Political Proportionality

I confess that I don’t know what the rules for broadcasters are during a General Election but shouldn’t the coverage should be apportioned approximately according to the relevance of the political party concerned?

The Conservative and Labour parties both polled over 30% of the vote in the last election so I would expect them to get the most airtime and for it to be roughly equal. UKIP got nearly 13% of the vote and the Lib-Dems nearly 9% so no more than half that allocated to the two main parties for Mr Nutall and about a third to Mr Fallon. So how can the BBC justify a full half-hour interview by their political ‘big gun’ Andrew Neil for both those leaders?

Worse still, in my opinion, the SNP got just 4.7% of the vote in 2015 but Ms Sturgeon also got an half-hour grilling by Mr Neil and she seems to be on the television every time I turn it on!

Yet Another ‘No S**t Sherlock’ Report

Today the BBC are running a story on Breakfast News and their news website about how many drivers were caught using mobile phones whilst driving after the penalty for doing so had been doubled to 6 points: Apparently it was almost 6,000 in four weeks. The only surprise in this statistic, to anyone who drives on, cycles on or just crosses our roads, is that it’s only 6,000!

You don’t have to be a criminologist or psychologist to work out that increasing the penalty for doing something illegal is only part (possibly even a small part) of the deterrent factor. You have to also increase the perpetrator’s perception that he or she will be caught. Drive on any of our roads here in the UK nowadays and we all know that when we do see a police car it is invariably hurrying somewhere on its blue lights and two-tone horns. Seeing a police officer ‘walking the beat’ or posted somewhere on foot to stop offending motorists is a very rare event and as for traffic cops – I really can’t remember the last time I saw one.

So, according to the BBC anyway, in would appear that the Press Association decided to serve Freedom of Information Act (FOI) notices on all 43 police forces in the UK to find out something that we could probably have worked out for ourselves.

Here’s an idea. Why don’t the media be a little more discerning and cutback on the number of FOI notices they serve on the police? In that way, given the reduced resources that constabularies are having to work with, some of the staff that are currently allocated to deal with FOI requests could be reassigned to do some police work.

The 190th Fulham Palace Parkrun held on 6th May 2017

Once again it was Parkrun Day (formerly known as ‘Saturday’) and at 8.30 a.m. the 32 volunteers, without whom the whole event wouldn’t be possible, began to turn up and report to Richard the day’s Race Director. I mention this because I’m fairly sure that only a few of the 468 who ran this week realise quite how many volunteers it takes to hold our Parkrun and how hard our Volunteer Coordinator Dawn has to work some weeks to fill those 32 slots.

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As Richard was ticking off the arriving helpers on his list, it was quite clear that we were going to have another healthy turnout of first timers at Fulham Palace. I counted at least three separate briefings over by the table tennis table all of which seemed well attended. In fact, we had 69 first timers this week and I hope they all felt welcome and, perhaps more importantly, I hope they come to Fulham Palace again!

P1010997Standing out from the crowd of first timers was Станислав ЗАДОЩЕНКО (Stanislav ZADOSHCHENKO) of the Stride Running Club seen here being welcomed by Richard. He had travelled to the UK from Moscow primarily, I believe, to run in a Race for Life in Cambridge on the Sunday. Apparently a friend of his back in Russia had told him that the Fulham Palace Parkrun would be “a good experience for him”:  I hope that was the case as he came a creditable 73rd in the run with a time of 21:27.

P1020001The other notable runner on Saturday was Alice Riddell-Webster (pictured here before the race). It was her 100th Parkrun and her 94th at Fulham Palace. Alice is a member of Fulham Running Club who regularly run, volunteer, pace and occasionally take over completely our Parkrun. Alice was the first female runner to cross the finish line (38th overall) with a time of 19:45. Not a PB for her but she did achieve the highest age grade of the day – 84.89%. Congratulations Alice on all counts!

The other female placings went to Stephanie Tollemache also of Fulham RC (51st overall – 20:30) and Helena Green (53rd overall – 20:41).

The male placings were led by Riel Carol of Clapham Chasers in 17:01. He was placed first for the 4th time in 11 appearances. In second place was Stuart Farmer of Fulham Running Club (17:05) and third place went to John Wray also of Fulham RC (17:08).

P1020022Finally, I feel two of our younger runners deserve a mention. This young man (11-14 category), William SCHNEIDER, came 40th in an astonishing time of 20:00 – a PB for him on his 6th Parkrun. Well done William.

The other young man (sadly I don’t have a photographer of him) is 9-year-old Ollie Winter who came 70th with an equally astonishing time of 21:18. More importantly for him, he beat his Mum, for the first time I believe, by a magnificent 11 seconds. I did manage to speak to his mother in the café after the run and she claimed to be disadvantaged having run in the London Marathon last month but Ollie and I weren’t accepting that! Well done Ollie!!

Well done all 468 who ran, jogged or walked the course. 70 of you attained new Personal Bests. See you all next week.