Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Unempowered Again

If it wasn't enough that the government pile on the policies which most inflict an erosion of rights for women in this country, while pay continues on in its unequal way, today's announcement of the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year takes the final straw.

Not a single woman is on the list, voted for by so called 'experts' of major newspapers and magazines. In the process, each 'expert' submitted a list of ten names, the most common names then appeared in the overall shortlist. Looking down the choices there are several where no woman is mentioned at all. And at most, out of the ten names, only two are women.

I'm extremely curious to know how many of these 'experts' were women, or when the BBC undertook to ask a group of people did they simply think "well, women know nothing about sport anyway - no point asking them"?

Now, for any would-be sportswomen out there, they will have no role models to look up to at this year's contest, no one to inspire them onto achieve greater things. But I imagine that's what these middleclass, middleaged, white (probably), men want. After all as far as they are concerned, a woman's place is in the kitchen preparing dinner while he stretches on the sofa in front of the football.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Do our dreams listen to us?
Rather than us listening to our dreams.
Are dreams an entity
Before they become real
And live for our needs
In another dimension.
Or are dreams prayers in all but name
Requesting those beyond
To intercede on our behalf?
In this way, do our needs and desires
Control the world around us and beyond
And how grateful should we be when they come true?

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Money and the Power

As a description, Terry Wogan’s auction of things money can’t buy, is a bit off the mark, after all money is buying these things and nothing else. I guess you could argue that money doesn’t buy them, only extreme wealth can. Who else, especially in our current economic climate, could afford to spend several thousand pounds on something as spurious as being in possession of the Barclay’s Premier League Trophy for a day?

Even more annoying is Terry’s simpering tones about how wonderfully generous these people are. No they’re not. They’re giving a tiny percentage of their wealth in order to both have their names read out on the radio and get a prize at the end. Far more generous are the ones you never hear about who either donate a small amount (but greater percentage of their wealth) or who donate their own time to good causes.

And why can’t they do this thing behind closed doors with a collection of the super-rich, whose ego’s and competitiveness in such a close environment (plus plenty of drink) might push the final sums up even higher? Why play it on national radio? Well, it’s simple. It’s to make us feel some sort of gratitude to these oligarch’s and multimillionaires, to continue the myth that we are better off with them in charge, that they are kind and generous and benevolent.

It would be much fairer if they asked people to donate a nominal amount, say £5 or £10 (but you could donate more), in order to have a ticket in the draw for all of these things. At least it would give everyone a fair chance and they could conceivably raise more money if enough people donated. But no, the BBC want to continue the myth the rich are wonderful. Well, I for one have always felt a little nauseous when I hear the adverts, and for the sanity of my own wireless, I will not be tuning in.

The other thing that has caught my attention this week is the blatant power politics being played by the FA. Obviously still miffed that FIFA didn’t play fair over the World Cup allocations (and let’s face it they probably didn’t – but get over it!) and perhaps also that England were rubbish in the last world cup, they have sniffed a weakness within the organisation.

If it’s within FIFA’s rules that political and religious symbols should not be worn on football shirts, then denying the England team the chance to parade poppies should be the final say. But FIFA aren’t popular at the moment, the FA know this and so wanted to flex their muscles a bit, even going to the lengths of getting a future King to write a letter.

I have respect for the Royal British Legion, and for people who have died in wars (and don’t get me started on politicians who’ll wear a poppy, say how terrible war is and then three hours later discuss who we should attack next), however I really don’t see what difference it makes whether the England football team wears a poppy or not. If they were playing on Rememberance day or Rememberance Sunday then I could understand it a little, but they are not. It’s a Saturday in the same week as Rememberance and that is all. It would be a far greater gesture by the FA if they got their team of selfish, millionaire, overgrown schoolboys to make them speak out against war, than to make them wear pieces of red and green paper on their lapels.