Here’s Why I Won’t Be Watching Justin Gatlin Run 9.74

Did you see Justin Gatlin run 9.74 for the 100m in Doha? No, me neither, but in my case I’ll be going out of my way to make sure I don’t see him at all…

May 2015, and the lucrative Diamond League series of athletics meetings opened in Doha. So many sports are going to that part of the world nowadays, because there is big money there, and sport is driven by money, more so today than ever.

The sponsorship money sloshes around, the TV money is starting to slosh around in athletics, the appearance money for the top athletes sloshes around, and everyone wins. Except maybe the poor old sports fan who, even if they find the money chasing a bit on the grubby side, can’t do a lot about it.

Actually, the humble sports fan *can* do something about it – I’ll come to that a bit later, but let me go back to Mr. Gatlin…

Gatlin was banned for 2 years in 2001 for amphetamines, but that was overturned on the basis it was down to medication he had taken since childhood. Then in 2006, 2 years after winning Olympic Gold, he tested positive again, this time for testosterone. He denied all charges, but in the end he co-operated with the authorities in order to get a lifetime ban reduced to 4 years.

Many in the athletics world have welcomed Gatlin back with open arms, but many others have not been so impressed, saying that he is still benefiting from the drugs he took earlier. No-one is actually saying he is taking drugs, because that would be libel or slander, but suspicions remain.

Seeing him run the fastest 100m by anyone in 3 years, at 33, does nothing to quell the suspicious mind. Still, there’s nothing that can be done, right?

Well, as I said earlier, I think there *is* something that can be done, and it can be done by the people propping up the whole money structure driving sport, and that’s the fans.

The money-go-round in any sport is dependent on the fans at the bottom actually watching. If the fans don’t watch, the TV money dries up, the advertising and sponsor money dries up, the appearance money dries up, etc, etc.

In my own case, I watch so much sport on free to air TV, that I don’t pay to watch any, because I’d struggle to find the time. That does mean I miss some of the big sporting events. As it happened, I didn’t watch Gatlin in Doha, but had I been able to, I still wouldn’t have.

That’s the power that the humble sports fan can wield – just don’t watch!

Make sure you get in touch with the broadcaster, and tell them that you are not watching any Diamond League event involving Gatlin, and also tell the IAAF, and maybe some of the big sponsors too.

They’ll probably initially dismiss your contact, but if the number of people telling them that starts to build up, it can have an impact.

Emirates Airlines pulled out of football World Cup sponsorship due the whiff of corruption that has been surrounding FIFA for years, and they’ve put their money elsewhere, the English FA Cup for example.

I wrote to Coca Cola telling them I’d not be buying any more Coke while they were still a headline sponsor of the World Cup. They replied with a standard line that they had already published to the press about hoping things were cleared up quickly, but my note to them had been, er, noted.

So no, I didn’t see Gatlin. I wouldn’t want to see him, and not only will I not be watching if I get the chance, I’ll be going out of my way to not watch him. Gatlin versus Bolt showdown? No thanks.

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
health & happiness,
P.S. 3 quick links for you –
1. If sport is a passion for you, check out my book on how to turn it into profit – FB Passion Profits!
2. Take a look at my motivational book
‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’
3. This article was originally published via the Gordon Bryan on Huffington Post account, where you can see my other articles there

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Tom Brady Punished – Have The NFL Overblown It?

Overblown – geddit? Deflategate, overblown? Ok, I beg forgiveness for that particular play on words, but I couldn’t resist. As it happens, many people think the NFL *have* overdone it with their heavy punishment, so let’s look at what happened, the punishment, and the reaction.

Deflategate, as it became known, is all about the New England Patriots using balls that were under inflated below the pressure allowed in the rules. Tom Brady is known to prefer using balls at the bottom end of the pressure window, as it helps his grip and throw.

Nothing wrong with that, but it all came to head in Jan 2015 in the Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts had already voiced concerns about the ball pressure, and after a Brady pass was intercepted by the Patriots sideline, they examined it and found it to be below the legal pressure.

They informed the league, the officials checked the balls, and it was confirmed they were indeed below the allowed minimum. The Patriots won that game, then went on to a dramatic win in the Superbowl, Brady’s 4th.

An investigation was launched into whether someone in the Patriots organisation had deliberately lowered the pressure, after the officials’ pre game check.

After the investigation, a 243 page report was published, and the NFL have issued Brady’s punishment. He’s been banned for 4 games, and the team has been fined $1 million, plus the loss of a first round draft pick next year, and a 4th round draft pick in 2017.

They wrote to Brady, saying his actions were detrimental to the integrity of the game.

Here’s the problem many people have with the punishment though…

When the NFL say his actions have damaged the integrity of the game, what actions exactly are they talking about?

Although two other Patriot employees who handled the balls in the critical time windows, John Jastremski and James McNally, have been suspended indefinitely, there is no evidence in the report that Brady knew about the deflation, let alone instigated it. The NFL just say it’s ‘more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities.’

Oh come on, could they *be* more vague!?

No evidence, just a belief based on assumption. In my opinion, the decision must have also been influenced by previous transgressions by the Patriots. Back in 2007 there was ‘spy gate’, when the Patriots and coach Bill Belichick were heavily punished for filming opponents’ play calls to gain an advantage.

Belichick said back then that the NFL is big boy professional sport, and if there’s an advantage to be gained, it must be done.

That attitude won him and the team no favours, so it seems inevitable that the spygate affair has affected this latest decision, although the NFL accepts neither the ownership or Belichick knew about the latest ball pressure incident.

Another influence, is the lack of co-operation from Brady in the investigation. He refused to hand over his phone, and took part as little as he could get away with. The question is then asked – why? If he was innocent, would he not participate fully to clear his name?

As it is, his legacy as a legend in the sport will be tarnished by this verdict, which is basically calling him a ’cheat.’ I know I’d want that cleared if it were me.

He’s set to appeal, maybe then he’ll hand over his phone and will be cleared. That remains to be seen, but until that happens, the debate will rage – the punishment may fit the crime, but is it fitting if it’s not based on any *actual* evidence?

Ok, do let me know what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Nex Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If sport is a passion for you, why not grab my book explaining how you can use social media to turn that passion into profit: FB Passion Profits!
P.P.S. I originally published this article via Huffington Post. You can see all my articles on Huffington Post via my profile there

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Oh How The NFL Would Love To Have A Story Like Bournemouth FC!

May 2015, and Bournemouth FC secure their promotion to the top flight of English football, the Premier League. I’ve been a football fan for over 40 years, but also love the NFL – oh how the NFL would love to have a Bournemouth story..!

Promotion to the Premier League is seen as the Holy Grail in football, because not only do you get to play cubs like Manchester United and City, Chelsea and Arsenal, you get access to the Premier League’s money. A lot of money.

The Premier League recently signed a TV deal which was simply massive, making it one of the richest leagues in world sport, and that means big paydays for the clubs in that league.

So, getting to that league for the first time is obviously a big deal for any club, but with Bournemouth, it’s the story behind that rise to the top that makes the promotion stand out, and it’s a story to warm the heart of football fans. Let’s look at that story before looking at why the NFL would love to have something similar…

Back in 1997 the club were so short of money that the players had to go rattling buckets in the town centre. Current manager Eddie Howe was a player at the time, and his association with them is a lovely thread in a world of managers flown in from around the world.

In 2008, the typical financial struggles of the lower league teams were drowning the club again, and the administrator was 5 minutes away from liquidating the club. It was only when current chairman Jeff Mostyn put in his own money to pay for another month, that the club survived.

In 2009, the financial problems meant they started the season with a 17 point deduction and a ban from going into the transfer market, which seemed to place them doomed to drop out of the league altogether. In fact it was only a goal 10 minutes from the end of their final home match that saved them.

Real Roy of the Rovers stuff.

From that series of low points, it’s been up and up, seeing them go from the very bottom to the very top in just a few years. It’s hard to believe that it’s still possible to do it in today’s football world, and it won’t be any surprise to hear that the foundation of the rise was the same foundation behind the falls – money.

A rich Russian moved to the area, took an interest in the club, and became the owner, providing the kind of money needed to attract the kind of player needed. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, money talks in sport.

Having said all that, Bournemouth’s story *is* one to warm the hearts of the football fan, and the NFL would love to have a story like it, but they never will…

In English football, you can simply start a club, and apply to join the FA. Then you can join your local league, and if the team improves, there is nothing to stop the team going up via promotion, then up again via promotion, all the way up to the promised land of the Premier League. Nothing.

Not so with the NFL, which is a business model based on franchises. Any NFL team is part of the NFL business. They have to act in a certain way, they have to go with certain NFL deals, and they share the NFL money. Yes, some teams are owned by the fans, but most are owned by rich individuals or families, and here’s the kicker – no relegation or promotion.

It’s not possible for me to form a team and hope for eventual promotion to the NFL, because that’s not how the sport is set up. It’s not possible either for a team like the New England Patriots to get relegated – can you imagine it!

There are 32 teams in the NFL, and the only way that line up will change, is if the NFL decides so, maybe via expansion, maybe via a team moving from one city to another (London team within 10 years, anyone?)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the NFL, and there are real moments of drama, and although you may get heart-warming back stories about individual players, you’ll never get one about a team coming from the depths all the way to the giddy heights.

I’m not suggesting that the NFL change its’ model, it is also one of the richest sports in the world, so the model works, but I think the Bournemouth story shows why it’s football rather than the NFL which is the true global game, and oh blimey, how the NFL must yearn to have a story like it!

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. If sport is a passion for you, why not grab my book showing you how to use social media to turn that passion into profit!
‘FB Passion Profits!’

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The Great Gordino Newsletter – May 12th 2015

I hope all is well with you.

Oh blimey, I’ve been slacking with the newsletter lately!

We had the general election looming here in the UK, and I got involved in discussions on and offline about it. Plus I have been busy with my articles for Huffington Post.

I have also been trying to sort out a couple of new project ideas which I want to do since the sports journalism course is still currently not on the cards.

I had so many things to write about, I fell into an old trap, which is that I ended up not writing the newsletter at all because I was feeling overwhelmed about picking the subject!

Hopefully you’ll be following me on face book, which is the best place to follow immediate updates. If not, here’s the link to The Great Gordino on Facebook – pop pver and get connected!

So, since the last actual newsletter, I’ve had a few articles published on Huffington Post – strictly speaking I should publish them here first, as this is *my* webspace and then go to HuffPost afterwards, which they do allow.

However, since I’m just starting out there, I wanted to give them the freshest fresh stuff, which means publishing as posts here after they’ve appeared there.

If you want to follow me there, you can go to my profile, and click to get notified of new articles. Mainly sports, that’s the point of it, but I have been publishing political ones in the run up to the election! Here’s my Huffington Post profile.

The election brought some stories – there was the surprising big win for the Conservative party, which no-one expected. There was the fallout afterwards, with the leaders of 3 parties resigning within the space of one hour.

There was the reaction from Labour supporters to their loss, which online at least seemed to revolve around blaming anyone but the fact they simply failed to win their argument.

There was the amazing rise of the SNP party, going from 6 seats to 56 seats in the space of 1 parliament, and there was Mhairi Black, who at 20 became the youngest MP for 350 years!

A lot going on, which I’ll try to get to in upcoming articles. It could be argued that on a blog I should just cover them in short posts rather than articles, but I do like the article format, and find that Facebook works well for the shorter posts.

Ok, here are the articles you’ll find since last time, on my Huffington Post profile, linked above.
– Sorry To Burst Your Balloon, But Spoiling Your Ballot Isn’t The Big Bad Protest You Think It Is!

– Oh How The NFL Would Love To Have A Story Like Bournemouth FC!

– Why It’ll Feel Weird Not Voting For Myself!

– Tom Brady Punished – Have The NFL Overblown It?

Ok, that’s it for this time – I’d love your feedback as ever!

‘Til next Time,
health & happiness,
P.S. Don’t forget to grab my motivational book
‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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The Emirates FA Cup – Is That A Sponsorship That Will Fly?

Having seen a lot of coverage in the press about the Football Association’s decision to agree a sponsorship deal with Emirates Airlines, I thought I’d chip in with my thoughts…

The main issue with the sponsorship deal, is that it would involve changing the name from the ‘FA Cup,’ to the ‘Emirates FA Cup.’

The competition is the oldest knockout football competition in the world, and it’s always been the ‘FA Cup.’ That’s where the anti brigade have such a problem. Most of them are players or managers from well remembered Finals, and you can almost taste the nostalgia as they wax lyrical that the 144 years of history will be tossed aside by having to use this new name.

Now, while I can see the argument, and enjoyed the reminders of their stories, I’m not sure I agree. So what I thought I’d do is share my *own* favourite FA Cup story, before delving into my thoughts on the sponsorship…

Unfortunately I can’t claim to be a player or manager from a famous final, but when I was growing up, in the run up to the final, both teams would stay in a hotel before the coach trip to Wembley stadium. It just so happened that there was a hotel almost at the end of my road, called the Selsdon Park Hotel, and most years one of the finalists would stay there.

In 1977, Manchester United were staying there, and since my brother was a fan, we wondered if we should go up there to see if we could see anything. We just wandered up during the week, and as we walked through the grounds unchallenged, we’d see the United players taking fitness runs.

On the day of the final, we went up to the hotel with our autograph books, to watch the team get on the coach. Then, bold as brass, we simply followed them onto the coach! We walked up and down saying hello and getting autographs – can you imagine that today!

In fact one of the players who signed our books, Lou Macari, is one of those against the sponsorship. Here’s what I think…

The FA Cup wasn’t sponsored at all last year, and that meant that the FA had to delve into their own funds. Although the Premier League is one of, if not *the* richest leagues in all of sport, never mind just football, it might seem that there should be enough money already, but although the Premier League clubs are all in the FA, the FA contains hundreds and hundreds of clubs, not just the Premier League, and the Premier League try to keep as much money as they can for themselves!

Hence the need for new sponsorship. Emirates Airlines have pulled out of sponsorship deals for the World Cup, citing worries over corruption allegations around FIFA, so they have sponsorship money available.

Let’s not forget, the FA Cup has been sponsored before. In those deals, the FA insisted that the competition still be known as the ‘FA Cup,’ but ‘in association with Budweiser,’ to use the last sponsor of that type of deal.

Obviously Emirates wanted a name that tied their brand in a bit closer. If you ask me, you can look at the previous sponsorships to see why this new one is no problem.

Did anyone, apart from the contractually obliged FA and broadcasters, actually call it the ‘FA Cup in association with Budweiser?’ No, of course they didn’t, everyone else just carried on calling it the ‘FA Cup.’

No-one will call this new branding the ‘Emirates Cup,’ because there already *is* an Emirates Cup, a friendly tournament they put on. So, surely everyone will just carry on calling it, and you might be ahead of me on this one, the ‘FA Cup!’

I’m pretty certain that’s what will happen. I do see the argument that the amount of the deal, 30 million over 3 years, doesn’t seem massive when clubs like Chelsea and Manchester United get that for their own shirt deals, but let’s face it, the FA needed to get the sponsorship on board.

So, although in an ideal world the FA Cup would not need a sponsor, money talks in sport, as loud as it’s ever done, so I think the Emirates deal is one that flies – just.

Do let me know what you think, I love the feedback!
‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. If football is a passion for you, why not grab my free report on how to turn that passion into profits:
FB Passion Profits – The Basics!

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Here’s Why The New Royal Baby Girl May Tip The Election To The Blue Side!

On May 2nd 2015, and The Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her first daughter. Much cooing followed amongst the Union Jack clad watchers outside the hospital, but it might just be that the biggest cheer was at the Conservative Party HQ…

royal princess
With the General Election less than a week away, the polls suggest that the Conservatives and Labour are pretty much neck and neck, with neither seemingly set to win an overall majority. I think the royal baby could make all the difference, and could tip the scales in favour of the Conservatives. Here’s why –

Firstly, in a close election, the status quo has a powerful effect. Unless people think things are so bad they *must* change, or the alternative is so attractive that they *must* vote for it, a lot of people will go for the status quo. In this case that may mean voting for the Conservatives, or it may mean that a potential Labour voter is not swayed enough to go to the ballot and actually vote.

The Royal Family is part of the establishment, (it could be argued that it’s *the* establishment), so having a new royal baby front and centre in the media may well underline that feeling that the status quo is a solid foundation for the country. Again, that view helps the Conservatives.

Secondly, there’s the press coverage. The coverage around the new princess is huge, page after page after page, plus supplements. There’s a simple reason for this – it sells papers. In a time when the printed paper is under tremendous threat from the online options, the papers have not forgotten the massive boost in sales they got after Prince George was born. It’s a simple business decision that this new birth will get equally large coverage.

That helps to engender a feelgood factor, that everything is ok, and in turn that tends to dampen down the argument of those that say that everything is *not* ok, that things are in need of change. After all, why do we need to worry about the bad stuff when there’s a brand new baby to coo over!

Of course that huge press coverage means less room to cover the election. That’s not just the press, but crucially TV as well, and any reduction in coverage suits the incumbent. The opposition needs all the coverage they can get, because they are the ones that have to provide a strong enough counter argument in order to persuade people to actually get out and vote.

So, the opposition is not helped by the massive media coverage of the baby. Of course there are people who are vehemently anti Royal, so the coverage of the baby may well actually fire them up to take action. There are people who are vehemently anti Conservatives, but to be honest, most of the hardened views are already, well, hardened, so are unlikely to be swayed in the final few days of the election.

No, it’s the impact on the waverers, the undecideds, that will have the Conservatives rubbing their hands. If you take into account the ‘shy’ Conservatives, who always vote for them but never admit so to friends, family, and least of all the pollsters, it may well be that the new royal baby, even though it was a girl, will tip the scales in favour of the blue side on election day.

Ok, do let me know what you think, I love the feedback (and shares, likes, tweets of course!)

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,

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Women’s Football – Is Jill Scott The Thin End Of The Wedge?

Jill Scott is a footballer, and she’s thin. Ok, she’s not *that* thin, but in the world of women’s football, because her height of 5’10’’ makes her tall as well, I’m tempted to use the word ‘lanky.’

April 2015 saw her being sent off while playing for Manchester City, after a head butt, so I’m wondering if she represents the thin end of the wedge for the women’s game…

Scott’s sending off came only 3 weeks after City’s goalkeeper Karen Bardsley was sent off for fisticuffs, and I don’t like to see it. Let’s be fair, it’s not nice to see in the men’s game obviously, but unfortunately it’s not out of the ordinary when the men do it.

I’m concerned if starts to be a normal occurrence with the women too, as to whether this is ‘progress’ when it comes to the women’s game being the same as the men’s version.

My view is that it isn’t, it isn’t progress at all, but I fear it’s being driven by the same thing that drives it with the men, and that’s the same thing that drives most things at top level sport – money.

Jill Scott now plays for Manchester City, because they are the biggest club. It’s where the best money is, and the best facilities. Whereas the England team used to be made up of predominantly Arsenal players, it’s now City players, Scott and Bardsley being tow of them.

Scott’s played 75 times for England, with 12 goals, so when she butted Arsenal’s Jade Bailey, she should have known better. The thing is, she *does* know better, with the phrase being trotted out that it was ‘totally out of character.’

Of course we had the immediate apology, she tweeted ‘Gr8 effort from all the girls. I want to apologise for the incident which led to me being sent off, gutted to let every1 @MCWFC down today.’

This kind of mea culpa is common in the men’s game, in fact if you type ‘mea culpa’ into a search engine I’m sure there’ll be at least one footballer on the first page of results!

It doesn’t make it right though, does it? Of course an apology is miles better than no apology, and I’m sure she means it, but does it make everything ok?

I’m not sure it does…

Scott has picked up a 3 match ban, and with be dealt with internally at the club. The manager Nick Cushing has said that they want people to come and watch and then come back, which is not helped by incidents like this, so I imagine Scott may be dealt with quite harshly, especially with it being so soon after Bardsley’s incident.

I like women’s football. I first came across it watching the odd Women’s FA Cup Final, but it was when the European Championships came to England back in 2005 that I really got to see the England team on TV.

Part of the appeal to me is that it’s been friendlier than the men’s game. Yes, the tackling can be just as fierce, yes there can be the odd bit of argy bargy, but the women’s game has never really been characterised by violence on the pitch as can be seen so readily in the men’s game.

As the money creeps further into the game, albeit slowly, is that increasing the pressure, which increases the intensity, which increases the likelihood of players losing their heads in the heat of the moment?

Evidence like Jill Scott’s head butt would suggest that it is, but I for one hope not. I hope that the upcoming World Cup in Canada can be played without the overt violence, without the endless attempts to con the ref. I hope that the women’s game can retain that respect for an opponent on the pitch, and I hope that Jill Scott doesn’t represent the thin end of the wedge.

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think, do leave your feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
health & happiness,
P.S. If football is a passion for you, why not grab a copy of my book ‘FB Passion Profits!’ to see how you can turn that passion into money. Full money back guarantee if you don’t like it.

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Sorry To Burst Your Balloon, But Spoiling Your Ballot Isn’t The Big Bad Protest You Think It Is!

I hope all is well with you.

Whenever a General Election campaign gets into full swing, I bet you see the same posts on social media that I do, about rebelling by spoiling the ballot paper. Well, sorry to burst anyone’s balloon, but it really doesn’t have the impact you think it does…

Now, don’t get me wrong, I can see why people do it, and I can see why people think it works as a protest. I want to delve into the problem with answers to both of those ‘why’ questions.

People do it because, and this may seem obvious, they want to protest. Although there is a campaign to have a ‘none of the above’ option on the ballot paper, that option isn’t there, so if someone doesn’t feel any of the options are attractive enough, or is anti politician full stop, then there are seemingly only two options – don’t vote, or spoil the ballot.

You may hold the belief that the right to vote was fought and died for, and that spoiling your ballot maintains that right while making your protest.

Spoiling the ballot is where you put your ballot paper into the counting box, having failed to clearly mark an ‘X’ next to a single candidate. That’s where the problem starts with it being a protest vote…

I stood as an Independent Candidate in the 2005 and 2010 elections, although I’m not standing in 2015. As a candidate, I can tell you exactly what happens to spoilt papers.

What happens is that all the candidates, or their nominated representative, stand around a big table. One of the team from the returning officer then shows *every* spoilt paper to all the candidates, so that everyone agrees it is not a vote that should be counted.

So, you get papers with ‘none of the above’ written on them, which is clearly a protest vote as mentioned earlier.

The trouble is, those papers are included with papers that have abuse written on them, drawings, graffiti, or, and here’s the crucial thing, a cross maybe over 2 names, or a totally blank paper.

Once all the candidates agree that each one is not a vote that should be counted, they all get lumped together. Mistakes and protests together. No differentiation.

So, a spoilt ballot paper is effectively just another non vote. That’s how the candidates view them. The candidates are not interested in non votes, they are interested in how the *actual* votes went.

Let me give you an example to illustrate…

In this example, the constituency has 30 people eligible to vote.
Only 20 people actually register.
Only 15 actually vote.
Those 15 votes are broken down as follows –
Party A – 4 votes
Party B – 3 votes
Party C – 3 votes
Party D – 2 votes
Independent Candidate – 1 vote
Spoilt Papers – 2

Obviously that’s a crude example, but it makes the point that although the spoilt papers are recorded, as a non vote they are far outweighed by the registered voters that didn’t vote, in fact there were enough non voters to win the seat!

So out of the original 30 that were eligible to vote, the candidates are interested in how the 13 actual votes went, not the other 17.

If we look at why people think they might spoil their ballot, I hear the same reasons over and over; ‘they’re all cheats and liars,’ ‘my vote makes no difference,’ ‘I don’t even know who is standing,’ and so on. I wonder how many people will write ‘Russell Brand for PM’ on their paper…

I suggest, and this is something I suggest the same as a non candidate as when I was a candidate, that you go and find out who is standing! I suggest that you stop using generalisations about the candidates, the vast majority of whom are fine upstanding people looking to make the country better.

Could it be that when you make the effort to research, you find that a party *does* appeal? Could it be that there’s an Independent Candidate who offers you a platform of pure democracy, who has an offer that would excite and engage you, if only you could be bothered to actually look?

I suggest you don’t dismiss it all because you think it’s cool, or because you’re just too lazy to make the effort, or maybe because your parents have never voted.

If, after all that, you think that spoiling your ballot makes you a big rebel that will teach the politicians? Sorry, it just doesn’t work like that.

Ok, I’d love to hear what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. When it comes to improving things for everyone, do not forget the importance of starting with *yourself!* Check out my book, which has a full money back guarantee
‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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The Great Gordino Newsletter – Apr 24th 2015

I hope all is well with you.

The General Election is looming large in the UK. Many people are not interested, and have no intention of voting.

It feels odd to me to see the build up, because for the last two elections, I voted for myself! Oh yes, there’s a certain feeling when you stroll into the voting booth and put a cross next to your own name!

I remember on the way out a pollster asked me who I voted for – I said “Myself!” and kept on walking.

I’m not standing this time, and did feel a pang of sadness when the deadline passed to be a candidate. I’m also feeling pangs of it when people who aren’t normally interested ask for my opinions and end up saying they would have voted for me.

The reason I’m not standing is twofold – firstly the cost. It costs £500 to stand. Now, that’s not a massive amount of money, and one of the reasons it’s set at that level is precisely *because* it’s not a massive amount of money. That allows anyone to stand, barring anyone who falls in the exclusion categories.

Of course there are additional costs, the costs of leaflets being a big one. Each candidate is allowed a mailing to be posted for free to every constituent, which is great, but the leaflet production has to be paid for.

It all adds up.

Secondly, the chances of me winning were small. Very small. Minute.

An Independent candidate has no way of competing with the spending power of the major parties, nor the perception amongst many that since an Independent cannot win, it’s a waste of time to vote for one!

A lot of people didn’t even know I was on the ballot, while at the same time moaning about how everyone was the same. Even good friends I spoke to, who were non voters, having agreed to vote for me, told me afterwards that they ‘hadn’t got round to it’ despite me reminding them on the day.

So, I felt that what I offered, which was a purer form of democracy for the voters, was a good offer, an original offer. Having taken action to something about it, that choice had been on the ballot twice, and had not been chosen by the electorate. That’s politics!

I knew after the 2010 election that if I was going to stand in 2015, I’d have to take a run at it from at least 18 months away, to build interest slowly but surely. I decided not to. Who knows, I may do it again in 2020, but not this time.

That doesn’t mean I think people shouldn’t vote though, and while I signed up to blog for Huffington Post to write about sports, to further exposure for that adventure, I’m actually allowed to write about anything, so decided to do a couple of pieces about the election.

You can see one of them linked on the right of the page, the other one hasn’t been approved yet as I write this. I’ll be linking to that once it is on the various social media channels. You are connected with me on those, right?!

Changing subject – the movies. Ah, the movies. Long time readers will know how much I love the movies, and when I was around 11 years old, I remember seeing a film at the cinema that had the same impact on me that it had on everyone. A little film called ‘Star Wars’

The second trailer has been released for the first of the new movies, and the trailer featured Harrison Ford in his role of Hans Solo. Again, the trailer had the same impact on me as it did to most others – it made me smile with excitement.

The 3 ‘prequel’ movies got hammered by fans and critics, but as it happened I enjoyed them! I used my imagination and loved being able to add pieces to the Star Wars world in my head.

It looks like these new films will take us all back on a nostalgia ride. I do worry a bit that the positive hype around them might lead to disappointment, but the only way round that totally, is to not make the films at all. So, bring them on!

Here’s the trailer if you didn’t see and are interested, which is on you tube – did you know you tube turned 10 years old this week? I wonder if there’s anything coming out now that will seem as if it’s always been there in 10 years’ time?

By the way, think how much money will be generated by this film!

Ok, let me know what you think, I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. When I talk about the money generated by the new Star Wars film, I don’t just mean box office for the actual film. That will be phenomenal, which created employment in the cinema industry, but how about the merchandise? The branding on all sorts of good, from toys through to bedspreads. You can grab a slice of it you know. My book ‘FB Passion Profits’ shows you how, and if you don’t like it, you get your money back! Or, there’s an option there to get a free guide to the concept. Pop over and take a look – FB Passion Profits

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Here’s Why I Consider It Essential To Vote, But Don’t Think Compulsory Voting Is the Answer!

I hope all is well with you.

With the 2015 General Election looming large, there seems little doubt that it will be a close one. I stood as an Independent Candidate in the previous 2 elections, I’m not standing this time ( I thought I’d get that out of the way)

Also important to state that in this article I’m not going to try to convince you to vote in a particular way.

No, in this article I want to address something I see mentioned a lot on social media…

"Gordon Bryan"
Many people shy away from posting on social media about their political views, because it can alienate people, maybe leading to slanging matches and even breakdown of friendships.

People seem braver though, when it comes to posting about how useless all the candidates are, that they wish there was a ‘none of the above’ option on the ballot, that they were going to protest by spoiling their ballot, or not going to vote at all.

How about ‘it won’t make any difference,’ or ‘they’re all the same.’ Do you see those posts too?


Now, while I’m politically engaged, I can understand that other people aren’t. What I have trouble with understanding, is when people say all the candidates are the same, but then ask ‘who is even standing locally?’

Well, how about finding out who is standing locally, rather than simply dismissing them all?

If you say your vote doesn’t make a difference, is it possible that there are enough non voters in your constituency to win the whole seat? That’s the case in my constituency, and that swathe of no voters contains *all* the people that said their vote wouldn’t make a difference!

Some people say that you have to vote, that you have to vote because that right was fought and died for, that if you don’t vote you can’t complain. I used to hold both those views, and while the right to vote was indeed fought and died for, it’s also a right to choose *not* to vote.

As you can see, I think it’s vital to take part by voting, but if none of the candidate make a positive claim to your vote, should you be forced to vote?

I don’t think compulsory voting is the answer. If someone was voting because they legally had to, when they don’t want to, I think they’ll do one of two things…

They’d either simply draw or scribble on the ballot paper, which would surely be a waste of time all round, or, and this is where it gets really dangerous, they might just put a cross next to *any* name.

How many would choose to just tick the first name on the list? The candidates are listed alphabetically, which would lead to a whole load of candidates called Aaron Aardvark.

That’s dangerous, because it might lead to election results which do not reflect people’s votes. People could argue that our current ‘first past the post ‘ system is already skewed, and while I probably agree with that, it’s not as potentially dangerous as random voting!

So, with the model of either big party winning a big majority seemingly gone, we are currently in a position where votes count. The votes for the smaller parties vote.

Vote for what you believe in I’ve never been a fan of tactical voting. Vote for what you believe in, and it will show in the results. If you don’t fell engaged enough to vote, *get* yourself engaged! Ask questions, find out anything you feel you need to know.

You don’t have to vote, I don’t think compulsory voting is the answer. If you choose not to vote, that’s your right to choose that, but I think it’s the wrong choice.

I’d love to hear what you think – I love the feedback!

‘Til Next Time,
Health & happiness,
P.S. Politics is mostly about differing views about how to make our lives better. How about working on your *own* life with my motivational book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’

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