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Just watch this video and realise that not only does English football urgently need a man like Brian Clough, British public life generally does too. A sense of fair play, a respect for authority, a deep understanding of genuine priorities – what’s really important (like taking the initiative when someone’s being an idiot and stopping them!) – and a healthy contempt for the BBC’s po-faced, self-important, self-appointed, misplaced, half-baked didacticism. Best man never to have managed England, obviously, and rightfully regarded by those who knew him or supported football clubs he coached as a legend. Wish I’d been one of them!

Marvellous.

My word he would have made a team out of that bunch of overpaid airheads and losers we sent to South Africa. He makes Don Fabio look like precisely what he is, only a half-decent manager, and John Motson look like precisely what he is: a complete idiot.

Where are this nation’s Brian Cloughs, with all that flair, individualism and inner steel, when we so desperately need them!

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A serious Labour politician

The sound of son of a butcher and former schoolteacher Paul “Lord” Myners on the Today programme this morning was all the reminding I needed of how utterly delusional members of the previous government remain, particularly in the area of their economic (mis)management. He seemed to be saying that what the coalition government is doing in announcing what amount to, in reality, pretty modest savings in the short term, designed merely to halt the speed of expansion of the national debt by slowing down government spending rather than slashing it, is putting some kind of Labourist-inspired ‘recovery’ at risk. I kid you not.

He and his ilk still seem to think that the last months of Brown, where spending was allowed to run out of control not as part of any genuine attempt to kick start the economy through some kind of novel notion (which even Keynes never proposed) that you can spend your way out of recession while servicing gigantic levels of borrowing, but as part of a calculated effort to save nothing more and nothing less than Brown’s political career by bribing Labour’s heartlands and key marginals, is actually defensible. It’s not, epsecially because it worked, predictably, in the North East, North West and, to a slightly lesser degree, Yorkshire, hence there was no Labour wipeout even if it didn’t save Brown (nothing could), but it didn’t work in the marginals, hence the coalition.

The point is, let us hear no more from the likes of Myners pretending that there was no political calculation involved with the reckless spending levels following the crash, or, indeed, that Labour had nothing to do with causing that crash with its disastrous system of banking regulation or deliberate stoking-up of cheap credit into a gargantuan property bubble. Even without the credit crunch (which did start in America) there would have been a crash in Britain inevitably, and a pretty big one at that.

Additionally, Myners completed his flight from reality by claiming that the latest G20 meeting was pointless and lacked the substance of the London summit in 2009, presumably because Cameron was there making the case for deficit reduction in the UK, rather than arrogantly lecturing the rest of the world about how to manage their own economies. I suppose Myners was so dismissive about the event because there was no really big chunk of money to boast about at the end. I think it was a mere one trillion dollars at the London event wasn’t it? Well, of ‘promised’ money that is, of course, although hardly any of it ever materialised and hardly any of that which did had any effect on the forces of nature driving the economic cycle anyway. But socialists don’t understand that, see? Sometimes the right thing to do strategically is nothing. Well, it matters not for the likes of Myners or Brown or, come to think of it, Alistair “Apologise To Me!” Darling any more. All they can do from now on is nothing. That, at least, should mean that they can do no more damage, thank God.

One last thing I thought worth mentioning: at the end of that programme we also had the annoying, schoolboy voice of Nick Robinson putting the sneering BBC spin on the Cameron G20 performance by referring to a picture of him with his head in his hands as the utterly outclassed, out-thought and luckless England team went 4-1 down to the dreaded Germans and musing, rather lamely I thought, as to whether this “new leader on the world stage” (he’s not that new) would end up “hapless” and ignored by the others. I wondered to myself at that point, seeing as it was apparently the day to make sweepingly dismissive statements, whether the performance of this England team, rather than somehow reflecting a “hapless” David Cameron, at least in mind of the Robinson talking head, had far more symbolic force as representing the end of the era of expensive under-performers who nevertheless walk away with a fortune despite having been kicked out of the tournament. That’s not England, thought I, that’s New Labour! Funny how the two eras, the “Golden Generation” and the gilt-edged years of plenty under New Labour, seem to parallel one another. But, of course, the reality check in the Merchant of Venice (Act 2, Scene 7) says it all:
All that glitters is not gold/Often have you heard that told/Many a man has his soul sold…

Less money (unless deserved), more passion (motivation) and more graft (productivity): that’s what we need not only from England’s footballers, but from the British population generally. Less bling and more sting; more passion – and less fashion. The superficiality of England’s performance almost perfectly parallels the intellectual and moral vacuum at the heart of New Labour. Over-rated and all mouth, costing a fortune, but when the going gets tough they crumble and the results become disastrous. In England’s case, Germany showed them up for what they really are, in New Labour’s, it was the crash. The only difference is, of course, that England were beaten by superior opponents, which is fair enough, but Myners is trying to defend Gordon Brown, the team captain who made all the wrong moves, chose all the wrong tactics and managed to defeat himself, taking the country with him. And that was after the credit crunch began. That was merely his Germany in the economic tournament. The moment Brown was really tested, the whole economic kingdom of debt that he created crumbled, and so did New Labour.

Myners and others who choose their own narrative on this lamentable passage in British history according to their political orientation are naturally welcome to do so. It might even be a coherent, even persuasive, story for the gullible, but it will never make it right.

As for the BBC, well, I assume there will come a time when the Conservative party finally has its bellyful of the licence fee-funded, left wing dominated organisation’s constant breaching of its charter and either disinfects it once and for all or breaks it up into little pieces, some commercial (the ones that are already, that is!) and some taxpayer-funded, with no licence fee. Then the left will have to go away and infect some other institution, if there are any remaining in the United Kingdom, which I doubt.

PS: Actually, Myners’ performance on this morning’s show was all the more bizarre when you consider that speech he made torpedoing current Labour politicians’ arguments against Tory plans. As Wiki says of the speech:

On 8 June 2010, Myners made headlines with a speech he made in the Lords. He said, “We clearly need a policy of fiscal caution. It was right to support the economy during the global recession but there now needs to be fiscal adjustment, as evidenced by the last Government in the Fiscal Responsibility Act. There is nothing progressive about a Government who consistently spend more than they can raise in taxation, and certainly nothing progressive that endows generations to come with the liabilities incurred by the current generation.”

Well, my feeling is now that he made that speech certainly not for the benefit of the Tories but to influence the Labour leadership race, possibly in favour of Ed Balls. Conclusive proof, if you’ll forgive the straw man, that Labour is only talking to itself. Long may that continue.

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