Monday, November 24, 2003

That Wasn't So Bad, Now, Was It ?

He came, he saw, he spoke, no-one changed their mind. But the riots didn't materialise, due to a huge police presence - and perhaps an awareness, as the news of the Istanbul atrocities broke, that tomorrows front pages were already filled.

And perhaps, just, among a few, a shameful feeling that declaring Bush to be the real terrorist while people were being dismembered in Turkey was somehow wrong. No evidence for that, mind you. But as Churchill said "If it is not true, it ought to be".

Harry has a couple of magnificent posts on this contradiction and the fact that the STWC couldn't bring themselves to make any reference to events in Istanbul. So has Norman Geras.

The Maxim Gun of Rugby

Little to say about events in Sydney yesterday, save that Jon Wilkinson was again the difference between the sides, just as in the Wales and France matches. But the chances England missed ! The game should have been sewn up at half time, though the Aussies hung on magnificently.

Unlike some of my fellow Wales supporters, I was cheering England on.

One notable feature has been the number of UK press articles by ladies getting all hot and bothered over manly hunks in ripped shirts. Is this the end of the New Man ? Can't see anyone asking Johnno or Phil Vickery about emotional literacy, can you ?

Sue Mott is the cheerleader, but here's a typical sample from the improbably named Tiffanie Darke. Wasn't she in Diamonds Are Forever ?

And here's a funny thing - the final has inspired the great Aaronovitch to wrap himself in the flag of St. George. Must admit I had him down as a rootless-cosmopolitan-the-world-is-my-country Englishman, like that great English patriot Billy Bragg.

But in a rambling essay ranging from Regents Park mosque to Patrick O'Brien via Agincourt (where I must point out the bowmen were Welsh, actually), he proudly asserts that despite our arrogant imperialism, our child-beating, our pavement vomiting, "we can be a bloody good lot".

Cry God for Arro, England and Saint George !