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Friday, 29 January 2010

Court gives BNP last chance to scrap whites-only policy‏

The party constitution all sounds deeply worrying to me. It's the fact that they are going on about one group to the exclusion of others that doesn't sit well with me, and doesn't sound very British. At our best we deal with people who who they themselves are, not their parents, birthplace or skin colour

Blair denies 'covert' deal with Bush to invade Iraq‏

""It's a decision. And the decision I had to take was, given Saddam's history, given his use of chemical weapons, given the over one million people whose deaths he had caused, given 10 years of breaking UN resolutions, could we take the risk of this man reconstituting his weapons programmes or is that a risk that it would be irresponsible to take?" "

Ouch. Take that on it's own and there's no arguing. Take the wider context however...

Prime minister 'should be more accountable', peers say‏

I agree. The main man (usually a man, though it would be fine to have a woman in there. Harriet Harman anyone? Ahem) should be more accountable. The way that our system is set up currently places too much power in the hands of the one at the top, and not enough in the rest. Parliament should hold the major players to account. I agree with the decisive nature of our system, but there must be checks and balances

'Bone-crusher' handshakes rile Labour MP Paul Flynn‏

Seems to me that he's having a wee giggle and injecting some personality into politics. No bad thing.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Nick Robinson's Newslog: Tory economic plans: Cutting spending?‏

In essence, would faster and deeper cuts, or slower and shallower cuts lead to better growth?
It seems from this that both sides agree that growth is the best way to reduce the current deficit. I'd agree with that. better that than trying to do it all at once.
I think that growth through investment and phased reductions as needed is the best way forward.

And I can't help thinking that the picture should be captioned Dumb and Dumber.

Nick Robinson's Newslog: Decision time on Britain's booze culture‏

Ahh, binge boozing.
I like a drink, and there have been the odd times when I've had a few too many.
But personally, I don't think the price is the key. I think it's the culture that underpins the practice in the first place.
There is a slightly Victorian element of punishing the poor for their excesses. What I mean is that the idea behind minimum pricing is to price some people out of binge drinking. But the higher up the income scale you go, the less that will matter.
While I have on occasion had a few too many, I'm yet to do anything that bad when in that state. The odd embarrassing moment, often in front of a lady who at the time seems to be the most beautiful in all the world.
But I think it comes down to culture, so we're really talking about social engineering here. Not necessarily a problem, if you're willing to accept it.
How do you change a binge drinking culture? Don't know. I'd imagine it goes very deep. Hating your job, alienation from other people and culture, loneliness, lack of self disciple (mine), lack of ambition - so that better battered becomes the only ambition.
I don't know, but that's my pennies worth.

Ministers passing too many 'bad' laws, say ex mandarins‏

Very interesting, in a boring sort of way. Who cares about detailed and minute constitutional reform? Well, me to some extent. I'd be very interested to see someone take this report on and run with it.
I'm often interested in how much power politicians have, and how much scope to fuck up. Quite a lot, apparently.
So let's have strong and powerful, salaried select committees, training for ministers, and proper parliamentary scrutiny. Let's take the power over point-scoring away from those trying to do it and instead concentrate on the boring detail. Mmmm, boring detail

Mark Easton's UK: Is inequality iniquitous?‏

It's all about equality. Here are some graphs

Transfer Window: Good or Bad?‏

I personally think it's murder for smaller clubs like Southend, and I'd like to see it put out to pasture

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Rich-poor divide 'wider than 40 years ago'‏

A sad indictment of the policies of recent governments, and shocking that a Labour government didn't seriously arrest this trend

Unequal Britain: richest 10% are now 100 times better off than the poorest

It concludes that the government has failed to plug the gulf that existed between the poorest and richest in society in the 1980s. "Over the most recent decade, earnings inequality has narrowed a little and income inequality has stabilised on some measures, but the large inequality growth of the 1980s has not been reversed," it states


"A central theme of the report is the profound, lifelong negative impact that being born poor, and into a disadvantaged social class, has on a child. These inequalities accumulate over the life cycle, the report concludes. Social class has a big impact on children's school readiness at the age of three, but continues to drag children back through school and beyond" - just goes to show it's all about class. Class divisions still exist and are still relevant.


Overall, it points to a radically more equal society after the neo-liberal excesses of the 1980s, but a Labour government from 1997 that needed to be just as radical in order to put right some of the mess it inherited. But, as we all know, it was too timid. Too scared of its own shadow and the ghost of 1983.


""The evidence we have looked at shows the long arm of people's origins in shaping their life chances, stretching through life stages, literally from cradle to grave. Differences in wealth in particular are associated with opportunities such as the ability to buy houses in the catchment areas of the best schools or to afford private education, with advantages for children that continue through and beyond education. At the other end of life, wealth levels are associated with stark differences in life expectancy after 50," the report states" - very important that


"It echoes other recent research suggesting that social mobility has stagnated, and concludes that "people's occupational and economic destinations in early adulthood depend to an important degree on their origins". Achieving the "equality of opportunity" that all political parties aspire to is very hard when there are such wide differences between the resources that people have to help them fulfil their diverse potentials, the panel notes." - Also known as stating the bleedin obvious.

Cable sets out economic vision, but tax policy could be more "radical"

I personally think that removing the poorly paid from any income tax is a great idea. I think anyone on minimum wage should pay no direct tax, and then every pound above this is then taxed accordingly.
I'd pay for this in a fiscally neutral measure whereby the tax rates above this level were adjusted in order to compensate for the lost revenue from the change.
I'd also stick some higher rate charges in there. I've done enough on here on capital flight to show that I'm at least aware of the arguments about it.
I'm not a fan of bureacracy, so the less of it the better as far as I'm concerned. Rather than buggering around with tax credits, I'd just not take it in the first place.

Should the UK ban the Muslim face veil?‏

Yikes. Tough one. I personally am in favour of people being free to wear what they wish, and I'm against going round banning stuff. I'm also a moral liberal, and looking back on the repressed times from Britain's past makes me uneasy. I'm reading Love and Mr Lewisham by H.G. Wells at the moment and a man talking to a woman is so scandalous that the man looses his job. I don't like that, and the full veil is, to some extent, an extension of that. But no one should be forced to wear, or not wear, anything they don't want to. The example was given on radio when discussing this that it may be legal to be naked, or very close (see most adverts) but illegal to be fully clothed.

Now I'm not sure how far the practical concerns go. Is there any evidence that there is a security issue? If so then that is important. The problem will be loudmouthed wind-up merchants on both sides, meaning that a sensible, rational discussion is impossible. Both sides that is.
Communication - it doesn't make me very comfortable to speak through the letter box slit as so much of human communication is non-verbal and thus suppressed. But that's not a good enough reason to ban something.

One thing the mrs always says, and I agree, is that the woman should not be seen as the evil sexual temptress. I see women looking lovely, but I am responsible for my actions based on that, they are not.

The issue is also force. Is the woman forced to wear the veil? If she is, there is a problem. If anyone is forced to wear something that is a big problem


"Writing in the Independent, journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, who chairs the group British Muslims for Secular Democracy, said she supported restrictions on wearing the face veil in key public spaces."This covering makes women invisible, invalidates their participatory rights and confirms them as evil temptresses. "I would be more inclined to agree. However, I don't see many white converts in the full veil where I come from, they are usually small, black and very quiet.

Which party will benefit from fragile economic growth?

"My own hunch has long been that the Tories won't actually make the savage cuts they say they will, not least because the overwhelming bulk of expert opinion - not to mention history - is against them. George Osborne is sensibly sounding more wary."
Some hope for the future at least
there is 'a clear case for a levy to compensate taxpayers for what happened in the past and may happen in the future'
Fair play, I'd agree with that. oh, it must be so nice and easy to be in the opposition. Maybe I'd like it I could do the job from my bed with a cup of tea by my side.

ALLISON PEARSON: Why I admire this brave mother who killed her ME daughter

Very odd. This woman attempts to be both caring and heartless in the same article. She has picked one case of assisted suicide and made it ok, but condemned all others. I'm always uneasy when a mail writer attempts to show compassion, it's a scam.
ME is a terrible and debilitating illness that robs people of their lives and goes unrecognised by official bodies and people who should know better. Having to take your own daughter's life must be a horrible thing. But I feel very uneasy about the way the author uses this in an emotive way, trying to play up the emotion rather than down.

How she can go from one topic to another doesn't sit well. She attempts to be all heart warming and kind in the first article, then flippant and dumb in the next. They may well have been written a time apart, but it suggests a lack of honesty.

I very much disagree with her on the veil. She, like most Mail people, believe in their own freedom, and the freedom of a few select people to do the same as them. Other people they tend to dislike very strongly and want to revoke their freedom at the drop of a hat. Someone wants to choose to do something 'Christian'? Good on them, not enough of that, country going to hell in a hand basket etc. etc. etc. someone wants to do something 'Muslim'? Terrible! Too much of that! country to hell in hand basket/the dogs etc. etc. etc.
To her and her like, freedom goes all the way to the end of their nose.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

British Social Attitudes

"Public attitudes to homosexuality are becoming more liberal, according to a government-backed survey.

Some 36% thought homosexual acts were "always" or "mostly" wrong, down from 62% when the British Social Attitudes survey was first carried out, in 1983. "

Great to see that people are getting more tolerant of homosexuality, but it's shocking that 36% of people still think it's wrong. That's pretty disgusting to me, but at least we're moving in the right direction.

As a liberal (Socialist), i'm glad to see my country moving in the right direction.

The following are saddening to me:
But the public is taking a tougher line on cannabis, the survey of 4,486 adults, conducted in 2008, found.

More people see themselves as Tory rather than Labour supporters for the first time since the 1980s, it adds.

The survey also suggested the number of people who felt a pressing need to vote in general elections was declining.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Tom Watson MP‏

David Cameron press conference

Posted: 25 Jan 2010 03:06 AM PST

I had a similar view to Alastair Campbell on the David Cameron press conference:

Fixed term parliaments? Good idea, er, but bad idea. Prison ships? Need more prison places. Not sure how to get them though. Marriage in the tax system? Sounds great, not sure how to do it though. Deficit reduction = tax rises or spending cuts? Avoided Nick Robinson. Adam Boulton had a go. Avoided him too. Twitter? Conservative home editor will get Cameron’s Conservatives coverage without the need for Conservative Cameron to be held to account.

That’s it. Nothing else to report.

ha, gave me a giggle

Saturday, 23 January 2010

education

I'm sure Cameron once said that he wanted all state school pupils to have the same chances and resources as he did at Eton.
That's one hell of a promise. I haven't got a link to a quote, but i'm sure i remember him saying that.
Problem with Cameron and his like are that they are difficult to pin down with promises like that.
And i do like the mydavidcameron.com website, it makes me laugh

Tribune

I'm now a paid-up subscriber to Tribune, and it feels good

New York Times reports mass banker exodus unlikely

So apparently capital flight is not so much or as bad as some predict. In part this is because of the infrastructure fundamentals and language, and in part because not everyone is as fleet-footed as they claim.
Interesting

What private schools can teach the state sector

If children are bright and able they should succeed, no problems with that. the thing is that some schools get more able pupils and better resources which distorts the whole thing. If you put two equal kids in different schools, one Eton one Shitheap Comp, the one who goes to Eton will do better, and there in lies the problem.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

David Gold and David Sullivan seal West Ham takeover‏

It's good to see that a club has been taken over by locals who understand the club and it's situation.
West Ham needs some long-term stability and for someone to be strong enough to tackle the stupid wages and poor management by the Icelanders who were previously in charge.
As an Essex boy I've always thought of West Ham as a very big club, maybe bigger than they are

Even the wealthiest foreign owners sometimes bring more hassle than money

A very good article on the ownership of football clubs spoilt by some rubbish about cycling.
Football clubs make losses, which is the joke about how to make a small fortune in football - start with a big one. Most clubs would have gone under a while back if not for owners and directors and the like putting their own hands in their own pockets.
Stoke are doing very well with stability and a chairman who cares about the club. That template should be applied more widely, and the QPR board should be chased out of town and into the Thames.

Kieron Pollard, Shane Bond attract maximum bids

Seeing as no Pakistani players are at the IPL, it'd be very nice if one of their bowlers was to find his way to opening the bowling for Essex. Not sure how this would work out with availability, but we need a seamer and an overseas player if King Kani is off playing for Pakistan

Sullivan reveals scale of West Ham's financial problems‏

It looks like the scale of the financial mismanagement at West Ham is staggering

Miller warns Notts all-rounder Samit Patel over fitness‏

Personally, I think he should be considered if he plays well enough. If he scores runs and takes wickets, he should play. It's only if he's not playing well that fitness becomes an issue. Or rather it should. Cricket should be about cricket performance, not bleep test performance.

Why all the doom and gloom?

A fair, balanced and level-headed assessment of the South Africa tour and England over the last 12 months or so. So fair, balanced and level-headed that the author seems destined for a P45 soon. The British media are not ones for fair, balanced and level-headed reporting

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Too much cricket?

If a man is rested from Test matches, there is a problem. Tests are the highest and best form of the game and must remain so. Strauss being rested shows there is too much being played, so much so that it’s lowering the standard. Fast bowling is becoming a lost art which is a key sign of the dropping standards of cricket.

I love test matches and don’t much care for the limited-overs rubbish, but I would like those Test matches to be of the highest standard, which I don’t think they are at the moment.

There should be less cricket, far less limited overs cricket, and no back-to-back test matches.

I’d also love to get access from cricket across the world, which is something Sky does well but I’d love the BBC to do too.

NASSER HUSSAIN: Strauss must go to Bangladesh and let Cook put his batting first

I have to say that Nass seems like he's been spending too long round Sky and the Mail.
At the end of the day, Australia is a bigger series than Bangladesh, and if Strauss needs a rest then fair enough.
The fact that England had one awful game doesn't disguise the fact that they shared a series with a very good team away from home. Nass is doing them down unnecessarily. This maybe due to who he's writing for, maybe he's just a miserable git. Who knows?
But he sounds like he's playing a fool.

Strauss's absence sends the wrong message

For the writer to decry long-termism is proper bollocks. Cricinfo are always calling for a longer-term, less financial take on cricket. When someone does it, they call for more short-term thinking.
The stats about Strauss are telling: In victories he averages 60 in the last year, in draws 58, and in defeat 12. England need to learn to live without Strauss just as they have learned to live without Pietersen.
His place at the top of the order will go to Carberry, although I'd prefer Denly myself. I just hope Carberry can catch at slip.

Why bother voting?‏

Listening to a thing on the radio last night before watching the snooker (amazing) about voting.

Most people were talking about why so few people vote, but one bloke was saying that British elections are decided by about 4% of the electorate give safe seats/marginals and all that. his was asking not why so few people voted, but why so many did.



One thing I thought was a shame was that voting is/was seen as a civic duty rather than something that really matters and makes a difference. I personally think the party of government makes a significant difference to the country and one I like to put my pennies in about, but there you go.





Well done Mark Selby, that was some amazing snooker last night, I even missed Match Of The Day to watch.

balls

Personally I'd like to see the ball standardised around the world. And I'd like that one to be the one most helpful to bowlers i.e. the Duke.
Nothing against the Aussies (this time), just against batsmen.

Comeback kings and a last kiss goodbye

Great to see bowlers properly recognised for the important work they do, far harder than being a batsman

The Wall

Sharing a birthday with Rahul Dravid is pretty cool, a superb player and my all-time favourite No. 3

Morkel's emergence biggest gain

Probably a pretty fair assessment.
Smith is an awesome player and one of my all-time favourites. His ability to grind out runs when they are most needed to testament to top temperament. He's not the most stylish but he gets the job done and he's one of those I'd want to bat for my life.
Add in Kallis, Boucher, Steyn and Morkel, and England held a real top team to a draw. No mean feat that.
But cricket was certainly the winner, a really top series.

Cook to captain in Bangladesh Tests

Good to see Cooky as captain, though it's no surprise as he's been identified long ago as a future leader.
The only two things I disagree with are picking Collingwood and not picking Rashid.
Colly needs a rest, the bloke plays cricket all year round and is knackered. Let him rest. I'd give his place in the order to Rashid, who seems to have been dropped after one expensive over in a 2020. He bowled very nicely when I saw him at the Oval in the ODI against Australia last summer and should be stuck with. He is young and learning, and it may be too early, but he should be given a go. I realise that Tredwell did well in the summer and took something like 75 wickets with his off-spin so I'd take him too, but Rashid should be taken and played as the second spinner behind Swanny.

Anderson's knee worries me, and I would like to see him take the radical decision of retiring from limited overs games in order to prolong his Test career like Warne did. Too often people give up Tests to play limited overs, but I'd like to see it the other way round.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Guido on Fabians

Paul Stains is a wanker.
He calls the Fabian conference this weekend "A rally of freedom hating statists who will throw soundbites to a tweeting mob".
I'm not a massive fan of the Fabians, but Paul Stains is a massive wanker

plebs


Ha, funny

aftermath of the coup

From Socialist Unity
"The first of those seeds was planted with the attempted leadership coup initiated by former cabinet ministers Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt. Though a crude attempt, it succeeded in placing the Blairites within Brown’s government back in the ascendancy and reversing Brown’s orientation to the core Labour vote with a menu of Keynesian economic measures to tackle the recession, involving progressive taxation, wealth redistribution, and government investment, married to an effective attack on the privileged backgrounds of the occupants of the Tory front benches at the same time. Now, at the insistence of the chancellor, Alistair Darling, swingeing cuts are on the agenda, along with the new buzz word of aspiration at the insistence of Mandelson, a man who still harks back to 1997 and the glory days of Tony Blair and his passage into Downing Street on the back of middle England."

well yes and no. I disagree with the criticism of Darling. Money needs to be found, so some unpleasant realities may need to be faced.
But otherwise pretty fair actually

Friday, 15 January 2010

George Osborne vows to cut public spending immediately‏

While steps to reduce the current deficit are to be welcomed, and Ozzy's cuts seem to be well targeted, it's pretty small fry. But it is a start and a couple of steps in the right direction. Funding for the better off should be cut first, those in need suffering last.
There is a big question around when to cut what, as the promised cuts will endanger the recovery, but they need doing. The options are a slow relaxation of spending or a 'slash and burn' approach reminiscent of the early 80s. I can't help but feel that the Tories are caught between both.

Expelled Tory MEP may sue party in Brussels row‏

I think he's probably got a point.
It just goes to show that even Tories have their moments of good sense

Mayor Boris Johnson says bonuses tax 'threatens London'‏

Looks like the issue of capital flight will continue to rumble on for a time yet.
Considering the actions of France and USA, I don't think you can properly call these unilateral actions.
"Mr Johnson said: "The bankers helped to plunge Britain into a terrible recession for which we are all paying the price and it was their behaviour that made recent taxes a political inevitability." that's about right, but the problem is that these financial institutions and actors are so powerful that government's are running scared. The parallels with the striking workers is there for all to see, and the miners' strike in particular. In that case the right backed the government over the miners, now they back the bankers over the government.
I personally don't think it's as bad as all that, that the rich and talented will be flocking overseas to escape a penny or two more on their taxes, but it's a very important issue.

What about 'banking fuck up threatens London' eh?

Ethnic minorities 'no longer always disadvantaged'‏

So class is the defining factor, more so than race.
That much is bloody obvious, always has and maybe always will.
Success in just about any area of life, from income to longevity, comes down to class. Class and race may be linked, so certain ethnic groups may do better or worse, but class is the one that is always there.
It's a shame that Labour hasn't really tackled it in their 12 years in power, but not too surprising given the New Labour ideology.
The Tory take on this is pathetic opportunism, perfectly exemplified by the quote in this piece.

Labour battles the BNP on class and race‏

It says "there has been a renewed recognition of the importance of class", arguing that in schools, for example, "there are greater similarities between black and white children from working class families than between working class and middle class children from the same ethnic group".

Very much so.
I remember attending a Fabian event where there was a fair spread of ethnic minorities. Given the population statistics I would say they were over represented.
Yet me and the mrs were the only ones there from a lower middle-class background. It seemed that everyone else there was pretty posh, public/private/independent school educated, and groomed and bred for power from an early age.
That to me is going to be key in the future. Ethnic divisions of all colours and styles should be properly represented but class is also an issue. Say that parliament was arranged so that it was fully representative along ethnic lines: if that Fabian meeting was a template then the class issue would not be represented as the upper classes would remain over represented even if the ethnicity question was addressed properly.
So yeah, class still matters. More than anything else.

Peers question Lord Adonis in new Lords session‏

A good idea me thinks.
To me, the most important bits are the last couple of paragraphs (but not the very last one):
"A Lords spokesman said the innovation was designed to allow "people with real expertise" to question ministers.

Among other innovations being considered to improve Parliamentary scrutiny of government are plans to allow cabinet ministers who sit in the Lords to be questioned by MPs in the Commons."

On the former, there may be a role for select committees in the involvement of outside experts.

All cabinet ministers should face questions, be they lords or mortals. It would probably be preferable if all the cabinet were drawn from the commons, but there is the issue of expertise (and political expediency - see one P Mandelson). So they must be scrutinised and held to account, and if Lords and MPs can't do this in the one chamber, there must be another way found to do it.

UK anxiety over influence in Europe after crisis‏

It's odd, and I'm not sure national sovereignty is the issue. The UK government has been banging on about the need for regulation, yet when there is talk of regulation, the UK gov is the first to urge caution. Caution is fair enough, but (I think) it was the free market economic policies followed by us here that lead to a bubble and bust. So maybe a bit more regulation and direction (like Germany) would have done us good. The highs wouldn't have been so high, but the lows might not have been so low.
The intervention they finally got around to doing has saved us from being in a far, far worse mess (see Ireland).
But Mandy, Gordy etc. have been going on about the need for international regulation, so I hope they don't then come out and criticise said international regulation.

I don't know too much about French politics, but why would Sarkozy have an "arch-socialist" as a minister?

Inflation lurks in wings as recovery gets going, warns MPC member

Inflation lurks.
A cautious and steady outlook on the economy. Plus anyone who uses the phrase 'bouncebackability' is ok by me.
A double-dip recession would obviously be a pain in the arse, so that's to be avoided if possible, but then inflation can be a nasty bugger if too far one way or the other.
It's one hell of a balancing act the MPC have got to play, and their cautious and pragmatic approach seems to be the best way forward.
Let's hope for the best I suppose

Rafa's future.

link
Personally, I think he should be given till the end of the season. He's given that guarantee about finishing fourth, and his job should rest on that. These days finishing 5th is a long way behind 4th, sadly. If Liverpool finish 4th Rafa should be given another season to prove that this year was a one-off. If they finish outside the top 4 Rafa has to be on his way, but he deserves until the end of the season to turn it round.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Faith schools must implement anti-homophobic policies, says Clegg in pitch for gay vote | Mail Online‏

Pretty disgusting stuff, branding tolerance as 'fascism'. Typical Mail.

The comments page s far worse. Disgusting

Seumas Milne on the coup

If this is to be believed then Balls and Brown are the champions of social democracy against the other prominent Labour people who are all a bunch of Tories in red clothes. A scary prospect indeed.
However, I think Milne skirts around the important issue: a lack of money.
While he does address some of the proper issues around progressive taxation and regulation, if he believes the 'investment vs cuts' line he's mental.
There is an element of one-up-man-ship regarding public spending cuts, but the bleak reality is that what money the government has is largely borrowed and that needs to be dealt with.

MyDavidCameron

Fun

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Cricket and politics

I'm a fan of the Guardian's The Spin, they think like me:
"If the Spin could pick just one thing to change in cricket over the
course of the next decade, it would be the return of the
awe-inspiring fast bowler. A comeback for the player who can cow and
bully the opposition into submission, who treats the ball as a weapon
rather than a piece of equipment. In Steyn and Morkel, South Africa
have two men who could lead the way."

Couldn't agree more. Proper fast bowlers are sorely missed.


Politics:
The coup attempt was pathetic, and those who haven't got the bottle to act don't deserve the top job. Gordy's going to loose us the election, but at least he's got the bottle

Thursday, 7 January 2010

calender

Is 2010 a new decade?
To me it is because the calender was imposed retrospectively, and therefore the first year can be 0, even though it's 1

more stats

The decade also began well for Pakistan, and in particular for Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Sami, who for differing reasons and in different ways were among the biggest underachievers of the 2000s. Asif’s class has never been in doubt, but how can the Sami who reduced Australia to 10 for 3 with devastating pace and movement be the same Sami who has the second-highest Test bowling average out of the 401 men to have taken more than 40 Test wickets, superior only to renowned strike bowler Sachin Tendulkar (whose batting stats are somewhat superior to Sami’s by way of compensation)?

brilliant

Statistics

Some brilliant work by Andy Zaltzman:
"JP Duminy outbowled Jimmy Anderson (3 for 89 versus 3 for 99 in the match). And Steyn scored more runs in the match that Jonathan Trott and Pietersen combined. If that keeps happening, England will lose more matches than they win."

"Vijay Merchant is the only man in the history of humanity to have scored just one Test century in three separate decades...If Kallis can somehow muster another five-wicket innings from his creaking limbs, he will become only the eighth bowler to take a five-for in three different decades, and join Kapil Dev as the only player to have both scored hundreds and taken five-fors in three decade"

But as we all know, ""Statistics are like mini-skirts .. they give you good ideas but hide the most important parts."
Aberdeen manager Ebbe Skovdahl in 2001 when hearing that Arild Stavrum had more shots on target than Henrik Larsson. "

cricket and blog

One of the reasons I'd like to get more people to read my blog is that i'd like a good discussion.
On cricket, i think the amount of cricket played has contributed to the lack of real quality bowlers around at the minute.

On music, i'm listening to Opeth at the moment. They're one of those bands i've always felt that i should get into, but i don't like the death growly bits.

On tv, i'm making an effort to get into Battlestar Gallactica through my Love Film account.

On politics, I think we (Labour) are stuffed and that's a bad thing for the country. I'm getting a bit tired of the petty name-calling that goes on around politics but i'm getting less angry and more accepting of the crappier sides of politics because they're just part of how people are. 'Of the people' remember.
I'm not sure how much competence really comes into it because of the civil service, though there are examples of where this counts e.g. financial crisis.
Would a more consensual approach work better? Or would be become mired in time wasting and grid lock like America?
I know i still stand for Labour and my own brand of (bearded) socialism, so i haven't lost heart just yet

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Gordy's leadership future

So there's more talk of him going.
I doubt he will, because the only people who can realistically get rid of him is the cabinet as a collective. And they probably won't.
So we'll probably get Cameron and Labour just don't know whether to stick or twist

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

great goal

Can't argue with this.


listening to the Guardian football podcast