Aliveandrunning2013 July 3

Yesterday, I had an enjoyable run with the club. We did a time trial followed by intervals of 3 minutes followed  by 3 minutes recovery. The amiable coach counselled against “sandbagging”, that is under performing deliberately to gain unfair advantage or to save energy when effort is required. We were advised not to “brick it” which is to experience such alarm that the unhappy individual defaecates in their pants! This is all lad’s stuff, of course. It was like being back at school. There is frequent banter about times, distances achieved, cross training, injuries, races and expectations. Most of this has limited interest for me. I’m not a technical runner. I usually just run as fast as I can. The running fraternity is a broad church and I tend to gravitate towards the less competitive people who have a life outside of excessive exercise. However I heeded their warnings. I neither sandbagged nor bricked it. The latter condition, had I succumbed and driven home, would have required the car to have a deep clean.

Today,I scanned the headlines of  the print papers in our local supermarket. The Sun and Mirror led with the “scandal” of Coronation Street soap stars endorsing “fake” products, the Mail told its demographic that at last a radical cleric would soon be deported, the Star explained that a  Big Brother reality show contestant had received a death threat [surely par for the course} and the Express revealed that a mother of 11 had been allocated a “mansion” worth £500,000 by a council or housing association that was being paid for by “us” i.e. tax payers.

Wow! It must have been a slow day for grown up news. But everyday is a slow day for the tabloids.

Theresa May, Home Secretary, has announced a 6 week consultation over the future of police stop-and -search powers. She told MPs that black people were still seven times more likely to be searched on the street than white people. “If it’s being used too much or with the wrong people, then it’s a dreadful waste of police time,” she said.

Putting aside the issue of “wasting police time” { which translates as black people having the audacity to walk openly on the streets thus provoking officers to stop and search them needlessly}, this racist behaviour has been controversial for decades and was previously known as the sus laws. Since the police remain institutionally racist, things will remain unchanged.

Another item mysteriously absent from the front pages of the tabloids was the National Audit Office report that tax officials have failed to collect £9.6bn of VAT returns in 2010-2011. Clearly the government priority is to persecute benefit claimants and drastically cut health and social services rather than pursue lawful revenue streams from their business allies. More about this in a future blog.

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