The most over used word in business is transparency. The moment someone glibly throws it into to a conversation I can’t help but think they are hiding something. The US government in particular has rightly been very forthright in promoting transparency in business and pursues a very aggressive anti-corruption policy. With this in mind it seems a bit odd to me when Hilary of Clinton fame complains bitterly about WikiLeaks. There has been lots and lots of juicy stuff in The Guardian (one of five publications worldwide WikiLeaks sent the transcripts to). If you fancy doing a bit of snooping click on the link below and all will be revealed.
Given the US’s determination to throw the declaration of independence at the Asperger-suffering British man, Gary McKinnon, who hacked into the Pentagon to look for UFO sightings, I’m surprised they have been furiously attacking WikiLeaks’s server and trying to drive it offline. One of my favourite leaks was the Burmese military junta thinking of putting in a bid to buy Man U prior to launching their world cup hosting bid (surprisingly the world cup has never been to Burma).
Did Putin have it in for Paul?
As regular readers will appreciate I can’t help but drift towards the sporting angle whenever I read a grown-up story. It might be a wee bit tenuous but the leaks relating to Russia were particularly interesting. To the surprise of nobody it transpires that Russia is a Mafioso state controlled by gangsters who are in collusion with key government figures, in other words Russia is rotten to the core. Given this I loved what Putin had to say about Russia winning the right to host the World Cup in 2018.
Arriving in Zurich on Thursday night to meet with Sepp Blatter, Putin accused the British media of running an “unacceptable” campaign.
“These countries blame people of corruption, they blame people without any grounds or evidence, it can be seen as putting pressure on FIFA members, and then they put it in their mass media all over the world.”
One key thing every commentator I’ve read has missed is the previously flawless Paul the Octopus had England down to win the big vote. This leads me to think that Russian agents were sent to take out Paul and thereby remove his influence.
Blatter and Hitler, a marriage made in hell
Nobody I know thinks that FIFA is anything but a personal plaything for Sepp Blatter and his serial bung-taker chums. Sepp Blatter congratulated Hitler in a speech praising the Austrian for trying something new. The choice of Russia and the resounding success of Qatar, the two bids with the largest budgets and the lowest marks in FIFA’s technical assessment, also brought questions over the decision. We need to get used to the fact that Blatter has a personal legacy ‘take it somewhere new’ agenda – the only country to win against his agenda was surprise, surprise, Germany.
One thing I found very odd was two people who voted for Holland in round one and then voted for someone else in round two. Six years to decide but just 10 mins to tactically change their mind once England had been eliminated. Name and shame!
I can however understand Russia winning (graphically showing the imbalance between east and western Europe when it comes to staging World Cups (0 – 10) scrapping visas for fans and free public transport during the tournament were the icing) however I’m staggered that Qatar won until I noticed the favourite to succeed Blatter is a Qatari, take a big bow Mohammed Bin Hammam, the FIFA executive member and president of the Asia Football Confederation.
My good friend Micky Brigg mentioned that it will only take one hour to travel between the two furthest apart stadiums . . . at a slow amble! Here is an artist’s impression of one of their showcase stadiums which they planning to pack up afterwards and ship to Africa.
A case of mistaken identity
I could go on forever about the World Cup but I’ve got to move on. Here is a ‘must-watch’ video, it made me cry with laughter. Some dude turned up at the BBC for an interview, got mistaken for technology expert and ended up being interviewed live on national TV. His face when he’s introduced is a picture.
Win 1,000,000 Air Miles and party
And here is a competition that you really can win (assuming I don’t win it). 1,000,000 Air Miles which will get you to the next half a dozen World Cups (unlike Skywards points Air Miles never expire).
Watch out, watch out there is a sharkie about
As news broke about sharks eating people in Sharm El Shiekh apparently 28 million people in the UK have been injured by biscuits. Here is a breakdown of the injuries caused by our crumbly friends.
Back to the serious stuff, here are my predictions for hosting the next five World Cups after Qatar:
Sound about right? Let me know in the comments.