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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Sport for All

Shot with Olympus E500
Tuesday nights chez Ham means badminton, normally doubles, but I expected this week to be playing rotating singles. This would have given me the opportunity to take some good action shots for you.Unexpectedly, Emma (seen here) came so I found myself playing all the time. Spot the slightly staged nature of this shot.

But this isn't all about the way I spend my leisure time, fascinating though that might be. This newly built sports hall that we are playing in represents an amazing improvement to the facilities of a local school, made possible by Lottery Funding. Although I think that the lottery is a regressive tax, this stuff has to be good.

posted by Ham at 00:10 -- Comments here: 11

Comments on "Sport for All"


Blogger lynn said ... (09:59) : 

Very good indeed. I'd like to get back into badminton actually. Hmm. This is a great shot by the way, staged or otherwise. Did you win?


Blogger Helen said ... (11:17) : 

A tax is compulsory, even when it is called a TV licence. The lottery is not.

But badminton is a great game.


Blogger Ham said ... (11:38) : 

Did I win, Lynn? winning isn't important. I'm sure I can't remember ;-)

Helen, the TV license is optional - if you want TV you pay it. Betting Tax is optional, if you gamble you pay it. VAT is fairly progressive as it is absent on (most) basic necessities and is a proportion of what you spend. The Lottery is similar to other taxes that you pay if you choose something, BUT it is fundamentally different in that it is so heavily state/public broadcaster sponsored and given an aura of "good causes". As a result, many people who would not otherwise gamble do so, and that unquestionably affects those on low income disproportionately. That's regressive.


Blogger lynn said ... (16:38) : 

So you lost. Uh huh.

Is this your daughter, Ham, or are we to assume you were quite worryingly hanging your lens around someone else's court? lol. She's really lovely anyway.

Cor bit political all that last bit, weren't it Guv? lol. Surely a quid here and there isn't encouraging people to 'gamble' is it? I do also venture that a person is old and ugly enough to control themselves. This hopefully being the goal anyway once reaching 18. We can't collectively hold bodies responsible for the individual's decision, can we? I feel the blast coming full speed now, whistling past my suffering ears and blowing my hair behind me in its wake. Go on do your best...


Blogger Ham said ... (17:34) : 

She's the daughter of a couple I play badminton with.

I'm not that wound up about it, I just don't like regressive tax. Sure people make their own spending decisions, but in my view gambling and hard drugs can have a similar destructive effect on society (yes, and alcohol) and so - whatever my personal views (ie nothing like that) - I don't think that it's wrong for a state to control. But in this case, you have state sponsored gambling. That just smells bad.

The real issue is at the sharp end. Not just the problem gamblers spending more than they can afford, but the vast numbers of people reeled in on the dream "it could be you" - but almost certainly not - using the fig leaf of respectability of good causes. Truth is, the lottery has changed the face of charitable giving in this country, and I'd argue not for the better. The funds are also blurring the boundaries between government responsibility and are in effect being used in their place. And, as I said, this is regressive.

On the other hand, when I buy a ticket (which I haven't done for ages) I always like to do so well ahead, so I can daydream about the millions for longer. I actually don't think that's bad value for £1.


Anonymous imajoebob said ... (22:21) : 

I don't care about Lottery funding.
I don't care about VAT.
I don't care about Gambling taxes.
I don't care about Council taxes.
And I don't care about why, I just wanna know who I have to kill to gain an introduction to Emma.


Anonymous imajoebob said ... (22:27) : 

Did you use Autofocus? The net looks sharp, but not the young lady. I hate when that happens. I really hate when I set up the focus, hand the camera off so I can be in the picture, and forget to turn the lens to manual. I've got some razor sharp pictures of walls, hedges, and the stray pedestrian.

Here in the States we can lose a dollar twice a week to not win an average pool of about £10 million. But since a full match is not automatic, the average winner probably gets £25 million.

They used to make believe it all went to education (usually), but somebody figured out that if they made £50 million through the Lottery, they could just reduce general (compulsory) funding by the same amount and spend the taxes on other things. Like state contracts to construction companies that built a vacation home for our former governor. And now convicted felon (as are a few construction company owners).


Blogger Ham said ... (23:42) : 

imajoebob - focus is OK, I reckon. I set ISO down & no flash to keep a long shutter speed. Shot is 1/80 sec at appx 250mm handheld. I confess it was deliberate, and it achieved almost exactly what I hoped. My photography is my attempt to show you how I see things. Technically, it may be pants, but I'm happy.


Anonymous imajoebob said ... (05:44) : 

Ham -sounds reasonable. Love the tones. Did you shoot it black & white or convert it? My conversions tend to look "flat" compared to real B&W film. I love my APS ISO400 B&W film (C-41 process!).


Blogger Ham said ... (08:11) : 

imajoebob - it's shot in RAW (I always do) and converted to B&W using CS2 channel mixer. If my memory serves me: 0% Red, 60% Green 40% Blue. I'm not certain because I process for the blog & save to jpg.


Blogger lynn said ... (19:59) : 

Hmm you give good argument, Sir. I can see, Ham that is, your point. I tend to have an even more cynical view actually regarding your idea that the lottery grants replace government funding. I actually think without the lottery a lot of things would not be funded at all. So yes the Government is using it, but i don't think as a replacement. It's a getout. Even more grim.

I like you buy now and then the £1 ticket and dream of my forthcoming millions. I'm far too impatient though to buy ahead. Normally i'm a drop-by-newsagent-on-way-home merchant with minutes to spare while the doubtful assistant tells me he thinks i've missed the deadline. Yay i just scrape through, rush home with my pink ticket to freedom and check them off as soon as the numbers appear. Nearly always the same. One number.

I really should get out more.


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Name: Ham Location: London, United Kingdom View my complete profile