The knife edge

Initially I supported the work program. I thought that is the way to keep people out of trouble, keep them busy and get them into work and it will then make the knife problem go away.

I even supported the reduction of police officers because I thought when people are in work, they won’t have any time to commit crime, they will be too tired.

It was one of the strongest arguments from the Tories against the previous Labour government that knife crime was so high.

But what headline do we have now?

Knife possession at 9 year high.

So the work program is not helping the wave of crime we are experiencing now. The reduction in police officer numbers also didn’t help.

And I am sick and tired of the tit for tat accusations between political rivals to accuse each other for being responsible.

I don’t even think that Boris can help the problem by reducing taxes. Especially not by reducing taxes. Though the aim is to make the poor better off without reducing the wealth of the rich. Yet, it doesn’t work. Dropping out of the EU will not work and getting the deal changed will not work. The early autumn will be very stressful for most of us.

I think Boris did well as London Mayor, he delivered the Olympics, sorted out a lot on London Transport, but that is it.

The situation now is different, he said a lot more that is offending a lot of people and all he can count on is his nice voice and his sincere personality and a lot of memories people have.

Of course he might get the top spot but that is because his party colleagues think he may help the Tories win the next general election. Dooooooo


Who dares swims

Sat in a fascinating talk by Nick Gillingham*, British Breast swimming medal winner around the late 80s and mid 90s Olympics especially.

Swimming of course being one of the most versatile, relaxing, muscle building and fat reducing sports there are. People of all ages can engage in swimming.

What swimming needs though is pools and that is what Britain is short of.

Coming from the German town of Wuerzburg, my father used to help run a very large swimming club and I grew up with this. But when I say swimming club I mean swimming club. The facilities were absolutely spot on, fit for Olympic competition.

What I particularly refer to is a 50 meter pool. Nick Gillingham* explained why he loved the breaststroke so much, saying that Britain has a particularly good tradition with breaststroke achievements.

I think its due to the small pool sizes in Britain that only breaststroke can achieve any remarkable results. If you look at front crawl, butterfly and even backstroke; those strokes are all very powerful speed producing strokes, that get faster the longer one swims it, whilst breaststroke works better with small pools, that are usually 25 to 33 meters long.

It seems British swimmers and swimming trainers have lost the confidence that they can even compete in any of the fast paced styles because the pools in Britain are too short.

Of course in my home town of Wuerzburg the club had a 50 meter lido and now also a 50 meter indoor pool.

The only 2 50 meter pools I know of in London is the Hackney Lido and now also the Olympic swimming pooI.

My own child takes a particular liking to backstroke but our own club keeps on emphasizing breaststroke but please remember that trainers really should further all styles and not just breaststroke just because the pools are short. If you look at it, the only nations producing fast racing swimmers in the long body stretch disciplines like especially crawl and butterfly and also backstroke are those with lots of 50 meter pools. The government would be well advised to install more 50 meter venues around  the British isle to beef up the sport and help youngster of today reach their potential.

*sorry about earlier mistake

swimming for all ages

I had this amazing conversation about swimming fins and it is worth mentioning this. My child’s competitive swimming club does not carry out fin training till they are about 10 roughly. Though the age classification is not a good one as children can have wildly varying shoe sizes.

In the Better swim school the fins start at size 2 1/2. So I went to a large sports shop and asked for swim fins smaller than 2 1/2. I was told that 2 1/2 is the smallest they do because children’s feet are still growing and it would damage their feet if they did fins training before.

Then my child found a pair of swimming fins in size 1 – 2 1/2  and that at least resulted in a blushing sales assistant. We then had to take a pair in size 10 1/2 – 13 because there are no smaller sized regular swimming fins available.

Yet the size and age argument is highly unreliable.

Firstly everybody still grows till they are age 18,  secondly in my child’s class is a girl aged 8 with size 5 shoe size. So that girl aged 8 with size 5 shoes size could easily get a pair of size 5 fins and nobody could argue there are no fins for that age.

Isn’t it just the case that swimming fins are not manufactured smaller than size 1 because the industry thinks that kids just can’t swim properly till they reached about that show size? Yet in our latest club championships the winner of the under 10 category in 1 discipline was 6 years old.

I think that sports equipment manufacturers don’t do enough for kids that want to do competitive sports. I could not find one child size sports watch in the whole store.

Force-fed on fruit

The situation about obesity has now become a farce because the measure of analysis is stereotype and the treatment of poorer children in inner cities is even worst stereotype.

I have a situation where my child is actually forced to eat fruit and drink water only as a condition to be able to participate in a choir. That measure is put onto all people, regardless whether they are overweight or not. My child was forbidden from eating healthy sandwiches, e.g. grilled chicken and salad because there is a strict policy on allowing only fruit and water.

That is a clearly intimidating policy, as it might not be suitable for everyone to eat lots of fruit and water at 3.30 in an afternoon.

The main problem with obesity I think occurs because people just do not cook anymore, they often just live on ready-meals. Anyone who cooks their own meals is usually very aware of the ingredients they put into their pots but people who buy ready-meals often just buy them because they like the look of the packet.

I refuse to be told what I have to feed my child when and where because my child is not overweight, participates in athletic sports and is extremely healthy, has 100% school attendance, and I am an extremely good cook in so far as I am very good at providing nutritionally balanced meals, that are meaningful to the calorie requirement of the day.

The problem is that ministers such as Anna Soubry just do not understand that poor people often do know how to cook cheap but nutritious meals from basic ingredients. What the minister wants to do is to teach people how to cook, learn pupils in schools how to cook and get adults into the habit of cooking for themselves, rather than encouraging the stuffing of shelves in supermarkets with ready-meals.

I want to be able to decide that my child should have a sandwich rather than fruit at a particular time or day because it is more useful because of sporting activity later on in the day rather than having to give my child too much fruit, which can actually have a negative effect because too much of anything can be harmful, including too much fruit.

Every athlete knows that one just cannot perform on eating fruit all day, all athletes have carefully balanced diets, yet my child’s school wants to force my child to eat fruit all day and then commence training on a fruitful but bloated stomach, idiotic I’d say.

Swimming is hard to do in the UK

Just watched with fascination how Rebecka Addlington had to swim faster to win her bronze medal than she swam for her Gold previously. Some 17 year old swimmers train 4 hours per day to reach their career goals.

But here  in the UK it is really difficult for a child to get into swimming. Having grown up in Germany, my home town Wuerzburg has a huge open air lido with 50 meter pool and it was affordable to spend all day there and swim as long as one wanted.

Here in the UK, London to be specific, pools are hard to get by. Our local pool York Hall was threatened with closure some years ago and that has only got a 25 meter lane. My child’s favourite sport is swimming and she does it since age 4.

Yet her local school does not even go swimming with the children until the kids reach class 4, when kids are age 9-10; they do not take children swimming at all in year 6. I suppose that is down to the fact that such a small pool can only accommodate so many classes per week.

I put her into a local swimming club, the Bethnal Green Sharks who do their best to help the local kids to achieve in the cramped 25 meter pool. The lack of pools makes swimming very expensive. A year’s membership in the swimming club gives a person 1 hours swimming per week for £200. Then to do swimming in the pool privately costs £1 per session.

It is very expensive to learn competitive swimming here in the UK and especially London where pools are scarce and schools are not very keen to teach children to swim.

Artistic activities are much more sponsored, they do not need special facilities but that reflected in the Olympic opening ceremony that the UK is traditional hooked on arts and not so much on sport.

Swimming styles

Though I normally do not blog a lot about sports but now find it remarkable that the new world record holder, Ye Shiwen used mainly body muscle and leg strength to gain her new world record.

I noticed that many swimmers put too much emphasis on arm movement rather than using body, hips and legs muscles to push forward in the water, which produces a better thrust.

Having had my first sporting experience in swimming and synchronised swimming, I was taught to use more leg strength rather than arm strength.

The tactics of Ye Shiwen also show in her complexion. She simply does not comply to our normal sense of beauty and looks rather podgy and fat but she has the necessary body muscle power to win in swimming.

our swimmers must learn from this. I also still swim using Shiwen’s powers and realised some time ago that is saves considerable reserves and produces more strength to use the body muscle swimming style rather than just using arms.

It is however hard to overcome the wrong advise that is generally given to swimmers by many coaches, so please watch the video of Ye Shiwen’s swim and do what gets you fastest and not what coaches try to teach you.

Are we being duped?

I think there is a real dangerous tendency happening in the UK to scrap policing and military in favour of banking and civil law enquiries and changes. It must be hugely expensive to carry out all the enquiries into banking, publishing and now also social care for youngsters among others numerous enquiries going on.

It is quite serious how policing is dismantled, army being reduced quite considerably and that all over the UK loses a lot of internal and external power to defend against foreign powers and internally against crime.

Amazingly though Labour and Conservatives and especially Liberal Democrats work hand in hand to reduce those law enforcement agencies.

It is remarkable how our external armies are slowly eroded, our internal police force gets constantly reduced and that defences are now placed on our buildings instead  of producing an overall better international defence through a well developed army.

We are getting the Syria effect in our own towns. I think our town would look like a Syrian one, should one of those missiles need to be fired in defence of attack. But it is good to know that the army has sorted out the defence problem against attack and found the best places to put those rockets. Our towns would look even worst if we would not have the missiles and allowed others just to drop bombs on us.

It is a stark fact of life that terrorists show little sympathy for their victims, they just want to cause carnage and I have not heard any criticism of terrorist attacks when I watched one anti-missile meeting on Youtube but only criticism of the army for putting defensive weapons for our protection.It’s nice to know that a protective cocoon has been put around us and the stadium so that our visiting athletes also can feel safe performing here.

I was disturbed when our vicar encouraged church goers to join the missile protest but was assured that the church does not have a common policy, but what individuals do within it is not binding on the whole congregation. Even the BBC remarked that the protest was relatively small and only few people marched at the most recent protest. But as the BBC also reports on 7 July 2012, there is now a legal challenge before the High Court to allow a Judicial Review into the matter.

Is the US more racist than Hitler?

With the Olympics coming up next year here in London in 2012, we are all very excited to speculate about the amounts of medals each country will be getting. Of course the British hope for medals will be high and I must say, just watching over the years, that UK and British athletes did relatively well. At least I can recall having seen the UK crop up here and there in the contenders for medals lists in the various sports.

It is not the same about my country of origin Germany. When I was a child the Germans did much better in the Olympics than they do now. Especially in sprinting and other athletic discipline the Germans were athletes to be reckoned with but lately they are hardly in the headlines.

I was therefore amazed to read in a magazine that Germany got 33 more medals in the Olympics in 1936 than any other nation. So something must have worked well in the early Hitler years. It just all went badly wrong afterward with the Holocaust and the wars to follow.

Whilst Hitler then wanted to prove that the Aryan race is superior, his athletes gave Jesse Owens tips on how to improve his techniques, which led to him winning a record 4 gold medals but when he then returned to the USA he got treated like a second-class citizen because of his black skin says Doug Stanhope. Of course in those days athletes were amateurs who could not also endorse commercial products especially not if they were black and US citizens.

I always thought that everything about the Hitler era was bad but this article in Shortlist on page 45 seems to break the mould of universal condemnation of the Hitler era and at least allows some credit for sporting attitude. The 1936 Olympics success must have put the nation onto a high. Just wonder whether David Cameron now hopes that Olympic success will rub off on his popularity positively.

Marthon route through East London?

In the light of my previous post in which a prominent Union leader openly called people to break the law to defy the Conservative government, I think it would be madness to allow the Marathon route through East London.

The safety of athletes and the whole reputation of Britain as an Olympic host is at stake and nobody can seriously ask us to risk the safety of the games by allowing the route through East London, when this is Tower Hamlets, the home of the Looney Left, where all concerned, including Council leaders and MPs feel fit to attend public meetings,  in which people are encouraged to break the law.

I fully understand that many decent citizens are desperately frustrated that the Marathon route has been diverted but in these circumstances, Tower Hamlets council is to blame for not being able to contain the lunatic and anarchic element amongst its midst.

Living on the minimum wage

Just as I thought Labour would at least lead by example, I read in today’s “News of the World“, that the Labour Party fails to offer their own employees the ‘Living Wage’ and makes workers do with the minimum wage instead.  Can the Labour hypocrisy get any bigger, I think not as the Labour supported Voting Reform, offers workers just over £5.90 per hour.

My local Catholic Church however has had a remarkable success in helping to ensure that Olympic Development Corporation will in future pay £7.85per hour.

It’s all not eaten as hot as it is cooked then, and I remember well the raised eyebrows that followed my well-known blog about the minimum wage and the affordability of cups of tea for us European non-tea growing countries. In the end, a company,whether a political party or not can only pay what they can afford to pay. But Labour should at least make it a minimum need for Labour supported campaigns to make sure that they advertise jobs at the living wage or shut up and let the economy go its way.

After all, for high-profile companies like the Olympic Development Corporation finding the Living Wage is a public profile exercise but for many companies just keeping going is an achievement these days and what do you prefer, a job at a rate the company can afford or no job at all?

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