Sticking His Oar In…

11 09 2008

Twice in the past week I have turned on Sky Sports News to see the, by now, frankly distrubing grin of Gordon Brown inanely peering back at me. This annoys me.

I am not suggesting that Brown, or indeed politicians in general, should not be involved with sport, far from it. The 2012 games will see to it that as many politicians as possible jump on the sporting band-wagon in an attempt to improve their popularity with the voters. That is, I think, a given.

What annoys me though is that Brown wasn’t talking about either 2012 or the 2008 Olympics. Far from it. On Monday he was endorsing the chances of Andy Murray at the US Open final (which he subsequently lost in straight sets to Roger Federer). Today he was praising Theo Walcott for the impact he made in last nights win over Croatia. He also went on to praise the other home nations for their results.

To me this is political opportunism of the worst kind. I wouldn’t like to speculate how much of a tennis or football fan Brown is, but it was my understanding that, as a Scot, he much preferred Rugby. So on Monday was he simply backing his Scottish counterpart? Maybe. Instead it came across as almost embarassing that here was our PM talking about something he obviously knew little about (he suggested Murray was favourite for the final, something that no bookmaker backed, and, in the course of time, this proved to be an utterly incomprehensible view as Murray was beaten well by the better player.)

Today he was praising the football teams for the manner that they played in last nights matches. The matches involving the home nations resulted in two wins (for England and Scotland), two draws (for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland) and a defeat (for Wales). These are hardly results to write home about, despite the impressive nature of the performances, especially of England and Wales. Again he sounded almost comical, like a parent trying to be ‘down with the kids’. And failing.

Why does he need to say these things? Is it in a vain attempt at winning back the voters, “hey everyone, look at me, I like football, I’m normal, you guys can trust me, fancy a pint?“. Probably. Is it symptomatic of how far national football has declined in recent times, so much so that a victory against Croatia is worth talking about in one of his public addresses? Certainly. Is it necessary, or needed? Nope, but that doesn’t mean he won’t stop trying. Good old Gordon, at one with the English people again.

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One response

15 09 2008
brigidjones

To be fair, Gordon was actually a keen athlete in his youth; really very accomplished at it, too. He lost his eye, and a fair proportion of sight in the other, in a rugby game.

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