Dictator Bling 106


Formula 1 is gearing up for a new season. I confess it is one of the very few sports I do not enjoy watching. It seems in so many ways to epitomise the worst excesses of consumption and be associated with the most tasteless displays of wealth and empty-headed celebrity culture. It is just sleazy.

I suppose it is not therefore surprising that possession of a Formula 1 Grand Prix has become de rigeur for every dictator who wants to be socially accepted among the other superyachts. Formula 1 started a new Grand Prix in Bahrain a couple of years ago, where the majority population suffers dreadful suppression, torture and population. This includes the torture of sportsmen, so that even a body as corrupt as FIFA drew the line at the possibility of a Bahraini Prince as President.

In a desperate attempt to find a way to reach still lower, Formula 1 is this year adding the harsh dictatorship of Azerbaijan to its schedule. Azerbaijan has an appalling human rights record and beyond doubt it is getting worse every year. Furthermore, like many economies based almost entirely on oil wealth, it is feeling the pinch at the moment and the consequences of budget cutbacks are falling entirely on the ordinary people, while the lifestyles of their super-rich rulers are immune.

President Aliev has wasted billions on “prestige” projects. Hosting the Eurovision song contest, the European Games and now a Formula 1 Grand Prix. But ordinary people are struggling to get by on incomes which were already at third world standards and whose value has fallen still further with the collapse of the manat. None of which matters to the empty-headed bling merchants of Formula 1.

We should not seek to prevent Formula 1 going to the dictators. We should rather ban it from the democracies.


106 thoughts on “Dictator Bling

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  • Tony_0pmoc

    He is still not a week old, and of course we have all fallen in love with him.

    he had his heel test today – take a sample of blood to test for all diseases….

    and so far I think the care provided by the NHS has been Brilliant – World Class…

    but I find it so difficult to mention these things….

    I just said to both of them…

    Of course it is your decisions – and you’ve both had them all – and you are fine (my son – the lot + more before going to Ecuador when he was 16)

    But I personally think, they do far too many vaccinations much too soon.

    A friend of my wife’s has personal experience of what happened to her baby son…

    And I wouldn’t necessarily say no if it was my son…..but I would ask – for full details – and do full research until you inject that into my son…What is it?

    I can’t work out whether Jane Burgermeister is a total hero – or also a total hero and gone a bit mad…but she certainly ain’t thick.

    A lot of the stuff she revealed about vaccinations is true…documented and admitted by the pharmaceutical companies involved.

    https://birdflu666.wordpress.com/

    I didn’t have any..just got all the childhood diseases.

    I reckon they built up my immune system…

    O.K. i had a sugar pill for Polio…

    and one vaccination when I was about 10 years old.

    but that was it.

    I’m still here, and there’s nowt wrong with me – except the obvious.

    Tony

  • lysias

    I think readers of this forum will be interested in the latest report on Moon of Alabama, The Islamic State Is Pretext To Again Mug Libya. The report has to do with reports that the West is about to intervene again in Libya.

    “b” of Moon of Alabama reports in particular the following:

    But there is still a lot of money to be made in Libya and especially the French and British governments want to keep robbing the country blind. This requires some feet on the ground. The “brain” and a likely main profiteer behind all this seems to be one well known figure.

    A revealing piece in the Times of Malta describes some of the astonishing political-business connections behind the scenes:

    [A] major military operation by a collection of foreign powers is in the works to tackle Isis and install a UN-backed government but the shabby way it has been put together carries the risk it will blow back in everyone’s faces.

    First, there is the strange situation that [Britain’s Ambassador to Libya, Peter] Millett takes his orders from Britain’s Libya envoy, Jonathan Powell, a contractor to the FCO. Yes, the same Powell who, along with then prime minister Tony Blair, brokered the deal with Muammar Gaddafi to end his dictatorship’s isolation a decade ago – and lead to fat Blair consultancies with that same tyrant after the prime minister left office.

    Among other beneficiaries of this new opening up of Gaddafi’s dictatorship was a massive property development contract handed out to a company chaired by none other than Powell’s brother, Lord Charles Powell, which also involved an array of colourful London-based, well-known Arab millionaires. Which makes Powell more of a close relative of an interested party.

    I recently heard Hillary Clinton defend her being so much involved in getting the U.S. involved in the earlier Western intervention in Libya. She said it was to go along with America’s British and French allies.

  • tony_0pmoc

    As I get older, I find it increasingly hard to tell, but they can tell straight away…and they start gently stroking it and stroking my back…I look around and my wife is not watching…

    So then – go on pull it..go on try…

    and all the girls look at each other…

    I did tell you.

    “It’s all still growing out of his head…”

    Its My Hair – All of It

    My Wife then tells them his Mum had good skin.

    Tony

  • jemand

    F1 can be exciting – if the cars all start equally abreast, on a funnel shaped start grid, driving into a narrow main track with concrete pillars either side. And if Ben-Hur style wheel spurs are allowed .. and ramming. And throwing stuff out the window at other drivers. And if the race candy go topless. It just needs tweaking.

  • Alcyone (Simple: Truth, Goodness, Beauty)

    “He is still not a week old, and of course we have all fallen in love with him.”

    Delighted for you Tony, but are we going to start getting daily reports?

    FFS, don’t you know where to draw the line? Or are your social skills as limited as one prolific woman who used to post here?

    Alice doesn’t live here anymore, but Tony is threatening to move in.

  • Alcyone (Simple: Truth, Goodness, Beauty)

    How many horses have been fatally injured (read: put to sleep) this year at Cheltenham? Anyone? I believe it is at least 5.

  • Velofello

    FI is not racing, it is not sport,it’s Showbiz. It is about money. And publicity for arguably less than wholesome regimes.

    Example, if a race is stopped in motorcycle racing the leader retains his time lead in the race restart. Meaning if the the leader was 6 seconds ahead at race stoppage. then the competition have to finish + 6 seconds ahead to beat the pre-stoppage leader. In F1, when the safety car is employed the time advantage of the leader is lost. And the radio communication between the pit crew and the driver in F1 is also a nonsense.

  • mike

    Great few posts, Craig. Keep on keepin’ on.

    We won’t be adding Damascus to the F1 circuit, methinks. Istanbul was last raced in 2011. I wonder if Erdogan will be staging his very own race from Ankara any time soon…

  • RobG

    Like probably many here, as a lad I had a Scalextric motor racing set.

    Me and my mates used to get bored with just running the cars round and round; so we took a biscuit tin lid and filled it with methylated spirit. We arranged the circuit so that part of it ran across the biscuit tin lid, and of course set fire to the methylated spirit. In short order most of the plastic Scalextric track melted, but the metal guide rail remained and we had loads of fun driving the cars across the ‘burning pit’, with the cars catching fire.

    It wasn’t the first time that the fire brigade were called to my parent’s home.

    I’m not sure what this says about the human condition.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    Good Lord. The Mirror reports that Iain Duncan Smith has quit his job as Work and Pensions Secretary over the cuts to Personal Independence Payments.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/iain-duncan-smith-sensationally-resigns-7587588

    Given his record, I do not believe for a moment that Smith has the slightest concern about the disabled or the jobless. This is a political manoeuvre because he was likely a marked man anyway due to his opposition to European Union. And this way he can grab a bit of favourable publicity.

    Smith resign over a matter of principle? Don’t make me laugh. He’ll be back in the Cabinet under Boris.

    However, he’s one of the vilest creatures to ever walk the earth and I am delighted that he’s gone.

    Kind regards,

    John

  • giyane

    raig, if you dislike the upper crust at Formula 1, why not book into a Formula 1 hotel next time you visit London. Because your working man, lodging far from home to get some kind of continuous employment, has rarely been potty trained, there are communal toilet pods, cast entirely, toilet and all in moulded fibreglass. When you leave the whole caboodlebox is douched down. Traffic lights prevent a new visitor getting showered.

    The beds and rooms are quite nice and clean. Racing cars are made from fibreglass. Is that the link do you suppose?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    JS-D:
    Also consider the possibility that Osborne, if he becomes Tory leader, will be just about unelectable despite his pandering to the relatively affluent. His personality sucks, and he makes mistakes – notably believing the guff his advisors give him about growth prospects. Also, he borrows like a terminal gambling addict.

    By the next election it should be clear to the most complacent Tory voter that the world economy is fucked and that the UK is especially fucked. That voter might even start listening to the growing band of economists who have recognised that neither QE nor austerity is delivering the goods, and are muttering darkly about helicopter money. At such a time it will probably be best to pose as a champion of the poor, and any quiet rat departing the ship before it goes down is well-advised to use that as an electroral lifebelt.

    • jemand

      Well they can express their feelings most cogently by not voting then. I recall some commenators recommending this method of democracy.

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    HabbArschloch, you reply merely show that you are as cruel as apprentice wretch Osborne, ol chum. Your lack of humility towards refugees from Iraq is astonishing, you weren’t one of the idiots persuaded by Mirandas 45 minute fairy tale, were you? you poor deluded tool.
    You are as fascist as those who think its tough abusing the disabled, as for the refugees bombed out of existence by the RAF and USAAF, well, we shove them off on Europe, we are far too good to be involved with wretched being we wouldn’t have a clue how to plan for.

    But, if in doubt, trust a Kraut, there there, can we all agree that June’s not far away and that we should start planning for some fair sharing of British calamities? Taking in some serious numbers of refugees from Syria, Libya and Iraq?

        • Pan

          Ok, so I watched your Kevin Blanch. Now I’ve got a flamin’ headache.

          Don’t get me wrong, I agree with what he says, and I totally agree with and share his outrage, but the presentation? The video would be half the length if you edited out all the ‘F’ words.

          I suppose he’s the grass roots activists’ answer to Rush Limbaugh. Unfortunately, I can’t see any but the already-converted listening to his style of preaching, which is perhaps a little unproductive.

          Just my take.

          But I sure as hell wish people really KNEW about what Fukushima has done. Nuclear energy would be over and finished overnight.

          • RobG

            Pan, you’re quite correct about Blanch. Most people coming across one of his videos for the first time think he’s totally crazy.

            In 2011, Blanch was diagnosed with AML leukemia, which he says was probably due to Fukushima (Utah got a large dose of fallout during the early days of the disaster). AML leukemia has a very low survival rate and in the autumn of 2011 Blanch was given two months to live. He spent weeks having chemotherapy at the LDS hospital in Salt Lake City. He often says that he was the only one who came out of that chemo ward alive.

            Kevin Blanch does a radio show called ‘The Post-Ignorance Project’ (you can easily find it on the likes of YouTube), and if you listen to it you’ll probably find him a lot saner than he is in his personal videos.

            When it comes to ‘ranting and raving’, Blanch is certainly right up there amongst them. I suppose I am as well. The anger/rage is hard to contain, and it does often detract from what we’re saying.

            I can only add that if someone’s angry there’s usually a good reason for it.

  • nevermind, mental health is a burning issue

    This is IDS leaving a sinking ship, saving his backside from the latest budget outfall, by making out that ‘it was the nasty Tory party and their policies’ that made him do what he did.

    IDS is a leadership contender! like a kipper off a wet rock.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    “I fear there will a worse come in his place.” (Shakespeare: Julius Caesar)

    Priti Patel makes Iain Duncan Smith look like a pussy cat.

    J

  • RobG

    IDS is total vermin, as are all the present ‘government’.

    But you idiots believe the propaganda and vote for them…

    (even with that they could only scrape 25% of the vote)

  • Hieroglyph

    Sport used to be just sport. Now it’s a vehicle for relentless propaganda. I blame Hitler, he started it, that and the war.

    These sport stars are basically walking billboards, and almost none of them say a word about any issue of the day. They can’t displease their sponsors. They also know that any opinion they might utter on – say – war will be met with hilarity by the variosu presstitutes who ‘write’ opinion pieces for a living. They’d probably find it easier to come out gay, than say anything vaguely left-wing. Now, do we think this is an accident? I for one do not.

    It’s all part of the propaganda system, and famous people, in whatever field, might be deemed influential, and thus must be coerced\paid to shut up. Remember in the 60’s and 70’s, lots of rock stars died? Apaprently Hendrix was killed by his dodgy manager, not long after he, Jimmy, had vaguely praised Malcolm X. Famously, MLK was assasinated not long after veering from civil rights, and entering Vietnam War territory. Perhaps this was coincidence, but anyone who has read anything about the security services, Operation Gladio, Paperclip, MK Ultra, might wonder about the nature of coincidence, and how often it benefits powerful people. The sports star of the day advertises, promotes capitalism, every day, and by their silence on every other issue serves to aid the Gods of ommission and censorship. And they are all so fucking dull, too.

    As to F1, I suspect some very dodgy men are involved with very dodgy dictators, and probably some of them are into kids and sex-trafficking. This is just where they hang out to chills and have some champers.

    More positivity coming your way soon.

  • Iain Orr

    All professional sports are corrupt,with the degree of corruption roughly in proportion to the money involved. That has little to do with enjoying sport. Distinctions are needed between practitioners (amateur or professional); fans who buy tickets; and couch potatoes who either pay for sports channels or follow on free TV, radio or websites. Skill, drama and (especially for couch potatoes like me)the infectious enthusiasm of commentators all make a difference. For me, aesthetics and the intensity of competition between individuals and teams (whether their skills are due to drugs, expensive training or personal dedication) are key factors. So, however corrupt Formula 1 is, if all depends on an overtaking manoevre in the last race of the season, I’ll get hooked on the drama. And with curling – towards the bottom of the corruption table and the upper end of hand/eye coordination – especially if my tribal loyalties are involved.

    However, where power and money are involved, sport also becomes intensely political – look at the Olympics, FIFA and and IPL cricket. That’s why many of us take pleasure in sports that are also in important respects morally discreditable. But don’t yearn for a past golden age of amateurism. The Greek Olympics are a prime example of shamateurism. The least corrupt Olympics were probably the Much Wenlock ones… though they proved to be the inspiration for the modern Olympics, which may reach their nadir in Brazil later this year.

  • tony_0pmoc

    We had only been there for about 10 minutes tonight and us blokes didn’t disappear to the girls toilet ..so I asked what are you girls doing in there???

    They were Painting Each Other’s Faces…

    When they came out..I was asked – well what do you think?

    I said us blokes don’t do that…

    You can’t make my wife, nor my son, nor Mum, nor my daughter, nor my grandchild more beautiful than as they come…

    She said to me, whilst walking home, well I like the way I look.. a bit of eye shadow..sparkling eyes…

    I said to her – before we had kids..and I dropped you off in Bromley – for the full treatment…who did I say you looked like???

    She said Charlene in Dallas.

    How the hell did she remember her name?

    My wife is taller and far better looking.

    But I can see the resemblance.

    Tony

  • tony_0pmoc

    It cost £30 each to get into Farmfest (near Glastonbury) in 2012…but we had been the year before..and it was still £30…

    And then we went to The Square & Compass….still travelling…

    and she just walked in…I thought this can’t be real – we just saw you two days ago…and now you here in Dorset…and they recognized us two instantly and she was really nice

    So next year My Wife and I went to Larmer Tree Festival (it cost nearly £200 each to get in)

    and there was this girl with all these hoola hoops for kids…just try it…

    you know like some famous girl…

    so my wife was determined to have a go…

    and even the teacher – all of us..we just looked at her..with all these hoola hoops…she can do more than one at the same time…

    it was like 6…I do have the video…well there were all these kids hoola hoops just lying there

    Yes she has also been trained as a belly dancer by a Muslim Girl in our Local CofE Church

    Zumba and Yoga too.

    and I try and exercise too (mainly walking to the pub and back when its cold)

    I can’t really complain..

    But I Do.

    Tony

  • Chris Rogers

    A little off topic, and as using a Mac maybe its my web browsers, but what the hell has happened to the layout/configuration of this site?

  • Chris Rogers

    @Darth/Bevin,

    Evidently one has not been paying attention, however, the light background colour does not impress – can’t put my finger on it, but something seems amiss. Of course I’m not a web designer and I’m about as creative as a piece of cheese, but this certainly will take some time getting used too.

    I wonder how the resident trolls feel having to input email addresses?

    • Why be ordinary?

      I think that it’s fairly obvious that most regular contributors are known to Craig personally

      • Alcyone (Simple: Truth, Goodness, Beauty)

        Why be, if by that you mean that Craig has met them personally, I doubt it very much. Even though Craig’s style of addressing people here is very informal.

        PS I’d love to see the old colours/aesthetics back!

  • Pan

    @RobG

    “He [Kevin Blanch] spent weeks having chemotherapy at the LDS hospital in Salt Lake City. He often says that he was the only one who came out of that chemo ward alive.”

    Poor sod. It is frequently said that chemotherapy kills as many as it saves. (“Saves”, from the verb “to save” in the sense of prolonging life, where QUALITY of life is not always a factor taken into consideration).

    [Disclaimer] I am not a journalist, and will not respond to anyone using the (perfectly acceptable in the right circumstances, but not in this case) MediaLens (media discourse analysis) ‘Gotcha!’ about using vague phrases like “it is frequently said” to hide one’s lack of citable sources. (I hope it is clear I am being ‘tongue-in-cheek).

    “When it comes to ‘ranting and raving’, Blanch is certainly right up there amongst them. I suppose I am as well. The anger/rage is hard to contain, and it does often detract from what we’re saying.”

    I appreciate your honesty.

    “I can only add that if someone’s angry there’s usually a good reason for it.”

    That is another debate. It is common for people to express anger as a result of a slight bruising of their (sometimes planet-sized) ego. Is that a “good” reason to get angry? I do take your point, but I would choose a different word from “usually”.

    Keep your spirits up!

    • RobG

      Pan, I know you’re anti-nuclear, but even the pro-nuclear brigade must scratch their heads about the new nuclear power station that’s being built in the UK; this, against the backdrop of the ongoing Fukushima disaster…

      http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/mar/18/hinkley-point-c-nuclear-deal-22bn-poison-pill-taxpayer

      The foreign governments/corporations who are building Hinkley C have gone way over budget on construction costs (all subsidised by the UK tax payer). If this power plant ever gets finished it will be selling electricity for twice the market rate. If there’s an ‘accident’ (which will wipe out half of England) these foreign entities will have no legal responsibility. Likewise, there’s no legal responsibility for the nuclear waste the plant will produce, much of which will remain lethal for geological time spans.

      Hinkley C is an object lesson in the sheer corruption and stupidity that plagues western society at the moment.

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