23 April 2008

Rugby at Petersfield

My friend Andy Millar sent me this photo. Four Petersfield tacklers trying to stop the Totts player's run, but he just kept on going. This was in the first half, which Tottonians won 0-26. Petersfield were a little better in the second period, scoring a converted try and then mounting a tremendous (but well defended) attack that lasted almost the entire final 10 minutes.

Olympic torch in San Francisco

I missed the TV footage but it sounds like an absolute farce. Well done to our American friends.

Bloody Gillette

They've just put their prices up again. Over £6 for four Mach3 Turbo blades. The girl in Superdrug wanted nearly a tenner for a pack of five. The pattern seems to be the same each year. Shops run out of the blades at the current price, racks empty. It's strange how they all seem to run out at the same time.

Then Hallelujah! Some fancy new device arrives, with even more expensive replacements, accompanied by another stupid and no doubt very pricey advertising campaign. If you can get them, the supplies for your existing razor are jacked up at the same time. This pattern seems eerily familiar - every year? And the price seems the same pretty much everywhere - in this country and abroad. The marketing department from hell.

08 April 2008

More Olympic protests

It's amazing to see how the French love to compete with the Brits in every sphere of human endeavour.

London deployed 2000 police, and spent a paltry £1 million to support the Chinese propaganda rally (or Olympic Torch Relay, as they would have it). We had 35 arrested, and the flame stayed alight at all times. The French, in comparison, deployed up to 3000 police; no idea what this cost, but they included 65 motorbikers, 200 roller bladers and 200 riot police.

Only 18 demonstrators were arrested but the flame was extinguished no less than four times, had to be taken to a place of safety (a bus) and the ceremony at the Hôtel de Ville was cancelled. I'd say that's one up to France.

25 March 2008

China, Tibet and sport

So there was a protest, at the lighting of the Olympic flame this weekend, against China's continued occupation of Tibet. What a surprise! Sadly, the Greek police are said to have beaten up the protesters, who did little more than wave a flag and shout.

We sometimes hear the view that sport and politics shouldn't be mixed. This is always expressed by people who want the sport to go ahead despite the unacceptable behaviour of the host country. The Olympics shouldn't have been awarded to China so early in its transition from Communist dictatorship to something new, but it's too late to undo that mistake. However, if it continues to kill people in Tibet and refuses to discuss or acknowledge any rights of the people of Tibet, it's not too late for athletes and countries with a conscience to stay away from the Beijing Games.

And if that means in turn that London loses the 2012 Olympics, so what? We'd no longer be obliged to meet the demands of the IOC, no longer subsidise this vehicle for politicians' flag waving, and save about £8 billion too. And we could spend that on sport.

22 March 2008

Test posting by e-mail

This is a test posting made using e-mail from my work account.

Will it notice things like FORMATTING?

New blog

This blog will dip into the things that we should all pay attention to - the environment, business and technology, and how politics can screw each of these up. Just somewhere to let off steam, really. And I may divert into sport and the arts too when they're worth the effort. Let's hope so.

Why do this? Aren't there enough blogs already that no-one reads? My main motivation in starting is to have a sandpit to try out blogging tools for use at work, where I think this will be a very valuable way for my colleagues and customers to develop ideas. But maybe it will develop into something more interesting on the journey.