Dereck Chisora has been described as a “disgrace” following a brawl with fellow British heavyweight boxer, David Haye, following his points defeat at the hands of Vitali Klitschko on Saturday night. The day before Chisora was fined for slapping Klitschko at the weigh-in.
Funny that, these men get paid hundreds of thousands of Pounds for hitting each other. Yet a slap here, an unauthorised punch there, and the boxing authorities get serious. There is discussion, rightly, of Chisora losing his boxing licence.
How different from the boxing establishment’s reaction in 2010 when Chisora was convicted for domestic violence. He received a 12 week prison sentence suspended for 2 years after assaulting his then girlfriend. The Court heard on that occasion that he had previous convictions for public order offences, assaulting a police officer and possession of an offensive weapon.
Luckily for Chisora that boxing promoter Frank Warren was in court that day and handed the judge a letter ‘vouching’ for Chisora. There was never any suggestion then that he should lose his boxing licence then.
‘Kick Racism Out of Football’ has achieved some remarkable results. At Brighton and Hove Albion there is a new initiative to end homophobia in football. Sussex County Cricket Club sacked Ed Giddins for drug use. Isn’t it time now for sport to take a principled stand against sexism and sexist violence?
David Cameron has called for the introduction of fixed term tenancies of up to 10 years. This has sparked a long-overdue debate on the issue, a debate I welcome. There is often a knee-jerk opposition to any suggestion that the traditional model for social housing might be changed.
The concept that one size fits all is wrong whether it is applies to social housing or socks. I don’t think that there should be an automatic right to a tenancy for life for those lucky enough to get social housing. Circumstances change. There are extreme examples of students in the 1960s getting a housing association flat in areas such as Nottinghill in London who now head up their own companies and own second homes in Brighton. They are, of course, the exceptions, and policy shouldn’t be based on them.
At BHT we moved away from Assured Tenancies for some of our properties some years ago, replacing them with Assured Shorthold Tenancies that gave us greater flexibility to move people on. The homes in question were for former rough sleepers and we needed to ensure that these properties were available for those who are now in greater need – those recently off the street. We of course would assist those having to move on to find alternate accommodation, often in the private rented sector.
While I welcome the debate initiated by the Prime Minister, I don’t agree with an arbitrary 10 year rule. Take a sixty year old woman fleeing domestic violence who is rehoused in social housing. Would she be required to ‘move on’ at 70?
For some a fixed term tenancy is right, for others not. We need to think through these issues, debate them fiercely, and do our best to get the right outcome.