ICC let world down

I love cricket but from beginning to end the Cricket World Cup was a farce.

Cricket is already an unfashionable sport, especially in England and the World Cup has done nothing to showcase the game and attract the world’s youth.

The fixture scheduling was so bad that the West Indies played three days in a row.

The tickets were so highly priced that the ordinary local man couldn’t afford to attend.

The final was blighted by a comedy of errors and its final overs were bowled out in the dark.

The tournament was so long that by the end I had forgotten the beginning.

And of course there was the murder of Bob Woolmer.

On this display Cricket will not only continue to be seen as dull but also as a laughing stock… and the ICC is to blame.

Scared of St. George’s?

Having being born in England but having parents from the West Indies I have always had a hybrid of cultures.

In some ways I consider myself an Englishman and yet there are some parts of the English culture, because they were never present in my household, are totally foreign to me.

As an ethnic person and an English person, I often try to ignore the ranting of random bigots and of course the BNP who try to make me feel as foreign as possible.

Maybe that’s the problem with St. George’s Day. Many immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants would love to feel a part of the country but are often soured by the small minded and the plight of their parents.

With the cross of St. George having being seized by football hooligans and other thugs, many English people are scared of displaying their flag. It should be a symbol of pride but is now a symbol of fear. We need to emancipate the cross!

We are a nation built in the free labour of slavery and of the plundering of riches from other countries (sometimes known as ‘The British Empire’). The legacy of this is that we have a multi-cultural, diverse and exciting society.

I think that this is what St. George’s day should be about. Celebrating the country for what it is today.

Why the US can’t plead the 5th on the 2nd

The second amendment of the US constitution gives all Americans the right to bear arms. Apparently this is a hangover from the post colonial years where a fledgling nation needed to give its citizens more protection.

Whatever the reason there is surely a need for control in the US today.

I am only 23 years old yet even I can remember several school shooting tragedies. The events of yesterday in Virginia which left 33 dead are shocking yet are becoming far too familiar.

It seems to me that the NRA and other gun activists must have the government in some sort of stronghold because I can think of no serious reason against tighter gun laws in the US.

The students at Virgina Tec were not allowed guns on campus. This alarms me, not because they couldn’t return fire but, because it will give gun enthusiasts more ammunition.

They will point out the right to bear arms did not extend to the students and that this cannot be allowed.
Surely disarming everyone instead of arming everyone is the solution to this problem.
It often takes a tragedy such as this for the issue to be discussed but I would imagine the amount of people that die in these incidents are vastly out-numbered by those who have died in one-on-one incidents, accidents and gang violence.
Yesterday, I heard the American national anthem and for once I fully understood it.
It is the land of the free, so free in fact that you can take a gun into a place of learning and wreak havoc.
And the home of the brave, so brave that you need amazing courage to live under such conditions.

Dangers of the job

The plight of BBC correspondant Alan Johnston has once again underlined the dangers of journalism.

Johnston, who was seized at gunpoint in Gaza on 12 March, is now believed to be dead.

It is the job of the journalist to hold a mirror up to the world and to show the public its reflection.

It is sad to think that innocents trying to do a job can be caught up in the very politics theyy are trying to portray.

Fingers crossed that Alan will return safely but his capture only re-iterates the implications of
being a foreign correspondent.

It is sad to think that some have to take their lives in their hands just to keep us informed.

Admit it… we are biased

As a student of journalism it upsets me to have to say this but at times I have to despair for the British media. The bias it displays is too embarrassing for words.

This manifests itself in all the popular medium: from broadsheet to tabloid newspapers to television programmes and radio broadcasts.

I could cite many thousands of examples but here a just a few that happen to stick in my mind.

1. The Death of Princess Diana
The death of the Princess occurred only shortly before the death of Mother Theresa, a modern day saint., Diana stories had all the headlines and still continues to do so.

2. Jeremy Clarkson
Has clearly made xenophobic comments on television and still holds down a job at the BBC. Unacceptable

3. British Casualties in major incidents
It is obviously very important when disaster strikes to keep us informed of the British plight in case a loved has been injured, however it seems to me that a British life is worth more. Tragedies that don’t involve the British are rarely even covered.

4. The amount of foreign affairs coverage in newspapers
Tabloids like the Sun and the Mirror have little or no foreign coverage and a Baghdad blast is seen as less newsworthy than Pete Doherty’s latest stint in rehab. The broadsheets do a little better but there is still room for improvement.

…. and for me by far the worst is the coverage of sport.

There are some many things wrong here it is untrue.

English sportsman are over hyped and under perform (look at the likes of Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard compared to say Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Essien and you tell me who has played better this season).

Commentary should be about describing the action not cheering your team on. This isn’t SkySports Fanzone. Andy Gray lost it when Gerrard scored against Olympiakos, David Pleat loses it every time Spurs are on ITV and Ian Wright loves England too much to provide any sort of sensible analysis.

Then there is cheating versus gamesmanship. Michael Owen dives and Cristiano Ronaldo dives. The difference is that Owen is guilty of gamesmanship and Ronaldo is a cheat.

And when English fans have behaved badly and the police have reacted they are always seen as being heavy handed. Hooligans are still a problem in this country and we need to wise up to it.

I could go on and on but it would get boring. The point is that although we are patriotic it doesn’t mean with have to be idiotic. There is no need to be biased or derogatory in our media representations.

I’d love like to see important news at the front of a paper and not just British celebrity nonsense.

The next time England fail in another major tournament of any sport I want us to hold our hands up and admit we were shit.

There can’t always be a scapegoat.

Credit where its due

Being an Arsenal fan I have spent every season with my fingers crossed praying for two things. Arsenal victories and Man Utd defeats. To be honest Spurs don’t really me bother because they haven’t been our title rivals for years.

Yesterday I had to give credit where it was due. As much as I was depressed at the manor in which Man Utd tore Roma to shreds I had to admire the pure class they displayed. Last season he was a one trick pony but Cristiano Ronaldo has been the finest player in the Premiership this season.

As far as I am concerned Man Utd, because of the way they play, (obviously not as attractive Arsenal but pretty nonetheless) are the lesser of two evils, the other being Chelsea and if they win the title it would be some achievement considering the sold Ruud Van Nistlerooy and only brought in Michael Carrick.

They better not win the treble though!

Megan’s Law

No-one would disagree that children should be able to live their lives totally free of harassment. Most would also agree that parents peace of mind about their children’s safety is very important but I think that introducing a version of Megan’s Law (incidentally to be called Sarah’s Law in the UK, after Sarah Payne) would be unjust.

Following a Government report a UK version may be more restricted than the US version with parents being able to request information on local sex offenders but not given their names.

If people in the area are of such a danger to children that parents need to know about them should they really be allowed to live freely in the community?
More importantly without a foolproof justice system what about those falsely accused of such offences? What about the notion of rehabilitation?

These plans raise more questions than answers.

I am sure that if people find out that there is even a possibility of sex offenders in their community fingers will be pointed at the innocent. When the public gets the wind in its sails who knows what will happen?

Paediatricians will once again live in fear.