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Instagram:andrewjrae

Brexit has focussed people’s minds in the last few days, particularly mine. I shouldn’t worry, though. After all, I’m still a European. But I’m not happy with that state of affairs, either. I don’t like an institution that began with an ideal to unite Europe and prevent war but has been subverted into a lumbering behemoth, lining corporate pockets and strangling innovation and sovereign thought with stifling Eurocracy. Do not worry, bloggers, normal service will resume, soon.

Football, religion and politics are three items to never engage in conversation in a pub, particularly with strangers.

You might think the explosive element is alcohol, but you’re wrong. Of course, it won’t help but the real bugbears lurking in all these topics are self righteousness and smug certainty.

Happily, religion didn’t rug it’s ugly head this past weekend and thank, whoever or whatever, for that; there was enough crap flying about without it.

Ireland lost the big game, it’s elimination game against European Championship hosts, France by 2-1 and, in the end, we had nothing to moan about. We were beaten fair and square. Of course, that doesn’t stop every sideline genius having their own opinion on what went wrong: the choice of players, the time to recover from the previous game, the heat on the night. Get over it. We lost because we were beaten by a better team, on the day.

As for politics, well, we’re all still reeling from the shock and implications of the Brexit vote. In Ireland, we wonder how it will effect our relations with our biggest trading partner, the United Kingdom and does it mean the return of the border, border economics and all its attendant headaches.

But, here’s a thing, it was a democratic decision and, so what if even the Brexiters didn’t expect it, it’s here so suck it up and get on with it. Secretly, although the short term impact has been harsh on financial markets, so what, I say; I believe the result is more a rejection of what they had than a look at what we can have. That happens now.

Once people get over the shock of making a difference, maybe, or hopefully, they will grasp this new notion as a blueprint for the future like thinking about what else needs to be changed, like inequality, racial, economic and sexual, and working out how we can put some balance back into those equations?

Or poverty, hunger and health, bywords of Conservative, right wing Governments, code names for deprivation that were once the calling cards of the welfare state with a promise that no-one would go hungry or poor or lack adequate health services. So maybe we should stop talking about the immigration issue and start discussing why everyone wanted to move to the UK? Because wages were high and working conditions good, perhaps?

And that free migration of labour thing, well, that’s all about globalisation, isn’t it? Free global trade markets are there so global corporations can find the cheapest places to produce their products, where materials and workers cost less than anywhere else, so they can be sold, at higher profits, to the people in the other countries where consumerism flourishes.

It reminds of that line from The Usual Suspects when someone says the greatest trick the devil ever played was to convince people he didn’t exist.

Of course, young people feel they’ve been deprived of lost opportunities by their elders, the major of whom voted for Brexit, while already lumbered to pay off the mistakes of that older generation’s debts. Not enough of them voted. That is democracy. The working class made up another significant portion of the Brexit vote and they’ve been hoodwinked by false promises and will suffer worse than anyone else from the consequences of the decision to leave.

A decision has been made, whether right or wrong, but what is most sinister is no-one has put any thought into what might follow while they played fast and loose with people’s futures. That’s the most cynical and sinister aspect of this entire affair. People feel empowered but they have even less power now, than they did before.

 

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29 thoughts on “Football & Politics, don’t mix

  1. This is the most rational article I have read on the referendum results thus far ………and tonight I am thinking …shall I or shan’t I watch the England/Iceland match ….I don’t know if I dare :D:D:D
    Love the picture by the way ….yep …that seems to pretty much sum things up:D:D:D

    • Thanks, Fijay, it’s not exactly a spectator sport here, as our two countries have strong economic ties but it is amusing to hear the same intellectual elite, who’ve treated the Brexiters as idiots, now try to deny their democratic victory, like a bunch of guys playing a street football match, someone scores and the others ask them to take it again, because we weren’t looking

      • Nice reply …..yep those who voted leave are a mixed bunch …as are those who voted remain ….but it seems to me that there is much mis content re the political and corporate elite …that’s why we had the ‘Corbyn effect’ last year that took everyone by suprise ….thing is everyone is now after Corbyns scalp ….what they don’t seem to ‘get’ is that part of his appeal is that he doesn’t ‘play the game’ ….no’one knows how to take him or what to do with him …I reckon he should stick to his guns …thing is …as everyone shits themselves and bails out we might be left with a solitary JC figure LITERALLY:D:D:D
        Hmmmmm …interesting times to say the least …my bets on Tom Watson if Jezza goes what do you reckon?

      • I would hate to see Corbyn go but I would rather he made his position clearer. It is true that a reassuring voice with a plan could gain political ground, right now. As it was, I felt he stayed out of the Leave/Remain debate and left it to the two public schoolboy bullies to battle it out as their own pissing contest. The only problem is the stakes are so high. Corbyn should take the high ground, spell out this referendum for what it was then, playing the democratic man of the people, spell out this situation as an opportunity for Britain to get its act together

      • YES …completely agree …but you know what? …He’s so laid back isn’t he? I reckon he will only go if the wider party who put him there vote him out and then he’ll go with good grace …put his feet up with the Mrs and say ‘Well THAT was an interesting carry on wasn,t it? Now where shall we go for a nice holiday’:D:D
        And the match is on Dermott ….I don’t have a good feeling in my water …I fear further humiliation is afoot ….the icing on the cake so to speak …Oh …bloody hell …why do we put ourselves through this stuff?

  2. Very true and incisive.
    There was no much thought put into the Aftermath. Now everyone is running about everywhichway….
    I’m talking about the Referendum by the way.
    I feel let down by everyone in a position to make a difference:
    1. The Champions of Leave, who are now throwing their copies Rhetoric for Dummies into the recycling bin, (We’ll leave Mr Farage out of this, he’s consistent; ‘If I’m Not Involved It’s Just Not Fair!!!’ ) and scrolling Amazon for ‘Conciliatory 101’
    2. The Champions of Remain whose campaign along the lines of ‘If we leave, we will have to send our pensioners slaughter houses and use the result as feed for our farm animals AND you’ll have to sell your First Born to the Chinese’ just did not resonant.
    3. And this hurts, my own brothers & sisters in socialism. They spent so much time (A) Making pious pronouncements on fashionable causes which had nothing to do with the referendum (B) Posting abusive comments on anyone who did not care for Corbyn (C) Being smug, complacent and ‘witty’ about the Leave campaign & (D) Living in a small self-congratulatory bubble. In short they did not get out onto the streets and convert their passions into convincing people why Remain was a good choice. For Jeremy Corbyn & Co to convince me they can do it, I would like to see a bit more Bevin and addressing the population as a whole. (OK, I done talking blasphemy)
    PS:
    These Islands are still in the European Championship (pity there was no way that Wales & Northern Ireland both could have gone through)…..though Saturday will probably be our last Huurahh!

    • Only Wales remain. I agree with you on Labour’s lack of a pro-active role in the Remain campaign. The whole referendum debacle has been the result of a row between two public schoolboy bullies fighting for hegemony, like a pair of schoolyard bitches. Corbyn had the opportunity to take the high moral ground and be a leader. Unfortunately, he was found wanting, unless he calculated that to get in the row would have sullied his cause and he might have a point. Personally, I believe the UK will talk it’s way out of this. But have they conceded the leverage to effect change or will they return, cap in hand, a begging?

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