Sunday, May 22, 2005

I love optimism

Latest news from Scotland. Ah stuff it, the only news from Scotland. Rangers have won the SPL at the last minute after Celtic went down 2-1 to Motherwell and Rangers beat Hibernian 1-0.

And more news on the Martin O'Neill story, there are reports that Gordon Strachan is being lined up to replace him should he leave in the summer.

Friday, May 20, 2005

I prefer to be optimistic (pt 2)

Actually, why do I have to respect them for winning 3 of the last 4 SPL titles? It was either going to be us or them. Maybe not 3 out 4 but you get the jist.

Stem Cell Research

The world woke up (and so did I but I'm only talking about it now) this morning to the news that British and Korean scientists have successfully cloned human embryos. The British effort comes from Newcastle University. The university has successfully cloned an embryo as part of research into a cure for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Diabetes. The South Korean research is, as far as I can tell, more closely linked to Stem Cell Research as the cells need for cloning were taken from those with spinal cord damage.

The Guardian's leader column today came out very strongly in favour of this research (both in England and South Korea) as am I.

There are two reasons why it is a good thing. Firstly, it gives hope to suffers of the aformentioned diseases, maybe not for this generation but maybe the next. If this research were to lead to repairing spinal injuries, I may be in my 40s before it's good to go and by that stage I might not be bothered - I'll be used to adult life in a wheelchair. But the generation of disabled after me will benefit.

The second reason for this being good is a practical reason. In 10 or 20 years time, the drugs needed to hold back the effects of Alzheimer's may be in short supply (don't quote me on that) and therefore cure would be the best approach.

I prefer to be optimistic

The BBC reports that Martin O'Neill could leave Celtic this summer. This assertion hinges on him saying that next season he:
"definitely won't be going to another football club."
Granted, the beeb did say that he wasn't making a commitment to Celtic but the quote could be read as a subtle commitment. I, however, prefer to be optimistic.

It's not that I don't like the man. He's a good manager - worked wonders at Leicester - and he seems to be a decent bloke. It's not even that I hate Celtic. I wouldn't say I like them (I do support Rangers after all) but you have to respect (even it is grudgingly) a team that's won 3 out of the last 4 SPL titles. However, maybe it's time for O'Neill to move on. What more is there to achieve? He's won everything the Scottish game can throw at him, he took Celtic to the UEFA Cup final in 2003 and it's not as if they're going to win the Champions League and then there's the league. It would take them to have a very bad season to finish outside the top 2 in the SPL.

Go on Marty! Quit now. It can't get any better.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Sorry about the lack of posts recently but there is a very good reason.

I couldn't be arsed.

No, actually, it partly was apathy but partly that I have exams starting next week and I've been muddling through revision for that.

There's only one thing to talk about and that's (last) Monday night's Insight on ITV. It was an interview with David Trimble and it was asking what his legacy would be.

My own view is that for the next few years at least opinion on him will be split unfortunately down sectarian lines. Generally, Unionists will feel that he sold them out and Nationalist will see the positive side of his time as leader (GFA mainly). Over time, however, there will be a kind of revisionism within Unionism and Unionist will be more willing to accept that he acheived a lot and Northern Ireland is better off for having him around.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Nice one Tony!

Tony Benn (hero of the left) has called on Sinn Fein to rethink their policy of abstentionism concerning their Westminster seats.

I agree with him but the pressure on them do this would have been greater if the SDLP had not done so well in the election. I think most commentators thought that the SDLP would retain South Down with Eddie McGrady standing again, Foyle would be a close call and they really had no chance in South Belfast.

If the SDLP had lost Foyle and not won South Belfast, then nationalism would only have one representative at Westminster. That would not have helped matters.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

End of year screaming!

So tired... can't wait till Friday... last day... exams... shit!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Death of a clown (well, almost).

He's gone.

Election fallout

The DUP ended up with 9 seats, Sinn Fein gained a seat (no real surprise, it was Newry and Armagh [south Armagh]), the SDLP are still alive after retaining both South Down and Foyle and gaining South Belfast. The UUP, however, are barely alive with only one MP (Lady Sylvia Hermon in North Down).

"Sources" says David Trimble will announce his resignation "at about teatime."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Not so much of a shock

It's turning into a bit of a DUP rout. They've taken South Antrim and Upper Bann... off David Trimble.

Election Results update

Wee Shammy has taken (as expected) East Antrim for the DUP. Danny O'Connor came in fourth behind Sean Neeson with 1,695 votes. So at least I know my vote wouldn't have counted.

Surprisingly, however, as far as I'm aware, South Belfast has elected Alasdair McDonnell of the SDLP.

In The End

In the end, I did not vote.
In the end, Sunderland South did not break their record.
In the end, Labour finished up with a hugely reduced majority.
In the end, former GMTV totty Esther McVey did not get elected for the Conservatives but her boyfriend Ed Vaizey did.
In the end, the Liberal Democrats finished up with more seats than expected.
In the end, George Galloway won Bethnal Green and Bow for RESPECT.
In the end, Michael Howard said he would step down as Tory leader as soon as a review is done of the party's voting procedures.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bloody FA.

News just in, Liverpool won't be in the Champions League next season if they finish fifth but still win the bloody thing unless they can successfully lobby UEFA for a fifth place in the competition. Some bloody hope. Grrrr!

Okay then!

I knew there wasn't a Northern Ireland election programme until tomorrow but I didn't realise that the votes won't begin to be counted until tomorrow. There are only 18 constuencies for Chrissake!!!! Sunderland South's hoping to get it's results in less than 43 minutes after the polls close.

Stewart's day.

Who's Stewart, I hear you ask. Many moons ago (or even when Tony Blair called the election) I made a joke that went something like "Tony Blair has called the election, Stewart I think he's called it." Well, Stewart is finally here. And it looks as if he's bringing another Labour victory with. No surprise really when you consider that the economy's pretty healthy, Michael Howard's pretty crap, and the Lib Dems are, well...

Here in good old Northern Ireland however, it's more of the same. With our electorate split between Unionists and Nationalists there's no chance for "normal" politics and I'm sick of it. However, I believe we should all exercise our right to vote so as a member of a party outside the mainstream I wondered was it right to cast my vote in favour of the candidate I think would be best for the constituency (East Antrim). I've decided that is right and therefore I will be voting SDLP (If I vote).

Away from politics, Liverpool are in the Champions League final. Who would have thought last May when we crawled into fourth place in the Premiership that a year later we'd be back in the final of Europe's top competition after 20 years. The sheen may be taken off our victory if we beat AC Milan on May 25th because it's looking increasingly likely that Everton will take fourth place, so with UEFA refusing to give England an extra place we may not get a chance to defend the trophy unless the FA nominate us instead of Everton to compete next season.

It's tricky this because as a Liverpool fan I naturally want us to play in the Champions League and we should be able to defend it. Everton, however, deserve it because their finishing fourth seemed less likely than us winning the Champions League. They may not get this opportunity again.