Birmingham news and blogs Thursday 24 March 2016
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Nathan the Alien

76 stories

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An Attempt at Objectivity 

17 Mar 16

As George Osborne’s first Conservative only Government budget was being delivered yesterday my Twitter and Facebook feeds began to be filled with anger, pain and scorn, with an undercurrent  of a deep sense of helplessness.

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International Women’s Day 

8 Mar 16

It’s International Women’s Day! Women are extraordinary – oppressed and discriminated against throughout history but always fighting for a better world, despite continually being devalued, objectified and forgotten.

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Americans believe only in America 

5 Mar 16

Intelligent comment from Giles Fraser in The Guardian on American Christianity.

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Profit in Peace 

1 Dec 15

There is no profit in peace.

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Who do you think should win BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015? 

30 Nov 15

The shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year has been announced this evening.

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Jeremy Corbyn needs to take the mantel of Abraham Lincoln 

13 Sep 15

Arguably the best book on leadership I have read is Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns; the Abraham Lincoln political biography.

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Wonderful Ukrainians 

22 Aug 15

It is amazing how in the short space of a week it is possible to feel so much love, hope and affection for people that you have never met before.

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You can protect children 

25 Jul 15

Our leaders with responsibility for keeping our children safe in our communities are continuing to abdicate responsibility and are relying on children to protect themselves.

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How to solve the immigration crisis 

4 Jul 15

It seems that the immigration debate has been building up a greater head of steam this year – all the bluster of the election along with the sad and worrying crises we have seen in the Mediterranean and the port of Calais.

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Posh London street to be blessed with Montenegrin footfall 

18 Jun 15

I must admit I love it when the underdog manages to ruffle the feathers of a few supreme peacocks.

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2015 General Election: You can still make a difference! 

8 May 15

With the majority of constituency results announced it is clear that we will be seeing a Conservative formed government.

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May 7th…..Remember the poor 

2 May 15

Where will you put your X on May 7th?   How are you going to decide? If you have a secure job and want what is best economically for you then without doubt you should be voting Conservative.

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The Kingdom of God is here… Wednesbury! 

12 Mar 15

If you’re not from the West Midlands  then chances are you have not heard of Wednesbury – unless you are an Ikea anorak.

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Do not fear the Paris attacks 

10 Jan 15

Please, understand that what happened in Paris in the last few days was not: Muslims attacking non-Muslims Islam against the West Anti-semitic An attack on free speech War What happened was evil.

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YMCA Black Country Staff Awards 2014 

9 Dec 14

Last week saw the announcement and presentation of the 2014 YMCA Black Country staff awards.

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Put a shroud over Farage 

6 Dec 14

So Nigel Farage says that businesses should make up their own rules after a women in a posh hotel was asked to cover herself with a shroud whilst breastfeeding.

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Black Friday reveals detestable idol 

29 Nov 14

Throughout the Old Testament God speaks to his people, urging them to put aside things that distract them from him, things that dishonour him.

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Tories promise pain for those on benefits 

29 Sep 14

I haven’t looked into the detail of what George Osborne was gobbing on about today with regard to benefit cuts* so I’m only dealing with the headlines.

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When God isn’t there… 

9 Sep 14

In 1873 a prominent American lawyer called Horatio Spafford sent is wife and four daughters on a steamship to England for a holiday with the plan to follow them shortly after.

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Anybody actually care for Ashya? 

1 Sep 14

There is a little boy in a hospital somewhere in Spain who has been taken away from his family.

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Guest Post: Just Turn Around 

23 Aug 14

This is a guest post from the wonderful and inspiring Pip Pearce.

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Spoil your vote 

20 Aug 14

Tomorrow in the West Midlands we have the ‘wonderful privilege’ of voting once again for the Police and Crime Commissioner.

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A short comment on the Gaza conflict 

5 Aug 14

I think one thing we have to understand is that it is the politicians that are screwing over the citizens of Palestine and Israel.

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The Potential in Every Child 

28 Jun 14

My good friend Rob shared this photo on facebook today: That’s powerful.

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What happens after England lose…. 

19 Jun 14

There is more to life than football.

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5 things more unjust than Brazil vs Croatia 

13 Jun 14

The neutral would have felt there was a sense of injustice against Croatia in the football last night.

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Send Back The Sun 

12 Jun 14

If you receive a free copy of The Sun through your letterbox today just take a few moments to think: Remember this is the same group as the News of the World that everybody has conveniently forgotten to be disgusted at regarding phone hacking because…

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Mind the gap 

13 May 14

I hate it when I don’t blog for a while.

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The Shock of the Fall 

18 Mar 14

I’m missing our YMCA book club meeting again today.

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Not on my street 

8 Mar 14

Twice yesterday I was hit by how incredibly comfortable my life is.

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Analysis of BBC Winter Olympic Coverage 

22 Feb 14

Here is a pie chart I put together showing a 110% accurate analysis of BBC coverage of the Winter Olympics this evening.

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Olympic Wet Blanket 

20 Feb 14

I’m going to be a real killjoy and a wet blanket.

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It’s Half-Term! 

17 Feb 14

I’m really looking forward to this week – just got back from an inspiring and, dare I say it, life changing weekend in Germany and Poland with the YMCA and now it’s just me and Anya at home together for the whole of half-term! It&#…

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Manchester City: Financial Unfair Play 

31 Jan 14

I thought we were moving into an era of ‘financial fair play’? How can any football club be allowed to go after more players when they have just reported annual losses of £51,000,000 !? On the morning that the Independent report that …

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7 Years of Blogging 

30 Jan 14

Today is exactly seven years since my very first blog  post.

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The Book Thief 

29 Jan 14

Running Rachael has started a great book club at work.

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IKEA: A Rant 

25 Jan 14

I really haven’t got this thought through properly and sorted in my head.

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Map of Israel before Sharon 

3 Jan 14

My wife is reading a Middle East travel book that was written in 1945 and belonged to my great-grandfather.

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Unjust society 

30 Dec 13

About 2600 years ago a man stood up at the gates of a temple and delivered a crazy speech that should have motivated those that were listening to stop doing evil to the poor and vulnerable and to restructure their society  so that everyone was dealt…

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No presents for 8 year old this Christmas 

26 Dec 13

This young man is an example to us all.

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Storm brewing for the Lords 

17 Dec 13

I read this morning on the BBC that Lords clock in and out of the Houses of Parliament for short periods just to claim the £300 daily expenses rate.

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Boing Boing 

15 Dec 13

When I came to work in West Brom just over five years ago the Baggies were one of my all time worst teams.

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Buy Local 

12 Dec 13

I know I’m a little late but last Saturday was “Small Business Saturday” where consumers up and down the country were encouraged to buy from local businesses.

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Veterans trump Aids victims 

10 Dec 13

It was in the news today that Graham Norton and his production team have been told off for wearing black ribbons in support of World Aids Day.

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World Cup Silliness 

6 Dec 13

I love the World Cup.

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Cultural Perspectives: United States on Montenegro 

11 Nov 13

The second post in the Cultural Perspectives series is written by Vicki Surbatovich.

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Cultural Perspectives: Middle East on UK 

11 Oct 13

The first guest blog in the Cultural Perspectives series is by a lady originally from the Middle East but now living in Britain: For a person like me, who became a Christian from another religion and hated religiosity, it was difficult to find the …

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Cultural Perspectives: New Guest Series 

10 Oct 13

Tomorrow will see the first in a series of guest posts on this blog.

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Friendship gives cancer a good beating at the YMCA 

27 Sep 13

Today was a wonderful day at the YMCA as staff came together to put on a great morning of fabulous food and even better friendship.

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Smashed by my Old Man 

24 Sep 13

So on Saturday, as part of the weekend excursion back home to Sheffield, I tackled the Graves Parkrun  5km.

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A sad story 

29 Aug 13

I read something really sad today about a baby that died in the night, and how the rest of the family ceased to function from that point on.

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The Mission Continues 

14 Aug 13

I returned home on Monday night from an incredible fortnight with the Mission Possible team for the YMCA Europe Festival in Prague.

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Fun, friendship and God at YMCA Europe Festival 

8 Aug 13

Yesterday was Day 4 of the YMCA Europe Festival in Prague.

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YMCA Europe Festival Day 2 

5 Aug 13

It really would not be an overstatement to say that today was one of the most fulfilling days of my life.

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Apocalyptic start to YMCA Europe Festival 

4 Aug 13

This afternoon the gates opened at 4pm for the 2013 YMCA Europe Festival in Prague.

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Some things I miss 

3 Aug 13

There are 3 things that I miss at the moment: 1.

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Mission Possible Team 

2 Aug 13

We’re almost at the end of our preparation week for the Mission Possible team for the YMCA Europe Festival.

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The International YMCA 

29 Jul 13

UK, Germany, Zambia, India, Peru, Colombia and Iceland.

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Mission YMCA 

27 Jul 13

I’m on the precipice of a little adventure.

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21 Jul 13

Someone recently lent me Band of Brothers.