December 10, 2022

Alistair’s “Random Rambles” (21)

KathyBy Kathy Martin…

Written June 2014

David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, is urging that “British values, morals and standards” are taught in schools, and community centres, especially those of ethnic minorities. What an excellent idea!

Maria Miller, Culture Minister
Maria Miller, Culture Minister

Politicians can visit schools and community centres and tell the public that it is perfectly acceptable to steal money from taxpayers and use it for personal gain! Indeed, should a politician be a member of the Cabinet, then he (or, in a recent case, she! Ex-culture minister, Mrs Maria Miller) can try to carry on unblushingly, with the support of colleagues, until forced out by popular opinion!

Bankers can then use the same locations to lecture on the “morals, standards and values” of robbing and cheating customers!

Legal and civil rights experts can then advise that anyone in the street may be a convicted violent murderer, rapist or mugger on “day release” from an open prison, or even an escapee from such an establishment, according to recent press reports there are approximately 90 of these criminals at large.

However, the details of such a person usually cannot be released to the public, as that would infringe on his (or her) “human rights”! When did the “rights” of a convicted criminal take precedence over the “rights” of a (potential) victim?

The Minister of Health can then state that “cosmetic” surgery (such as breast enlargement) is available on the National Health Service (NHS), but that organisation, funded by the taxpayer, cannot afford enough nursing staff to adequately care for a number of genuinely sick patients nor provide sufficient life-saving drugs and equipment!

Brıtısh Prime Minister David Cameron
Brıtısh Prime Minister David Cameron

Should David Cameron be genuine in his desire to stem the flow of immigrants into the UK, this action will not only stem the flow, but would surely reverse it!

I believe a couple of dozen overgrown, overpaid and over-pampered schoolchildren have toddled off to Brazil to kick a ball about. Suddenly, according to the press and media, everybody in the world is “football crazy”!

Sorry, although I am a red-blooded male, I, for one, am NOT! When I was young, I played a lot of both competitive and “relaxing” sports, including rugby, cricket, swimming, badminton and golf. However, I have never considered any sport to be worthy of being a spectator sport, and football was never one of my favourite activities!

Indeed, as neither of my two favourite countries (Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, nor Kibris/TRNC) are competing I don’t even have any nationalistic reason for being interested in the “world cup”.

Another question, why should the skills and abilities of 11 people beating another 11 people, irrespective of nationalities, at a football match make me feel proud purely because I happen to have been born in the same country as the winners?

Arsenal badge –hand-stitch by Gill Moon
Arsenal badge –hand-stitch by Gill Moon

While on the subject of football, while I was working as a barman, I knew a man, some 15 years older than myself, who was the football coach at a local (in the UK) primary school. In the 1950’s he “trialled” for Arsenal Football Club, and was accepted. However, he made more money at his “day job”, a boilermaker, than he would have done as a professional footballer! It was before sponsorship and television coverage entered the football world. As a footballer, he wasn’t paid for training sessions, he got full pay if he was in the team that was picked for a match, half pay if he was a reserve, full pay only for the minutes he actually played, if required!

One of the (rare!?) times that I was in a bar in the UK, I heard someone say “we play Chelsea on Saturday”. The speaker was a portly, elderly male dressed in an over-sized Manchester United FC shirt, but he had a belly so large that he had to sit sideways at the bar, or his arms would have been too short to reach his beer!

I had this mental image of him, and ten others of similar build, lumbering onto a football pitch! Had this actually happened I am sure the earth would have tilted on its axis!

One time, again while I was in the UK and during “world cup” fever time, I was on a work- related training course in Birmingham, where I had to stay in a (bed only, no meals) hotel. Meals were eaten at a Wetherspoons pub, which was next door.

The Wetherspoon chain didn’t (possibly still don’t) have televisions. There was an “A” board outside which stated “If you want to escape football, then come in”! The pub was very well patronised by both men and women of all ages during the evening, so sorry press and media, not “everybody” in the world is, nor was, “football crazy

I believe that footballers are indeed grossly overpaid for their (maximum) of 90 minutes of “play” a week. However, for the moment I want to leave the “game” of football and go to the “game” of golf.

South African golfer, Gary Player
South African golfer, Gary Player

Many years ago, before the subject of apartheid became a political thorn and South African teams were banned from the world sports arena, the South African golfer, Gary Player, was (no pun intended) a major player on golf circuits throughout the world. He was the “Tiger Woods” of that era! I remember him being interviewed by the Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation.

The interviewer asked him how he could justify his earning money by simply playing a “game”. The reply was, you (that is the interviewer) are at the eighteenth hole, and have an 8 foot (approx 2 and ½ meter) putt, to win the match and the prize of £1,000 (a lot of money then) or walk away with nothing. Then, can you say to me, that it is ONLY a game!

After retiring from the professional circuits Gary Player became a designer of many golf courses throughout the world, but especially in Southern Africa.

One of these was the Elephant Hills Hotel golf course at Victoria Falls. Some of the tees, fairways and greens were on Zambezi River bank.

crocodile or hippo
crocodile or hippo

One of the “local” rules displayed in the clubhouse, as well as on the back of the score cards was (and probably still is) “should a ball land near a sleeping crocodile or hippo, it will be declared unplayable! The player can then, without penalty, drop another ball at the same distance from the hole, but at a safe position from the hazard”!

Another one was “should all players in a team or group of golfers agree that the presence of crocodiles or hippos on a tee, fairway or green render a hole unplayable, if they inform the club secretary, they will be allowed to play that particular hole at a later time or date without further charge”!

I am sure that the golfing founding fathers at the “Royal and Ancient” never envisaged such “hazards”!

Just to remind readers that Alistair’s next few paragraphs were written in June 2014!

The news broadcast in English (radio Bayrak) on 9th June stated that our president Derviş Eroğlu vehemently denied that the talks had “broken down”! I had to wait until the radio news, on Friday 13th, confirmed that when a politician denies something, he means the exact opposite! He was quoted as saying that the talks had reached a deadlock!

So the talks haven’t broken down, they are just not going anywhere!

This week, apparently they are now at a “stalemate”! How many synonyms from the thesaurus will have to be used before it becomes apparent to the world that, unless the intransigent attitudes (certainly of the Greek-Cypriots, but probably also of the Turkish-Cypriots) changes, the talks will never succeed!

I hope to be proven wrong, but I am convinced that only the imposition of an enforced settlement will end the status quo!

The major religion in this part of the world is Islam. However, like Christianity, (with the Catholic, Protestant, etc, sects) there are various factions of the “right” way to practice the religion. There is civil/military war happening in Iraq where Muslims are killing Muslims.

I have one, and only one, question, if the Muslims (whether Sunni or Shia) are true believers, how can they justify their actions?

I ask this because part of one of the ”parables”, for want of a better word, in Islam clearly states that “when two Muslims fight each other with their swords, both the murderer and the murdered will go to Hell-fire”!

Next blog will continue with Alistair’s rambles

These rambles were written by Alistair initially for the “The KibKom Times” then “The KibKom Forum

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