sport

Red (Rose) Bull & Tory Tosso

So Labour wants  the Bahrain Formula 1 race boycotted and the Tories want to keep politics out of sport.

British Formula One drivers including Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton should boycott the Bahrain Grand Prix, Labour’s Yvette Cooper has said.

“I don’t think British drivers should go,” the shadow home secretary said.

Amnesty International has warned Bahrain faces a “human rights crisis” as security forces clash with protesters.

But senior Conservative MP John Whittingdale said politics should be “kept out of sport if at all possible”.

Furthermore…

But shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter, who chairs the all party parliamentary group for democracy in Bahrain, told BBC 5live he would be “very pleased if the BBC pulled out” of covering the race.

“Organisations like the BBC are giving legitimacy to the al-Khalifa regime, which is… a dictatorial regime, which is killing many of its own citizens,” Mr Slaughter said.

Personally, I think it should be stopped but I find it strange that Labour are saying this about dictatorial regimes whilst their former leader can’t remember anything about rendition to other dodgy regimes and the conservatives are still trying to sell weapons to any other number of them.

Of course keeping politics out of sport is exactly what the Tories will be planning to do in the olympics. I am utterly convinced there won’t be any flag-waving, we’re-all-in-this-together, jingoistic or nationalistic kind of comments at all in the run up to and during the olympics.

Meanwhile of course, the race, the hypocrisy and the slaughter and repression will keep going round and round in the manner we have become accustomed to.

Addendum & If You Want/Can

As a small addendum to the article below…

Marathon runner hands back medal after taking shortcut

A marathon runner has been forced to hand back his medal, after witnesses spotted him catching the bus to the finishing line.

He is not the first man to do something like this. For example,  Fred Lorz in the 1904 olympics…

In the marathon at the 1904 Olympic Games, Lorz stopped running because of exhaustion after nine miles (14.5 km). His manager gave him a lift in his car for the next eleven miles (17.7 km), after which it broke down; Lorz then continued on foot back to the Olympic stadium, where he broke the finishing line tape and was greeted as the winner of the race.

In fairness he did admit it later.

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Also, I have added a little donate button in the sidebar as many blogs seem to have these days. If you feel so inclined then see what it does!

 

Not Exactly in the Spirit of the Thing

The term the ‘olympic spirit’ is somewhat misunderstood if you consider that in the ancient olympics, if you knew your opponent was better than you, it was quite the done thing to nip into his tent and night and snip is hamstrings thus clearing the way for your victory.

However, if you take it in its modern sense of meaning helping and improving humanity (in somewhat limited areas I grant you), fair play, trying to be the best and all the other sporting metaphors that shouldn’t always be used as a guide in other areas of life but far too often are, then something else that seems against the spirit of the thing is that  the word olympics is a registered trademark.

This isn’ t new however.

The United States Olympic Committee and Trademark Infringement forbids the use of ...

The words Olympic, Olympiad, Citius Altius Fortius, or any combination or simulation thereof tending to cause confusion, to cause mistake, to deceive, or to falsely suggest a connection with the corporation of any Olympic activity.

The London 2012 people have done the same thing. At a basic level this means that they could do you if, for example, you wanted to have a competition in your school (or technically even your back garden) called The ********* Secondary School Olympics as this might cause confusion with the real thing.

It’s an indicator that these major sports, although we may or may not find them, or bits of them, enthralling, are definitely not of the people in the way that they are often portrayed.

Every time one of them comes round in any country troublemakers are rounded-up beforehand and people are evicted from  their homes to make way for the tournament infrastructure. In the run-up to the China olympics there was much of this kind of thing in the media but for the London Olympics it has been there, but much less prominantly so.

Also, most of the money these tournaments escapes without doing any real good.

FIFA have been getting a bit of a going over in the media of late, the IOC could be doing with one too.

Hoping for a Tommie Smith Moment

When it comes to sport we are all familiar with the concept of the vast majority of Scots not supporting England in major tournaments.

Furthermore, we are also familiar with the complaint that when it is a UK team, a Scottish winner is described as “British” and a Scottish loser is described as “Scottish”.

But I will go you one further.

I don’t support the UK in any of these competitions either. I don’t like it when the olympics etc come round and a Scot wins or does well and is then seen parading around with the union jack. So in these tournaments I support no one. Not even the Scots in the UK team because if they do well then the victory parade with the Union Jack is on the way.

So when the olympics are on and the media are frenziedly trying to turn a London party into a UK party (does that last line make anyone think of something else too?), I’ll be waiting for a Tommie Smith moment.

CLARIFICATION-

A Tommie MacSmith moment would of course be nice but some displays of social conscience by any of the athletes would be good. I know they are told not to but I think the point is that you do it even though they don’t want you too.

COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT

The idea that sport is “war minus the shooting” has been written about too much but the Italy V Serbia match that was abandoned in midweek throws up an interesting question.

In case you don’t know what happened a group of Serbian right-wing bigoted thugs rioted outside the ground and inside. They also proceeded to throw flares and fireworks onto the pitch and nearly hit the Italian goalkeeper a couple of times. One report even suggested they managed to get in the ground with boltcutters in order to cut their way through the segregation fences.

The match was eventually abandoned after 7 minutes in the interests of safety.

In the aftermath UEFA, the controlling body of European football, decided to award the victory to Italy with a 3-0 scoreline. This punishment has been applied before although not uniformly.

This relates to “war minus the shooting” because collective punishment is  something that often happens in wartime. Someone does something wrong according to whichever government or army is controlling the area and everyone is punished for that one person’s mistake. This is effectively what has happened to the Serbian players and the non-rightwing thug supporters of the Serbian team.

I don’t often defend footballers as they are often spoilt, overpaid brats but the principle is nonetheless the same. Why do we accept this kind of “justice” in sporting terms when it is clearly unacceptable in society as a whole?

The Football Association of Serbia are appealing against the decision they are appealing on the grounds that the Italian police failed to control the Serbian fans that were making trouble. They say that they supplied information about the people in advance and that the incompetence of the Italian police is something that they should not be punished for. They don’t make any mention of collective punishment being unfair.

WORLD CUP UNITY

A nice little world cup “f*ck you” to get us going before the tournament starts.

An Italian politician has suggested that the Italian team, if they do well, should donate some of their bloated wages to the Italian government to help with the economic problems which that country is currently undergoing.

This idea sounds like something you might hear from a very left wing country and taken in itself might not be such a bad idea. We all know that footballers get paid too much.

However, the suggestion was made by a member of the Lega Nord (Northern League) who are a nasty rightwing bunch of people who have at various times advocated secession from Italy for some of the Northern States of Italy. It also comes from politicians who are amongst the highest paid in the world.

Anyway, in response to this the Italian football team have said they will donate a portion of any monies gained to the celebrations of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

Here is a picture of the Italy team bus. If you don’t know what it means then look it up…

PODCAST ONE

I decided a while ago that I would like to try putting together a few podcasts just to see how it went.

So I bought the equipment and last month I went to London to speak to one of the funniest bloggers and writers you could come across.

I met with Philip Challinor, otherwise known as ‘The Curmudgeon‘, who is a writer as well as a blogger.

As I am very much learning this podcasting thing on the job I wasn’t able to add an introduction before the conversation starts on the mp3 file but in failing to do it this time I have learned how to do it for the next one.

This podcast was very much a conversation in the pub [with added rat]. There are a couple of conversations put together as we were variously interrupted by having to go to the bar or the rain.

Some of the subsequent ones might be conversations and some might be more formal. I am going to try to make them all different.

In this one we discuss the Scotland/England thing, Douglas Adams, Gordon Brown, Science-Fiction and a few other things too.

RIGHT CLICK HERE FOR DOWNLOAD

If you go to THIS LINK HERE then you can listen to it online or download it as an mp3. You want the VBR MP3 link where it says ‘Audio Files’.

You can also LISTEN ONLINE HERE

Hope you like it.

Finally, if you have any complaints about what we said you can write an email. But don’t send it to me.

ENGLAND AND CREAM

I have a confession to make.

I quite like the sport of tennis. I find it enjoyable to watch – I even enjoy Wimbledon.

However, I don’t like all the nonsense that goes along with it of which this is a fairly good parody…

But if you don’t like all the stuff that goes along with Wimbledon then how about this one from the USA..

http://www.christiantennis.net/

Yes, christian tennis. Discovered it by following  a link from the BBC. They don’t seem at first glance to be as potty as some of the other groups you see or anything by I just find it strange…is there a baptist method of playing a forehand, or a catholic deuce?

THIS is quite a bizarre article.