Posts Tagged ‘World Cup’

Baby Boomers have a lot to answer for.

January 5, 2016

In 1967 I turned 20 years old and after a Summer on the buses I was down at Portsmouth Polytechnic doing my degree course.

The World was wonderful.

England had won the World Cup and their Manager knighted (nowadays he’d have got a peerage).

The Mersey Beat was everywhere. It seemed that anyone, who had a guitar was cutting No.1 records, even those who couldn’t play them (Graham Nash?). The Beatles were getting hippy and California was moving into “The Summer of Love” with Americans protesting their Government’s Colonialist war in Viet Nam.

Revolution was in the air, with some serious clashes with massed police in London. We hadn’t been widely aware of much of the Civil Rights movement in the USA, mainly because we had little real public contact with America. Telephone calls to the USA cost huge sums and radio was crackly.

This was the year of the first live global television link by satellite when 400 million people saw and heard the Beatles play “All you need is love”.

It wasn’t until the following year at the Olympics and the Black Power Salute, that we fully realised how much hotter it was in the USA.

Meantime UK was about to become rich, because the The first North Sea oil was being pumped ashore. It never occurred to us that politicians would find means to squander the new found wealth, e.g. the launch of the first Polaris Submarine.

(That was one nasty little political ploy, where we gave away our own successful rocket (Blue Streak, thereafter the Ariane) as a bribe to the French to let us join the Common Market. It didn’t work Charles de Gaulle vetoed British entry.

Parliament decriminalised male homosexuality with the Sexual Offences Act.

The British steel industry was nationalised

The Abortion Act, passed in Parliament, legalising abortion on a number of grounds (with effect from 1968).

Lots of other things happened in that year such as first broadcast of colour TV, opening Milton Keynes, first conviction under the Race Relations Act 1965.

By the time I was in my thirties, being absorbed into mainstream working life, my generation had undergone Social changes, normalising homosexuality and recognising a need for racial co-existence. The Dagenham girls had forced the equal pay act into draught. We were engaging in an economic alliance with our near neighbours (although I had, for one, had voted against it). We had North Sea Gas and Oil coming ashore in sufficient quantities to enable us to pay off our debts, fully fund our State pensions, build new hospitals etc.

It’s not the generation now deriding mine as being racist and homophobic, who created the world that they see around them. It’s my generation and those who remembered rationing and the aftermath of WWII, who created their world.

The world that the next generation will be living in is the one created by Thatcher’s children. The one where State Assets were destroyed to sell them into private hands, where income was frittered away on grandstanding displays such as the Eurotunnel and other E.U. projects. Where PFI’s, banking deregulation, creeping privatisation of State Assets was destroying The Welfare State built by my parents’ generation.

Next time some snotty stand-up comedian sneers at our homophobic, sexist and racist generation, just remind them that we were the generation who put a stop to it, while we were busy wiping their bums and teaching them to love one another.

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Sweet F.A.

January 18, 2011

I enjoyed the Liverpool-Everton derby match, refereed by Phil Dowd. Kenny Dalglish may have justification for his criticism in regard to an assault on Kelly and a ball going out of play, but in terms of the most matches, he put up an excellent display. It seemed to me that he saw every attempt to con him, for what it was.

Ican’t see anyone doing a photoshop over that game, unlike the Man Utd game.

Unfortunately, since FIFA so blatantly showed its preference for money over rectitude, it’s been even more difficult to see the FA as being anything other than more of the same. Ryan Babel’s £10,000 fine doesn’t seem so much a reproof of Babel or a denial of his imputation, as it does appear an opportunity for the FA to gain a contribution to their next jaunt abroad.

The Referee in that game was the referee, who managed the World Cup Final between Holland and Spain. Bearing in mind that that was a top level game with a lot of Dutch aggression being shown, he appeared to do well. It’s a pity, though that a referee who could see Steven Gerrard’s feet off the ground, when going into a tackle, where the opposing player was running into his backside, and produce a red card for a technically correct decision could only muster a yellow for the player who, keeping one foot on the ground, delivered a potentially lethal straight legged, studded foot into the middle of Xabi Alonso’s chest.  A good F.A. rules referee, who will probably be better regarded by the placemen of the F.A., than Phil Dowd, who tried to be fair, just and follow F.A. rules.

How does a World class referee award a penalty for a dive, such as that exhibited by Berbatov, in that game. His own linesman thought it no penalty and the two TV pundits thought it no penalty (even though they awarded Berbatov “Man of the Match”, presumably thinking that they were at the Oscars).

Still, at the end of the day, Man.Utd. will create more revenue at Wembley, than Liverpool could have. The F.A. has only to decide which Home team should provide the opposition. With Chelsea out, it would be between Arsenal and Spurs but who would be the most lucrative? If Arsenal can last the course, they have more attraction for foreign viewing rights, so they’ll need some good refereeing decisions in their favour.

FIFA needs to clean house not brush dirt under the carpet.

November 28, 2010
It is worrying that David Cameron feels it is ok to let it be known that “he feels frustration” at The BBC’s screening of a program of FIFA’s dishonesty.

If we do get to host The World Cup, wouldn’t he feel pleased that the decision had been made honestly?

 Wouldn’t he feel pleased that our National Sport (it’s not Cricket, despite its vast media coverage) has an Honest governing body?

Is he really intending to try to hush up revelations of wrong-doing?

If his comments are intended to coerce the BBC, will he next mention Licence Fees or consider implementation of legislation? We have plenty of laws that could be used, in this way.

Let’s hope that he accepts that The BBC is correct in screening this program and calls on FIFA to respond in an honourable way by accepting a bid from a country that believes in acting on the square..

vuvuzela versus Mick

June 14, 2010

I had expected the vuvuzela to be an irritating aspect of viewing this World Cup but the noise is such a steady level that, mlike tinnitus, it becomes ignoreable. It’s certainly less distracting than the Bass drum of the supporter’s (?) in previous England matches.

One other pleasing aspect is that ITV have set it so that the commentator’s speech is distinctly audible above the crowd noise (the match atmosphere!).

However for The Italy v Paraguay Match, I had to turn the sound off. Mick McCarthy is probably a very nice man and as manager of a premiership club, he must be quite knowledgeable about the game: Unfortunately, his voice is a momontonous drone and makes any attempt to watch the match, with audio, as difficult as driving a car with a mad bee buzzing around.  It wouldn’t be so bad if he was imparting pearls of wisdom and demonstrating an awareness of match tactics that the ordinary punter would miss.

ITV needs to realise that viewers like to form their own assessment of the match and of various players contributions. They don’t want to hear some over-paid equivalent of  the pub bore, spewing his trite observations.

We don’t need someone telling us that a goal was brilliant or that a player is feigning injury (especially, when we’ve seen chunks of flesh flying off his calf, or heard bones snap).

The observations made by Hansen and co., about team tactics and individual positional faults, add to an appreciation of the match and it would be helpful if these aspects were, very briefly, added on to the commentary.