Category: News


I’m sure the phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” is one you have heard before. In fact, the city name is often amended to include most holiday destinations where people take fun to a new level. However, with mobile phone cameras capable of capturing images and video and uploading to the web almost instantly, that old saying is no longer true.

Of course it’s not just the technology which has changed over the years, but the behaviour of our young people when they go abroad.Much has been made of the binge drinking culture that saw groups of lads, then latterly, groups of girls getting too drunk to walk, or even stand. This was not helped by pubs having 5 hour long happy hours, cheap drinks promotions or a buy one, get one free offer.

However, when that kind of drinking culture goes abroad, the game changes dramatically and inevitably gets out of control. There are simply too many bars, offering too many promotions to people who do it every night of their holiday. There is little or no policing within the drinks industry there and holiday makers are actively encouraged to drink during the day, at night  time and in as many bars as possible. There are special drinking tours arranged, where a company will (for a fee) take you around bars, playing party games that involve strong alcohol and lots of it, and all the while encouraging you to push the limits harder and higher. Ironically, the prize for winning a game is often more alcohol.

So this week, the world awoke to a new low when a girl was filmed performing sex acts on 24 men, solely to win a cocktail worth approximately $4.00. Social media immediately swung into action, with people the world over branding the girl ‘disgusting’, a ‘slut’, ‘a whore’, and many other colourful names. That’s easy, involves no thought and doesn’t really attempt to dig deeper into the issue. She may be all of those things or she may not, but let’s not forget that this is a young girl who is now known throughout the world for something that will be with her for the rest of her life.

So who is to blame?

No doubt the girl will be blamed by a lot of people and while I can’t deny she deserves some, I don’t think it’s all down to her. The girl was already drunk and therefore, her judgement was impaired and her actions may be atypical of her normal behaviour. I realise that some people will not find that to be an acceptable excuse, but it IS a factor. There can be few among us who hasn’t done or said something stupid, hurtful, dangerous or embarrassing while under the influence of alcohol. Granted, we might not do the things that she did, but there are many levels of stupidity.

There have been suggestions that the drinking game was arranged by tour reps, or by persons conducting some kind of drinking tour. So if that’s the case and these people organised this ‘entertainment’, surely they are responsible for the people in their care – particularly if the holiday makers have paid for the entertainment? The idea of taking people around pubs and encouraging them to drink massive amounts of alcohol, is an invitation to disaster, mayhem and potentially dangerous situations.

What about the bar in which it happened? The UK has very strict laws when it comes to drinking and especially towards what could be called, adult entertainment. Had this happened in an British pub,  there would have been serious repercussions for the bar’s owners and the employees who served someone so clearly inebriated. Pubs also have a duty of care towards customers, and that can often mean protecting them from their own stupidity. Having worked briefly in pub security in the 90’s, I can tell you that this would NEVER have been tolerated.

Let’s not forget that there were 24 men involved in this mess, who may or may not have been drunk, but who in my opinion took advantage of a drunk and vulnerable girl. If upon seeing a drunk woman your first thought is to take advantage of her by making her perform a sex act on you, then you are a sex offender – in my opinion. It’s a cliché I know, but try to imagine that was your sister, girlfriend, or wife who was treated so badly.

Young people, even those who are 18 and classed as adults like this girl, are still learning. We don’t turn 18 and suddenly become adults, devoid of fun and adventure. At this age, it’s often their first holiday away without their parents, so there is the tendency to go a little wild. I understand that, I really do. So maybe when young people book these holidays, they should be given a guide along with their tickets reminding them of the possible dangers they face? Rather than holiday company reps arranging booze cruises and drinking games, they should be telling their customers that they are here for a good time but not to be stupid? Bars and clubs NEED to start refusing drinks to people who have clearly had to much, as we are supposed to do here.

I am genuinely concerned that this girl’s life will be so devastated by a stupid mistake, that she will never be able to lead a normal one. I am also concerned that like many other young people who have been threatened with private pictures being uploaded to the web, the actual uploading of this video will cause another suicide. Stupid she may be, but she doesn’t deserve to suffer at the hands of the faux outraged judges on social media.

BBC and press ignore massive demonstration against austerity in London | Pride’s Purge.

Given the curiously large amount of time given over to the banal on programmes like BBC Breakfast, it seems strange that 50,000 people gathering not far from its doors was deemed not newsworthy.  Surely someone looked out of their window at BBC HQ and thought “Well that’s odd!”?

Imagine being a journalist or news correspondent, tasked with searching out stories for your editor on a daily basis. I imagine there will be slow news days where not a lot happens, and I can’t think of anything particularly pressing in any news bulletin I saw yesterday. Wouldn’t a massive, orchestrated crowd gathered in protest  at their country’s Government, be a bit of a gift for you?

People need to wake up and realise that examples of others protesting is not what your leaders want you to see, because that just might make you start thinking. It may just be the beginning of your enlightenment and that is something they really cannot afford.

What did make the news yesterday was that the Queen bought Prince William a new helicopter, costing a whopping £8m. NOW do you understand why austerity is not news they want you to see?

BBC News – Sudan woman faces death for apostasy.

Tell me again about how Islam is a religion of peace? 

I’m not one to read a headline and jump on whichever bandwagon is trailing behind it. I’m smart enough to know when a newspaper is simply publishing its own agenda as a news story, so the rabid writings in the Daily Mail for example don’t make me want to punch a Muslim.

However, recent events including the kidnap and forced conversion to Islam of 200 Nigerian girls, and the sentencing of a woman to death for aspostasy in Sudan suggest peace is not high on the agenda. These atrocities do nothing to allay fears that this religion, without a central governing body to guide its followers, can be interpreted in ways which justify terror and murder.

Nobody except Islam can clean up Islam. While they appear to do nothing except multiply in numbers, build more mosques and apologise after the most recent outrage, suspicion and fear grow in non Muslims and is a powder keg waiting for a flame. The BNP, EDL and numerous other drooling idiots may not make much noise politically, but on the streets they wield influence among those who are ready to use violence to fight back.

Islam cannot and should not be outlawed as some suggest, because Muslims have the absolute right to worship their deity in the same way other religions worship theirs. However, as long as splinter groups, sects and rogue Imams can teach their own version of this dangerous religion, then we will continue to see Islam violate peoples’ human rights.

Tony Benn

I can’t claim to be the most politically aware of people, but even I know how unique a politician Tony Benn was. He was a man who stuck rigidly and unapologetically to his principles, but more than that, he was someone who entered politics to serve the electorate and not himself.

In 1960 he inherited his father’s title, Viscount Stansgate, which forced him to sit in the House of Lords rather than The Commons. Rather than accept this change of personal and professional status, he fought for his seat in the 1961 by-election, then renounced his title to continue life as an MP. In a country and a profession where class and political persuasion go hand-in-hand, this was atypical behaviour from someone of his standing. More than that, it was proof that he put the interests of the public ahead of his own and that he considered himself to be just the same as you and I.

British politics was made greater by his presence and is diminished by his loss.