Thursday, 30 June 2016

Boris Cannon Fodder Johnson

Boris Johnson has shocked everyone by keeping his hat firmly outside the next Prime Minister ring  citing that the next leader would restore Britain's standing and stand tall in the world but 'that person cannot be me'.
As there is a Conservative Party campaign titled 'Anyone But Boris' and he was facing daily abuse from the public for his lies during the Referendum, he has probably concluded that he would be cannon fodder and has pulled the rug from under them.
It is a shame because if there was ever anyone who could be used as cannon fodder, it was him and now we are denied it.
No poking fun of his willingness to look like an unmade bed or recalling how he was fired by The Times for making up stories.
No re-hashing of how he referred to gay men as 'tank-topped bumboys' and on the subject of same sex marriage said that 'We don't want our children being taught some rubbish about homosexual marriage being the same as normal marriage' and calling it 'ludicrous'.
We won't be able to remember the time he was ordered to go to Liverpool to make a public apology for saying that Liverpudlians were welfare scroungers or referring to his £250,000 wages from his second job at The Telegraph Newspaper as 'chicken feed' or even how he was sacked from the cabinet for lying over his private life.
Most upsetting is how we will not be able to rake the coals over his extra-marital affair with Spectator columnist Petronella Wyatt, resulting in two terminated pregnancies and then the affair with the Times Higher Education Supplement journalist Anna Fazackerley and then yet another dalliance with Helen Macintyre and fathering her child.
Such a shame that all this will never see the light of day now.

Dare We Rerun The Referendum?

The petition for re-running the second EU referendum has reached 4 million and anti-Brexit protests have sprung up in cities so the question must be should we do it again?
I'm torn because i was on losing side of the decision and consider what we have voted for as the height of foolishness with severe consequences for us all but then again, we can't just ignore the result or re-run it just because 48% of us didn't agree with it, that's us gladly wandering into dictatorial territory.
Sure many who voted to remain in the EU are very disappointed about the result, particularly how it is dawning on us how it will hit our economy and therefore most vulnerable in our society already down after years of austerity, but there are also many people who voted leave who are regretting their decision now they are hearing of the consequences, over 1.1 million of them according to a recent poll.
Brussels have made it crystal clear that the UK must maintain free movement of labour in order to access the largest single market in the World with over 500 million potential customers, a fact that was spelt out before but dismissed by the Brexit campaign as 'fear-mongering', as was the now discredited claim of the NHS receiving the money we currently send to the EU.
Knowing now what we know, those who voted Leave could argue that they voted on mis-information but it still leaves the problem of whether it would be morally right to re-run the referendum, albeit this time with the public having a better understanding of what an exit package would mean.
The Government has a decision to make regarding what is in the national interest and to act accordingly but as we now know that the deal available outside the EU will hit the country hard, the safest way to go about things would be to gain some wiggle room which delays, and then postpones the handing over of Article 50 until which will propel us out of the EU and we then quietly forget all about it.
That way the referendum result stands, democracy prevails but we just don't do anything to enforce the result .

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Sports We English Can Play

So we may not be the best football team in Europe, with Wales still in the competition we are not even the best in Britain, but there are some other sports that England rule the World at. 

The English rugby team recently won every game in the Six Nations and followed that up by going to Australia and handing Johnny Wallaby a 3-0 series whitewash while the England’s women also won the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2014.
The England cricket team won in South Africa and at home to Sri Lanka, the one-day team are currently leading the series against the Sri Lankans and the T20 side got to the world final.
There are numerous English boxers across various weight divisions that are doing themselves and us proud and are holding world title belts and in Heavyweight Anthony Joshua we have a real World Class prospect. 
The last five World Snooker Championships have been won by an Englishman and Great Britain won five gold medals at the 2015 World Rowing Championships with the teams made up mainly of people from England while the two World Indoor Singles Bowls Champions are from guess where? ENGLAND!!
At the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games, the English were well represented on the gold medal winners podium as is the winners podium at Formula 1 where the current world champion is Englishman Lewis Hamilton.
Want some more?
The English won five gold medals at the 2016 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the BDO World Darts Champion was born this side of Hadrians Wall as was Trina Gulliver who also won the women’s Championship.
England won the 2013 Men’s World Team Squash Championships, the women took the WSF World Team Squash Championships and Englishman Paul Bonhomme is the current Red Bull Air Race World Champion.
We finish with the Speedway Grand Prix world champion being English and we say yeah Johnny Foreigner, you may be able to kick a ball into net hung between two posts better than us but when it comes to real sports which involve throwing darts, hitting snooker balls and knocking round bits of rubber against a wall, we rule.

Preparing For An Increasing Population

The UN’s department of economic and social affairs have said that Global population hit 7.3 billion midway through 2015, an increase of 2 billion since 1990 and will continue to climb steadily to reach 8.5 billion in 2030.
As we are already using the resources of one and a half Earth's it is a problem which we have no idea how to solve.
The problem isn't too many births as many think but not enough deaths due to people living longer, DESA explained that the number of births has leveled off globally for the world as a whole so we are not adding people to the population through births.
In 2015 global life expectancy rose to 71.4 years, a five-year increase since 2000, and that is obviously a good thing but the challenge is that we still have to reduce the amount of humans on the Planet and that can still only come from reducing births in the first place. 
Further access to contraception is the obvious answer and globally there are still 225 million women who are unable to access a modern form of contraception. Better education and child health clinics are also important to reduce pregnancies but most importantly we have to prepare ourselves for being able to accommodate 8.5 billion people by 2030.
This isn't simple as due to desertification, extreme weather and flooding as a result of climate change we are being squeezed into an ever decreasing amount of land but the solution isn't waving our arms around and saying there are just too many of us, we need to prepare the infrastructure to be ready for the 8.5 billion of us sharing the planet.

Pope Tells Christians To Say Sorry To Gays

With many believers in the story that a talking snake told a woman not to eat an apple then you know you are in the presence of what we can politely call wackadoodles but for something that passes itself off as peaceful, religion has been the cause of more deaths than anything else outside of disease.
Even its more refined versions it is still a basket-full of bigotry and hatred and probably its largest hate figure are the gay community or as the bible calls them, those who are an 'abomination' and should 'surely be put to death'.
Pope Francis has followed up his previous comment on who was he to judge gay people by calling for Christians to seek forgiveness from gay people for the way they had treated them.
'We Christians have to apologise for so many things, not just for this treatment of gay people, but we must ask for forgiveness, not just apologise, forgiveness' he said which is very brave coming from someone who seems to spend most of the day in a dress.
Not to sure how this will play out with Christians who believe that they can 'pray away the gay' and change a persons sexual orientation but as they believe that God managed to squeeze a handful of humans and two of every animal onto a raft while he killed every living thing on the planet, i wouldn't hold my breath for any sanity from them just yet.

Monday, 27 June 2016

World Becoming More Left Wing

We all know where being right wing ends up, burning women for being witches, slave owners, black men hanging from trees and 6 million dead Jews are proof of that but before you despair history does seem to show that we are shifting over to left wing values of equality and fairness for all, just very slowly. 
Looking at the big picture, we have gone from monarchies and dictatorships to democracies and social equality over the past 1500 years and a lot of the social reforms we see that are regarded currently as the norm weren't in the past, such as gay rights, feminism, civil rights for minorities and abortion rights.
There have been blips and countries that are further along the curve than others, it has not been a smooth transition but we are on a trend where there is more equality, more power for people who were previously powerless and human rights have been extended to cover more of society.  
One reason to be cheerful is that the future is left wing with more social and financial equality for all while the right wing and it's selfish hatred of anyone different is a diminishing thing of the past and that is always a good thing.

Brexit Racists And Xenophobes

Brexit voters are growing more annoyed that they are being called racists for voting to leave the EU but while it may be true that all the people who voted Brexit may not be racists, all the racists voted Brexit.
The number of hate crimes reported has risen by 57% after the UK voted to leave the European Union and David Cameron has spoken out about graffiti and verbal abuse shouted at individuals of ethnic minorities telling them to go back to their own country.
The UK’s biggest Muslim organisation has spoken out against a spike in racist abuse in the aftermath of the referendum while the Polish embassy said it was shocked at incidents of xenophobic abuse directed at members of its community in the past few days, and the Board of Deputies of British Jews said it was alarmed by reports it has received of harassment and abuse.
The xenophobic fringe feel empowered by the vote and probably feel that they have support of half the nation who feel the same as they do, another consequence of the self-harming decision of the 52% . 

England 1 Iceland 2

Under Article 105b of the England Football Supporters charter i hereby resign my England Football Team card and revoke the second amendment to the Charter that states 'On the event of England being knocked out of yet another major tournament, supporters may choose another team for the duration of the tournament if they have even the most tenuous link to that team'. 

I hereby resign my England card to the bin and accept the shiny new one from Wales due to a great grandparent who was Welsh. Possibly.

Dod i chi eich bod Cymraeg!!!!

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Joshua Not A Boxing Great Just Yet

British boxing is in a good state at the moment and at the top of the pile is IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua who last night took his record to 17 fights, 17 wins with 17 KO's.
I like Joshua, he is not only a great boxer but is a very well spoken, polite and elegant person who shy's away from the boorish rhetoric of other boxers but i would warn the people talking him up to not be quite so quick to compare him to the greats.
Joshua is fortunate to find himself in the game at a time when the game is at the lowest ebb i have ever seen but he can only fight who is put in front of him so he can hardly be blamed if those dished up to him are of a low calibre.
Back in the day when Tyson was bowling people over like ten pins you couldn't throw a cat without hitting a decent heavyweight and before Buster Douglas bumbled along, he fought them all and won convincingly.   
Joshua has not fought anyone of any note, last nights opponent Dominic Breazeale, was the top challenger for the belt and to be polite he wasn't so much out of Joshua's class but in a completely different school.
America seems to have stopped producing real World Class heavyweights and the East European's are functional but dull so as good as Joshua looks, has still not really been tested so i would be hesitant to build him up just yet.

Everyone Stop Doing Stuff!!

I have never known a time like this in British Politics, every time you turn around someone has resigned or is plotting to overthrow someone or are maneuvering themselves into a position to usurp someone so we just need someone to shout STOP!!! NOBODY DO ANYTHING and take a deep breath.
Cameron resigning is the right move, firstly because he cannot continue after the British public defied him and secondly because he has been a complete right-wing nasty git so i am glad to see the back of him.
The Labour Party attempting to remove Jeremy Corbyn being removed as head of the Opposition is also correct, his performance in the Referendum campaign was pitiful and although i agree with much of what he says, he is too far left wing for the voting public to possibly win an election if one is called soon so it is right they take him out and replace him with someone who could.
Lastly, it is right that once the Conservative Party elect themselves a new leader, the Government call a general election because by virtue of the Conservatives currently being in power, whoever becomes their leader also becomes Prime Minister and he or she will need to go to the country for a fresh mandate.
Of course the worst possible scenario is that in a years time we end with Tory Boris Johnson running the show here and Donald Trump winning the American election then between them the World would be ended by next March anyway and everything becomes academic anyway.
The best possible scenario is someone along the lines of Hilary Benn, David Miliband or Chuka Umunna are elected Labour leader, the Conservatives vote the divisive Boris Johnson as their leader who is then removed in a snap Election early in 2017 and we start to put right what has gone so horribly wrong over the last decade.
Mostly though, people need to stop and take a deep breath.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Leave Backtracking

Over 2 million people have signed a petition requesting that the EU referendum been run again and there are noises that as most MP's are Pro-Europe and they have to vote on triggering Article 50 which removes us from the EU, they could refuse or not vote for it and defy 52% of the nation.
They are also mumbling that as there are also over a dozen votes to be taken to disentangle ourselves from the EU, they could drag it out for up to 10 years but that would be churlish, we had the referendum, the Remain side lost so we should just get on with it and make it as short and painless as possible.
What could change a few peoples minds is that they Leave side are already backtracking on the promises made during the campaign.

The promise to spend the £350 million we send weekly to the EU on the NHS, a claim painted in 5ft high letters on the side of the Leave battle bus, was first reduced to £100m, then £50m and now it can't be guaranteed that anything will be sent to the NHS and the claim was a 'one of the mistakes the Leave campaign made' so said Nigel Farage.
Then there was the battle cry of taking back control of our borders to stop the free movement of Europeans to the UK which now has been watered down as leave campaigner and Conservative MEP Dan Hannan explained: 'If people think that there is now going to be zero immigration from the EU, they are going to be disappointed. All we are asking for is some control over roughly who comes in and roughly in what numbers'.

Maybe those who voted leave might find what they expected is not what they actually get.

Brexit Options

Thank you for contacting Post EU Great Britain. In order to continue providing you with the best possible service, we shall now present you with a range of options. Please select the option you require so that we may ensure we provide what you need with the minimum of delay. Please wait until you have heard all the options before making your choice.
If you wish to apply for the job as Prime Minister press '1'.
If you are Scottish or Northern Irish and you want to discuss leaving GB, press '2'.
If you are French and you want to rub our noses in you leapfrogging GB in the World Economy League, press '3'.
If you currently work for a UK Drug Firm and need directions to your nearest job centre, press ‘4’.
If you voted Brexit and you wish to apologise to the nation, Press '5'
For all other enquiries, press '6'.
If you wish to hear these options again, press '7'.

Thank you for selecting 'you voted Brexit and you wish to apologise to the nation'.

If you wish to be shouted at angrily by youths whose future you have destroyed, press 1'.
If you wish to be shouted at by soon to be unemployed persons, press '2'.
If you would like to shouted at by Police Officers whose job it is to stop terrorism, press '3.
If you would like to be told in a condescending manner how many ways you have ruined it for the rest of us, press '4'.
For all other options, press '5'.

Thank you for selecting 'be told in a condescending manner how many ways you have ruined it for the rest of us'

Unfortunately we are experiencing high demand on this line so please hold until 2020 when we can have another General Election and can try and put things right again or call back later.
Thank you for calling Post EU Great Britain, soon to be renamed 'Not Quite So Great Britain'.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Brexit: Day 1

Dear Diary 24/06/2016
Brexit Day 1: First Day Out Of The EU
Boris Johnson, Brexit campaign leader, has hailed today as 'glorious',

- Prime Minister, David Cameron, has stepped down.
- France, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Italy and Hungary have demanded their own EU referendums.
- Scotland and Northern Ireland are gearing up to break away from Great Britain to stay in the EU.
- The FTSE 100 has closed down 3.2% at 6139. A drop of £51.7bn.
- The fifth largest economy, now we are the sixth as France have overtaken us as the pound plunged.
- JP Morgan are considering moving 4,000 jobs to the EU from Britain while the the industry body representing UK drugs firms in a sector employing 183,000 people warned following the vote that it is considering the same option.
- Ratings agencies have reaffirmed their previous warning that the UK stands to lose its AAA credit rating.
- The French are demanding the Calais migrants Camps be moved to Britain as the agreement which saw migrants stopped in France is null and void now we are out of the EU.
- The police and crime commissioner claims protecting the public from terrorist attacks will be more difficult.
- Price of petrol set to rise, also air fares and imported goods
- Bank of England repeat warnings of lower economic growth and another recession
- The legal system is likely to change wholesale, given it is, for better or marked with EU laws and regulations.
- Nigel Farage has admitted that it was a mistake to promise that the £350million a week we sent to the EU would be instead spent on the NHS.

So in one day we have lost the Prime Minister, could very well lose Northern Ireland and Scotland, have dropped a place in the Global Economy League, face the prospect of losing over 200,000 jobs, are in greater danger of terrorist attack and will have to pay more for goods in the shops. 
Would hate to see what Boris Johnson considers a bad day.

Strange Looking Man In Scotland

Who is that strange looking man with the really small hands and the silly baseball cap stepping out of the helicopter in Scotland?
Why, it looks like...yes it is, it's an Oompah Lumpah, no it's not, its Donald Trump here to open a golf course.
Let's listen in and hear if he says anything stupid about Muslims, Hispanics or women having their periods.
'Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back'.
Erm, bit awkward because Scotland overwhelmingly voted to stay in the EU.
Okay, thanks Donald, that's it, get back in your helicopter and go back to America.
Phew, i'm glad we don't have such a dumbarse in charge. What's that, David Cameron's resigned and Boris Johnson is favourite to become Prime Minister?
Hang on Donald, room on your helicopter for one more dumbo politician?

Britain leaving EU

Oh Britain, what have you done.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

What The Radio Is Telling Me

Tomorrow is D-Day but the D this time strands for decision day and all the polls show it is too close to call and even the psychic lady down the hall is not giving me an answer and she is usually very keen on passing on whatever her tea leaves are telling her.     
So if the pollsters don't know and the tea leaves are keeping it to themselves then i can only go on what the radio is telling me, and it isn't looking good for those of us with a foot in the Remain camp.
First up going to work was 'Love On The Rocks' by Neil Diamond with killer line: 'Suddenly you find you're out there walking in a storm'.
In the rest room the song playing as i walked in was from a colleagues 'Best of Anastasia' CD and 'Left Outside Alone' with another line that was like a dagger in my heart: 'I wonder if you know how it really feels to be left outside alone'.
To be fair once i explained about things they tried to cheer me up with a song from the Sex Pistols CD but i don't think 'Anarchy In The UK' was a good choice. 
I resisted turning on the radio on the way home but as i stepped in the door Bruce Springsteen's 'Born To Run' was on one of the music channels and the withering lyric: 'We gotta get out while we're young `cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run' so i feel like things are stacked against us staying in the European Union.
Today's music is telling me that tomorrow could be another turning point, a fork stuck in the road where time has grabbed us by the wrist and directed us where to go. We need to make the best of this test, not asking why because it's not a question, but a lesson we will learn in time, something unpredictable, but in the end is right, in the EU we have had the time of our life.

Monday, 20 June 2016

In, Out, Economy Shaken All About

Almost every economist from the IMF to the Bank of England have said that if the Brexit camp win the day and we head of of the door marked Exit on June 23rd, the economy will tank.
The Brexiters have dismissed it as scaremongering but last week when the Brexit campaign seemed to have a surprising slender lead in the polls, £30bn was wiped off the value of blue-chip companies, the FTSE 100 index closed at its lowest level since February and the pound fell 1.2% to its lowest for two months.
Today, on news that the Remain camp had regained the upper hand the pound posted its biggest one-day rise for almost eight years and the FTSE 100 share index jumped 3%.
Not sure what all that means but it shows that just the thought that we may go sent the stock market into a tailspin so i hate to imagine what would happen if we did follow it through and vote Out.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Philip Green Feels BHS Workers Pain

Philip Green is not the most popular man at the moment, especially amongst the 11,000 BHS staff who are facing redundancy thanks to the £571m hole he left in the BHS pension fund which has forced the shop into bankruptcy.
To recap, in 2005 BHS owner Green paid himself a dividend of £1.3bn, mainly financed by increasing BHS debts to £1bn which has now sucked the retailer under and left 11,000 workers out of a job as the shops close with a £581 million hole in pensions which means workers will not receive the full pension they paid into.
A feisty Philip Green has been hauled before MP's to explain his decisions which led to BHS going to the wall where he told MPs he was working on a solution that would help BHS workers although no details were given.
So just to cheer up the BHS staff as they trot along to the unemployment office, the man responsible for their current jobless status has just taken delivery of a new private jet, adding a £46m Gulfstream G650ER to a transport collection that includes a speedboat, a helicopter and three yachts.
There, don't you feel better now. 

Fan Trouble At EURO's

The list already contains Russia, England, Ireland, Germany, Ukraine and Croatia and now the football associations of Hungary, Belgium and Portugal are the latest to be charged by UEFA over the behaviour of their supporters at Euro 2016.
The lions share of the blame has been properly directed at the small band of supporters from each country who went obviously looking for trouble but some of the finger pointing has also been directed at the French organisers.
BBC commentator Jacqui Oatley said that she had her bag checked and her hairspray confiscated at Lens yet fans got in to the match with flares.
I would imagine after the threat of terrorism the bag checks would be thorough but apparently not if fans are able to bring flares into games.
Obviously if every person entering the stadiums were frisked and their bags scrutinised you would need to start queuing hours earlier and it seems unfair that the FA of each country is held responsible for their own fans behaviour if they start throwing chairs and tables around after a session so the blame is rightly apportioned to the fans who are the guilty party here.
Why nine of the 24 countries have been hauled before UEFA to receive a rap across the knuckles and a fine for what their fans are doing is not easy to explain but it already seems Croatia is the only one to apologise while the rest seem to be looking around for someone else to blame.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Trump Speaks Like A Kid

According to language experts, Donald Trump has the grammar of an 11 year old which works out well because that is about the mental age of  the people who will vote for him. 
While most have been paying attention to his words about Mexican rapists, Muslims or women's periods, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Technologies Institute have been paying more attention to how he says it and they concluded that he may not be a simpleton, but he talks like one.
They found that Trump resists multi-syllabic words and complex sentence constructions when speaking and uses short, punchy words (you, we, guy, very and great were most common) to create short, simple sentences in the way that an 11 year old student would do.
In one August new conference his lack of articulation put him at an even-lower level of eight or nine years old.
As he has gained the Republican nomination Trump’s verbal deficit seems to chime with many who seem to like his plain language and simplified ideas.
Speaking with the grip of the English language akin to a child never seemed to do George W Bush any harm though as he was the only former President who exhibited a grammar age younger than Trump but then in GWB's own words, everybody 'misunderestimated me' which we did, we assumed he was a moron and it turned out that was setting the bar too high .

Welcome Back Tim

As astronaut and Stoke City fan Tim Peake has just spent six months in space, the Britannia Stadium was the perfect place to train for spending six months in another place with no atmosphere. 
I guess i was one of many who held their breath as the capsule he and his fellow American and Russian astronauts sat in plunged at 17,400 mph towards Earth this morning, relieved that they would fine because he was in a 'special chair', not as safe as the chair that i was set in i bet.
Britain chips in £80m to the The European Space Agency (Esa) but there are some grumpy people who moan about that but Tim Peakes achievement has given the UK's space industry a massive boost but more importantly it has provided an inspiration for a whole new generation.
Then have been live link-ups in which Tim, floating in front of an ISS camera, could speak directly to children themselves in a project called The Cosmic Classroom which gave children the chance of posing questions, the most popular of which seemed to be around how he used the toilet.
There have been Space exhibitions touring the nation and 350,000 schoool trips to science centres around the country and with Tim pencilled in to tour the countries schools on his return, the excitement will continue for a while yet. 
With Britain, America and Russia coming together on the International Space Station, it appears after recent events that Space is the only thing that unites us but an amazing, remarkable and important achievement and each space mission takes us a step closer to leaving this polluted and rapidly warming ball of rock.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Hawaiian Shirts!!

On the front of a fashion magazine today i noticed a model clad in a gaudy shirt with the question 'Can Men Look Cool In Hawaiian Shirts?
Of course the answer is no, you look like a prat but the Hawaiian Shirt does seem to be the fashion wear of this summer as i have seen more and more men strolling around looking like an extra on 1980's show 'Magnum PI'.
The reasoning behind why men would don such awful apparel was always that the shirts were so bad that they were good and were worn with a tongue firmly in cheek while giving out a 'i'm a wacky fun kind of guy' vibe.
Usually paired with sandals, sunglasses and baggy shorts, it is the ultimate summer fashion but doesn't work so well in the high street in Manchester or Norwich.
The only time you can wear a Hawaiian shirt and not look dopey is if you are Tom Selleck in 1985 or on your honeymoon in Hawaii and if you keep wearing an Hawaiian shirt a relationship with a woman who still has her eyesight isn't happening anytime soon.

Bad Week For Russian Sport

It hasn't been a good week for Russian sport which began with the threat of expulsion from Euro 2016 and ended with the IAAF’s ban Russian track and field athletes competing at the Rio Olympics.
Russia insists it has been doing everything possible to clean up its act but the report from the World Anti-Doping Agency says otherwise so it will now be Rwanda following out Romania at the opening ceremony in 48 days time.
The WADA report explains how testing officers were intimidated and deliberately misled and how athletes giving addresses in closed military cities making it impossible to test them.
Of course there is sympathy for the country’s honest athletes who are the innocent victims of the blanket ban on competing but such is the grey area of drugs in Russian athletics, it appears to be the correct decision.
What i don't agree with is allowing athletes to race again once their ban for doping has expired, they still have the benefits to their body gained from when they were legally taking performance enhancing drugs, such as muscles developed while taking steroids, so a life ban would not only put a stop to anyone gaining an advantage but act as a deterrent.
In the 100 metre final at the last World Championships in Beijing, of the seven finalists, four   
have served bans for taking banned substances and we have no reason to doubt that even without Russia competing in the summer Olympics, we will still be watching athletes who are either profiting, or have profited, from chemical enhancements.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Referendum Takes A Sickening Twist

Desperately sad and truly shocking to hear that a Labour MP, Jo Cox, has died after being shot and stabbed outside her weekly advice surgery in a West Yorkshire library.
Eyewitness accounts say the MP was shot during a row with a man who appeared to be waiting outside the library for her before stabbing her repeatedly and shooting her 3 times with a gun described as either antique or hand made.
Witnesses also report that the attacker, named 52 year old Tommy Mair, repeatedly shouted the name of right wing extremist group 'Britain First' during the attack.
Jo Cox had been a keen campaigner of the Remain camp and her husband was pictured jetting across the Thames in a speedboat yesterday with an 'In' flag.
Whether this is a politically motivated attack as suspected will become clearer over the new few days but it seems that he targeted her for whatever demented reason he had and if it was due to her opposite stance on Brexit, the UK Referendum has taken a devastating and sickening twist.

Looking At Norway For Our Brexit Plan

Brexiters have been slow to explain what will happen to Britain if it votes to leave the EU, partly because there is no way of knowing for sure so err on the side of rainbows and lollipops, and partly because they know what other European countries outside the EU have to contend with and there is not a strawberry flavoured chubba chupp in sight.
Norway is the most sited as the country we will look like on June 24th if go through the exit door so we can look across the North Sea and take a peek at how they are doing outside of the bosom of the World's largest single market.
The price Norway pays for access to the EU’s single market for its fish and energy, Norway accepts the free movement of workers, the much derided Schengen agreement, has no say in how the EU is run and pays almost as much per capita in grants to EU states (€107.4) as the UK (€139).
The Scandinavian country does not sit or vote on any EU committees and has to abide with instructions issued to it from Brussels on threat of being frozen out until they do comply so although it may not be in Europe, it is still effectively run by Europe.
The Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs, Elisabeth Aspaker, recently explained: 'It is us politicians in Norway that feels this lack of democracy when you see all this legislation we are taking in without having a say when decisions are made'.
The latest polls put the Leave campaign as much as 7% in the lead so i can only conclude that either those planning on voting leave have not looked very deeply into it or are blinded by the 'take back control' and 'they come here and take all our jobs' rhetoric from likes of Nigel Farage.
Ironically, they will still be coming here and taking all our jobs and we will have given up any control as we will have given up our veto and tidied away out pencil case from the decision taken meetings.
I still fail to see why anyone would willingly vote Brexit unless i am missing something important.

Antarctic CO2 Hits The 400 Mark

Frustratingly for the few remaining pea-sized brain climate change deniers that remain, the world won't behave itself and just keeps doing bad things which makes it harder for them to justify their view that all is fine and that all the extreme weather events and rising sea-levels are down to sun spots or it just being something what the Earth does from time to time.
Thankfully these people were long ago put into the box marked 'irrelevant' and we get on with doing something about it but despite meetings to set up meetings to talk about meeting up to discuss the damaged environment, the Earth continues to react to all the pollution we have stuffed into it's atmosphere since the start of the Industrial Revolution and now the most remotest CO2 measuring station in the Antarctic has ticked over to a 400 parts per million (ppm) reading.
Ice cores show that the last time that region had such a high CO2 reading was 4 million years ago.
As our politicians kick tackling climate change into the long grass so they don't have to tackle it and it becomes the next guy's problem, the devastating climate change juggernaut continues to career down the road.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Normal For America

There have been far too many people killed by terrorist attacks recently and after each one flags have been flown at half mast, buildings have been lit up in the colours of the national flags of the affected nation and minute silences have been held but strangely, none of this has happened after the 50 clubbers shot dead in Orlando.
I asked the building manager at work why not and the answer was 'It probably wasn't a terrorist attack' and that 'Americans are always shooting each other'.
While a debate is on whether it was terrorism or a hate crime against homosexuals, news reaches us that a heavily armed man, a disgruntled employee apparently, has taken hostages at a Texan supermarket.
Such is the staggering amount of deaths from guns in America each year that this appears to be viewed as mass shootings being one of those things that just happen in America and not viewed on the same lines as the attacks in Paris, Belgium, Egypt or Turkey.
Probably because it happened at the same time as the Queens 90th birthday celebrations and the problems with the Russian and England fans at the EURO's, it was often relegated to second or even third story on the news bulletins.
In America last year there were more mass shootings than days with a resulting 13,000 gun deaths so someone running wild with a weapon in America is hardly news anymore although the death toll of this attack sets an unpleasant high water mark.      
After the shocking killings at Sandy Hook where 20 children aged between 6 and 7 years old were shot dead and the resulting lack of movement towards any sort of gun control even after such an atrocity, people dying in large numbers by men armed with powerful weapons in America just gets lost in the awful message that be it 20 dead children or 50 dead clubbers, Americans seem to consider it a price worth paying and so when things like this happen, it is considered elsewhere as normal for America and that should be abhorrent to the vast majority of Americans but we all know that even this won't change anything.

Monday, 13 June 2016

So What Has The EU Ever Done For Us?

I admit that with the economic turmoil in the European Union at the moment, this isn't the best time for us pro-Europeans to be pushing for closer integration with Europe but with the likes of UKIP dominating the agenda, we have to make sure that the positive isn't drowned out by the xenophobic, negative froth coming from the likes of Nigel Farage and his ilk.
So  what exactly has the EU done for us in Britain?
Well how about the obvious, being part of the world’s largest single market with a customer base of 500 million which enables not just free trade in terms of the absence of customs duties or tariffs but a common set of rules so that business does not have to comply with 27 different sets of regulations.
Another great move was the working time directive that set a maximum number of working hours, guaranteed breaks, gave temporary workers the same basic conditions of work as full-time colleagues and gave workers the right to take parental leave after the birth or adoption of a child.
Then there is the freedom to travel, live, work, study and retire anywhere in the EU, a benefit that 2 million Brits have taken advantage of and live outside of the UK in the EU. Working abroad has been facilitated through the mutual recognition of qualifications, enabling professionals to work in another EU Member State without having to sit further examinations. In addition to being able to live where they choose in the EU, pensioners can receive their UK state pension wherever they live in the EU.
They introduced an EU wide tariff for mobile phone calls and texts ending exorbitant costs for using your phone outside of your own country and British shoppers are now free to shop in any Member State without being charged customs or excise duties on goods for their personal use when they return home.
Cheap and air travel across the EU came about due to legislation with EU members rights protected if a flight is cancelled or who are denied boarding and the 2008 law requiring fares quoted by airlines to be all inclusive without hidden charges being added when you come to pay.
We have the EU Health Insurance Card which enables all EU citizens to receive emergency health care on the same terms as the citizens of the EU country they are visiting while the beaches in Britain are safer due to EU Measures that set a standard for water pollution.
The European Arrest Warrant (EAW) has been very important in bringing criminals to justice across Member State borders, the UK issued 220 EAWs in 2009
The University mobility scheme ERASMUS, enables students and staff to study or work at another higher education institution in the EU benefiting over 7,000 British students annually and academic research projects receiving over €5 billion in research grants from the EU.
Another recipient of EU cash are the deprived regions of Europe with such areas in Britain allocated a total of €15.5billion from the European Structural Funds for 2000 - 2006.
Thanks to the EU, its citizens are protected from employment discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability or age. Another EU directive set a minimal size cage for battery hens.
Most importantly, and the greatest reason for staying within the EU is the seat at the top table when it comes to World politics. It is arrogant to believe that Britain will hold much sway on a stage dominated by the powerhouses of America, Europe, China, Russia and the BRIC countries because we won't.
By being in the EU we are speaking as a representative of 500 million people, only China would have a larger population.
On our own, a nations of 60 million would not have much of a voice.
The world is changing, sure the European project isn't perfect, but come out of it would not only damage us economically but politically as well and we would regret marginalising ourselves for quitting an ultimately powerful and prosperous bloc.
Removing ourselves from the EU, the UK would have zero influence and Britain would become that small island off the Coast of the Superpower withering to a painful and self-inflicted demise and why would we want to become that?

Why Is Anyone Backing Brexit?

The polls are showing that the Brexit campaign is cutting through and presently lead which if the polls are replicated on June 23rd, would see us out of the EU. 
The thinking is we go it alone so we can choose the immigrants that we want and to save money from not sending the £10bn to the EU every year, money which will then be spent on the NHS or education.
As a country in Europe, to trade in the EU you will need to pay and that cost is almost as much as we are spending now so there will be nothing 'saved' to spend elsewhere.
You also have to agree to the free movement of people so anyone in the EU area can still come to Britain.
At the moment we are part of the EU helping to create the laws and rules for the EU and all EU nations hold with a veto to turn down any new laws we don't agree with, all 27 members have to agree to bring a new law into effect.
By leaving, all we will be doing is removing ourselves from the decision making meetings and have to live by the rules the others set for us only without any input into it while spending almost as much money to trade with the EU as we do now and still having to accept immigrants from the EU area. 
If it is that much of a no brainer, i do wonder what people who back Brexit think they will be getting
and if they have actually thought it through?

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Changing Footballing Allegiances

What with the French Tennis Open, the Tour De France and the Euro's going on there are plenty of sweaty Frenchmen around which is not a bad thing, there are worse nations with sweaty men who need to be swabbed down with a loofah, Greek's and Hungarians for example, but there are not many ladies who would kick a perspiring Frenchman out of their bathroom especially if they look like Emmanuel Petit who is a welcome addition to the ITV EURO 2016 team.
Anyone would assume from that far too long and rather fruity opening sentence that once England get knocked out of the EURO's (which they will) i will be changing allegiance to Les Bleus but there are other countries i will pretend to have a long forgotten connection to first.
Even before Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshire are on the plane back home i will be donning a metaphorical Sweden flag and googling the words to their national anthem.   
If they have already gone then that long lost Welsh Great Grandfather will be bought into play, followed by sacré bleu, where iz mine beret fellow Frenchie and then whatever passes for the Italian team nowadays. 
As a last resort i will plump for the Germans as they have a handful of Arsenal players but let's hope it never comes to that and England learn how to defend because i am a proud Englander, then Welsh, then Swedish, then French, then..etc etc.

Friday, 10 June 2016

English Idiots Abroad

The EURO's hadn't even started and already we see the sight of tanked up Englishmen throwing chairs around in Marseille and brawling with the locals.
It was always a hope that such behaviour had died out in the 80s after some awful scenes abroad involving our football fans but it seems that the ugly side of English football has crept back in again.
We have already heard how a man was beaten and thrown into the harbour and the TV is full of scenes of French police in riot gear tackling bottle throwing England fans.
Now the Russian fans who are turning up in Marseille for tomorrows match have become a target for the hooligans and the Football Association said in a statement: 'We are really disappointed by the scenes of disorder in Marseille yesterday evening and condemn such behaviour'.
It's not only embarrassing for England that our fans are unable to go abroad to watch a football match and act responsibly like everyone else but it is also unfair that Marseille and it's citizens has to suffer while playing host to them.
I can only apologise on behalf of my country for the few idiots that have made the trip from England and hope that they are arrested and spend the rest of the tournament in a French prison cell before they cause anymore mayhem and people are injured.

Should The Left Back Trump?

The Cubs song 'New York' has a great line about how 'everything is beautiful when you're young and pretty' which is true because as you get older you turn more right wing, get pessimistic and stingy and see only the nasty side of things which begs the question, just how old is Donald Trump?   
I have been thinking of the strange haired orange one lately and the general consensus is that he would be an absolute disaster if he gets his tiny, little hands on the White House door key in November but then i realised that hang on a second, the alternative is Hillary Clinton.
Trump may be full of bluster about building walls to keep out Mexicans and be a general all round douchenugget and ugly enough to make an onion cry but apart from Islamic State, he hasn't so far threatened anybody outside of Americas borders so if he is as much a disaster he promises to be, it will largely only affect Americans.
Hillary on the other hand has a record that sees her supporting the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya while destabalising the Ukraine and Syria, supports expanding NATO and acts as an unashamed apologist for Israels aggression and has been promoting the continuation of prodding Russia and China.
If Trump messes up America then it will be a case of whatever, my largest concern will remain if Greggs still has any of my lunchtime Egg Mayo Sub's left when i get there but if it is Hillary then she could very well drag us all back into the George W Bush years and the sight of Union Flag draped coffins arriving off the back of a plane at Brize Norton and those terrible grainy pictures of missiles landing on Muslim peoples houses.
After much consideration i am going with the idea that as Clinton poses more danger to me 4,000 miles away in England than Trump who will bankrupt his own country and foul his own doorstep, the peace loving pretty left over here should be hoping that the man with a face so orange an Oompah Lumpah would laugh emerges from the skirmish victorious over there.       
Of course him winning would suck for American women, Hispanics, Muslims, blacks and war veterans who have all been insulted by him recently but if him winning means America leaves the rest of the World alone, they can consider it taking one for the team and in return we wont make fun of the way you guys say 'aluminum' or 'route' for the duration.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Declaring War On Portsmouth

Military intelligence has always been a bit of an oxymoron, with the emphasis on the moron bit, but the Ministry of Defence has surpassed themselves by taking delivery of six shiny new type-45 destroyers which break down in warm water. 
Royal Navy's most advanced destroyers cost a billion pound each break down in the Gulf because the water is too warm leading to the Government announcing that at present the warships cannot operate if the water is warmer than it is in Portsmouth harbour.
Remarkably, the Ministry of Defence went on to insist that the vessels are safe to deploy which means that out foreign policy depends on someone first dipping a thermometer in the sea or we go to war with Portsmouth. 
I'm sure that if we try hard enough we can get Tony Blair back to make a case for Councillors stockpiling WMD's in the Gunwharf Shopping Centre or a humanitarian mission to free the people of Buckland from a tyrannical Portsmouth City Council.
Of course Pompey people may not take kindly to its Navy destroying most of it's city and killing most of them but if we explain that we are doing it for their benefit it should be okay, after all, it worked so well in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan.

Queens Top Ten

The Queen has announced her top 10 songs ever, and fans of Megadeath and Judas Priest are going to be disappointed because her list is what can politely be called, not banging.
To prove that her horrible tastes is not just restricted to hats, her favourite song of all time ever is 
Oklahoma! from the musical Oklahoma!, followed by Anything You Can Do from Annie Get Your Gun and then Leaning on a Lamp-post by George Formby.
To be fair she was born in 1926 so likes the music that was popular in her youth, when she was throwing nazi salutes and goosestepping around the garden with her mother so maybe we can excuse these. 
Also in her top ten is 'The White Cliffs of Dover' by Vera Lynn but as she lived during the second world war the song probably reminds her of the unified national spirit during its darkest hour. Possibly.
She also mentions Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven and The Lord is my Shepherd which are ridiculous religious songs but again, she can be forgiven as she is the head of the Church of England.
There's also a regimental march, Regimental March Milanollo, in her top 10, the warmongering harlot!!
Then again she is the commander-in-chief of the British armed forces so we can't really lead a mob armed with torches to Buckingham Palace based on that. 
The final song in her top ten countdown is Leaning on a Lamp-post by George Formby.
Right, you wrap the paraffin drenched rags around the sticks and i will bring the matches, if a monarch's love for George Formby tunes isn't enough to incite a revolution nothing is!

Trickling Up Not Down

The Boston Consulting Group has released their annual wealth report and it's found that the World's wealthiest people just got 5.2% wealthier.
Before everyone starts off on one about how the money is flowing up and not trickling down, the 5.2% is down from the 7.5% which they got richer by last year so we should have some sympathy.
Of course it is too bad all that money has to came from someone else's pocket but it is unfair to say that the wealth does not trickle down, it does, just that it trickles down to offshore accounts to avoid paying tax on it.
All in it together remember.

Can You Repeat That Name Please?

Nothing gets us giggling like naughty school children more than a naughty sounding name and although the pickings are disappointingly thin at the Euro's this year, we do have some brilliantly rude names from sport to amuse us and make us say 'did i see that right?'
Some of the most downright filthiest names from the world of sport include American race car driver Dick Trickle, Swiss footballer Andre Muff, English footballer Segar Bastard and Slovenian basketball player Gregor Fucka.
Jean Condom was a French rugby union player although he would have gone well with American ice hockey player Dick Paradise although maybe not so well with German footballer Ralf Minge.
Johnny Dickshot was a Baseball player, Fanny Chmelar a German alpine skier but football provides us with Brazilian Argel Fucks, Turk Anil Koc, Chilean Waldo Ponce and goalkeeper Fabian Assman.
It takes something for Japanese women's volleyball player Yoshie Takeshita to not be the top rudest name but the top two really are inspiring.
Step forward and a big hand for German Ski Jumper Andreas Wank but the top spot goes to the supremely named Gaylord Silly, the long distance runner from the Seychelles.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Countdown To Euros 2016

It's less than a week to go until the French and Romanians kick off Euros 2016 which is great for anyone who likes to watch football matches at 2pm, 5pm and another one at 8pm for three weeks but not so good if you are one of those who hate the game and moan that they have moved Eastenders in the scheduling again. 
So if you do avoid the television for the summer you will be missing more than just football matches, the Euro's always throw up something to make you wonder at the intelligence of the people running these things.   
First up is the message that this tournament wants to push, 'Respect Your Health'. A sensible and worthy message you may think although it loses something when you see it flanked by the official sponsors, McDonald’s, Carlsberg and Coca-Cola.
The official Euro 2016 app contains all the information on teams and players for all 23 teams, there should be 24 but they forgot to include Wales.
Then there is the guaranteed French meltdown which has started early this year, with Karim Benzema dropped after blackmailing a team-mate over a sex tape although he said he was dropped because the manager, Didier Deschamps, is a racist.
Deschamps is already suing Eric Cantona for making the same 'he's a racist' claim while French fans booed Olivier Giroud in their last warm-up friendly for taking the place of Benzema in the team.
If that doesn't whet the appetite then there are the 95 rule changes which have now come into effect and include changes such as booking players who try to impede a throw-in, no more automatic red cards for denying a goalscoring opportunity and players wearing tights have to wear tights the same colour as their team‑mates’ tights. In June?
Finally, no football tournament will be complete without someone dressed in a mascots uniform prancing about and this tournament we have Super Victor!
On offer from Uefa’s official online outlet: a Super Victor doll (£29.50), a Super Victor key ring (£5), a Super Victor paper banner (£4), a Super Victor pencil case (£7.99), a Super Victor backpack set (£18.99), and a Super Victor mug (£5.99) amidst other Super Victor products.
So sit back, sup from your Super Victor mug and respect your health with cans of strong lager and a Big Mac Quarter Pounder with Cheese and watch the French team refuse to pass to each other and count how many players are sent back to the changing room to change their tights.
Should be fun, unless your Scottish because you didn't make it or Welsh in which case your names not on the app and you're not coming in.

Who Owns What In Premier League

Swansea City have become the latest football club to be taken over by foreign owners which now makes the number of English clubs of the 20 in the Premier League this coming season owned by English owners at seven.  
Burnley, Middlesbrough, Tottenham, West Brom, Crystal Palace, West Ham and Stoke are the only teams who can boast that they are 'English' although Everton are shared between UK and Iranian owners so we could strictly say the number is seven and a half.
Of the remaining 13, Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool, Swansea and Sunderland have American owners, Chelsea and Bournemouth are owned by Russians, the owners of Manchester City call United Arab Emirates home while it is Dolmio Day everday at Italian owned Watford.
Reigning champions Leicester are due to play a pre-season tournament in the country of their owner which is Thailand while Hull belong to an Egyptian and Southampton were bought by a Swiss national.
The Premier League is truly multinational and many of the owners continue to make their wealth abroad but some make their money here so if you dislike any particular team, you can do your bit by not contributing to their teams coffers by avoiding their companies.
Alan Pardew say's a big thank you to anyone who uses Churchill Insurance as their owners bankroll him and his team while Stoke took the money punters lost at Bet365 and spent it on Ibrahim Afellay.
Readers of the Daily Sport and Sunday Sport and shoppers at Ann Summers should feel ashamed of themselves as their purchases paid the wages of Andy Carroll to sit on the physio's bench for most of the season.
Liverpool fans may want to check their video games for the name 'Ocean' because that particular software games company will shovel money to the new Everton manager to buy players.
Finally that innocent looking Delia Smith cookbook collecting dust on your bookshelf, yep, the proceeds went to Norwich City who handed £8m of it to Everton for Steven Naismith, the idiots.

Swiss Vote On Basic National Income

The idea of a national income has been around for a while but it is the Swiss who have actually picked it up and are running with it as they today hold a referendum on the introduction of an unconditional national income, which they claim will tackle poverty and inequality.
The proposal is that the Swiss government will pay each of its citizens £1,800 per month, whether they are working or not.
Those on the pro side argue that robots, machines and computers are increasingly replacing humans in the workplace and don't need to be paid a salary so workers can be freed from employment with the state stepping in to support them.
What is not being explained is how much this would cost or how it will be funded by the Government but analysts estimate the bill would come to £143 billion and have to be funded by austerity cuts and substantial tax increases for those who choose to remain in work.
I understand the argument that it has the potential to tackle many of the issues in our society around poverty and inequality while closing the divisive gap between the rich and poor but polls have suggested the majority of voters will reject the scheme and until someone can provide a breakdown of the figures it seems madness to even contemplate such a drastic move.
It is an intriguing thought though but appears to be dependent on people taking the £1,800 but remain working to pay for the percentage of people who come out of work and the more of those there are, the less Government funds there will be to spread around and that will bring a whole hosts of problems.  

Uk Foreign Aid Saves Lives

The right wing newspaper, Mail on Sunday, has launched a petition on the official Parliamentary website in a bid to get the Government to reconsider the law requiring us to spend a 0.7% (£12 billion) of GDP on foreign aid.
It is shocking that spending £12 billion to saves lives is even being debated but the ugly arguments and even uglier supportive comments on the Mail website show that the debate against foreign aid is rooted in xenophobia, toxic little Englander sentiment.
The Mail on Sunday's petition is not against sending aid but against it being a set amount and how it is distributed but the comments from people who have signed the petition shows that they signed because they disagree with aid being sent abroad when people in the UK are starving and homeless.
It unfortunately says a lot for those who would deprive others who have absolutely nothing because there are hungry and homeless people at home rather than attack the Government of the 5th largest economy whose ideological policies have created the hungry and homeless here.
The Department for International Development's show that in the developing World in 2015 our £12 billion helped nine million children into primary school, immunised more than 55 million children against preventable diseases, saved the lives of 250,000 newborns and encouraged global action on climate change.
Examples of aid include a grant of £725,000 awarded to Medical Aid for Palestinians, to deliver trauma support and plastic reconstructive surgery, £230m to fight the spread of Ebola, £900m on helping refugees fleeing Syria to provide water, food, medicine and shelter.
The bottom line is we spend £12 billion saving lives and to be against that shows anyone who signed the petition because they disagree with money being spent elsewhere in a very bad, and grotesque, light.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Muhammad Ali

I have only ever seen Muhammad Ali fight in old clips so if he was the greatest i will leave to people who watched him in his pomp to argue over but outside of the ring and his support for civil rights certainly made him a giant.
When Ali refused to be drafted to fight in Vietnam, citing that he refused to co-operate with the US government in oppressing another race of people and that he had: 'no quarrel with them Vietcong'.
He was stripped of his title, fined $10,000 and was given five years in jail, a sentence that was later quashed on appeal.
That he made a stand when the Vietnam war was still popular and at a time when black people still lacked basic civil rights in America was a huge step, especially as he must have known that it would hit his boxing career and his popularity.
Muhammad Ali was a legendary boxer but he was a rare breed where his largest impact was felt far beyond the boxing ring where he gave up some of the best years of his sporting career on principle and therefore moved on civil rights for generations to come and that is why he is rightly being called an inspiration.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Sweden The 'Goodest' Country

I once asked a Swede why all their doors opened outwards instead of inwards like most peoples front doors and the answer was that not only did it avoid dragging snow indoors but it was a safety feature as you don't get trapped by the door when running out of the house in case of a fire.
It is thinking like that which means Sweden finds itself top of the clumsily titled 'Goodest Country in the World Index' which ranks 163 countries depending upon its positive lifestyle contributions, including prosperity, equality, health and wellbeing and contributions to the greater good of humanity.
Second is Denmark, then Netherlands and the UK sits the 4th goodest country and then Germany, Finland, Canada, France, Austria and New Zealand making up the top 10.
Australia is 17th, Japan 19th and the USA 21st but Libya is the least 'goodest' nation which contributes least to the common good of humanity just above Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Central African Republic and Iraq.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Doubts For Plans To Catch An Asteroid

In an April 2010 speech at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, President Obama directed NASA to send astronauts to an asteroid as the next step in human spaceflight but that concept has evolved in the years since so instead of us going to an asteroid, we bring one here and send it into orbit around the Moon.
Recent NASA funding changes mean the project’s future now looks uncertain, but apart from the end of one of the coolest astronomical ideas ever, there’s still sound reasons for pressing ahead with it.
Once parked in orbit about the moon, the captured asteroid would provide an easily accessible target for a future crewed mission to practise landing on fast moving space boulders with an eye on asteroid mining but more importantly it provides opportunities to test ways of nudging asteroids out of their current trajectory which could be very useful when we find ourselves in the direct line of a lump of rock a few miles wide.
It would also be useful for working out how to extract water from asteroids and for hitching a ride by piggy backing on any set on a course of the far flung solar system.
If the NASA plan is in doubt due to cost, the European Space Agency and other nations should be chipping in and making it an international effort because it is something that we will all benefit from and it should not be left to whither away just because the USA alone are unable to fund it.

Turkey Making Powerful Enemies

Article Two of the UN Convention on Genocide of December 1948 describes genocide as carrying out acts intended 'to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group'.
In 1915, over a million died when the Turks rounded up and deported Armenians to the Syrian desert and elsewhere where they were killed or died from starvation or disease.
If that doesn't satisfy the UN criteria for the mass killing of Armenians as a genocide then nothing does despite what Turkey say who refuse to accept that atrocities were committed but argue that there was no systematic attempt to destroy the Armenian people and bristle when the terminology used describes it as so.
Turkey has now recalled its envoy to Germany in protest against German MPs declaring the 1915 massacre of Armenians during WWI was 'genocide' with Turkey calling the vote: 'an example of ignorance and disrespect' and the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the resolution would have a seriously affect on relations with Germany, and that the government would consider further measures in response to the vote, expected to mean the deal struck in March where Turkey agreed to take back migrants arriving on Greek islands.
It ends a busy week for the Turkish President who began the week with the claim that men and women are not equal and birth control was treason before spending mid-week berating the USA for supporting the Kurds in Syria and then ending it threatening  Germany over its decision to recognise the Armenian genocide.
Someone should tap Erdogan on the shoulder and point out that he is making some very powerful enemies.