Reevesey's recommended reading

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Edinburgh left paying the penalty as problems mount


Match Report: Andrew Reeves

The Edinburgh Capitals ice hockey team are in a mini crisis at the current time with no dedicated coach, a short roster, lack of wins, small crowds – mainly down to the awful weather – and their top scorer Alex Kim left for Germany earlier this month.

On top of that there growing speculation around Murrayfield that Chris St. Jacques, Adam Taylor and Scott Reid are all looking around as well, something the fans hoped were only rumours.

Edinburgh Capitals hosted the Dundee Stars this Boxing Day evening and a healthy 670 plus fans made it to Murrayfield to support their respective teams.

The first period started slowly and the first nine minutes were certainly flat, although Capitals’ netminder Scott Reid (33) made a diving save across his goal that any premiership goalkeeper would have been proud of, preventing the Stars going one up in the fourth minute.

To read the rest of this blow by blow match report from Boxing Day, it's here in Deadline News Sports section.

I now write the match reports for the home games of Edinburgh's ice hockey team, the Edinburgh Capitals for Deadline News, an exciting online news organisation.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Top 100 Tweeting Bloggers

Another achievement for my little blog in 2010, although this year I have slipped some 32 places to 93, sitting in between a journalist William Green and an Archbishop Archbishop Cranmer.

I am sure there is a joke there somewhere.

The top 100 tweeting blogger's list can be found here on A Very public Sociologist.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Labour MSP John Park stands down as Dunfermline candidate?

The Scottish Labour Party are often the first to attack other parties for sneaking out news on quiet days so is anyone surprised to learn that John Park MSP is no longer the candidate for the Dunfermline constituency in next years elections?

Have Labour conceded that Jim Tolson, the sitting Lib Dem MSP is going to hold his seat and they are running scared so have pulled John Park and are allowing him to just run as a regional candidate and avoid the hassle of a hard fought campaign and the embarrassment of losing?

We know John Park MSP has been appointed as Scottish Labour's election co-ordinator yet he has mysteriously disappeared as the candidate for Dunfermline on their website and yet to be replaced.

There is nothing about this on the Fife Labour Party website, the Scottish Labour website nor on John Parks' website - maybe we will learn the result of this decision officially shortly, when they've decided what to say spin about it.

UPDATE 27th December 17:57

Direct from the man himself, John Park on twitter said to me the reason he is no longer contesting the Dunfermline seat is because he is now the election co-ordinator plus;
lots of extra responsibility combined with a young family and not enough hours in the day means that you have to make decisions sometimes that are honest!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Merry Christmas

Thank you all for your continued readership and support of my little blog.

Due to the fact that we are having our Civil Partnership next month, we haven't sent out as many Christmas cards as normal.
For those that don't receive a Christmas card this year, please don't be offended, but here is the picture we chose for this years card.

So, Merry Christmas to one and all.

Friday, 24 December 2010

My response to Peter Lilley MP on joint Lib Dem/Con election ticket

Dear Peter Lilley MP,

On hearing your comment's on BBC Radio 4s Today Programme, I thought I would explain from a campaigning perspective, in Scotland, why you are wrong.

Initially when you said;
'I can conceive that we might fight as a coalition,'
I did think initially you had perhaps overdone the Christmas sherry somewhat, either that or you were talking out your backside. 

On closer inspection however, I feel it is because you have the Liberal Democrats in second place in your own Hitchin and Harpenden constituency and it would therefore provide you with a job for many years to come - dream on my friend, dream on (and no, you aren't my friend).

There is no way on this planet that the majority of Liberal Democrats (including this one), irrespective of the party leaderships view, would ever stand on a joint election ticket with the Conservatives, and so far Nick Clegg has never indicated we would.

This particular paid up member of the Liberal Democrats would never campaign to help the Conservatives and given your party only has the one MP in Scotland I'd rather campaign to get rid of that one, and make Scotland Tory free, as it should be.

Kind regards,

Andrew Reeves
Lib Dem Member

The views expressed in this blog post, as in the majority of my blog posts are of my own opinion and not necessarily those of my employer, because our Party does not dictate.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

First Buses information ticket

I don't usually have much to say about First Group in a positive light, however today is different.

I'm off to The Orocco Pier to go through our civil partnership plans with their wedding organiser.

The only way to get there is via a First Bus, the number 43 to be precise.

When I boarded, I received two tickets, one an ordinary bus ticket. The second, as you can see from the picture contains a very useful pointer about where to obtain information on their service disruption during the bad weather.

A nice little helpful hint - perhaps Lothian Buses could follow their lead?

Daily Telegraph expose MP Michael Moore, for being, erm, well, honest

I will not sit back and see the Daily Telegraph attack our MPs for being honest and having integrity when the newspaper has stooped to yet another new low, taping them in constituency surgeries when pretending to be constituents, depriving real constituents having time with their local MP.

The media are desperate for the coalition to collapse, to find splits in the coalition and probably hoping that it will fail.

The British media are strange, they left Labour alone for many things during their tenure - the illegal war in Iraq, the measly 75p rise for pensioners, the introduction of tuition fees for students and their reckless spending plans leaving us paying £120 million per day in interest payments alone.

Yet, the coalition Government is something the majority of them (Scottish journalists are used to coalition politics) don't really understand so they just launch attack after attack after attack.

Michael Moore has not said anything damaging to himself, the Party or the coalition Government, although I am sure Nick Clegg and David Cameron may disagree.  To be fair Michael Moore said nothing in his piece on tuition fees that we haven't already heard from Nick Clegg, so actually they are both on the same page on this issue.

On child benefit Michael Moore hasn't said anything controversial and was being honest with someone he thought was a constituent.

Surely the Daily Telegraph needs lambasting for depriving real constituents of time with their local MP by trying to catch MPs out in a childish and unprofessional sting?

Of course they do but no other media outlet will have the balls to do that.

I will stand and defend Michael Moore MP when attacked because I have worked with him and know him and he would do nothing other than fight for the people of the Scottish Borders and his constituency and now the people of Scotland in his new role.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

My response to Ed Miliband's request to join him and Labour - their lies, hypocrisy and arrogance

Labour really do not learn, do they?

Repeatedly, various Labour folk are inviting Lib Dems, sometimes angry Lib Dems to join the Labour Party.

Now Ed Miliband, their new leader (who has been around and part of the previous government for years) is trying to entice Lib Dems to join him in the new re branded Labour Party.  We've heard all this nonsense before though.

Ed Miliband has already laid out the welcome mat for Lib Dems back in August, it didn't work back then.

His brother David, also tried to invite me and other Lib Dems in September to join the Labour Party - you can read my response to him HERE.

Before that we had Derek Simpson of the UNITE Union trying to get Lib Dems to rip up their membership cards and join Labour, I explained to him why I wouldn't be doing so.

This is the Labour Party that they wanted me to join, the same Labour Party who;
through their reckless borrowing have left us with huge debts and daily payments of £120 million (yes, that is correct per day), that's just to cover the interest payments on their loans!

think it's acceptable for their deputy leader, Harriet Harman MP to personally insult other MPs!

are close to bankruptcy themselves with debts of £20million!

were proud to introduce tuition fees for students!

were complete hypocrites over NHS Direct - Labour planned to scrap it and replace it with a 111 service yet criticised the coalition for doing the same!

took us to an illegal war in Iraq wasting billions and billions of our taxes!

raised pensions by just a mere 75p a week!
So, when I think back over the last thirteen years and the damage Labour did to this country, no, I will not rip up my membership card - in fact I have just renewed my membership, with an increase in my monthly direct debit - nor will I leave the party and join Labour.

Already the Lib Dems in Government have achieved;

restoring the earnings link to pensions

taking 900,000 people out of paying income tax from April 2011

the ending of child detention

the scrapping of the third runway at Heathrow airport
Four major achievments in just six months, you can read more about what the Liberal Democrats have achieved through being part of the Coalition Government HERE.

The more Labour target us to join them, the more they target our voters the more determined we will become to fight their lies, their hypocrisy and their arrogance.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Capitals left seeing Stars


Match Report: Andrew Reeves

Edinburgh Capitals ice hockey team faced their third league game in as many days. On the Friday they travelled with a small band of fans to Dundee Ice Arena to play the Dundee Stars and came away on the losing end of a 4 – 2 score. On Saturday the Capitals travelled to Belfast to face the Belfast Giants and were hammered 8 – 3 and then were back at Murrayfield Ice Rink on the 19th to host the Dundee Stars once again.

The punishing schedule along with a short roster is impacting on the current players. Following Alex Kim’s departure the lines have once again changed so you could excuse this weekend’s performaces because players are not used to playing alongside each other. However, over the previous two weekends the Edinburgh Capitals beat the league’s top two teams, showing they can compete with the squad they have.

The game against the Dundee Stars had match referee Neil Wilson officiating. He has made some controversial decisions against the Capitals in recent weeks. Would tonight be different?

To read the rest of this blow by blow match report, visit Deadline News.

I now write the match reports for the home games of Edinburgh's ice hockey team, the Edinburgh Capitals for Deadline News, an exciting online news organisation.

Andrew Reeves is still suspended on Twitter - but the support is awesome

Wow, what a difference a day makes?

Yesterday I was watching Twitter via Tweetdeck while writing the last batch of Christmas cards when up popped the tweet from ITV News slagging off Nigella Lawson as shown in the picture below.

I re-tweeted ITV News error tweet which in turn was being re-tweeted all over the place, in fact so much so that I ended up being a trending topic in London - some fame at long last.

I then wrote a brief blog post which you can read HERE and then sent a link to that post to all the people who had re-tweeted my original re-tweet and that is apparently where I went wrong.

However, for all of those of you who are into conspiracy theories, my account was suspended at exactly the same time ITV News finally put an apology out on their Twitter account;

"Apologies for a rogue tweet that was posted from the @itv_news account"
 So, have ITV complained directly to Twitter and got my account suspended, or is the suspension down to an infringement of their rules because I have replied to a lot of people with the same link?

Given each of those people had in fact re-tweeted one of my tweets, my user name was therefore in their timeline and in fact many also decided to follow me yesterday so all in all this maybe nothing more than an error on Twitters or my behalf - nothing more, or nothing less.

I have emailed Twitters suspended accounts team directly to ascertain if my twitter account can be reinstated.

Dear Twitter - please hurry with the decision, I feel lost and empty without you and my friends.

Thank you to all of you who have blogged or tweeted in my support, it is very, very humbling but lovely to know I have so many friends.

You can read the views from Caron's Musings, Jennie Rigg, Welcome to Spiderplant Land and What you can get away with and Dreaming in Digital.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

ITV News tweets Nigella Lawson not as attactive as she thinks she is

Oh dear, whoops a daisy, crap etc etc

Earlier this morning the ITV News twitter account sent out the following tweet;
Nigella Lawson is nowhere near as attractive as she thinks she is
I do feel for the person responsible for tweeting this, but it shows when you have a personal account and you operate a business account, check which you are logged into before you tweet.

One of my followers pointed out that Nigella is the same age as Gillian McKeith which means whoever tweeted this from ITV News is wrong anyway!

The offending tweet has been removed but as you can see above it was real.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

President of FIFA, Sebb Blatter says gay football fans should have no sex during world cup

Sepp Blatter, the controversial president of FIFA, has once again dismissed concerns that Qatar is unsuitable to host the 2022 World Cup because of its attitude to homosexuality.  He went on to say that gay football fans should refrain from having homosexual sex while in the country.

The small country punishes homosexuality with up to five years in prison or lashes.

Last week, gay football groups said gay fans would be unable to travel to the Qatar for the games because of its oppressive laws.

Sebb Blatter speaking in Johannesburg at a post-2010 World Cup legacy project launch also said;
“We are definitely living in a world of freedom and I’m sure when the World Cup will be in Qatar in 2022, there will be no problems.

“You see in the Middle East the opening of this culture, it’s another culture because it’s another religion, but in football we have no boundaries.

“We open everything to everybody and I think there shall not be any discrimination against any human beings be it on this side or that side, be it left, right or whatever.”
This shows how naive Blatter is, as LGBT website Queeried put it;
In other words Blatter seems to believe that the arrival of a football World Cup to the country will suddenly make Qatar forget it doesn’t like gay people and becoming a YMCA loving country.
The Gay Football Supporters’ Network said it would boycott all activities related to the 2022 World Cup and have issued a demand that Sebb Blatter should apologise for his comments.

I'm sorry but in this day and age, an apology is nowhere near enough, it is time for Sebb Blatter to resign and for the President of FIFA to go to someone who doesn't think homophobia is funny.

The British blogosphere loses it's blogfather Iain Dale

Wow - I didn't see that one coming.  I am not one of Iain Dale's greatest fans, we had a small argument online years ago and ever since he does not flatter me or my blog with comments or links despite him then linking to someone else who covers my story after I do - but hey, life goes on.

I will despite this however miss Iain on the blogosphere and am relieved he will still be in the political arena, he has a lot to offer.

His reasons for giving up seem very sincere and certainly I can relate to many of them.  I was a little surprised that he didn't mention his partner in the long list, because the hours Iain is working must also have an impact on their relationship.

The fact Iain never made it into the House of Commons was also quite sad, and it appears that he has parked that ambition for now, but as he says on his blog today;
I'm running a very successful publishing company which is, I believe, on the brink of great success. I've achieved a lifetime's ambition of having my own daily radio talk show. I am not about to put either of those things at risk.
Iain explains in great detail why he has stopped blogging HERE.

So, goodbye for now Iain, we await your new website and the blog posts however intermittent they are.

Panthers bite back against Edinburgh

Match Report from the ice hockey game at Murrayfield ice rink between the Edinburgh Capitals and the Nottingham Panthers.

The Nottingham Panthers were back again at Murrayfield in this weekend’s double header and were seeking vengeance after losing to the Edinburgh Capitals on Saturday night.

Very early on the Panthers were nearly gifted an easy goal when Capitals’ netminder Scott Reid (33) skated around the back of the net to clear the puck, but passed it straight to one of the Panthers’ players, who failed to capitalise on the gift.

The game started very lively with shots on both goals. The Capitals’ fans shouted for a trip, but referee Neil Wilson ignored them and the game continued.

Within the first few minutes the Panthers’ tactics in this game became strikingly obvious when Guillaume Lepine and Capitals’ Evan Schafer (25) both received five minute penalties for fighting – was this a deliberate ploy, to take out one of the Capitals’ key defenders early in the game? Panthers’ Billy Ryan also received a two minute penalty for slashing.

The Panthers’ first goal came just after five minutes had been played, scored by David-Alexandre Beauregard while the team were short-handed.

To read the rest of this blow by blow match report, visit Deadline News.

I now write the match reports for the home games of Edinburgh's ice hockey team, the Edinburgh Capitals for Deadline News, an exciting online news organisation.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Edinburgh claw to victory against Panthers

For the second weekend in a row, the Edinburgh Capitals had a double header with the same opposition. This week it was the Nottingham Panthers in two back to back matches over the weekend.

Last weekend they were hosts to the Belfast Giants, winning on Saturday in extra time and losing in extra time on Sunday under a controversial refereeing decision.

The Capitals are playing well and given the size of the squad and lack of a full time coach they are now playing their best hockey this season.

As Murrayfield ice rink played host to the Nottingham Panthers. Would their winning streak continue?

The Panthers were straight on the attack after the face off and Capitals’ netminder, Scott Reid (33) had to make two great saves in the first ninety seconds.

Panthers’ number eight, Matt Myers was already spoiling for a fight, and marked himself out early as one to watch during the game. The Panthers were definitely more physical than the Capitals but the home players were not intimidated.

Against the run of play the Capitals’ stole the first goal of the game after just two and a half minutes. Iain Bowie (8) had passed the puck to Jacques Perreault (23) ahead of him on the ice who weaved around an opposition player, skated into the Panthers’ third, passed it left to David Lomas (3) who was skating in towards the goal and just tapped it in to make it one – nil to the home team.

To read the rest of this blow by blow match report, visit Deadline News.

I now write the match reports for the home games of Edinburgh's ice hockey team, the Edinburgh Capitals for Deadline News, an exciting online news organisation.

Capitals’ star man Kim says Auf Wiedersehen to Edinburgh

Edinburgh Capitals Alex Kim today (mon) announced that he is leaving the Edinburgh club to join a team in Germany.

The 31-year-old forward – who joined from Korean outfit High 1 – has been one of the Edinburgh Capitals standout players this season being in the league’s top twenty points scorers.

Capitals General Manager Scott Neil said: “It is disappointing, especially after two good weekends where we have taken points from league title contenders and the timing of his departure could not have come at a worse time as we have important games against Dundee and Braehead in the coming weeks.”

To read the full story, as written for Deadline News go to Deadline News sports, I now write match reports from the Edinburgh Capitals ice hockey games for Deadline News.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Angela Constance MSP is new Scottish Minister for Skills & Lifelong Learning

So, a promotion for Angela Constance MSP and another woman into the Scottish Government cabinet.

Angela Constance is MSP for Livingston, which at the election in May is to become Almond Valley, with an SNP notional majority of just 242.

I am sorry, but this appointment as Keith Brown's to Transport Minister prove that Alex Salmond is just playing politics with these appointments rather than thinking of governing Scotland and it's people.

Both appointments are nothing more than a sham.

Keith Brown MSP is new Scottish Transport Minister

Following the shock resignation last night of Stewart Stevenson MSP as Scotland's Transport Minister, it appears that his replacement is to be Keith Brown MSP.

I am a little concerned that this is political rather than playing to his skills.  He is currently Minister for Skills and Lifelong Learning and according to his biography has no transport experience.

Keith Brown is MSP for Ochil, which is to change to Clackmannanshire and Dunblane at the election and which the SNP will be entering the election with a notional majority of just 354.

So, is this the SNP once again playing politics within government?  It certainly looks like it.

All eyes will be on Keith Brown during the next cold snap, but as a former soldier I wouldn't expect his resignation because of snow and ice.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Labour's Alan Johnson MP: We should be proud of our brave and correct decision to introduce tuition fees

Back in September, Labour's Alan Johnson MP gave some advice to the newly elected Labour leader Ed Miliband via The Independent.
"We should be proud of our brave and correct decision to introduce tuition fees. Students don't pay them, graduates do, when they're earning more than £15,000 a year, at very low rates, stopped from their pay just like a graduate tax, but with the money going where it belongs: to universities rather than the Treasury."

So, what does Aaron Porter and the NUS say to that?

Or are they still silent on what Labour say/do just preferring to attack the Liberal Democrats and Nick Clegg specifically?

Capitals narrowly miss out to mighty Giants


This is my match report as written for Dealine News.  I write each week from all home games and some away games (to come) for Deadline News.
Match Report: Andrew Reeves (That's me)

As the Capitals are returning to full strength from illness and injury, there is an obvious difference to their attitude on the ice, but given the savings on not paying for a coach, surely the time has come for them to invest that money in more players? Even one more defence man and one forward would make a significant impact.

Sunday’s game was the second game of the weekend for both teams at Murrayfield ice rink. On Saturday the Edinburgh Capitals came out on top beating the Belfast Giants 5 – 4.

The tone of the game was set within the first four minutes when the Giants were caught offside and there was a bit of pushing and shoving afterwards and Giants’ Ross Dalgleish (22) received a two minute penalty for charging.

The Capitals went on the power play but only managed two shots on goal as the Giants’ defence leapt into action.

The game goes from end to end and the Giants were caught offside and just twenty one seconds later the Capitals were also offside. This shows the sheer speed of this sport.

As the Giants continued to pile on the pressure, it was very obvious they were bruised after losing to the Capitals on Saturday night.

Capitals’ Captain Martin Cingel (29) missed a great opportunity as the puck was passed to him but he had already spun round to start tracking back, a missed opportunity for the Capitals.

Referees and officials always get a lot of stick, whatever the sport and tonight was no exception with Capitals’ players and bench staff shouting and arguing with the two linesmen and referee.

Capitals’ Kyle Horne (5) received a two minute penalty for delaying the game and moments later his team mate Evan Schafer (25) joined him, receiving a two minute penalty, for the same transgression.

Jacques Perrault (23) received a knock behind his own goal and limped off towards the bench where he spent the next few minutes walking it off.
Then the Giants started to turn up the heat and the aggression. Unfortunately for them it resulted in two penalties only a minute apart. First to the penalty bench was Colin Shields (19) who received two minutes for hooking and then Josh Pruden (17) joined him receiving two minutes, also for hooking.

Just thirty seconds later as Capitals were on the power play, they were penalised for being offside and as Chris St. Jacques (14) remonstrated with the match officials, the fans of both teams are in agreement booing the poor decision.

The action continued to be end to end and despite the Capitals being six places below top of the league Giants, you would not guess so from the quality of this game.

Capitals’ netminder Scott Reid (33) continued to prove he is on good form making many excellent saves.

With just four minutes of the first period remaining, Michael Jacobsen (14) for the Giants receives a two minute penalty for interference.

Capitals pressure the Giants’ goal on their power play but the Giants’ defence is solid this evening. The action moves down the ice where Scott Reid (33) is knocked over, losing his stick.

The first period finished Edinburgh Capitals nil – Belfast Giants nil, but there were twelve penalty minutes served.
The second period starts and the Giants came racing out with the first shot on goal within seconds of the start. They sustain the pressure on the Capitals for four solid minutes, resulting in a goal – which the referee disallows – much to the Giants’ players and fans’ annoyance, but to the relief of the Capitals.

Despite the continuous pressure from the Giants, the Capitals were not allowing themselves to be pegged in. They were getting away and firing some shots off at the opposition goal.

Finally, the pressure from the Giants counted as just before thirty minutes were played, Simon Lambert (6) scored.

Moments later the Capitals were penalised for too many men on the ice and Neil Dolan (15) took the bench penalty.

The difference in the size of the squads became apparent as Giants were making many more line changes than the Capitals. Scott Neil needs to get some players into their squad.

Adam Taylor (7) missed the Capitals’ best chance of the game as he was on a one on one with the Giants’ netminder, but the shot was saved.

The Giants then went back on the attack only for the shot to be deflected off the cross bar. Giants continued the attack again, piling into the goal area where Scott Reid (33) was once again pushed over and he also lost his stick for the second time in the game. Being ever resourceful though, he grabbed Jacques Perrault’s (23)and continued to successfully defend his goal line.

As the Capitals started to take the puck down the other end, Giants’ Craig Peacock (71) took an accidental stick in the face. Unfortunately, the referee only blew the whistle as the Capitals’ were about to shoot – right decision, but too slow in making the call.

Giants’ Mike Hoffman (33) started on Capitals’ Jacques Perrault after a great check by Perrault on Simon Lambert (6).

The second period finished Belfast Giants one – Edinburgh Capitals nil. Just one penalty in that period.

The third and final period started with the same speed and attitude from both sets of players as the first two periods, with the Giants getting their first shot off after twenty six seconds followed by two near misses for the Capitals.

Then came the equaliser from the Capitals’ Jeff Hutchins (71) assisted by Chris St. Jacques (14).

Giants received a two minute penalty for too many men on the ice, which was served by Ross Dalgleish (22). Then with only forty seconds of that penalty gone, Dalgleish was joined by team mate Josh Pruden (17) who received two minutes for delaying the game.

Then a second disallowed goal for the Giants.

Capitals were unable to capitalise on that power play despite being five on three.

Three more penalties and one again for the Giants as Ross Dalgleish (22) received two minutes for delaying the game. Just ninety seconds later Capitals’ Adam Taylor (7) received a two minute penalty for slashing while Giants’ number 33, Mike Hoffman received two minutes for roughing.

More controversy came as the referee overruled the linesman on an icing call, closely followed by the game being stopped as the Capitals’ net comes loose from its moorings.

Capitals’ Adam Taylor (7) takes a shot to the head as a team mate tries to clear their line. He was momentarily stunned but was back on his feet to applause from both sets of fans. The fans like the fights but not injured players!

Then Adam Taylor (7) got his second two minute penalty for slashing, both within five minutes. The Capitals survive the power play onslaught from the Giants.

With around one minute left to play, the Capitals call a time out. What is on Scott Neil’s plan for tonight?

The third period finished all square at one apiece and, like the night before, the match went to extra time.

With only four seconds played, the Capitals were caught offside and a mere thirty seconds later received a two minute tripping penalty for Kyle Horne (5), as the Giants’ Simon Lambert did one of the most spectacular dives I have ever seen.

One minute later the Giants scored, ending the Capitals dream of three wins in a row. Dan Welch (23) scored, assisted by Mike Bayrack (9) and Jeff Mason (3).

After overtime the game finished Edinburgh Capitals one – Belfast Giants two.

An amazing weekend of hockey and the Capitals showing they can play when at full strength but the weekend was marred by bad sportsmanship at the very end of the Sunday game.

The Edinburgh Capitals play their home games at Murrayfield ice rink and you can follow them on twitter.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Victory for Capitals in close match against Giants


Match Report: Andrew Reeves (that's me)

The mood in the Edinburgh Capitals’ dressing room was buzzing following last week’s victory but how would they perform tonight playing the Belfast Giants who are sitting at the top of the EIHL league?

The game is both a league and cup game.

With just twenty four seconds gone since face-off, the first whistle was blown as Belfast Giants were caught offside.

After ninety six seconds Iain Bowie (8) rattles off Edinburgh Capitals’ first shot, which is just pushed aside by Giants’ netminder Stephen Murphy (31).

The first two and a half minutes of the game were fast and were literally going from end to end.

Belfast Giants were caught offside again with just over three minutes played but it is the Capitals who maintain the momentum and pile on the pressure. The home side’s Jeff Hutchins (71) took the puck down the ice into the Giants’ goal area, with a nice back pass to Chris St. Jacques (14) who slammed it into the net. First goal of the game went to the Edinburgh Capitals at four minutes and sixteen seconds.

Belfast Giants were once again caught offside and used the face off to mount another attack on the Capitals’ goal but Scott Reid (33) was in good form and performed a great save.

At six minutes and eight seconds we had the first penalty of the game, with Capitals’ David Lomas (3) receiving a two minute penalty for hooking.

The Belfast Giants went on the power play and despite them missing what was in effect an open goal they couldn’t make it count this time.

The first period action continued from end to end with both teams piling the pressure on during each attack but both Scott Reid (33) and Stephen Murphy (31) were having good games and blocking a lot of shots thrown at them.

However, the Giants’ attack at thirteen minutes and two seconds broke the deadlock. Colin Shields (19) passed the puck to Jeff Mason (3) on the left and Mason skated behind and around the goal, made a neat little pass to Craig Peacock (71) who sat at the goal mouth and then just tapped it in. The game is equalised at one – one.

However, with a further two and a half minutes played the hero then turns villain as the Giants’ Craig Peacock (71) receives a two minute penalty for holding.

Unfortunately the Capitals couldn’t benefit from this power play and the game remained level. For the final two minutes of the first period it was all the Belfast Giants’ game, but with Scott Reid (33) on form they weren’t able to score and the period finished at one all.

The second period started as the first had ended, with end to end action, a great shot on the Giants’ goal at twenty two minutes, twenty seven seconds and then just eight seconds later the Giants rattled a shot off at the Capitals’ goal.

This pressure from both teams continued. At twenty seven minutes and fifty seconds the Giants’ number 27 served a bench penalty of two minutes for too many men on the ice.

The Capitals’ power play was fast and furious but the game was stopped for a while at twenty nine minutes and forty seven seconds as Capitals’ Kyle Horne (5) was flattened and appeared to hit his head against the posts. Thankfully, minutes later he was up on his feet to thunderous applause from both sets of fans at Murrayfield ice rink. No penalty was awarded.

Then the referee, Moray Hanson (former Murrayfield Racers player) skated over to the Capitals’ bench and started shouting. His anger was not aimed at the players, however, but at a fan in the crowd who, despite repeated warnings was using a flash while taking photos. This is not allowed at ice hockey matches as it distracts the players, and obviously the officials.

With thirty one minutes and five seconds on the clock, the game is stopped for high sticks. Following the face off the game moves back to the Giants’ goal but the Capitals cannot capitalise. There was a big round of applause as Kyle Horne (5) returned to the ice.

Capitals’ defence man Willie Nicolson (22) received a two minute penalty for delaying the game at thirty two minutes and thirty seven seconds. The Giants went on the power play and, with less than a minute of it played, took the lead with a nice attack leaving Scott Reid (33) sprawling in his net with no stick.
The Giants’ second goal was scored by Josh Pruden (17) assisted by Brad Smith (10) and Mike Bayrack (9).

The Capitals are not daunted and launch an attack straight from the face off. Then Capitals’ Jeff Hutchins (71) received a two minute penalty for hooking.

The game then continued from end to end and following a shot by the Giants, Capitals’ Jeff Hutchins (71) picked the puck up and skated effortlessly up the ice and over the blue line, passed the puck to Adam Taylor (7) who tapped it, catching the cross bar and in it went. Once again the game is level, two – two.

The second period finished two – two but the Capitals played it well.

The third period started and with forty three minutes and forty seconds on the clock, the Capitals went ahead with their third goal. Nick Fanto (18) passed the puck to Adam Taylor (7) who moved up the ice, with a nice return pass to Nick Fanto (18) who went up to the goal and made the shot and then Jacques Perrault (23) poked the puck into the back of the net.

The Giants’ Dan Welch (23) received a two minute penalty at forty five minutes, nineteen seconds and just seventy four seconds later his colleague Jon Gleed (5) joined him on the bench after delaying the game by holding the puck on the ice with his glove, although he did plead innocence to the referee.
So, the Capitals went on the power play with their five players versus the Giants’ three.

The Giants were back to four players as the Capitals’ shot had just hit the post.

Then the game turned. It was the Giants who went on the offensive and they piled the pressure on Capitals’ netminder, Scott Reid (33) who ended up lying flat on the ice in front of his goal. However, the Giants’ just could not break through at the moment.
Despite the tiredness the players must now be feeling, the game continued at this frenetic pace, from one end to the other.

Then Giants’ Dan Welch (23) skated down the right hand side and over the blue line, passed to his left into the middle of the ice to Jon Gleed (5) who drew his stick right back and wham, shot at goal and it went in. The Giants’ have equalised with Gleed’s fifth goal of the season.

Three – three.

The game is awesome, the Belfast Giants are currently at the top of the EIHL league but were being held here at Murrayfield by the Edinburgh Capitals.

Following the face off the Giants took the game straight to the Capitals’ goal and took the lead in a controversial goal as it was obvious the net was off its moorings. However, the referee states the puck was in the net first. Michael Jacobsen (6) scored with an assist by Mike Hoffman (33) with just two minutes and seven seconds of the game remaining.

With just over one minute to play remaining on the clock, the Capitals pull their netminder off and replace him with another forward to go six players on five.

The Capitals go straight on the attack despite that goal and keep the pressure on the Giants’ goal, and then with just twenty six point eight seconds remaining on the clock, Capitals’ Adam Taylor (7) passed the puck to Chris St. Jacques (14) who, unmarked, just slammed the shot at goal and it was past the Giants’ netminder in the back of the net.

Four – four and it was game on.

The third period finished four – four, so went into overtime where the teams went down to four players and whoever scored first would win the match.

The whistle went and they were off. The Giants were first to get a shot on goal but Scott Reid (33) made an important but great save. The puck went behind the net where Nick Fanto (18) poked it away from a Giants’ player to Jacques Perrault (23) who from behind his own net skated the length of the ice, beating one Giants’ player then while being shadowed by Giants’ Jeff Mason (3), Perrault then skated around him up to the netminder and shot the puck and it then appeared in the back of the net.

The Edinburgh Capitals had won, five – four, after an amazing show of ice skating and skill and their first back to back victories this season.

The Capitals’ slogan was so very applicable at this game – “Winners never quit ’cause quitters never win!”

You can follow the Edinburgh Capitals on Twitter.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Mike Crockart MP, no really he is

The press and others have been very busy on twitter today announcing the resignation of Edinburgh West MP, Mike Crockart from the Government as PPS to Michael Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland.

Unfortunately for them they had all been speaking or listening to the wrong Mike Crockart.

Instead of them listening to the MP they were instead listening to a Yorkshire man possibly with the same name.

As well as the World at One falling for the Yorkshire Mike Crockart, even Guido Fawkes fell for this one reporting it on his site and then Iain Dale reported that Guido was reporting....

Anyway, rest assured, the MP for Edinburgh West is the real Mike Crockart.

Whether he decided to resign as PPS, we will all have to wait and see.

UPDATE at 15:22
World at One seemed to have removed the interview from their i-player.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Edinburgh Capitals offer to SPL and SFL season ticket holders

The Edinburgh Capitals, Edinburgh's ice hockey team are offering a 50% discount to season tickets holders of all SPL and SFL teams this weekend. The season ticket holders need to provide proof of their identification and show their season ticket to qualify for the discount.

The Capitals have two home games this weekend against the Belfast Giants with both face offs scheduled for 6pm on Saturday and Sunday at the Murrayfield ice hockey rink.

Edinburgh Capitals ice hockey team play in the UK's top league the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). Ice hockey is a fast and exciting game with goals, hits and end to end action for the full 60 minutes. Split into 3X 20 minute periods where the whistle stops the clock you can expect to spend approximately 90 to 120 minutes watching the hottest game on ice.

Tickets can be purchased on the night of the game at the box office.

Read the full story HERE.

This is a great offer by the Edinburgh Capitals and I do hope that the footie fans of Edinburgh and the surrounding area give it a go.

You can read match reports from the last two home games - Cardiff Devils vs Edinburgh Capitals and the Edinburgh Capitals vs Braehead Clan to get a taste of the excitement of the game.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Edinburgh Capitals Ice Hockey team - I write for Deadline News


Despite the snow and icy conditions on Sunday evening, the Braehead Clan team and their fans had brought two coach loads along the M8 to Murrayfield Ice Rink for their second Scottish derby this season in the Elite Ice Hockey League.

Who would win between the Weegies and the Burghers?

Although there was a noticeable lack of supporters compared to normal, those who had braved the elements to be there sure made their voices heard for their respective teams.

It was the first of a run of five home games for the Edinburgh Capitals.

During the first minute and a half, the action was fast and from one end to the other and back again.

Unfortunately though, the Capitals fell behind within the first two minutes with a goal by the Clan’s Captain Brendan Cook (18) with assists by Mathieu Wathier (4) and John Landry (27).

The game continued at a frenetic pace going from end to end and the Capitals maintained pressure on the Clan’s goal, ending with a great shot by Capitals’ Alex Kim (91), saved by the Clan’s netminder, Perras (29).

Just after four minutes the Clan were caught offside. Following the face off, Capitals’ Chris St. Jacques (14) unleashed a shot and there then followed an intense onslaught by the Capitals, but the Clan’s defence was strong and repelled the attack.

Then came another attack by the Capitals but once again they were shut out by the Clan.

Third time lucky for the Capitals though. The attack came in hard and strong and just before eight and a half minutes Alex Kim (91) scored the Capitals’ equaliser with assists by Jeff Hutchins (71) and Martin Cingel (29).

The speed of the game was amazing.

Capitals’ Jeff Hutchins (71) got a good shot on goal, but a great save by Perras (29) followed an offside decision against the Clan.

The action was soon back up the other end of the rink and the Capitals’ netminder Scott Reid (33) made a great save with support from Willie Nicolson (22).

Then the Capitals turned up the heat once again and Kyle Horne (5) managed two shots on the Clan’s goal, although both were saved. Then the Clan went on the attack but the Capitals’ defence was strong.

The game continued with high energy, end to end action and then came to a sudden stop as the puck disappears up the shorts of the Capitals’ Captain, Martin Cingel (29).

Shortly after the game continued, the referee missed a big trip on Capitals’ Chris St. Jacques (14), before the home team launched a major offensive on the Clan’s goal before the hooter sounded for the end of the first period.

The score at the end of the first period was Edinburgh Capitals 1 Braehead Clan 1.

The second period got underway and after just nine seconds the Capitals were caught offside. The face off was good for the Capitals and Jacques Perrault (23) got a shot on goal and then Capitals’ Chris St. Jacques (14) and the Clan’s player coach Bruce Richardson (9) were squaring up to each other behind the net.

The game continued from end to end at a fast and furious pace but as the clock hit twenty two minutes and twenty two seconds the Edinburgh Capitals went on the power play as the Clan’s Kevin Phillips (7) received a two minute penalty for slashing.

Despite the number of supporters being lower than usual, given the weather, both sets of fans were vocal and making themselves heard, leaving their teams in no doubt about their presence.

Then not long after both teams were full strength, Alex Kim (91) of the Capitals received a two minute penalty for holding.

The Clan went on the power play and maintained the pressure on the Capitals’ goal but only managed one shot, literally seconds before the Capitals were back to full strength.

Just before the game reached thirty minutes gone, Martin Cingel (29) scored and took the Capitals into the lead with assists by Alex Kim (91) and Jeff Hutchins (71).

Then the Capitals maintained a good two minute offensive on the Clan’s goal, to no avail. The action then went to the other end as the Capitals’ Jacques Perrault (23) blocked a shot by the Clan, skated the length of the rink and fired off a shot which was deflected by the Clan’s Perras (29).

The action returned to the other end of the rink and Clan’s Ryan Campbell (37) knocked the Capitals’ goal from its position.

Then from nowhere just after thirty five minutes Jeff Hutchins (71) scored, assisted by Alex Kim (91), making it three goals to the Capitals and the Clan on just one.

The Clan’s Kevin Phillips (7) took out his own netminder, Perras (29) during an attack by the Capitals.
With just thirteen seconds remaining on the clock, the Capitals’ Scott Reid (33) made an important save.

The second period finished Edinburgh Capitals 3 – Braehead Clan 1.

The third and final period kicked off and with just one minute twenty nine seconds on the clock, Chris St. Jacques (14) skated around the goal and landed one in the back of the net, making it 4-1 to the Capitals with the assist by Adam Taylor (7).

Then the Capitals’ Evan Schafer (25) received a two minute penalty for tripping. Despite the Clan not using the power play to score, they did maintain the pressure during the power play.

Ten minutes into the third period, one of the Clan’s team took out the Capitals’ Neil Hay (16) as he was skating down the ice and gloves came off as players were squaring up to each other from both teams. The Clan’s John Connolly (17) received a two plus ten minute penalty.

Braehead Clan’s player coach, Bruce Richardson (9) managed to claw a goal back, making it 4-2 to the Capitals.

The Capitals were caught out and two of the Clan’s team were up against the Capitals’ netminder but failed to capitalise and the shot was way off target.

After the face off, the Capitals were skating hard up towards the Clan’s goal and shouts for a trip were loud but the referee was so far back down the rink he, never saw a thing.

Jeff Hutchins (71) scored the Capitals’ fifth goal and his second of the night with assists by Alex Kim (91) and Kyle Horne (5).

Then the Capitals went on the rampage with goal number six coming only moments later, scored by Chris St. Jacques (14) and assists by Kyle Horne (5) and Adam Taylor (7).

After the Clan’s netminder Perras let in the sixth goal he was then replaced by Michael Will (33).

The Capitals were caught offside and before the face off could happen, their netminder Scott Reid (33) was brought off to a standing ovation by the home fans and replaced with Craig Holland (31), so both netminders had been replaced within a minute of each other, one for letting in too many goals and one for saving goals!

The Clan were then deemed to be offside, but straight from the face off they went down the ice and scored, clawing one back making it 6-3 to the Capitals. The Clan’s goal was scored by John Landry (27), assisted by Bobby Chaumont (21) and Jordan Krestanovich (10).

Just one minute later the Capitals’ Jeff Hutchins (71) scored his hat-trick with assists by Martin Cingel (29) and Jacques Perrault (23).

Then with just ten seconds remaining on the clock, Alex Kim (91) wraps the game up with the Capitals’ goal number eight assisted by David Lomas (3) and Evan Schafer (25).

An absolutely action packed evening ended with a rare win for the Edinburgh Capitals. The final score was 8 – 3 to the Capitals.

You can follow the Edinburgh Capitals on Twitter and catch these reports as they come out at Deadline News.  You can read the match report from the game between the Edinburgh Capitals and the Cardiff Devils HERE.

X-Factor's Gamu Nhengu and Aberlour Choir for the Christmas No.1

No, I have not gone soppy, okay no more than usual, but I want to bring this video, charity and plight to your attention especially as we count down the days to Christmas, a time for children.

There was a young girl called Gamu Nhengu, who entered X-Factor, sang, everyone loved her, then she was threatened with deportation and the love for her grew stronger, then she was no longer in X-Factor. The end.

No, not on this occasion.  Then Gamu Nhengu found the amazing Scottish children's charity, Aberlour.

Aberlour is the largest, solely Scottish, children’s charity and we provide help to over 6000 of Scotland’s most vulnerable children, young people and their families each year.

Their dedicated team of over 700 staff work across Scotland in more than 40 services, from Stranraer to Elgin & Aberdeenshire, helping children and young people who need additional care and support to achieve their potential and to live safe, fulfilling lives. Aberlour have adapted and customised their services in response to the changing needs of vulnerable children, young people and their families over the 130 years since the Aberlour orphanage was established in 1875.

They help:
• children whose lives are affected by parental drug and alcohol dependency
• young people who have social, educational and behavioural difficulties
• children and young people who run away from home and are exposed to risk of harm
• children and young people who have a disability
• young children to experience positive parenting, play and early learning

Well, this year this amazing charity have teamed up with Gamu, and the Aberlour choir is pitching to get the Christmas number one with their son "Where will you sleep this Christmas?".

You can download it HERE via i-tunes, let's join together and make the Aberlour Choir, featuring Gamu Nhengu the Christmas number one.

This week Lib Dem MP, Jo Swinson even tabled a Parliamentary Motion, urging fellow MPs to get behind this project and buy the song.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

World AIDS Day - Guest post from Edinburgh Waverley Care

Today is World AIDS Day. The internationally recognised day when we remember those we have lost to AIDS over the years, raise awareness of HIV and work to fight HIV prejudice.

This year’s World AIDS Day theme is ‘Act Aware’ and encourages people to take action to tackle HIV prejudice and to protect themselves and others from HIV transmission.

33.4 million people are living with HIV worldwide, 83, 000 of whom are in the UK. 5,500 people are living with the condition in Scotland and approximately a quarter of these people are undiagnosed and therefore unaware of their HIV status. Those that do know they are HIV positive face the daily challenge of HIV stigma.

HIV stigma is often the result of ignorance about how HIV is transmitted, judgements being made about infection routes, a lack of understanding of what it’s like to live with HIV, or an unfounded fear of becoming infected.

Stigma or prejudice about HIV in society means that people living with HIV keep the burden of their secret and, feel judged and ashamed. This damages their self-confidence and self esteem. In essence, it causes misery and hinders people from living a normal life.

Here at Waverley Care we offer a safe and confidential space to people living with, and affected by, HIV. We are here to help people fight and recover from the implications of that Stigma and our services operate nationally in Scotland from offices in Edinburgh, Coatbridge in Lanarkshire, Glasgow and Inverness.

We offer a wide range of groups and services that support anyone living with HIV and these projects include specific groups for Africans, Children and Young People, Gay Men and Women. Our services support people with issues which include physical and emotional health, meeting other people living with HIV, coping with a new diagnosis, supporting family members and training and employment.

HIV may not be making the headlines in Scotland as it used to but it is still here and until we beat the stigma surrounding HIV, until we make it okay to talk about HIV, and make people aware that HIV does not discriminate, we will not be able to beat HIV.

This World AIDS Day help us raise awareness and fight stigma. Add a Twibbon to your Twitter or Facebook profile and show your support for Waverley Care and World AIDS Day.

The November stat porn for my little blog

Continuing my now regular monthly stat porn figures for anyone who is remotely interested in who reads my little blog, what they read and from where they read it, the monthly summary of my visitor stats according to google analytics is as below for November 2010.

The busiest day on my blog last month was Thursday 11th November and this was down to two stories, one was about the stupidity of a Conservative Councillor who called for the stoning of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on twitter and the second was the Guardian's Julian Glover giving Liberal Democrats members and voters10 top tips.

Last month I had 2,044 absolute unique visitors, a good increase on last month. They made 2,596 visits and 3,259 page views.

16.45% of the visitors were through direct traffic, 44.14% from referring sites and 39.41% via search engines.

So, my top 10 referring sites for the last month were;

1. Facebook (2)
2. Twitter (1)
3. Lib Dem Blogs (3)
4. Lib Dem Voice (5)
5. Blogger (4)
6. (7)
7. Caron's Musings (12)
8. (16)
9. Better (6)
10. SNP Tactical (9)

During November I wrote 25 blog posts, up on the previous month but still behind where I have been in the past.

The top 10 stories by direct page views that you've read most were;

1. Conservative Councillor Gareth Compton calls for stoning of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on twitter
2. English Defence League Protest in Preston - One mans perspective (Guest Post)
3. Should Luciana Berger MP stayed on air with Kelvin MacKenzie?
4. Chris Bryant naked with a journalist in a sauna!
5. Jason Manford quits BBC One Show after flirting on skype and twitter
6. Ten tips for the Liberal Democrats - members, voters and activists alike
7. Conservative MSP John Lamont uses poppy to score cheap political points
8. No action against election overspend by Conservative MP David Mundell
9. Phil Woolas MP loses court case over his election
10. Jack Frew - murdered in cold blood for being gay?

A mixed bag once again this month from Phil Woolas MP losing his court case causing a by-election, but when? to John Lamont MSP using the poppy to attempt political point scoring, Jason Manford quitting the One Show and a Conservative Councillor calling for the stoning of Yasmin Alibhai-Brown on twitter, just for a joke mind.  An interesting guest post from a good friend on the recent EDL march in Preston and once again the extremely sad case of Jack Frew's murder back in May.

The visitors to my little blog came from just 55 countries this month, up 5 from last time, the top ten were as follows;

1. United Kingdom (1)
2. United States (2)
3. Canada (3)
4. Ireland (=7)
5. Germany (10)
=6. Spain (14)
=6. France (5)
8. Philippines (13)
9. India (=7)
10. Sweden (37)

That's all folks.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Michael Moore MP - Strengthening Scotland's future

Today has been a historic day, Michael Moore MP communicates with Lib Dem members in Scotland.

Dear Andrew,

Today the Government published its Scotland Bill. When this becomes law, a second and exciting phase in Scottish devolution will begin. We are strengthening Scotland’s future based on three principles: empowerment, accountability and stability.

This Bill starts its parliamentary process with the support of the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Each of our parties - plus business and civil society - contributed to the Calman Commission, which drew up the blueprint for it. It is right that change of this sort should be built on a broad consensus. But now it is this government that is turning those principles into practice.

And let's be clear: this plan is steeped in Liberal Democrat values.

We believe in devolution. By nature, we are mistrustful of centralised government and welcoming of the flow of power from Westminster to our nation states, our communities and to individuals too. When the Scottish Constitutional Convention drafted the plan for a Scottish Parliament, we were at the table. When the referendum campaign was raging, we were on the streets campaigning. And in 1999, when the first democratically elected Scottish Parliament was elected, we joined the coalition government that heralded a new era of Scottish politics.

The Bill is diverse in content, and gives the Scottish Parliament a range of new powers: regulating air weapons; setting drink-drive limits; establishing a Scottish national speed limit.

But its centrepiece is the devolution of tax and borrowing powers. This is the greatest transfer of fiscal power from London since the creation of the UK. Today, the Scottish Parliament only has revenue powers over council tax and business rates and raises only 15% of its own revenue. The Scotland Bill transforms that. The most significant change we will make is to create a Scottish Income Tax. We'll do this by cutting 10 pence off every band of income tax. We will proportionately adjust the block grant that Scotland receives, and then allow the Scottish Parliament to reset the tax rates. We will also give the Parliament nearly £3 billion in borrowing powers.

This will empower the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government to make tax and spend choices that will determine future revenues and help shape Scotland's future economy.

It will also make both more accountable to the Scottish people. It is an incomplete construct to have a Parliament that spends money but is responsible for raising little of it. By giving these tax powers to Holyrood, MSPs will have to answer to voters for the money that they spend. And by moving those spending decisions closer to Scottish society and to Scottish business, both will be better placed to influence the decisions that impact on their lives and livelihoods.

By empowering Holyrood, we are also ensuring its stability. Our plans will be phased to ensure no sudden shock or windfall to the Scottish budget. By giving the Parliament – which has been a success over the past decade – room to innovate safely, we will strengthen Scotland within the UK.

And for all their bluster, the SNP has no alternative. Their plans for full fiscal autonomy are a non-starter: light on detail, high on cost and fraught with risk. No industrialised country has ever gone down that road. This is independence masquerading as reform. It won’t wash.

But for our party, the victory here is not a tactical one. It is principled one. We are working with others to devolve power from the centre to the communities that need it and know how to use it.

This is good for Scotland, and we should be proud of it.

Best wishes,
Michael Moore
Secretary of State for Scotland

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Ice hockey - I write for Deadline News

Many of my little blogs regular readers will know that ice hockey is my faourite sport, so the fact that I have been asked and given an opportunity by Deadline News to write regular match reports is an amazing honour.

This is the first, that was published last week, any constructive feedback by sports writers is very welcome.

Edinburgh Capitals suffer from Devil of a time


Match Report: Andrew Reeves

The Cardiff Devils were welcomed to Edinburgh on Sunday evening following a 5 – 2 victory over the Edinburgh Capitals in Cardiff on the previous evening.

Would the Scots be able to make a comeback?

The Devils fell behind after just two minutes with a goal by Edinburgh Capitals Chris St. Jacques, with the assist by Capitals’ captain, Martin Cingel.

Despite the Capitals’ continued pressure on the Devils’ goal, no goals were forthcoming.

And it was the Devils who went on to equalise at eight minutes 28 seconds with a goal by Craig Weller, with assists by Max Birbrear and Scott Matzka.

Just under two minutes later the Devils’ goal scorer Craig Weller received a two minute penalty for tripping.

The Capitals went on the power play.

But just before the penalty came to an end the Devils pulled a short-handed goal by Jon Pelle, with assist by Scott Matzka and Mark Smith.

2-1 to the Cardiff Devils as the first period came to an end.

The Cardiff Devils flew straight out of the trap in period two and the play was fast, furious and end to end.

Capitals’ number 5, Kyle Horne put in a stonking block to a shot from Devils Ryan Finnerty.

He kept up the pressure but with great blocks from Capitals’ net minder, Scott Reid, he came away frustrated.

Capitals’ Chris St Jacques was becoming increasingly annoyed with the match officials over what he saw as repeated bad line calls.

Devils’ Ryan Finnerty was increasingly looking for a fight.

However it was Capitals’ Evan Schafer and Devils’ Brad Voth who eventually squared up, although nothing cames of it.

Then out of nowhere the Devils’ Tylor Michel scores on the power play, with assists by Ryan Finnerty and Kenton Smith.

Cardiff Devils received a bench penalty served by Sam Smith for having too many men on the ice and then moments later the Devils’ Phil Hill receive a two minute penalty for tripping leading to a major pile up in the Edinburgh goal mouth.

The second period finishesd3 – 1 to the Cardiff Devils.

The third period started badly with four of the Devils players wrapped up in the Cardiff goal with their own net minder.

Moments later the Capitals’ Jeff Hutchins slipped and also piled into the Cardiff net minder.

The Cardiff players all grouped around Hutchins but the match officials stood up to them and calm was restored.

Then just 16 seconds separate two goals, one for each team.

Capitals’ Alex Kim, scored first with assists by Martin Cingel and Jeff Hutchins and then Scott Matzka fired one back for the Devils with assists by Jon Pelle and Max Birbrear.

Then followed 90 seconds of furious action.

First Capitals’ Jacques Perrault receivesda two minute penalty for delaying the game.

A mere 30 seconds later Devils Jon Pelle received a two minute penalty for goalie interference.

These two penalties were then followed by the Cardiff Devils’ fifth goal, scored by Ryan Finnerty with assists by Phil Hill and Craig Weller.

The Capitals got the final score with their third goal of the night, scored by Evan Schafer, with assists by Chris St. Jacques and Adam Taylor.

An action packed match ended 5-3 to the Cardiff Devils.

A great effort though by the Edinburgh Capitals, Edinburgh’s ice hockey team based at Murrayfield ice rink.

English Defence League Protest in Preston - One mans perspective

A guest post from one of my friends, Andrew Neale.

Andrew (the one on the left) and I met on a fundraising walk in New York organised by Stonewall.  I don't agree with Andrew's politics, but we met on a fundraising event trying to make other people's lives better.

Andrew is one of those amazing people with a huge heart and works so hard to help others, whether it is in Preston or other parts of the world - a true amazing friend.

I never bother readin other people's notes ... and I don't particularly expect many to read/care about this ...
But I have more to say than my status word limit will allow.
I am so impressed with today's protest in Preston - The English Defence League (EDL) were in the city protesting about how Muslims apparently come first in the UK and how the white English/British population are apparently second class citizens etc etc...) Previous protests, organised by the EDL, have turned into riots so there was much anticipation that today could turn violent. Pubs like the Black Horse and take-aways like Chicken Ranch boarded up their windows to minimise potential damage and the police/council designated the flag market as an assembly point for the EDL and the covered market as an assembly point for the United Against Fascism (UAF) group - with a noticeable and strong cordon between the two. The UAF wanted to counter protest against the EDL as they believe in everyone living happily and loving each other ("No to racism" etc are some of their slogans).

Prior to the protest I spoke with an acquaintance about the EDL and he informed me that they just believe in fairness - and that it's extremists within the group that give them a bad name - which is fair enough. However, after getting caught up in their side of the protest I have to say they were majorly aggressive (throwing cans of beer up in the air towards the audience, setting off red smoke bombs and bangers - Not exactly sticking to their fliers tag line of "Peacefully protesting in Preston". I felt uncomfortable and unsafe - and asked my friend if we could move away.

The EDL definitely had more people present than the UAF - and there were more bystanders watching the EDL. The impression I got from people I spoke with was that they were just more intrigued because there was potential for something to kick off. An interesting observation was when the EDL were chanting. Imagine there were 500 people crammed onto the flag market and branching off down the adjoining streets. There were only about 100 actually chanting and jumping up and down. The rest of us simply stood, observing. I therefore think it's fair to conclude that most people present were only curious, rather than supporting the cause which the EDL were raising. (Thankfully)

I didn't want to associate with either party because I don't have in-depth knowledge about them and they both seemed a little extreme in my view. Me and my friend therefore sat in the middle, with small banners which simply read 'Where is the Love?' and 'Understanding + Respect = Harmony'. They were pretty geeky and nothing special in the slightest, but the passing public noticed, commented and pretty much agreed. The press took some pictures too and some of the Millwall fans/EDL protesters took photos with us as well (Clearly taking the piss but I'm not one to care - shows we have a sense of humour!)

When the police split up the EDL protest and forced them all down Fishergate (on to us and the rest of the public) I felt vulnerable and as if something could have kicked off. My banner went down and we slowly made our way through the crowds to the bottom end of the street. I have to say the majority of the EDL supporters/protesters appeared to be chavs - many in trackies or hoodies, scarves covering their faces etc.The UAF protesters were more family-focussed, student types or hippy-ish: A random but good mix. We eventually went round to their side to hear their views and read their banners etc, and decided to stay and show our support for them.
At the end of the day the majority of people seemed to be sat in the middle - agreeing with parts of both parties or not really caring either way but just wanting a nosy. In my view, there is no middle. It's a line. And you're either on one side or the other. I'm proud to say that I was on the side fighting for peace and an end to discrimination. I'm also proud that there were no riots and that Lancashire Constabulary prepared and carried out everything perfectly. Preston is my hometown, as it is for people from all kinds of backgrounds, and today's protest will hopefully show that the majority of people here are decent and have morals. And that my friends has absolutely made my day.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Chris Bryant naked with a journalist in a sauna!

 We have got used to sordid sex stories involving politicians.

What about a nice story of a near naked MP in a sauna with an also near naked journalist?

Well, I am so jealous right now of LobbyDog who was in a nice hot sauna with Chris Bryant MP.

You can read exactly what they get up to on LobbyDog's blog.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Scottish dog sled racers can now take dogs with them

A bizarre headline you may think?

If the EC Directive had gone through, the dog sled racing teams would have been limited on the total number of dogs that can be moved from one country to another at any one time to five per person.

The Directive would have stopped Scottish sled dog teams participating in races in mainland Europe.
This barking mad EU Directive has now been reversed after interventions from Scotland's Liberal Democrat MEP, George Lyon and Tory MEP, Struan Stevenson.

The European Commission has now also ruled commercial passports for individual dogs, which cost £150 each, will be replaced with a special licence to keep costs down. It will be valid for four months to cover the racing season.
George Lyon lobbied the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, John Dalli on behalf of the Sled Dog Association of Scotland and professional racer Alan Stewart of Aviemore.

I was actually with George Lyon and his press officer Graeme on one of the occasions some of the lobbying actually took place.

The Commissioner, John Dalli, set up a working group which has now persuaded the Council of Commissioners to exempt this specialist sport from the directive.

The Press and Journal report;
Mr Stewart, who owns the Cairngorm Sleddog Centre at Aviemore, said: “It is great we can get back into the Alps and race with people who understand the meaning of sled-dog racing. This was an issue I pushed and spent a lot of time on it because it truly affected people across Europe. It is a way of life, not a hobby or a pastime.”

Mr Lyon said: I am pleased that commissioner Dalli has stayed true to his word and pushed for greater flexibility in the regulation. The new four-month licence will allow sled-dog teams to travel to events across Europe. We must now learn if the licence works in practice and I will keep in touch with racers to ensure that is the case.”
It does go to show that having an effective, responsive MEP in Scotland means things can actually be achieved within the European angle of politics.

Chelsea FC - crisis or no crisis?

A strange period for Chelsea FC at the moment.

Carlo Ancelotti, the team manger who in his first season took Chelsea to win the double - the FA cup and the Premier league, appears to have fallen out with Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich.

As usual the fans are told very little, or just get the official club spin.

Firstly, Ray Wilkins gets sacked - another in a long line of staff to be losing their jobs recently at Chelsea - but is this Abramovich flexing his muscle over Ancelotti, or is this more penny pinching?

The statement from Chelsea FC on Ray Wilkins departure (short and to the point);
In response to media enquiries regarding a League Managers' Association (LMA) statement issued on behalf of Ray Wilkins today (Saturday), the club has issued the following statement.  It reads:

'We are having amicable discussions with Ray's legal advisors. Although the matter is confidential, we can say that we have told Ray and his advisors that we will honour the termination provisions in Ray's contract.'
Once you read the brief statement you can no longer argue both aspects as above, this is a clear sacking, otherwise surely the cost cutting point would have been highlighted, but then to add insult to injury a replacement was installed two days before the statement on Wilkins and only a week after Wilkins departure.

Michael Emenalo has now been appointed to the position of assistant first team coach. He moves up from his previous position of head opposition scout, a role he will continue to oversee, while updating his coaching qualifications.

I feel for Emenalo, he no doubt already has the respect of many players in his current role, but there may well be some time bedding in as the assistant coach to Ancelotti, although he is one of three.
Is the crisis restricted to the off pitch aspects of Chelsea FC?
Obviously not, given Chelsea have now lost three of their lost four matches there is clearly something not right within the squad and you cannot just blame the injuries of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Zhirkov - Alex and Cole are now fit again.
The players need a kick up the backside, they earn some massive amounts of money and although Abramovich has now put a ceiling on no player earning more than £80,000 per week.  I still think the salaries are part of the problem, not just at Chelsea, but across the premiership full stop.
So, do I think there is a crisis at Chelsea, no, because if we can lose three games in four and still be at the top of the premiership, we must also be doing something right.
I hope Abramovich sees sense and keeps hold of Ancelotti and gets that contract sorted out now.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Jason Manford quits BBC One Show after flirting on skype and twitter

Do these so called stars ever read the newspapers and note the dramatic downfalls of other stars, footballers and celebrities who have made major mistakes on social networking sites?

From Sky News;
Jason Manford has resigned from The One Show after revelations he exchanged "saucy" messages online with fans.
I will be perfectly honest, I am astounded at the sheer stupidity of these so called stars tv personalities.

Manford works on one of the shows that is quick to jump on other people's mistakes so he must have had his eyes open more than most.
The 29-year-old comedian's departure comes just four months after he was handed the coveted presenters role on the flagship BBC show.

He said in a statement: "I have decided after careful consideration to step down from The One Show to concentrate on my family and tour commitments."

The BBC said: "We have got nothing to say except that we accept Jason's decision."

Manford admitted to The Sun that he had "flirted" with 10 or 12 people on the internet and that it had gone "over the line with a few".
Jason Manford's downfall is yet another on a list that just keeps on growing.

His wife is expecting their third child, so she must be feeling fab today!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Have the SNP lied about the tax raising powers Scotland no longer has?

Michael Moore MP, the Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland has announced today that the SNP Government has let the tax varying powers for Holyrood lapse, but yet, just yesterday the SNP finance minister John Swinney MSP failed to mention it to the MSPs in Holyrood.

The SNP has constantly demanded more powers and a referendum but yet has now killed off the only tax power expressly voted for by Scottish people in the 1997 Devolution Referendum.

The Scottish Government has tried to sweep this under the carpet. It was fundamentally dishonest for Scottish Ministers not to make it clear during the Budget statement that they have killed off the tax varying power for this and the next Parliament.

According to the Scottish Office press release;
The Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has today written to the First Minister and other Holyrood leaders to inform them that a decision by the Scottish Government not to commit resources to maintain the Scottish Variable Rate (SVR) tax power means that HMRC could no longer collect such a tax.

The SVR is the power to lower or raise the basic rate of income tax by 3p.
The Scottish Government’s decision doesn’t just affect the SNP, but binds the hands of the next Government following the elections on May 5th 2011.

John Swinney told MSPs yesterday that he would not raise the Scottish Variable Rate of income tax but Michael Moore MP makes clear in his letter today that decisions taken by the Scottish Government mean the SVR power could not now be used before the 2013/14 tax year, so did John Swinney mislead Parliament?

The Scottish Secretary has written to the other main parties to advise them that they will not be able to use this power until the penultimate year of the next Parliament.

Michael Moore MP goes onto say;
"It is worth saying that the forthcoming Scotland Bill that I will publish in the next few weeks will contain the biggest transfer of financial powers from London since the creation of the UK. Our expectation is that these greater powers would be available to MSPs from 2015."

I really am concerned that John Swinney and the SNP government are not being entirely honest with voters on this, and if they can cover things like this up what else have they covered up since 2007?

The SNPs John Swinney MSP said yesterday in Holyrood;
"Within the Parliament's existing revenue powers, we have explored options for maximising our income.  We have been mindful of the need to considers the effect of the significant tax rises that the UK Government has announced before we act.  I therefore confirm that we will not raise the Scottish variable rate of income tax."
So, either he didn't realise the SVR power had been cancelled (which means he is out of touch and lost the trust of his staff) or he has mislead parliament or at the very worst knowingly lied to parliament.

It is time for the SNP to be honest and tell us where they stand and what they knew and when.

No action against election overspend by Conservative MP David Mundell

As the voters of Oldham East & Saddleworth prepare for a Parliamentary by-election after the courts found Labour MP Phil Woolas guilty lying about the Lib Dem candidate, the voters of Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale can heave a huge sigh of relief.

The Conservatives only MP in Scotland, David Mundell has been told that no further action will be taken after the investigation into his election expenses.

David Mundell overspent during the election and had split the costs of a newspaper advert between the long and short campaigns.

From day one he admitted human error.

The action open to the courts is limited from a slap on the wrist, to a £5,000 fine or a full re-run of the election and being barred from standing for public office.

In addition there is the public humiliation that goes with it.

I always thought the maximum David Mundell faced was the fine.

This was never going to turn into the Scottish version of Oldham East & Saddleworth.

Today's judgement is embarrassing enough for David Mundell MP and the Scottish Conservatives.

Maybe next time his Agent will use a calculator and David will check everything before he signs the forms.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Chris 'give a hug' Wiggin Movember man number five

I said I would push the movember attributes of five Liberal Democrats, the first was Councillor Jeremy Rowe.

The second was Callum Leslie, Vice President of Liberal Youth Scotland and candidate for the Mid Scotland & Fife regional list.

The third is Councillor Nigel Clarke, who is Lib Dem councillor for Brentwood West.

The fourth is Ross Chmiel, a Lib Dem member in Edinburgh.

The fifth and final is Chris 'give a hug' Wiggin, an active member of Liberal Youth from York.

I am doing this because it is so important that we unite to fight cancer, whatever strain it is.

Movember is the fundraising project for the Prostate Cancer Charity.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men. One man dies every hour from the disease in the UK.

This is a cause that I feel passionately about and I’m asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to The Prostate Cancer Charity.

To help Chris Wiggin, you can either:

Click this link and donate online using your credit card or PayPal account. Or,

Send cheques and CAF vouchers (made payable to ‘The Prostate Cancer Charity Re Movember’) directly to The Prostate Cancer Charity – First Floor, Cambridge House, Cambridge Grove, London W6 0LE. Be sure to include the person’s name on the back of the cheque.

The Prostate Cancer Charity will use the money raised by Movember for the development of programs related to awareness, public education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer.

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please visit HERE.
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