Once again, I have not written much on my blog recently. Just at the moment it is difficult to keep up a diary about nothing in particular while Nothing in Particular has been elevated to the level of national and international discourse, and the base, the trite and the plain rude have now become the everyday normal. With added vulgarity and insult in every news bulletin.
I have ceased campaigning for the rights of British citizens in Europe, as it is quite clear that nobody is listening to us and there is no point. Just as nobody is listening to British citizens in the UK any longer. It is every man and woman for themselves now. Collective action is no longer really a sensible playbook. Even the visit of the zombie President to the NATO meeting has shown there is no point being a head of a European government any more either! The script is being written elsewhere, in Washington and Moscow.
There is nothing to say about the shameless Conservative government, the awful opportunist Labour Party opposition, the total brainwashing of the voters of the UK by the digital Facebook scandal, or the electoral fraud that remains uninvestigated and unprosecuted. (See the Guardian articles, particularly by Carole Cadwalladr, if you can be bothered, and very few of you can.)
Senator Madeleine Albright has released a book about the real dangers of fascism. She should know, as a child refugee from the Nazis, now looking in dismay at Trump. I have also been re-reading Umberto Eco’s essay “Ur Fascism” (New York Review of Books, look it up), which is the best thing that George Orwell never wrote. Populism is stalking the world like a zombie we thought we had killed in 1945.
But who cares? There is the football World Cup. I have been boycotting it fairly successfully till now, since we are supposed to be teaching the Russians they cannot annexe Crimea; help Assad to gas children; shoot down civilian airliners; or poison the citizens of Salisbury, Wiltshire. (When I say boycotted “fairly successfully” I mean apart from two entire matches I happened to see while dropping into the Pantano in Orxeta to relieve my thirst during the dry spell while England matches happened to be on the TV by coincidence.)
But hey! that’s not the Putin playbook, so we all have to revise our approach. Russia is a nice cuddly country where people just like to welcome football fans and wear fancy dress like all jolly football fans; and the FSB thugs and Russian mafia have been locked in a broom cupboard for three weeks, so they don’t screw up Putin’s sporting hobby and his bid for world domination.
ENTER stage left, Gareth Southgate and the England team. Yes it is WAISTCOAT WEDNESDAY !!!
The Daily Star has announced it is “Waistcoat Wednesday” and in the absence of anything remotely morally uplifting, forget the boycott of Russia and support the England team. It would indeed be a strange thing if I ever quoted the Daily Star again in the rest of my life, but with the present vulgarity of British political and social life it seems refreshingly innocent.
The England manager has been responsible for a 100% increase in the sale of Marks & Spencers waistcoats. Not only that, he has provided leadership when the present hopeless Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has not. He has succeeded in motivating a young team with praise and kindness and good manners. So, for the first time since I was fifteen in 1966, an England team looks like a fine bunch worth supporting.
And yes, I will be watching it in a waistcoat at Serena’s bar in Finestrat. No longer boycotting the World Cup, since nobody can be bothered to punish Russia.
The international pariah is now the USA anyway: choose your mafia thug. And another thing: the game is in Moscow, not Russia, and I stopped teaching Geography after I was sacked four months ago; so who cares where Moscow is?
England manager Gareth and donkey Matilde relaxing before the semi-final