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April 8, 2013 / ultrafox1963

Five big topics from the weekend


The lame duck limps on

The torment for Nigel Pearson and Leicester City continues, as the side’s winless streak was extended to EIGHT games with a 1-1 draw at playoff rivals Brighton. The Foxes could and should have taken all three points, but once again found themselves being punished by a late defensive lapse after wasting chances to seal the match. With the next two games at home, the season is not entirely beyond redemption, but anything less than victory in both games is likely to spell the end of City’s playoff hopes, and signal the end of Pearson’s time as manager.

Wilko gives Toulon edge

A kicking masterclass by rugby icon Jonny Wilkinson proved the difference between his side and Leicester Tigers in a fiercely-contested Heineken Cup quarter-final on the Mediterranean coast. Tigers performed valiantly and gave their best performance in France for a considerable time, but Wilko provided glimpses of the form that made him the most feared fly-half in the game a decade ago. It remains to be seen whether Toulon can produce this form away from the south of France to lift the cup. Meanwhile Tigers must lick their wounds and prepare for next month’s Premiership playoffs.

Labour must hold nerve on welfare

As vulnerable and disabled citizens reel from the impact of benefit cuts taking effect this month, the onslaught from the coalition government and its media allies continues. In recent days, David Cameron and George Osborne have been prepared to plumb new depths in order to demonise, marginalise and stigmatise the poor. Sadly, it appears the Labour leadership view this group as politically expendable and is softening its opposition to the cuts in order to safeguard poll ratings. But there are times where the basic principle of help for the needy has to be protected and this is definitely one of them.

Commissioner’s stunt backfires badly

The decision by Ann Barnes, Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner, to appoint a young people’s spokesperson on a salary of £15000 per year, looked questionable from the outset. Whoever she chose was always likely to attract significant media and public scrutiny, particularly during a time of police service cuts, and Paris Brown, the 17-year-old she entrusted with the role, has proved unable to deal with this. This furore has brought the entire commissioner process into further disrepute and the judgement of the government, in proceeding with its introduction, has once again been found wanting.

Grand National passes peacefully

The most famous steeplechase in the world once again attracted massive crowds, as well as a signficant TV audience for Channel 4. But organisers will be delighted that the safety measures introduced at Aintree, in the wake of the string of fatal injuries to horses in recent years, appear to have paid off. No horses or riders were seriously harmed during this year’s event and concerns about its potential degeneration into a blood sport will have been eased. For the time being at least, a balance between spectacle and safety has been restored


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