Monday, 21 June 2021


I feel out of touch. We’re in the middle of the Euros and I don’t feel engaged. Worse…whenever I hear the word I think of “Uros” or Urology, the branch of medicine that focuses on surgical and medical diseases of the male and female urinary-tract.

What’s wrong with me? What’s not to like about this tribal, passionate game that evokes such spirit, creativity and wealth with 50 world players estimated to be worth more than £50 million? Why don’t I warm to their chants:

Two of these to the tune of “Lord of the Dance” 

“Park , Park wherever you may be, you eat dogs in your home country. It could be worse, you could be scouse and eat rats in your council house”

(About Ji-Sung Park, the Korean player at Manchester United)

The fans followed this up with 

“He shoots, he scores, he’ll eat all your Labradors”

The second, some time ago, was Chelsea fans singing about John Terry after his affair with his fellow player Wayne Bridges’ girlfriend:

“Chelsea, wherever you may be, keep your wife from John Terry”

And because I live in Brighton – whose team (my team, I suppose) managed to remain in the Premier League this year:

“You’re practically French, You’re practically French, you’re so far southern you’re practically French” (Hull fans at Brighton)

And from Arsenal fans trading on the reputation Brighton has for having a large proportion of gays in its city: 

“We can see you, we can see you, we can see you holding hands”.

But there’s one I like. It’s been sung by various teams when they’re being trounced (like when Tottenham were 4-0 down to Liverpool)

“Let’s pretend. Let’s pretend. Let’s pretend we scored a goal” 

This is followed by rapturous applause. I like this because these fans appreciate the irony of their devastating defeat and are saying self-deprecatingly “it doesn’t matter….it’s only a game.”

The biggest news for me about the Euros/Uros (whatever) is the stand-off between the government and some 2,500 UEFA officials who are coming to the Semi-Finals and Finals at Wembley, who unless the latter are given a quarantine waiver are threatening to move these games to Hungary.

We’re not very popular anywhere right now are we? 

The USA gave us a detention (a seldom given “demarché") before the G7 – it’s a formal bollocking in diplomatic circles indicating displeasure about our behaviour – namely our failure to sort out the Irish protocol.

The French hate us, our sausages, our fishermen and just about everything else about us. 

The Germans don’t trust Boris. So what? Who does?

Even those nice people in Chesham and Amersham don’t like our government, booting out a prospective Tory MP in a by-election who was nearly 10 feet tall and installing a Liberal instead in this rock-hard-safe Tory seat.

We have in footballing terms become the Millwall of politics:

“Nobody likes us we don’t care”

Actually I do care. I care about our values and how others see us. I feel patriotic but most of all that we need to be seen by all our colleagues across the world as reliable, trustworthy and civilised.

Politics and diplomacy are not like football not yet even after Donald Trump who set a certain adversarial tone that jarred. But we’ve acquired a “Chopper Harris” attitude to life - Ron Harris played for Chelsea and had what was euphemistically described as “a tough approach to tackling”

We need to get smarter not tougher but I can’t see that happening soon. And as far as the Euros go, frankly my dears I don’t give a damn.

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