Tag Archives: ethics

Sportswashing, Bribery and Beer

I’ve just been reading about the decision by the Qatari government to ban the sale of alcohol in and around football stadia during the World Cup. I’m not really sure what the fuss is about. If you are going for the sport, you can enjoy football without beer. If you were going with the for the drinking, Qatar probably isn’t the best place for you anyway.

As I understand it from attending rugby matches at football grounds, the sale of alcohol is restricted in the UK, and you aren’t even allowed to have the tops of soft drinks bottles. You have to allow the bar staff to take them off and retain them in case you should throw it at the players. It doesn’t seem a big deal.

Anyway, unless I’m missing the point, their attitude to alcohol isn’t the worst thing about the Qatari government. If you really want to be picky you could make a list of other points that raise concerns, like slavery, migrant workers, women’s rights and LGBT rights.

FIFA, the players and the world in general, has muttered a bit but not really done anything much about anything. In that it follows general sporting practice. After all, several host countries of recent sporting events have questionable records on human rights. Of course, the biggest ethical question hanging over the current World Cup is whether it should ever have gone ahead, as the allegations of self-enrichment (so much nicer as a word than “bribery” isn’t it?) seem to indicate that greed, rather than the good of the game, was the guiding principle in awarding the World Cup.

If you have a few minutes, read this, it’s a statement on human rights and the various pronouncements of sporting bodies, many of whom seem to ignore their own guidelines in awarding their events to the highest bidders. If not, and I wouldn’t blame you for not reading it, take it from me, money talks louder than ethics.

At this point, I suppose I should mention golf, but this article covers it better than I could, so have a look (it’s a quick read). I hadn’t heard the term “sportswashing” before.

That’s about it for the sporting part of the discussion. I will go on to Part 2 tomorrow and discuss a few other issues.

For now, I will leave you with a thought. Andy Murray. Works hard, wins things, does this. Perhaps we should show pictures of him to our football team so they can see what a proper sporting hero looks like.

I don’t have any pictures that relate to sport or ethics, so you’ll have to make do with some swans

Mute Swan

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The ebay Diaries (Day 6 – Part 4)

I bought some tie pins/sweetheart brooches last Saturday using the Buy It Now button. They seemed very reasonable. This should have been the first warning.

They arrived yesterday, I looked at them and I left feedback. It was only when I looked at them in strong sunlight today (yes, we had some!) that I noticed all the faults. Two of the tiepins are twisted and one seems to be lacking any sort of silver mark. I really must remember my own rules about being careful when buying.

 

Later in the week I bought an enamel badge. It’s clearly a cheap modern copy. It cost me just over £3 so it’s not even worth the time to complain. The tiepins are slightly different, but it’s just as easy to straighten them as it is to send them back.

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Royal Artillery tiepin

That, I know, plays into the hands of dishonest dealers but I can’t be bothered with the bickering that ensues. In truth they probably don’t know what they are doing. That’s the levelling influence of ebay – all you need to do is press buttons on a computer and repeat what is written on a badge. The bidders do the actual work. It’s a subject I may return to.

I may also return to the question of ethics.

Note to self –

Reasonably  priced ebay lots on Buy It Now are rarely as good as you think

Reasonably  priced ebay lots on Buy It Now are rarely as good as you think

Reasonably  priced ebay lots on Buy It Now are rarely as good as you think…

 

Fifty minutes

This morning I dropped Julia at work and, fifty minutes later, was back at home.

In the garden I listened to the faulty strimmer and revealed a basic difference between the sexes, before taking some more flower photos.

Julia has many talents. She could probably, if her ambition lay in that direction, do a better job of running the country than Theresa May. I, on the other hand, have to plan in advance just to get my socks on. However, when called upon to diagnose the problem with the strimmer in the Mencap garden, I was able to spot the problem straight away.

I’m not an expert on strimmers but I could spot that the high-pitched grinding sound was a bad sign.

To be fair, Julia, who is completely deaf to the sound of mechanical agony, doesn’t need to know this as she has me for all that technical stuff.

I, in turn, use a mower shop for repairs as my efforts usually end up with a puzzled look and a tin of leftover bits.

Most of the rest of the journey home involved traffic and queues. One hold up was caused by an ambulance parked across the road as the crew treated a man lying on the road. I took some photos as we waited because  I had the camera handy.

I could see his feet moving so I didn’t feel too intrusive. Anyway, there were a lot of people hanging round so I wasn’t the only voyeur. As I drove past, I noted he was wearing a helmet and a bicycle was propped up against a tree. That is the price of reducing traffic and pollution.

I’m happy to report that he seemed quite lively, and hope he wasn’t badly hurt.

There is a question, though, about the ethics of taking pictures of accidents. There’s a long tradition of postcards showing various disasters including train crashes, mining disasters and fires, but does that make it right?

Is the picture journalism, local history or just intrusive?

It took me back 40 years to a Sunday lunchtime (the accident, not the photography) when the driver of a red Austin Maxi overtook me on my Vespa 200 (yes, I had a scooter at one time) and pulled over before passing me properly. Result – me in gutter with the knee injury that still bothers me today.

Accident on Woodborough Road , Nottingham

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It’s amazing what you can pack into less than an hour.