Monday 25th July - 09:00
After the All Blacks lifted RWC 2015 it will come as no surprise that Steve Hanson has extended his contract as Head Coach until after RWC 2019 in Japan.
The Super Rugby semi-finals are now confirmed. Hurricanes v Chiefs. k.o. 08:35. Lions v Highlanders k.o. 16:00. Both games live on SKY next Saturday 30th July. I go for a Hurricanes v Highlanders final.
Josh Beaumont will lead Sale next season as he agrees a new three year deal.
Chris Froome was annoited in yellow yesterday in Paris. Le Tour is a great event and to win is an amazing achievement. Well done also to Britain's Adam Yates for securing the white jersey; the the best young rider.
Very well done Britain's Johanna Konta on beating Venus Williams to win her first WTA title.
Well done Britain's Lewis Hamilton for his Hungarian Grand Prix performance. Rosberg firmly put in his place. Boy oh boy was this dull. From what I could tell the first 15 seconds when Hamilton took the lead off the grid was the only bit of excitement all race. 70 laps of monotony
England's cricketers are doing ok but why didn't they enforce the follow-on?
Not so well done you lily livered bunch of old farts at the IOC. It has been proven that Russian sport is rife with state endorsed doping yet you have bottled the most important decision of banning them from competing. Yes, not all Russians are cheats. Yes, it would be grossly unfair on those sportsmen and women who are 100% clean. Yes, each governing body should have a say BUT if there is any chance of cleaning up sport then this was it. Russia should have been banned......... that's my view anyway.
Another day another horror story from Germany. A terrorist attack near Ansbach with a suicide bomber injuring at least 12 near a music festival. This came hot on the heels that a Syrian asylum seeker murdered a Polish woman in what appears to be a crime of passion.
Angela Merkel is coming under even more intense pressure about her open door policy towards refugees and migrants. It is a) no wonder that the far right are gaining popularity, and b) there are hints that Britain might just be right with regard to its opposition to unfettered migration.
Philip Green, the Butcher of BHS, is in the spotlight for what appears to be very, very shady dealings. He is a perfect example of why fatcats are so despised by many and why some of the charletons need to be made an example of.
Finally Nicola Sturgeon will be pontificating on Scotland and independence and the EU today. How does the song go: 'I want it all, and I want it now!'. I read two comments this week that struck a cord. It was only a few months ago when the SNP were close to gaining independence which would have meant leaving the EU????? Also they are bleating on about independence and staying in the EU. Is this is the same EU that controls most of the laws, trade deals, fishing quotas, the colour, size and shape of your bananas, and so I could go on. So much for independence. Perhaps she is confusing idependence with subservience to faceless EU bureaucrats from Brussels.
For techincal reasons Bleater needs to lie down in a darkened room for a few days so possibly no blog until Thursday or even Friday.
Sunday 24th July - 09:30
I know this drivel is found on CRFC's RUGBY website and not on a 'let's rant about politics' website, and you know the comments here are mine and mine alone and don't reflect the views of anyone else at CRFC but please let me correct yesterday's blog.
When writing on Saturday it was unclear who the Munich gunman was. There was a strong suspicion based on his ethnicity that it was IS linked. This proved to be wrong. It doesn't make the horror of the act any better, in fact in some respects it makes it worse. The fact David Ali Sonboly was obsessed with mass shootings and mass murderer, especially hate crimes is potentially more worrying. With that ultra right wing fascist, Norway's Anders Behring Breivik as a role model it is no wonder that this young person already receiving psychiatric care snapped.
How many more people are out there in this vunerable state and with the proliferation of 'beat 'em up, shoot 'em up' video games in society how long before the next horror?
I don't retract my comments about fanatics and religion, I just made an error of judgement on this horrendous incident.
We should could continue to have in our minds the families of the bereaved and especially those who have loved ones still fighting for their lives in intensive care.
It comes as no suprise that the Chiefs and the Hurricanes came through their quarter finals with some ease. Both looked imperious with sublime handling and support play completely wrong footing the South Africans at every turn. For the Sharks to come away from Wellington with 'nil point' highlights the Hurricanes dominance. Whilst the Stormers put up more of a fight against the Chiefs they too were over-run. A New Zealand whitewash was avoided with the Lions beating the Crusaders reasonably comfortably looking at the scoreline. I didn't see this one....... out in the sunshine.... so can't comment on the game itself. An all New Zealand final is 99.9% certain based on this weekend's results.
In other news the big money club Wasps have lured Kyle Eastmond away from Bath. There are some nice platitudes from Eastmond about his move but come on, let's not kid ourselves this is about money, money, money. Yes Bath are in a bit of a mess right now with no coach and questions about the ongoing ownership so a move makes some sense but money talks and money wins. Good luck to him. Good luck to the other ELEVEN signings Wasps have made this pre-season........ Not really!!!!! Money is ripping the heart out of the game and I am not sure I want to watch one side dominate rugby because they have the biggest stash of cash.
Le Tour has been one by Chris Froome of SKY. The tour has been dominated by SKY, the team with biggest stash.
Hamilton and Rosberg will battle it out for supremacy today in Hungary. Surprise, surprise they drive for Mercedes. This biggest stash of cash.
Russia won't dominate the Olympics this year. Their only stash is drugs.
Beep, beep. That's washing machine. Must get the clotes out on the line.
Saturday 23rd July - 08:30
As much as I'd like to start with the Brumbies losing narrowly to the Highlanders I have to open with a comment about Munich.
As the story unfolded yesterday evening I was asking myself when will this lunacy stop. The answer is never. In the world we live in there will always be some fanatical cause that will drive groups, or in the case of Munich an individual to murder and slaughter in the name of that cause. Through the sands of time this has been the case and will always be the case. The aspect that really upsets me is that these terrible atrocities are carried out in the name of religion, Islam being the focal point right now. We should not, cannot, be allowed to change our habits in fear of these atrocities. To do that is to pronounce terrorism the winner. We must carry on with our lives, but yes be extra vigilant. In the meantime let's think about the nine innocent people who are now dead and the 16 who are injured. The Germans are fine people with generous hearts. Let the friends and families of those who have suffered draw comfort from the kind thoughts of people like us.
The world continues to turn and life goes on.
So, as expected, The Highlanders were too strong for the Brumbies in what sounds like terrible conditions. From what I read the result could have been different if a refereeing/TMO decision hadn't gone against the Aussie side.
Next up Hurricanes v Sharks in 40 minutes time. I will watch that one.
Another RFU stalwart has left his post. Simon Hardy leaves after 22 years of service in various front line coaching roles.
Shaun Edwards has been refused permission to work with Toulon. Good. We need him focussed 100% on Wales.
Raeburn Place is to be redeveloped. What??? Raeburn Place is the one of the world's oldest sporting venues and hosted the very first rugby international in 1871. I wonder if Eddie Bridges was at that game. The redevelopment is in jeopardy due to funding but Edinburgh Academicals are determined to restore the place to its former glory. There is one interesting line in the article, skynews.com: 'Even amateur clubs have got to consider themselves as businesses now and for any business to survive on 13 days in the year which is basically all we are doing for our home matches, it doesn't work. So you've got look at how else you're going to fund everything'. Sound familiar??
I am delighted to announce that Paddy O'Fez is alive and well and has been found wandering, or is it working, around the West Midlands. Sadly he can't shed any light on the soap opera; The Labour Party and Other Nut Cases.
If you were ever in doubt about the lunacy that is going on and the type of people trying to get Jezza into No.10 then look no further than Len 'the red' McClusky who has suggested all the vile death threats and acts of violence and vadalism against Jezza's opponents is being carried out by MI5. Yeah, yeah! Can I ask you to return to yesterday's blog and draw comparisons with history. The way Jezza and his team are behaving ........... I leave that thought with you.
Going to France via Dover anytime soon? Then take a sleeping bag and plenty of emergency rations. The French authorities have put in place stringent checks which are delaying journies by many hours. After the terrible events in France over the last months it makes very good sense but the cynic deep inside me wonders if there is a secondary motive. The Revenge of Calais, another gripping tale from the masters of intrigue; The French.
Got to go. Game kicks off in 25 minutes and need to get at least one coffee and some orange juice inside me first........ and........ BA2166 from Tampa will be going over shortly.
Friday 22nd July - 08:30
It has been announced that the very top of the English women's game will go professional: 16 full time contracts, 16 part time contracts (3 day weeks) and a range of short term contracts heading into key tournaments. For those who have reached this level I think this is a good move and it is right those who give up so much for the good of the game deserve to be rewarded.
Brad Barritt will captain Saracens next season.
The Super Rugby format continues to perplex. South African and head coach of The Stormers Robbie Fleck has been lamenting the lack of games against the New Zealand franchises this season. I think this is a case of the blazers at the top trying to expand the revenue game / tournament without fully understanding the implications.
Now here is an interesting situation; Argentina v Australia in the Rugby Championship on October 8th at Twickenham. Why? Oh silly me!! Money, money, money. I am sure it will be a cracking game and a great experience but other than money what is the reasoning behind this? Surely the Pumas would want to have as many games as possible in Argentina in order to continue the growth of the game there and to maximise their unions revenue. Hey ho! What do I know? Not a lot.
The Super Rugby quarter finals kick off in an hour. The Brumbies vs Highlanders in Canberra. Should be worth watching if you are an unemployed, lazy, good for nothing slob like me. Although I am NOT on benefits by the way........ yet!!!!
More depressing stuff in the news about terrorist activity, or should I say POSSIBLE terrorist activity. The Sydney attempted car bombing, the attempted Marham kidnapping, the foiled Rio plots, and the news that the Nice attacker didn't act alone are all worrying stories.
The most worrying news story is that Trump might just become President of the United States of America. In my mind I have made some comparisons with other times in history and his rhetoric on migrants and making America great again sound horrendous when put into this context. Draw your own conclusions.
As expected Hollande has told Theresa May to get on with it. Stop dithering he has said. Of course he has. He is extremely unpopular right now and the Le Pen bandwagon continues to gather up new support are just two of his problems.
Sadly the i leads with the story that they have proof that alcohol causes cancer. I haven't read the story and quite frankly don't intend to. We all know that alcohol is not always good for you but you also know that this proof has probably come from someone who has a vested interest in the publishing of the story. After all nobody does anything today unless there is something in it for them. I'll be going out for a drink later come what may.
Finally, and I know it is not funny, but I did smile when I read The Sun headline about the BA flight from Gatwick to Crete that had to make an emergency landing back at Gatwick 90 minutes after take-off due to an overwhelming smell of cannabis. Nice front page despite there being news stories of much greater importance worthy of front page coverage.
Thursday 21st July - 08:00
I have scoured the papers for some decent rugby stories and little jumps out................
except for the heartwarming story of Jillion Potter who will run out for the US women's 7s squad in Rio in just a couple of weeks time. She has fought back after breaking her neck and surviving cancer. A nice piece carried by the bbc.co.uk.
For info the Rio 7s commence on the 6th August with three days of women's rugby before the men kick off on 9th August, again for three days.
In other sport Froome continues to head Le Tour. It was a fascinating stage yesterday with a cruelling mountain time trial ahead of him today.
So Big Sam is heading towards the poison chalice known as England Manager.
Not only are foreigners snapping up all our businesses they are now buying up all our football teams. Wolves have just been bought by a Chinese conglomerate for £45m. That much!!!!!!!
Celtic beat the Gibraltar part timers Lincoln Red Imps to progress in the Champions League. Our nuclear submarine HMS Ambush wasn't so lucky losing out to a Gibraltarian merchant vessel 1-0. Again bbc.co.uk for more.
In yesterday's PMQ's I think May beat Corbyn in three straight sets and then went on to press the flesh with Merkel in what appears to have been a cordial meeting. She won't be so lucky when she meets the French Premier Hollande. He is under pressure from the fascist party led by Marine Le Pen so any sign of weakness will be exploited.
183,000 people have coughed up £25 to vote in the Labour leadership contest. This must give Corbyn the advantage over Owen Smith. The battle is mired in controversy with leading lights of the Jezza camp bad-mouthing the opposition in a pretty 'industrial' fashion and many opponents of Jezza being 'trolled' on social media. I think that is what it is called.
The country needs a strong opposition to the Tory government and right now the in-fighting on the opposition benches is giving the Tories a free ride. This can't be good for any of us. On the other hand, whilst my family background comes from the far left of politics, I am not sure having the extremists from the unions and those who are card carrying members of the Socialist Workers Party in Jezza's team inspires me with confidence.
Got to go. Kettle has just boiled and a nice cup of coffee and a glass of orange juice beckons. Bull!!!! The Emirates A380-800 is in the stack and will be over shortly. Where are my binoculars
Wednesday 20th July - 09:30
What a scorcher yesterday. Searing hot temperatures, crystal clear skies. An absolutely beautiful day. Back to some semblance of normality today as the wind has picked up and there is a blanket of light cloud obliterating the early morning sun. Shame as Gatwick is busy this morning and I had hoped to be in the garden with my binoculars and Flightradar 24 telling me who, what and where. The Virgin flight VS16 from Orlando is due over shortly. A Boeing 747-400.
Can't you tell there is little rugby news to discuss.
The Rio 7s squads have been announced. No real surprises. Quite rightly predominantly England 7s stars for both the men and women.
There she goes. 6,200ft and decending.
Please let there be rugby news worthy of comment soon.
Yet another missive from the RFU came out yesterday about paying players and the correct protocols to follow. At the recent Sussex RFU AGM/General Meeting it was stated the RFU are seriously concerned about the paying of players and are determined to TRY and do something about it. I am certain many clubs who are paying their players are flouting the extensive list of RFU rules, HMRC rules and those relating to CASC status. It will be pretty tough to police but if the RFU are hard on miscreants they catch then clubs might just start to get the message. Of course there is nothing stopping clubs paying players directly or via the spurious 'they only get expenses route'.
Next over is EZ8716, the Easyjet flight from Lisbon. The Airbus A319 is due to land at 09:00, 20 minutes ahead of schedule.
In the news more death and destruction, more violence and horrendous stories to worry us. Three dead in a murder / suicide in Spalding. Several dead after and altercation in Aberdeen. Violence erupts in Hyde Park after a 'water fight' gets out of hand. A family attacked in a French camp site in what appears to be a religious motivated attack (scantily clad young woman and her daughters attacked by a Morroccan national).
So like the planes flying over Crowborough the Eagle has landed....... on her backside with a bump as she stands down to allow Welshman Owen Smith go head to head with Jezza C. Jezza's ratings according The Times latest poll is racing ahead and it will be tough for Smith to topple him. Where that leaves the Laboor Party I don't know. Perhaps Paddy O'Fez might tell me as I am clueless......... on pretty much any subject.
Pokemon Go becomes the latest mobile craze. Move on. I really couldn't care less.
Pippa Middleton is engaged. Move on even faster.
Lady Googoo splits with her fiancee. So what.
Theresa May flies out to meet with the Deputy Supreme Leader of the free world Angela Merkel and the Deputy Chocolate Tea-pot Francois Hollande. Now that is important.
Finally some good news. The collapsed sewer in Forest Hill has been repaired and trains from Crowborough are running normally. Lets hope Southern Rail's CEO and 'Loadsa' Cash are buried deep in said sewer where they belong thrashing out a resolution to the companies service problems.
Can't see it but Air Canada's Boeing 767 is next in line for the Crowborough fly past.
Tuesday 19th July - 08:30
Tom Youngs being named as Leicester Tigers captain next season is the only rugby story in town. Outside that the main story is the doped up Russians and their ongoing cheating. Boot them out of the Olympics I say. The money grabbing overpaid footballers continue to play on the merry-go-round of fortune. Hamilton and Rosberg will continue their fight for global supremacy in Hungary on Sunday. England's cricketers are still smarting from their defeat to Pakistan but Chris Froome continues to wear yellow in the French Tourist Board's showpiece event; Le Tour de France 2016.
Another day another unprovoked attack on innocent civilians. This time in Germany. A young Afghan refugee so pleased with the German's hospitality that he decides to use an axe to show his delight at being free of oppression and now living in a generous and open society. No wonder the popularity of right wing facists is growing.
Elsewhere in the news it has been confirmed that we will renew our capability to bomb the living daylights of anyone who threatens us. May has her finger on the button and is willing to use it. That is of course if those whose dad's who have bigger guns than ours haven't obliterated every single one of us before she gets past the 'F' of 'FIRE'.
Obviously Jezza C and the SNP voted against the renewal of Trident. I guess in the case of the SNP yellow is appropriate for them as their desire is to close down one of the biggest employers in Scotland; Faslane.
To be fair it is fffffnnnnn expensive and I think the NHS, police, and schools could make better use of the billions of pounds the renewal would cost.
Two Air Transat pilots have been arrested on suspicion of being drunk shortly before they were due to depart from Glasgow airport. What do you expect......... being in Scotland, the land of the almighty, all seeing, all powerful, I will rule the world Nicola Sturgeon, is enough to drive any person to drink. What an arrogant piece of work is that Sturgeon woman: 'I will decide if and when the UK triggers Article 50' she says.
Her equally almighty, all seeing, power crazed epitomy of arrogance, no not Mourihno but Kim Jong-Un has been test firing missiles again. If there was someone who you didn't want their finger anywhere near the 'button of doom' it is the rotund Kim's.
Today will be a most glorious day. The best of the year so far weather-wise so let me put a dampener on things. Donald Trump is another step closer to the biggest trigger in the world. Kaboom, we're all doomed.
Finally it is not true that Southern Rail management nor Mike 'Loadsa' Cash have been digging escape tunnels in Forest Hill.
Monday 18th July - 09:00
I am sure many of you will have read the terrible news about young Joe Sandford, a 22 year old member of Heathfield & Waldron RFC, who has been seriously injured in a road accident whilst on a trip to New Zealand. From what I understand Joe suffered life changing injuries as a result of the crash and will need constant care when he returns home to the UK. He was an upcoming player with our good friends the Greenies and it was rugby that took him to New Zealand.
Our Chairman Alex Hunn, on behalf of the entire club, has passed our thoughts and messages of sympathy to the family and later today there will be details on this website of how you can help. I believe H&W RFC are looking at fundraisers which we as a club I am sure will be delighted to support.
For now let us have Joe's family in our minds and wish for the best possible outcome for them and Joe as they contemplate the future.
GB Royals, our Rio 7s squad triumphed again this weekend. I am optimistic of a good showing but of course New Zealand and Fiji will be in our way.
The 6 Nations schedule is up for change as Bill Beaumont gets his feet under the World Rugby table and looks to find a workable global rugby calendar. I hope his colleague Augustine Pichot can also deliver his stated intention of sorting out the eligibility nonsense. This epitomised by the fact that Wasps' Nathan Hughes is now eligible for England consideration after his three years playing in the UK. This really is a nonsense.
The Super Rugby play-offs have now been finalised. Yes it does seem somewhat unfair that three of the New Zealand sides have to travel despite finishing ahead of the teams they are due to play. I guess this is what happens when you make a competition overly complex. As the weather was so warm this weekend I didin't get to watch too many games but the ones I did watch were excellent. Highlanders v Chiefs in particular.
I see the RFU have circulated a missive to all clubs about the rules for paying players. After the Medway debacle, the implosion of East Grinstead, the Plymouth Albion saga and I could go on, it is obviously needed. It is a very thorny and emotive subject but I for one remain firm in my belief that some of the money sloshing around at the lower levels of the game is a recipe for disaster.
Now talking of money I see N'Golo Kante is leaving Leicester City, who will play in the Champions League, for Chelsea, who won't. Whatever the Kante says it is about one thing and one thing only........ MONEY. His slug like agent has been at the heart of making the move happen and no mealy mouth words about being inspired and motivated will change the fact it is about MONEY. As far as I am concerned it is good news for Leicester City. They have made a massive profit on the deal and got rid of someone who obviously doesn't have any comprehension about the meaning of loyalty.
Another horrendous shooting in the US. Three police officers murdered in Baton Rouge. God bless the NRA............. NOT!
The attempted coup and its aftermath in Turkey dominate the newspapers. A terrible situation for the country and its people. Not a great advert for those advocating Turkey joins the EU though.
So pleased The Sun and The Daily Star have got their priorities right with their leads respectively being about a break in at Jose Mourihno's home and the UK being hotter than Hawaii. Muppets!
Friday 15th July - 12:30
I was going to blog early this morning about what a wonderful day I had at Lords yesterday watching the 1st day of the 1st test: England v Pakistan. That was until I read about the latest atrocity in France. 84 innocent people murdered by a lunatic in the name of what? It can't be Islam because Islam is supposed to be a peaceful and loving religion. If it has been done in the name of Islam then I am sure the virgins awaiting the martyr will be waiting in vain as I sincerely hope this murdering b'stard rots in hell. I also hope that any who have the temerity to applaud this atrocious act also rot in hell.
May those who have lost their lives rest in peace.
It would be easy to close there but I for one am not going to be kowtowed by these terrorists into changing my behaviour so.............
having just got back from the club I can say the grounds are looking great. Thanks Dave Bristow for you efforts. Thanks to the Friday Club for their efforts.
In rugby news the changes at the top of Sale make interesting reading. Fran Cotton coming back into the fold.
The complex play off system for Super Rugby is causing some frustration in New Zealand. Yes it is complex, yes it currently disadvantages the New Zealand franchises who are doing well BUT guess what........ you agreed to it ahead of the tournament so stop whingeing like spoilt kids and get on with it.
Closer to home Theresa May was no Mother Theresa as she wielded the axe following her coronation. No steady as you go approach for her. Keep your friends close and your enemies even closer seems to be her mantra. I for one turned down the role of Chief Secretary of Drivel and Bullshit. Sadly Jeremy 'the Weasel' Hunt kept his job. BoJo as Foreign Secretary.....mmmmm...... I guess time will tell.
Anyway back to Lords. The cricket was pretty slow but fascinating nonetheless. The day out was sensational from start to finish. As someone who loves sport it was another tick in the box. I did pick up one comment from some corporate lovey who irritated the hell out of me that perhaps Theresa would go for 'Brexit Lite'. We're out but you wouldn't notice. A thought???
Wednesday 13th July - 08:30
So Stuart Lancaster might end up as coach at Toulon. I am not sure his style will suit Toulon but let's not lose sight of the fact he is a good coach, despite the RWC 2015 debacle. He has been advising the FA, British cycling and the NFL, on what I have no idea. It is more likely he will end up in the southern hemisphere though.
Lancaster's successor has called for more consistency if England are to be world beaters. I think Jones will deliver greater consistency because he has a more pragmatic approach to his coaching. He is less schoolmasterly yet more hard nosed. He won't put up with in-fighting, it's his way or no way. He understands that games are won by solid defence but not to become obsessed by defence. He will pick players on form and not reputation. He is finger pointing and not powerpointing. He will do well ......but....... will he stick at it?
One of the major successes of the Australia tour; James Haskell, has been sidelined for six months with a foot injury. Big blow for Wasps and highlights the issue of club v country.
The statement money can't buy you success has been proven by Celtic's ignominious defeat by Gibralter's part timers Lincoln Red Imps in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League. It's a bit like Crowborough RFC beating Saracens. It seems madness that serious football has already kicked off for certain clubs. No wonder international players are knackered for big tournaments.
So I was right, the golfers are not going to the Olympics because of Zika, it is because of the money, or lack of it.
In other sport Jeremy Corbyn has been allowed onto the ballot paper. Democratically that is right. What a shambles though. Ten rounds, a knockout wins it but two falls and a submission will be considered a victory. I heard the Eagle speaking this morning. She claimed it was time for labour to have a female leader. Sorry Angela isn't it time for labour to have the very best person for the job regardless of sex, creed, colour or religion.
I'll be watching PMQs today. A historic day. Cameron has already packed his bags and May is ready for her coronation. Whatever your political bent the change brings a small scintilla of calm to an otherwise chaotic political scene.
Last night I attended the Sussex RFU AGM and general meeting. Not much to report other than Gavin Ross, our very own Gavin Ross, a good personal friend and a CRFC clubman was voted in as President elect for the county. Well done Gavin.
Tuesday 12th July - 07:45
Other than pouring over the Aviva fixtures and disseminating Andy Robinson's view that England have the potential to win RWC 2019 there is little in the papers about rugby.
Munster have snapped up Paul O'Connell to support their academy. A move that is a pretty obvious one to make but inspired nevertheless. I can't think of anyone who would be more inspirational to young aspiring players in Ireland than O'Connell.
Justin Tipuric 'lost sight' whilst concussed during the last 6 Nations. Whilst it was only briefly it must have been terrifying and without question reaffirms the importance of managing concussion promptly and properly. Thankfully he is close to a return to the game.
Another day and another 'quitter'. This time Andrea Leadsom (aka as Angela Who)decides she is joining the club leaving the door open for Theresa May to be anoited as Supreme Leader of the Klingon Empire (aka Great Britain). Her coronation will be on Wednesday so hopefully on Thursday she and whoever her new team will be can turn their attention to sorting out this mess known as 'Brexit'.
On the other side of the political divide the Eagles have left their eerie and are now circling their prey. This battle between the Eagle and the old King of the Jungle will be a messy one. There will be much blood lost as the battle commences as the Lion rallies his supporters from the far left whilst the Eagle draws on the support from the high ground of the savannah. Can't wait to hear Elton's soundtrack for this one.
At Steel Cross last night I believe Alex Hunn was formally voted in as the new Chairman of our great club. In order to comply with FCA regulations, albeit pedantic, Alex would have been asked to act as Chairman of the Executive and therefore the club. A man much younger than me with great business experience, great rugby experience and an infectious enthusiasm for the club. A very good choice. He, with the support of those staying on the Exec, who are amazing in their commitment and determination, will take CRFC forward. Well done all.
It is rare that things are ever black and white. In the US right now things are very black & white. Boy, what a mess. The gun laws have a lot to answer for as has the institutionalised racism among certain segments of US society. A sad state of affairs that needs resolving
Southern Rail; what a ffffnnnnnn shambles. It beggars belief that management and unions through incompetence and bloody mindedness have conspired to turn a train company into an embarrassment and a laughing stock.
'Fat Boy' Un is rattling his sabre again as he continues to test missiles and continues to threaten South Korea with annihilation. Brexit, this pales into insignificance with this nut case in charge.
Finally I read with interest that the top golfers are pulling out of the Olympics for fear of issues relating to the Zika virus. Bullshit. This is about money. Why bother when the Olympics is about pride and not cash, when the Ryder Cup is on the horizon, when there is lots of other much more lucrative golf to be played. Hey Ho!
Monday 11th July - 10:15
My Coventry experience was pretty interesting; a RFU disciplinary course on Friday, then a nice night out, then a trip to Charlecote House on Saturday. Sadly yesterday was a washout but that was a good excuse to slob in front of the Scaletrix, then the tennis, and finally the footy.
Very little rugby news except GB winning the Exeter leg of the European 7s and France introducing a relegation play off. No automatic relegation for the penultimate team in the Pro 14 but a play off. This is close to what I think would make sense for English rugby as opposed to the useless set up we have now.
Super rugby marches towards the final stages. Didn't see any this weekend though.
In other news what a great weekend for British tennis. Reid and Hewitt winning the men's wheel chair doubles. Gordon Reid also won the singles. Great stuff. Heather Watson with her partner Kontinen won the mixed doubles. Brilliant. Andy Murray was simply astounding winning the premier title in straight sets. It was a consumate performance. Well done for him for ignoring Nicola Sturgeon in the crowd and thanking David Cameron for being there. This drew boos from the crowd. A fact which reinforces my humble view that thousands voted against staying in Europe because Cameron led the campaign rather than having any idea about the SIGNIFICANT negative impications of leaving. Hey ho!
Well done Hamilton for winning the British leg of the Scaletrix championship. F1 can often be boring but for the most part this was fascinating with cars slipping and sliding, some hairy overtaking and some complex tactical conundrums to solve. Rosberg has had his wrists slapped because his team told him how to drive. I wouldn't have any wrists left the way Mrs Bleater persistently tells me how to drive.
Wales, after Portugal's winning of Euro '16, are the third best team in Europe. It was pretty turgid fare last night and not a great advert for football. I felt for the French, for a nano second. Well done Portugal. If there was ever an example supporting my view that English soccer at international level is hampered by the number of overseas players playing in the Premiership, last night's game was it.
So it is Maybe vs Angela Who. Get on with it.
It is Corbyn vs Eagles. Get on with it.
This great country of ours is at rock bottom. No-one is in charge. We are sliding to Brexit without a ffffnnnnnn clue of what we are going to do next. The economy is going down the toilet faster than a dodgy kebab on a Sunday morning. Scotland wants to be part of the Federal Republic of Germany. In different circumstances I would join the 'quitters' and be on on my toes.
The story that caught my eye was in the Organ of Truth, so needs to be taken with a healthy dose of salt, was about health tourists. Hundreds of foreign visitors are arriving in the UK for very expensive eye surgery, being allowed to jump the NHS queue, and then leave without ever paying. This simply cannot be right. Our NHS is a magnificent system which is under enough pressure as it is. It needs to be sorted. We should never turn away people who need treatment but the system has to be fair to those who have contributed through their taxes in the UK and if overseas patients get treatment the NHS MUST recover the full costs. Afterall that is what every other country would do to us.
Let's hope for rugby news tomorrow, otherwise it is the great Southern rail soap opera on tomorrow's agenda.
Thursday 7th July - 10:00
The wonderful Welsh journey through the Euro '16 football tournament has finally come to an end. Like their rugby counterparts in RWC 2011 the semi final was a game too far. They can return home with their heads held high and forever be proud of what they have achieved. Well done boys and well done the fans too.
So Pristorius is now enjoying jail time. Six years seems a little lenient in my humble opinion.
Well done Andy Murray. A hard fought win over a tenacious opponent.
Finally, finally Le Tour came alive yesterday.
So, Sir John Chilcot came to the conclusion that Tony Blair did not lie. After all this time, the voluminous report, and the stature of Sir John means I have to concede that Blair isn't a lying toerag......... or do I?
He was VERY, VERY, VERY economical with the truth. He used beneficial snippets of information to his advantage yet dismissed substantial arguments against invasion out of hand.
He had agreed with George 'the Banker' Bush a year ahead of the invasion that Britain would support the gun toting US thus allowing Bush Jr to finish what his father failed to do in the Gulf War.
There were no WMD and any evidence of their existence was tissue thin.
He held secret meetings excluding key cabinet members so as to avoid being challenged.
The troops the country deployed were woefully underprepared and Blair knew that, and knew the consequences.
There was no plan for post invasion Iraq of any sort.
The legal foundation for the invasion was questionable at best and even to this day the relevant documentation cannot be found.
So whilst the word 'liar' is absent, the words 'dishonest', 'devious', 'secretive', 'incompetent', 'duplicitous', and towards the US 'subservient' can all be used to describe Mr Tony Blair.
After his pathetic performance yesterday and the horrendous statements that a) he would do it again, and b) the world is a better place as a result of his actions you have to question his mental state. He has the blood of 179 fine British servicemen and women on his hands and many thousands of Iraqis. He has to be held accountable.
For the record I am no bleeding heart lily livered liberal. If we need to bomb the hell out of someone then let's get on with it, BUT, and it is a VERY BIG BUT we must do it properly, having exhausted all possible peaceful means, ensured those who are doing the bombing are as safe from harm as possible, and innocent civilians are not caught up in the battle.
Those of you who have followed my blog over the years know the passion I have had for the truth to come out. I think it has. Let's follow this for a few days more and then move on.
Finally in the absence of rugby news are any of you worried how the country is spiralling towards the EU exit door and NO-ONE appears to be planning anything.
Wednesday 6th July - 07:45
Happy Birthday to my grandson Austin. Four today. Where has that time gone.
A big day for Wales as they take on portugal in the semi-finals of Euro 16. The country is buzzing. The 'Closed' signs will go up early as the country grinds to a halt before kick off. I hope the entire United Kingdom will get behind the boys in red for this one.
This is bad news for rugby in Wales following the 3-0 whitewash in New Zealand, the poor showing of the regions in the PRO 12, and the decline in rugby in schools. Rugby has been under pressure for sometime with both Swansea and Cardiff City performing well in the Premiership and Championship respectively.
For the record many state rugby is the nations game but many more people participate in soccer week in week out.
The only bits of rugby news that catch the eye are Steve Hanson announcing he could stay on until RWC 2019. The other is that England soccer could learn from England rugby in the wake of their sorry showing in Euro 16. This comes from Stuart Lancaster.
Basically he says you need to instill leadership in players from an early age and encourage independent thinking on the field. This makes some sense BUT the coaches want teams to play their way. They select players on a certain style of play and independent thinking is not allowed. If you caught any of Jose Mourinho's first Manchester United press conference you will have gathered that it's his way or no way. For me the major difference between England soccer and rugby is the desire. The desire to play for your country in the first instance, then the willingness to put your body on the line when it counts. Money is the only motivation in soccer and many of those wearing the three lions from start to finish would have rather have been on the beach than in France. That's my view for what it's worth.
Oscar Pistorius will learn his fate today. Expect a long a prison sentence.
Well, that was a surprise. The Uckfield to London Bridge line is totally unaffected by Southern Rails timetable changes. It is sad to read that people are losing their jobs because they are failing to get to work too often. I cannot defend the Southern Rail bosses who seem to be living in lala land but Mike 'Loadsa' Cash must take a major chunk of responsibility for this dire situation. He claims to be fighting for the rights of the working class. Bullshit. He has no more consideration for the average Joe in the street than I have for injury lawyers, and boy that is pretty low.
After I posted my blog yesterday it struck me that we must stop wasting money on overseas aid and reinvest in our important services: NHS, Police, education. It makes no sense to send money to say India when they have sufficient of their own to be running a very expensive space program.
So Foxy Fox is out, Crabb has caught one and it is looking more Maybe than Maybe Not. Gove and Angela Who are still in. Thursday will determine the final head to head clash. If it is Maybe v Gove for Governor then please let Gove get a serious bloody nose. The slugs eating my hostas have more personality.
The Chilcot report is the featured topic tomorrow.
Good luck Murray. I go the Scot by three sets to one vs Tsonga.
Come on Wales. They will have done amazingly well but I see Portugal winning 1-0 in extra time.
Tuesday 5th July - 07:30
Where was I yesterday? Except for being at the doctor's I was in bed. After six weeks of coughing I succumbed and made an appointment. Yes, I managed to get one straight away. Thank you the internet booking system. Anyway, it turms out I have a fairly aggressive chest infection and am now on a course of (the much maligned) antibiotics. Amazing! After just 24 hours they have kicked in and the worse of the symptoms are under control.
The message: Don't be a man! If you are unwell get to the Doctor's.
Not much rugby news I'm afraid. The player merry-go-round is under way. Sonny Bill Williams and his sister Niall have been named in the New Zealand 7s squads for Rio.
'I quit'. 'No I quit'. 'No I am not quitting.'
So now Nigel Farage has thrown in the towel. He is on his toes. So like Boris, when those who got us into this EU mess needed to stand up and be counted they have run away. Once a Muppet, always a Muppet.
Chris Evans joins the quitters. He leaves Top Gear after the much vaunted relaunch has crashed and burnt spectacularly. Once a Muppet, always a Muppet.
Jeremy Corbyn is resolutely hanging on as Labour leader despite losing the support of anybody who is not on the far left of the country. Basically only those who want to see the country crash and burn and have us turn into a Stalinist state are saying 'stay'. Once a Muppet, always a Muppet.
Ok let's look at sport. Did Nick Kyrgios quit. To a degree yes but Murray was very impressive. Well done Cavendish. Another stage win. Well done Hamilton, an excellent win despite Rosberg trying to drive you off the road.
The Iceland football team. They didn't quit. You might look at a 5-2 defeat and think 'quitters'. The opposite is true. They stuck at it right up until the final whistle and the welcome they received back home in Reykjavik was richly deserved. Go to bbc.co.uk. It is impressive. England football; you should be seriously embarrassed. Bet you're not as you don't give a stuff. Money, money, money is your only motivation.
The RMT are going to attack Southern Rail today when they announce the dramatic cuts to their services. Yes, I agree cutting the services is a disgrace and reinforces the point that the senior management appear pretty useless. Let us not forget however that Mike 'Loadsa' Cash and his union have a significant amount to answer for. They are at the heart of the problem and people need to recognise that.
Today it is the turn of the NUT acting leader Kevin Courtney to bring chaos to the country. Teachers are on strike over school funding. Yes, times are hard but can someone wiser than me explain how you can spend money the country hasn't got. Yes I know about loans but we have already maxed the country's credit card, so where next?
Finally isn't it amazing that NASA has managed to put the Juno satellite into orbit around Jupiter. Five years of waiting. Some amazing technology. Millions of dollars (this is not necessarily amazing). A good news story nonetheless.