Tuesday 29 June 2010

Socialism is the key to World Cup success

Or so says John Barnes anyway, in an Evening Standard interview with Mihir Bose.

"Football is a socialist sport," he explains. "Financially, some may receive more rewards than others but, from a footballing perspective, for 90 minutes, regardless of whether you are Lionel Messi or the substitute right-back for Argentina, you are all working to the same end.

"Players from other nations when they play for their country are once again a socialist entity, all pulling in the same direction," he tells me from a dressing room at Supersport's studios where he is an expert analyst on the World Cup. "The most important thing for every Brazilian player is to play for Brazil. "It doesn't matter if he plays for Milan or Manchester United. A Brazilian who puts on that yellow shirt feels the same as the man next to him in that yellow shirt. They have a humility to the shirt. It is not the same for those who wear the Three Lions."

Not everybody is going to agree with that. Though Barnes is quite close to Liverpool legend Bill Shankly's definition of socialism

“The socialism I believe in is everyone working for each other, everyone having a share of the rewards. It’s the way I see football, the way I see life".

But Barnes could claim an increasing amount of evidence from the field in South Africa too.

Nations with left-of-centre governments confirmed their dominance in Next Left's Political World Cup, converting nine places in the last sixteen to clinch a landslide with six out of eight quarter-final places. (Shouldn't 75% representation bring the right to make constitutional amendments, and introduce goalline technology).

In fact, the left had a perfect second round, winning all three of the left-right clashes as Uruguay beat South Korea, Argentina beat Mexico, and Brazil beat Chile.

The right's survivors - Germany and Holland - both defeated fellow centre-right nations, England and Slovakia, and must now take on Argentina and Brazil to prevent an all left-wing sweep of the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, Ghana defeated Obama's USA - who some leftists have been reluctant to embrace as now on our team - while Paraguay pipped Japan in another all-left clash, before the final tie saw Socialist Spain beat fellow leftists Portugal.

The left could perhaps stake a claim to six and a half teams if we were being greedy, though the political uncertainty in the Netherlands seems certain to outlast the football in South Africa. The Christian Democrats have indicated they will not participate in a right-of-centre government, which means that Geert Wilders is very unlikely to be part of the next Coalition. So it seems extremely likely that both Dutch Labour and the centre-right Liberals will have to be in the coalition, though who it will finally comprise still looks like anybody's guess.


Jane Chelliah said...

Those who go to work everyday have a shared purpose of earning an income. Is this Socialism? Shared aim doesn't equate shared goal. People would have different goals, surely, in the interpretation of 'earning an income'. Some would aspire to hit the £100,000 bracket and some would be happy to reach half that in their income.

13eastie said...

Barnes is correct in as much as he points to no evidence that English players could care less about playing for their country.

But, before anyone leaps to the conclusion that any of the equally overpaid and overrated morons elsewhere are playing for the cause of socialism (with the possible exception of the much maligned and misunderstood North Koreans), it might be worth having a look at where they have chosen to play most of their football.

Not an insignificant number of these 'soccer sandinistas' seem to be following the (socialist icon) Rupert Murdoch's money around the world (or that of others like him); good performances in the QF's will doubtless help their (agents') causes no end.

With a good WC campaign under their belts, the only problem remaining will then, of course, be finding the best method to prevent their benevolent overseas host nation from sequestering their 'earnings'.

There might be stronger candidates than international footballers to point to as far as flag-bearers for socialism goes!