Wednesday, 14 January 2015

General Election TV Debates – The Solution

This is less of a blog, more of an open letter to all the party leaders and to the broadcasters, a solution to your current ‘dilemma’ over the proposed debates.

STRUCTURE – one debate between David Cameron and Ed Miliband and one between Cameron, Miliband and Clegg. Instead of inviting just Farage to the last one, invite him, Natalie Bennett from the Greens and George Galloway from Respect. It’s not beyond podium builders to come up with seven platforms you know!
Every party which is represented in Westminster and could feasibly field candidates in every constituency across the UK would then have a platform.

SCOTLAND, WALES AND NI – For a party very keen to distance itself from the ‘Westminster elite’, the SNP has spent a lot of time demanding to be in the debates. Why? People in England cannot vote for them. Same with Plaid Cymru and the various Northern Ireland parties, should they have a platform? No.
Instead, why not have country specific debates. I mean wasn’t the whole point of the Scottish devolution vote to ensure the Scottish voice was heard. Why not have a debate between the SNP, Scottish Labour, Scottish Conservatives and Scottish Liberal Democrats? Sky ran one the last time and it proved very successful.

Surely the voters in those countries want to know what the various parties are going to do for the country if returned to Westminster? It’s not about exclusion it’s about issues that matter to those in the respective countries are addressed.

AND IF THEY DON’T AGREE – empty chair them, this applies to the PM if he is indeed ‘chicken’ but also call Miliband’s bluff as well. Quite simply if an invited guest doesn’t turn up, leave the podium empty and let the British public draw their own conclusions.
Simple? Yeah pretty much, so is there any chance you lot can get on and sort it out because frankly there are one or two hugely more important issues affecting us at the moment!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Je Suis Charlie....we are all united

LAST week's horrific events in Paris were meant to cause division, anger and recriminations and perhaps even conflict.

Instead it provoked quiet outrage, with Parisians being joined by people from across the world to express their revultion at the vile acts committed in the name of the Prophet.

As well as the condemnation from all races, creeds and colours it's important to again these murderers are not 'Islamic terrorists' they are 'terrorists'.

I grew up with the news often dominated by vile atrocities committed by the IRA both in Ireland and on the mainland.

Were they 'Irish terrorists'? No, just terrorists. The brave 'Not in Our Name' protests showed the actions of the IRA and later the 'Real IRA' were not the actions of Ireland.

These vile butchers want to be portrayed as 'Islamic Terrorists' because it aids their cause to provoke a split and see Christian and Jew battle Islam in another 'Holy War'.

But the column inches and tweets by Muslims of all ages, status and gender since the attack show how outraged many are about attacks in the Prophet's name.

Single handedly these savages have outraged the West and much of the Islamic world, further denting their and ISIS hopes of provoking some sort of holy war.

For as long as we, the peace loving, tolerant and understanding members of society stand together, the forces of evil will never win.

These savages and those who continue to join them aren't fighting in anyone's name, least of all the Prophet. Would any god truly condone the beheading of a man who brought aid to Syrian refugees, many of them children, as was the case with Alan Henning? Of course not

When history reflects on the tragic events of January 7 and the subsequent days, I hope it will remember those who perished and the united front against terrorism.

These butchers will just be a foot note, just the way it should be.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Hello 2015 and thanks for the memories 2014

I KNOW, a year in review post five days after it finished, I’ve been busy!

2014 was a wonderful year as I became a dad for the first time to baby Jacob although I question how he already is five months old, where does the time go.
I feel truly humbled to have been blessed with a child and that Pam enjoyed a relatively healthy pregnancy and suffered little ill effects in the aftermath.

We didn’t have the birth we wanted but the greatest gift for any man is to bring his wife and child home, both healthy and happy if a little bewildered by the whole thing!
It’s a gift I cherish and am thankful for each day and I am humbled to see my wonderful wife evolve from the kind-hearted person she has always been to the natural mother. I know I am biased but I truly believe she was born to be a mother, I am just thankful I played my part in helping her achieve her destiny.

Also in 2014 I saw good friends become parents, some for the first time in dramatic circumstances and others for the second time, their lives made complete by the welcome arrival of another little bundle.
Family members have made decisions about their futures and some dear friends have bounced back from the abyss in style and are now looking down the road to a brighter tomorrow.

I still miss those we have lost but cherish the fact my immediate family all have their health, all apart from my dear mum.
Dementia is sadly a permanent resident but the fight in her heart remains, she has never been beaten by anything in her life and dementia, you’ve picked a tough cookie this time.

The mum I know is long gone, but her courage and her will to keep going sustains me and my dad. To anyone coping with dementia I say don’t focus on the present, treasure the memories.
So what of 2015? What are you bringing to the party? You’ve got a lot to live up to!

Whatever you have to offer, I will attack every day the same and to everyone reading this may I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Abuse of Wenger is beyond contempt

ONCE again Arsene Wenger has been subjected to abuse at close quarters, this time a fan running into the dug out area to remonstrate with him.

Coupled with the vile, foul mouthed abuse from 'supporters' after the Stoke match last month and the Frenchman must fear the next time he leaves London.

At this point I will acknowledge I have called for him to go in the past but let me repeat for those who clearly can't read.

When I called for him to depart it was not to be sacked but a mutual parting at the end of the season to allow Wenger to be applauded into the centre circle and thanked for everything he has done for Arsenal FC.

Because what these morons who think it's OK to spout invective and bile don't understand is without Arsene Wenger, Arsenal may well be in League One by now. A club which stagnated after George Graham left and pushed into the dark ages when Bruce Rioch took charge.

Le Boss came, saw and conquered and has delivered many, many memories of which we are all rightfully proud. But that work and dedication, those trophies and glory days come with respect for the man who delivered them.

If and when he decides or the people running Arsenal decide it's time for a new chapter then we ought to replicate what Man United did for Sir Alex Ferguson, a guard of honour and a chance for the real fans to say thank you and goodbye.

Yes the league has been disappointing this season but we have an OK FA Cup draw and for once a nicer (not easier) second round Champions League draw. We all know how well Arsenal finish a season so who knows? This could yet be a good campaign.

Sacking him is wrong and completely unjustified. But there is another scenario bubbling away in the background now.

What if Wenger decides he's had enough and walks? Something for the morons to think about?