Friday, August 29, 2008

Gun Factory Closed down, Obama campaign off and running, Edinburgh Festival comes to an end and Hibs out of League Cup at first hurdle!

The national news this week carried the story of the conviction of 34 year old Grant Wilkenson who ran a replica gun importers and converted 90 of them in his back yard into lethal Mac -10 Sub-machine guns. To bring it all a bit closer to home they have been used in at least 7 fatal shootings in London including the murder of 15 year old Michael Dosumnu shot as he slept in his bed, and Jamail Newton murdered outside of Aristocrats in Camberwell in November 2006. This is especially close to home for me as I heard the shots and a bullet went through my bedroom window into the frame! Wilkenson has deservedly be sentenced to Life Imprisonment!

Barack Obama's Campaign launched at the end of the DNC last night with a Stadium address supported by the Boss, Bruce Springsteen. I wish him well in the Campaign and the world really needs a Democrat US President!
I am in Edinburgh for the weekend and it is my 49th Birthday today! The Festival is coming to a close with the Fireworks Display on Sunday bringing it all to a close for this year so it should be a spectacular show!
Hibs were dumped out of the Cup at the first round losing 3-4 to Morton after Extra Time at Easter Road!
I am still very nervous about the season but Keenan and Pinau both played and scored and rumours abound about us getting Riordan back on loan from Celtic so there are glimmers of hope ! I am at Easter Road tomorrow to see Hibs take on a very good Motherwell team so a home win would be a good result for us!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The death of Councillor Anne Yates, London 2012 Visits Camberwell and Hibs score first goal in Inverness!

We all had very sad news over the weekend on hearing of the death of Councillor Anne Yates. Apparently it all happened very quickly so took us all by surprise.
Anne was a very committed local activist and Ward Councillor. Not very "political" and would probably been a Labour member if she had lived further south in the Borough. I always got on very well with her as a Councillor an a fellow Scot so my thoughts are with her very close family and friends, we will miss her!
Well the Beijing Olympics ended with Team GB's best medal haul for a Century, 19 Gold, 13 Silver and 15 Bronze, 47 in Total and a very creditable 3rd in the Medals Table behind China,USA and Russia!
The News this morning reported cash injections of over £20Million in all of the key sports of Athletics, Sailing, Rowing and Cycling and it seems to have paid off?
The success of Team GB is a real boost to the 2012 Campaign and I am sure will carry public support all the way through to 2012! I cant wait!

We had a really nice event in Camberwell Green to welcome London becoming the Host City and after Boris grappled with the Olympic Flag we raised our own London 2012 Flag in Camberwell Green.

The real highlight of the day was my friend Ian
Wingfield sprinting away (Usiah Bolt like!) to win the Councillor Handicap against stiff Tory/Lib Dem Coalition forces!!
Ian's heroic win will not be forgotten in the months and years ahead so I salute him!! Well Done Ian!!
Hibs managed to score in against Inverness for the first time on Saturday and took a point in an entertaining game. Whilst not at full throttle Hibs are improving and Nish in particular is really finding the sort of form he had at Kilmarnock.
I will be at Easter Road on Saturday with dad to see Hibs take on Motherwell which will be a good test of how they are improving against a very well organised 'Well!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Arsenal win at the Emirates, Hibs beat Falkirk and a Golden weekend in Beijing for Team GB!

I watched Arsenal beat West Brom at the Emirates in the first game of the English Premiership Season. it was good to catch up with Tsui again and great to get back to the Emirates, a truly fantastic stadium!

Hibs also opened their account with a 3-2 win over Falkirk. I saw the highlights on Setanta and it was good to see Nish score two and look like his old self but still worrying to see such sloppy defending which will really be a problem for us unless we can get some more "steel" in there!
I will be at Easter Road for the next home game against Motherwell on August 30th!

Team GB had an unparalleled weekend with lots of medals including 8 gold and the cyclists picked up another one today!
The table looks like this today:

Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 China 35 - 13 - 13 - 61
2 USA 19 - 21 - 25 - 65
3.Great Britain 12 - 7 - 8 - 27
3 Australia 11 - 10 - 12 - 33
It all looks good and for 2012 we need to get more cycling, rowing and sailing events in the Olympics!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Youth Scrutiny to go to OSC, Arsenal first game against West Brom and Hibs play Falkirk at Home!

The Youth Scrutiny Report is going to the first OSC Meeting after the break and I hope that it will really push youth provision and engagement up the political agenda which is where it really needs to be!
I think that we have highlighted a lot of good practice but a lot of creative and administrative improvements that need to be made so I look forward to following it through OSC to Executive and beyond!

I am going to Arsenal's first game of the season on Saturday at the Emirates against West Brom, first time at the Stadium since the Springsteen Concert. I have renewed my Red Card with Arsenal so hope to see a few games this season.

Hibs take on Falkirk at home this season and really need a good performance and more importantly a win!
Dad has his season ticket and will be at the game and I will be joining him for the next home SPL game against Motherwell!

Hibs play Morton in the Scottish League Cup (pictured with Ian Murray)
Hibs have signed French Under-21 Steve Pinau on a season's loan deal from Genoa. he apparently did well in trials and played well with Yantorno so looks a good deal. Hertha Berlin Goalkeeper Christian Person is on trial for the second time and is likely to be Mixu's 6th signing of the season? Sadly Benji has gone on loan to Charloise and I suspect he wont be back but good if we can secure £1M for him. Don't know where that leaves Zemmama?
For the next Scotland game against Northern Ireland I see that Stephen Fletcher is in the Scotland squad and Dean Shiels in the NI squad. Gives them a chance to have a fight when they are not wearing the same shirts!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Edinburgh Festival and Beijing Olympics begin as does SLP with Hibs losing opening game!

The Edinburgh Festival is up and running and I shall be spending a weekend up there at the end of the month.
Gordon Brown was interviewed by writer Ian Rankin at the start of the Book Festival and it looks like this year's Festival will be breaking records with over £2M in advance ticket sales!

Well the Beijing Olympics have kicked off and I really enjoyed the Opening Ceremony and am a bit of an Olympics junkie so watched lots of it over the weekend. Good to see a couple of GB Gold Medals already in cycling and swimming and it looks like it could be a very good Olympics for Team GB!
The SLP kicked off at the weekend with Hibs away at Kilmarnock. It looks like it was a good end to end game with Hibs having the better chances but all was lost when Van Zanden had to off with a serious head injury with 10 minutes to go and Hibs were left with 10 men after using all their subs. Hibs midfielders failed to drop back to cover the missing player and we lost a goal almost straight away! A real schoolboy error that infuriated Mixu!
I remain unconvinced about our defence, midfield or attack, apart from that we look ok!! The squad is not strong enough and I think we will struggle for a top 6 place on this performance!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Gordon takes a holiday!, A weekend by the Sea at Broadstairs and Hibs stil losing! (but playing much better!)

In the aftermath of the Glasgow East By-Election defeat Gordon is on holiday, Harriet is in "charge" and number 10 is having a wash down (picture).
There is a lot being said and links made to the Thatcher/Major end game of the late 90's but I think that there is a real, in fact "Major" difference! In 1997 we had had to put up with the Tories for 18 years and were absolutely sick of them and all that they stood for, it was their policies that did for them. I think that the present Labour Government's present problems all stem form the current economic dowturn caused by bad US mortgages and rising oil prices.I dont have a sense of dissatisfaction with the massive investment in the NHS, Education, Decent Homes etc. or the National Minimum Wage, or family tax credits or etc. etc.! (What did the Romans ever do for us!)
A new US President in the New Year, hopefully Obama , may have a quick impact if troops start to leave Iraq and their is an economic upturn in the US,. both which will help us in 2009 turn things around, well before an Election. Talk of a Leadership challenge now is madness we have to tough this one out and expose the Tories for the "slash and burners" what they really are and the Lib Dems for the political irrelevance that they are!! Bring it on!!
I spent a long weekend with my good friend "The Alderman" Ian Driver and his family in Broadstairs with Shauna and although not as hot as May still lots of splashing about in the water(and a bit of crazy golf!).

Ian and Jo are doing really well on the South Coast and the house really is coming on well!
Hibs continue to lose their pre-season games but at long last are starting to perform and gave two good performances against premiership opposition, losing 3-2 to Middlesborough after being 2-0 up and last night going down to a late goal 1-0 to Wigan. Reports were off good performances in both games and it looks like the team have eventually woken up just in time for the opening game against Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Saturday! Still not convinced about the strength of the squad but hopefully a few more players will be joining in the next week or so?