Tuesday, 21 May 2013


So Mancini has been sacked. I was a Man City fan and growing up in the 1990s, Man City was not the easiest team to support. So if you told me one day we would have a manager who would, in three seasons, win the Premiership, FA Cup and Charity Shield, only to sack him, I would have been stunned. But that's what has happened. Including FA Cup Semi-finals, City have been to Wembley six times in three seasons. I remember scrambling for a ticket to the 1999 third flight play off final against Gillingham, because I thought that would be the only time I would see them there. How times change.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Pope Francis

In my last blog, I predicted that the next Pope would be from the global south. I also said the Italian cardinals would want an Italian to 'win back' the papacy that they dominated for 400 years but then lost twice in a row in 1978 and 2005. As it turns out, the new Pope pleased everyone - he is from the global south, and is an ethnic Italian. And they say you can't please everyone?

Monday, 11 February 2013

Pope Resigns: Who will succeed him?

Today it was announced that the Pope had resigned, becoming the first pope to do so since the Middle Ages. The big question everyone is asking now is, who will replace him? My belief is that one of three things will happen.

Firstly, Italians had a 'lock' on the papacy, and for 400 years, only Italian cardinals were elected Pope. That changed with the election of John Paul II in 1978, and the Italians lost out again when at the end of his unusually long pontificate in 2005, another non-Italian, Benedict XVI, was elected. It is possible the Italian cardinals want to regain the highest office in Catholicism by electing one of their own. Several Italian Cardinals are already being tipped. The problem is Italians don't dominate the College of Cardinals in the way they once did so even if they all voted as one, that wont be enough to win. Furthermore, there are lots of Italians who could be 'papibile', and thus the vote would be split anyway.

Secondly, it is possible yet another non-Italian will be elected, and that is where the smart money is. However, he probably wont be a European. The RC church recognises that in its traditional stronghold of Europe, Catholicism is weak. This is in sharp contrast with the way the RC church is booming in Africa and other parts of the global south. Already attention is turning to two prominent black Africans: Cardinal Francis Arizne of Nigeria, and Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana. Whilst men born on the African continent have held the papacy before, they haven't done so for over 1,000 years and these men were North Africans, not black Africans. The election of a black Pope could send a powerful message that the RC church is serious about Africa.

The third possibility, albeit a wild-card, is an Arab Pope. There are Cardinals from Muslim and Arab countries, and the RC Church has shown an interest in 'dialogue' with Muslims. Also, the bulk of the Arab world's dwindling Christian population are Catholic, and the RC Church may see a Pope from a Muslim country as a means to both strengthen the morale of Catholics in Muslim countries, and as a way of getting someone familiar with Islam at the head of their 'dialogue'.

We shall soon see!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Death Star petition fails

A few years ago, Star Wars fans in the UK successfully managed to get hundreds of thousands of people to say that 'Jedi' was their official religion. It appears their mischief knows no limits, as this time they have called on the Obama Administration to build a Death Star at the cost of a mere $850 quadrillion. The Administration politely declined.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Lions and Labradoodles

You probably remember the silly story last year about the Essex Lion. Gosh that was fund. I used to work at Blackpool Zoo (summer job in 1998), working on the cats section. Consequently, I take an interest in stories related to the big cats. It appears a labrador-poodle cross has led some people to conclude a lion is in our midst. Aww lawdcy! More at the link below http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/labradoodle-dog-shaved-to-look-like-1528742

New Years

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Great poem from Invictus

Great film Invictus. The apartheid system was as evil as it was inhuman and this scene from the movie is easily the best http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FozhZHuAcCs