So I ventured onto Return of Kings earlier. I’ve bleached my eyes and can now offer up my views on one of their latest articles, even if I want to puke.

I’ve just read possibly some of the worst parenting advice any father could give their daughter (unless they actually want their little girl to be a complete doormat). shall we jump into this cesspit and see what we find? Where I’m quoting the article (written by one Dawn Pine), I’ll be highlighting the quote in purple.

1. Teach her what guys and girls find attractive

We all know the answer to that one. But a child does not. Children are not blank slate, but they are unaware of “how the world works”. It is my responsibility as the patriarch to show them.

In order to starve the hamster in advance, I give my daughters tools and the language to understand. Kids have a very strong hamster, as do females (we all know that).

Since early times, people have used stories and myths to educate. This is truer at a young age, as they are not yet teenagers. I often use stories and examples, as kids sometime struggle with “concepts” or “genralities”.

Example: Mr. Peabody & Sherman (the movie)

Some movies illustrate red pill better than others. You also need to find one which the kids relate to. For this article I picked Mr. Peabody & Sherman. It is a fun movie, staring male protagonists which are likable.

During the movie, when the heroes go back in time to save Penny (the child who beat him up and called him names), Sherman talks of her in a “love stroke” manner. In our words – he is attracted to her.

“Why do you think he is attracted to her?” I asked my daughters. Notice how I emphasized attraction rather than “love”. Kids need to parse their environment in the right manor. If you call it love, later in life girls will have a problem separating attraction with love.

Even mean girls are converted if they find their guy Alpha

Even mean girls are converted if they find their guy Alpha

Their hamster ran as excuses came out one after the other. They dished out multiple explanations, which I will not name, but would make some us laugh.

“It is because she is pretty” I explained. “Boys are attracted to pretty girls. This is what boys prefer.” I continue, “You can see it also in your school, and that pretty girls get more attention”. They acknowledge it, as they have witnessed it firsthand. Lesson hammered in. I repeat it every time we witness it.

“Dad, were you attracted to Mom because she was pretty?” They have asked. I confirmed. They now know that beauty is important. But there is more.

To distill this down to its most basic point, stripping away the pseudo-argument, this position is about teaching girls from a young age that their looks are their best feature. The author is setting his daughters up to believe their self-worth is dependent on how boys perceive them, and that boys are more concerned with looks than values.

Later in the movie, after Sherman rescues Penny, she is smitten by him. She starts treating him better, and even stands up for him to his “father”. This is not something you do for a person you abused and ridiculed (actually on the same day, at school – if one recalls the plot).

“Why is she attracted to him? She wasn’t before,” I asked them.

Their hamster ran again. Fast. Excuses were coming out, repeating most of what they said before. They even try to say that Sherman is handsome.

“It is because he is now successful,” I explained. “Girls are attracted to successful boys”.

That rang a bell as they sometimes have a crush on one of the boys. Now they know why they feel attracted and not “LOVE”. My other point is that you should not, at their age, discuss Alpha and Beta. This is for a later age. You cannot talk to young girls about “Alpha” male, or “Beta”. I decided to run with “successful”.

By telling his daughters that girls are attracted to successful boys, or ‘Alphas’, he is doing his daughters a massive disservice. One of the classic rants of the MGTOW is that women are golddiggers. Telling girls they are attracted to successful boys is only going to develop this image, not change it. It is also reinforcing the suggestion that attraction is shallow.

Next is the concept of “The Wall”

Taking CH advice:

Tell her with uncompromising bluntness that she is pretty now, and all the boys notice her, but her prettiness will disappear faster than she knows (or can possibly know at her tender age), and there will come a time, always much sooner than she had hoped, when none of the boys will notice her.

My daughters know that they should be married by their mid-20s. I use their mom and other moms of their friends and asking: ”How successful will her boyfriend be, if she was single?”. They look at the fathers of their friends, and at least some of the time it is obvious. My eldest told me that her mom told her that being married at 25 is too young. I replied by stating that her mother has actually no strength running after them, and that they as young moms would have the strength to do things with their children. Message well understood.

The first paragraph is especially scary. It preys upon fear, fear that a woman’s value is defined by her appearance, and that as age takes hold, and appearance fades (which is in itself not always true), a woman’s value diminishes. It also sends the message that men care only about looks. This guy is doing neither men nor women any favours with his arguments.

The simple reality is, if you want to have a career, have a career. If you’re not ready to settle down until you’re 30, so be it. If you feel ready to start a family at 21, that’s fine too! It is however, your choice. No one else’s. The pigeon hole that the author is trying to put his daughters in (you need to be married by your mid-20s) is based on the notions mentioned earlier – that appearance drives a woman’s worth, and that marriage (and having kids) are the only things a woman can aspire to.

Do we really think this is a worthwhile message?

2. Show her how guys hit on girls

I day game sometimes. I don’t do it much in front of my girls, because they will cockblock me. It happened a few times before I “stopped”. I recall one time that they ran interference at a wedding, when I was about to number close a young hot girl.

But if we are in a restaurant for example, I tease the waitresses. I use pet names, boss them around a little bit and treat her as a small child. The waitresses usually take it very well, and sometime even blush.


This is horrifying. He treats women in a demeaning, dehumanising fashion, and the only reason he doesn’t do this in front of his daughters is because they might get betweeen him and some action. The only reason any waitress in these circumstances would pretend to tolerate such behaviour is because they are worried about rocking the boat and losing their job, because society thinks such behaviour should be tolerated. It’s objectification at its worst.

My daughters start to giggle. “Dad, I don’t know why, but I feel good when you do that,” my elder told me. “It is because older girls are like young girls. They love it when a successful man makes fun of them” I explained. “Also, you see that the waitress was responding well. She likes it,” I add. They witnessed it, and now they know how it feels and how it looks when a guy hits on a girl and what an interaction between boys and girls looks like.

Lesson hammered again. As a side benefit, now my daughters feel better knowing that their father is “Successful”. I’ll admit that my game level is intermediate at best, but good enough is good enough.

He’s brainwashing his daughters into thinking that a man can belittle them and objectify them as a means of courting them, and that this is perfectly normal and even desirable. In other words, he’s training them to have very little self-respect.

Section 3 of Dawn’s article relates to connecting to one’s heritage. I don’t object in principle to this, though I have to have concerns about how this concerns the wider message.

4. Work on their femininity

We are man and we practice masculinity. Femininity? Red-pill guys? How exactly? One would assume that this is the mom’s job. So what? We all know that women are not to be trusted with responsibility. So I gladly take some of this burden upon myself.

You can do it too. The funny things is that it is not that hard. It also correspond with the red-pill.

First example: Women highest calling

“What is the most important thing that girls can do?” I ask them. “Give birth” they answer. “And raise the child,” I add. This is something I always find the place to mention to them. There is nothing more important than continuation of our species. “Dad, what if we didn’t have kids?” They ask. “It will be the end of the world for our family,” I answer. “The family line will be lost”. It took some time to understand this, but now they get it. Now they know that kids are crucial and that they should have them and take care of them.


So in one breath Dawn says women can’t be trusted with responsibility then he goes on to say that women should do nothing but aspire to be mothers – erm, does anyone else see the obvious contradiction here? Being a parent is a huge responsibility, and Dawn’s idea is that this is the highest achievement his daughters can reach. He is also putting pressure on them to do exactly that.

Second example: Chores around the house

Not my best one (to say the least), but I try to have them do feminine chores around the house: Cook with me, fold laundry and so on. Just because I live alone and do masculine and feminine chores does not mean that my daughters can’t learn it also from me.

Start early, and they will reap the reward

Start early, and they will reap the reward

This is something that I lack, and should delegate more to them. It is a matter of preferences (I’m lazy in those parts and outsource some of those chores). When done correctly, you get your daughter accustomed to doing chores.


First of all, what exactly are masculine chores and what are feminine chores? If anyone – man or woman – is living by themselves, they will have to carry out both sets of chores! It is frankly stupid to define roles like this – there is only work to be done, and if it needs doing it needs doing. You’re a man who doesn’t want to peg the washing out or get out the vacuum cleaner? Boohoo, it won’t do itself, and if there’s no one else to do it, you’ll have to swallow your pride and get on with it.

This also links back to responsibilities. Women can’t be trusted, yet can be expected to fulfil important household roles?

Third example: Looks

In this case I have a good deal of help from their mom. She emphasizes looks, dresses well and wears makeup. Kids need to have discipline and getting dressed, even for girls is sometimes tiresome. Trust me, I use to be like that. When they sometime complain, I remind them that looks are important (see tip #1). This is where a cooperation between parents really kicks it in, and a lot of people mentioned how well they dress.

Whenever they form an opinion on someone (based on their looks), I hammer it home again. Looks are women’s top and dominant SMV component.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in one’s appearance. There is something very wrong with suggesting to young girls that their looks are their only worthwhile asset.

Forth example – Future career

Kids do a lot of thinking on what they want to do when they grow up. That may change on an hourly, daily or monthly basis. I had my daughters move from teachers to waitresses to babysitters and to doctors – all in the course of one day.

When they come to me with the new career, I remind them that they will need to also be there for their kids when they are young. Then you see them spin the wheel to show me how it works great with a child (or more). At that time I also remind them that since they will marry a successful man (god, I hope so!) he will be the one providing for them, and they will assist.

This is just cruel. ‘Don’t even think about doing something you want to do with your life, if that doesn’t mesh with your required role as a mother’. That might as well be what the above paragraph said. He is funnelling his daughters down a specific path, one that makes him happy, but won’t necessarily make them happy.

That’s about all I can stomach for one night. There is more to this article, and I might return to it, but for now, I’ll leave this to someone else.

Over the past few days several footballers have bravely come forward to admit they were sexually assaulted in their youth, exposing a worrying situation within English football, and prompting some serious investigations. For those of you who are unaware of what’s going on, there is more information to be had here.

Eric Bristow, a darts player, has weighed in on social media to suggest the victims aren’t ‘proper men’, saying they should have ‘sorted out’ their abuser when they got older. This is frankly disgusting and it highlights the problems we face as men in a society that has defined ‘manliness’ in a very specific way.

  • ‘Real men do/don’t do X’

You’ve probably heard the expression ‘big boys don’t cry’ or ‘real men can cry’. Both statements are flawed. It’s not up to anyone else to define what manliness is for me. I’ll cry if I want to.I won’t cry if I don’t want to. That’s up to me.

This ‘real man’ stuff is a symptom of the same mode of thinking that endorses slut-shaming and other such attitudes. Our patriarchal society has put us into neat little boxes and told both men and women ‘this is what you need to be’. It tells men to ‘man up’ and be gruff, unemotional and disconnected from our emotions. It tells women they are more emotional and less suited to ‘manly’ activities (whatever they are). 

  • ‘That man looks manly’

Some men have stubble, others full-blown beards, still more can’t grow facial hair to save their lives (like me). Some men have six-packs and definition, others don’t. I’d love to have the body of a Chris Hemsworth or someone similar, but I don’t. I’m not out of shape but I’m hardly an Adonis. However, it’s often the case that to be considered manly a man has to have bulging muscles, and to physically strong, or to be athletic and sporty. This is once again a symptom of the same issues that feminism is trying to deal with – just as women are expected to have washboard stomachs and look permanently beach-ready, men have expectations laid down upon them, for the same reasons. 

It’s also what gives rises to the moronic statements Bristow made. It isn’t seen as ‘manly’ to admit to having been a victim, much less of sexual assault, and it’s apparently even worse to talk about it – instead, according to Bristow, the answer is violence (because that always makes things better – /end sarcasm). 

This is exactly what is wrong with our society. Men aren’t encouraged to come forward about things like this, lest they come under attack for showing weakness. Here’s a wacky notion for any MRAs that end up reading this – if you really want to tackle men’s issues, work with feminists, who are already trying to deal with them by changing the way we think about our patriarchal society. 

Nico Rosberg is world champion. Felipe Massa and Jensen Button have retired. Force India have achieved their best ever finish in the constructor’s championship, and Max Verstappen has provided several talking points over the course of the year. What’s the full story of the 2016 F1 season?

It began, of course, in Australia. A new ‘elimination’ format for qualifying was introduced, but this would prove to be a disasterous and short-lived experiment that didn’t have any meaningful impact on the pecking order. Hamilton qualified on pole with Rosberg right beside him – as in Hungary in 2015, both Ferraris would leapfrog the Mercs and Hamilton slipped down to fourth.

Poor starts 

Getting off the line badly would prove to be a bit of a theme this year. Hamilton’s poor getaway in Australia was repeated at the very next race, and also in Japan, and poor performances in Italy and Singapore, plus a crash in qualifying in Baku, cost Lewis a lot of points. It was an error-strewn season from the three-time champion, and whilst mechanical problems also affected Hamilton, he failed to control the factors he could influence. This is as crucial as any engine failure.

The narrative of the season is one of victory for consistency over intensity. in 2014 and 2015 Rosberg was beaten, and in 2015 quite convincingly so. Rosberg himself has remarked on how gutted he was after Austin last year, and from that point on changed his approach. ‘One race at a time’ became his philosophy, and he focused on getting the job done at each race weekend, rather than thinking of the big picture.

Rosberg had one or two poor starts of his own, and made other mistakes. He was outclassed in the rain-soaked Monaco, British and Brazilian races, but held his nerve in the challenging environment of Singapore, and when he needed to get second in the last four races, he set about doing exactly that. Rosberg is not a risk taker who will push the envelope, but he is methodical. His calm approach and deeper resolve has earned him his title.

The Rise and Fall

Away from the title battle, other stories were developing. Red Bull began the season with Daniel Ricciardo and Danill Kvyat as their drivers, and whilst they weren’t entertaining the idea of fighting for titles, they were quietly hopeful of an improvement on a miserable 2015. Kvyat didn’t seem to get this memo. Collisions between Kvyat and former Red Bull favourite Sebastian Vettel in both China and Russia led to Red Bull demoting Kvyat to Toro Rosso, bringing Max Verstappen up to Red Bull. The team claimed this had always been the plan, but it’s hard to imagine any plan involving swapping drivers after just four races. Kvyat never really recovered from the move, but has kept his seat at Toro Rosso for next season.

Verstappen has made serious waves this season, and he did so immediately, winning in his first race with Red Bull, when the Mercs collided in Spain. Yes, it was a slice of opportunism, and yes, Red Bull messed up on Riccardo’s strategy, but Verstappen still had to fend off the experienced Kimi Raikkonen for several laps, displaying a composure that defied his years.

Alongside his win, Verstappen would earn both praise and criticism for his aggressive racing. More than once, Verstappen would clash with the Ferraris, and earned the wrath of both Vettel and Raikkonen for his tactics in Belgium and Mexico respectively. It was his performance in the wet in Brazil, where he surged past car after car in the closing laps to grab an unlikely podium, that led to comparisons with Senna and Schumacher. Such comparisons may be premature, but Verstappen is a bold racer and has clear ability, and if he can develop his skills, he will be a world champion.

The Prost/Senna moment?

It’s hardly a secret that the relationship between Hamilton and Rosberg, who came up through the ranks together, has turned pretty cold, and their first-lap accident in Spain drew comparisons to the collisions between Senna and Prost. Neither driver has publicly spoken of what was said in the debrief afterwards, but the pair have barely been able to look at each other, much less talk, and another collision in Austria hardly helped, with Mercedes boss Toto Wolfe threatening to punish any further incidents quite harshly. Whether the dynamic between them will change now Rosberg has won a championship remains uncertain.

Ferrari Flounder

Much was said of the possibility of Ferrari threatening the dominance of Mercedes in 2016. Indeed, at the very first race at Melbourne, in scenes reminiscent of Hungary 2015, both Vettel and Raikkonen got ahead of the Mercs. A strategic gamble following Alonso’s huge crash didn’t pay off, and Ferrari would also miss out on a potential win in Canada for the same reasons. However, their car was generally not as fast as the Mercedes, and Red Bull would catch up to them, overhauling them in the constructor’s championship. Reliability, normally a strong point for Ferrari, also let them down on a few occasions. Vettel would occasionally cut a frustrated figure – the four-time world champion wants to be mixing it up at the front, not scratching around for third.

Williams Wilt, Force India Flourish

Two teams, both with Mercedes engines. Both have relatively low budgets, but Williams have been third in the constructor’s championship for the past two seasons running, whilst Force India have steadily improved, but surely can’t be expected to challenge Williams, who, given their performances over the past couple of years, should be challenging for third again, if not better?

Nope. Bottas remained steady behind the wheel and Massa gave it everything, but the problems that Williams had with their 2014 and 2015 cars (namely, a lack of downforce, which hindered them at certain venues) weren’t resolved, and Force India made strides with their car. Perez gave a good account of himself, including podiums at Monaco and Baku, whilst Hulkenberg continued to be reliable in getting points. The difference between 4th and 5th is millions of pounds of prize money, so it will be interesting to see how Force India invest that money, especially given that Hulkenberg is switching to Renault next year.

McLaren make Progress

Make no mistake, McLaren and Honda are not where they want to be. Their partnership is an investment of millions, and part of the reason why McLaren have the services of Fernando Alonso for at least one more year. They have improved, and Alonso himself has continued to remind people why he is still regarded as one of the most talented drivers on the grid, but there is too great a gap to make up on driver skill alone. On power circuits like Silverstone and Spa, the lack of power in the Honda engine was plain for all to see. It remains to be seen if the new cars in 2017 can offset that disadvantage, or if Honda can close the gap.

The New and the not-so-New

The first ‘from scratch’ team for a while, Haas, burst onto the scene this year, and Grosjean scored points for them at their very first race, with a highly credible 6th. All in all, Haas would score 29 points, all of them won by Grosjean, who has matured since his ropey 2012 season. Gutierrez might consider himself unlucky (having finished just outside the points on a number of occasions), but he has been dropped for 2017, and if Haas were having to make a choice based on the pairs’ performance this season, there was only going to be one winner. Haas have done remarkably well for a brand new team, and they will hope to build upon their season.

Renault returned as a outright works team in 2016, having taken over the struggling Lotus team. They scored a total of 8 points, with all but one of them scored by Magnussen, yet Palmer is the man remaining with the team for next season – Magnussen is replacing Gutierrez at Haas. It would be fair to say Renault have had a rocky return to F1, but theirs is a long-term plan, and they don’t lack resources.

The Boys at the Back

Manor were determined to go from also-rans to a team capable of pestering others in 2016, and they have certainly made progress. Now armed with Mercedes engines, they gave it a good go this year, and Pascal Wehrlein (who is moving to Force India) impressed quite a few onlookers. It was he who scored Manor’s only point in Austria, and he comfortably outclassed his first teammate, Rio Haryanto. Esteban Ocon gave him a bit more to think about in the second half of the year, and both drivers have been tipped as rising stars.

They are joined by the Sauber of Nasr, who scored two points in Brazil to break Manor hearts and take 10th in the constructor’s championship. Sauber have had another tough year, so to get any points at all is a welcome relief for them. What the prospects are for either Manor or Sauber as 2017 rolls in are anyone’s guess.

Saying Goodbye

Both Massa and Button have said their goodbyes, bowing out of Formula 1 with their heads held high. Massa won several races and was nearly – nearly – world champion in 2008, and did remarkably well to recover from a horrifying head injury in 2009, giving a good account of himself in his Williams years. Button was the 2009 world champion, and he went on to prove this wasn’t merely about the car when he pushed Hamilton hard in 2010. Button actually became the first teammate of Hamilton to beat his fellow Englishman in the standings in 2011, and overall, scored more points than Hamilton during their three years as teammates.

A surprising addition to this list of retirees is newly crowned champion Rosberg. He announced his retirement just five days after clinching the title, stunning the motorsport world. In retrospect, given the scale of the challenge, and given that Rosberg has a young family to think about, it makes sense for him to bow out on a high, and I wish him well.

Final Thoughts

2016 was all about opportunism. Rosberg took full advantage of problems for Hamilton in the first four races, and whilst Hamilton did swing the pendulum into his favour,  you can’t help but wonder if the points lost to Rosberg in those opening stages were crucial. Whenever Hamilton made a mistake, Rosberg was cool and composed enough to exploit it, doing what he needed to do to get the job done. There might be those out there who doubt his credentials as a champion, but he had to get the car across the line and he did exactly that. He earned the title, and now he can savour it.

It had come to this. 20 races down, one to go. Only two men could be world champion come the end of the day – Lewis Hamilton, or his Mercedes teammate, Nico Rosberg. Rosberg held the upper hand, leading by 12 points and requiring only a podium finish if Hamilton were to win. Hamilton pumped out a blistering lap to nail pole, and Rosberg did his bit by qualifying second. The stage was set for a tense showdown.

And tense it was. Hamilton and Rosberg both got away well and Rosberg was content to let Hamilton lead. Behind them, Verstappen was tipped into a spin at turn 1 after contact with Hulkenberg, and slipped to the back of the grid, prompting a tactical shift from Red Bull that would reap dividends later on. Meanwhile, the Ferrari of Raikkonen would lurk in the vicinity of Rosberg, who found Hamilton ahead of him to be driving rather slowly. Was Hamilton backing Rosberg up into trouble?


More or less everyone got away cleanly, though Kevin Magnussen sustained some damage that would force him into early retirement. He wouldn’t be alone. Sadly for Jensen Button, his (probably) last ever grand prix would come to an end on lap 12, when he clipped the curb and ended up with his front-right wheel twisted at an awkward angle. Button took it in his stride, and soaked up the adoration of the crowd. I’ll be writing more about Button in another post.

Up front, both Hamilton and Rosberg suffered a little at their first stops, as the Ferraris of Raikkonen and Vettel respectively were coming into the pits just as the Mercs wanted to leave. The end result of this is that Rosberg ended up in third, behind Verstappen, who was making the supersoft tyres last. Hamilton was continuing to drive slowly, backing Verstappen and Rosberg up into the clutches of the cars behind, including Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Vettel, providing an ongoing measure of discomfort for Rosberg. Once it became clear Red Bull were aiming for a one-stop strategy with Verstappen, Mercedes told Rosberg he needed to pass the teenager quickly, to avoid coming into trouble later on. Rosberg duly delivered, with a bold and brave move into turn 11, having unsettled Verstappen with an effort into turn 8 moments earlier. Verstappen nearly chopped Rosberg in the run down to turn 11, but the pair managed to avoid contact.

Vettel was at one stage leading the race, but the Mercedes duo behind him had by this point made their second stops, and Vettel was unlikely to stretch his soft tyres to the end. Ferrari rolled the dice, more to cover off Red Bull, bringing Vettel in and sticking on supersofts. From that point on, Vettel was the fastest man on track, bearing down on the top five at a tremendous rate of knots, clearing teammate Raikkonen early on and catching Ricciardo fairly quickly.

Up front, Hamilton was very much playing a game. He was backing Rosberg up, into the clutches of Verstappen, though Verstappen would soon find himself under pressure from the flying Vettel. With only a handful of laps remaining, and with Rosberg desperate to avoid trouble, he found himself very much in the thick of bother as Vettel cleared Verstappen and started to make a nuisiance of himself.


Verstappen was starting to fall off at this point, and fourth was the key place – Rosberg could afford to lose second to Vettel and still win the title. Hamilton was in the meantime starting to get messages from the team radio, asking him to hurry up – the team was concerned about the race win, whilst Hamilton ignited a point of discussion by defying instructions from the team, continuing to back Rosberg up.

So who would hold their nerve as the laps ticked away, and the chequered flag loomed? The answer:


Hamilton would take his 53rd career win, but Nico Rosberg would take his first world championship, holding on to claim second place. His emotions were clear even before he’d gotten the car back to the pits – clutching at his helmet, as though in disbelief. Having spent the past couple of years as runner up, and facing a teammate in Hamilton who is still, pound for pound, the better racing driver, Rosberg might have been forgiven for thinking he would never win the title, but he has dug deep this season, displaying a resolve and consistency that he hasn’t always shown.


In becoming a world champion, Rosberg has emulated his father Keke, who won the title in 1982. He has defied his detractors and critics, and whilst there will be those who would point to Hamilton’s mechanical issues, the fact remains that Rosberg still had a job to do, and he did it. The fact remains that Hamilton could have won the title if he’d not made bad starts in Australia, Italy and Japan, or if he hadn’t have crashed in qualifying in Baku, and if he’d had a better race in Singapore. All any driver can do is control the factors they can influence, and Rosberg did that better than Hamilton this season.

In time, I’ll prepare a more thorough review of the 2016 season, but for now, I wish to say congratulations to Nico Rosberg, and to Mercedes. Enjoy the moment!

Part three of this comparison of democracy to other forms of government leads us to look at what happens when you push to the far left of the political spectrum – communism.

The original idea (known as Marxism, after Karl Marx) is based on the notion that the ruling elite facilitate inequality and class-based manipulation of others. Communism was to be a means to letting the average worker have equal say on policy and governance. What Marx wanted was a classless society.

The principle is not devoid of merit, though serious questions have to be asked about implementation and management. Communism runs against many aspects of human nature, and historically it has only been maintained through violent and oppressive means (take a look at the USSR, China and North Korea, for but a few examples). Ironically, there has tended to be a ruling party, whose authority goes unchallenged. Equal representation, whilst existing in principle, doesn’t exist in practice.

Communism can only really represent one ideology and doesn’t allow for dissenting viewpoints. It is decidedly inferior to Democracy in that respect.

We come to it at last. On Sunday Round 21 of the 2016 Formula 1 season will determine the outside of the title race. Will Lewis Hamilton take his fourth crown? Or will Nico Rosberg claim his first title?

The odds favour Rosberg. No driver who has won at least the first four races of the season has failed to go on and win the championship. Rosberg has a 12 point lead and can secure the title by finishing on the podium – if he does, it doesn’t matter what Hamilton does – Rosberg will be champion. There are only two things which might prevent this: a mechanical failure, or an accident.

If the title is snatched from Rosberg because of a mechanical issue, it would be impossible to not feel a measure of sympathy for him. It has happened before (Mansell, Australia, 1986), and it would be a cruel twist of fate in a season where Rosberg has risen to the occasion and displayed a bit more resolve than in the past. This is not to say he’s had a perfect season – he has made mistakes of his own – but he has made less of them than his teammate Hamilton, and this might be the crucial factor come the end of the race.

Much has been made of Hamilton’s technical troubles this season, and it’s true that his races in China, Russia and Belgium were compromised as a result. Had he finished even second to Rosberg in China, this would have seen a points swing of 12 points in Hamilton’s favour, tying him and Rosberg going into the final race. Had Hamilton won in Malaysia (where he retired whilst leading) he would be leading the standings. However, these aren’t the only factors behind Rosberg’s advantage, and if Hamilton had owned the factors under his control, the situation would look very different, regardless of his mechanical issues.

Hamilton qualified on pole in Australia, but had a bad start and would eventually end up second. Had he converted his pole into a win, there would be a points swing of 14 in Hamilton’s favour, actually putting him into the lead by two points here in Abu Dhabi. The same thing happened in Bahrain and in Italy, with Hamilton finishing third and second respectively. Converting these poles into wins would have dramatically swung the title race in Hamilton’s favour, which is also true of his poor qualifying performance in Baku, where he finished fifth, having looked set for pole. Once again, even second to Rosberg here would put Hamilton in control of his own destiny – he would still trail Rosberg, but a win would see him crowned champion, no matter what Rosberg did.

There are many permutations like this throughout any given season, but the bottom line is that whoever wins on Sunday, will deserve to do so. So, what about the track itself?

Abu Dhabi transitions from day to night during the course of the race, which can sometimes be the only highlight at a venue that hasn’t really thrilled down the years. It was the scene of Sebastian Vettel’s first world championship back in 2010, and it settled the title race between Hamilton and Rosberg in 2014, but the races themselves haven’t been amazing. Turns 1-4 are a reasonable little sequence, and quite fast, but the bizzare decision to put a chicane in before the big hairpin unnecessarily slows down the cars and denies a potential overtaking opportunity.

There should be chances at turn 8 (which comes at the end of a long straight) and turn 11 (the end of another fast section of track), but beyond this, it’s going to take a measure of bravery to make anything work. The fast stretches should favour the Mercedes, so no one is likely to interfere with Hamilton and Rosberg.

There’s one final thought here. This race marks the final race for Felipe Massa and Jensen Button. Both have been consummate gentlemen during their time in the sport, and in their own way have contributed to some of the most dramatic moments – Massa just missed out on the 2008 title at the very last moment in Brazil, whilst Button’s win in Canada in 2011 was one of the most incredible races in recent times. I can’t go into too much detail here – but I will certainly try to at some point.

Roll on Sunday!

As promised, another review, hot on the heels of the last one! This time around it’s Trolls, and this is a very different film to Storks, but it’s still good.

Trolls is very much a musical, and it’s very bright and colourful. The trolls themselves are naturally inclined to party and sing, and their enemies (the Bergens) believe troll happiness is the key to their own – hence Bergens eating trolls to get their happiness! 

It’s a light-hearted, funny film and my little girl loved it. like Storks, it’s one worth watching again, and there’s enough going on to keep adults amused too. The kids are being spoilt with their movies this year!

The first of two consecutive family film reviews – Storks – is here! I know you’ve all been waiting for this one! The other film up for review is Trolls – which movie wins? In my view, it’s Storks, all the way.

This isn’t a put down on Trolls, which is a very good film in its own right, but I found Storks to be just that little bit smarter and funnier. In truth, they are very different, despite both being kids films, and so there’s an apples and oranges thing going on. My six year-old loved both films, but has declared Storks to be her favourite! 

So what is it about Storks that makes it different to the typical ‘lost soul finding one’s self’ tale (which is more or less what Storks is)? It’s the style of dialogue, which is punchy and imaginative. The characters are delightful, especially Junior and Tulip, and the scene where they desperately try to get the baby back to sleep is one every parent can relate to! The stars of the show are the wolves, though it must be said that the scene with the penguins was excellent too! 

I won’t hesitate to admit that the finale was quite sweet and moving. The film has heart, and is definitely one I could watch again!

Yesterday a story broke about my former employers. It leaves me with decidedly mixed feelings, and it also serves up a reminder of the potential pitfalls of Brexit (something my current employers have also experienced, albeit in a different way).


(my mood is lurching between this…)


(… and this)

I used to work a major office supplies retailer, an international firm that I presume remains a major player in the USA, but to be honest I don’t know. Nor for that matter, do I care. What I do care about is that they are selling off their UK business, having finally decided to pull the plug on what was an ailing side to their company. The chances are the stores will close, leaving over a thousand people (including friends) out of work.

The writing’s been on the wall with this one since even before Brexit. Successive directors have come and gone and sought only short-term solutions to issues, failing to tackle the deeper problems within the business. You can’t cut back the hours available to stores and expect productivity and profitability to somehow remain the same or even improve. You can’t expect one store manager to cover three stores with anything like the effectiveness of having one manager per store. You can’t have absurd levels of red tape and expect stores to function properly. The upper management of this company (including some, though not all, of the area managers) failed to grasp what was going on at store level – that, or they didn’t care.

I get it. No really, I do. Businesses have costs. Sometimes they need to bring those costs down. But the employees of the business aren’t merely ID numbers on a computer somewhere – they are living, breathing human beings, who give up a significant percentage of their time for the sake of their employer. In the case of my former employers, they didn’t want to see their employees as people. It was all too easy to cut them out of the equation, reducing hours and somehow expecting this to resolve the problems. It’s hardly a surprise to learn that this idea failed miserably. During my time there (especially once I became a team leader), the pressure increased steadily, but the resources to handle that pressure diminished. Staff did not feel that the company at large gave a damn about them. No thought was given to cutting red tape or addressing the wasteful procedures the business had. Well now, they’ve fallen flat on their faces.