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Wednesday, 30 December 2015


The IAAF (International Association of Athletic Fédérations) and WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) each have two problems but no real options -

1   Catch and punish Drug Cheats

2   Professionalise their Organisations 

Previous articles in this Blog have drawn attention to the fact that banning or excluding Russia, or any other country, from international Competitions like the Olympic Games or World Championships, is the right punishment !   This is because neither the IAAF nor WADA can ever be sure that any banned country has finally taken ALL the steps necessary to irradicate the use of illegal doping products in its country.  

To be caught and punished, Drug Cheats  must be systematically tested just before each event : if they are clean, they can participate in the event.  If they are not "clean", they are automatically banned for a long period of time or until they appeal ! 

This implies that the IAAF and WADA must each re-assess their  responsibilities and co-operation. 


Furthermore, it appears that neither the IAAF nor WADA has the guarantee of the financial means required to attain its all its objectives.

All the permanent officers should be remunerated reasonably and their reasonable expenses reimbursed.  These Organisations cannot be considered to be "charities" with benevolent, unpaid, "Managers" !   They in fact have the same responsibilities as international Politicians or Ambassadors !

If they are not financed by the members they serve and who profit financially from Sports Events, a complete "MESS" will soon arise, similar to the one which FIFA is experiencing ! 

The next Olympic Games are on the horizon and solutions must be found for a new start.  

A NEW START is what every sports enthusiast wants !       





Monday, 28 December 2015


The IAAF (International Association of Athletic Federations) seems to be completely lost since the publication of the WADA (World Anti Doping Agency) report which severely criticised Russia and just a few other countries. 

The use and abuse of Drugs in all Sport has risen sharply during the last fifty years, not only in Athletics. Not enough sportsmen have been punished or simply banned !  At present many World or National records are openly suspected !

The Wada Report presented the perfect opportunity to the IAAF (and other similar sports bodies) to decide to introduce strict new "Drug testing obligations",  which sportsmen should have to respect before they  can compete.

Is it not the lack of "fool-proof" and rigorous testing at ALL major competitions, which encourages cheating ?   The IAAF must "oblige athletes to submit themselves" for a Drugs Test shortly before an event if they want to compete.  Likewise,  the first three past the post of the event, should also be tested again.

Tests will never be 100% fool-proof but disqualifications should always be immediate.  Likewise Trainers as well as the athlete should be barred !   Any appeals could be heard at a later date. 

Such a system seems to be the only real solution, but will cost money.  The IAAF and WADA also need funds to ensure they can perform their functions.   They must be funded correctly, probably by the Organisers of Sports Events !

The IAAF must act quickly with determination.  The success of the 2016 RIO Olympics is the Prize !   





Friday, 25 December 2015


In his speech, after he had been banned from football for 8 years, Sepp Blatter revealed why he considers that he has been wrongly condemned !  

Basically he considers that in accordance with the Articles of FIFA, the only way he can be deposed as President of FIFA, is by a secret vote of all the 209 member countries of FIFA.  This means that he considers that he cannot be judged by the laws of any country, including those of Switzerland, where he was born and where he is also a resident !

Blatter says he will appeal to Neutral Courts to have the 8 year ban lifted, to restore him as President of FIFA.  Why is this so urgent ?  Has he not declared that it is his intention to resign before the next Presidential Election of FIFA on February 26, 2016 ?  Or is it only for reasons connected with his vanity ?

Or does Blatter not accept that the payment he made to Platini could be considered as being suspicious ? For example, did Blatter or FIFA benefit from the services rendered by Platini ?  Should Blatter personally, or FIFA, bear the cost ?

While Blatter has been at the Helm, nothing has ever been totally transparant. There have always been surprises !  When Blatter retires many will heave a sigh of relief !




Tuesday, 22 December 2015


After the "Latest News", that the FIFA Ethics Committee yesterday banned both Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini for 8 years from all "football related activity", is this not the moment to wish everyone 

                       A Happy "NEW FIFA"  Year ?

Is the turbulance of the last 12 months (2 ongoing Investigations and several sittings of the FIFA Ethics Committee + High Court Appeals), now over ? 

NO !  Some accused are still fighting to protect their good reputations because they say they are CLEAN !   There will be hasty and desperate appeals against judgements, even though several accused have admitted their guilt and decided to give evidence to Prosecutors !

The basic problem is that no one in FIFA, in Switzerland or anywhere in the World, knew anything of what was going on !  Neither the President nor anyone around him !

Perhaps the FIFA Ethics Committee has seen the light.  FIFA must be liberated of all its former Executives and Officers, who should be barred from any future office in FIFA !  The English maxim is,





Thursday, 17 December 2015


France has declared war on IS Terrorists and other countries like Britain, USA and Russia have also launched Drones or bombed Terrorist strongholds in the Middle East.

However, have all members of the EU passed legislation in their own country to permit the rapid arrest of suspected IS activists or terrorists ?  The IS never respects any "human rights" when attacks are launched in the Middle East, in the EU or anywhere else !   It kills civilians and destroys everything in its path.

Have all countries created special laws for arresting and detaining Terrorists ?  In France a "State of Emergency" has been declared to help the detection of crime by organised gangs of Terrorists.

Even this is not enough !  Where do you put suspected terrorists while investigations are ongoing ?   In France there are not enough prisons for even normal criminals. 

In fact, Terrorists should not be detained in normal Prisons.  They must be housed in purpose built prisons and in separate cells.  If they are convicted and sentenced to serve many years in jail, that Jail should not be in a populated town but on a remote island !     

Building secure Prisons takes time and should be undertaken as soon as possible.  Stopping IS in the Middle East will take time but wiping out independent Terrorist cells in all EU countries and elsewhere, will take much longer !  



Tuesday, 15 December 2015


Entendu ce matin chez mon boulanger, à Paris 17ème :

10 heures, une jeune fille se présente : "Je viens pour le poste de vendeuse, j'avais rendez vous à 9 heures 30". 

 Et le boulanger de rétorquer courtoisement mais fermement : "Si vous êtes déjà en retard ce matin pour le premier entretien, j'ai toutes les raisons de penser que vous le serez également pour commencer vos journées de travail.  Impossible donc de donner suite à votre demande".

D'où l'importance d' être ponctuel, puis de respecter les horaires selon lesquels on est embauché.  Un principe qu'il est parfois bon de rappeler ! 



Monday, 14 December 2015


In the Regional Elections the Socialists won six Regions, the Republicans (LR) on the right won seven, whereas the Extreme Right (FN), which one week ago was leading in six Regions, ended up not winning any Region at all ! 

Yesterday 58.3% of the electorate voted, which was an increase of 4 million more voters over last week, when  only 49% voted. 

However, the Republicans owe their victory in 4 Régions to Manuel Valls the Prime Minister, who ordered all lists of Socialists which were in third place last week, to withdraw.  He then urged ALL Socialist electors to vote for LR to prevent FN  from winning any Region !  It was a gamble, but one which achieved what he wanted !

FN is disappointed not to have won any of the six Regions in which it was leading last week, but now has elected members in every Region for the first time.  Yesterday, with a total of 6.8 million, it got 600 000 more votes than last week !     

This Election was fought to elect Regional Councillors yet all the issues discussed were only of a National flavour.  ALL the Parties now must adjust their avowed policies to increase their support in future for any elections.  The fact that the next election will be the Presidential Election in May 2017, was ever present in the background. 

President Hollande has had poor Opinion Polls but hopes to get the support needed to stand for a second term.  If he then reaches the second round he may then face not Sarkozy, whom he defeated in 2012, but Marine Le Pen, Leader of FN ! 


Saturday, 12 December 2015


Last Sunday the overall result revealed that the National Front (FN) had obtained 28.4% of the votes, Les Républicains  (LR) 27.1% and the Socialists 23.5%.   50% of the electorate abstained from voting.  

The very fact that overall FN was clearly in first place for the first time in an election, stunned LR and the Socialists.  This dilemma caused a panic. 

To underline the swing to FN, it obtained the lead in 6 of the 13 Regions and even got more than 40% of the vote in two of them.

Smaller parties in any Region which polled less than 5% of the votes were eliminated from the last round of voting tomorrow. 

This week has seen frantic efforts by LR and the Socialists to muster the votes of electors who abstained or who had voted for parties now eliminated. 

The Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls even ordered Regional socialist parties in third place to withdraw, urging electors to vote for LR against FN !  Sarkozy, however, refused to let his LR candidates to withdraw and vote for the Socialists if they were in third place !  

These Regional Elections are the first after President Hollande reduced the number of Regions to 13 from 22 beforehand.  They are new therefore, and local political plans have not really been the main preoccupation.  National problems like Immigration, Terrorism, Unemployment, Taxation and the War against IS have been the main issues discussed. 

However, many of these issues have been criticised by FN for several years !   Have LR and the Socialists paid enough attention to the worries of the electorate ?  Does the answer explain the continual rise of support for FN by voters ?

The result of the first round of voting last week was a wake-up call !   After the panic this week will there be a swing back in the support from FN to LR and the Socialists ?  How many Regions can FN win ?  Everyone wonders, no one can be sure !






Thursday, 10 December 2015


After the first round of voting in the Regional Elections last week, the ruling Socialist party discovered not only that the National Front party (FN) had obtained the most votes, but that the Socialists were now in third place behind the Republican Party. 

To stop FN winning in the final round next Sunday, Prime Minister Valls wanted the Republicans and the Socialists to agree that the weaker of the two parties in each Region should  withdraw from the Election and to instruct its electors to vote against FN !   He was stopped in his tracks when Nicolas Sarkozy ordered all his candidates to refuse to withdraw.  

This meant Valls could not expect any help from "the other Party" to defeat FN.  However, he was not subdued !  He ordered all his Socialist parties in the Regions which were in 3rd place, to withdraw.   

Everyone has withdrawn except one, 71 year old Jean-Pierre Masseret, in the East of France. 

Quite a few people are surprised at what Valls has done.  Is this really the spirit of Democracy ?  They also ask why has FN so many electors now voting for them ?  Why is Valls so worried ?  Is FN as dangerous as Valls pretends ?   Or do electors  think the two other parties have not been doing what they  expect them to do ?

Crucial worries in France, as elsewhere, are uncontrolled Immigration and Terrorism, themes which FN has criticised for years.   After the Terrorist attack on "Hebdo Charley" in January 2015 nothing really changed until the recent "Bataclan" attack !

The question now is, how will all this affect the Vote next Sunday ?                       




Depuis les résultats du premier tour des élections régionales, le Parti Socialiste a exigé que ses candidats arrivés en troisième position se retirent purement et simplement et a demandé avec insistance à leurs électeurs de voter pour "les Républicains".  Ceci dans un unique but : battre le Front National !  A tout prix, y compris en reniant ses propres convictions.  Mais cela peut il constituer un programme mobilisateur?

Tout au long de la semaine, les socialistes ont martelé que le Front National n'était pas un parti républicain.   Alors encore un petit effort : interdisez le Front National et privez le peuple de crier sa désespérance et son exaspération !




The eagerly awaited debate on TV  "LCI" and Radio "RTL" in the Regional Elections between Marine Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right "National Front"  (FN) party and Xavier Bertrand, a former Minister and member of Sarkozy's right wing "The Republican" party,  was a complete "flop" ! 

To say it was a "flop" is being kind.  It was a disaster !  It was a classic example of how one can let a debate get out of hand  and then doing nothing to control it !  

All the key requirements were present for a superb debate :  two well known Politicians who this time were also opponents for the same seat, with an experienced Journalist (Marc-Olivier Fogiel) to control the debate, plus the added fear created by the steady rise of support the FN party has obtained in recent élections ! 

What went wrong ? Everything...  

1)  From the start, when one Candidate spoke, the other interrupted continuously !  Bertrand particularly never seemed to stop talking !  

2)  In the end both candidates were talking at the same time !

3)  When a new issue was raised by either Candidate, it was immediately attacked by the other. 

4)  The attempts by Fogiel to control the Candidates were absent or of no effect. 

5)  Spectators or Listeners trying to follow the "debate" were, in the end, totally confused and frustrated !

6)  One had the impression there was no "time control" of how long either candidate spoke. 

A total waste of Prime Time, particularly as there will be be no other such debate this week before the last round of voting this coming Sunday !  




Tuesday, 8 December 2015


Manuel Valls demande expressément aux électeurs socialistes de voter pour "les Républicains" Xavier Bertrand, Christian Estrosi et Philippe Richert, dans les trois grandes régions où Le Front National est arrivé largement en tête et le Parti Socialiste en troisième position seulement.

Sa haine et son intolérance à l'égard du premier parti de France ont donc été plus fortes que ses convictions socialistes.

Mais peut on imaginer que les socialistes qui ont fait campagne contre "Les Républicains" se renient et votent pour ceux dont ils combattaient les idées la semaine passée ?

Plus digne est l'attitude de Nicolas Sarkozy qui impose la règle du "Ni Ni" : ni retrait ni fusion de listes.



Monday, 7 December 2015


Bravo à Jean-Pierre Masseret, candidat socialiste dans le grand Est et arrivé en 3eme position derrière Florian Philipot (FN) et Philippe Richert (Les Républicains), qui déclare qu'il ne se retirera pas en dépit des pressions et injonctions de son parti, le Parti Socialiste.
Bel exemple de fidélité à ses convictions, à sa ligne de campagne, et aux électeurs qui lui ont apporté leur confiance.
Idem pour "les Républicains" : il n'y aura ni retrait ni fusion de listes en vue du deuxième tour des élections régionales.


Au lendemain des élections régionales, nos pensées vont vers les électeurs socialistes dont les candidats arrivés en troisième position derrière le Front National et Les Républicains, sont fermement invités par le Premier Secrétaire du Parti Socialiste, Cambadélis, à se retirer purement et simplement.

N'est ce pas là trahir ses électeurs, leur manquer de respect et peut-être priver les abstentionnistes du premier tour d'un vrai choix au second tour ?

Tout ceci dans l'unique but de faire échec au Font National !

En 1984 déjà, Laurent Fabius déclarait : "Le Front National pose les bonnes questions mais y apporte les mauvaises réponses".

Trente ans plus tard, les "bonnes" réponses des partis politiques traditionnels se font toujours attendre.





The results of the first round of voting in the Regional Elections yesterday confirmed all previous election trends and Opinion Polls.
The extreme right wing National Front (FN) polled most votes, at the expense of the governing Socialist Party, which was pushed back into 3rd place overall.   The new formation on the Right, the Republicans, led by Nicolas Sarkozy, remained in second place.
The Socialists and the Republicans both had one and the same desperate objective in this election :  stop the FN from gaining a bigger share of the votes !  Together they failed lamentably, even though no holds were barred !   Both Parties tried to strike fear into the hearts of voters of what could happen if FN was elected to govern in the Regions, but they offered no alternative policies to back their own credibility.
Prime Minister Valls wants tactical voting (worst placed party withdraws its candidate) with the Republicans in the second round next Sunday, but Sarkozy has bluntly refused to entertain this idea.   This seems to leave the way open for a resounding victory by FN.
After the second round next Sunday, there are no other major elections before the Presidential Election in May 2017.  Marine Le Pen, Leader of FN is generally forecast to be one of the two Candidates in the run-off, perhaps to become the first woman President of France ! 

Another nightmare for the traditional Parties !


Saturday, 5 December 2015


The two investigations into irregularities in FIFA has resulted in indictments against 24 FIFA or National Officials and 5 Sports Marketing or Broadcasting Executives.

Not included in the above figures are three people who have been suspended for 90 days by the FIFA Ethics Committee.  They are Michel Platini, Sepp Blatter and Jérôme Valcke.

There are probably others who have not yet been discovered or identified and who could be added to these lists.  It is not the first time that the prospect of "earning a quick buck" has snowballed into a major crisis like this one in FIFA.  Those that have been caught will also feel resentment against those who might get away "scot free" !  Revenge could be in the air and this could lead to further indictments !

FIFA in fact was rotten to the core.  Will ALL offenders be caught ?   No one can guarantee that, but FIFA must ensure a crisis like this can never happen again.  

The Statutes of FIFA are being revised and hopefully with  Professional advice.   A measure which should be seriously considered is to stop any former FIFA Official, in the Head Office or in a National Organisation, from serving in any official capacity again in future.       

FIFA needs to make a clean break from the past.  Afterwards it  could again command respect ! 


Friday, 4 December 2015


In France the general impression is that a Law exists for  everything, but that deficiencies exist in the system, particularly when something unexpected happens.  If this is true in France, it is probably true in other countries as well.

The recent terrorist activities have highlighted faults and these were fully discussed on Television again yesterday (1).  Experts  examined how Extremist Muslims managed to infiltrate Mosques and why the Police had not investigated earlier what was going on in them. 

The discussion on the TV revealed that a well known Law of 1905 in France gives the Police ALL the necessary legal powers they need to enter and inspect Mosques, just like other public premises.   In fact very recently, Mosques have been inspected and suddenly this week,  three of them have been closed !

The reality is that in France all the legal means exist but there is often a general lack of will in applying the Law.
(1)  The daily "C'est dans l'air" program presented by Yves Calvi on France 5 at 17.45.                             



Wednesday, 2 December 2015


A quatre jours des élections régionales qui auront lieu le 6 décembre prochain, droite et gauche anticipent et redoutent déjà une victoire probable du Front National. Et la campagne pour les élections régionales se pare de couleur nationale...
A entendre les leaders politiques le seul mot d'ordre serait : empêcher le FN de gagner une région.  Un message expressément délivré par le Premier Ministre Manuel Valls, mardi 1er décembre sur Europe1.
Christophe Borgel, secrétaire national du PS aux élections, n'hésite pas à envisager déjà, pour le second tour, la possibilité d'un "accord technique avec les listes de droite pour faire barrage au FN"; autrement dit le retour de "l'UMPS" maintes fois dénoncé par Marine Le Pen.
Quant à Nicolas Sarkozy, il tente, comme en 2012, de siphonner les voix des électeurs du Front National en invoquant "les  valeurs chrétiennes de la France", "l'identité nationale" et "les frontières" ; "je ne veux pas que la France devienne une société multiculturelle car je ne veux pas du communautarisme" a-t-il déclaré (meeting du 30 novembre à Rouen) .  
Tout ceci suffira-t-il à faire échec à la progression du Front National ?



It is less than three months ago that Jeremy Corbyn, aged 66, was unexpectedly elected as Leader of the Socialist Party, after the resignation of Ed Miliband.  Since then everyone has been waiting to find out what kind of Leader he intended to be. 
It was well known that he was a left-winger in the Socialist Party, but any real Leader must recognise that Policies and Politics require an open mind.  This is particularly true when major decisions are the order of the day.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, obtained an overall Majority in  the House of Commons at the General Election in May 2015, but on the important issue of War or not against the Islamic State, he has quite rightly withdrawn Party Whips.  This means that all MPs can freely vote in accordance with their conscience.
Cameron knows that Britain must defend itself against Islamic Terrorists, but also that mere defence is not enough.  Some MPs in his Conservative Party however, do not agree with him.  Yet, other countries have already voted for Outright War because they think this is the only solution.  
Suddenly Corbyn has discovered that his Socialist Party is also "split" on how to vote !  HE however, does not want to advocate War.  Not only that, HE expects all Socialists to vote like him, against going to war, because HE is their Leader !
Now, less than three months after his Election, Socialists are openly wondering whether Corbyn is the type of Leader they really want ! 

When a "Leader" hesitates about defending his Country and its Citizens, he must present very convincing arguments !  This he has not done !  Corbyn wants to be a Dictator, but...he has failed lamentably. 
He is neither a real Leader nor a Dictator !  His withdrawal from politics, retirement, could be the most honourable solution !