News in Briefs 15/04/12

Are you getting tired of all the dithering at the moment? I certainly am. And we all had a lot of dithering this week as the Government continued to make a massive balls-up of the fuel tanker issues. The UN also managed to continue being as pointless as ever as they are now fighting over whether to send a few people down to Syria to oversee the ceasefire. You would have thought that would have always been part of the deal, right?

Political Oops of the Week

For the Political Oops of the Week, it has to be all about the removal of tax relief on charitable donations. If there’s one thing you never do it’s attack anything to do with charity. It doesn’t matter if these measures are right or wrong because the wider population are generally idiots. They won’t listen to reason. All they will see is ‘Government Attacks Charity!’ and nothing more.

But basically these changes mean that wealthy people who donate to charity to obtain tax relief won’t be able to do it anymore. To target the issue itself, if these wealthy people are so committed to charity then why would they have an issue with these changes? Surely if they are so passionate about giving then they will continue to give anyway?

It’s not as if they don’t have the money to do this. Personally, I believe that many wealthy people who donate to charity are just doing it to avoid tax. And clearly the BBC does too because the article that outlines these changes has a link to the article ‘Most Common Tax Avoidance Schemes’ right next to it.

The Painful…

Sometimes the most painful feeling in the world is the feeling of failure. North Korea’s rocket, which outraged people all around the world, was the embodiment of failure this week as it failed spectacularly.

Originally, North Korea’s rocket was supposed to demonstrate the country’s “mastery over technology”. Well all I have to say is that it certainly didn’t manage to demonstrate any mastery over anything after that humiliation. In short, the rocket launched, it then flew in the air for a few minutes, and then it broke apart and fell into the sea.


Over-exaggeration of North Korea's rocket launch.

As for a modern North Korea, which its leadership enjoys attempting to portray, it hasn’t quite made it yet. If the launch had succeeded then it would have made it to the 1950s where the major Cold War participants were launching objects into the atmosphere.

But since it failed it is still stuck in the 1940s because that’s when Nazi Germany was planning to create and to an extent succeeded in creating rockets that could fly higher than a plane and be used as a weapon.

Still, keep trying, you’ll do it one day.

…And the Pointless

The Grand National was run on the 14th of April 2012. I hope you managed to win some money – I certainly didn’t – but the main point here is that two horses died. One was the favourite Synchronised and the other was According to Pete. Both horses had fractured legs and had to be put down (shot).

But just like we get every year, we had animal rights groups complaining and moaning that the race should be banned. The reason why this story deserves to be put in this position is that we deal with this same trash every year. This year the leaders are the group called Animal Aid.

The Grand National is dangerous, that’s a fact you just can’t get over, however that’s part of the attraction of the Grand National. You could lower the height of the fences and the drops, like they did in 2011, but then what would be the point in even running the race anymore? Most of the millions it brings in every year are there because the race is dangerous.

Are we going to do away with a race that has been run since the 19th century because a horse or two dies every year? This is nothing but a modern obsession with banning everything that has even the slightest risk associated with it. Fabrice Muamba almost died on the football pitch, and Serie B player Piermario Morosini did die on the football pitch this week, so should we ban football because it has a risk of causing heart defects to flare up? Of course we shouldn’t.

It’s sickening that these people, most of whom only watch racing once a year, have the audacity to say that part of this sport should be banned when they really have no place in it. I’m going to take some inspiration from trainer Paul Nicholls by telling detractors to “Grow up!”

The so Outrageous that it’s Borderline Hilarious

President Obama has been on holiday this week. Instead of going to a traditional holiday hotspot he decided to partake in some relationship building with Latin America. Did this go well? As well it could possibly go considering the circumstances.

The agency that protects President Obama had a red face this week as 11 of its agents were suspended for allegedly breaking the rules and forsaking their duties. What did they do, you ask? Well first of all they broke their curfew, but that doesn’t warrant a suspension. What did, though, was them bringing women back to their hotel rooms.

Is there anything wrong with an agent letting off some steam at night, though? Of course not; it’s a stressful job, but all 11 women were supposedly prostitutes. And therein sits the problem.


Symbolic of how eleven wives will react when they get home.

The reason they know that they were most likely prostitutes was because the hotel staff caught an agent and a woman arguing over whether he should pay her or not. Now, in my experience, that’s how you tell if someone has been caught with a prostitute.

A Positive Outlook for the Week

Normally, I would tell you how I’m looking forward to the great sports action next week, but I understand that sport is not everybody’s cup of tea (or coffee). But apart from that I’m struggling with this section because there’s not a whole lot going on at the moment.

I mean, politics is pretty boring at the moment because all that looks to be going on is the London Mayor hype. But that’s where it could be a blessing in disguise because when you look at all the interesting things that happen, they rarely come about on the crest of a wave. They usually charge out of the briny deep like an iceberg; it’s the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking so I had to have something in there.

So maybe next week won’t be so bleak and irritating after all…