Saturday, September 29, 2007

Political Incorrectness Gone Mad

Iain Dale has an interesting blog but it is at times ruined by his small minded conservatism. In a recent post Iain Dale's Diary: Political Correctness and Racial Profiling he defend racial profiling, claiming

"... that political correctness has to go out of the window when dealing with terrorism."

I have pointed out in the comments that when the IRA were bombing this country, white people were not being disproportionately stopped and searched.

Conservatives love to say that racism works both ways; but they don't half prefer the old-fashioned way.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Coconuts for All: Boris for London

London loves to think of itself as a major international city but when you look at the Mayoral candidates for the two main political parties it seems to be a rather different story: Red Ken for Labour, vs Bumbling Boris Johnson of the Conservative Party. Both have their place in politics but let us be honest, both are also a bit of a joke. A major international city should have future Prime Ministers and Presidents vying to cut there political teeth as Mayor. Compare for example London with New York; it is quite possible that next years presidential election may see a three way fight between Hillary Clinton, the current New York senator for the Democratic party, Rudi Guiliani, the former New York mayor for the Republicans, and Michael Bloomberg, the current mayor who may stand as an independent. Compare this to London, who have settled for comedy political sideshows as their major candidates.

Having said that at least London have got a mayor; the main political parties in Birmingham have stitched us all up ensuring that the current shambles of a council will remain to make non-decisions. This effectively means for the foreseeable future we will be stuck between an indecisive and incompetent ConDem coalition, or an arrogant and unaccountable Labour administration. Their blogging political lackeys, such as Prague Tory or Political Hack rubbish the independent such as Sir Digby Jones, Karen Brady or Carl Chinn, but have they had a look at who is vying to run Birmingham at the moment? For the Conservatives, Mike Whitby Whitless, who spends most of his time distancing himself from Labour inspired regeneration projects and coming up with ridiculous alternatives in their place. And the inconvenient truth is that Al Bore is aptly named. I'm not usually a fan of personalities taking over politics, but I think a charismatic leader is exactly what Birmingham needs to take itself forward. Our local political parties are bereft of such talent at the moment.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

United Blitzed by Coventry

Coventry pulled of one of the biggest results in recent Midland's footballing history last night by beating the mighty Trafford Borough at the Theatre of American Dreams. Blues face them on Saturday in the league and so will need to be ready for the backlash, after going out of the Carling Cup last night to a Robbie Savage's new team, and beating Liverpool 0-0 at Anfield on Saturday.
Villa were also stunned by Martin O'Neill's former club Leicester, meaning that Coventry are probably the best chance of West Midlands success in the league cup this season.

It would be great to see the Sky Blues back in the top flight, and hopefully under Iain Dowie's leadership they will be making a return next season. Coventry used to be legendary at staying up. The 96-97 season epitomised this, with Coventry needing to win on the last day away to Tottenham, and Middlesbrough and Sunderland needing to lose. Somehow they pulled it off, and they finally went out of the top flight after 34 years in 2000/01 season after losing to the Villa.

As Ron Atkinson used to say, if the Titanic was built in Coventry, that wouldn't have gone down.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Two Become One

Birmingham Airport has scrapped plans for a second runway in favour of proposals to extend the existing runway and build a third terminals. Earlier this year business leaders agreed this was the way forward for the airport, as it would open up the West Midlands economy to destinations such as China and the US, and potentially lure business travellers away from the likes of Manchester and Heathrow. The proposals will please local residents and green campaigners who opposed the second runway, and there is even an argument that being able to travel further from Birmingham is actually a "green" proposal because it will save unnecessary journeys by car to airports further away. On the other hand, green campaigners will still point out that this is an expansion of air travel, and according to the Stirrer Friends of the Earth have asked Birmingham Airport if they can make these developments carbon neutral.

The airport hopes that the changes will be in place in time for 2012, when London will be hosting the Olympic Games. A further expansion of the airport should not be necessary for another two decades, at least 2030.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

London Loses Monopoly over Board

The new version of monopoly where cities of Britain replace the streets of London certainly caused a bit of a stir at the Independent London Tourist Board, also known as the BBC. BBC Breakfast spent most of the morning sneering that Liverpool, the European Capital of Culture for 2008, had replaced Old Kent Road as the cheapest site. Meanwhile the BBC website took pains to point out that London was valued at less than Stoke-on-Trent, Derby and Birmingham despite house prices being twice as high in London. Helen Martin, global brand director for Monopoly, put London's plight down to "big city apathy".

Big city apathy? I guess that is why the biggest city in Britain, Birmingham, managed to finish in the top 8 (admittedly partly due to a campaign by Metroblogging Birmingham). If London is not as well loved by the BBC as the establishment would like to believe, don't pretend its a big city problem. With a resident population of around 10,000, London is not even a big city.

Voting for the positions on the board certainly was a great publicity stunt, but of course it would have been fairer to assign the plots by population. As a result, Newcastle and Edinburgh did not even make the board.

However, any methodology that puts Brum ahead of the Cock-ney's can't be all that bad.

Unless you work for the Beeb of course.

Remember, it's thanks to the unique way they are funded.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ferrari, FIA still F-up F1

I've pointed out on this blog before the "closeness" between Ferrari and the FIA, but surely McLaren's recent punishment in the spying scandal of a fine of £50 million and the loss of all points in the constructors championship was justified, right?

Wrong. Yet again the FIA has judged in favour of Ferrari despite the lack of evidence behind their claims. This is really becoming a joke. I think it is high time the manufacturers who own the major teams in F1 pulled out there cars from this debacle and start their own championship. Then the FIA can watch 22 Ferrari cars fight each other in some semblance of a sporting event, the outcome being a Ferrari win which for once they won't have to manufacture.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Colin McRae 1968-2007

There must be a curse on British rally drivers. After Richard Burns' untimely death nearly 2 years ago, his great nemesis on the dirt track Colin McRae died in a helicopter accident this weekend.

He was an incredibly exciting driver to watch, but I don't think he ever really achieved as much as he could have done in the sport. While already famous among those who followed the world of rallying, he was considered a mythical figure like Lara Croft in the US due to the computer game named after him.

There must be some classic races going on in the next world at the moment.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lend Me Your Years

Can you believe it. Due to Bill Clinton and Oprah, Kiva has run out of businesses to invest in. What sort of world do we live in when we cannot lend to the poor without interest?

The founder of the People's Republic celebrated the passing of another year on Friday. One is feeling rather old.

The good news is he no longer has to spend time in exile in West Bromwich to earn the taxes he is forced to pay to Her Majesty and her government, who do not recognise his independence. A new job has been obtained in the former spiritual and physical home of the People's Republic. I won't mention the organization I work for, as I suspect JRD168 would not be impressed. Maybe more on that later.

While I assimilate to my new job (as part of a foundation which lets just say I failed to get into when I was a bit younger), I am temporarily taking a break from both writing and reading blogs. Hopefully soon I will be back, bigger, better, angrier and more Brummie than ever.