I write this on the eve of the exercise in harmonising our relations with Europe that is the England -Germany semi-final and I had completely forgotten that Hitler had just invaded Poland and Goering was launching constant air attacks on London, but luckily The Daily Mirror reminded me.
The jingoistic frenzy being whipped up by the tabloids is beyond belief. The bring on the Hun mentality of these scummy, warped fuckups who call themselves journalists is exactly the kind of attitude to incite a full on riot if and when we lose.(And I wonder who'll be the first people to condemn the "mindless thugs who drag this country's name into the mud" if this happened?) Is it just me or do I detect a change in the attitudes towards shit like the Sun and the newly downmarket Mirror? There does seem to be a genuine sense of outrage at the blatantly racist hysteria emanating from these papers before the Spain and the Germany games.
The people who write for these papers say they are only writing what people want to read, and that it's far harder to write for the Sun than the Independent or The Guardian. Nay, nay and thrice nay as old Frankie might have said, anyone can write right wing populist crap that appeals to the lowest common denominator and stifles anything new, interesting or different by deriding and pillorying anyone who dares to stand outside the norm. I'm sick to death of people who should know better telling me that these papers are "clever" or better than The Daily Mail because they're somehow more honest.
Bollocks, they're all as bad as each other and all of them have the same agenda, to sell millions of papers and keep in any Government that has a vested interest in them being there. Hence Murdoch's support of any Party that supports him around the world. Free press? Hmmmm.
So how do Left leaning liberal types not normally given to feelings of affection and love for the union Jack and all it represents deal with the England question? There's a quote from Guy Burgess (the English spy who defected to The Soviet Union) "I can say I love England. I can't say I love my country because I don't know what that means", which sums it up for me. The great sight for me of the Championships has been the sight of Wembley after the England games, a true celebration(just a shame David Badddiel has to be there) reclaiming it back from the bigots and the pissed up whiteboy Fascists.
If supporting England means anything it means supporting the England of piss takers, jungle and Jarvis far more than the "two world wars and one world cup " mentality of the tabloids. By the time you read this we'll probably have been thrashed by the Kraut bastards in the semi-final anyway so fuck it....ooopps.
Very quiet on the Albion front this month, all the good players hanging out for better offers from other clubs (Minton, McCarthy, Zeke Rowe) all the shit ones signing up (Rust, Allen, Storer), and no developments on the Brady-Archer situation, just the cheering news that ticket prices have gone up by a pound, season ticket sales are the lowest ever and we've got a pre-season friendly with of all clubs, Pompey.
I'm off to blag some more space on these pages for my ugly mug, sorry to inflict that on you all...IT doesn't get better than this.
Steve North. 25.6.96.