RANT ALERT !!
It used to be said that sport was the last refuge for those who found it impossible to idle. But given the strange state of the world today, I suggest the reality is that sport is now the first port of call for those, like me, who find the world impossible to take very seriously.
At the moment we are faced with things such as the Euro crisis, the Wikileaks business, the worst November weather since records began, a weird sense of what passes for `entertainment` and a host of other issues that test our sense of reality to the limit.
I`m seriously puzzled by the fact that the UK is `lending` Ireland something like £8billion of cash when I didn`t think we had it to lend anyway. We`re told that Ireland is such an important trading partner that it would be disastrous if Ireland were unable to continue trading with us. So, we loan them a shedload of cash so they can buy stuff from us with the money we`ve lent them and we are seriously expected to believe that we`ll get our cash back, plus interest, one bright day? I`m just left wondering whether the £8billion might not be better spent a litttle closer to home, which I always imagined is where the heart was and where charity was supposed to begin.
There is worldwide panic in the air about the Wikileaks leaks. All very predictable, of course, with governments everywhere in a tizz about what American diplomats have been saying about them and others. The American administration is reacting with outrage that what they thought was private is now very public indeed. I`m not sure they aren`t actually outraged that they have been found out and that, rather than those countries who have been criticised being embarrassed about what has been said about them, it is America which is more embarrassed about what they have been saying about others. All in all, I tend to prefer the leaks to the bluster, the outrage and the egg on face embarrassment of those who have been exposed. And that includes our own Royal family, a member of which has been accused of `inappropriate behaviour.` Not much change there then.
Moving on to the weather, as we here in the good ol` U of K suffer the outrageous fortunes of the worst November weather on record, I`m once more puzzled as to why we keep getting these `fuel escalator` petrol price increases designed to combat global warming. But I now see that it was no more than a cunning plan so we have enough cash to lend to Ireland so they can buy stuff from us with our own money.
I can`t tell you how distressing it is to see that Ann Widdecombe is now dressing up as the most unconvincing Judy Garland ever conceived. So, small wonder that I turn to sport as the most sane, sensible and rewarding refuge in these mad, troubled, Alice-in-Wonderland times. In a strange turn of role reversal, it seems the world`s `serious` people have gone a bit loopy and the sport loving fanatics have become closer to reality.
This weekend, The Saints continued to make St. Mary`s a fortress with a comfortable 3-0 win over Cheltenham in the FA Cup, giving us a home tie against Blackpool in the next round. Charlton have a replay against Luton to get through before they travel to White Hart Lane which will give our local hero pacy flanker and his chums a chance to wreak some vicarious revenge on Harry Redknapp for `managing` the Saints relegation a few years ago. And Gillingham have gone yet another week without defeat, possibly helped by the fact that they didn`t have a game.
But most of all, I have been heartened by the Ashes Test in Brisbane, where records tumbled as England held the Aussies to a resounding draw. At least the sun is shining, really and metaphorically, on a faraway part of this crazy planet which I have long suspected as being God`s draft, so He (or She) irons out the bugs before producing the real one. Maybe the Barmy Army isn`t so barmy after all.
Have a nice day!