Short Takes: October 2022

My IQ dropped just reading this post

What is it with conservative Americans? It’s a work of fiction for crying out loud. Don’t they understand the concept of fiction? Probably not considering how literal they take the Bible.

Solidarity to the women of Iran

Horrible news has been coming out of Iran for the last few weeks, sparked by the death of a woman in custody who was arrested for defying very conservative Hijab laws. Iran used to be quite a liberal Muslim country and women used to have a greater level of freedom thirty years ago than they do now, thanks to the current regime. Protests are springing up left, right and centre as women fight to protect their rights, despite more deaths and disappearances that leave many questions unanswered. I stand in solidarity to the women who are risking their lives for a basic level fo dignity and respect that should be a given right.

Westminster is U-Turn City again

Liz Truss appears to be losing her authority already. No sooner has she announced massive tax cuts for the rich and a lift on the fracking ban, she has been forced to reverse the most controversial decisions due to uproar from within her own party, let alone the huge public outcry in tandem. The Conservative Party Conference has once again provided quite the ding-dong.

Labour are losing the plot, too

It seems increasingly likely that Labour are going to walk the next GE as the Tory Government capitulates in on itself handing the keys to no 10 on a plate. Yet the party itself needs to hold itself accountable for its failings. Racism scandal continues to rock the party, and it’s bizarre decision not to back union strikes confuses and concerns me. The Labour Party is primarily supported by Trade Unions and its members, and its decision not to back strikes in the wake of its members facing real term cuts due to the cost of living crisis means that it no longer represents the working class as a Democratic Socialist party. Whilst a Labour Government would reverse a lot of the damage caused by the last decade plus of Tory mismanagement, it must not be allowed to think it is winning on merit in order to keep it honest.

Boxed In or Boxed Out?

Another sporting doping controversy as the BBBofC refuse to sanction and prohibited the fight between Chris Eubank Jr and Conor Benn, just over 48 hours before it was scheduled to take place, after the latter tested positive for a banned substance, clomifene (A women’s fertility drug). The fight was somewhat always steeped in controversy as there are 3 weight classes between the two men. The hype over this fight, surrounding the sons of two boxing legends, was incredibly high considering no titles were on the line. The whole situation could get uglier as Benn’s B samples are believed not to have been tested, and proper Anti-Doping protocols are not being properly followed. Also, the tests were carried out by a third party (Voluntary Anti-Doping Agency) on behalf of UKADA. Yet another gut punch to a sport’s crumbling reputation.

The FIA are crumbling again

The controversy surrounding the Gasly/Tractor incident, the points system and the early chequered flag during the 2022 Japanese Grand Prix shows that the FIA still have a lot of work to do to prove its competence as a sporting governing body. A full and transparent review must take shape as danger and confusion reigned supreme and overshadowed a deserved second WDC for Max Verstappen. Unless the cost cap report released 24 hours later leads to points deductions or disqualifications.

Who the hell audits Government petitions?

Social media posts have been circulating about a Government petition to ban Manchester City striker Erling Haaland from the Premier league; because they believe he is a robot. Not only is it astonishing that people truly believe that, even if he is breaking records left, right and centre and has only played a handful of games, but it has been allowed to get published as a petition and has garnered 1.9 MILLION signatures, to get debated in Parliament. Considering that auditors have to ratify all official Government petitions to ensure they fall under the jurisdiction of Parliament (Spoiler alert, this petition doesn’t; that is a sporting governing body decision), how the hell did this get clearance to be published?

Rest In Peace, Dame Angela Lansbury

This month, we say goodbye to a true entertainment legend, Angela Lansbury, aged 96. An actress whose diverse range and skills gave many people of different fandoms many memories, for over 8 decades. Her longevity and skills are a tribute to her unwavering dedication, and adoring fan base of all ages. From casting spells as Miss Price in Bedknobs and Broomsticks, to solving crime as Jessica Fletcher in Murder, She Wrote, she will certainly be remembered for decades to come. Rest in peace.

Another cycling scandal: Britich Cycling x Shell

British Cycling and energy company Shell have announced an 8 year sponsorship deal, causing outrage amongst the cycling community and environmentalists. The deal has been called “sportswashing at its finest” and it’s hard not to agree. For a sporting institute that also promotes active travel to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, to sign a deal with a manufacturer of said fuels seems very counterintuitive. Shell did say that they will use the partnership to promote better awareness amongst its motoring customers to ensure Britain’s roads are a safer place for all road users. So hopefully something good will come of this deal, but only time will tell.

Kwarteng’s KamiKwasi spell as chancellor over already

If the mini-budget fiasco wasn’t enough, newly appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng has been sacked a little over 1 month into the job. He is the second-shortest holder of that job title in British history. Embarrassment and problems galore for Truss and her Government. We could yet be in for more chaos and potentially yet another Tory leadership race before the next GE in 2 years.

Cadbury’s Mystery solved!

British chocolate maker Cadbury’s released two mystery flavour bars earlier in the summer, asking customers to guess their flavours. They finally announced on October 13, 2022 that Rhubarb & Custard was the flavour for Mystery Bar One, and Blue Raspberry Slushie was the flavour for Mystery Bar Two. Those who guessed correctly have gone into a prize draw for £5k grand prize with the winners set to be announced in due course.

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