Breaking International Law for the sake of Brexit: Where on earth are we headed?

Personally, I think there are more important things to be discussing politically on here at present such as what appears to be out woeful efforts at combating and preventing the further spread of COVID-19. However, Brexit has reared its ugly head back into the public conversation recently and it prompts me to worry even more for the future of the UK. Why? Because a no-deal Brexit [Pictured above are Boris Johnson and Jean Claude Juncker last year; image from Business Insider] which last year which at the moment we appear to be heading for and which I would have labelled disastrous last year but to be coming to that scenario in the middle of a pandemic…I’m lost for words….

Why is it increasingly likely? The government brought forward the Internal Market Bill which aims to ensure that post-Brexit, the UK nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have the same standards and rules throughout. At first glance, that’s nothing contentious. It seems perfectly reasonable. However, the bill also says ‘Certain provisions to have effect notwithstanding inconsistency or incompatibility with international or other domestic law’ but also replaces parts of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement as elements of it “cease to be recognised and available in domestic law”. read more

UEFA Nations League Preview

In 2018, we have already had the euphoria and emotions of what turned out to be an amazing month of football in Russia. The domestic league seasons have started up again and now they have reached the first break in the season. That means the return of International football. Normally, European sides will begin their qualification campaign for the next major tournament but instead, they will be embarking on a new competition in the UEFA Nations League.

The Story behind the Nations League

The UEFA Nations League has its beginnings seven years ago, at the 2011 UEFA Strategy Meeting in Cyprus. This is when the discussions and consultations began regarding having a third major tournament to go alongside the European Championship (EUROs) and the World Cup. The discussions continued through meetings at the Top Executive Committee (TEP). It was not until March 2014, at the XXXVII UEFA Ordinary Congress in Astana, Turkey where the tournament was unanimously adopted. read more

Review: Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup

What a month of football we had this summer! 736 players representing 32 nations and 64 matches later, the 2018 World Cup was spectacular! It was expected to be a heavily politicised tournament but apart from the Pussy Riot pitch invasion in the final, that did not happen. It was expected to be shrouded in racism, it wasn’t. Video Assistant Referee (VAR) played its part but the football did the talking as records and titans fell while as a nation, we unified, daring to dream that ‘football’s coming home’. Eventually, it was France who triumphed in Russia after one of the most memorable world cups in living memory.

The story of Russia 2018

Denis Cheryshev scored a brace as hosts Russia hammered Saudi Arabia. [Image from The Japan Times].

After Robbie opened the World Cup, it was down to the hosts to start the tournament against Saudi Arabia. The two were the lowest ranked sides of the tournament but that did not show for Russia as Yuri Gazinsky headed in the opener, a Denis Cheryshev brace including a stunning injury-time set the hosts on their way to a 5-0 win which was rounded off by an Aleksandr Golovin free-kick! read more

2018 World Cup Russia Preview

Football could have been coming home this summer but it was not to be. Instead, when Russia hosts Saudi Arabia, they will kick start the 2018 World Cup. 736 players representing 32 nations from five continental football federations will be competing on this, the biggest stage in football and after a mammoth month of football (64 games between 14th June and 15th July), 23 players will have played their part I crowning their national side, World Champions!

The geographical spread of the host cities in Russia. [Image from Sky Sports].

With this being Russia’s first hosting of a major international football tournament, a number of new stadiums were built. With Russia spanning 17.1 million square km and two continents, it is mostly concentrated in European Russia (West of the Ural mountains) with the exception of Ekaterinburg that will see football. From St. Petersburg in the north to Sochi in the south on the Caspian Sea, from Yaketerinburg in the east to Kaliningrad in the west, the world cup spans a diameter of 7.1 million square miles. The tournament spans four different time zones and has 12 stadiums being used from 11 cities with the capital, Moscow the only city to be using two stadiums. read more

Lancaster House: unfulfilled promises and the national interest

 

This post has been long considered by myself. It has had many draft ideas. For example, it was nearly entitled ‘In defence of the enemies of the people’ after the backlash to the result of Gina Millar’s High Court case. However, the wording would be quite problematic as would accusing the government of being the real enemies of the people. I have decided to be above the language used by these media outlets and question who is at most damaging the national interest.

The post was aimed for publication last Wednesday to mark the year anniversary of the Lancaster House Speech though a recent family bereavement (I don't feel this is the right place to go into such detail) and dealing with it delayed its publication.

Since the 2016 Referendum regarding the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union and the ascension of Theresa May as Prime Minister vowing to deliver the ‘will of the people’, some of the language used in the press has been alarming. It has been the language of segregation, division and hate.

Judges have been labelled ‘enemies of the people’ by the Daily Mail for insisting the government needed an Act of Parliament to invoke Article 50. All other political parties, members of the House of Lords and in fact anyone that has disagreed with Mrs May have been described as ‘saboteurs’ purely for having different views on Brexit. Then, last month, a group of Conservative MP’s were named and shamed including their pictures as ‘malcontents’ for voting against the government on ensuring Parliament has a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal reached between the UK and the EU. Though just why said newspaper quoted Nadine Dorries saying they should be ‘deselected’ is heavily ironic considering she faced calls to be sacked for going on I’m a Celebrity in 2012. read more

NUFC EFL Championship 2016/17 Season: November

The clocks have gone back, the nights are getting longer and darker while the nation celebrated Guy Fawkes night. That is where English football started in November and as the month progressed, developments in the world of football were getting darker and darker. Meanwhile, it was also Movember as men around the country attempted to grow some embarrassing stubble in the annual stubble against Prostate Cancer.

Football News: November 2016
  • England and Scotland faced each other for the first time competitively since Euro 96; England won the game 3-0 with goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill.
  • The Republic of Ireland defeated Austria for the first time since 1963 to go top of Group D in EUFA World Cup Qualification; James Maclean scored the goal.
  • Wales were held to another frustrating draw, this time with Serbia as Aleksandar Mitrovic equalised with 5 minutes remaining in Cardiff; the game finished 1-1.
  • Northern Ireland defeated Azerbaijan 4-0 at Windsor Park and finished 2016 2nd place in Group C in World Cup Qualification
  • The FA ended the month announcing Gareth Southgate as the new, permanent Head Coach after going unbeaten during his interim period
  • Football was rocked by allegations of historic sex abuse allegations with over 20 ex-professional players coming forward by the end of November.
  • In the Champions League, Manchester City progressed to the knockout stages with a 1-1 draw away to Borussia Monchengladbach while Leicester City achieved the same feat at the first time of asking after defeating Club Brugge 2-1 while a 2-1 defeat in Monaco knocked Tottenham Hotspur out of the competition. Arsenal also progressed.
  • Southampton celebrated perhaps the biggest night in the clubs history
    Brazilian football club Chapecoense were struck by tragedy at the end of November
    Brazilian football club Chapecoense were struck by tragedy at the end of November

    after defeating Inter Milan 2-1 at St Mary’s.

  • Chelsea finished the month top of the Premier League after defeating Tottenham 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
  • Lamia flight 2933 crashed in the Columbian Mountains killing 71 people, including 19 players of Brazilian club Chapecoense who were travelling to face Athletico Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final having defeated San Lorenzo the previous week.
  • Six managers in English football lost their jobs in November taking the tally for the season to 18.manager-sack-race
The managerial casualties of November 2016

NUFC in November

Away from those dark developments in football, there was, of course, the action on the pitch and the beauty of the beautiful game. In the EFL Championship, Newcastle United had only four fixtures in November; three in the league and an EFL Cup Quarter-Final. November would not be as stellar as the previous month when Newcastle won all 6 of their games but there were still some highs. read more

Brexit: Twelve weeks on…

On 24th June, the UK woke up to the result of the EU Referendum as the nation voted to leave the EU by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%. Nigel Farage dared to dream of the victory he had been seeking for years amongst a party atmosphere and suggested calling this day Independence Day. However, for Remain voters like myself, the all-nighter was a different story. The Referendum was divisive, it had misleading claims, deceit and scaremongering but the vote was clear.

However, twelve weeks on from that day in June, where are we now? Is Brexit any nearer to reality? What has happened since? read more

EU Referendum Results: Analysis

On 23rd June, ballot stations around the United Kingdom were open for the In, Out EU Referendum promised by David Cameron in 2013. The polls opened, they closed, the votes were counted and announced as the results came in thick and fast during the early hours. For myself and many other friends of mine, the ‘All-Nighter’ was a depressing experience and for some, emotions of disgust as the UK voted to leave the EU by a margin of 51.9% to 48.1%.

You might be able to tell from my tone here and in my previous political posts that I was pro-remain. I still am all for remaining in the EU but that I not the purpose of this article and I will proceed in as neutral as humanly possible during it. If you have me on Facebook or Twitter, you will know how disappointed I was at the outcome of the Referendum and have held myself back on commenting on any possible explanations for the result until the emotions had died down. Now, almost two months on, now is the right time for me to discuss it and hopefully not lose too much of my sanity. read more

NUFC English Championship 2016/17 season preview

Football is back and so will this man on to our TV screens! [image from http://www.skysports.com/football/news/11095/10193888/watch-best-of-soccer-saturday]

Well, it’s that time of year again folks! It’s August and the football season will be back soon meaning the delights of live matches every weekend; Jeff Stelling and the boys on Gillette Soccer Saturday; Gary Lineker hosting Match of the Day (get your Y-fronts ready Gary!) and Chris Kamara with his odd expressions like ‘fighting like beavers’ and will he miss a red card again? There is also the much anticipated reuniting of the Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola rivalry at Manchester United and Manchester City respectively while Leicester City come into the season as defending champions! Who would have thought that 12 months ago? But, alas Newcastle United will be starting their season one week earlier; the Friday night kick-off at Craven Cottage to face Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship.

sky-bet-championship-logo-8x6549-3148790_613x460 read more

England EURO 2016 Part Two: Who should replace Roy Hodgson?

Roy Hodgson (pictured) resigned minutes after Iceland defeated England at EURO 2016; the FA are still looking for a successor...
Roy Hodgson (pictured) resigned minutes after Iceland defeated England at EURO 2016; the FA are still looking for a successor…

After the debacle that was England’s humbling 2-1 defeat to Iceland (I’m not intending to insult Iceland; they did marvellously well at EURO 2016 but this match, in particular, was a huge surprise) in the second round of EURO 2016; Roy Hodgson resigned minutes after the final whistle. So, The Football Association (FA) are now on the hunt for a new manager for the national; senior men’s team. In charge of this recruitment is chief executive Martin Glenn, Dan Ashworth; Director of elite development and vice-chairman David Gill.

Their task will be to find the best man for the job and hopefully someone who will secure a knockout round victory at a major international tournament. It’s something Roy Hodgson failed to achieve and in actual fact England have failed to do so since a David Beckham free-kick defeated Ecuador in Germany 2006. This three-man team are already underway in the recruitment process of replacing Hodgson with reports of Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and Hull City boss Steve Bruce being interviewed within the past week. read more