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Saturday, 23 Jul 2005

A man was shot dead on a tube train yesterday as a police chase ended violently and decisively.

Some people might think this was unnecessary and no different from the terrorism they're battling against. I say that is a specious argument and shows poor analysis.

This link might work:-

I'm right there with the police officers and the decisive action. No way could they guarantee that the suspected perpetrator would not blow up himself and them with him, but the odds of stopping a potential blast are with the head shot.

Two weeks and a day after the 7th July bombings and one suspected terrorist is taken down. It gives a very clear signal that we won't be messed with. It's a sad change to our historically tolerant way of life in UK, where the need for such armed brandishings was not so long ago unheard of, but we live in interesting times and we need to get serious and give the right signals that UK is no longer a soft target.

EDIT 03-Nov-2006

Since my original post, the plot went pear-shaped and then thickened like treacle. First we found that Jean Charles Menezes was not close to being a terrorist but was a tragic victim of mistaken identity.

Then there was news that his stay in UK was not properly cleared, which may have explained why he ran away from the police. Then we heard that there was no chase. Then we heard that the police boss man Sir Ian Blair claimed not to know about the mistaken identity way past when he should have been told, as an explanantion for duff information he gave at a press conference.

I'd still endorse the dread strategy and tactics used by the police in principle but getting your intel right is paramount. They failed in this responsibility.

Since this incident this poor man has become a symbol of us getting it wrong in the so-called war against terror.

It's all a mess.

Saturday, 9 Jul 2005

Steven Wells has written a terrific article at Guardian Unlimited:-

"Free tennis for all" :,13391,989374,00.html

To quote a bit:-

Oh yeah. Tim's NOT going to win. But if he does it's going to be a DISASTER for British tennis. Look, face facts, British tennis is crap. It's a sporting Chernobyl. It's a smug, sterile, mono-cultural, quasi-fascist, casually racist, elitist, snob-ridden, blazer-buggered, apartheid-crippled disaster area. It makes golf look like the Notting Hill carnival. It makes Polo look like a festival of miscegenation. OK, so that last line was total bollocks. But you get the picture.

Like you, I was appalled the facts catalogued in Martin Jaques' brilliant Guardian article about racism in tennis. And I was shocked to learn that a few years ago "a certain British newspaper" pulled out of an interview with the Williams sisters when it realised, at the last moment, that they were black. That's more than just disgusting - it's also indicative of why we're so crap at tennis. Racism and class bias strangles talent in the pram.

So IF Tim Henman wins Wimbledon - what sort of message would that send to those who want to keep tennis nice, middle class and white? It would mean that the pressure for tennis to change - to become both multi-cultural and truly inclusive - would slacken. Inertia, smugness and unexamined privilege would do the rest. And British tennis would slumber on - monocultural, mimsy and mediocre.

The LTA does okay. Look, they're paying their bills. Well, maybe in fact they are making a fortune. I think Wimbledon washes its face in business terms. I wonder how embarrassed they are that year upon year we have a non-British final and that most of the Brits - the few that docompete at all - get blasted off the court in the first few days. Obviously not embarrassed enough to capture and nurture new talent - invest in a few players.

Just a couple of years ago Arvind Parmer was being recognised as a contender with yet more potential to show us. Since then nothing happened, asfar as I can tell. Maybe he just did not deliver the results or could it be that he is just the wrong colour for the LTA to commit to his development? Beacon