Image via news.bbc.co.uk
You have to admit that we have been spoilt rotten recently with the salacious details of celebrity court cases where soap opera becomes indistinguishable from the legal system, but one largely unreported court case will have major implications for the fourth estate and for anyone tempted by self-indulgent social media.
The case of Svensson and others v Retriever Sverige before the European Court of Justice might not have contained lurid tales of dressing rooms, hotels, Rolls Royce`s, massive egos, drugs, coitus and irrelevant emails about phone calls from alleged former Prime Ministers but it does indicate the direction of travel for the appallingly named “new media”. Svensson and others earn a crust at Goteborgs-Posten. For the record, Retriever Sverige is not a breed of Scandinavian dog and Goteborgs-Posten is not the organisation that Pingu`s dad works for. (more…)
Image via Laurel Brown
After all the hype and all the manufactured enthusiasm, there will be some people who will look back at the XXII Olympic Winter Games with a slight sense of disappointment.
The British media, particularly the BBC, will remain in deep depression following the “failure” of the Men`s Curling Team to win gold and in so doing let the nation down by “only” collecting a silver in a rather obscure, minority sport. Only last week we were all expert hydrologists with an encyclopaedic knowledge of floodplain management and coastal defence. This week we are all allowed an opinion on the intricacies of Slope style and Skeleton and the massively popular brushing of the Curl. Next week the BBC`s expert commentary team will enjoy a well earned rest following the gushing and shouting “Oh” fest. It might be best not to dwell on the disappointment being felt by speed skater Elise Christie.
Vladimir Putin has probably got the hump as well. Having had his showcase roundly upstaged by events in Kiev and casting a nervous glance as the Ukrainian people get rid of a corrupt, authoritarian oligarch even in the face of rattling Russian sabres, the Putin games will be remembered for the footage of brave Russian Cossack security men attacking feminist protestors with whips. The “band” Pussy Riot could stage a spectacular PR and marketing coup by inviting Yulia Tymoshenko to join them on stage for a squawk during any forthcoming tour of Russian Orthodox cathedrals. Although not as comprehensive as the complete dismantling of Hitler`s warped bigotry by Jessie Owens in 1936, Putin`s faith in the manly Russian Ice Hockey team took a knock when they didn`t win a medal or even beat USA, a nation where states like Alabama, Utah and Texas have homophobic legislation even more draconian than the Russian Federation. If Vlad is disappointed, consider the hapless opening ceremony technician tasked with pressing the button to make the rings get bigger. I imagine that a gulag in northern Siberia is considerably colder that a Black Sea holiday resort at this time of year. (more…)
Park Tavern 9-00am
In those far off mid-summer days, when the sun was shining and England had a manly test cricket team, this blog mused on the sudden and mysterious closure of the Park Tavern on Broadway North in the sleepy, picturesque village of Walsall. The mystery is now solved; the boozer is to become a granny farm.
Granny farming has become rather lucrative since both national and local government abandoned any responsibility for the care of senior citizens in their twilight years. Caring for pensioners is expensive and time consuming as they do tend to go on and on about how they defeated fascism, how they created the NHS, how they fought for employment rights, a decent education for their children and how much tax and national insurance they have paid since starting work in factories, mills and coal mines at the age of seven. No longer paying tax and now claiming state benefits; Derby and Joan are becoming something of a burden on an economy that requires greater profit margins and increased bonuses for bankers. (more…)
Image via Lionsgate UK
In life`s rich tapestry, there can be fewer heartaches or natural shocks as traumatic as suffering a flood and even as our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of these terrible weather events, it is vital that we indentify who is to blame for the suffering.
Honest developers, local councils, construction firms and estate agents are in the business of business and cannot be criticised for planning, approving building and then selling property on floodplains. It is always important to read the small print in any building and land transaction yet sadly some of the victims seem to have missed the sentence containing the words “flood” and “plain” and have happily signed the bottom line securing their dream home with a lovely view of the river. (more…)
Wild haggis image via lochgelly.org.uk
Dislike him or simply loath him, David Cameron`s ability to say one thing and mean the exact opposite marks him as a consistently transparent and consummately deceptive Prime Minister.
His recent woeful pronouncement on the Scottish independence referendum is the latest in a long line of deliberately duplicitous statements that go back to days before he assumed power. Remember how his manifesto promised that there would be “no more top down reorganisation of the NHS” and how that most precious and vital public service was “safe” in his hands? That election pledge along with promising to keep EMA, no in increase VAT and so many other works of fiction are now safely shredded and deleted from the Conservative Party web site, history and any semblance of honesty. How we laughed when he said that we are all in it together and how grateful we are when he tells us that debt, deficit and borrowing are reduced even though the facts indicate the opposite.
With his latest foray into the realms of deception, the Great chieftain o` the pudding-race, Cameron of Clan Cameron has descended into Dr Johnson`s last refuge of a scoundrel by evoking embarrassingly false patriotism regarding Scottish independence. (more…)