Sunday, 27 June 2010

So, that should be that

No doubt the Murdoch rags will suggest that England's potential equaliser was not given because of a full-scale Blatter/Platini conspiracy (and yes, I'm well aware of the chutzpah inherent in my calling anyone else a conspiracy theorist). There is no doubt some case for comparing it to the third goal 44 years ago, and suggesting that back then England still often got what it needed because of the residue of imperial power (the global spread of British pop culture in the '60s was much more the last gasp of the old empire, always crucially dependant on the new one, than the dawn of a new, post-imperial identity for Britain which much of the Left still dangerously believe it was) whereas now, after decades of misplaced grasping and opportunity-missing, it has to fight like any other country and, both because of its history and its latterday teaboy status in someone else's empire, is less likely to get it than most. But that is just carmodising: the truth is that England were not good enough. They might well not have beaten Ghana, for whom it really would have been "more than a match" much more than this one was to either side. And they're likely to be even worse under the sort of manager The Sun would want (with the sole exception of Roy Hodgson, the only English manager who has sufficient experience of the world game that he might be able to make his mediocre, celebified charges actually care about something they can't earn grotesque amounts of money from). That is the brutal truth. It must be faced. At least now the political consequences I feared will presumably not happen - and, with right-wing English nationalism held back, it might also be easier for Andy Murray. Hopefully even The Sun will not begrudge that.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Hell on earth

So, the USA's 90th-minute goal is the reason why England are playing Germany rather than Ghana.

Europeans being turned against each other - and specifically English people being turned against Germans - is what the powerful right-wing forces in the US dream of, as it quashes any kind of hope that the EU might be a great power in itself, no longer dependant on US backup.

The upsurge of English nationalism which would follow an England win - that may seem unlikely, but never underestimate the ability of English players to play above themselves against the country they have mostly been brought up to despise - might make it almost impossible for millions who know no other land to live in England, quite apart from the push it would undoubtedly give to Scottish separatism (already boosted by the election, of course) and the ethnic-nationalist-led chaos that would cause in England.

I would not rule out the possibility that the CIA fixed the USA game on the (as it turned out, correct) assumption that Germany would beat Ghana. Even if they didn't, I knew from the moment that goal went in that Germany would win. The USA couldn't prevent England playing Germany. It would have refuted everything they want the most.

The pre-history of ethnic cleansing in England might decisively begin today.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Message to HKM

Why should you be surprised about Mick Jagger doing a right-wing song in 1987? He did more to promote neoliberalism in Britain, and break down the post-war settlement, than even Keith Joseph.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Commercial radio says ...

... that 6Music has to be closed because it interferes with their business.

NME Radio, the most similar commercial station to 6Music (the FM commercial stations come from a completely different world), is to disappear from DAB and satellite television and will only be available online.

That went well, didn't it?

A cursory listen - mainly in taxis - to other FM commercial stations reveals that, once again, choice is a neoliberal fiction: a smaller station now thrust into competition with Heart is playing "Lost in Music" and "Fame", pure Heart fodder. Admittedly it only used to play all the 90s ILR standards, "Over My Shoulder" and "Sugar Coated Iceberg" and so on ad infinitum, and yes I know "Lost in Music" is a much better song than any of the Mondeo staples, but even so. I have no great enthusiasm for the daytime output of Radio 2, but to even begin to compare that fairly balanced and varied combination of old and new with its direct competitors is beyond grotesque. The BBC must be wary of Tory blandishments attempting to secure their supposed "heartland" with talk of public service - from Cameronite mouths whose owners don't understand the meaning of the phrase, that only means ghettoisation and marginalisation, and then oblivion.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Am I the only one ...

... who is thoroughly repulsed by the general atmosphere surrounding this World Cup? The grotesque Anglo-supremacy and centricity of the commentators ("everybody loves an underdog" when New Zealand scored in injury time against Slovakia - subtext: THEY ARE THE MASTERS YOU ARE THE MASTERS SLOVAKIA WILL JUST BE BLOODY COMMIES FOREVER - Tyldesley still going on about Ayresome Park and 1966 THREE FUCKING MINUTES after North Korea had scored), the universal hatred of the vuvuzelas as if every World Cup should be held in England, or at least have an atmosphere indistinguishable from the Reebok Stadium or somewhere - it's hideous, and the antithesis of everything the World Cup is supposed to be about. RTE must be better, surely?

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Pseudo-nationalism and the fake flag: a brief comment

Millions of people are no doubt deeply disappointed this evening. I am not among them. I never really believed that England would beat the USA anyway - right from the start, quite apart from thinking the draw was fixed to make The Sun and its readers look as absurd as possible, I sensed that the England players would feel too much of a cultural gratitude to the country they should be playing for to be able to play anywhere near as well against it as they did against, say, Croatia - but the spectacle of Sun readers pretending to be disappointed was, on one level, a mildly amusing joke. But only for about 30 seconds - it then becomes the sickest joke of all.

In no other country are the people who fly the flag most fervently those least entitled to display it. In England, as nowhere else in the world, the people who claim the flag as their own, and moan endlessly about "foreigners" and "spongers" and "our culture", are the ones who speak like foreigners, dress like foreigners, watch and listen to foreigners almost exclusively, and let foreigners tell them what to think and what to do and who to hate. They know nothing of the country they claim to support.

I spit on your flag. You don't deserve it. You deserve to be ruled from Washington in ten years. You don't deserve England, or any country. To paraphrase Lydon on "God Save the Queen", I don't spit on the Cross of St George because I hate England, I spit on it because I love it.