World in motion? My arse.

Hey diddle-diddle, there’s a fella in the middle and I think he’s pulling my string. My wife’s lactating and I’m spectating. It’s a football thing.

 

And so we’re out of World Cup 2010. Quelle surprise. 4 -1 to the Germans. The Geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeermans! Four bloody one. It was a shameful spanking that was waiting to happen since we saw how bad England were in their opening game against the USA. But if there is one match that epitomises the fans one-sided relationship with the footballing Gods that they fall onto their knees and empty their pockets to worship it is England’s emotionless 0 – 0 draw against North African second-raters Algeria. A none match where we fielded a zombie eleven. The competition was hyped up beforehand with months of advertising where we had Rio Ferdinand, John ‘porridge-stirrer’ Terry and Frank Lampard staring at us from every box of cereal, petrol pump, condom machine and baked bean tin in the country. The Three Lions were branded on everything. England endorsed Mars Bars. England endorsed lager. England endorsed mortgages. England endorsed binge drinking. England endorsed skiving from work. England endorsed bloke-ish bloke-ishness. You couldn’t take a shit without it coming out looking Wayne Rooney. The fans were chucking cash at the squad like acolytes making offerings to their Umbro-clad Gods. And then the competition started. Oh dear. The opening match England v USA was bad enough, when they drew 1 – 1 and the team took criticism from all corners. Sitting back on an early goal and jogging through the remaining eighty minutes while the Yanks had their pants down. But England v Algeria was like when you’ve told someone how crap they are and how disappointed you are in them and then they come back and shit on your carpet. It was appalling. Fucking appalling. The performance was lacklustre at best. Talk about insult to injury. It was like watching someone frigging your girlfriend and making a bad job of it. Half time came and the cameras panned to the terraces of Green Point Stadium. You could see devastation on the painted faces of the mugs who’d travelled six thousand miles to see this shit. Risking the car-jackings, the vuvuzelas and an undercooked burger made from bush meat. You could see them regretting not going with the new conservatory or a fortnight in Florida with the family. All that money and hope down the toilet. And things didn’t get any better in the second half.

 

There comes a point watching England that I end up wanting the opposition to win. I can’t help it. No matter how much hope and allegiance I take into the match to start with, the team’s apathy kills it and I find my loyalty drifting. It’s not a conscious decision, it just happens. I can feel the anger simmering inside and I start willing the opposition to slam one into the net just to wipe the smugness from the faces of the over-paid fuckers. Because if this is patriotism then I reject it. Give me a green Algerian strip and put the name Judas across my shoulders. I don’t care. My treachery is a feeling born out of frustration. Ten minutes into the second half against Algeria and I was desperate for the Algerians to hammer the complacent cunts. These were lads who play in the second division of Italian football. Who do some table service in Oran hotels in the off season. Rooney, Gerrard, Lampard and Terry have a combined personal wealth somewhere in the region of a hundred million pounds. And let’s face it, you wouldn’t pick any of them for the pub quiz team, would you? A hundred million quid. Because they can kick a ball. I’m quite good at spinning a pen between my fingers, does anybody want to sign me on the books for a few million? A hundred million quid is more than the loan cut from Sheffield Foregmasters which was set to kick start heavy industry in South Yorkshire and provide a hundred and eighty jobs directly, with an entire economy being built up around it that would last for decades. The players live in a world where they are constantly praised and money is thrown at them. But you watch England and get the feeling that they’re not really trying. That they don’t really care. So the opening optimism that you felt gets pissed on. You feel that they need a stuffing. That they deserve to get their arse kicked. You turn to the opposition disgusted. Come on, Halliche, nutmeg the fucker!

 

At the end of the Algeria match Wayne Rooney huffed off the pitch berating the England fans for booing. That was the first time all night I’d seen him animated. What a cunt. What a Granny-shagging, knuckle-dragging, monkey-looking cunt. The hope behind the England team is evidenced by how much the bookies cleaned up on the night. They had their biggest win ever. Ten million quid. Ten million quid taken from optimistic, patriotic suckers who bought into the hype and Wayne Rooney playing with himself in a Lucosade advert and staked their money on a win by a side who couldn’t give a shit. But that’s the mistake. The England Team are all heroes in the Coca-Cola and McDonald’s adverts. They’re legends when the CGI has them firing one past Darth Vader and a phalanx of Imperial Stormtroopers with an overhead scissor kick from fifty yards in slow motion. When they are pasted on the front pages of the Sun and inside Hello magazine. First in the news above another casualty in Afghanistan or the economy crumbling and unemployment and the rest of the reality that most of us have to live through. The amount of money they earn plumps out their ability. Like Damien Hirst. But in reality they are big fish in a small pond. Meeting the Germans showed that. Over-paid, over-hyped, over-exposed. Market forces as opposed to talent dictates what they get; through the whimsical nostalgia of Three Lions and 1966 and the obligatory adoration of the Premier League selling replica shirts and baseball hats and deck chairs and flags and mountains of FA endorsed shit. But football is a different world these days to what it was back in 1966. And the team themselves seem unmoved that they’ll turn in a performance that would disgrace the school yard. So long as they have their £100,000+ per week, their Bentley GT Continentals, the school girls to spit roast and the obligatory glamour model wife, they don’t give a flying fuck about pride. Arrivederci, it’s two on one. All playing for England means is more advertising revenue. Advertising revenue which they’ll get whether they win or not. Because you can’t sell anything these days without Crouchie putting his name on it. Without David Beckham wearing it. Without Ashley Cole shagging it’s arse hollow and then cheating on it. Because people are mugs.

 

At the end of the Algeria match, my emotions rung out of me, disappointed with a draw, I had to ask myself, as a fan, if they can’t put any goals past these useless tossers, what chance have Algeria got of progressing through to the knock out stages?

 

Germany 4, England 1. They’ll always hit you and hurt you.

Things I hate #23

The Royal Family

 

Tear me apart and boil my bones, I’ll not rest till she’s lost her throne. My aim is true my message is clear – it’s curtains for you, Elizabeth, my dear.

 

The Stone Roses

 

In 1461 the future King Edward IV led his Yorkist army into battle at Towton against the Lancastrians. He was there, at the front, sword raised, shouting obscenities, leading the charge, hacking about him, up to his elbows in blood, fighting for his life and for control of the country. Edward got stuck in and slaughtered everything and everyone that stood in his way. Because back then the King was the Big Boss. He was Don Vito Corleone. He was capofamiglia. He was Al Capone in chain mail, putting down opposition with a heavy mace and punching any fucker audacious enough to complain in the face with a spike-studded gauntlet until they couldn’t complain about anything anymore. Motherfuckers. He was Scarface out to fuck the country like it was a big, fat pussy. He was Lucky Luciano in ermine. He led an organized crime group of stocky thugs with pudding basin haircuts which eventually evolved into the aristocracy that we have now. And Towton was a turf war between two rival Mob families. It was a grudge fight. Edward’s younger brother and father – The Duke of York – had been killed in Wakefied a few months earlier by the Lancastrians, his father’s head displayed at Micklegate Bar in York wearing a paper crown. This is a blue print for a mob film with Al Pacino and Robert De Niro. Edward IV was a vengeful gangster going up against the rival mob and putting them down. It was a hostile takeover. You can say the same about William the Conqueror, AKA William the Bastard, AKA William the Tanner. You can say the same about Henry VIII, twisting the rules of Christianity for his own ends. Or end. Diverting Church funds into his own pocket and making the rules fit his own personal agenda. The story of the Plantagenets makes The Godfather Parts 1 and 2 seem like The Archers. Goodfellas looks like the story of a bunch of Boy Scouts by comparison. Murders, torture, political machinations, assassinations, power brokering incest. Put Tony from the Sopranos up against Edward I AKA Longshanks, AKA The Hammer of the Scots and Tony’d shit himself. In terms of ruthlessness and brutality, he’d be out of his league. We’re talking about Longshanks who caused people to have heart attacks through quaking fear just by being in his presence when he’d got the lip on. And Richard I, butchering entire towns in France in order to exert his ownership made Reggie Kray look like Kenneth Williams. In the words of organized crime mastermind Meyer Lansky: ‘Look at the Astors and the Vanderbilts, all those big society people. They were the worst thieves and now look at them. It’s just a matter of time.’ And all this power-wielding was dressed up as Divine Right to an ignorant populace denied the ability to read and write or even have the Bible that ruled their lives read out to them in a language that they could understand. The Royals created the rules in their own image. They subverted faith and wove themselves into the story. What a scam? You have to give credit to where it’s due. The Duke of Wherever is little more than the great, great, great, great great, great, great grand child of some Medieval bully that shouldered their way to the front through threats and violence, fixing the opposition with public executions and private torture. He is the ancestor of a Royal mob underboss whose job was to keep down the Northern Counties or the Welsh Marches or wherever in the same way that Santo Trafficante Jnr took care of Miami and Carlos Marcello was in control of New Orleans. The Royals and their followers were medieval hoodlums with a blank canvas to paint on. The Royals and the aristocrats simply laid claim to everything worth having and then built a legal system to protect their own interests and slowly established the thing we call society. Society was the alchemy that legitimized their appropriation. They gave themselves coats of arms and cut glass accents to differentiate themselves from the common rabble and make themselves appear to be something special. Now that’s what you call organization. The Mob in Chicago and New York must look at Liz and Phil sat comfortably and legitimately in Buckingham Palace and drip with envy. It’s a syndicate that’s lasted for over a thousand years. Sure, there’s been some depositions and Cromwell tried to muscle in on the turf back in the 17th Century, but, by and large, they’ve held it together. And they still do all right out of it. Out of us. The mugs. The marks. The suckers. The Serfs. They still have the lands they laid claim to through brute force and they still get an estimated £180,000,000 in cash from the people every year. The British Royal Family is the most successful crime organization in history.

 

But back in the days when the King led the way and took what he grabbed you could see the point of Royalty. Even if you didn’t agree with it. Like it or lump it, but he stood up for his manor. It was survival of the fittest. But the world has moved on and what purpose do the Royal Family serve now? For instance, in wars. That’s what got them were they were to start with, so how are they fairing in the modern day theatre of conflict? Well, on the face of it they seem to be doing OK. Have you seen the Prince of Wales in dress uniform? In one the many different uniforms he has to pick from in his dressing up box? He can hardly stand up with the weight of medals on his chest. He has rows and rows and rows and fucking rows of decorations. If he keeps on at this rate he’s going to have to annex someone else’s chest. Maybe he could put a batch on Camilla’s? Or perhaps have his tunic altered to have 80s shoulders like David Byrne in Stop Making Sense. But all these military decorations for what? What exactly has he done to earn all that scrambled egg? In 1969 his Mum created him Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Wales. Where was he when the regiment was in Iraq? Was he there, kicking in doors and putting down insurgents in a burst of automatic fire? ‘C’mon, boyos! Let’s be havin’ ‘em, isn’t it?!’  No. He was walking around Chelsea Flower Show or Crufts or some new shopping centre in Macclesfield with one hand in his jacket pocket, cutting ribbons. He is now a General in the British Army, an Admiral in the Royal Navy, and an Air Chief Marshal of the Royal Air Force. Fuck Trident and all that money we’re burning on the Euro Fighter, if in doubt call on Charles, he’ll sort the Iranians. He’ll go in like Stallone in the last Rambo, a one man army, navy and air force combined, raining down a righteous firestorm on whoever stands in the way. The Taliban? He’s shit bigger. Won’t he? That’s what Richard I would have done. AKA Cœur de Lion. That’s what Edward, the Black Prince would have done. But Prince Harry got brought back from Afghanistan – kicking and screaming, no doubt; it’s such a pity that the story leaked that he was there. Who’d have thunk it? – because he was deemed a target. No shit? He’s in the army and the enemy are wanting to kill him? You’re putting me on, surely? The fucking bastards. Would you credit it, eh? And the other three thousand troops that we’ve got out there in Helmand Province aren’t targets then? Fair dos, he’s got ginger hair which does give snipers a bit of a heads up. But surely we could have put together a unit of gingers to confuse the ragheads? Like the dirty dozen but auburn. There must have been enough to pick from out there. I mean, hasn’t James Hewitt got any kids in the forces? No, the modern royals don’t live up to their ancestors when it comes to a settler. Even though they seem to get all the best training. Natural pilots, natural sailors, natural leaders of men. Apparently. But it’s all academic. It never gets put into practice. Not in combat at any rate. So why have we still got them if they’re not even going to get out there and fight for us?

 

The perennial argument for holding on to the Royal Family – putting to one side nostalgia and a skewed sense of patriotism, plus the amount of souvenir tea towels Her Majesty supposedly helps shift to gullible American tourists – is that the country needs a Head of State. And what are the alternatives? the monarchists say. President Tony Blair? President Katie Price? Robbie Williams in Buck House with his feet up, wearing St. Edward’s Crown? But the role of Head of State these days – until we get Liz strapping on a GPMG and kicking some arse in Kandahar while the Duke of Wessex throws a flash bomb into an AlQaeda stronghold – is purely nominal and just part of the constitutional machinery. And just as Prince Charles is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment in Wales and the Duke of Wessex – who wimped out on the Royal Marines basic training – is Royal Honorary Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, why not take our lead from Sir Nils Olav? Sir Nils has been the Colonel-in-Chief of the Norwegian King’s Guard since 1972. He never fails in his official duties as a figurehead for the regiment, he is recognized and honoured by all across the world, he never makes a gaffe and calls the Chinese slanty-eyed Chinks or nips off on jollies in an RAF helicopter. He is a credit to the regiment that he represents. Everybody loves Sir Nils. And do you know what Sir Nils gets paid? Kippers. The occasional Herring. If it’s a special week, they might chuck in a bucket of Mackerel. Because Sir Nils Olav is a penguin who lives at Edinburgh Zoo. I think Sir Nils shows us the way forward. The King is dead. Long live the King. Now give him some fish.