If only the Cabinet was more like the England players

ENGLAND face Croatia tonight and though I don’t know much about football there’s one thing I can say for sure: if we play this game anything like Theresa May’s Cabinet plays Brexit, we’re going to lose big time.

May’s Cabinet in Brexit discussions

If only May’s Cabinet possessed a few or indeed any of those qualities we might not be in such a dire state with regard to Brexit.

All that joy and optimism we’ve been feeling about England’s performance has been cruelly tempered by having to live under a Government so hopeless and craven and insecure it can’t even deliver on the biggest mandate in British history: the vote to leave the European Union.

The rot starts at the top. Team manager May seems to combine the aimlessness and poor decision making of, say, a Steve McClaren, with the dogged intransigence and ruthlessness you find in countries such as North Korea or Gadaffi’s Libya when players fail to perform.

Just when it seems May can’t mess it up any more badly she comes with something like last weekend’s Chequers fiasco.

That moment when she strongarmed the Cabinet into agreeing a Brexit negotiating position which Boris Johnson rightly described as a “turd” was the absolute nadir for me – when all hopes of a full Brexit faded.

In fact, it gave me the same feeling I got just after an England player called Southgate (whatever became of him, anyone know?) had fluffed his penalty in the Euro 1996 semifinal.

Or when Maradona knocked us out of the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals as a result of that wretchedly dodgy (where’s VAR when you need it, eh?) “hand of God” goal.

Read the rest in the Express.

The Great Thing about the World Cup Is You Don’t Even Have to Watch It to Enjoy It

Plus: what the hilarious documentary about the New York Times really shows is progressives in crisis.

Harry Kane celebrates (image: Getty)

Even though I don’t watch much football I love the World Cup because it’s my passport to total freedom. I can nip off to the pub, slob indoors on a sunny Sunday afternoon, leave supper before we’ve finished eating, let alone before the dishes are done. And where normally that kind of behaviour would at the very least get me a dirty look, during World Cup season it actually gets me brownie points.

Why? Because it’s a sign that I’m being a Good Dad. It worked in the old days with the Rat. And now it works with Boy. Mothers are absolutely potty for their sons and will look fondly on any activity that makes them content. So whenever I slink off to the TV, wearing an expression that says, ‘You know I’d really much rather be strimming the nettles/scouring the roasting tray/clearing up cat poo but the boy wants me to watch with him’, I don’t merely get away with it. I’m viewed almost as a saint.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

What Ched Evans Did Was Ugly and Sleazy. But His Lynch Mob Tormentors Are Barbaric

I wonder how many of the thousands of people petitioning for Convicted Rapist Ched Evans not to be signed by Oldham Athletic Football Club are remotely interested in football, let alone the prospects of Oldham Athletic Football Club.

My guess is about six. Or possibly seven if you count Labour leader Ed Miliband (who I suspect only took up being a “fan” of his alleged team Leeds United in a desperate attempt to make himself look “normal.”).

Whatever the exact figure, we can be certain that it is going to be vanishingly small. That is because the people campaigning against Convicted Rapist Ched Evans are all either angry female Social Justice Warriors (who like football about as much as they like washing the dishes, jokes, or shaving their armpits) or (spiritually, if not always physically) castrated male Social Justice Warriors (who may once have liked football but now recognise that it is the very embodiment of the vile, misogynistic, racist, disablist machismo which makes modern Britain such an oppressive place for women to live, way worse than Mosul or Islamabad or Teheran, probably..)

Note, by the way, that I am calling Convicted Rapist Ched Evans by his correct media name. I believe he used to be called just Ched Evans, once. But apparently he lost that right when, despite having served two and a half years of a five year sentence for rape, he made the mistake of a) showing insufficient remorse (possibly on the advice of his lawyers, because he is appealing against the sentence; probably also because he feels that he is the victim of a miscarriage of justice, on which more in a moment…) and b) imagining that having served his sentence he would be able to pick up the pieces of his ruined life and attempt to continue with his career doing the thing he loves and which he’s apparently quite good at – being a professional footballer.

Personally, I’m suspicious of this Convicted Rapist Ched Evans tag. I don’t dispute that, technically it’s accurate. But it seems to me that it is being brandished not so much to enhance understanding of his case as to obfuscate its complexities and to tarnish his name beyond redemption.

“Convicted Rapist” to anyone unfamiliar with the case is a phrase which will surely conjure up images of the very worst kind of sexual crime: a powerful predatory male following a woman down a dark alley, perhaps, and raping her violently at knife point.

Except this isn’t what happened.  Far from it.

One of the very few people in the media brave enough to have pointed this out is columnist Allison Pearson. A proper journalist, Pearson did what few commentators on this affair have done: she read up everything she could about the details of what happened on the night of the crime. Here is what she found:

Sensitive readers should look away now. Footballer Clayton McDonald, a friend of Ched Evans, picked up a 19-year-old girl who was drunk at 4am, and went back to a hotel room with her. McDonald texted Evans: “I’ve got a bird.” McDonald and the girl then had sex. Evans turned up, and the court was told that the girl asked him to perform oral sex on her, which he did. Evans then had sex with the girl, whom he claimed was enjoying herself. A hotel porter said there was no sound of distress or cause for alarm. A few of the footballers’ charming mates showed up and filmed through a window. The next morning, Evans departed via an emergency exit. The 19-year-old awoke to find she was naked, with, she says, no memory of what had happened to her. That evening, she reported McDonald and Evans to the police.

Sordid, definitely. Rape? Well possibly, but it rather depends on your definition and the mood of the jury on that particular day. Personally, I’d say that detail about Evans performing oral sex on the girl at her request ought to have been the clincher: is that really the act of a brutal oppressor on a helpless victim?

And certainly, when Pearson asked the girls in her local beauty salon about the case they weren’t nearly so convinced as all the vengeful harpies screaming for Evans’s blood apparently are.

“Sounds to me like she woke up, realised she’d been dogging, felt really embarrassed about herself and called the police,” said Hayley, aged 22. The other young women agreed. Hayley told me she had almost been raped herself, when she was “totally pissed”, by her boyfriend’s best mate. She had never mentioned the incident because she thought it would make her unpopular with their social group, who would regard her as a prude. It would be Hayley who was shunned by them, not the guy. Another therapist said that lots of girls from her school went to posh London clubs to try and bag themselves the ultimate prize: a footballer. I’ll spare you the lengths those girls would go to.

But I really don’t get the impression that Ched Evans’s tormentors are particularly interested in nuance or mitigating circumstances, let alone in points of broad principle.

Read the rest at Breitbart London

Related posts:

  1. This #waronwomen nonsense is getting out of hand…
  2. What BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans thinks about global warming
  3. Judy Finnigan – and why the ‘War on Women’ is really a war on freedom of expression
  4. Since when was racist bullying the only ‘wrong’ form of bullying?

One thought on “What Ched Evans did was ugly and sleazy. But his lynch mob tormentors are barbaric”

  1. drabux says:7th January 2015 at 12:56 amHow dare you play the ball rather than the man!

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