17 July 2009

All About Everything

Well, I haven't blogged for a while, mainly due to lack of inspiration. It's not that there's been nothing to comment on; quite the opposite, in fact. I've just been unmotivated, having been drained by demands in the real world.

Lions

I almost wrote something about the eye-gouging affair in the recent British & Irish Lions tour. I was going to vent my spleen on the South African player concerned but research showed me that he had appealed against the sentence and had been absolved of the serious charge of deliberately sticking fingers in an opponent's eyes only an hour before I put fingers to keyboard. Such is life. I still think the South African coach's statement appearing to imply that foul play was acceptable was outrageous, despite his subsequent 'clarification'.

While we're on the subject of the Lions tour, didn't they do well? Five minutes more in the first game and we could have won. One stupid error less in the second game (resulting in an impressive kick for three points) and we would have drawn at least, leaving the series open. The emphatic thumping in the third and final game ought to have shown the South Africans how lucky they were to have got away with a series win.

Swine Flu

Then, of course, there's swine flu still doing the rounds. Is it serious or isn't it? I suppose it is if it kills you but it appears to be no worse than the normal seasonal flu - except those who have died are not in the traditional vulnerable demographic, the frail and elderly. Despite this, panic appears to be setting in. I don't know with any certainty anyone who has had it, although my neighbour has been confined to barracks with suspected swine flu. The woman in my garage's office was so absolutely loaded and debilitated with cold last week that she was my best candidate. She should have stayed at home instead of coughing on her left hand, picking up my keys with the same hand, coughing on her right hand, transferring my keys to her newly-splattered appendage, and then passing my keys to me. I'm sure real flu would have overcome even her exemplary dedication to duty. I've had a cold this week. That's good enough for me. Flu? Don't want it.

High Finance

Hasn't it gone quiet on the Parliamentary expenses scandal? Are the police still investigating? Will we see heads roll, or will it all quietly go away because there are more serious things in the news to hide it with? Bankers are back in the news again. Making money. Will we ever learn?

Afghanistan

The death-toll in Afghanistan continues to rise. Whatever the rights and wrongs of our military involvement in that country, it is completely unacceptable that our troops are sent out with less than sufficient and inappropriate equipment. Even General Dannatt, the head of the British Army, has taken an unusual political stance and is making clear that our soldiers do not have all they need. Despite this, Mr Brown is insisting that the troops are properly equipped; what would he know?

Our soldiers are out there laying their lives on the line for a cause none of us is entirely clear about. The recent offensive has resulted in higher fatalities, some of which could have been avoided if the army had access to better and sufficient equipment. Come on, Mr Brown. If you are going to fight a war, you have to be committed to it, one hundred percent. After all, the 186 British service men and woman to date who have lost their lives have given their all. The 186 families of those men and woman have given far more than they care to. If you want our troops out there in harm's way, then equip them properly. If you are not prepared to equip them properly, then bring them home, now.

I want to express my appreciation to the people of Wootton Bassett for the respect they continue to show for our returned dead and their families.

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