Saturday, October 20, 2012

Andrew Mitchell: Posh and Plebs

Funny how an encounter so seemingly innocuous or minuscule  can morph into a monster. On that fateful day when Andrew Mitchell tried to ride his bicycle through the gates of Downing street but was asked by the Police to use the side gates much to his displeasure, so much that he let them know what he thought of them in time honoured fashion, he would never have imagined those words expressed in a fit of fury would seal his political career.

What grates with people mainly is the expression `Plebs` allegedly hurled at the hapless police officers just doing their job. This appears to be the main plank of the argument for him to be relieved of his post. Personally, I have issues with his use of the proverbial against the officers more than anything else and his subsequent denial that he did actually called them plebs. Most people wouldn't even know what the word `Pleb` denotes these days. What does it mean to be a pleb? What ratio of the UK census would be in the pleb bracket? You do the maths then tell me if you aren't in good company. Only a twat would go around calling people plebs in 2012. There you go. On all probabilities I believe Mr Mitchell did call them that. Offering a partial apology for his conduct while denying ever calling the officers plebs means the Police officers are liars. We all know that wilfully giving a false statement to the Police is a criminal offence. So for Mr Mitchell to contradict the official version of events is putting the Police in an unsuitable position indeed. A fact not lost on the Police Federation who vehemently called for him to be sacked.

Given the nature of his brief as a Chief Whip of course having the utmost respect of fellow MPs is crucial. Having being found to be so petulant and lets face it idiotic does not help at all. I for one thought he was going to ride this one out. But he didn't. Was he pushed? Did he jump? We don't know. All we know is that a stop( or coma) has been put to an otherwise illustrious political career. Like I always say, let this be a warning to other politicians

Monday, August 13, 2012

Memorable Olympics Games

The date was set, the plans were made, there were doubts, a few alarm bells but once the London Olympics got underway everything went according to plans. The Games were as exciting as they were compelling to watch. Perhaps what marks out  this Olympics, in equal measure is that the organisation was top notch and the athletes were in top form and graced the occasion with sterling displays.Some of the actions were epic beyond belief. Records were broken, records were made. Legends were confirmed and legends crowned. Usain Bolt cemented his place in the annals of athletics folklore, Michael Phelps confirmed his claim to the throne as the most decorated Olympian of all time. New gems were discovered too. Few people outside athletics probably ever heard of  Greg Ruthersford. The 25 year old topped the table in the long jump winning the gold medal for Team GB, what about the 15 old American Katie Ledecky who beat our own favourite and brilliant Rebecca Adlington to win the gold medal in the 800m free-style swimming race. These are athletes to watch out for from now on. Rebecca, like most of Team GB performed well and did herself and the nation proud. Well done to all of them.

The standard of organisation was raised by the Greeks when they hosted the world in Athens, the Sydney Games went well too but London has raised the standard a notch. Its now up to Brazil to deliver such spectacle in Rio come 2016. We know the Brazilians can organise a party but can they combine that with effective logistics and management capable of living up to London2012? We shall see.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The London Olympics

I must confess I havent been caught in the Olympics fever gripping London at the moment. To be honest I have done my utmost best to avoid anything Olympic-related. Save the traffic lane restrictions, I havent been impacted by the Games at all. Well, if you discount last Thursday while out shopping on the Kings Road. The road was lined with  shoppers and shop keepers alike. The Olympic torch was coming to west London and passing through. The announcement on  the PA system said |Joana Lumley was going to carry the Olympic torch. What? Joana Lumley in a jogging suit hopping down the Kings Road ? Now that is a sight worth beholding. In all truth, the sight of Joana Lumley doing is anything is worth beholding. I couldnt wait for her though.

Now the Games have started I have watched a few events on television. I wish Team GB the best.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Eric Boyce

It really is Politicians Behaving Badly season. Last week was the turn of MP for Falkirk, Erik Boyce to enter the MP bad boys hall of fame. Mr Boyce had a glass of Rioja too many, didnt like the fact that there were too many F********(his words not mine) Tories in the House of Commons Bar, and being the action man he is, decided to do something about it. What the retired Major did was do what soldiers do. Combat. Not much to say other than two Conservative members got what I was reliably informed by my Glasgow sources was a Glasgow kiss. Delivered with all the ingedients such kisses are made of. Next stop for the victims, Stuart Andrews and  Ben Manney was A&E

Now a bar brawl is as old as the idea of a bar itself.  Nothing new. But its headline news when such brawls involve lawmakers and extraordinary when the fight takes place within the confines of Parliament. If it was the kind of melee that breaks out during crucial debates or votes due to strong differences in ideology, then we might undesrtand the heat of the moment argument. It shows that the politicinas are passionate about their core beliefs and looking after the interests of those who voted them in. Such fisticuffs miight it even increase the politicians`popularity. That is a noble fight. If it can be called that. But a drink fuelled encounter isnt what we want from our lawmakers. No. The impression we get from such conducts is that of a  a group of care- free chancers, getting wasted on highly subsidized booze and behaving like parts of the anatomy I cant mention on this blog. Being  a family oriented blog.

Eric Boyce has resigned his membership of the Labour Party but will stay on as an independent MP following his conviction. I dont see why he has to resign  from the party but stay on as an MP. If he sees his action as unbefitting of a Labour Member of Parliament, thus making his position untenable, then how can it be OK to be an Independent member of the House. Personally I think he should never have left the party. He let himself down, did a mea culpa, apologised, got his court judgements and that shoud have been that. If he really felt what he did was so gross so as to make him an unsuitable memberof the Labour Party then whay would it make him still worthy of a seat in the House of Parliament?  Or does the Labour Party has higher standards than the House? That is the inference that can be drawn from him staying on as an indepenent MP.

Like I always say, politicians are just like the rest of us They will behave like any  of us would given the same circumstances. But we dont want them to. We want them tobe like us but behave better than us.Every politician must realaize this fact. Im sure they do. Being a politician is a conscious choice they have made. We, the voters expect them to live up to this lofty ideal.  Which means politicians must be morally adroit and beyond reproach. MPs with ASBOS isnt something we want. Not much to ask for in exchange for what being in the corridors of power affords those who canvass for and get our votes.

Drought Fears And Food Prices

Its 2012, Britain has had dip in rainfall for two years and its starvation time. Disaster! How can our harvest be lean and our grain silos empty in a year  we are inviting the world to our country for grand occasions. The Queens`s Diamond Jubillee and the Olympics are just months away and the country is being told life as we know it is about to cease. Why?  There has been a relatively dip in rainfall for the last two years.  A situation said to be affecting farming and food production and invariably would lead to poor harvest, non production of certain farm produce and a hike in food prices. 

The South East has seen the least rain over a couple of years, while the rest of the country has enjoyed a relatively normal rainfall. How many farms are in London? Or  in the whole of the South East for that matter. If the majority of the farms that produce our food are not based in the South East how is it then that the drought in the South East will have such a dramatic impact on food supply and prices.

It boggles the mind that with all the technological advancement and scientific inventions, our  ability to farm and produce food is still largely dependent on and susceptible to the vagaries of nature.  I dont think that befits a nation in the fore front of technology. Even if it doesnt rain at the expected level for three years I think we should stiil be able to carry on at the same level of production. Maybe this is a wake-up call to our policy makers. More attention has to be paid to how we can leverage technology not only for a more effective food production but aslo to save us being at the mercy of nature the way we are now.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Chelsea Sacks Andre Villas Boas

To be a successful manager in any field or industry takes a lot. Everything has to be right to get the best results. Whatever it is to be a successful manager in the Premiership, Andres Villas Boas hasnt got it. Affable, urbane, young, good understanding of the language but a good manager? No. Not on his performance. Awful. Im a devoted Chelsea fan, have been for 20 years but almost lost interest in the club thanks to Andres Villas Boas.

 The club was being mismanaged. In fact there didnt seem to be any management. A rudderless ship without a captain. Bereft of  ideas or game plan, with the players just making  it up as they went. So it seemed to me anyway. I knew something was going to give sooner or later. And yesterday was the final straw that did it. That 1-0 defeat to West Brom was one slap too much for Abramovich to take. 

Its a decision that will cost the Chelsea owner a few millions.Taking into cognisance the fact that he paid £13 million compensation  to Porto to secure AVB`s services. He would now have to pay the Portuguese compensation for terminating his contract. £5 million is my ballpark figure how much getting rid of Andres Villas Boas will cost the club. How much has Villas Boas already collected in wages? Add all up and the whole saga has set back Mr Abramovich close to £20 million. 

The moral of which is clubs should be weary of sacking managers and even more careful in appointing managers. Ancelotti should never have been sacked. Villas Boas should never have been appointed. Even the assistant coach, Ray Wilkins should never have been sacked. Chelsea never found its footing since Wilkins was shown the door. So the club needs to take its time in appointing a new manager and not be forced into a hasty knee jerk appointment. Good that Roberto Di Matteo, a veteran ex Chelsea player will hold the fort until the end of the season. Enough time to find the right man for the job. 

As for me Im already resigned to Chelsea winning no trophies this season and worse missing out on a place for Champions League football next season.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Parliamment In Disarray

Three members of parliament in a state in India are said to have stepped down after being filmed on TV cameras watching a pornographic clip on a mobile phone in parliament. The incident according to Reuters  involved members of the conservative Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which is in power in the state and the main opposition on a national level.

Now, what three adults decide to amuse themselves with is their prerogative, politician or no politician. Politicians are just like the rest of us. What is questionable is the venue and timing of the incident. There is a place and a time for everything. Showing your fellow honourables your favourite clips on while in parliament and surrounded by the press is hardly a wise thing to do.

To  make matters worse one of the three film buffs was the minister for women affairs or something akin to that. Given the controversy surrounding the treatment of women in India and the general perception that pornography in any form is an exploitation of women, then I can understand why his position became untenable.

Let all video aficionados members of parliament beware. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012


This year of course marks the 60th year of the Queen`s ascension to the throne after the death of her father  George VI. A cause for celebration. Until lately, the two other  major events happening in  London this year have over shadowed this remarkable milestone in Queen Elisabeth reign.. Im talking about the Mayoral elections and the Olympics.

But now Buckingham Palace have finally got round to  letting the world know about the big occasion. That said, I think they still  need to give a little more publicity to the festivities. We know there are various events lined up in connection with the celebration. The grand party however  is the Queen`s cruise on the Thames accompanied by a flotilla of  vessels. I hope to be on one of those. Why not? You get to revel on the Thames and be part of history at the same time. The Buckingham Palace website has loads of information about the various events planned for the celebration.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Chris Huhne Saga

I was getting really tired of the Chris Huhne speed driving affair. Bt relieved now its been confirmed the Energy Secretary would be prosecuted for asking his wife to take the rap for being behind the wheels while doing 80 in a 60 lane. Well I would imagine thats a fair margin. Anything less wouldnt make a difference to arrival time, anything higher suicidal and er er criminal. Not encouraging anyone to test the theory out I must add.

The thorny  issue though is not that Mr Huhne broke the law (allegedly) by going over the speed limit, it is the allegation that he tried to cover it up by involving his ex wife. Oh no Chris! Perverting the course of justice is a much much graver and serious offence than speeding. As far as I'm concerned at present the man is innocent until proven otherwise. The truth will out after the law has taken its due process. I

However the gravity of the allegation is not lost on both himself and his bosses at Westminster and kudos to him for stepping down promptly after learning of the decision to prosecute the case. Now did he jump? Was he pushed? We will never know. I don't personally care. I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he went voluntarily. It can never come at a worst time for Chris Hune. What with the groundswell of public anger occasioned by the MPs claim scandal and the spending cuts. People would love to think that politician are beyond reproach, both in their public and private conduct. We like to see those who govern us as being morally adroit. Breaking the speed limit, then asking someone else to take the penalty for you is definitely not the ideal conduct expected of an MP.

Monday, January 02, 2012

New Year Resolution

Before anything, I`d like to wish readers of this blog a happy new year. A purposeful and remarkable year may it be for all and sundry. Its of course the time of the year we tend to do an inventory of our lives. Asking ourselves what works what us and what doesnt. What to do more or less of. Im talking about new year resolutions. Some of us persevere for a couple of months and revert to our old ways, some stick at it a bit longer and some do actually keep to their vows. This year I promise myself to be more health conscious. I will be updating my LA  Fitness membership for the year and make it a duty to be there at least twice a week. So whatever you vow to change or do this year, do give a good go.

We look forward to two major events in London this year. The first is the mayoral election and the other is the  Olympic Games.But not impressed by the fact that the race is between the usual suspects.  Boring if you ask me. Boris Johnson will be staking his claim for a second term and Ken  Livingstone trying to claim back what he assumes to be his rightful throne. I personally think Boris is justified in going for a second stint at City Hall. Why Ken Livingstone is in the race I dont understand. How many tmes has he been at the helm of affairs at City Hall? Doesnt the man get tired of running the city? I predicted Boris Johnson`s victory last time around. I think he will be returned to City Hall. Put some money on that f you are a betting person.

Come summer and the spotlight is on London as host of the 2012 Olympic Games. The planning got off to a shaky start but found its feet as time went on and everything seems to be in place for a memorable showpiece. The Games have already brought some remarkable benefits to the city. A large swathe of East London has seen tremendous re-generation. as part of the preparation for the Games. London surely will prove its claim as a world class city.