About the author

About the author

Top 5 Cheapest Supercars You Can Buy

Interested in buying a supercar but don't have supercar levels of money? No problem. These 5 supercars are all below £40,000, and considering the average price of a new car in the UK is more than £28k these are an absolute steal!

Watch the video below, and make sure to subscribe to Cars With JB on YouTube for more weekly car content.

Top 5 Cars to Invest in for 2018

Which cars will gain in value moving into 2019?

Looking for info on which cars are the best bets when it comes to investing? Check out my new video (below) to hear my thoughts on the top 5 cars you should consider putting your money into, as they have the potential to increase in value over the coming years.

Wednesday 21 March 2018
Posted by JB

Top 6 Fastest Cheap Cars Under £5,000 - My New YouTube Channel

An Audi S3 is my 5th pick, what would yours be?

I promised I'd be working on new projects this year (and not just my dissertation) and my YouTube channel is probably the most important one to me...

If you wanna check it out and subscribe, click this link, otherwise watch the video below to find out what my picks are for the fastest/best cars you can buy for under £5,000.

Hope you enjoy - make sure to comment, like and subscribe if you like this kind of content!

Big Things in the Making...

Returning just in time to celebrate this milestone - thanks for all the views since I've been gone!

Hi again all...

I disappeared for a little while basically due to life being life.

No promises that I'm entirely back, but I have plans for 2018 that I aim to see through - I've got YouTube plans, Blog plans, job plans, uni plans - all the plans (hopefully if I make enough plans I'll actually finish some of them so that I feel at least slightly successful!)

I bought the domain for a second blog as well, where I'll post more personal things. For this blog, I want to maintain the same kind of articles I've written in the past, as they're my favourite kind to write.

Stay tuned.

FYI, you can now Follow my blog with Bloglovin - it's a great place to find and follow new blogs, as well as keep up-to-date with your favourites.

Thursday 4 January 2018
Posted by JB

Do athletes deserve high rates of pay?

Money Mayweather - is he worth it? (photo from the Mirror)

This year, according to Forbes list of highest paid athletes, Floyd Mayweather’s earnings from both his salary and sponsors will be $300 million. Messi will earn $73.8 million, Federer $67 million, Hamilton $39 million and Bolt $21 million. All of these men are unbelievable athletes who put in, and have put in, hours of hard work and dedication to become some of the best in their respective sports, but do they really deserve or need that much money for what they’ve achieved?

If we compare Mayweather’s salary, $285 million, to the salary of an average London tube driver, $76,000, or to an average NHS doctor, $107,075, or to an average police officer in the UK, $40,502, then we definitely see a massive inequality. But these statistics aren’t the whole story, considering Mayweather is not an ‘average’ boxer, he’s regarded as the best – hence the pay, so comparing him to the ‘average’ of other jobs seems unfair. If we instead compare him to the best/most highly paid of the same three jobs; $92,673, $156,696 and $83,210 respectively, then we get a more fair perspective on the salary differences. Per year, for beating someone up in a ring, which he barely does anyway with such a defensive game, and for all his training and hard work, Mayweather’s salary is 1,819 times that of the most highly paid doctors in the UK.

Returning to the average salaries for a moment, the average weekly pay in the Premier League is £25,000 per week, which means the average salary is around £1,050,000 when you take the length of the league and off season pay into account. A highly paid NHS doctor earns £69,325 per year – less than the footballer makes in 3 weeks.

So the question that needs to be answered before we can decide whether athletes deserve their high rates of pay is ‘what is worth paying for?’

Let’s assume pay is based on how hard people work; Mayweather is renowned for being an unbelievably hard worker – commentators on boxing suggest it is this factor which has kept him at the top for so long. According to his training, he trains between 8-10 hours a day on the weeks leading up to a fight, slightly less when just training normally, but it must be said the actual training he does looks disgustingly difficult for the mere mortal – he definitely works incredibly hard. Similarly, the average GP will work a 9-10 hour working day, however the work does not appear quite as physically strenuous as Floyd’s training. From this it might be plausible to argue that an athlete may deserve a high rate of pay because of how hard they have to work to be in their positions.

If we follow this line of debate however and presume that athletes have exceptional workloads, the argument fails when you compare athletes’ pay to each other’s. Both Serena Williams and Novak Djokovic are number 1 for women’s and men’s tennis, yet Djokovic brings in $48.2 million a year while Williams only gets $24.6 million. Both players have a large point margin over second place, and it’s safe to assume that they have similar training regimes being tennis players, and yet Djokovic earns more than $20 million more – how is this fair? Similarly, as Djokovic is number 1 in tennis we can compare him to the number 1 in a different sport such as athletics; Bolt, despite a horrendously tough training regime, earns a measly $21 million – all of that money comes from sponsorships as his salary is absolute $0, whereas Djokovic’s salary comes to $17.2 million. As someone who has done sprinting training at a BUCS level, and loves playing tennis too, I can honestly tell you that athletics training is brutal on the body. So if we’re suggesting that they deserve their pay because of how hard they work, there needs to be a severe overhaul of which sports get the highest pay.

We can’t even remedy this issue based on how good they are at their jobs – if people are paid fairly based on how good they are at their individual jobs, then the top in every sport should be paid similarly, as should the average, as should those in non-sport jobs.

If we instead base the pay on how important they are for society as a whole, the debate becomes a little more heated and convoluted. It can be argued that professional sport has a positive impact on society; sportspeople, who aren’t getting in trouble all the time, can be regarded as good role models; sports events are good for local economies, pubs putting on matches for example, as well as for simply giving people something to look forward to and to socialise around; they provide a window in which we can define morals and ethics to all of society, bettering issues of racism, sexism, homophobia and the likes. It would be foolish to argue that professional sports are completely useless to society.

However, doctors save lives on a daily basis, rubbish collectors ensure we have clean streets – if they go on strike at any point then we’ll all be screwed, police ensure we have a society in which we can feel safe, even politicians do important work for society sometimes. It might also be foolish then to suggest that professional sports are 1,819 times more important for society than those who make society work outside of sports, and allow for a society in which professional sports can exist.

If this article was written in a country like Brazil, the salaries of important figures that make society work would be vastly lower, and the issue would be far greater. Athletes are exceptional in their respective sports, and if we as a society regard sports as being worth paying for, then they deserve pay. However, personally, I can’t see any reason why some athletes will earn more from sponsorships and endorsements, like appearing in a few Gillette adverts on TV, in one year than the majority of people will earn in their lifetime – similarly with their salaries, the average footballer in the Premier League has worked hard to be in their position, but £25,000 per week hard..? That’s far more debatable
Friday 25 March 2016
Posted by JB

Long Live Southbank: Long Live Skateboarding

The glorious Southbank. (Photo from llsb.com)

One year ago today I wrote a blog outlining my arguments backing the Long Live Southbank campaign, which I think makes this a pretty good time to review its progress. (You can read that article here: http://www.thisisnotablog.org/2013/12/LongLiveSouthbank.html)

To put it briefly, the campaign was a massive success. September this year saw this statement put out on the LLSB website:
Following talks that have taken place over the last three months, Long Live Southbank and Southbank Centre are delighted to have reached an agreement that secures the Queen Elizabeth Hall undercroft as the long-term home of British skateboarding and the other urban activities for which it is famous.

The agreement has been formalised in a binding planning agreement with Lambeth Council. In the agreement, Southbank Centre agrees to keep the undercroft open for use without charge for skateboarding, BMX riding, street writing and other urban activities.
On the basis of the protections secured by the planning agreement, Southbank Centre and Long Live Southbank have withdrawn their respective legal actions in relation to the undercroft. These include Southbank Centre’s challenge to the registration of the undercroft as an asset of community value, Long Live Southbank’s application for village green status for the undercroft, and a judicial review of Lambeth Council’s decision to reject the village green application.

Long Live Southbank is pleased to support Southbank Centre’s Festival Wing project for the improvement of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery, on the basis that the plans will now no longer include any redevelopment within the skate area of the Queen Elizabeth Hall undercroft.

Cllr Lib Peck, Leader of Lambeth Council said; “I’m pleased that Lambeth Council was able to work with both sides and find an imaginative solution to resolve this. Shared public space in London is precious and Southbank Centre is a great asset to the country’s cultural life. This agreement is a sensible way of protecting both and we can all now look forward.”

To me, this appears to be an agreement based wholly on LLSB’s terms, which were, in my opinion, the only acceptable terms to agree on. The lack of compromise displays the triumph of the campaign; had there been, for example, a clause suggesting we would have to pay for entry to undercroft, or that street art was no longer permitted, or any other limitations or exclusions, the extent of its success would be capped.

The organisation and leadership of the campaign must be applauded for professionally and effectively directing LLSB, as without them this success wouldn’t have been possible. It is easy to see campaigns such as the ‘Occupy’ movement falter with a lack of effective organisation and direction, remaining in history as idealistic movements with no real success or solidification. LLSB’s leadership never lost sight of the target, thus effectively mobilised the membership in the right direction, displaying the professionalism of an interest group far more established.

In addition to this, the campaign was professional in regards to its media and PR. Having watched plenty of the LLSB videos on YouTube, purchased LLSB merchandise from the website and followed the Facebook and Twitter, I for one commend those who played a role in all of these areas. The videos are of a high standard, and gave a sense of legitimacy to the campaign, as did the posts on social media, which displayed utmost decorum; perfect for PR. Even the merchandise was of satisfactory quality; the whole production of LLSB was enough to give it a high level of legitimacy.

Long Live Skateboarding.

So, less brown-nosing of the LLSB campaign, more ranting.

In May this year, Norwich City Council proposed a ban on skateboarding in the city centre, vilifying those who take part in the pursuit, claiming that it causes extensive damage to public property and is a ‘nuisance’.

Their ignorance amazes me.

Firstly, whether skateboarding is a hobby, an interest, a way of life or whatever for those who do it, it is always an expression of oneself, and a source of fun for more than 11 million people worldwide. It is certainly not an example of ‘anti-social behaviour’. If anything, it is the total opposite; skateboarding, as with other pursuits, brings people together and gives people the opportunity to socialise, make friends who share their passion, and progress with their art together. It does not endanger the general public (barring any horrifically unfortunate, unlikely events), and does not aim to do so; skaters tend to want to enjoy skating, not causing havoc.

Secondly, skateboarding does not misuse public property. The term ‘public property’ directly implies that property is owned by the people, thus the people have the option to utilise it as they so please. For example, the existence of a rail does not have an explicit suggestion that it must be used as an aid for people to walk up a staircase, in fact people may wish to slide down rails on their backsides, or balance on it for the purposes of parkour, or ultimately grind on it with their skateboards. It takes those with creativity to see the rail as more than just the stair-climbing aid it was designed as; why should we perceive creativity as a criminal offence? (So long as it doesn’t actually hurt people, of course). Can it not be said that creativity is what gives us an interesting, diverse society? Banning skateboarding because it scratches a park bench or a rail outside a shop or a ledge on a bed of flowers is a gross overreaction. Any possible minor damages to such are a small price to pay to have a community of people both young and old enjoying the same pastime together. In fact, the art of skateboarding attracts far more viewers than any railing would on its own; the amount of times I’ve seen crowds of people watching as skaters utilise public property in an interesting way certainly evidences this. Not everyone is like this guy:

And that’s pretty much how Norwich City Council looks to me. As if they’re saying ‘SKATEBOARDING IS BAD BECAUSE IT JUST IS SO THERE’, as if participating in a primary school playground argument.

Leading on from this, my final point. Skateboarding is the total opposite of a nuisance, as I think has already been implied in this article. It is a well-respected, established sport with a huge following. One of the leading arguments I made for the LLSB campaign was that undercroft is a cultural hub for thousands of people; skateboarding itself is that culture. It adds to a diverse society of interests, allowing for people to see the world as they want to see it. But more practically than that, it’s a well-known expression used by officials that they wish to ‘keep young people occupied’ and stop them from ‘hanging around on street corners’ and the likes; in order to have a mobilised, occupied youth, there has to be the opportunity for young people to actually enjoy themselves and do things to pass the time, and skateboarding is certainly one of them. By taking away more and more pastimes for young people, you leave them with less and less options for enjoyment. So rather than seeing it as a nuisance, see it as a great way of giving young people an opportunity to enjoy themselves, and a way to educate people in the importance of being able to have fun, or in the importance of bettering themselves in whichever pursuits they wish to take part in. I would argue that if Norwich City Council make skating a criminal offence, they are setting a terrible precedent of anti-enjoyment; one which suggests that harmlessly pursuing a hobby is a ‘nuisance’ to society as a whole. In fact, the majority of times I’ve come into contact with skaters on the street, they have politely allowed people to pass to ensure it is safe before they continue, and so as to not impact other people’s days.

So to sum up, Norwich City Council: by making skateboarding a criminal offence, you devalue enjoyment in our society, when compared with the well-being of a few rails.

And all this coming from someone who doesn’t even skate.


You can find the LLSB campaign here: http://www.llsb.com/

None of the above: why it’s a good idea

My own take on a real ballot paper. (You can find it full-size on the Facebook page)
Turnout in May 2014 local council elections: 35.7%
Turnout in London Mayoral elections 2012: 31.0%
Turnout in UK Parliamentary elections 2010: 65.1%
(Courtesy of electoralcommission.org)
Turnout in 2013 Australian general election: 93.23% (usually fluctuates between 96% and 93%)

And yet they call us a ‘representative democracy’. From the figures we see above, the government is currently only representative of 65.1% of the public (I personally believe it’s representative of 0% of the public, considering no one voted for a coalition, but that’s another blog…), with local councils being even worse. However this is not wholly their fault, in fact the worst part is it’s technically the fault of the public – officials in power simply capitalise on whatever support they get, and take it as their sovereignty.

It is unfair to compare turnout rates in the UK to turnout rates in Australia, predominantly due to Australia’s system of compulsory voting; if you don’t vote you are asked to give a reason why, and if the reason is deemed insufficient you may be fined up to $170 – quite a good way to whip people into voting. However the most important part of this system of voting is the inclusion of a ‘none of the above’ option. This gives the public who are not enticed by any party standing in the election, or those who are adverse to the concept of sovereign rule completely to express their views without having to spoil their ballots, protest vote, or simply not turn up.

The inclusion of both compulsory voting and the ‘none of the above’ option would increase participation in elections in the UK substantially, and hopefully (as a by-product) increase interest and knowledge in politics. Most importantly, it would make our democracy that we clutch so dearly to work slightly better – no longer would people who hadn’t turned out to vote, yet still insist on critiquing the government because of stories they’ve heard from the media of which they actually have no idea about, be accused by people like me of having invalid arguments because they didn’t actually try to impact the election that put the government they so hate into power in the first place. (Of course, people like me would still accuse them of having little knowledge of the things they are pretending to be experts in, thus their arguments remain invalid, but hopefully having compulsory voting might entice people to actually take an active interest in politics). And governments might actually be able to call themselves sovereign, or accountable, due to the almost total participation of everyone making a decision on what they want.

However, I would take the ‘none of the above’ option slightly further, and treat it as if it were an actual candidate. If the option has the most support in a constituency (in a general election), that constituency would be subject to another election, until a winner other than ‘none of the above’ was found. Hopefully, this would help parties to make better policy and actually try to win people’s opinion with substantiated manifestos, while actually interesting people in politics slightly more; I’m quite certain people would not enjoy continuous compulsory elections due to a consistent ‘none of the above’ victory, so rather than paddling in disillusionment, maybe the public would take an interest – alongside the changing of party policy to better represent their wants and needs, people may actually start to vote rationally.

Of course, this view is very idealistic, and I’m sure in practice there would be far more difficulties in implementing it, or people simply wouldn’t behave in the way I would hope for them to in my head (the beauty of political science is you never can really precisely predict an outcome, and the beauty of that is that no one can ever tell you that your prediction is wrong (until it happens) because, without it actually happening there is no perfect precedent to go on), however in my opinion it would be a step towards a more representative government within our representative democracy, as well as a step towards educating the public on politics and the issues surrounding it.

(Note: If people do not become more interested in politics and actually become knowledgeable in it, I personally would love to see an authoritarian society where power doesn’t corrupt the leaders and they do everything in the interest of the people (due to the irrationality of so many voters who don’t know enough about politics and issues facing our country to really make a useful input (the problem with politics is everyone seems to have an opinion however ill informed), however that view is far too controversial, idealistic and near impossible, thus I’ll happily settle for the ‘none of the above’ and compulsory voting option…)

(Note again: I asked Richard Harrington (MP for Watford) what his views were on 'none of the above' and he stated that he agreed with it completely, as the participation of everyone in politics is utterly vital (or words to that effect.))

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