Wednesday 14 July 2021

It Didn't Come Home

 I'm proud to be English, and I love Englishness: Not making a fuss. Talking about the weather. Stoically accepting misfortune. Understatement and bathos. Politeness, honour and decency. Recognising and using an umbrella stand in a foreign restaurant as though it were the most natural thing in the world. Sarcasm. Not running in the street. Never raising your hand so high that your elbow is above the level of your shoulder while waiting at the bar. Queueing. Apologising and so forth.

While England yet again didn't win the European football championships I've never been so proud of our football performance. From the end of the semi-final to the beginning of the final the entire national discourse was about a questionable refereeing decision that went in our favour. Every player, pundit, commentator and fan was wrestling with, justifying or rationalising the possibility that we might have accidentally cheated. We beat the Italians in an honesty competition but not in the football.

Richard "Seeing Piccadilly, Fanny Smith and Willy, Being rather silly, And porridge oats" B

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