When Friday Comes #6 – It Could Be England

image1Yesterday’s murder in Birstall served up a gruesome unwanted glimpse into a possible future that’s about as welcome as Donald Trump in a hiphop club. The ghosts of Mosley and Powell are stalking the land and many people are genuinely frightened. Understandably so.

Anyone who has read Paul Mason’s seminal book PostCapitalism will have an idea of what the future could hold. The author believes intensified conflict over immigration looms like a dark cloud on all our horizons. As the Four Horsemen of the Neoliberal Apocalypse – permanent economic stagnation, global warming, poverty and war – intersect, and make many underdeveloped countries virtually uninhabitable for millions of the world’s poorest, huge population movements into Europe and the USA will be inevitable as refugees and migrant labour follow the trail of wealth and hope. Mason makes it clear this isn’t inevitable but will need a counter narrative to the twilight world of moribund capitalism.

Through thinkers like Mason, and through the actions of millions of disparate practitioners of socialised economics, a counter narrative is emerging, slowly but surely. If we look hard enough we can find its seeds close to home as well as further afield but at what pace will they sink roots and flourish? This is the great unknown at present. There may be much darker days ahead.

Football is as good a form of escapism as any. This isn’t an admission of apathy or abnegation of responsibility. There is so much suffering in the world that to try and point your antennae at all the horror would drive you insane. You can only do what you can and help where you’re able to. Sometimes you need to look away which is one reason I’m glad the European Championships are on. They’re a much needed diversion (for some of us) from the rest of the day’s news. If the TV cameras were pointed away from the usual beer-bellied chair-flingers they’d find joy, excitement and the spirit of internationalism. Football fans from our nearest neighbours in Iceland, Northern Ireland, Wales and Ireland are having a ball, bringing colour and partying to the streets of France. That’s the way it should be. On the field they’re all still in with a shout of qualifying for the next round. Bonus.

As per usual the meeja are obsessed with the next door neebors. To be fair the England team are playing well. They’ve got a decent squad with plenty of attacking flair in it. Their players seem to relish playing for their country, giving their all, in a way the financial bloaters and bigheads of yesteryear didn’t seem to bother. But their match against Wales showed how success and failure are just a baw hair apart. As Jonathan Watson mentioned in a twitter exchange yesterday Roy Hodgson was just a minute away from a sacking. This may or may not be the case but we’ll never know now thanks to Vardy.

Like other Scottish football fans I miss our own team not being involved. Instead of lapping up heroic defeats in the glorious sunshine we’re playing pointless friendlies that serve only to embarrass us. France was our last chance of a decent footballing party for a while. Even if Scotland qualify for the next couple of World Cups who wants to go to corrupt cesspools like Qatar or Russia? Having the tournaments played there is a bizarre joke that only the FIFA brown envelope brigade think is funny.

There should be plenty of quality matches in the weeks ahead though. When it gets down to the business end of the tournament I expect Germany to step up to the mark again and win with teutonic efficiency. (“You can never count out the Germans” (c) every fucker).

But there’s part of me thinks it might be England this time. Seriously. They’ve got the squad cohesion and never-say-die attitude that Hibs had in the Scottish Cup final. (Did I mention that Hibs won the Scottish Cup? Aye? Just checking.) For some in these lands an England victory would be akin to Malcolm McDowell’s ordeal by eye-opener in Clockwork Orange but I’d be okay with it. Up to a point. The point where I switch off the bawheids in the London TV studios. Ja.

If there’s one thing that will unite every true football fan over the next few days (except for viewers in the Austro-Hungarian Empire) it will be the rallying cry: Come On Ye Bjorkies. Fuck knows how they’ve managed to get this far with a population the size of Musselburgh but they’re what the romance of football is all about. They’ve put a smile on a lot of faces already. Here’s hoping for more. Go Iceland!


Comments (7)

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  1. Mike says:

    I know it helps to say it out loud so the prospect is less frightening, but fear not Kev, no chance for England FC this year.

    Still at least UEFA have got the stadium and surrounding neighbourhoods security on point *side-eye down camera*.

  2. c rober says:

    I dont do the whole footy thing , the millionaire mercenaries only start to warm up if they get through to the next stage , then beleif ups the gear… slightly. Only when there is quarter finals do they disengage the parking brake.

    This is also obvious with Portugal , that Ronaldo block doing himself and Iceland a disservice for example , showing that for too long the prima maradona wnats tae run aff hame wi the baw , expecting referees to give him more than fairness.

    Same goes with Fifa and Uefa , its time for more change at the park in international events , things like goal line , 2nd refs sitting in front of monitors and my personal favourite that would help all football the sin bin borrowed from Ice hockey…. diver , yellow kerd , sin bin mate.

    Do I hope that England win , no. Its not yer usual anti english chip on yer shooder here , but they are stale and reliant far too much on shrek , whom I do actually admire as a player , but I feel for wales , whom are for me the best team they have ever fielded.

    Glasgow City for me are the best that Scotland has to offer , unfortunately its somehow an acceptance of homosexuality to prefer womans footy , rather than to watch 22 millionaires men play averagely , dive , and cheat their way to semi finals before a game breaks out.

    The amatuer game is being forgotten , much like athletics in the olympics allowing professionals , and we suffer because of it.

    In a nation where its always dire weather wise , we still have no covered stadia , we still have a season playing in winter , so is there no surprise when the best we have to offer the national squad play like Sunday leaguers in nationals , prefer to move south or abroad , and reject the dark blue for protecting their millions in career earnings?

    Then perhaps the future for Scotlands national squad is to look toward youth , beyond the primary league structures and lift from the club reserve squad players keen to show their skills for the open wider market?

  3. m boyd says:

    The majority of the Icelandic population are to a certain extent part Scottish genetically (i kid you not) so there is logic to supporting them. As for England, they couldn’t beat the worst team in the tournament; struggled against a team made up of one player and could be out if they lose their next match.

    1. Farmer fred. says:

      Genetics a reason for supporting a team? Jeezo Adolf. And Scottish nationalism is so pure and lovely. Wanker!

        1. Farmer fred. says:

          wow, how to really miss the point.

  4. Ally says:

    Ah’ve been achin fir a reason tae ging ower tae Russia. Scotland (or, fuck it, Iceland) qualifying fir the Ruskie World Cup would deffo see me bungin the kilt in the bag an makin aff tae Moscow.
    Russia’s boilin hot in the summer, hoachin wi sound cunts, an gies us a chance tae brak doon the barriers wir governments hae bin biggin. Russia 2018 will be ace.
    Too soon tae caa the winner o the euros like. I still fancy the French.

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