It Goes Everywhere, Involves Everyone.


Welcome back. And if you’ve just joined us, a quick recap the main points of the news again:

2008- to date: Bankers and the city bring down world-economy, selling toxic mortgages, mis-selling insurance; fiddling PPI; awarded huge bonuses for failure while ordinary citizens went bust; laundering money for pariah states, fixing lending rates etc etc: As yet, not a single solitary Banker (bangster?), not one person has ben charged with anything, though the PM says they face “serious questions”. Oooh, nasty.

At the time of publication one man – a former UBS trader who stole from the banks (as opposed to them stealing from us) is appearing at Southwark Crown Court. They don’t like people stealing from them, do they ? Stealing from customers is nothing to faces charges over, on the other hand.

May 2009: MPs expenses: The Daily Telegraph exposes parliamentarians of claiming for Moats, Duck houses, Electrical goods, family members salaries, second homes, flats/jobs for the boys/lovers. MPs vigorously tried but ultimately failed to stop publication of information via the Freedom of Information Act. 3 MPs convicted (subsequently a judge lets them off paying legal costs, bless him).

Police told to open inquiry into corruption during the investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. 19 years after which, just 2 men are convicted in 2012. As yet, no Police officers have been convicted of any misdoing.

2011:- Operations Elvedon and Weeting (investigation payments from Journalists to Police Officers and other public officials) 47 arrests at time of writing, including journalists secretaries and “legal advisors” from News International, hacks from the Sun, the Mirror and the Star.

2011:- Operation Tuleta instigated (investigation into phone hacking by journalists)  to run along side the other inquiries into the behaviour of journalists. 13 arrests as we speak.

Leveson Inquiry into the “culture, practices and ethics” of the British press. (good luck with that one then) opens. Scores of TV celebs, politicians, sportsmen, film stars and ‘ordinary’ people give evidence of being hounded, abused and wrongly accused by the press. Rupert Murdoch is hauled in front of the beak and the cameras. His son shows the world what a buffoon he is (before taking the getaway jet to The States): Report expected in November.

July 2012: A police officer was cleared of killing newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson who died after a G20 protest in the City. PC Simon Harwood was found not guilty of unlawfully causing death in the course of his duties after he was filmed during the G20 protests clearly striking Mr Tomlinson in the back of the leg and pushing him to the ground.

September 2012: The Hillsborough Disaster Independent Panel Inquiry Publishes findings. After numerous governments have ignored the subject, David Cameron reads the findings of the public inquiry, and immediately apologises in the House of Commons to the families of the victims, thus making him possibly the only one of 2 politicians (sitting or otherwise) to emerge from the saga with any credit  at all.

The then Prime Minister  in 1989 (I forget her name – as does she) was told how appallingly the Police had acted on the day of the slaughter and throughout the subsequent inquiry. She chose to ignore this, as did Tory and Labour governments after her). Only when Labour’s Andy Burnham, an Evertonian put in place an independent inquiry did the process start in earnest.

Questions are directed at the Football Association, the Football Club and Sheffield City Council for the fact that the ground did not have a valid safety certificate.

The media have to hunt down former Sun Editor Kelvin MacKenzie before he finally apologises for the newspaper’s coverage of the events – blaming drunk, thieving Liverpool fans for their own deaths. The current Editor of the Sun, Dominic Someone, also says sorry. (It’s not been a great year for The Current Bun).

The MP for Sheffield Hallam in 1989, Sir Irvine Patnick, was identified by the Hillsborough Independent Panel as one of the main sources for these inaccurate stories in the press that sought to blame Liverpool fans for the deaths of 96 people. He admits his error/lies but remains at liberty.

Senior lawyers at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) were handed detailed analysis of the police cover-up of the Hillsborough disaster 14 years ago but decided to take no action against any officers involved, reports The Independent newspaper.

Former (Labour) Home Sec, Jack Straw, on BBC expressed regret that a review of the Hillsborough disaster he ordered in 1997 failed to “get to the bottom” of what happened or expose the police cover-up. A small understatement, and half-hearted effort even by Straw’s standards.

Report shows 116 police statements were altered/”amended” so as to conceal the actions of the South Yorkshire Constabulary that day. Ambulances were held back from the scene. Medical reports find that 41 victims could have survived had the emergency services showed up. The coroner at the time ordered that all of the deceased – adults and children alike – should be tested for alcohol in their blood – in an attempt to perpetuate the “drunk fan” theory. That Coroner is still walking around a free man.

It is revealed that the police ran checks on all the dead, to see if any had criminal records – another attempt to tarnish the reputations of the deceased.  On the BBC on the day of the release of the inquiry’s findings, officers serving that day at Hillsborough were queuing up to vent their anger over the fact their statements had been changed by ‘person or persons unknown’, presumably higher management within the force.

It is self-evident that the cover-up was ordered, organized and carried out by senior serving members of the Yorkshire Police. Aided and abetted by who else is, as yet, unknown. There will always be questions, however that in 23 years, how is it that not one single rank and file member of either the Ambulance or Police Service came forward to “whistle blow” ?

When the shocking facts were released, (and not one revelation denied), Sir Norman Bettison, the most senior serving police officer who was involved with South Yorkshire Police‘s discredited Hillsborough operation, said of the revelations that he had “nothing to hide”. 2 days later, he was forced by sheer weight of numbers against him to apologise.

Bit by bit, one by one, the apologists for the Police, the Press, the Bankers the Government, the racists, the bigots go silent.

We really are All in it Together

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Goal Line Technology


Ah! The FA Cup Final

Was it in ? Was it over the line? Or did the goalie save it ? Chances are, given the TV replays shown to us, the punter, that the ref and the lino probably did get it right, much to one-eyed Kenny’s chagrin. But why do we need to guess? Why do we need to think that the right decision was “probably” made ? Arguments against “going upstairs for a decision” argue that this would slow the game down, to the detriment of the match. Really ? Slow it down more than some Uraguan Fascist shouting at the Assistant ref, being pulled to one side then being booked ? Slower than that ?

With so many cameras at every match nowadays, it seems daft not to use them and settle arguments. There will be some occasions that it’s so close even then we can’t gain a definitve answer. But most times it’ll be clear for all to see what happened in an incident which passed too quickly for the human eye to detect.

The regular TV coverage can easily miss it, but a freeze-frame will pick up most events, no matter how brief, very easily. Such as this photo of Mr Terry and Mr Suarez shaking hands before kick off.

Use By End – See Lid


The ‘Best Before End’ date on the bottle of beer I’m drinking is Feb 2011. Now there’s a hypothetical date if I’ve ever heard one. I can’t remember ever going to the fridge with my customary thirst, only to be disappointed as the only beer there in is out of date. Ok then, smart-arse, have you ? I guess, if I’m really honest, that beer does eventually go off but I suspect not in my lifetime. If ever there was a waste of machinery, process and ink it’s that little line which tells you when your brew is best drunk by. I know I’m best drunk by 11 o’clock but, really, for how long do these guys reckon we keep beer in our fridges ? It’s mid-July now and if the rest of that case is still in the cool box by February next year then something has gone horribly wrong.

That case of champagne which they found at the bottom of the sea last week was dated 1789 and they reckon it’s still quaffable, so what’s the chances of a bottle of Grolsch going on the turn in the near future ? Slim, I suspect. I can only assume the printed date is all a cunning ruse to make us drink more and drink quicker. Shame on them, I suppose, but rules are rules and who am I to put the brewing industry out of business ? Millions of people rely on people like me to keep them in gainful employ and I’m not gonna be the one to put their livelihoods in jeopardy.

Long ago a mate of mine worked for a brewery and his job entailed driving a lorry laden with “out of date” or “damaged ” cans to the crusher to be disposed of. Sadly, sometimes he got lost. For one long wonderful summer everyone he knew (me included) had fridges, eskis and cupboards jam-packed with cans of Budweiser which were 4 weeks overdue and Fosters with slight dents on them They literally had fallen off a lorry, but we weren’t complaining. Neither brand is my weapon of choice but ,hey, who cares ? A lot of milk went off that summer – I didn’t have room for it in the fridge.

I’m off up north on Friday for a weekend’s cricket in the Wirral (that’s posh Liverpool to you and me) so I went through my ever-expanding medical bag to see what I’m gonna need to get me through this short tour. On first glance it doesn’t seem too bad at all. I have nice new tubes of Savlon (for cuts and grazes) and Voltarol (aches and pains), fresh packets of Crampex (muscle cramp) and Dioralyte (guess). The Imodium Plus (ditto) is only a year old, so they’re good to go (as it were). The ever-present loo-roll is in mint condition.

The tins of Deep Heat and Deep Freeze sprays have ‘use by’ dates or 2002 and 2004 respectively, but they’re both still half full and I’m buggered if I’m gonna buy replacements. The tube of E45 cream (marvellous for jock-rot) is so old that the date has faded to the point where I can’t even read it, but I’m sure I’ll squeeze another season out of it anyway. The packet of sticking plasters says to use them by 2008, but I am ignoring that as it’s just plain stupid. My main worry is the whacking great tube of Nurofen Gel which I use for anything that isn’t covered by the above. The ‘Use By’ date on that one is June 2014. I’ll never make it.

Best Before Oct 1994