Hello! And welcome to this sunny BB round up which is taking place on a Monday as no sun worshipper worth their salt would have been in on a day like yesterday.
So from a bronzed Trixy towers, here is a selection of the posts from the blogosphere in the week where England finally ended their world cup challenge and thus people finally took down those tacky flags with 'The Sun' or 'England' emblazoned across them. Yippee!
I'm going to start this week with an excellent post from Mark Reckons who notice an air of hypocrisy around the writing of Simon Heffer:
Quite aside from the fact that his logic is severely flawed (we have had crack-down after crack-down on drugs for the last 40 years and use has risen hugely), where is the liberal Simon Heffer who wants the government to back off from people's freedoms to drink beer and smoke tobacco? Both of these drugs harm and kill far more people each year than all illegal drugs combined. Why is there such a clear difference in his mind between the two groups of drugs, those that are legal and those that the government (sometimes seemingly arbitrarily) deem illegal?
Moving from one sin to another in the eyes of the pure, our man in Hanoihas noticed that the British Embassy has an interesting freebie. Each to their own, I guess...
Moving onto the subject of football, Matthew writes about why he thinks England could never have won the world cup this time around. I've always wondered why people get so attached to clubs given that they bear little resemblance to clubs which were started up for players of that area. Players move around all the time, as do managers. Someone who is the favourite one minute then becomes in some way a traitor or hated for doing what he probably did before he joined the club one supports. It's a marketplace and to me it's like supporting a favourite shop. I love shopping in Gina but if they secure a new marketing manager and the shares go up I'm just as happy as before because, well, it's a business.
Let us though not try and place the blame for this defeat solely on to others, when the real reason lies, at heart, with the English ourselves.
We have sold our best clubs to foreign owners. Foreign managers oversee them and foreign players dominate the 'English' Premiership line-ups. If you want a vision of England's future, take a look at Scotland today.
I'd like the oiks who threw eggs at my windows to understand that but I doubt very much they can actually read.
Brian Barder writes about Indeterminate Sentences for Public Protection which, despite the fact that he employs the phrase 'Polly Toynbee is right' reads very sensibly. I don't tend to get too involved with the whole crime thing, in the sense of committing it or what one should do with prisoners because, let's face it, one can't be interested and informed in everything. And I'm interesting and informed in a whole raft of topics so I'm sure you'll forgive me. And anyway, the tan makes up for it.
These people are in preventive detention, being punished for future offences they haven’t committed, often with no hope of release, fearing that they are in prison for life, having already been punished for often quite minor offences. The onus is on them to prove a negative about the future, which is conceptually impossible as well as reversing the normal onus of proof. The proportion of IPPers so far released is minuscule.
Staying on the same blog, but moving over to the subject of Afghanistan. The headlines were full of Cameron's statement that he wants British troops to withdraw from the country by 2015. But why is that? Like Obama's statement, war is not something you can put a definite time on (and if you do you'll probably be wrong) unless you don't actually have to be there. Is this the case in Afghanistan? Technically speaking it was not an illegal war because it's not actually an international conflict but lives have been lost, bodies have been shattered and hearts have been broken.
Our political leaders are, I think, inhibited by two fears, neither of which can possibly justify a single additional death or maiming of another British soldier.
The first is the fear that our withdrawal will be interpreted as a failure, and a defeat for British arms. But it need not be so. Britain has been second only to the Americans in the size and effectiveness of our contribution to the war over nine years, and in the cost of it in blood and treasure. It can reasonably credibly be claimed that our war effort has real and tangible achievements to its credit: al-Qaeda’s presence and power virtually eliminated, Taliban control of towns and villages removed and girls’ schools reopened, social development schemes instigated and funded under British military protection, Afghans given political options denied to them in the years before 9/11 and the arrival of NATO forces.
Neil Craig is getting a bit misty eyed at the prospect of the Norwegians building a tunnel for ships. I agree that one in Scotland would be fantastic but it would be late and about 10 times over budget, I guess.
Finally, because Chameleon said she enjoyed it (although I think that was only to remind me to write the round up this week!) here is my post on the budget and how I think the Tories still have a shit EU policy.
I've just been informed that I am not allowed to support Germany in the world cup, despite the egg throwing incident but have to support The Netherlands. This is because my Dutch housemate hates Germans because they 'start wars and stole my grandfather's bicycle'. Well, it won me over.
Until next week, get nominating your favourite posts at britblog [at] gmail [dot] com