Another week, another set of wild stories, great performances, and people exposing themselves for all to see. Good to see that things calm down with the… Oaks, Derby and Eclipse all in the same weekend. Let the games begin!
Top Reads Of The Week:
China’s draconian move to essentially end one country, two systems in Hong Kong is going to have ramifications that will last for decades. There’s a whole host of excellent writing that explains what’s happened there and where things go next.
The BBC’s Michael Bristow has the most accessible explanation of what this means in practice:
He’s a legal clerk, a labour councillor…. And one of the most famous drummers in British history. Catherine Baksi’s interview with Dave Rowntree is an absolutely fascinating read:
Leicester’s local lockdown put racing in the COVID spotlight once again. This, from the Racing Post’s Richard Forristal, is a well-argued defence of the meeting going ahead:
Things could be much worse, however. Just look at Ido Vock’s and Michael Goodier’s analysis of coronavirus outbreaks in Europe and the US:
On that note, this is worrying but necessary reading from Edie Miller on vaccine sceptics and COVID:
Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party to-do list is a long one – and improving the party image is right at the top of matters. Jim Pickard has the most comprehensive deep dive so far into Starmer’s big Labour issues – the economy, Brexit, patriotism, anti-Semitism, and the wider culture wars:
And last but not least, Brexit. Whether we get a deal or not, this is only the end of the beginning – let Ben Kelly explain all:
Top Listen Of The Week:
We have been blessed to have More or Less in these times, and their deep dive into where the UK went wrong with Coronavirus is essential listening. A huge thanks to Tim Harford and Kate Lamble for their brilliant work.
Word Of The Week:
‘Whack-a-mole’ (Noun): used with reference to a situation in which attempts to solve a problem are piecemeal or superficial, resulting only in temporary or minor improvement.
“We need to have local lockdowns and local whack-a-mole strategies where that’s necessary”
Tweet Of The Week:
A blast from the past, here:
— HorseRacingArchives (@RacingMem0ries) June 28, 2020
A New Leaf
The big media story this week has been the launch of Times Radio. Time will tell us how the station does, but it has led to one other media change – to the Sky paper reviews.
Sad news for me: Sky News have decided that Times Radio is a competitor and so I can no longer do #skypapers. I’d like to say that pitching up to talk about the news once a week for the last seven years has been a great joy. Thanks to all the wonderful folk who work on the show.
— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) July 2, 2020
This sadly applies to me & @tnewtondunn. A real shame but thanks so much to @SkyNews @annabotting @AnnaJonesSky @MaxPrestonTV for having us on over the last 5 years. I absolutely love #skypapers. Top show & made great friends along the way. Thanks for watching us! ‘Twas a blast https://t.co/AUwBSgOGB6
— Ayesha Hazarika (@ayeshahazarika) July 2, 2020
Now this may seem like a niche interest, but paper reviews are more well watched than most would expect and can be a big chance for many in the media industry. We’ve heard so much about the need for change in the media, and it would do Sky the world of good to have some new faces on screen too. With five slots now free, how about giving some of these names a chance?
Nadine White, Penny Andrews, Nicola Slawson, Daniel Reast, Emma Burnell, and Robyn Vinter are just a few of the names that come to mind.
Secure The Biscuits, and the unicorn
If you haven’t seen it already, then please enjoy two kids stealing the show in interviews yesterday:
ABSOLUTE SCENES ON THE BBC NEWS CHANNEL pic.twitter.com/hvu9iWkkIz
— Scott Bryan (@scottygb) July 1, 2020
A big hand to all of the super mums – mine included – who have kept on trucking through this awful time. Perhaps we can use the aforementioned kids as Brexit negotiators!
The Lord’s Day
One of the benefits (whisper it quietly) of the much changed flat season is how quality flat racing on Sundays has made a comeback to the UK. Yes, there are high quality races that take place on the Lord’s day, but we are seeing much more quality across Sundays as a rule now and the Eclipse, on the back of the Oaks and Derby being on the same day, is an absolute treat for UK racing fans – and also one accessible on ITV1, in a sporting landscape which still has a lot of space even with football being back.
Question: What do you think about the Government’s plan for education?
Luke, Essex (via Email)
Answer: Returning children to school is one of the key parts of trying to move forward with Coronavirus – and even I, as someone without kids, knows how important it is for parents to get a break at some point – but unless the logistical issues surrounding this for most schools can be fixed then there’ll always be too much danger for some. Mandatory fines for parents, nearly all of whom will have budgets that can’t handle such an expense anyway, are certainly not the answer if they don’t have the confidence to send their children back by September.
Question: When do you think we’ll be able to watch football in stadiums again, and what do you make of football’s return?
Jake, Exeter (via Email)
Answer: If the rest of Europe is a guide (fans have been allowed into same games in Denmark, and Holland from September assuming social distancing takes place) then small crowds could be allowed in next season perhaps. Many have found behind closed doors football odd, but the quality has improved steadily as teams get more games under their belt.
Thanks for reading, and if you have any thoughts, anything at all – please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org !
Views of authors do not necessarily represent views of Star Sports Bookmakers.