So diving is a cancer in football. The other thing that’s cancerous is stupid sensationalist responses to diving. There are two counts of this: firstly there’s the lacking perspective angle of the likes of Tony Pulis who thinks that a yellow card offence is worthy of a 3 match ban, then there’s the ‘blame the foreigners’ angle of any old school “hoof it oop t’ bloody pitch” punter. Both angles are deeply floored and their silliness dilutes any attempts that football organizations might be making to cure this cancer.
Abu Qatada is coming up to judgement day in respect to his appeals against deportation to Jordan for terror charges after seven years of fighting extradition. The Home Secretary Theresa May has said that he is a threat to national security despite his never having been charged with an offence in the UK. He has, though, been subject to lengthy periods of detention since 2001. His lawyer is expected argue to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) that he will not get a fair trial in Jordan.
Barclays has arranged to buy ING Direct’s UK business. It will also acquire the ING Direct UK’s £10.9bn deposits and £5.6 mortgage book as well as the transfer of 750 staff and 1.5 million customers. ING are making an after-tax loss of £210m on the sale due in part to its agreement to sell its mortgages to Barclays around 3% below the level at which ING values them. The Dutch banking group ING has also recently sold its US business to Capital One.
The Conservative Conference has seen Boris Johnson pay tribute to PM David Cameron, praising Cameron’s “firm leadership” and ability to take “tough decisions”. Johnson is currently enjoying massive popularity following the success of the Olympics, but he has denied any attempt at upstaging the PM, whom he is rumoured to rival.
Introduction of gay marriage when MPs are given a free vote on the issue will be supported by the foreign secretary George Osborne and Chancellor William Hague.
At the Cheltenham Literature Festival, 15 years since she has spoken to her fans, the award winning author JK Rowling promised her audience that the next thing she write and publish would be for younger children than the celebrated Harry Potter series. She told fans that a number of ideas are already on her laptop but wouldn’t reveal any details yet.
The Conservative party conference is under way as George Osborne made a speech to do with economic policy. This comes as the UK economy remains in recession. In his speech he made it clear that he will not change course and said that a further £16bn will have to be found by 2015/16 in order for his target of balancing the budget within five years to be met. This would include cutting £10bn from the welfare bill before 201617, adding to the £18bn announced in 2010.
Under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI), ministers' text messages including emails sent from private accounts should be subject to public scrutiny and it is expected that ‘back channels’ used by ministers and advisers to communicate government business may not be exempt from the legislation.
From 2012 changes to pensions law will affect every employer in the UK; these changes will help more people save for retirement. It is said to be the biggest shake-up of pensions for a generation, since up to 10 million people are expected to be imminently enrolled. This will definitely result in millions of workers being pushed into saving money for their retirement for the first time.
This weekend’s Premier League action saw wins for all of last year’s top 5 as the elite are all finding form after the opening skirmishes. Chelsea continue to lead the way as goals from Torres, Lampard, Hazard and Ivanovic marked a ferocious response after falling behind to Grant Holt’s opener. The movement between the likes of Oscar, Hazard and most of all Mata was mesmeric at times. The interplay leading to Lampard’s goal in particular showed that this year’s Chelsea crop have the players to play the intelligent, possession based football that chairman Abramovich has for so long craved. They remain four points clear at the top and are carrying plenty of momentum having so far remained unbeaten this season.