Thursday, 28 August 2014

Carswell defection shows Tory troubles

DOUGLAS Carswell's defection to UKIP has highlighted the very real problem for David Cameron and the Conservatives.

The darling of the backbenches, Carswell has been a thorn in Cameron's side for a while now.

Peace seem to have broken out when Carswell appeared to back the PM over his pledge for an in/out referendum should the Tories win in 2015.

However, something has changed in Carswell's mind. Either he thinks the party won't win in 2015 so has decided to jump now or this is some sort of weird stalking horse effort.

If Carswell wins for UKIP in Clacton, it could pave the way for other Tories to follow suit and persuade more traditional Tories to abandon the party for UKIP.

You might expect the Tories to respond, remind voters Carswell appears to have reneged on his backing for the party.

Instead the attack dogs were sent out online to attack Ed Miliband for 'not saying anything about Rotherham'.

We'll ignore the fact the party has called for the PCC to step down, that senior council figure has already resigned with more expected to follow....

And that sums up the Tories, when there is discord within the party, they lash out at Miliband and Labour. Carswell didn't defect because of Miliband, he defected because of Cameron and Osborne.

The killer line in Carswell's interview on Sky was the use of the word 'honest' in relation to Miliband's position on the EU.

The implication being Cameron isn't and that, whether the Tories want to admit it or not, is the Tories biggest headache.

If Cameron doesn't 'get it', then I'm afraid his dreams of an EU referendum will turn to dust.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Mackay case shows football's failings

I HAD a bluebottle infestation in my wheelie bin the other week. Did I remove one and let the rest carry on? No I cleaned the whole bin....

Yet in football again a case of alleged sexism/racism/anti-semitism has reared up and the character assasination of one individual has begun.

Malky Mackay is now in the firing line and will probably be ostracised from football by the time we put up the Christmas decorations.

Now before I go on, if these texts are proven then Mackay, an otherwise articulate man should hang his head that his 'banter' comes straight from the drains.

But do we really think Mackay is the only British football manager sending such texts and having such discussions?

I'd put good money on a number of managers making sexual comments on a regular basis. I know of one current manager who left a previous job not because of mutual consent but because he quite fancied 'consent' with a married female.

Racism is a whole different matter but if Mackay believes this in private he certainly doesn't show it in public.

I've seen the phrase 'Wee Egyptian' used  to beat Mackay..really? Every Scot uses 'Wee' and Egyptian is actually someone's nationality...surely it can't be racist?

My point being though is we've been here before, sexism storm sees Richard Keys and Andy Gray go, racism sees Ron Atkinson sacked. Has football done anything about it? No, it's easier to have a storm then just make money again

We have to have a dividing line, either vet everyone and have them hand over every text they have ever sent or accept there is a line between public and private.

Is it right what Mackay is alleged to have sent? Of course not no. 

But football has to choose what it wants from it's people. If it truly wants to 'clean house' then it might be uncomfortable with what it finds...

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

RIP Robin Williams

I SUSPECT I was not alone in shedding a little tear on the passing of Robin Williams yesterday, knowing he will no longer grace our TV or movie screens with his madcap humour.

But there is a great sadness in me that again someone who brought so much joy to others left the world seemingly feeling alone.

This is not a criticism of anyone in his life, especially not this wife or children who are clearly shattered by the loss of a loving husband and father.

Depression is not something I truly understand, I think if you do you are often a sufferer of it. But my empathy for those who do is immense. I hear all the time how 'How he is he/she depressed when he/she earns so much money/has such an easy life/has a wonderful family/career.'

But that is far too simplistic view of the illness and does not take into account the one person who matters, the sufferer themselves.

Imagine if you will life as a major movie star or sports star, you reach a huge high in your career with an Oscar or a huge movie role or the winning goals to win your club a trophy.

People around you then expect that every time you walk in front of a camera or on the football pitch and you put pressure on yourself to deliver.

Should things not go well, a movie fails or the sports star gets injured, depression can lurk in the dark corner waiting to pounce.

No amount of fancy houses and cars, a whopping bank balance or gorgeous wife and kids will offset depression, you can't fight the big black shadow off that easily.

Everyone who is lucky enough not to have met this shadowy figure needs to pledge to understand those who have and help in anyway they can.

We talk and understand cancer openly, it's time we did the same for depression. Don't look at person's wealth or fame, look at the figure in front of you.

Robin Williams touched the lives of many, made many people laugh and cry in equal measure yet felt so troubled he felt compelled to end his life.

We should remember his comedy, his wonderful range of acting and the moments which made you laugh so hard you almost wet yourself.

But also remember his depression, if we can stop just one person from replicating what happened in a mansion in California on Monday in a council house in Leeds next week then we might have a better and more understanding world.

RIP Robin, thank you for the memories, you were a comedy legend who has gone too soon. I hope you have found peace now and that in time so will your family and friends.