Archive for the ‘football’ Category


I have always been the patriotic sort, I love my home, my Englishness. I have worn and adorned my motorcycle with the cross of St George, the flag of England. My daughter challenged me, ‘Why have you got a racist flag on your bike?’

I explained patiently that the cross is more than an emblem of English thugishness, that it was the proud declaration of English heritage, Henry V and all that. Empire and two world wars, well maybe these are examples of English Thugishness in themselves. Scientific achievements, Art and great engineering. The flag was something to be proud of. 

I have now succumbed. After the Euro 2016 debacle, the Brexit vote which took all Englishness away from the emblem. Let me explain why.

In about 8000 BC Mesolithic hunter gatherers walked from Europe across the land bridge of Doggerland. The ice continued to melt eventually stranding the continental tribes people in what has become Britain. It seems, so far as has thus been proved via archaeology, that there was no settled population at the time of the severing of physical links with the continent. So, forgetting the evidence that every single one of us come from Africa, more recently we were all sausage eaters, garlic crunchers or whatever other disrespectful epithet comes to mind.


I am also aware of the arrival of the ‘Beaker People’ in these Islands. One, the Amesbury Archer, at least was so well thought of by ‘locals’ that they buried him close to Stonehenge. Another foreigner accepted by these Islands, and respected.
‘The latest tests on the Amesbury Archer, whose grave astonished archaeologists last year with the richness of its contents, show he was originally from the Alps region, probably Switzerland, Austria or Germany. The tests also show that the gold hair tresses found in the grave are the earliest gold objects found in Britain.’ (Wessex Archaeology Online)

In the years around 75 BC it seems that my home county was taken over by the Atrebates, a tribe of Celtic and German stock arriving from the continent.

55BC the first Roman Invasion, which would have undertaken by peoples from across the Roman Empire as soldiers, tradesmen, slaves, families and visitors. At this time the DNA of Britain must have contained traces of every other country in the then known world. 

Just after the end of the first Roman incursion a Celtic tribe, the Regnenses arrived on these shores under the leadership of Commius. His grandson Cogidubnus is probably the person who had the Palace at Fishbourne built and was an ally of Rome and welcomed them for the second ‘Invasion’.


Fishbourne Palace

Following the departure of Rome for the second time, the Picts became a problem, the Angles and Saxons were invited to settle and assist the country. There appears to have been no violent takeover by the Angles and Saxons, more a peaceful co-existence and development of a merging culture.


Then Vikings, Danes and ultimately French Normans (who were Vikings really). 


By 1066 therefore this country could not claim to be made up of one peoples. Truly the British were mongrels. A mix of stock from across Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond.

Further waves of French, Dutch then arrived with others from Europe. The Romani originiating in South Asia arrived in the 16th Century.

Peoples of the Indian sub continent began arriving as a result of the exploitation of the East India Company (founded in 1600). Many of those arriving from India way settled and took local wives. The first London Indian Restaurant was founded in 1810 by Sake Dean Mahomed a captain of the East India Company. His restaurant was called the Hindoostane Coffee House and he is also credited as the person introducing shampoo and therapeutic massage to Britain.


Sake Dean Mohamed

The 18th Century saw the continued migration of peoples to and from the UK. Africans, Indians and others. Following the war of independence 1100 black loyalist soldiers came to Britain, they were badly treated by those they had fought to protect / assist.


‘Thomas Peters: slave, millwright, soldier…and politician. His voyage from slavery to freedom began when he was kidnapped from Africa and sold into slavery; at the onset of the American revolution, he seized the opportunity to reclaim his freedom fighting with British forces. A talented craftsman, he became a leader of men on the fields of battle. The war’s conclusion found him traveling once again, hoping to redeem the British promise of freedom in Nova Scotia. In the 1780s and 1790s, the former sergeant found himself fighting in unfamiliar territory: the world of British politics. From New Brunswick to London, he tirelessly pursued freedom and justice for his community. He would help found the country Sierra Leone.’

The 19th century saw a substantial population of Germans arrive on these shores, then Russian Jews.

I find it strange that a land of mongrels, who in the past have welcomed ‘jonny foreigner’ and provided comfort and succour in times of need, has turned it’s back on the nations of their forefathers. 

So where am I left with my Englishness? I had thought, King Alfred and Wessex, that’s an answer. I will display Alfreds wyvern. I looked on line, the red Dragon is Celtic apparently. There is a discussion in some places as to whether Alfred used a gold or white wyvern. The white wyvern has been taken to the heart of WASPish organisations.


 I am left, I think looking for an emblem used by Commius (was he a red under the bed?) or the flag of Sussex. Of course the golden martletts on a blue field is a relatively new invention having been first used in 1622 by John Speed in his atlas, Theatrum Imperii Maganae Britanniae. 


So, Michael Owen when known footballer, apparently, wonders why football PLAYERS are being dealt with unkindly by some sections of the public.

 

To quote the great? Man;

 

“I turned to my wife, Louise, while sat in our lounge at home watching the Olympics, and said, ‘just you watch footballers get hammered once this is over’.

 

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19281103

 

Well let me see if I can think of any reason why overpaid prima donnas may be the object of scorn from some people. They are normal human beings with an extraordinary talent … aren’t they? If this were the case then perhaps they could win an occasional game, and I don’t mean against a team from Tristan da Cuhna.

 

Footballers, with a few notable exceptions, behave appallingly on and off the pitch. They expect mere mortals to fawn and toady to their every whim. The sums of money they demand are obscene and not in any way, apparently, linked to performance. (Who do they think they are, bankers?) The attitude has driven some clubs to bankruptcy, players demanding ever more money without necessarily returning the performance the clubs pay for.

 

Players are often loutish, boorish, mean spirited and far from being the ambassadors of sport Olympians like the brilliant Jessica and the marvellous Mo. They are no longer hungry for success because, along with most of society apparently, they are consumed by greed.

 

This can be established as a truth, I believe by reference to another sport, Rugby Union. Now, being of a certain age, I recall with no difficulty at all the ‘amateur’ years of greats like JPR and Billy Beaumont. I am sure they were not angels, indeed characters like Jason Leonard have admitted as much. However, in the days of amateur competition there was no real publicity around the players. This can only be because 1) they were gentlemanly and discreet 2) saved their worst excesses for ‘safe environments’ or 3) the press weren’t interested. This is in stark contrast to the behaviour and press coverage of the current England team.

 

Is it money that makes the players monsters, or that attracts the attention of the media?

 

Whatever the answer, money is at the root of the problem. I am quite happy for the sports people to earn a decent wage but the obscene amounts are counter productive.


The whole of Europe appears to be descending into poverty, Greece we all know about, Spain appears to be borrowing money to sort out it’s position. There is talk of Italy being next. Will Britain be far behind?

This is obviously bad news for everyone but, when viewed against the dangers of climate change and world environmental degradation they pale into insignificance. The media appear to have lost any interest in these topics though. Am I alone in thinking that a recession has caused people to conveniently put these problems to one side?

The politicians and their big business buddies must be pleased there is financial chaos. It won’t put a dent in their income like it does for everyone else, they may lose the odd 100,000 but hey, they have Harry Enfields ‘Loadsa dosh’ stashed away. But it does divert interest from things that may dent, terminally, their ability to irresponsibly profit from the rest of us at the expense of this dying planet.

News is concentrated on the economy, Syria and that other vitally important event, … football. Now, I don’t mind people enjoying the spectacle of 22 grown men chasing a pigs bladder, but is it so important that hours of media should be devoted to it? It would be more interesting if the players had their wages reduced to the national average, (along with bankers politicians etc) and there was actually some benefit to mankind from what they are doing. At least the employment of the brain dead in this way prevents the unemployment figures expanding even further. Poor old Wayne, if he couldn’t kick a ball he would probably be something really worthwhile like a road sweeper. The lads and lassies who look after our refuse deserve more plaudits that overpaid footballers. What benefit has football really given to mankind? Thuggery, violence, and misbehaviour of every kind.

At least today the sun is shining and I won’t get wet on my way to the pen today.