Category Archives: News

Is Sport ever sporting?

English: John Terry Nederlands: http://www.pos...

John Terry

With Wimbledon well and truly over the sporting world’s eye turns to the court case between John Terry and Anton Ferdinand. After such a smoothly run tournament, Wimbledon once again comes out looking like the perfect child. Football, on the other hand, comes out kicking and screaming, fully keeping its ugly stereotype intact.

But its not just football that has an ugly side, sport in general is pretty horrible. Serena Williams, the golden girl of wimbledon 2012, displayed her less than pleasant side in the 2011 US Open Final, when verbally abusing an umpire. Why is it that people in the public eye so disappointing? Well because there just humans after all, the real disappointment is that people actually look up to these, so called sporting heroes.

It was nice to be able to celebrate a successful tournament in Wimbledon and to fairly congratulate the winners for their tremendous effort. But within a blink of an eye our attention is rudely drawn back to a less than celebratory characteristic of sport. John Terry’s on-going racism trial optimises how sport is a game of two halves, there is the good and the bad. Terry may be a fantastic footballer but that does not in any way qualify him for being a fantastic person, sadly.

The trial has helped to heap on the negative stereotypes that surround football at the best of times. It has revealed a little more of the dark side of sport that no one wants to witness, especially with the Olympics on our doorstep. We can only hope that justice is done, whatever the outcome, and the media don’t sink their unrelenting teeth into Terry’s trial and shake it all over the Olympics’ parade. This summer should be a showcase of the best of sport, so can everyone for once just be set and on their marks for good behaviour?

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Public Transport: where did it all go wrong?

Hopping on the bus to work the other day cost me a whopping £3.20. Fares these days are rising like unemployment, that’s stupidly high for anyone that didn’t grasp my poor attempt at a political gibe.

Standard class interior of National Express Ea...

Wishful thinking!

Now I know we are in a recession, which means we have to pay more for absolutely everything, which I don’t really understand, but we’ll skip over that as it’s the first of many. So with this philosophy it is expected that one should pay more for bus fares, naturally. It’s not like the recession means we have less dollar in our back pocket at all, grab away government it’s all good here, no worries we got your back!

Anyway, with all this complaining I am starting to sound far too similar to someone well matured in the fine wine that is life. And so before I bore you all into thinking that public transport isn’t quite as bad as this article I return to our subject matter: public transport. You find yourself sitting on a packed, rickety old bus smelling something like a cesspit that’s been flooded by Stella, wondering, where did it all go wrong? It really did seem like a good idea at the time I’m sure, but public transport is acting like a smelly child that just won’t go to the toilet. It just keeps hanging around, continually acquiring a greater hatred from it’s uses. You have to question is it just us or is public transport less than desirable on the continent as well? No don’t be silly, everything is always more desirable on the continent. I would pay £3.20 just to watch a continental bus, oh don’t ask!

Unfortunately you’re not off the hook yet, the rant continues, I know I amaze myself at times. It is deeper than just a poorly designed system that is the real problem. Public transport is the bane of commuters lives; Buses are delayed, trains are overpacked and overpriced and flying is way to extravagant. Attempting a trip into town at peak times has become a folly ambition, let alone commuting into London everyday, it’s pretty much perceived as suicide, talk about staring death in the face. Pubic transport just has that stigma about it nowadays, as a nation we are not proud of the national service, we even sold most of it. We approach it with an air of suspicion and a great wodge of lack of faith that it will succeed in its core mission to get us to our destination. But why and how did this travesty occur, where did it all go wrong?

Sadly, I don’t have the solution, because well I’m not a politician (my second attempt at a political gibe). However, like an annoying teacher’s pet I have introduced the question secretly so I can have a crack at it. Here goes, hold on to your expenses (third, and admittedly more horrific, political gibe if it can even be graced with that title). As I mentioned early we have no real faith in our public service and this could be the crux of the problem. Society needs to stop dodging the blame and take a long hard look at itself in the mirror, metaphorical of course, government could never commission a mirror to be made that big, silly idea really. Our lack of faith has physicalised into a lack of respect through mistreating our transport something chronic, the amount of rubbish you find on a bus has caused me to accidentally catch a ride on a dustbin truck by mistake. I joke. The poor treatment we dish out is reflected in the service we receive and in reality we probably get a good deal for our lack of care. So does the issue really lie with us?

Can we change our attitude and take a little pride in the service that has changed the world and moved forward our society in many ways; scientific, industrial, and economic to name a few. With a new mindset and respect we can impact the service we receive, so really we are our own downfall, but, only if we don’t take any care.

But I mean, what do I know I’m only a student really.

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How Much is a Degree Really Worth?

English: Academic procession at the University...

Graduation

As the Christmas break draws to an end I try to emotionally prepare myself for living without good food and clean clothes, if deposited at the right place, again: life’s hard as a student. The thought of returning to University dump those nervous butterflies into my stomach as I realise I have rather a lot of work to do and rather little time to complete it in, again, life’s hard as a student!

Meeting up with friends who also study at Uni’s all over the country made me realises how much I compare my experiences with theirs, in a slightly competitive manner, competitions good anyway, right? I mean it’s not like I’ve reduced them to a shivering wreck on the floor because I keep screaming ‘I win, I win.’ It’s not like that, I don’t, well, screaming has very negative connotations these days, unfairly negative! Anyway, hearing about everyone’s experiences got me thinking, yep dangerous stuff, how much is a degree really worth?

Maybe it’s something you can’t put a price on, but Universities are pretty quick to give it a go. My tuition fees are at the delightful total of £3,375 and for the amount of doors that a degree opens in life then maybe that’s a fair price, who can really say. However, it’s a lot of money to spend when there is no guarantee of a job at the end, especially in our slightly worse for wear economic climate.

Now, I must note that I love my university and I have learnt so much, not just academic knowledge but real life experiences, that I believe at the end of my three years I will be a much more rounded individual. Obviously, everyone has a certain allegiance to their own university and wants the best from it and for it, but I must say I sometimes wonder what my fees are actually being spent on. Unfortunately, it may not be anything that is advantageous to my learning experience.

A little too harsh? I’ll explain why I feel slightly aggrieved about the whole issue of paying thousands of pounds to learn independently for a few years. My main problem comes from the fact that I have a seminar leader who is scarcely older than me, and studying for a PhD. I fully sympathise that in his own private opinion his PhD is his priority, it would be for me, but paying as much as I do for my degree status I can’t help feel a little short changed. I want to be taught be men and women who are experienced in their field with a real desire to enthuse others, not by those who are taking the opportunity to achieve their doctorate status.

Am I just being a grumpy teenager? Or are we students being led a merry dance by Universities who sneakily abuse our desire for knowledge by taking a little too much and giving back not quite enough?

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Racism, an ignorant man’s game

I feel slightly worried by the fact that so many people have a real hate when the topic of racism is raised. The subject is a taboo which is a worry itself. There seem to be a growing feeling of distrust towards other cultures and races in Britain which concerns me. I am in favour of our multicultural culture and proud of the fact that other races want to come to Britain. We should see it as an honour to welcome other cultures into our country not a chore.

As you will probably already know the YouTube sensation, for all the wrong reasons, My Tram Experience defined a growing racist mentality in Britain. For anyone who has not seen the video, it is a lady with a young child on a tram insulting all the people that she deems to be immigrants and non British. In fact many on the tram will be just as British as she believes herself to be. The lady adopts the viewpoint that if you are not white then you are not British and have no right in this country which is a complete travesty.

The fact that there are people in my country with that extreme racist belief is a shame but not uncommon in a country with a population of around 60million. There are going to be very diverse viewpoints however positive or negative they may be. But what worries me is that there seems to not only be a minority of pro-racists there seems to be a growing sense that it is acceptable and patriotic to adopt racist beliefs.

There have been more videos posted onto YouTube similar to ‘My Tram Experience’ but with different people in different situations out right verbally attacking those they believe are not British. In addition to this there are videos in support of the racist stance taken by these people which is awful. These videos give the impression that there is a large percentage of Britons who also feel threatened by other races in their country which I sincerely hope is not the case.

Why do I say that racism is an ignorant man’s game. Well I say this because people seem to use immigrants as a scapegoat for the problems in their country, whatever that may be at the time. We saw it in Germany in the 1930s under Hitler and we’ve seen it in most countries across history at one period of time or another. But in the 21st Century is it a valid excuse to blame immigrants and other races for the troubles we have all created? Quite frankly no it’s not. We are in a difficult economic position along with the rest of the world and cannot simply blame immigrants for ‘stealing our jobs’. For much of the time the immigrants are the only ones willing to do certain low paid jobs and should be credited for it. People are struggling economically which is not nice, but to blame a race or races is plain ignorance. The state must realise it has a role to play, it must educate its people. If everyone was slightly more informed about the problems the nation was dealing with there would be a much smaller percentage that adamantly believe that other races and cultures were to blame.

The Government also surely has to live up to the reality that we have a media that can portray news in a racist manner. The media have hyped up a belief that to be in the European Union is a negative thing for Britain, which is debatable at least, and have a tendency to support racist viewpoints. This, may I note, is not the media as a whole but certain newspapers who take a racist stance. This is not outright blatant racist abuse but subtle reports or stories which fuel the many lower-class racist readers. Please excuse my stereotype, but what can often happen is the readership of these papers have little interest in nitty gritty serious news. Therefore, their readers are inclined to misreport events with a racist viewpoint because of the media’s chosen negative racial facts or interviews on the chosen subject.

After a serious ramble I hope to have appeared P.C and still conveyed my message that racism most certainly is an ignorant man’s game and that there really is no excuse for it in today’s multicultural world. In the end we are all God‘s creation of human beings.

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Gary Speed Passes Away

 

02/09/11 Wales V Montenegro, Euro 2012 qualify...

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Upon hearing the death of Gary Speed, a legend in British football on and off the pitch, it really made me think  how precious life is. At any moment we could be facing our last with absolutely no clue. I suppose this cruelly shows how life can never be taken for granted. With today’s expectations Speed was simply too young to die. We all expect to live on and on into our 80s at least, but in reality we have no control at all over our most defining principal: life.

The news was such a shock that it has made me realise that life should never be abused and that to live every day like your last would really be a great act. Love, care, pray and give to others as you would hope to receive could make each life on this earth as special and miraculous as its existence is.

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