The Devil’s in the Detail…

30 11 2009

Just a quick post because I’m really very concious of my complete lack of blogging in recent times, and will endeavour to fix the issue as soon as I feel inspired enough to write about something in the news or which grabs my attention sufficiently long enough.

At the moment my frustration is with “Injury Lawyers 4 U”, or, more specifically, with one of their TV ads. It’s a familiar ad that feels like it’s been running for about a decade, mainly because all such injury-based lawyer adverts follow the same monotonous routine which attempts to encourage people to go around suing everyone for anything.  Anyway, the particular ad which irks me has Billy Murray, who apparently is famous, although I really don’t know what for; as the straight talking fellow who will give it you like it is, which, we are meant to believe, is how the lawyers will act.

In this advert Murray attempts to give us brief definitions of the words which form the company’s name. However it all goes awry very quickly when trying to define “injury”. As I can’t find the advert in question on YouTube, or indeed via Google, I’ll precis it. Basically we are told that an injury is an accident caused by someone else. It is a crude, completely wrong definition of ‘injury’, and makes the company look very stupid. By which I mean, if they fail to adequately define terms in their own company name, then how can we be expected to believe they are competant lawyers (who, after all, make careers from making the most out of the small details of wording, language and style)?

I’ve written before about how such adverts are the cause of the red-tape society which we find ourselves crushed under, but there is a certain level of hypocrisy about this. The people who claim via such lawyers should, in reality, take some responsibility for the levels of bureaucracy which so confines so many people, yet, invariably they are the ones who are found complaining about it. The employers/companies/organisations etc have to cover themselves in order to prevent any little thing being used in a law suit. The great example I like to cite is that of my dad. He owns his own business, a small town firm based out of an old two storey town house. He employs a team of seven people who work within this office. None of them smoke, nor have any of them ever smoked. Yet he has been told by the council to put up numerous ‘no smoking’ signs within his office to comply with the smoking ban. Previously, if any of his clientele had wanted to smoke he simply asked them to go outside. Now he still asks them to do the same thing, but he has to have the signage, you know, ‘just in case’.

Injury lawyers 4 U (don’t even get me started about how crap the ‘text-speak’ name looks, and how it is indicative of the market the company is aiming itself at), along with the other various lawyer firms which run similar adverts have a lot to answer for in regard to how they have shaped today’s society into one crippled by paranoia. And yet, if they struggle to provide accurate adverts, with good definitions, you really do wonder how they keep going at all.


Handling the Problem…

20 11 2009

The whole Thierry Henry/handball/Irish thing continues to rumble on days after the match finished amid high emotions. The trouble is, everyone is looking to blame somebody. For me, Henry cannot be blamed. Yes, he handled the ball, and if the referee had blown up then he would have been caught and he wouldn’t have made a fuss about it. The handball is within the new spirit of the game, win by any means, even if it means cheating (be that in the form of a dive, a handball or any other means). Henry cannot, in all reality, have been expected to give up the chance of his last World Cup when it was apparent he had got away with his act. Nor would he have been able to show his face in his own country any time soon had France gone on to lose. Henry did what any other player, across the world would have done, he carried on. Neither the English nor the Irish can have any complaints as both know that they would have done the same had the situation so arisen.

The referee is most obviously to blame, both he, and his linesman failed to spot the handball. In their defence, they were both hampered by bodies in the way. Yet they failed to do what they are being paid for, and as a consequence, will probably not go to the finals. Much like Ireland, their opportunity was taken away when the decision was missed.

Some have sought to blame FIFA, and personally I think that their late decision to seed the play-offs was a disgrace. Once so called ‘big-guns’ had failed in the qualifying rounds, FIFA acted to ensure that the countries that would bring in the most money from TV rights etc were aided as best they could be. Portugal and France qualified, Russia, despite this help, failed. I cannot help but wonder if the same decision would have been made if it had been, for example, England instead of France. I somehow doubt it. I personally think Sepp Blatter is a fool who is destroying football rather than developing it, and the actions of FIFA in this instance leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

Amidst all this, England are struggling to maintain a serious bid for the 2018 World Cup. With their heirarchy in apparent disarray and the bid still stalling (apparently), I’m not too sure that any British bid is likely to be successful whilst Blatter is at the helm and anglophile Platini is involved in UEFA. Whilst the clowns are in charge of the circus, the show falls to the ground. International footballing bodies need to take a good long look at themselves, and then those in charge do the honourable thing and step down, so that people who understand the sport can save it from sporting ignomy.

Lest We Forget…

11 11 2009

And this from the BBC…

The Pressure of the Poppy…

4 11 2009

In the Independent today there is a piece by sometime funny-man, and, if we’re honest only known for being on Have I Got News For You, Mark Steel. In this piece, entitled “Why should I be pressured into wearing a poppy?”, Steel ponders why there is a pressure for people to wear poppies at this time of year.

Some of the points he makes are valid ones, and naturally for a comic he runs with some ideas to their absolute logical conclusion. The whole piece is here to read. But then he gets involved in discussing Haig, and his role in the war and subsequent creation of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. And, as befitting someone who really has no idea what he is writing about, Steel harps on about Haig being “as responsible as almost anyone for the slaughter”. Which has the unfortunate implication that Haig was in some way responsible for the origins of the war. Which, of course, he wasn’t. And of course there was nothing he could have done to quell the death rate in a war which saw the technology to kill them develop at an unprecedented rate.

Steel criticises Haig for being religious too. Which is merciful because if he hadn’t been, more men would have died. Which is ignorant, stupid and foolish. So Haig was religious. So what? It was perhaps something he needed to be in order to help him through the war.

Steel’s suggestions regarding the government and the current wars are nothing more than foolish, and missing the entire picture. In short his piece is a painful misunderstanding of both the current war and the Great War. It is difficult to know whether Steel was  being deliberately moronic in a comedic manner, or whether these views are actually his own. Either way it is just a bad article in a reputable paper.