The Department of Health has been heavily criticis

first_imgThe Department of Health has been heavily criticised for downgrading the seniority of the minister in charge of adult social care.The last four ministers responsible for social care – Labour’s Phil Hope, Liberal Democrats Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb, and Tory Alistair Burt – were all ministers of state, senior ministers one level below the secretary of state.But David Mowat, appointed in the ministerial reshuffle that followed the replacement of prime minister David Cameron by Theresa May, will only be a junior minister.His brief as minister for community health and care includes adult social care, carers, community services, cancer, dementia, learning difficulties and primary care.Mowat, MP for Warrington South since 2010, is a former global managing partner with the consulting firm Accenture, and describes his parliamentary interests as “energy policy, economic growth and job creation, occupational pensions and banking”.Other appointments under health secretary Jeremy Hunt include Philip Dunne as minister of state for health, and Nicola Blackwood as junior minister for public health and innovation, while Lord Prior remains as a junior minister covering all aspects of health in the House of Lords.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of Shaping Our Lives, said that downgrading the role of social care minister “has to be a serious backward step”.He said: “Symbolically it is important; it communicates lowered priority for social care, when many experts and service-users thought it couldn’t get much worse.“We need committed, skilled ministers for social care. Truth is this should be a cabinet post, not a further downgraded one.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said: “I share the concerns that others have expressed about what would appear to be the political downgrading of social care, both in the ministerial responsibility being more junior and the restructuring of the Department of Health itself, which means there is no longer a specific senior social care responsibility. “Those of us involved in social care need to have a serious think about how we get over to the public the terrible experiences many disabled people and people with long-term health conditions are having as a result of funding cuts – being virtually institutionalised at home – given that the message is clearly not getting through to government.”Lamb said on Twitter that the decision to downgrade the ministerial role seemed “quite extraordinary” because “confronting [the] massive challenge in social care will be critical in sustaining [the] NHS”.A Department of Heath spokesman said the decision to make Mowat a junior minister “doesn’t mean social care is of any less importance to this government”.He said: “It doesn’t mean there has been a downgrading of social care just because that minister has been given a different job title.“The government is committed to social care. The commitments in place before the reshuffle are still there. The commitment to social care remains as strong as ever.”He added: “When it comes down to it, it is probably because Philip Dunne [who was previously a minister of state in the Ministry of Defence] has had more experience across government during the time he has been elected as an MP.”Picture: The Department of Health offices in Whitehalllast_img read more

Maps Art in the Mission

first_img 0% We’re publishing a new My Mission Zine in a few weeks – a sort of guide to the neighborhood, filled with thoughts from those who live here as well as maps of resources and local haunts.We’re asking for your help to crowd source our maps!Today map: Art in the Mission. Know any good sites we’ve left out? Let us know in the comments and we will add them.Many thanks! Click here to see the full map.Click here to see a full list of the maps. center_img Tags: Maps – Printable to Guide You Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img

Bolivia woman accused of food stamp fraud

first_imgBRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bolivia woman is accused of committing food stamp fraud.According to arrest warrants, Sheila Emmons Deans, 57, forged someone else’s name on their food stamp recertification form. She’s then accused of using the EBT card as her own to buy groceries from Walmart, Piggly Wiggly, and Food Lion.- Advertisement – She’s charged with the following:Four counts of forgery of endorsementTwo counts of food stamp fraudSeven counts of obtain property by false pretenseShe’s accused of using the EBT card to purchase nearly $520 worth of groceries.The crimes happened between June of 2013 and June of 2015.Related Article: Wilmington Police: Man dies in S. 11th Street shootingShe is out of jail on bond.last_img

Senate stays quiet on GenX bill Clean Cape Fear begs for cooperation

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — While the House came to a unanimous decision, the Senate remained tight-lipped.The bill passed by the house gives two million dollars for technology to identify and research GenX and other contaminants. As well as money for the Department of Environmental Quality to hire more personnel. But some state senators do not see this as a productive route to take.- Advertisement – “I support everything we can to provide clean water to my constituents, neighbors and family. I personally have serious concerns about the legislation as it does absolutely nothing to provide clean water to our citizens and may lead people to think otherwise,” Senator Michael Lee said.Local groups, like Clean Cape Fear, are hoping more will be done by lawmakers and are afraid they are forgetting about the people.“It’s appalling to me that our legislators would be playing these games with clean water. This is their job. It’s their job to protect us from things like this. I have two kids. You know, we buy our water and that’s not what we should be doing,” Dana Sargent, a Clean Cape Fear member, said.Related Article: Special session to let NC lawmakers change amendment languageBut Representative Bill Rabon says this is something which needs more attention and action than just testing.“Stop the discharge. Find out how we get this out of our drinking water at the water treatment level. Get it out of the water, make that water safe to drink for everyone. And then how do we dispose of the material that we have removed from the water,” Rabon said.The bill passed by the house asks for everything to be in place by June, but Senate leader Phil Berger said they are not going to discuss it until May.last_img read more

Leland hosts first ever Bike Rodeo

first_imgLELAND, NC (WWAY) —  Families headed to Leland Town Hall over the weekend for the town’s first ever Bike Rodeo.The event was put on by the town of Leland in partner with Leland Fire and Rescue, the Leland Police Department, and Safe Kids of Cape Fear.- Advertisement – The town recently received a grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation to provide children with helmets.Deputy Chief Ronnie Hayes with Leland Fire and Emergency Services says rather than just give the helmets away, they wanted to teach kids how to be safe when riding a bicycle.“We’re a growing community in a town that has lots of bike friendly areas and neighborhoods, and we want the kids to be safe. We don’t want to have to go when we’re called on 911 calls like that, so we want to train them so they know how to take care of themselves,” said Hayes.Related Article: DINK FOR PINK: Pickleball players raise paddles to fight breast cancerAfter the kids learned how to safely operate a bike, there was a special screening of the movie Cars 3 in Leland Municipal Park at dusk.Hayes said he hopes to continue the event in the future.last_img read more

CFPUA approves contracts to filter GenX and other compounds

first_imgA look inside the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant in Wilmington, NC (Photo: Justin McKee/WWAY) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority Board approved two contracts to begin filtering PFAS at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant.The first is a $1,300,860 contract with Calgon Carbon to replace existing filter media at the plant.- Advertisement – The board also approved a $2,759,000 contract with Black & Veatch for the design of GAC treatment at the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. The agreements represent both an interim and long-term solution to reducing per- and polyfluorinated (PFAS) compounds found in the Cape Fear River.It is unclear what impact the compounds have on public health. Still, public health experts agree that reducing exposure to these compounds is beneficial.The board voted on Wednesday for the following:An interim solution to adjust the existing filtration process to reduce PFAS levels until the upgrade is complete. This interim solution takes filters out of service during the media replacement process and is not practical in the future as water demands increase. This interim solution can be in place as early as this winter.A long-term solution for PFAS reduction begins with a post-filter GAC treatment design for the Sweeney Water Treatment Plant. The approved contract includes the design and permitting, which are expected to be completed by July 2019.Related Article: Floodwaters inundate lake at NC power plant, raising alarmCFPUA will hold four public meetings to discuss these next steps.The public is encouraged to attend any of the public meetings and to learn more about CFPUA’s plan, ask questions, and share comments. The dates, times, and locations will be announced later this week.The project is expected to cost $46 million.The CFPUA board approved a resolution to allow CFPUA to submit a grant application to North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.CFPUA will request state grant assistance for construction of the new GAC facility at Sweeney.last_img read more

Get moving at the 21st Annual Oak Island Lighthouse RunWalk

first_imgOAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — You have a chance to fit some fitness into your weekend, with the 21st Annual Oak Island Lighthouse Run and Walk on Saturday, April 13.Co-chair of this year’s run, Seth Robbins, sat down with us to give all the details.- Advertisement – You can register here.last_img

Boiling Spring Lakes resident wins lengthy case against the city

first_img Back in 2014, Wilkie sued the city after a project to raise the levels of spring lake flooded part of their property for more than a year. Wilkie won the case, but the city appealed. The case went to the Appeals Court, State Supreme Court, back to the Appeals Court and, lastly to a trial court to assess damage.“The end result is that it cost the tax payers of Boiling Springs Lake over $70,000 and, us, residents got ‘ nothing’,” Wilkie said. “I didn’t want this, but I can’t give my property away.”Wilkie says, after the city removed the pipe elbows that raised the lake, it left $1,500 worth of damage. He is now waiting on a check for about $2,000 from the Clerk of Superior Courts.Related Article: NC Court of Appeals sides with Boiling Spring Lakes couple over flooded propertyWilkie encourages residents to stand up for their rights and speak up when things go awry in communities. BOILING SPRING LAKES,NC (WWAY) — One Boiling Spring Lakes resident is finally closing the books on a lengthy legal battle with the city. Ed Wilkie is now just waiting on his check.Just a few weeks ago, in the last round of a series of court appearances, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Wilkie.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Photos The Annual Guides and Scouts parade

first_img SharePrint The Malta Girl Guides and the Scout Association of Malta have once again joined forces on Sunday to produce the Annual Guides and Scouts Parade in Valletta.The President and Mrs Vella attend the Scouts and Girl Guides ParadeFollowing mass at the Phoenicia Hotel, thousands of young members together with their adult leaders marched through Valletta.Upon arrival in St. George’s Square they saluted the President of Malta, George Vella who was on the podium awaiting their arrival to take the salute as the patron of both associations.The President and Mrs Vella attend the Scouts and Girl Guides ParadeThe parade then continued towards Archbishop Street and up Merchants Street to end near the Auberge de Castille. Many people await this annual parade which is synonymous to colour, and tradition.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Climate change Biggest challenge is to get people to take policies on

first_imgEuropean Parliament VallettaEuropean Parliament Valletta BirdLife Malta CEO Mark Sultana said that the getting the public to take policies on board which are aimed at mitigating climate change, poses the biggest challenge to politicians.Sultana was speaking at a public discussion on the EU’s Roadmap to fighting climate change on Thursday. The discussion organized in Gozo is part of the European Parliament’s this Time I’m Voting campaign. Acting Head of the European Parliament Office in Malta Anna Zammit Vella, European Parliament Environmental Policies Specialist Baptiste Chatain, Deputy Head of Cabinet of the European Commissioner for Environment Kathiana Ghio, Malta’s Climate Change Simone Borg, and Mark Sultana participated in the public discussion.Sultana remarked that ‘the biggest challenge to politicians is to get people to take policies on board’, using the plastic bag loophole to explain better. The eNGO CEO underlined the need to highlight the risks associated with climate change as well as the dire need for people to start voicing their concern as well as more active participation. Sultana observed that despite the closing-down of the Marsa power station, Malta has some six or seven cruise liners recurrently docked in port, which use sulphur fuel that is dirtier than that used in the North Sea. Sultana remarked that the European Union is inviting civil organisations where the government is not, and that he explained, is the reason why civil organisations need the EU as it empowers them.Professor Simone Borg outlined the three main pillars of climate action: mitigation (reducing emissions), adaption to climate change and the governance of climate change issues. Borg reminded that the EU has required that all of its Member States to have a plan of how to achieve a low-carbon economy.During his keynote intervention Chatain observed how the European Union is only a fraction of the global scenario and stressed on the importance of achieving more through climate diplomacy.European Parliament VallettaZammit Vella highlighted how three quarters of Europeans want the EU to do more to protect the environment. During her introductory remarks she outlined the Parliament’s action and also spoke of the opportunity that Swedish green activist Greta Thunberg was given at the EP to voice her concerns.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Civil protection cleared mixture of blood and water from Xewkija road

first_imgMinisters Justyne Caruana and Michael Farrugia confirmed that animal blood that was in a street in Xewkija has now been taken care of as it was a source of danger for those using the thoroughfare.Minister of Home Affairs and National Security said that a fire engine had been sent at Triq il-Biċċerija after a call was received with the information that animal blood on the ground could be of peril to drivers. Members of the Civil Protection Unit dispersed the blood with water.Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana stated that the substance on the ground was not blood but a dilution of water used in the cleaning following a slaughter session at the slaughterhouse, and the blood residue from such. Such mixture usually empties out in drains different from the ones used for bloodshed in the slaughter, which is collected in tanks that are then sent to Malta for incineration.This time, the cleaning residual emptied in the street as one of the drains was congested at the beginning of the cleaning process. The situation was rectified immediately.  Minister Caruana also confirmed that no investigations were done. The incident happened on the 13th of May, and it transpired after a parliamentary question asked by PN MP Chris Said.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Uganda Telecom Opens New Kiosks To Boost Distribution Network

first_imgAdvertisement Thekiosks are scheduled to be placed on every street in Uganda. The newly refurbished kiosks are being given to interested parties to use as a place of business. These kiosks are in support of our valued Distributor partners, assisting them to create more visible and effective points of sales and service.Every kiosk will have Uganda Telecom stock for sale including simcards, electronic and paper airtime, Msente services and registration, phones and other products.“Uganda Telecom is committed to providing easy access to communication and today we are launching over 400 new outlets where our customers can access our products and services” said Stanley Henning, UTL COO.Uganda Telecom has got a distribution network across the country of 25,000 outlets that sell airtime and simcards. These 440 will boost this network and provide access to more services that the telecom innovator has under their docket.Mr Henning added “By opening these new outlets in strategic locations and furnishing them with most of our products, we are in effect bringing our services closer to the people and saving you the hassle of looking for the product as it is right there on your doorstep.” – Advertisement – Uganda Telecom has got a distribution network across the country of 25,000 outlets that sell airtime and simcards. These 440 will boost this network and provide access to more services that the telecom innovator has under their docket.The kiosks will also house Public Payphones and the agents will be able to handle anycustomer care query. Agents will also be able to help educate customers about Msente. Msente is a UTL mobile wallet for a subscriber that offers a fast, secure and painless method for money transfer and bill payment.The Service is USSD based and the code for Msente users is *500#. This code enables one access the Msente menu on your mobile phone and allows users to deposit funds, transfer funds, withdraw funds, buy airtime, pay school fess, insurance and pay bills directly over their mobile phone: The launch of the kiosks was done on Kimathi Avenue where Uganda Telecom has 3 newly branded and kitted kiosks.END.last_img read more

Super Mario Now Playable on Web Browser

first_imgAdvertisement Breathe happy, my friends. Full Screen Mario has converted the beloved adventures of Mario and Luigi onto HTML 5 so you can save Princess Peach straight from your computer browser. The game covers all the levels found in the original game and features the addictive MIDIs we know and love. Players can also design their own levels for an added twist.Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some Koopas and Goombas to take care of.last_img

Rwanda to access affordable devices for connectivity

first_imgAdvertisement Rwandans will soon have affordable devices for internet connectivity that they can pay for on a long-term basis, according to the country’s director general in charge of ICT in the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Didier Nkurikiyimfura, at the 11th edition of the ICT Literacy and Awareness campaign in Karongi District.Nkurikiyimfura said: Just like several citizens are able to make a call, is the same way we need internet connectivity especially the 4G to allow every individual to receive the network and what is left is to have the devices.The director said they have been talking to manufacturers, suppliers and banks to find a way through which citizens can buy devices through bank services using a specific financial product.There are other working models towards this end, an example being Gira ICT, which is currently providing people with devices at a low price, to be paid over a period of one or two years.In fact, this strategy works really well, It is very important to have a positive attitude towards ICT. We came to remind you that you have ideas and all you need is to access the ICT tools and then enhance your initiatives. Nkurikiyimfura saidlast_img read more

Oracle Launches CapacityBuilding Programme to Close IT Skills Gap in Africa

first_imgAdvertisement Oracle Corporation has today announced an initiative designed to enrich and increase the skills capacity of IT practitioners in Africa.The four-pronged program was devised as a response to the rapid adoption of new technologies by governments and businesses in Africa, exacerbating the shortage of suitably skilled practitioners to use the systems to best advantage.According to Oracle, the dramatic advancement of technology over the past five years has resulted in a gap in IT competencies and skills availability. Organizations in Africa are adopting new technologies at a rate which is outstripping the availability of appropriately qualified staff.“Today IT holds the promise to promote social inclusion, combat corruption, expand the digital economy and enable stronger links between citizens and governments, businesses and customers, NGOs and the communities they serve,” said Alfonso Di Ianni, Senior Vice President, Oracle East Central Europe, Middle East and Africa. “They can do this and at the same time dramatically reduce costs and improve efficiency.  However for technology to support such transformation, organizations must have ready access to people capable of setting up and maintaining these systems.” – Advertisement – Consisting of four elements – employee readiness, ecosystem readiness, workforce readiness and youth readiness, Oracle is reaching out to governments, the private sector and non-profit organizations to implement a long term skills strategy that will help fulfill demand for relevant IT skills.The Infographic below can explain in detail.last_img read more

Mobile Money Africa Ingenico Group earns Award

first_imgAdvertisement At the 5th edition of the annual Mobile Money Expo in Lagos, Nigeria, Ingenico Group, the global leader in seamless payment, won the very coveted ‘Financial Inclusion Platform of the Year’ Award.In recognition of its Financial Inclusion initiatives across Africa, Ingenico Group also received the Awards for ‘Best Mobile Money/Card Combination’ and ‘Best Data Monitoring Solution’.The Kalahari awards are dedicated to acknowledging creativity, commitment and excellence in the mobile financial services across Africa. – Advertisement – Each award is given based on a number of criteria, including geographic market penetration, on-going of commercial campaigns, regulatory compliance, cross-sector partnerships, active deployments and future potentials for further growth.“We are very proud to be the ‘Financial Inclusion Platform of the Year’ Award winner, and very honored to be rewarded with 3 Kalahari awards”, commented Rachid Oulad Akdim, Africa Managing Director, Ingenico Group.“Ingenico Group leverages both its in-depth market knowledge and technology to enable its customers to have a long-lasting, positive impact on developing communities, while still growing their business and contributing to positive economic growth.These awards confirm our strategy as we are committed to pursue our vision to deepen financial inclusion and offer the African market evermore empowering services and solutions.”last_img read more

Rob Shuter appointed new Chief Executive of MTN Group

first_imgAdvertisement MTN Group has moved to appoint a new chief executive officer. The company announced to shareholders on Monday morning that its board has voted to appoint Rob Shuter as its new group president and CEO.Shuter is set to head up MTN after the company’s former CEO Sifiso Dabengwa quit last year and was replaced by Phuthuma Nhleko, who temporarily took over. He will revert to his role as non-executive chairman as soon as Shuter starts his new role.MTN Group said in an official statement: “The Company is pleased to advise that after conducting an extensive global search for a  candidate suited to the demands of the Group’s future strategy, the Board has resolved to appoint Rob Shuter as the new Group President and CEO.” – Advertisement – Rob may commence as soon as it is practically possible in 2017 but not later than 1 July 2017 after the completion of his current contractual obligations.Rob, a South African national, is the current CEO of the European Cluster at Vodafone Group and has extensive experience in telecoms and banking having held senior management roles at Vodacom Group, Standard Bank and Nedbank prior to joining Vodafone Group.Rob ShuterMTN is confident that Rob will bring experience and new insights to the CEO role having had many years in the telecoms sector both in Africa and Europe as well as in banking where his expertise will help as MTN continues to develop its new business strategy.Rob Shuter said – “I am honoured to have the opportunity and look forward to working with Phuthuma and the MTN Group board to ensure that we build on a strong foundation laid over the last 15 – 20 years for the Group to realize its full potential.”Further appointment of a new VP M&A and Strategy will be effective 1 October 2016. Godfrey Motsa has also been appointed by the countries in the SEA Region (excluding South Africa) to oversee the operations in those regions with effect from 1 July 2016.Appointment of additional non executive directors: Paul Hanratty, Stan Miller, Nkululeko Sowazi.last_img read more

BEN KEITHS BLOG Theys Yous Uss and Wes

first_imgOh Blog, what a fabulous weekend I’ve had with Belindabelle in Whitstable. The faultless menu at The Oyster House, a seafood-platter at Wheelers, a stroll along the quirky and disjointed sea walk of the front, the warm water of the estuary to flop back into after lunch. I’m addicted. I admit it. If you haven’t been, come and check out this shining little gem of a town.Blog, the red mist descended yesterday. It comes so rarely to me but it fell upon my being. I came into contact with one of the ignorant people.Do you remember the disaster some years ago (2004) when a huge group of Chinese illegal-immigrants were picking cockles for a gang-master, he forgot to come and collect them from the sands, and the tide came in and tragically drowned them all? When this came onto the news, it was far more than just a distant statistic of death. In the way that it found a group of people who had escaped together, for a better life, to live out their dreams in the ‘perfect’ western world, it was so much more cutting and cruel than a freak natural-disaster or train-crash.What struck me about the event though, was the inhumanity and cold attitude shown buy ‘Us’, the ‘We’; People. How do you forget to collect a group of fellow human beings, working miles out on the sand, picking shellfish out of the salt, for a pittance in remuneration? The tide’s coming in. You know when it’s coming. There’s a timetable for Christ’s sake. But it wasn’t just that. The incident had happened. There was no way to reverse it. The people’s lives had gone. What cut me most though, was the sickening jokes and barbaric attitude that so many of the spoilt English people had towards the event. In the sounds they made, coming out of the holes in the front of their alcohol and nicotine worn faces, were pure examples of the worst side of human ignorance and lack of compassion for others.Before us, lay a wide, round, blue glass plate. A quarter of an hour earlier, a vast array of seafood had lain upon it. I had, in my usual style, managed to eat about 2/3 of the shared portion, and my belly was announcing to the rest of my body that an afternoon of relaxation should lie ahead. In Wheelers, like the bar at English’s, they serve you at the counter. At the same time though, in Wheelers, customers are invited to come and go, purchasing small portions of shellfish to take away. To my right, at the front of the take-away queue, an individual had reached the front, awaiting his turn in line.‘Smawl ba-ug uh cohckles, pleez’. Was the first sound that emanated from his ‘Ah nah mah rahts’ type of voice.The counter-hand girl turned and filled a plastic carton for him. Passed it over to the customer, and responded:‘£2.50, please.’He handed the money over, in coins, then looked right at her, starting a dark chuckle to himself, and offered as a parting charm:‘Let’s hope they didn’t miss the tide this time.’He turned to leave.Oh, Blog. Oh, Blog. It’s coming. That feeling that comes so rarely, you block it out, and make yourself forget it.There’s a knife, it looks like some kind of meat-cleaver, the other side of the counter. The girl working must use it for a task like cutting up the role-mops or smoked-herring. It’s pristine clean, but has a greying, expert age to it. I wonder if it, as it has gutted so many fish over the years, would cut through his rib-cage and remove his ignorance with similar ease?Its the ‘Theys’ again, isn’t it, Blog? That group that so many people don’t seem to recognise. The small-minded think that the ‘Theys’ are some kind of anonymous faction, living amongst us, as a lower-order but secret cult, identifying themselves to each other only by the use of Masonic handshakes.Around London I’ve seen a bus with ‘Duck Tours’ painted across it. It collects people, gives them a guided look at London, then metamorphosis’s itself into a boat, and immerses itself into the Thames, to complete its journey, travelling along the river.I think I need to borrow that guy’s bus.I think I need to collect the man from Wheelers, with his family.I think I need to bring him on a special tour, and introduce him to the ‘Theys’.The Cockle-Picker tragedy was in Morecambe Bay. Let’s drive up there. On the way, on the motorway, I will point out some places where there were pile-ups. I’ll say ‘THEY died there.’. ‘Five of THEM’. Things like that. I’ll let out a little cackle. They’ll think I’m weird. That’s fine.When we get to the beach, I’ll press the magic button, and sail the coach out to the sands. Timing it nicely. When we get there, we can look out at the water. To feel as small and meaningless against its omnipotent power, as we are. Then when I start to get bored, I’ll press another button. And the back of the bus will lift up and slide the guests, like the remnants of an unwanted fried egg, onto the sand-plain, as if they were the slime of the egg slipping off a plate into a bin-bag.The engine of my bus is back on, revving into gear. I’m moving forward and my doors are locked. I wonder of you think it’s funny now? I wonder if you’re letting out a cynical chuckle to yourself? I wonder if you still think it was okay to laugh at the Chinese immigrants, desperately trying to make a better life, because you’re such a special and spoilt English whitey, and you think you have the divine right to laugh at others? When you were a kid, you took the piss out of the down-syndrome children in the park, didn’t you? ‘Them’. I wonder if you thinks it’s fair that no-one is here to help you, you spoilt white English, with your constant self-inflicted afflictions and attitude of self-entitlement? As the waves cover you like you are dust, and you drown slowly and helplessly, with your family around you, I wonder if you’re finding out who the ‘Theys’ are now? But, oh no, the ‘Theys’ and the ‘Us’s’ are all the same. Oh fuck – didn’t you know? At long last, it’s your go. It’s just your turn to now be a ‘They’. As I sail slowly and steadily away, waving back, you’re finding out that life is really about the ‘We’s’. I really do hope you appreciate this enlightenment during your final moments.In other news:Here’s an interesting fact I bet you didn’t know, Blog…My favourite actor has got to be Albert Finney.I was reliably informed recently that Finney’s dad was an independent greyhound on-course bookmaker, in the north of England.He was spotted by the great William Hill as having real talent and employed as their on-course representative, to bet for Hills at the races. Small world, isn’t it?Agent Y took me recently, for a fantastic birthday dinner, at Patara, off Regent Street. Blog, 10. This scores a clear 10. A faultless Thai meal was served, and from the Satay starters, through to the Massaman curry, and then quirky desserts, this place is a must visit. Don’t miss the Pad Thai.Ben xlast_img read more

Bayern Munich v Real Madrid 745pm ITV

first_img[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ossession might be nine-tenths of the law but it certainly isn’t when it comes to football.A classic case was the first leg Champions League semi-final between Real Madrid and defending champions Bayern Munich which somehow ended 1-0 to Real despite Bayern having overhwelming possession throughout the entire match.I made a mental note that night to back Bayern in the replay and that’s exactly what I intend to do tonight (Allianz Arena, 7.45pm LIVE ITV).History shows there is seldom little to choose between these two giants of European football:HEAD TO HEAD RECORD(Max last 10 only)Apr 2014 C League Real Madrid 1-0 B MunichApr 2012 C League Real Madrid 2-1 B MunichApr 2012 C League B Munich 2-1 Real MadridMar 2007 C League B Munich 2-1 Real MadridFeb 2007 C League Real Madrid 3-2 B MunichMar 2004 C League Real Madrid 1-0 B MunichFeb 2004 C League B Munich 1-1 Real MadridApr 2002 C League Real Madrid 2-0 B MunichApr 2002 C League B Munich 2-1 Real MadridMay 2001 C League B Munich 2-1 Real MadridAnother goal for Real would be a nightmare for Bayern with the away goals rule being such an important factor for punters to consider but as it stands I strongly fancy Bayern to overturn the deficit and qualify for another final.Real are favourites on the ‘to qualify’ market and have been given a boost by the return of Gareth Bale after illness and Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo is also expected to start after a recent hamstring problem.The early market moves on Star Sports showed weakness on Bayern in the 90 minute market with support coming in for the draw but I’m sticking with Bayern to make it to Lisbon and a final against either Chelsea or Atletico Madrid – more on that match tomorrow.RECOMMENDED BET (scale of 1-10 points)10 points BAYERN ‘TO QUALIFY’ at around 6/4 with Star SportsRUNNING RETURN (APRIL): LOSS 4.42 POINTSRUNNING RETURN (YEAR): LOSS 94.70 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

PREVIEW Burnley v Manchester United

first_img[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s High Noon at Turf Moor on Saturday – but more for Man U and not the hosts.When the fixture list came out, newly promoted Burnley would have been forgiven for putting a line through this one in terms of points – but now there’s almost an expectation that they get something from it.And they have every right to be confident.Man U are in complete disarray. An opening day defeat to Swansea at Old Trafford, followed up by only a point against Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light and the worse was yet to come…. an inexplicable 4-0 loss at the hands of MK Dons midweek in the League Cup.The market seems to still be showing them a vote of confidence but I REALLY can’t be backing Man U at odds on for this clash.Burnley v Man UPremier League12.45pm, LIVE ON BT SPORTHEAD TO HEAD(Maximum 10 matches)Jan 2010 Premier League Man Utd 3-0 BurnleyAug 2009 Premier League Burnley 1-0 Man UtdDec 2002 League Cup Burnley 0-2 Man UtdOct 1984 League Cup Burnley 0-3 Man UtdSep 1984 League Cup Man Utd 4-0 BurnleyApr 1976 Div 1 (old) Burnley 0-1 Man UtdDec 1975 Div 1 (old) Man Utd 2-1 BurnleyJan 1975 League Cup Man Utd 3-2 BurnleyApr 1974 Div 1 (old) Man Utd 3-3 BurnleyOct 1973 Div 1 (old) Burnley 0-0 Man UtdIn fairness, Burnley have hardly got off to a great start themselves. Although they did have the dream start to the season when going 1-0 up against Chelsea after just 14 minutes but ended up losing 3-1 and then were beaten 1-0 by Swansea last weekend.This was followed up with a loss midweek in the League Cup to Sheffield Wednesday when manager Sean Dyche rested a number of players with this match in mind.They have bigger problems scoring goals than they do conceding them and have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 29 Premier League games.For Man U, this game is expected to see the debut for Midfielder Angel Di Maria following his £59.7m British transfer record signing from Real Madrid.I can’t see another loss for United but can very much see a draw and at 3/1 is a much more tempting proposition on Star Sports than Man U at odds-on.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK DRAW for 3 points at around 3/1 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 37.17 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more