They say ev’rything can be replaced. Yet ev’ry distance is not near.
On the day that Joe Frazier died, our sports writers are either asking us to care or suggesting that we care about which hotel the England players will be staying in this summer, a stark reminder that there was once a time when things meant something – or at least appeared to. Meanwhile spoofing suit Adrian Bevington proudly declares that “we will definitely take the team to Auschwitz”, nabbing genocide as a PR tool and claiming ownership of it at the same time. How lovely.
Roman Abramovich and Boris Berezovsky
Although they might disagree about the precise details of their respective venality and argue the toss in court, we can all agree on something about the pair. These are two people who transformed the Soviet Union from its incarnation of a corrupt, crudely centralised mishmash of identities and turned it into the streamlined economic powerhouse we all know and love, where all Russians receive their due. If they could only put this spat behind them, maybe they can work together again for other humanitarian causes.
Everyone has a share
In these straitened times, it’s reassuringly gratifying to see the adventure holiday arranged for
disadvantaged children the Olympic flame. The torch will travel over the Eden Project in a balloon, up Snowdon on a train, in a sidecar at the Isle of Man TT, across Windermere on a paddle steamer, off the Tyne bridge on a zipwire, down rapids in the Lee Valley and up a chairlift on the Isle of Wight. Such thrills will, of course, make up for the outrageously expensive ticket prices, the structure of the ticketing process, and the distribution of so many tickets to corporations and businesses, a process which managed to alienate almost everyone. But we must celebrate nonetheless, because Sebastian says so: “I don’t want to be too prescriptive about this”, he charitably and self-effacingly begins, “but whether it’s inviting friends round for Olympic-themed quizzes or getting everyone on your street to welcome the flame in your community, for three people or 300, it’s all about organising celebrations at a local level.” No doubt this is precisely what he’ll be doing – it definitely won’t be “all about” swanning off to spend every day actually watching the fucking thing, for free, with a smug fucking face on. And what a final shtech: “We saw the appetite for that around the royal wedding and that’s what we want to do.” Or in other words, can the gullibilities bothered about that chuck even more money at this, though their taxes are funding both and neither care a jot for them? Thanks, rule Britannia, and god save the queen.
Scott Parker is fit enough to run himself into the ground for a full match, twice a week. He’s talented enough to relentlessly pass to a team mate, for a full match, twice a week, and he encourages and allows a side to play to its maximum. At West Ham, that’s only well enough to get relegated, and at Spurs it’s to challenge for a Champions League place. At Manchester United or Arsenal, he’d have them playing something like their former selves. Scott Parker cost £6 million. Manchester United spent £30 million on the most exciting English striker of his generation, and are playing him in midfield. Now, that’s value.
Chilled gin, a dash of angustora bitters, lemon garnish. Pink Gin.