Brazil's Decade of Sport Bulletin: No 1

The first significant off-plan event of Brazil's decade of global sport has just hit the streets. Some 200,000 protesters took to the streets of Rio to protest a new government statute that calls for a wider national distribution of Brazil's newfound oil wealth. The protesters claim the new law will cripple Rio's ability to host the World Cup 2014 and the Olympics 2016. The government responded that the oil royalties should be spread more evenly. The obvious solution is that the multinational oil companies should be expropriated, the oil industry should be fully nationalised and the wealth distributed according to a rational plan. Brazil might look to Venezuela for the way forward.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 May 2018 06:49 )

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Cuba's New Now: nAtional Geographic

A reasonably readable article but you get the sense that not only is it a tad superficial but that it's all been said before. Ok, Gorney adequately summarizes the new government policies that are being tentatively rolled out in Cuba and convincingly expresses both the enthusiasm and scepticism of the Cubans for these reforms. But what Gorney does not do, either because it's not her brief or she simply hasn't got the wherewithal to do so, is to put these new policies into some sort of theoretical perspective. 

Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 May 2018 06:53 )

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BBC TV: Not Fit For Purpose

I'm rather reluctant to criticise the BBC knowing that the corporate vultures are forever circling, eager to tear the old lady to pieces. Murdoch's empire would like nothing better than to see the Beeb unravel, all the better for it to get its claws into the rotting carcass and increase its already considerable share of the media market. Vultures indeed. But to be honest, the golden age of the BBC is well and truly over, and what remains is a sad residue of lack-lustre dramas and dumbed down soaps, most of which seems to be a bland amalgam of Dr Who, Casualty, East Enders and Spooks. The dialogue and acting is wooden, the actors and plots seamlessly interchangeable, and the emotional range limited and cliched. And the least said about the directing the better.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 May 2018 06:58 )

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Jimmy Saville, Tip of a Misogynist Mountain

The nation has got itself in a right lather over Mr Saville, an odiously, evil little man by all accounts. Abusing physically and mentally disabled children ought to be beyond anyone's moral boundaries no matter how libertarian they claim to be. But the more they delve into Saville's past, the more the spotlight shines on Britain's hidden culture, a culture of rampant child abuse, of hypocritical moral standards, and of a culture of deeply ingrained misogyny and exploitation.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 May 2018 07:14 )

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Occupy Movement is Right, Says Bank of England, Richard Hall, Independent, 30/10/12

Strange days indeed. I don't know whether we should be cheering from the rooftops or deeply suspicious in our bunkers when a senior executive of the Bank of England starts singing the praises of the Global Occupy Movement. It is one thing when a few principled souls in the Church of England come out in support of the anti-capitalist occupations but quite another when the BoE executive director of financial stability comes out publically in support of those very same occupations. What's his game? What's he up to? Are we really all singing from the same hymn-sheet? Just whose agenda is he really promoting, the ninety nine per-cent or the one per-cent?

Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 May 2018 07:18 )

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