Monday, June 05, 2006

World Cup Apathy Approaches Fever Pitch: An Englishman Argues For His Country's Defeat

The debates about the merits of Mr John Prescott have prompted many commentators to compare him to that late son of Nairn, Mr (later Viscount) Willie Whitelaw, who was memorialised by Mrs (later Lady) Thatcher with the worrying remark "everyone needs a Willie".
Mr Whitelaw made his own contribution to the gaiety of the nation during the 1974 General Election, when he accused the Labour Party of "going around the country, stirring up apathy". Logically, this was impossible, but sentimentally, it was undeniable. (Sir Menzies Campbell is, as I write, demonstrating that apathy can be induced).
My own apathy has been stirred by the ludicrous attention which is being given to the FIFA World Cup, and as the kick-off approaches, it is at fever pitch. The interventions of the Senior Retainer, Mr Jack McConnell, who has attempted to make himself both newsworthy and nationalistic (in a way that has no consequences) by declaring his support for Trinidad and Tobago, have only served to increase my ire.
In this context, I was amused to read the entry on the journal Stumbling and Mumbling, in which an Englishman argues in favour of his country's failure at the tournament.


Martyn said...

There is a silent minority who feel something similar. I prefer a more aloof, middle-way, indulgently allowing the little people to have their fun, then laughing like a drain when England go out on penalties. Thereby, having it both ways.

Anonymous said...

I hope England win, because the pitbulls-with-typewriters in the English press have forced Sven out of his job on the grounds that he isn't passionate, wears glasses, and was taken in by the News of the World's fancy dress correspondent.