Should the BBC strive to show all major sporting competitions that involve the Home Nations, at least on Freeview? Take the Ashes for example; shouldn't there be a large portion of licence fee money put aside to make sure that ordinary people can support their country without having to subscribe to Sky? The World Cup and Olympics are shown on the BBC, but we have to emphasise the fact that the BBC is a public service and its interests should be in encouraging people to get behind their country in important sporting achievements.
I mean, instead of showing below-par comedies or piling money into terrestrial travesties like 'The One Show' or Gaelic documentaries that only 0.00000000001% of the population can understand, why doesn't the BBC realise that it would be better to show sporting events that the entire population can get behind?
Remember, this is the same BBC that spends £54m on its highest earning stars. Here's an idea, let's put a bullet through Matt Lucas and David Walliams and get the cricket and some Premiership or even FA Cup games on the box. Deal?
Have you ever been in one of those situations where you've asked someone a question, when you already know the answer from Facebook?
That girl you bump into in the street. Oh so you have a boyfriend now? Knowing full well she does after quietly perusing her Facebook page for hours, berating the fact that you should have asked her out first when you had the chance.
'Oh, so what's he called?' you innocently ask her, despite knowing that he is called Tom, aged 21, lives in Manchester, likes cricket, diving and Charlton Athletic FC and goes by the nickname 'Bugsy' to his closest friends. She doesn't know what's going through your mind, if she did would she even touch you with a bargepole? Would she even look up when crossing you in the street? or would she forever label you as the weird guy who stalked her and her boyfriend on Facebook?
Now you and your friends might be shouting a resounding 'YES' as the computer screen, but this is exactly what Facebook was designed for. If you haven't seen the film The Social Network, which documents the rise of what was initially called 'The Facebook', one large reason why the website is created was to establish whether a girl was 'single' or 'in a relationship' - and this information is now freely available on everyone's Facebook page.
Surely browsing her photos is merely an extension of this? You can imagine the thought process. Now, is X girl single? Yes. Hurdle one completed. Now, I wonder if girl X is as beautiful as I first thought. Yes. Hurdle too is also completely brushed aside. Now, I wonder what girl X looks like in a swimsuit... I wonder if she'll age well? As you furiously try and find her mother in a photo. I put this to you, at which stage is this stalking?
Is this perverse, is this creepy, or is it just the natural progression of what Facebook was initially intended for?
The thing is it's so terrifyingly easy to do. You can be browsing a friends holiday photos, quickly get distracted by a person they'd met abroad in the photo, click through to their profile and soon enough you're going through their sister's cousin's step-mother's adoptive daugher's wedding photos in Trinidad and Tobago unearthing a untold amount of strangers up on your screen. Little do those in the photo know that they're currently being spied upon from someone they've never met in the South East of England.
The thing is, it really is a great tool on checking on old school mates. Whether those girls who you knew back at primary school were pregnant. You know the ones who were always around the boys and would randomly pick one of us every day to give them a kiss. Or whether that guy who always sat at the front of the class got a girlfriend yet. Or whether the guy who always used to come in in a dress had had that operation yet. Things like this make Facebook great.
Facebook brings up very different problems. I was watching an episode of Traffic Cops on the Beeb the other day, and a fifty year old woman was pretending to be her thirty year old daughter in order to hide the fact that she only had a provisional driving licence. The name of the daugher was released freely into the public domain not bleeped out, no nothing. I twigged that the name was a bit of an odd one, so I thoughtlessly tapped it into Facebook to see what I'd find.
Sure enough the daughter popped up and in her main photo she was hugging her mum who I'd just seen being arrested for wasting police time. Isn't this a bit of an invasion of privacy? Or should people just learn to click the 'Make Profile Private' button flashing in their security settings. Or should the BBC learn to not publish names of people that haven't actually committed a crime?
Isn't this so horribly creepy, but then isn't this also the reason people sign onto Facebook - in order to inform those around them of their personal details?
Facebook will remain to be a stalkers paradise, where teenagers and twentysomethings will always push boundaries as to what information they can find out on girls, boys and people they see on TV. At least, this is what my friends tell me they do...
Dave is clearly excited after he's realised Maggie from number 53 is in fact single, a virgo and looks great in a one-piece.
Yes, the Apprentice Series Six is over, and wasn't it a cracker? Um. Well it was basically the same as every other one, but I am a fan of the show and it remains, despite its repetitive nature, hugely entertaining to watch. Other programs take note. Sir Alan/Lord Sugar is still as cringeworthy as usual with his bought peerage and pre-prepared jokes. Watching him speak is like watching a drunk dispraxic elderly lady recite Gareth Gates quotes.
Even though I remain always adamant that all of the candidates are fucking useless, Stella and Chris were probably deserved finalists. But were they really that great? Not really. Could I have done a better job? Probably yes. But of course I'd say that.
I actually could though.
The most irritatingly irritating thing about this show is the fundamental misconception that the successful potential Apprentices are all "brilliant". All of them bastardised the English language, all of them used even basic words out of context and some of them even struggled to use a mobile phone. How about instead of trawling all of East London asking what a 'single gold tikka' is, why don't you tap the word into Google? Even if doing that was banned didn't they realise that there might be a correlation with the word 'tikka' and India? Clearly common sense isn't a pre-requisite to apply for the show.
We had Melissa Cohen who genuinely thought that "karmically" and "retributed" were actual words. Now you can't really pick on just her for being an absolutely huge idiot - well you can, but in the same way you can't call someone with cerebral palsy 'a spastic'. The trend on this years Apprentice was to use as many big words as pysically possible and weren't they used horrifically.
Nick Hewer commented that Chris was the most articulate candidate they'd ever had. Well that's not fucking hard is it Nick?
It's a shame that the candidates are picked purely to make TV. If it was actually a show that was entirely based on skillful entrepreneurs who really were brilliant candidates then I think the show would be equally as entertaining. But I guess it will just continue to be riddled with morons. But then again, who else would want to work for Alan Sugar?
So England are bundled out of yet another World Cup, which leaves every Englishman, like me, scratching their heads wondering 'What went wrong, again?' - well I'll tell you in a few secs. Don't worry, we will win a World Cup again, we WILL hold that beautiful golden cup aloft, but things need to change. Things cannot keep going on like they are, it just won't work. We're not the butt of the biggest joke in footballing conspiracy, we're just not good enough - and it's not even the fault of the footballers.
Put quite simply English football is the victim of itself. The Premier League is the best league in the world yet our national team fails to even compete adequately at international level whereas the Bundesliga and Germany are the complete opposite. Spat out by a young German team, England really weren't up to it. The Germans made our hardened internationals look like Sunday League amateurs, yet in August the likes of John Terry and Wayne Rooney will return to their club teams and forget the World Cup even happened.
The reality is, the Premier League's success is down to one thing; foreigners. We would be nothing without the likes of Didier Drogba, Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, Cesc Fabregas, Florent Malouda propping up our league. Where are the English managers? There's only two that come to mind that are vaguely worth their salt, and that's Harry Redknapp and Roy Hodgson. Foreigners are the main infrastructure of the Premier League and the dependence on foreign imports NEEDS to stop if we're going to see any progress in the national game. Arsenal are the main offenders providing a shocking FOUR PLAYERS to the national pool, and only one, Theo Walcott, was close to making it. Naturally their manager is also not English. How are we going to develop our own players or own staff for the national game when our international team players barely see regular football or regular coaching experience.
When was the last team a foreign manager won the World Cup?
Is there any motivation for the national team? Are they really interested in 'England' or national pride whatsoever? We invented the game, we perfected it, yet we so casually fail at it. A country of 50 million people, 25 million of whom are men and yet we can barely string a decent back four together or even a decent trustworthy goalkeeper. As the advert says, 'Do it for yourselves, the fans, do it for Bobby' - but are the England players interested in either of those concepts? As long as they get home to their £125,000 a week does the dreams and hopes of millions of England fans even affect their mentality to international football?
Probably not. And that's the reality. England 2018 - we might actually win that one.
Anyway, in the mean time everyone in England is back to being labelled as 'British' for the next two years - come on Andy Murray. NOT.
Poor Gordon Brown's having yet another tough week after it has emerged he misspelt a dead soldier's name on a condolence letter sent to his grieving mother, Jacqui Janes whose son Jamie was killed in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in October. For one reason or another this story has ended up slap bang on the Editor of the Sun's desk and there are now various videos of Jacqui on the Sun website calling it disgusting and other, equally as emotive, superlatives.
So, bearing in mind the guy has ONE eye, and will probably be borderline blind in a matter of years, isn't it a bit of a low-blow to have a pop at his handwriting? Before the Sun got hold of this publicity coup didn't Mrs Janes at least think that her son would rather she didn't make a huge furore? I know I would. I'm not Gordon's biggest fan, nor am I remotely sticking up for the government, but I would say that it's a good idea to maintain a modicum of perspective in this matter - or at least a modicum of dignity. Having my mother weeping on Prime Time television is hardly what I would want.
Frankly, the fact that Jacqui Janes allowed the Sun to the entire phone conversation discussing her dead son with Gordon Brown is the most shameful aspect of this story, not simple misspellings. Then again, grief works in mysterious ways but does it lead the brain to make a quick phonecall to the Sun switchboard?
Gordon done wrong. He knows it. He knows that that letter should have been proofread and spellchecked a thousand times by his team of PA's and advisors before it had been sent out, but maybe his intern was protesting at the lack of pay he was getting and refused to do his job properly?
There are times when you just stand there and watch things go by with such amazement because you really cannnot fathom how unbelievably stupid some people are. This week was one of those weeks. My housemates literally had to ask me to leave the room as I screamed obscenities at the television screen. Not at Mr Griffin, I might add, but at Jack Straw, the crowd who submitted the questions and ultimately the BBC for allowing what should have been a pedestrian broadcasting of Question Time to turn into a witch hunt towards one single person on the panel.
No I did not have a problem with Nick Griffin becoming a member on the panel, nor did I (naively) particularly think that there would be THAT much of a fuss about it. I thought people would have been sensible to let it pass as a mere blip on the BBC ratings scale, and then we'd return to Croydon or Northampton - or whevever it is next week without so much of a whisper of the three letters 'BNP'. But no. This did not happen.
Nick Griffin isn't stupid. He didn't walk into a total bear-trap in which he was caught completely off guard. He knew what was going to happen. He knew if he could find one aspect in the broadcasting that was even vaguely biased he could exploit it EVEN further to keep his name and his party's name in the media and political agenda and the BBC which appears, at the moment to be run by GAP year interns, laid it out on a platter for him.
Look at the media storm now. It's still continuing as Griffin accuses the BBC, in his own words, of changing the format of the show therefore keeping his smarmy wonky-eyed face on the first few pages of every newspaper. This is something they are definitely guilty of and should have predicted this would happen. And as the storm continues, Nick Griffin's going to ride it all of the way.
Was it the BBC's fault for allowing him on the show? Of course not Peter Hain! - be quiet. The man is an elected Member of the European Parliament. The man has a mandate from the people to make decisions in the European Parliament on behalf of them. To not allow him on the show would be not only undemocratic, but would contravene everything the BBC stands for.
Griffin knew there would be tension on his arrival at the BBC studios, and boy was he right. He loved every second, and every single one of those white-middle class students as well as the Unite Against Fascism can hold themselves responsible for that. Well done for protesting against something you don't really understand. Ironically there were more cameras than protesters. Try and save the world a little better next week, or at least read up a little first.
Sky high viewing figures will indicate why I'm so unbelievably frustrated with the media's knee-jerk reaction to Griffin's ordination to the well-esteemed Question Time panel which seems to be full of the same faces every week. Why did Griffin's appearance even need that much attention. To get people who aren't even remotely interested in politics to watch a politics show with such animosity takes a PR stunt of epic proportions which, in this case, was handled by a few select members of the British government. Well done.
So lets analyse the results of Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time. A YouGov poll suggests that 22% of people questioned would 'seriously consider' voting BNP in the General Election. Quite a high number which, I would suggest, wouldn't actually be the case if an election come along tomorrow but it's definitely a large proverbial kick up the arse to New Labour's immigration policy. Peter Hain says that "The BBC has handed the BNP the gift of the century on a plate and now we see the consequences.", and he is very very wrong in this assertion.
To the Gordon Browns and Alan Johnsons of this world: This is YOUR mess.
Wasnt this so delightfully tacky and obscene? A celebrity-infested cess-pool of mourning and OTT speeches dedicated to a man who, whilst being the King of Pop, juggled his spare time sleeping in the same beds as pre-teens and dangling his children out of windows.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sad the guy died. Anyone going in their fifties is tragic to say the least. But was he, in the words of his daughter Paris, "the best father ever" - well, I would hasten a bet at no. Sure, this is primarily coming from assumption, but as far as I'm concerned Michael Jackson is about as responsible with his children as Britney Spears is.
Is sleeping in the same beds as chilren un-related to you the work of a responsible adult, irrespective of whether anything actually happens? An extension of baby-sitting maybe? Is paying off the families of said children also a responsible thing to do? No. If you pay to end a court case, it wreaks of culpability, and I would have to say this was probably the case. Reverend Blah says that there was nothing wrong with Michael Jackson, REALLY, REALLY? Yes Jackson was a product of his upbringing, certainly, but that is no excuse whatsoever. Much like it was no defense for the thousands on paedophilia charges. Is spending time with children un-related to you, 'normal'? Oh yeah, yeah totally is - bear with my whilst I finish playing footsie with James my five year old next door neighbour whilst his younger sister Jessica massages my back.