Max Mosley caught with pants down

March 30, 2008

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“We have gone from a nazi governing Formula 1, to having the son of a nazi being in charge, so maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised…” I felt compelled to write something of this nature about Max Mosley earlier this year, when the 2008 Formula 1 season had yet to kick off.

 Mr. Mosley is the President of the FIA, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile. The FIA has its headqaurters at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, and governs all of international motorsport. During the 2007 season Mr. Mosley led a particularly determined investegation into the leaking of technical secrets of the Ferrari F1 team to the McLaren Mercedes team. Some saw it as a little bit more than the governor of a major international sport doing his job. There was a hint of a personal vendetta about the whole proceedings, towards the longtime boss of McLaren, Ron Dennis. When former F1 driver, and respected Formula 1 commentator Martin Brundle spoke out about situations that rieked of prefferential treatment of the Ferrari team, and gave credence to personal motivations behind some of the decisions of the FIA President, Mr. Mosley made moves to silence critics. Mr. Brundle faced legal threats, and people in F1 were stopped from speaking out in fear of ‘bringing the sport in to disrepute’, which is an offence in the F1 rulebook which carries heavy punishment, including being banned from the sport.  It’s a long story.

Mr. Mosley is also the son of Oswald Mosley, the leader of the British Union of Fascists in the World War Two. He actually chose Adolf Hitler as a special guest at his wedding, to give you an idea of the company he preffered. Adolf obliged by the way. Anyway, as children can’t choose their parents, and their social background, it seemed unfair to bring this up.

Over the weekend however, Mr. FIA President Max Mosley has ended up all over the pages of the British press with his S&M exploits with five prostitutes, last Friday in London. Mr. Mosley apparently engaged in sexual role play that centered around nazi prison camps, alternating between playing the victim, receiving lashings, as well as dishing out orders in German to a prositute dressed in a striped prison suit, and handing out the whipping to his ‘victim’. He concluded the session on an English note, by having a cup of tea. After finishing his tea, Mr. Mosley got dressed and strolled away.

Each to their own, everybody shluld be allowed their passtimes. I wonder if Mr. Mosley thinks he’s brought his sport into disrepute, and will fire himself.

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My say on racism towards Hamilton @ Times Online

February 4, 2008

I just wrote a hurried response to the article reporting racial abuse of Lewis Hamilton by Spanish fans on the Times Online site:

As shocking and disgusting as it is to see the Alonso fans steep to the lowly depths of racism to grind their axe about their two time world champion perfect son Alonso being matched by a newcomer to the sport, it is hardly suprising for anyone who has followed the 2007 season closely. There was a fanatical side to the dislike of the Spanish fans for Lewis Hamilton, that is unlike anything I have seen in 20 years of following Formula 1. For those who forget easily: the head of the Spanish motorsport association was on record making a racial slur to Hamilton last summer, which he tried to retract as this ended up in the mainstream press. Alonso has shown himself to be a very poor sportsman, and his fan base don’t shun racism in backing up their favourite son. It’s an inconvenient truth, but the racism in Spain towards a succesful coloured driver has now surfaced, and F1 finds itself on territory that was previuosly almost exclusively known to the game of football.


F1: Alonso supporters show racist side

February 4, 2008

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At a Formula 1 test last week on the Circuito de Catalunya, near Barcelona, Spanish motorsport fans showed their openly racist attitudes towards coloured F1 newcomer Lewis Hamilton, by shouting racist abuse. Some of the white spectators kitted themselves out to look like a caricature of black people, with their faces painted black and afro wigs. 

I’m shocked and disgusted, though not completly suprised, as I already strongly felt that there was a racist element in the way Lewis Hamilton was critisised and talked about dring the 2007 F1 World Championship.

Anyone remember the racist slur on Hamilton by the head of Spain’s national motorsort association, Mr. Garcia? He said that he found it ironic that a racist country like the UK now had to rely on a black driver, after such a long draught of title succes for British drivers. He tried to swallow his words when this was picked up in the press, but I’ll look up the exact quote later, and I will definetly return to this subject more in-depth soon.

At the time, the FIA announced that there would be an investigation into this matter, but nothing has been heard about it since. A fitting time perhaps, to make good on that promise, Mr. Max Mosley?


Dutch TV interviewers need Paxman’s balls

February 3, 2008

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Some of you might want to sit down before reading the following sentence, which conotains two shocking revelations. Ready? Here we go. Natalee Holoway is dead, and Pauw & Witteman are totally rubbish interviewers. I know, it’s shocking. Deep breath in, slow breath out.

Of course, a verse and song confession by the main suspect in the Natalee Holloway disappearence wrapped up in a two hour documentary has millions of TV viewers in The Netherlands and the US stock up on extra beer and crisps. Who doesn’t like a true murder mystery solved on television by a man who can best be introduced to those who don’t know him as a cross between Sherlock Holmes and…Jeremy Paxman. Well, maybe not the great Paxman, but you get my drift – De Vries is a pretty crafty investigator who solves cases the police has long given up on, and a bit of a bulldog when it comes to questioning people on television.

Talking of Paxman and interview bulldogs, it’s the second revelation by De Vries about the quality of the interviewing by Pauw & Witteman that gets my attention, despite the shocking, but hardly unexpected news that Natalee Holloway is not alive, almost three years after her disapearence. De Vries’ likened the manner in which two of the most prominent media figures interviewed Van der Sloot to two schoolboys interviewing their football heroe for the school paper. I would say that I have seen even weaker interviews by the two gentlemen heading this program, so it doesn’t interest me because it’s news in any way. Far from it, it interests me because De Vries speaks out about something that I often find myself moaning about. 

There a too many Dutch TV interviewers who couldn’t extract the way to church from a vicar. Pauw & Witteman is a textbook example of Dutch interviewers making conversation, rather than getting the truth out of their interviewees. For those who understand Dutch, the weekly Q&A with the prime minister is a rich source for examples of how not to interview. Take the one a few days ago, where one of Hollands’ most respected political reporters Ferry Mingelen chats to PM Balkenende about the uneas in some quarters of the government about the airing of 70’s porn classic Deep Troath by public broadcasters. Oh, and of course questions had to be raised about a subject of even greater magnitude: Queen Beatrix, whose quickly forgotten speeches on safe subject matter such as unity and tolerance seem to touch more and more on political sensitivities of the day. Anyway, all PM Blakenende had to do to avoid answering questions, was just to keep mumbling away til time ran out. Needless to say, the interviewer did not interrupt the PM’s meaningless words when it mattered.

So, Jeroen Pauw, Paul Witteman, Ferry Mingelen et al, if you guys just want to chat to people, why not open a pub? Want to interview people properly? Watch BBC News Night now and again, you guys might learn something. Well, they might not actually. Could it be that Jeremy just has bigger balls? Judging by his plea to Marks & Spencer for more support from his undies, one might conclude so.


Lewis cleans up on Top Gear

December 2, 2007

Expectations were high, and Lewis played down the competitive element saying ‘…I’m not here to compete, just to enjoy myself’…yeah right. That’s part of the make-up of a race driver, to always manage expectations and play the psychological game. The Top Gear track turned out to be wet and slippery, after the Vauxhall Monaro VXR deposited its differential oil on the wet tarmac earlier in the day. So, how did he do? In a word, brilliantly. His lap looked agressive, but impeccably composed in the treacherous conditions. The result was a time of 1:44,7. To put it in perspective: the fastest wet time was set by Red Bull Racing’s Mark Webber, who did a 1:47. something. Nigel Mansell and Damon Hill, who were on the program previously, did times similar to Hamilton, but in the dry. So basically, Hamilton did a ‘dry time’in the wet. 

A wet track is easily worth a second or three, four. What I find fascinating as a lover of motor racing, is to see the difference top F1 drivers can make even in a boring, bog standard road car. Well, this is not an F1 blog (but I may start one soon), so I won’t ramble on about it any longer -for today anyway.


Oh, bugger. James Blunt instead of Lewis Hamilton.

December 2, 2007

Am I going senile? I’m sure I saw a BBC advert for tonight’s Top Gear featuring Lewis Hamilton, but it really is James Blunt chatting to Jeremy Clarkson at the moment…many housewives will rejoice and look up from Hello magazine, or whatever it is they do to kill the time on sunday evening when Top Gear is on…but I was rather looking forward to Lewis Hamilton. What’s going on here, BBC?!


Tonight, BBC2: Lewis Hamilton on Top Gear!

December 2, 2007

A bit of role reversal on Top Gear tonight: Richard Hammond is let loose in a Renault F1 car, while Lewis Hamilton is the ‘star in a reasonably priced car’. Let’s hope the Hamster doesn’t hurt himself, and that the Stig will not storm off crying how unfair it is to be beaten by a rookie, Alonso style, if Hamilton does manage to beat his time. That won’t be as easy as it looks though, as Stiggie has been hammering round the Top Gear track for ages, and Hamilton has to adjust from 750+ bhp, and massive levels of downforce and brake performance, to a car popular with pensioners on a budget. To add to the challenge, the trailer shown earlier tonight showed the track was soaking wet when Lewis did his run. Can’t wait to see how he will cope. Well I can manage the next seven minutes, just enough time to stick the kettle on.


My ‘About’ blurb

December 2, 2007

I’ve just done a quick write up to replace the standard WordPress text on the ‘About’ page with my own words. Why not post it, as I will probably change the ‘About’ bit a few times in the future, as my blog develops. So here’s ‘About version 1.0.0’:

‘I am a freelance journalist living in Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands. What I will or will not write about has yet to reveal itself, as I have just done my first post. I do have a liking for music, Formula 1 and other forms of motor racing, British popular culture, and life in Amsterdam, so these subjects may well pop up in ‘All talk & no trousers’. Of course I also follow the news, and have a general interest in what ‘the media’ (I dislike this tired and over-used term, but lack for a better alternative) are up to…so I may get some things off my chest about these subjects too, from time to time. I feel I’ve built this up way too much already. Well, let the blogging adventure begin!’


My 1st post…and pretty chuffed!

December 2, 2007

This is it. Have been dragging my feet for weeks, months…a few years if I’m totally honest. There always seemed to be good reasons for putting off the start of my blog. ‘I want to host the blog somewhere, but I have to read up on all the technological mumbo jumbo’, was one. ‘I don’t know what to blog about…shall I pick a particular, but anoraky subject, or am I going to ramble on about…well, just about anything that intrigues, angers, suprises, or makes me me laugh…?’ That was another one. And finally, when I decided that a free WordPress blog will do just fine… [isn’t it blogging in its purest form? Who really needs gizmo’s like fancy pants style sheets and the like?]…only one question remained, that seemed like an unsurmountable mountain to climb: what shall I name my brand new blog? Quite a few names came up over the last few months, but they were either taken, or just plain rubbish, on second thoughts. Then, about 15 minutes ago, after a  a cup of tea and few slices toast with scrambled eggs, it just flashed in front of my eyes. ‘All talk & no trousers’. Bulls-eye! Job done. And to my surprise, nobody on WordPress has registered this brilliant name yet. The best ideas really do come after a nice cup of tea, don’t they?