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Class is Permanent

Thanks Brian for the quote.

Divided City

Well today is the day when the SPL title destination will be decided. I don’t think it’s quite so cut and dried as everyone seems to think. Strange things happen on the last day and I’m reminded of 2005 when two Motherwell goals denied Celtic of a championship that looked a formality just three minutes from the end of that game and season.

I am of the opinion that Celtic will win convincingly today. Their opponents, once again Motherwell, are resting players for next week’s cup final against the same opposition. Obviously Motherwell’s efforts will be going into that match rather than today’s and Celtic’s home advantage along with the necessity for them to get a result should win the match for them and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was by a significant margin.

Rangers should win their match (away to Kilmarnock) too and I think they will, but theirs is the more tricky task. Even though they haven’t beaten Rangers at Rugby Park since the days when Tommy Burns was manager there, Killie will be fired up for the game which could be the last chance for their caretaker manager and some of their players to win contracts for next season. Although Rangers have that one point advantage, they have to win, because the assumption will be that Celtic will win too.

So that’s the football side of it, and one that we’ve heard precious little about this week in the wake of further threats and a physical assault on Neil Lennon. That in a week when there have been two arrests of people who allegedly sent letter bombs to the Celtic manager and other prominent supporters of the club.

Whatever the result of today’s games and the destination of the championship, I hope it can be done without one or other set of fans urging the others to go home to overseas lands. I hope that songs about late seventeenth or early twentieth century battles and wars in Ireland won’t be given an airing. No gloating over the fear and alarm suffered by Neil Lennon or indeed Nacho Novo.

Oh aye and religion? Keep it to yourselves lads.

All of you.

United City

I was pleased to see that a couple of hours after Manchester United secured their 19th top flight championship win yesterday, that their old rivals City won the FA Cup by virtue of a 1-0 victory over Stoke City. It was the day after the second anniversary of my father-in -law’s passing and he was a follower of City in the halcyon days of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Alison – Colin Bell, Mike Sumerbee,Francis Lee, Joe Corrigan and co, but his support went way back to the days of the likes of Frank Swift, George Smith, Don Revie and Bert Sproston.

Balotelli, Tevez and Kompany (sic) may not stay around long enough to become such City legends, such is the game these days, and I’m sure that Bill, my father in law, as he watched City in some dour struggle in the mud against Derby County or Huddersfield in the 1960’s would not have dreamed that City would one day, as one of the richest clubs in the world, win an FA cup with a goal scored by someone called Yaya Toure. Or that they’d do it on a day when there were other games taking place.

It may have been a multi national, highly financed effort but finally City have won a trophy, their first since 1976. During that time they’ve been down as far as whatever they call the Third Division these days. They’ve had several owners, many managers and a plethora of players.

They’re now back in the big time and despite the fact that’s been done on the back of some serious money being spent, it seems right somehow.

Angry and Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells

Some letters to the Telegraph about the possibility of Scottish independence.

Dodgy

I’ve never believed Alistair Campbell or Tony Blair’s accounts of the lead up to the war in Iraq for one second. Respectively they are 1) A smart arsed media man and 2) A smart arsed lawyer/politician and they may know how to respond to awkward questions, but truth? nah sorry, they wouldn’t know truth if it was dressed up in a day-glo suit, smelling strongly of garlic and shouting ‘I am truth’ through a megaphone.

These bastards lied about their desire to engineer British involvement in Bush’s great middle east adventure, and were prepared to stand by as the Chairman and Director General of the BBC meekly resigned. Their crime? telling the TRUTH.

In an article in the Independent on Sunday Kevin Marsh who was the editor of the Today programme (which covered the story that the Iraq dossier had been ‘sexed up’) in 2003 comments on evidence given to the Chilcot enquiry by intelligence official Michael Laurie:

(Marsh described Maj-Gen Laurie’s evidence as) “devastating for [Alastair] Campbell”, the former Downing Street communications chief, whose furious response to the Today report led to the Hutton Inquiry and ultimately to the resignations of the BBC’s director general and chairman. “The thing that rankles with me a little bit is that I thought at the time when [the Today reporter] Andrew Gilligan came with the story was that it wasn’t just broadly correct, it was 100 per cent correct,” Mr Marsh said.

“Here’s the guy at the very top of the [Defence Intelligence Staff] saying, ‘we knew we were being pushed to find a certain bit of evidence and it was being presented in a certain way’ and that’s exactly what Andrew said in his story.”

In written evidence to the Chilcot inquiry, Maj-Gen Laurie rejected Mr Campbell’s claim that the dossier was not intended to make the case for war: “This was exactly its purpose and these very words were used.” In the wake of the Hutton report, the BBC is widely held to have become more cautious in its journalism, introducing layers of procedural checks as senior executives sought to avoid further criticism. Mr Marsh, who was later appointed executive editor of the BBC College of Journalism, described it as a “fairly suffocating compliance culture”.

John Kampfner, who was a political correspondent on Today but left before the 2003 controversy, said the BBC should have done more to stand up to the New Labour government. “There was absolutely no willingness on behalf of the governors to do anything but raise the white flag,” he said. “It was a wholesale capitulation instead of what should have been a partial expression of regret for certain procedures of oversight with an agreement to disagree on the substance and [an expression of] support for courageous journalism.” What was already a cautious news organisation took on a culture of being fearful of “sticking your neck out”, he said.

Mr Campbell has said he has nothing to add to his previous evidence.

So what now?

Perjury proceedings against Blair and Campbell?

About as likely as Madeleine McCann being found alive and well by Inspector Knacker of the Yard I’d guess.

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