The Beautiful Game


Football is known as a game of skill and superb control. When played by people with talent, it emulates the capability of the swallow. With the perfect control of the swift, with the confident and ostentatious displays of control, with the sudden stalling and changes of direction —it is synonymous with some of the talents of that bird.

Watch a man absorbed in an exciting football match. You will not get one word of sense from him.

On the other hand, a dull and boring game is a misery. If nothing is happening, if there are no good players, poor passes, no shots at goal, it is very boring.  If it’s a dirty game, where the players don’t stick to the rules, where fouls happen every five minutes, where there is no real commitment to a display of skill, you will probably turn the telly off. If you are at the game, you will probably start to saunter away, disgusted.

I submit that this is what has happened to Westminster Politics.

The difference is that we have no power to turn it off.

It’s deadly boring now – there is no speed, no skill, just a leaden ball that keeps going back and forward between the ends, accomplishing nothing.

To play better, or use increased skill, no longer seems to be the main object: the goal seems to be to hurt the opposition. Thus, the electorate has ceased to be engaged. The voters think their representatives should all go home and take lessons in how to behave. Every week it becomes more depressing:  it’s like watching juvenile children play games.  The public has now resumed their role as adults, who must pay the extortionate amounts that such hooliganism costs.

Moreover, it has become increasingly difficult to be engaged anymore.  Moreover, for us as the electorate,  it’s like talking to a teenager – nothing that we have to say seems to matter.

Everyone knows:

  • If poverty is the goal, take your country to war and keep her there for years.
  • If poverty is the goal, sell all our gold reserves for a pittance.
  • If poverty is the goal, disempower the talented in the electoAny effort for
  • Improvement is tied up in so many rules and regulations that well- intentioned citizens abandon all efforts in despair.
  • The Pioneering spirit for which this country was famous is stifled.

The beautiful game is over. Government has become all powerful.

It only remains for us to look back in wonder at the many miracles, once achieved by the few. And ponder….. is this what a rich country looks like?

©Linda Jane McLean

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