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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

186. Leicester City’s victory matters more than the elections?

A friend of mine has been writing to the local council for years. Among other problems, fast food outlets turned her street into an unofficial landfill. Flower beds, thrown in by a developer and maintained for years by the council, were abandoned, adding a flavour of bleak 1950s Eastern Europe. In the last few months it’s been impossible for my friend to get any response – that is until the week before the elections. Then, miraculously, responses; including this one. I’ve x’d ID.

I completely agree. If am elected we will have 3 xxx councillors all batting for xxx. I will make it a priority to work with businesses and the community to improve the flower beds and I will do all I can to have the pavements and highways looked at also. I have already spojken to the Coop.

I can bring alot of enthusiasm, experience and energy to the area. Perhaps much more than the current xxx councillor who has been in power for xxx and done very little to support the area in practice !

I would like to put my words into action as I think they speak louder. I think I can help put xxx back on the Map !

Let me translate this X’d up document for you.

‘Nobody gives a xxx about you or your problem you tax paying nobody but as I have your email would you mind voting for me.

And all around us that is the message. If you are not rich and you are not powerful, you don’t matter.

I do not blame this individual for the content of the e-mail. It’s the standard conveyor belt approach to politics; to life.

Now. You may not need to be told that I have less than zero interest in football.
The nearest I got to football as a kid was going – with my dad – to Leamington AC. My memory of those events was of the cold and the rain, rotten wooden benches and sweet tea in polystyrene cups. Hours after the game if you belched you could taste the polystyrene. I only went because I got to have my dad to myself for a couple of hours.
So why does Leicester City’s triumph matter? Why do I think it may be more important than the recent circus of elections?

On the whole football epitomises the state of a world where money is everything. So called teams are not – from a distance of disinterest – teams as we would have understood them when I was at school. They are a collection of obscenely wealthy hyper fit young men who play for the highest bidder. They behave like immature mercenaries often treated like prize race horses. (see blog 81. What happened to mud fun and anticipation?)

So, along comes Leicester City. And yes I know – they didn’t exactly rock up with brown paper tied round their feet and sandwiches made from last week’s whippet pie but financially they seemed no match for any of the teams they beat to win the Premier League.

I won’t go into the detail of the rise and rise of Leicester FC because it doesn’t matter to me. However, the word I heard in the immediate aftermath was ‘hope’ and I wanted to unpick that.

Clearly they were talking in the world of football. BUT in general terms it was affirmation that sometimes despite the money, despite the packaging, despite the string pulling of the elite, the uber wealthy, the corrupt, the powerful, the steam roller of MONEY – Johnny ordinary (relatively speaking) can come through. It is what we all want to hear. Believe. It’s what we all hope for. In a world where life expectancy depends on your social station and the head start that those from entrenched wealth get overrides talent, commitment, ability, merit – we have to see the occasional example that suggests the ‘other’ is possible. Or what is the point of coming out from under the duvet?

I’m not suggesting Claudio Ranieri for Prime Minister and Vichai Srivaddhanaprabah for Chancellor (although…)

We need to trust that we are not always going to be screwed over by brats of the elite. Maybe one day corrupt bankers will get their come-uppance. Maybe the wealthy and powerful who have taken us into destructive wars, illegal wars with lies and self-interest may not be untouchable. Maybe those who crap on ordinary people (see last week’s blog) will be brought down.


Maybe.

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