Interesting, I thought, that Manchester United’s Robin van Persie escaped punishment for clobbering Yohan Cabaye in the face the same week as the Conservative Party conference. Once again we witness those who feel entitled to special privilege pretending they are playing by the same rules as the rest of us. The fact that RVP getting off annoyed me as much as knock-kneed ding-bat George Osborne announcing ten billion pound in benefit cuts speaks volumes for my own lack of perspective but there we have it. I’m annoyed so I must vent but I’m lazy so I have to get both subjects off my chest in one go.
Obviously Manchester United players know they are entitled to go around smacking opposition players in the head after that test case in Wigan. Wherein Wayne Rooney escaped any kind of punishment, at the time or in the face of seemingly damning video evidence, for what looked to be a spiteful assault on James McCarthy. So it’s no shock that van Persie escaped being set on fire and thrown down a well (as I believed he deserved) because, let’s face it, he has been getting away with stuff for years and so have his new team. What continues to be galling is that Ferguson expects special treatment for his team and that he gets it. That he can get time added to games when Man U are losing is a well laboured joke that was never actually funny. However, one of the things that struck me about the game at SJP on Sunday (apart from the fact that Newcastle didn’t get out of bed until they were 0-2 down) was that, after three bookings for bad tackles by Man Utd players, Ferguson had an extended and seemingly pointless rant at the 4th official. Turns out not to have been pointless at all; the next two bookings were for Newcastle players. I can’t actually see what rule Tiote broke to earn his card – “being a bit of a drama queen” isn’t an offence. The officials went on to miss not only Van Persie have a sneaky look before striking Cabaye but to be oblivious to Cisse’s shirt being a yard off his body owing to the fact that Patrice Evra was swinging on it, in the penalty area, at the time.
The comparison between Man Utd’s expectation of privilege and George Osborne’s financial thinking (that the way to escape recession, is not to harvest due taxes from the wealthy but to demonise and punish those on benefit) is that I can no longer believe either Manchester United or the Tory party think the rest of us don’t notice. They just think we can’t do anything about it so we should suck it up and get on with it.
Apparently the main thing we learned from the Olympics is that if the peasantry are all prepared to smilingly work for nothing then the country will be OK.
Obviously nobody is happy to have people, who have no intention of working another day in their lives, short of emitting another generation of parasites, living off the state but we should at least wait for darling Wills and Kate to get pregnant before we start complaining I suppose.
Who thinks the government can magic up £10 billion from benefit cuts anyway? But assuming for a second that there actually are women squelching out dozens of filthy rat-like thieves behind every council house door in the country for the benefit it earns them, no one ever asks where that money goes. They don’t send it to an off-shore account, they don’t buy villas on Caribbean islands, they don’t use it to set up factories that sell arms to the Mujahideen in return for competitive rates on wholesale heroin. Even if we assume they instead spend their benefit on pies, blue pop, nappies and cushty trainers for their 1 year old it is still money being injected and circulated into the poorest areas in our society. Cut benefit and watch the crime rate rocket, call the Police and hope they can afford to put petrol in the patrol car after the latest round of cuts. Force people to work? There are more people desperate for proper work than there are jobs and, assuming you are lucky enough to get one of these mythical jobs, chances are the pay won’t cover your expenses anyway which brings us neatly back to Newcastle United. Wonga have made millions of pounds out of lending people money at interest rates you only used to gravitate towards if the lenders were sadistic and violent gangsters.
Consequently some good hearted souls have got a problem with Newcastle United having Wonga on their shirts.
Would I buy a Newcastle United shirt with Wonga on the front? No, but then I wouldn’t buy any of our shirts this season because they are all shoddy, poorly designed and awful – which is a shame because the players wearing them on the pitch are the most exciting bunch we have seen in years.
Wonga are putting a reported £24 million into the club. This means that Mike Ashley has now taken money off a Government owned bank (Northern Rock), a southern millionaire (Branson) and some unscrupulous toe-rags who prey on the vulnerable (Wonga) – never mind “evil genius”; Mike Ashley is redistributing like he is Robin bloody Hood.
I’d rather it was someone nicer, with a better logo taking up our shirt space but otherwise I’m fine with it for the same reason I didn’t care about people telling us St James’ Park wasn’t called St James’ Park anymore. Anyone seriously calling St James’ Park anything other than St James’ Park was a f***ing idiot (me calling it “Uncle Mike’s Toybox” wasn’t entirely serious) and anyone borrowing money off Wonga is a f****in’ idiot. As long as we all know that and treat Wonga with the contempt they deserve, who gives a rat’s ass? Now can we please get on with throwing George Osborne and Robin van Persie down that well?