Terror Police Warned Not To Abuse Their Powers During The 2012 Games.

Sometimes, quite often in fact, I get the feeling while blogging away, that I have become dangerously paranoid. Most people on the left get this feeling from time to time. We are forever warning of the creeping fascism all around us. Then suddenly, you get the unnerving thought that it's all in the mind. There is no incipient police state in Britain, just the perpetual dialectic between personal liberties and legitimate state security. The modern neo fascist state is nothing but a delusional state; the only fascist jack boots are in the mind. Then a little something happens and suddenly it all comes flooding back. The dangers are real. The State really is malign. And further more, the State is more than prepared to stamp on any dissent, real or imagined. Just consider the following.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 May 2018 08:30 )

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Matthew Syed's growing psychosis

Last year Syed wrote a brilliant piece outlining the elitist nature of the Olympic Games, where many of the sports included were very much the preserve of the wealthy elites in the rich Western countries. What chance for the impoverished African and Asian countries in pistol shooting, fencing or the equestrian events? Zero.

Syed was most emphatic on this point and Sporting Polemics congratulated him accordingly. (See Festival of Elitism)

This week Syed raised another telling point concerning the mismatched competitions in the early rounds. Is he the only sports journalist in Britain doing any serious thinking about the Olympics? In the article The Times 16/2/11 Syed explains how small and impoverished countries are encouraged by the IOC to send participants for all events, and this results in hopelessly unequal contests, sometimes between aspiring world champions and complete novices. This is superficially a great egalitarian gesture, but in reality is a complete IOC con where honest punters are cajoled into buying tickets for these cheaper early rounds, but all too often get stuck with complete duds. If all these early rounds were free for school children; that would be a genuine IOC response, but we all know that the IOC and its national bodies are all about maximisation of profit. Free tickets for school children simple does not compute.

Syed sums up the matter thus;

Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 July 2018 17:21 )

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Matt Syed; Cynic or Enlightened Realist? Olympic notes No1

Two years minus one day to go until the London Olympics and Simon Barnes is getting all misty-eyed in The Times 28/7/10. As he waxes lyrical about the Olympics and, their unique tension, their unique meaning, he tells us cynics to look elsewhere. I took his advice and turned to Matthew Syed's column in the sports pages. What a welcome relief. It is not cynicism that Syed was offering but hard nosed realism. And as the London Olympic clock ticks away and the hyperbole become ever more intense we will all be in desperate need of some down to earth realism. Here is a sample of what Barnes might regard as cynicism but which I regard as a much needed breath of fresh air. That entire official marketing bumph from Sebastian Coe was starting to suffocate me. 


Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 May 2018 16:16 )

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London Olympics

I learned today that were was exactly two years to go before the official start of the London Olympics so I rushed out to buy a selection of newspapers to see what they had to say. I was sorely disappointed. I scanned through copies of The Times, The Telegraph and The Guardian and only the later attempted some serious journalism. The first two publications offered nothing but bland platitudes about medal hopes, organisational matters and legacy hopes. Both printed Seb Coe's vacuous 'Plan Your Games' speech without any corresponding editorial comment. It was left to The Guardian's Owen Gibson, one of Britain's most rigorous sports journalists, to dig a little deeper behind the headlines. Gibson has a proud record in this respect.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 27 May 2018 16:30 )

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Festival of Olympic Elitism

With the exception of the state sponsored Chinese competitors, can you imagine any of the Olympic athletes competing at the winter games in Vancouver being from anywhere other than a privileged background? I'm happy to be proven wrong but the sort of lifestyle required to be slogging up and down ski slopes and the like just does not seem to chime with the day to day grind of working class life. And if the odd proletarian competitor did slip through the net, you can rest assured they are even more unlikely to be among the medal winners.

Last Updated ( Monday, 28 May 2018 16:04 )

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