Wednesday, February 21, 2007

my new hero

"For me, it's shameful that [Iraq] was destroyed. And now they say: 'Oh, actually, no, there weren't any Weapons of Mass Destruction after all but we're going to stay here a while because there's such disorder'. But, that disorder was created by you! It's clear that there are imperialistic, economic and strategic interests behind the war but the news moves on and everyone focuses on something else. We have to stop and reflect a bit on where we are going, about imposing a more sustainable type of development, with genuine cooperation."

I have a new favourite footballer; step forward Barcelona defender Oleguer Presas - an unusually sensitive and intelligent breed of defender. Consider, Graeme Le Saux's career was blighted by rumours that he was homosexual - for what reason? Because he once admitted to reading the Guardian and had a nice middle-class accent. What would Robbie Fowler have made, one can't help wondering, of Mr Presas? According to Sid Lowe,

"The Barça right-back is a committed campaigner, an economics graduate who contributes to cultural and political journals with carefully elaborated articles, he supports Catalan literacy crusades and Catalan independence, and dedicated the only goal of his career to a fourteen year old from Sabadell who had been arrested for protesting against the mayor. He is the author of a book called Camí d'Itaca (The Road to Ithaca), which deals with everything from the Franco years to the war on terror and even anorexia."

My favourite footballer, before I discovered Oleguer, was Robbie Keane. He says things like this:

"We are all really looking forward to [the game] and Arsenal have to get beaten some time at home, why not on Wednesday? If anyone thinks this tie is over for one second they have another thing coming. People will probably say that they have the advantage but ask anyone in our dressing room and they are really up for this game and raring to go."
Spurs lost that game 3-1. This is the kind of thing Oleguar Presas says:

"The State of Law - that phrase that has been repeated so many times you would think it was an advertising campaign - does not permit the death sentence nor life imprisonment. Likewise, there is no room for euthanasia. I will allow myself to be guided by good faith and will therefore presuppose that the State of Law has not stopped trusting in its own laws and still does not want to impose the death sentence or life imprisonment. Guided by that same good faith, I will assume that there is no political intention to make euthanasia legal. I will suppose, again guided by good faith, that the content of De Juana Chaos's articles is sufficiently explicit and unambiguous as to keep a man in jail, despite the risk that he may die there. I would like to believe that in the State of Law freedom of expression exists and that in this case, just as in the Egunkaria case or in the case of the actor Pepe Rubianes (to cite just two examples), there is sufficient evidence to try those involved. If that were not so, everyone would be protesting long and loud like they do when freedom of expression is denied in other countries, such as Morocco, Cuba or Turkey. Good faith obliges me to believe that in the State of Law, justice is equal for everyone, that political pressure has no part to play and that judicial independence really does exist; that when the Minister of Justice Lopez Aguilar announces, in reference to the De Juana case, that "the government will construct new punishments and sanctions to avoid such releases", those words have no influence on the judicial sentence."
How's that for dressing room banter!? And he drives a van!

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