Issues on Friday 13th

Well, it seems that while there is no bad luck issue on this Friday 13th, there are several things to report back on!

On Channel 4 News just now we have the Anglican Mainstream group nonchalantly pleased with themselves for their PR success and raising the whole freedom of speech and christian persecution after TfL banned their adverts.  Amazed quite frankly.  Their offensive views should not be allowed to be given under the bullshit pretence that freedom of speech goes to absolutely any lengths.  That is an utterly irrational view as demonstrated by the plonker from the Index of Censorship who seems to confuse the freedom to have your say with the freedom to go to offensive and then beyond – freedom to harm others is not a freedom that i or any other sane person would want to see. And when i say harm i mean inciting hatred and by that i refer to the extremes of hatred that preach the murder of all kinds of groups of people.

I had this spat with Channel 4 recently ironically on their 4thought where they put up someone who went deep into the territory of rabid vile homophobia. channel 4 justified it with their self-righteous attitude of having warned viewers it was damned offensive but they wanted to challenge viewers.  but then channel 4 are quite good at saying one thing and doing another, from sanctimony to the gutter…

Part 2 of my crossness today has come from reports back after our fiasco at La Scala, an italian restaurant in sutton coldfield.  after paying for what was a not great meal with not great service, we had the waiter insult our group in italian but in a very unsubtle way that we could actually understand quite easily.  on being challenged twice about this behaviour they completely denied it and hinted we were liars.  well it transpires that since then the owner alfredo palmerini and his wife (who was present that evening) have claimed we were a rowdy group who are lying about what happened.  well this group barely had anything to drink and eventually gave up as the service was so poor and have basically accused us being rude, rowdy and difficult – which given they were slating us in italian about not saying thank you and being difficult makes them a truly pleasant place where the customer should feel ever so welcome.

I strongly urge anyone wanting to visit an italian restaurant in sutton coldfield to go to pizza by goli a few doors down – Goli is a sutton institution, a fantastic place, great food, great atmosphere; whereas la scala has rude, awful service, boring menu that has not changed in over 12 months (and given it is somewhat limited…!)…

And then there has been the London Mayoralty with the right wing and Boris supporters focussing on smearing Ken Livingstone to avoid talking about policy, real issues and real Londoners as Boris has nothing to say or do that can actually help real people with real issues.

Sometimes you get frustrated and sometimes you can really go beyond that with the utter dismal failure of people to use sense, to have decency, to be rational, to apply logic, or at least have an additional explanation.

But on a positive note, on Sunday I will be on one of the Panels speaking at the Yes to Birmingham Mayor Big Brum Debate.  It will be fun, it will be interesting and it will be a great discussion.  We are now racing up to the local elections and referendum day – this is the big chance to change Birmingham, will it happen, let’s hope so!

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