Been away for a while but with an ever increasing schedule it is somewhat difficult to maintain a weekly deadline. The paper still goes out weekly whether I write an editorial or not. Still, I like to include something regarding the week’s topics. As well as informing the readership that MagellanFifteen20 is still up and running. I should also mention, I recently returned to writing in whatever spare time I have. Hopefully this year, I will finish my first play, which I began three years ago.
On the subject of the week’s topics, it is with deep regret I heard of the passing of Muhammad Ali. Here was a man of beauty in a brutal sport. He made Boxing a beautiful place to be. His legacy is well-known and too numerous to name but what is not always mentioned, is a fighter’s purse for a fight rose because of him. Many fighters made very little money from a fight career and Muhammad Ali was the first to reverse that trend. Many black boxer’s (Sony Liston among many,) made money for other people but never themselves. All they had to show for a lifetime of risking their lives in the ring was nothing. Others made the money, they (the boxers,) were ripped off and left broke. Without Ali that trend would have remained so. Without his legacy Floyd Mayweather would not be the world’s richest athlete, as Ali once was. The fact that a fighter like Mayweather can earn 500 Million (USD) from one fight is a testament to Ali reversing the trend.
Jack Johnson may have been the first black man to win the World Heavyweight Championship and showed that it could be done but Ali, ensured that no black fighter would ever be ripped off or finish a career broke. Both men were controversial but for different reasons. Johnson for his brash manner, being black, the champion and love of white women, Ali for his stance on racism, civil rights, being himself and not being shy in telling people a truth that American Society didn’t want hear. Not to mention being something of a lady’s man. That aside, he never let any of that get in the way of being the only man in boxing history to win the World Heavyweight Title a record three times. There will never be another one of his kind and stature. He will be sadly missed.
A topic that has been debated in the UK for the past forty years, let alone a year, is all things Europe, be it the Eurovision Song contest (look out for an article coming soon on my blog,) and membership of the European Union. It is surprising if not somewhat irritating just how little we British actually know about the Union, our membership and the benefits being a member brings. Yes, the EU needs to be reformed but that can only be done from within the Union, not outside it. Britain needs to take its rightful place alongside France and Germany in being at the heart of Europe, not proposing to leave by having a referendum on whether we should stay or remain.
It would have been desirable if then Prime Minister Edward Heath, had made the case for joining the then ‘Common Market’ in the early 1970s, explained himself, made the case and had a referendum on the issue, instead of taking the Country straight in, without any consultation with the British Public. It was left to Harold Wilson in 1975 to resolve the issue by actually having a referendum where both cases were made and the British People eventually voted to remain. Yet, the issue about our membership has rumbled on ever since. Every British Premier since then has had to deal with the issue of Europe, at times kicking the issue into the long grass or fighting to get a better deal.
Given there is now a political and fiscal union via the ‘Euro Zone’ current Premier David Cameron is probably right in seeing a need in re-negotiating our membership and relationship with Europe. What is a reasonable debate has been hi-jacked by a cabal of Conservative Politicians with a ‘Little Englander’ mentality who have in this writer’s view, failed to make a case for leaving the EU. In fact The UK Independence Party (UKIP,) has made better arguments for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
People are confused and don’t know which way to vote. Strange, given our involvement with Europe over the past forty years but like all things Europe, the Euro-sceptics of the Right, rely on the ignorance and xenophobia of those worried about lack of jobs, immigration etc. On the subject of Immigration, Immigration and the free movement of people across the EU, only demonstrates the how successful Governments and British Institutions have failed continuously to invest in the British People as a whole. Why is it other EU Nationals are able to come to the UK, find work and make a living and a life for themselves, while many Britons are living off state benefits? It is not a case of ‘Foreigners taking our jobs’ but British employers preferring to fill roles in their organisations with people they find are better qualified or are prepared to come in and get on the jobs on offer (even if that means low wages – Another reason we should stay in EU to avoid a race to the bottom, in terms of wages and working conditions). If successive Governments have not done enough to enhance the education, training and prospects of the British Nation as a whole, one dares not imagine what would happen if Britain as a Nation voted to leave the EU. Talk of shooting one’s self in the foot would be an understatement.
I have no hesitation in saying which way I will vote but if one is still in doubt, don’t be swayed by the propaganda of the Leave Campaign (aka Brexit). Listen to all the arguments, investigate and research and make up your own mind which way you will vote later this month. For better or worse.
On a much lighter note, I have re-discovered the joys of writing once more, not to mention keeping one’s body and mind healthy by regular visits to gym. Have enjoyed the delights of Gym Boxing but need to work on my stamina more before continuing on that particular path. Every difficult journey begins with a positive first step. So it has been with me, not just cultivating and putting good things in my mind but doing the same with my body also. Writing and Acting both require a certain degree of mental and physical fitness and that is where I am at in terms living and cultivating a much healthier lifestyle.