats. For the information of the viewers, the director captioned him: Ishowspeed, Influencer.

I’m not so insular that I’d never seen the term , but I would like someone to explain to me what an ‘Influencer’ actually is, whom are he, she or these days they trying to influence, and to what end or purpose?

Categories: General

Try this

November 10, 2022 Leave a comment
Categories: General

Wide Open

November 8, 2022 5 comments

Storm Arwen was quite an event last year. It cost me (and my insurer) a new roof as well as flattening trees beyond number.

One of those was on the route of my daily walk with the boy Sunny. There it was, lying on its side, roots exposed. It reminded me of a much larger tree that Eileen and I saw, similarly felled by a tempest, in Stanley Park, Vancouver.

And that started me thinking. What if …

The product of that contemplation is published tomorrow. It’s called Open Season, and it’s the latest, the 34th to be precise, in the Bob Skinner series. Available in hardback, trade paperback and ebook formats. I hope you like it.

Categories: General