Blog Archives

Andy Murray Wins Wimbledon – 7 July 2013

Say it now. Say it again. Remind yourself that, today, in blistering heat, on slippy worn-out grass, Andy Murray won on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

CHAMPION OF CHAMPIONS: Andy Murray won the Championships today.

Throughout the season, journalists have filed endless reports on the exceptional circumstances of this electrifying Championships. They told us that this was shaping up to be the game-changing year. This year’s action in SW19 – so they said – would be remembered for decades.

And how right they were.

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Margaret Thatcher: 1925–2013 – 17 April 2013

“MAGGIE DEAD”, screamed The Sun.

“REJOICE!”, cried the Socialist Worker.

“Margaret Thatcher: 1925–2013”, led The Times, The Telegraph, and The Independent with rather more dignity.

MAGGIE MONTAGE: The front pages on the morning after Thatcher's death.

News last Monday of the death of the former British Prime Minister started it all: a week in which the public were accused of bad taste, broadcasters were accused of bias, and (in my opinion) the state massively overstepped the mark.

Above it all, one phrase was used over and over again:  that Baroness Thatcher is proving as divisive in death as she was in life.

What a poetic observation. And how witty. It’s all awfully clever.

But there’s something very unpleasant, I feel, about celebrating the death of somebody… anybody. Sure, she may have snatched the milk from a generation. And she may have ‘ripped the heart out of society’. Don’t mention the trade unions.

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Review of the Week – 5 to 11 March 2012

REVIEW OF THE WEEK: 5 to 11 March 2012

That Was The Week That Was

THIS MAN IS A BAD GUY: One of the moments in the half-hour film involves the film-maker showing his young son a photograph of Joseph Kony, the subject of the film - described as one of the "bad guys" by the child. This week’s seen the spread of easily one of the best examples of a viral campaign: KONY 2012. The video, which went live on Monday under the YouTube channel of not-for-profit organisation Invisible Children, Inc, aims to raise awareness of the head of Uganda’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), Joseph Kony. But despite the film’s big success – it’s had over 70 million views in the space of the last seven days – some question the organisation’s actions. My friend, Borlase headboy and fellow Taplow Youth Choir singer, Remy Osman wrote his opinions on Facebook on Tuesday.

Controversial, but hold your horses on this whole ‘Kony 2012’ thing:

Just remember that the Ugandan military is using this as an excuse to enter other countries and exploit the Congo’s resources, while murdering and raping innocents. The Ugandan government is full of far worse criminals than Kony, and their president is responsible for millions of deaths. (I particularly reject the idea that Kony is “the worst war criminal in the world”.)

Also, Invisible Children lobbies for DIRECT military intervention in Africa. Didn’t we learn anything from our terrorist hunts in the middle east?
Just consider this before jumping on the emotional bandwagon…”

— Remy Osman, writing on Facebook, 6 March 2012

As we in the west woke on Monday, we learned that in Russia, Vladimir Putin had won his third term as President. But there’s claims of unfair practices and, as the Telegraph stated, “international observers reported widespread irregularities; the poll in Chechnya was 99.7 per cent in his favour, based on a 99.6 per cent turnout”.

On Wednesday, six British soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan after their vehicle was hit by an explosion. The biggest single loss of UK life in Afghanistan since 2006, the fatalities have caused the British death toll since 2001 to rise to 404. They were named on Thursday as Sgt Nigel Coupe, Cpl Jake Harley, Pte Anthony Frampton, Pte Christopher Kershaw, Pte Daniel Wade, and Pte Daniel Wilford. They had an annual age of 22, but five of them were 21 or younger.

Perhaps the most scandalous story of the week in western Europe is the news that Briton Chris McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara were murdered by their captors in Nigeria, during a rescue operation of which President Giorgio Napolitano was not given advance warning.

HAVING A BALL: Prince Harry plays sport with Brazilian children on the Rio de Janeiro beach.

And, in other news: Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour’s son, Charlie Gilmour, is to resume his studies at Cambridge University, after serving a 16-month sentence for his role in the 2010 student fees protest. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have both been forced to alter their recipes after the state of California declared one of its flavourings, 4-methylimidazole, a carcinogen. And on Friday, Prince Harry enjoyed a game of rugby on a beach in Brazil, during an official visit to the South American country.

“One plea to all Brazilians, though. Please, please, if we show you how to play rugby, don’t do what you’ve done with football, and leave us wishing we hadn’t!”

Prince Harry, whilst playing sports on Rio de Janeiro beach, 9 March 2012


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