Welcome, 2014

OK, it’s time for my first post of 2014, and there’s a number of things on my mind.

The year has started off with a few ridiculously ironic news items. First of all, let’s get the football one out of the way. In the New Years Day match at Old Trafford, Ashley Young was clean through on goal when the Tottenham ‘keeper Lloris basically took him out. Clear, blatant Penalty and a deserved red card for Lloris. But nothing was given. Cue bleats of displeasure from manager David Moyes, but what he fails to take into account is the following: Young has spent the best part of his career throwing himself to the ground inside the box and has unjustly won many penalties, and many games, for Man Utd. He’s also conned referees into sending off a large number of his fellow professionals, most of which are honest, hard working footballers. So I for one am delighted that his reputation has finally caught up with him, and that his team lost as a result. Nice one.

No less ironic was the story of the research vessel that sailed into the Antarctic seas to study the ‘alarming rate that the ice is melting’ – only to get stuck in the ice for a week. The ship is still there – the crew all needed rescuing by helicopter and are now on board a Navy ship. I wonder if they will build this experience into their findings when they finally get back to warmer climates.

Neither of these occurrences are really enough for me to get into full gear-grinding mode, however. I’m saving that for Keith Vaz, Labour MP and ‘champion’ of all. Well, champion of all those who will give him 5 minutes on the front pages, that’s for sure.

Yesterday, after the relaxation of immigration laws governing travel from Bulgaria and Romania, the first consignment of immigrants from Romania arrived on our shores. They were met at Luton Airport by two MPs – Tory Immigration Committee member Mark Reckless (a Euro-sceptic who has voiced concerns about the potential impact of the new regulations) and Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee. And the first thing Vaz did? Find a rather photogenic group of Romanians and take them for coffee. Yes – rather than have any part of the debate about the genuine fears of a large proportion of the country, he invited both the immigrants and the press photographers to Costa. No doubt for a fully expensed cappuccino….

Today, in the fledgling days of the new year, THAT’S what’s grinding my gears!!

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