Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Politicians and football

As blog readers know there were two football stories doing the rounds yesterday. The first was about Blair's interview on 606 where he claimed that - as a supposedly Newcastle United fan - he would support Sunderland avidly if they got to Europe. He went on to say that he was sure the West Bromich Albion supporting presenter, Chiles, would support Aston Villa if Villa was in Europe. Chiles was simple and to the point, "err no". Genius by our PM. I never beleived he was really a football fan, and he's now proved it for me and many others.

The other blog story from last night was that Cameron and Brown had both gone to the England vs Sweden game last night (how poor was our defence for the last goal? Everyone seemed to move out of the way of the ball, but I digress). Dave's aides said he would be "in the stands" unlike Brown who would be "in a box". Presumably to show Dave in touch with the common man on the terrace. This morning Brown's team have hit back saying Cameron got a ticket from his "corporate friends" and that he was a "Johnny Come Lately" football fan. It may be true that Cameron got a ticket thought friends, but it's interesting that the Treasury doesn't say Cameron was lying about being in the stands.

According to Brown, Cameron is being opportunistic and is not a real football fan. I don't know Cameron so I couldn't tell you if that was true or not. The spinners in the Treasury may indeed be right. The thing is, if it's true about Cameron then it's true about Brown too. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I'm not aware of Gordon Brown ever talking about his passion for football until two weeks ago.

Cameron may very well be a "Johnny Come Lately" in his race with Gordon to get a match ticket, but I bet if you ask Gordon to extol his opinions on the relative merits of 4-4-2 against a 4-5-1 formation in repsect of the England squad he wouldn't have a clue.

Don't get me wrong here, if a politician is a genuine football fan then there's nothing wrong with them talking about it. David Mellor for example is erm... well known to be a Chelsea fan. John Major was seen at Stamford Bridge more than once, Iain Dale (ok he's not a politician but he stood for Parliament) is fanatical about West Ham (why??!?), and Michael Howard is well known to have a personal mental condition in his support for Liverpool. The real problem comes when you're seen to jump on the bandwagon of a World Cup.

Here's a hint to any would-be football fan politicians that may read this. Start talking vocally about the England team in the qualifiers not just the finals and perhaps - just maybe - you'll have some credibility (but remember, don't say you think the England manager should be sacked whilst on the GMTV sofa even if he does say something really stupid).


Croydonian said...
21 Jun 2006 10:50:00  

People don't choose West Ham, it chooses us. I'm a fourth generation WHU supporter...

Serf said...
21 Jun 2006 11:25:00  

If you don't like football, the fans will think you are weird, but will forgive you.

If you pretend, they will think you are a wanker.

Political Teenager said...
21 Jun 2006 19:38:00  

There is no pretending when it comes to football. It comes from the heart. A real fan can spot a fake a mile off.

Jon said...
22 Jun 2006 13:43:00  

Brown genuinely has been a football fan for ages - his biography talks about his passion for Rath Rovers, and how he used to go round to Geoffery Robinson's penthouse to watch football with Balls and Whelan in the last stages of the Conservative premiership, whilst they discussed political strategy.

Whether he actually supports England, however, is another matter entirely.

dizzy said...
22 Jun 2006 14:08:00  

For some reason when you say "Raith Rovers" all I can hear in my head is a little scouse scally saying "Accrington Stanley? Who are they?" is a participant in the Amazon Europe S.à.r.l. Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to