Welcome to Spiel, the JC’s blog.

  • The football world has lost a true gent

    Danny Caro
    Jul 31, 2009

    The football world has lost a dear friend and gentleman in Sir Bobby Robson.

    I have wonderful memories of his best achievement on the international stage where he led England to the 1990 World Cup semi-final.

    Not around to see the heroics of 66, I was kept on the edge of my seat as his team made hard work of getting out of a group.

  • Rant, rant, rant

    Jenni Frazer
    Jul 30, 2009

    A reader — and I use the term loosely — expresses deep anxiety about a story in the Daily Mail, about the police being issued with hijabs in case they have to enter a mosque. When are they going to start issuing the police with kippot in case they have to go in to a shul, she complained.

    In some confusion, and given that I admit a built-in prejudice against anything that appears in the Daily Mail, I sought a little enlightenment. It turns out that the Avon and Somerset Constabulary have taken the interesting initiative of equipping its female officers with a uniform issue hijab. They are, in fact, £13 headscarves, embroidered with the force's name and logo, and are designed to be multi-faith: "They are designed to be used in any place of worship and can be used to cover the head or the shoulders. For example, plain clothes officers could use them to cover their shoulders in a Catholic Church, or they can be used to cover the head in synagogues."

    For the life of me, I don't see what is wrong with that. I imagine the Mail put a typically spiteful anti-immigrant spin on the story, but frankly, I think the police should be encouraged if they are trying to show respect for religious observance, of whatever stripe.

  • Toast of the town

    Simon Rocker
    Jul 30, 2009

    On the way to the bank, I noticed a display board outside Oddbin’s in Holborn proudly advertising one of the off-licence’s latest acquisitions; “Kosher Côte du Rhone”.
    Is it this an indication that kosher wine has now gone mainstream? Could m' learned friends at the High Court down the road be taking a new tipple?

  • Democracy. Take it or leave it.

    Danny Caro
    Jul 30, 2009

    Whilst living in a democracy has many advantages, there are many things that are still wrong with this country.

    For one reason or another, we have fallen into recession and I think it is only fair to say that bankers and the money men must taken their share of the blame.

    Then there are the weather forecasters. I am not saying that their job is easy but either it is going to rain or it isn’t. Either it’s going to be windy or there might be a light breeze. But how wrong they have been in recent weeks?