UK Sport in the Dock

It simply isn’t good enough for UK Sport to put all the blame for the allegations of sexism, bullying, cheating and general boorish behaviour currently emerging at British Cycling solely onto the shoulders of cycling’s governing body. Certainly, like all national sports administrations, British Cycling has questions to answer when it comes to all round good governance. But it is UK Sport that have the most to answer. Any national sports strategy and associated funding policy that is skewered obsessively towards international medals is guaranteed to create a dysfunctional and socially regressive climate in the upper echelons of British sport. British Cycling, once the golden girl and boy of British sport has inevitably succumbed to the insane pressures piled on them from UK Sport and their political masters in Whitehall and Westminster. Whilst those pressures persist, we can expect many more examples to emerge of bullying and general dysfunction, not just in cycling but across the entire sporting spectrum.    

 

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New Government Sports Strategy: Eighty-four pages of fine sounding platitudes.

  When it comes to entrenched poverty it is often asked: is it a culture of poverty or a poverty of culture that is the problem?  But there really is no chicken and egg situation when it comes to poverty. Material poverty always and everywhere drives cultural poverty. It always has and it always will. Admittedly, once a culture of poverty has taken hold it too can work to further entrench a material poverty, but we should not allow ourselves be lulled into the mistaken belief that cultural poverty is at the root of the problem.

Last Updated ( Monday, 21 December 2015 09:06 )

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UK Elections: Nobody’s Talking Climate Change.

One thing is fairly predictable no matter which party or coalition of parties comes out on top of the forthcoming UK voting circus; in five years’ time when the next election bandwagon rolls into town Britain will be still be faced with a chronic housing crisis, private corporations will still be trying to get their greedy claws into the National Health Service,  Britain’s foreign policy will still be in hock to the US military-industrial complex, and the widening gap between the one per cent and the rest of us will continue apace. And the Tory press will still be blaming immigrants and benefit claimants for all the nation’s ills. This much is almost certain. And we’ll still be in denial about climate change.

Last Updated ( Monday, 04 May 2015 09:33 )

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The NHS: Labour and Tories both get it wrong.

Nearly everything the Tories say and do is, in the final instance, a reflection of the needs of global capital. They are the mouth piece of the corporate world and have been since the arrival of the Thatcherite neoliberal revolution. Even national capital now plays second fiddle to global capital. And of course we should expect nothing different. Labour in government however has proved to be equally compliant and even in opposition we struggle to find a radical edge to their policies. No more so than in respect to the NHS. So the big Labour ideas around the NHS is all about protecting budgets, getting more staff in and merging health provision and social care. Fair enough in itself, but on further refection these  policies go nowhere near addressing the real issues concerning health care in the 21st century in a post industrial age. With a dramatically aging population relative to the working population, and the demand for treatments that will supposedly provide an ever increasing life expectancy, the status quo simply will not suffice. Something far more radical will be required.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 19 April 2015 17:20 )

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Blitzkrieg: School Sports Partnership’s Are Abolished

Driven by an ideological hatred of all things public, Michael Gove has taken the axe to the national network of successfully functioning School Sports Partnerships. By statistical or anecdotal evidence, the SSP’s established under Labour’s watch, have been a success. More kids at school are playing more sport than we’ve seen for many a year. Some kind of genuine claim to an Olympic legacy might even be made. But Gove cannot accept that some things are better planned and delivered by the public hand. He pretends that local is always better. What he really means is that private is always better.

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