Chucking a bucket of cold water over people is not the best way to win a popularity contest. But these are the facts: we are out of the World Cup, and being force-fed a form of Brexit that even many who voted Remain don’t want. British citizens can either sit on the sofa and moan about it, or make their dissatisfaction clear in a telling way. 75% of Britons believe we are giving far too much to Brussels. If May and her unelected allies get away with this, then me, you and the person standing next to us will be the only people to blame.
So Southgate’s Cinderellas will not be going to the ball after all. Gareth himself is a first class coach, but as I posted after the Tunisia game, the English disease of overrating ourselves was once more at large. In the semi-finals, for the first time we met a creative team with open-play skills. And we lost. Just fancy that.
Please don’t write me off as just another Britain-knocker: Gareth Southgate’s genius in getting England to the semis was based on a brilliant insight: discipline in defence, and a focus on set-piece skills. For me, Gareth was without doubt The Man of the Tournament. But football by numbers will always lose out to that well-drilled defence plus midfield insights feeding omnivorous strikers.
England are an Mbeppe and a Griezemann short of a World Cup. Sad, but true.
The English disease (as I outlined it in the blog linked above) is that of delusional self-rating based on previous Imperial dominance on the Right, jumbled up with equally muddled ideas about reality on the Left. We used to have mad science set in the future, then we had bad science in the Now. In 2018, there is nothing but sad science from the past.
I mean, why not be a fan of phlogiston? It’s had a bad press, which is like, you know, so todally unfair and negadive, right? After all, Britain is trying to leave a European Union which is based on the assumption that social anthropology fieldwork findings don’t exist…..and of the two main players in the UK side of this game of Zen underwater rugby, one believes in an ideology from the 18th century based on a two-thirds undiscovered world, while the other clings to the 19th century theories of a guy you could barely see for beard, who at the end of his life encouraged people to ignore everything he’d written when he was young.
All three alchemists – the globalist Brussels sprout, the Comintern Corbynite and the Friedmanite Tory – are off with the fairies in one way or another. And yet, vast numbers of British citizens think one or more of them has the answer. This is a brilliant but somewhat surreal deduction when you consider that painfully few among the electorate have the faintest idea what the question is.
For me, the question is – and has been for too long already – this: how many decent, balanced but pissed off people are out there in the United Kingdom committed enough to force the various élite bubbles to face reality – and restore our rights?
Among the former unskilled working class, comfortable 45+ middle class and young unemployed cadres, I suspect there are very few. Their respective problems are desperate apathy, manipulated idealistic ignorance, and self-satisfaction.
Across the country, an ironic twist of fate is ensuring that two generations brought up to believe in provision from Westminster are convinced that someone else higher up will do something to rescue them.
Well, as we have seen with 50s born female pensioners, the chronically disabled, older people dependent on interest rates – and those who in good faith voted for Sovereign Brexit – there will be no rescue operation coming to their aid. Greedy private money and privileged public servants don’t care a fig for Citizen Rights: only a radical decency movement will be able to cut them out of cultural civics.
But the British who like being British (mark most Islamic clerics absent here) are not by nature activist. For many Brits, radicalism is somehow a foreign idea: what they haven’t noticed is that Left and Right ideological radicals have a great many voters in thrall.
It’s time we broke free from the former, and used innovative thinking to embrace the latter.