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Saturday, 19 April 2008

Squeaky Bum Time!

Football, no not that American rubbish where the ball never touches a foot (except when they have a rugby football style kicker), but the real game, the world game, the "Beautiful Game".

Like most males in the world, I am a fan, or rather I have a team which I want to win (in almost any manner), and then there are all the other teams which I fear, detest, laugh at or mock depending upon the the threat they offer to "My Team" (Which is obviously "by far the greatest the world has ever seen").

It is now coming to the end of the football season in England and thus to "Squeaky Bum Time" (A term first coined by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, which is defined as "the tense final stages of a league competition, especially from the point of view of the leaders", and in England its a tenser finish than usual in many of the leagues.

With only three or four games left to play the title is now down to two teams, Manchester United and Chelsea, who play each other in what is likely to be the title decider next weekend.

Its also the start of the European Cup semi-finals involving Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool and Barcelona, so its a veritable two weeks of "Squeaky Bums" for the followers of those clubs. My allegiance is to Man Utd, so its more with dread than anticipation, that I 'look forward' to the coming three weekends, when a seasons striving either ends in glory or in ashes.

Of course, there is even more at stake at the bottom of the Premier league, or for the teams fighting for promotion into it, so I should be happy that my team is not in those positions, but I contend that the tension caused by the 'fear of failure' when you reach the very top, is just as bad as it is for relegation candidates (although I accept that the consequences are not as far reaching).

Just for interest here's the top and bottom of the Premier League (with 3 games to go).

Top:
Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 35 54 81
----------------------- Champions2 Chelsea 35 36 78

Bottom:
Team P GD PTS
15 Sunderland 34 -19 36
16 Bolton 35 -20 32
17 Reading 35 -28 32
----------------------------------- Relegation Point
18 Birmingham 34 -13 31
19 Fulham 35 -26 27
20 Derby 35 -59 11

And fighting to get into the Premier (with 4 games to go).

Top:
Team P GD PTS
1 West Brom 44 31 77
2 Stoke 44 13 75
------------------------------- Promotion Point
3 Hull 44 18 72
4 Bristol City 44 -1 71
5 Watford 44 7 69
6 Crystal Palace 44 12 68
------------------------------- Play Offs
(one team from the four gets promoted after a mini knockout cup)

7 Ipswich 44 8 65
8 Sheff Utd 44 5 63
9 Wolverhampton 43 1 63

And a quick mention of the Scottish Premier League, where my mate Kevin's team Glasgow Rangers, are suddenly in a last minute fight, after it looking like a walk over a week ago.

1 Celtic 34 53 77
2 Rangers 31 48 75

The games in hand should be enough, but teams sometimes just collapse, and Rangers have started to look tired, especially as they are still in the UEFA cup (The lesser European cup competition) where they have reached the semi final stage.

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This post is from the site No PC Views. if you are viewing it elsewhere, then it has been scraped or stolen. You may wish to view the post in its original context by visiting No PC Views (http://no-pc.blogspot.co.uk/)

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Men of Conviction

This week my attention was drawn to two very different men, but who shared one thing, the courage of their convictions.

The first is well known and who sadly died. Charlton Heston, a man who filled many of my Sunday afternoons with epic scenes of bravery and grandeur, as El Cid in Spain or General Gordon in Khartoum.

Other Epics such as Ben Hur, and Eco movies such as The Omega Man (recently badly remade with Will Smith), and Soylent Green (maybe the harshest warning to mankind about our future ever filmed) also filled my consciousness and imagination. Because of this association as "Epic King", people forget that he put in many very fine performances in smaller films such as Touch of Evil, The War Lord, Will Penny and The Mountain Men to name just a few, as well as notable stage performances.

Of course he is now more well known as a supporter of Gun ownership in the US, and in truth although I have blogged on the Second Amendment, I accept that at 90 guns for every 100 citizens in the US, it would make no difference if gun laws were changed now.

However I prefer to think of him as a man of his convictions, such as being a notable white supporter of Dr Martin Luther King and the 1960s Civil Rights movement, because he believed that "all men were created equal", and before many Democrats or liberals, he was marching at the forefront of the protests. A not inconsiderable risk for such a notable white supporter of a national black movement.

He stuck to his political convictions all his life, despite their fluctuating popularity, from the Actors Guild, through to the National Rifle Association, he held to his beliefs, and that takes courage and he famously said that the government would have to take his rifle "From my cold, dead hands!". It wasn't his politics that moved, its was the politicians that moved around him.

The second man of conviction is Ragip Zarakolu, a Turkish publisher, who along with his late wife Ay┼čenur Zarakolu publishes books examining those aspects of Turkish history or life that are hidden and censored. In a country that claims to be "European" and fit to join the EU, this should not be a notable thing, but in fact the Justice Ministry in Turkey recently revealed that 1,700 people were tried under Article 301 ("insulting Turkishness") in 2006 alone.

Most of these cases have involved comments on the Armenian massacres, which despite overwhelming evidence and testimony the Turkish state denies and imprisons anyone who offers a contrary view.

The fact that a country that claims to be as European as Sweden or Denmark, can prosecute over 1,700 writers for "insulting Turkishness", is an irony that obviously bypasses the Muslim mind, but because they do, and writers such as Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, get murdered, means that it still takes considerable courage to continue to try and shine a light into the dark recesses of the Turkish nations psyche. Mrs Zarakolu spent two years in prison for these beliefs in the 1990's.

He continues with his efforts, and only recently had another court appearance under article 301, and he has vowed to continue, while other Turkish writers have all fallen silent under the prosecutions.

Different men, different causes, same courage.

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This post is from the site No PC Views. if you are viewing it elsewhere, then it has been scraped or stolen. You may wish to view the post in its original context by visiting No PC Views (http://no-pc.blogspot.co.uk/)

Brown the pan

According to all the weekend newspapers, our 'beloved' and unelected leader Gordon Brown is in a spot of bother, again.

Harold Wilson, another Labour Prime Minister, gave us the phrase, "A week is a long time in politics." Well if a week is a long time, then a few months after deciding not to have an election, has proved to be an eternity for Gordon Brown. How his star has fallen, and how "Events dear boy, events" (the explanation give by Harold McMillian, for why governments fail) must be ringing in his years.

That decision not to cut and run last Autumn, which we can only assume was a form of cowardice, has bit him on the arse, because he has had enough 'Events' to point a pointy stick at. I use the word 'cowardice' freely because I think that Mr Brown has displayed political caution to the point where it is cowardice. The motto "He who dares, wins" is not one that could be applied to Mr Brown.

For years he sat brooding in the background "Waiting for Blair to hand him the Prime Ministers job" .... apparently he was bitter about what he saw as a betrayal of their "Granita" deal (where he was apparently 'persuaded' to let Blair stand unopposed for the labour leadership) but not once though, did he have the courage to challenge Blair for the PM job.

He appears to have been terrified that defeat would end his 'destiny' to be PM, whereas if he just waited, and waited, and waited, it would just be given to him as 'gift' by Blair. Can anyone ever imagine Blair waiting in the wings for ten years? Compare and contrast with Micheal Heseltine and Mrs Thatcher, where Heseltine had the guts to challenge.

Anyway, this weekend illustrates why political courage is needed to succeed as PM. Six months after deciding not to risk a snap election, all the polls show him between 14 and 16 points behind Mr Cameron, his main rival, and there are suggestions, that there are many machinations behind the scenes in his own Labour party to oust him if all goes badly in:
  • The London Mayoral elections, where "Red" Ken Livingstone is fighting Boris Johnston and may just lose.
  • The local government elections, where another kicking for labour is predicted.

Actually, although losing London might be seen as a blow, the truth is that Ol'Ken is not viewed as "one of us" by the pygmies in Browns cabinet, so his demise wouldn't cause too many tears to flow. Also Labour would have expected to lose a mayoral fight sometime, so it may as well be now as any other time. Anyway, according to the The Sunday Times, it is by no means certain that scatty Boris will pull it off and Ken may still be Mayor of London.

As for the local elections, well labour has lost most of the country outside of its inner city heartlands, so there can't be much more to lose before they can't lose anymore, and have to show gains .... in that respect there may be advantages in reaching that stage now, and then gaining some councils just before the general election in 18 months time.

If this was all, Gordy Boy would be a happy man, but we have had his terror policy turned over in the courts, with a convicted Al-Queda terrorist (Abu Qatada) saved from deportation by our alternative unelected government, aka the Judges (what with the unelected Brown and unelected judges democracy is thriving in the UK), who have said it was illegal, because they don't approve of the police evidence gathering methods in Jordan, or any other of our regional allies.

So now we have to keep this bit of scum here at tax payers expense .... he will no doubt be on the streets again soon. Funny how these governments are our "Regional Friends and Allies", but according to our unelected judges, they are "Torture Regimes" and we should not deal with them.

Of course the courts decision to grant all failed asylum seekers free medical treatment, is just another sign that this governments legislation is poor, and unravels whenever it is put against the "Human Rights" legislation that New Labour introduced, without a thought, when it came to power. Oddly, even I didn't think that under this ill thought out legislation, Pirates can claim Asylum, so the Royal Navy can't tackle piracy.
Just who governs in the UK, the elected government or those judges who seem to perversely enjoy breaking every piece of legislation on the rock of their interpretation of "Human Rights"?

Elsewhere the government faces possible defeat in its latest attempt to extend police powers of detention to 42 days in suspected terrorism cases. This by the way, is because for some reason the police in the UK can't carry on investigating a crime once a charge has been made. If we changed that ridiculous situation, then we would not need detention law changes.

And to top it all, it appears that Blair's decision to close the "BAE Saudi Bungs Scandal" (Just a few million in 'Baksheesh' to me, you and the Arabs) was illegal, and now there are calls to reopen it, and fall out with yet another of our "Friends and Allies" in the region.
While nearer to home, the Members of Parliament attempts to hide their (mis) use of public funds, by fighting a rear guard action in the courts, is being led by the Labour Speaker Mr Martin, adding to the perception of sleaze which already hangs about this Parliament.

The decision by Gordon Brown to tax the single poor, to pay for yet more welfare benefits for feckless 'parents', has also refused to go away, and as predicted by me is a real vote loser.
Finally, control freak Mr Brown, is portrayed as "a tiny dot on this world", by the dictator we should have toppled, Mr Mugabe. How low can it get when you are personally insulted by a despot ... Just another week in this mans lifetime.

Note: I am using the Sunday Times and BBC to link to, but the main papers are all running much the same stories, so it's not unrepresentative of the speculation.

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This post is from the site No PC Views. if you are viewing it elsewhere, then it has been scraped or stolen. You may wish to view the post in its original context by visiting No PC Views (http://no-pc.blogspot.co.uk/) 

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Some more Chickens just came home

I recently posted "When chickens come home to roost", well a few more just clucked again.

Firstly;

  • Gordon Browns last act as Chancellor was a slight of hand cancelling the lowest rate of tax collection, which pertained to those on the lowest incomes. At the time he 'buried' it amongst his usual recounting and announcing of the same monies over and over again (a hall mark of his chancellorship), and deferred it for a year. Well guess what, yep the year is up, and over thirty labour MP's in marginal seats (and they are trailing 14 points in the polls) signed an early day motion, calling on the new chancellor to cancel the move. Its predicted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, that with all the changes in the income tax, national insurance and tax credit, about 5.3 million families will lose out overall. Oops!

This government has often claimed that its endless tax hikes were "For hard working families" and to "Protect the environment", which added to their mantra that "Immigration is good for the UK", form the 'holy trinity' of Gordon Browns government policy.

Given that my first point shows that, a lot of low paid and hard working people are going to suffer an income cut this month, and that a high court judge has very publically said that all New Labours social policies have either failed, or done nothing to prevent a social meltdown in the UK, you can assume that Gordon's Gang really don't need the rest of the trinity to be challenged, but no such luck.

Secondly;

  • News was released that there would be a drop in world average temperatures this year, which is not so surprising, after all fluctuations are to be expected, but buried within that news, was the fact that there actually hasn't been a temperature rise since 1998. Now, I have questioned the evidence of human driven global warming before, but I had accepted that there were in fact increases occurring, whatever the agent of those changes. Now however, I am less convinced than ever. There has also been new reports on the sun not being linked to this non change in temperatures.
However my key question is, why are we simply not just coming out of the medieval mini ice age?
After all Chaucer wrote of wine vineyards in Durham and Northern England, and we are not at that temperature level yet. According to Henry Ansgar Kelly in his book "Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine" wine was grown 300 miles north of its current limit in the UK.
So what are we paying all these extra "Green taxes" for, especially as I have already predicted that the world will end in 2050AD?

Thirdly;
  • In a hard hitting report, the claim that immigration has been good for the UK was totally debunked by a House of Lords committee, who reported that 'Record levels of immigration' have had "little, or no impact" on the economic well-being of native Britons. This came on top of an expose that once again the UK citizenship tests were being criminally abused. So the Government is still presiding over a system of open doors immigration into the UK, where the citizenship test is being taken by criminals, false marriages are still taken at registry offices, and its actually costing us money because of the ever increasing welfare drains. Apparently we still don't count the 'dependents' of 'arranged' marriages as immigrants ...... this is just basically a giant fraud perpetrated on the British People by this government.
Finally, in a little irony, I wrote about both Tibet and China, as well as mentioning Zimbabwe in that first chickens blog, and I said that China was a cruel communist state, not cuddly Olympic hosts, and that Bjork had cried out for "Tibet Tibet" in a concert in China. Sadly within a week Tibetans were dying for the freedom of their country.

I also jokingly suggested that the South African electricity crisis might be the final straw for Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe - and lo and behold, it looks like he has been voted out of office (although getting him out is a bit more problematic).

Nostradamus eat your heart out!

Don't mess with this blog dictators and zealots, I have the power!

Update .... I don't have power ... Mugabe is still in power
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This post is from the site No PC Views. if you are viewing it elsewhere, then it has been scraped or stolen. You may wish to view the post in its original context by visiting No PC Views (http://no-pc.blogspot.co.uk/)
 

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A middle aged orange male ... So 'un' PC it's not true....