Sport and politics don’t mix? Ask them in Iceland


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Is there a link between politics and sport? Ask a silly question. The NI soccer team singing their national anthem gives you an answer to that one. If that’s not enough, think Belfast Celtic, think Linfield, think a Night in November.

But this morning I’m not actually thinking of the local link. I’m thinking of the state of chassis that Britain is now in. The stock market is arrowing towards the basement, the Tory party is riven in every direction as the political corpses are shoved aside and the challengers to replace Cameron square up to each other (behind closed doors, of course). Meanwhile the main opposition, the Labour Party, has lost all credibility in Scotland, is confronted with the resignation of the shadow Cabinet, outside Westminster there’s a crowd of a thousand or two chanting and holding posters demanding “Out with the Red Tories”, while inside Westminster Labour MPs are telling each other and anyone who’ll listen that Corbyn. Must. Go. To which Corbyn is replying No. Chance. Nobody has a clue how to clear up the rubble left by the Brexit bomb, never mind construct an alternative.

And sport? Last night the England soccer team served up a perfect sporting parallel. Faced with a team drawn from a population of some 300,000, a team that had never been to a major championship before, from a country where the elements are so hostile, they can only play during the summer months – faced with this micro-David, the England Goliath went down to a 2-1 defeat, the biggest humiliation since 1950 when the USA beat them, and even that paled before last night’s delivery of a Going Home ticket. Does anyone know how to fix this broken team? I’ve just listened to Chris Waddle on BBC Radio Four suggest Glen Hoddle, who was England manager in the 1990s, until he unwisely suggested that people in wheelchairs were there because they’d done something bad in a previous existence. So we’ll take that for a No, then.

A political country stunned and haemorrhaging from a massive self-inflicted wound, a football country stunned and haemorrhaging from a massive Iceland-inflicted wound, both without a clue where they go from here. Coincidence?  You decide.



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35 Responses to Sport and politics don’t mix? Ask them in Iceland

  1. billy June 28, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    sounds like good news all round.thats twice in a week england has left europe.corbyn should stay with him there they will go nowhere.

  2. jessica June 28, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    Brexit has the potential to collapse the EU and is indeed a bombshell to them, so to suggest it effected the performance of the football team is indeed feasible, but takes away from he performance and achievement of the Iceland team so I will keep an open mind.

    In terms of where they go from here. Britain is in a position of strength for as long as the refuse to activate Article 50 until an agreement is reached.

    They can now do the negotiations which cameron failed in again, this time on better terms.

    Bear in mind, they have not even begun as cameron will do the ground work to see how far they can be pressed, before Boris comes in later in October when the real negotiations begin.

    During this time, I would be getting as many EU nations on board as possible to get backing for EU reforms and to derail its current trajectory.

    Time is not on the EUs side and the longer Article 50 is not triggered the more nervous they will become.

    It is a time to be confident and not for weakness.

    There will be another general election after the deal is done so Scotland can decide then and I guarantee they will back the deal that is done.

    Will Ireland benefit from it is my concern.

  3. Sherdy June 28, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    The Labour MPs are trying to hound their leader Jeremy Corbyn out of office on the basis that he was not sufficiently active in the referendum ‘remain’ campaign.
    This despite the fact that the referendum was totally David Cameron’s brainwave which he led like the Grand Old Duke of York to its finally embarrassing failure.
    So the failure of Cameron’s campaign was Corbyn’s fault.
    By the same token the English team’s embarrassing defeat by that footballing giant Iceland must also be the fault of Jeremy Corbyn!
    The English badly need Jeremy – lets hope they have the wit to vote him in as their PM.

  4. jessica June 28, 2016 at 9:56 am #

    And talking about inflicting massive self-inflicted wounds, both Sinn Fein and the SNP are in danger of doing just that.

    England has my full support and backing in their efforts to force reforms of the EU. To derail their single army and fiscal controls, to give more control over free movement while maintaining access to the free single market for all.

    I want Ireland and Scotland firmly in their corner during these negotiations. These are tough decisions but it is not a time for cowardice, it is a time for strong political leadership and to stand together against the EU.

    Make no mistake, the true colours of the EU are about to be revealed and it could be split in two, there are choices to be made as there could be war, and I will choose to fight the EU.

    The direction the EU was taking was going to lead nowhere other than war.

    Who says history doesn’t repeat itself?

    • Belfastdan June 28, 2016 at 12:21 pm #


      The English are not trying to reform the EU they are leaving it.

      • jessica June 28, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

        “The English are not trying to reform the EU they are leaving it.”

        We will see BD.

        Simply leaving does not resolve the monster that the EU has created.

        It needs to be stopped or it will lead to war.

        • Scott June 28, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

          ” It needs to be stopped or it will lead to war.”

          What’s your rational behind that one Jessica?

          • jessica June 28, 2016 at 6:10 pm #

            “What’s your rational behind that one Jessica?”

            The direction the EU has taken over the past decade or so anyway, has caused so much division throughout Europe, the divisions within the UK are a manifestation of the new EU, and are not exclusive to the UK but rife throughout Europe..

        • paddykool June 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

          They are leaving, Jessica.They just haven’t figured out where the door is .

  5. Antaine de Brún June 28, 2016 at 10:01 am #

    Angela Merkel has ruled out informal negotiation with Britain before the activation of Article 50, the EU treaty measure which starts up to two years of formal talks while at the same time she acknowledges that Britain needs time to reorder its affairs.

    Mr Cameron has stated that it is up to his successor to trigger Article 50 yet some Labour MP’s want Mr Corbyn out, immediately, with the help of a secret ballot. It seems most unlikely that those involved in the stampede to resign from the Shadow Cabinet took the time to consult with constituents or Trade Unions.

    Perhaps Mr Benn et al may yet reflect on the outcome of own goals. Iceland had an effective team playing against a group of individuals.

    Glen Hoddle should also reflect on his comments concerning individuals with disabilities.

    • jessica June 28, 2016 at 11:03 am #

      “Angela Merkel has ruled out informal negotiation with Britain before the activation of Article 50, the EU treaty measure which starts up to two years of formal talks while at the same time she acknowledges that Britain needs time to reorder its affairs.”

      Of course she will, and England should not only take their time, but line up allies against her and drag it out.

      As soon as that clock starts ticking, England will have lost. It could take years to activate article 50 and might not be until after another general election.

  6. truthrevisionist June 28, 2016 at 10:18 am #


    ‘The stock market is arrowing towards the basement’ ?????

    Actually closed down 2.5%. on the weekend. and up on the previous Friday.
    Its at 6134 as I write. Up 1%.
    An even lower volatility than on a median line trading day.

    Don’t listen to the ‘skew’ of your ‘bankster presstitutes’ in your beloved BBCs economics dept.

    None of them have worked in the real world like some of us who do understand markets.

    The price of govt borrowing, (yeild on gilts) fell to an all time low on capital markets. Best news ever for public service and capital investment programmes. Normally this would have made headline news. – Not a word.

    The drop in the value of the pound? Best news ever for exporters, which is what the economy is based on. Ask Mervyn King who called it a much needed correction as the pound was too strong.

    What do they report? The price of ice cream is higher when you go on holiday.

    I don’t know whats more pathetic.

    The actual mis-management and twisted lies in reporting financial news.

    Or the sheer utter lazyness and ineptitude of the sheeple who regurgitate it.

    • Jude Collins June 28, 2016 at 10:29 am #

      lazyness = laziness. Try to keep standards up, tr…

      • truthrevisionist June 28, 2016 at 11:08 am #


        U.S. spelling.

        Sorry. Three ‘Hail Mary’s’….

        • Jude Collins June 28, 2016 at 11:25 am #

          tr – no apostrophe in ‘Hail Marys’…: )

    • jessica June 28, 2016 at 10:58 am #

      “Or the sheer utter lazyness and ineptitude of the sheeple who regurgitate it.”

      Now I know you are not referring to Jude in this, who’s blog offers is the only opportunity I know off to debate such mainstream media biased reporting.

      • truthrevisionist June 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm #


        ‘of’ not ‘off’. Jude gets annoyed 🙂

        • Jude Collins June 28, 2016 at 1:37 pm #

          No, no, no, tr – not annoyed. I just quietly wince…

        • jessica June 28, 2016 at 1:59 pm #

          He would have made a great teacher. 🙂

          • Jude Collins June 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm #

            I WAS, Jessica. Working with teenagers was nothing compared to you lot…

  7. fiosrach June 28, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    ……… and i before e except after c. Standards have indeed slipped, jude. I blame predictive text. Wether/whether and should of been and there/their are the present front runners at the minute. I know it may not be fair but it does reflect on the poster.

    • truthrevisionist June 28, 2016 at 12:43 pm #


      IMHO UR correct.

      But I blame it on my catholic grammar education. Why not ? – all the other ‘gurners’ do.

      • Ceannaire June 28, 2016 at 1:56 pm #

        Well, I would blame it on my Catholic grammar education. Not sure if that’s the same as catholic grammar education.

      • fiosrach June 28, 2016 at 4:01 pm #

        If you are going to use their language, use it correctly. If not, learn and use your own which I’m sure you learned at your Catholic Grammar School.

        • Jude Collins June 28, 2016 at 6:07 pm #

          The most accurate use of English grammar is learned through reading, writing, talking and listening. And the fact that, as Noam Chomsky (yep, same guy) has shown, essential grammatical structures are hard-wired into us at birth. Learning grammar separately from the use of English is an effort by teachers with limited imaginations to reduce the use of English to right/wrong. Sad.

          • PF June 28, 2016 at 6:18 pm #

            “Learning grammar separately from the use of English is an effort by teachers with limited imaginations to reduce the use of English to right/wrong. Sad.”

            Oh good grief! I find myself in agreement with Jude – I’m worried.

          • Jude Collins June 28, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

            You should be, PF. I am a very bad person…

        • PF June 28, 2016 at 7:20 pm #


          At least the Irish have an actual language.

          I’m told by my Unionist ‘superiors’ that I have my own language too, and apparently it isn’t English either.

          But as far as I can see, it really is English, only with ‘spiky consonants’, poor spelling and kilts.

          • Jude Collins June 28, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

            Too harsh, PF. Ulster-Scots is a lovely dialect. A non-language, of course, but a helluva dialect…

          • PF June 28, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

            I know, I know, Jude. But who ever heard of an ‘Ulster-Scots’ culture before the Good Friday Agreement?

            It all smacks of trying to hard.

            Am afeart thon lassie doth giv aff too much!

          • truthrevisionist June 28, 2016 at 9:02 pm #


            I love the Ulster Scots language myself.

            Heres a few words I leeeerned.

            Trout – ( as in fish ) ——- Troooooot.

            Vacuum cleaner. ————-Flooooor Sucker !


    • paddykool June 28, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

      Aw Jeezis we’d better not get into this fiosrach or nobody will write in . The Pllague of the Flying Greengrocer Apostrophes indeed ….

  8. Perkin Warbeck June 28, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    The argument might well be made, Esteemed Blogmeister, that not the least political aspect of life (as we know it) in the Free Southern Stateen is sport.

    The Sindo gave us a window into this topic as recently as last Sunday, even, a (gulp) French window.

    It came in the form of a restrained piece by one, Dermot Bolger, more famous as a shy, self-promoting novelist, poet and professional native of Finglas. It was the title which caught one’s blood-shot eye. Something along the lines of:

    -The FAI/ GAA are the glue which keep us together.

    That sorta thingy.


    Has the Blogger Bolger had a change of mind in more recent times re. politics, whether sporting or unsporting ?

    For it is not that long ago that the Road to Damascus Dermot was celebrating the sporting heritage of his native parish (that would be Finglas, btw). Curiously, the only sporting heroes were exclusively soccer, oops, football players. The litany of which contained such stellar fellers as Frank Stapleton, Ronnie Whelan, David O’Leary, Pierce O’ Leary etc.

    It wasn’t till it was pointed out by A. N. Other the following week that such unmentionable natives of Finglas as Jason Sherlock, Barney Rock, Keith Barr, Mick Deegan, Charlie Redmond etc etc. had all played with some distinction and no little e success on the Dublin bogball, oops, Gaelic football team.

    So, maybe that was the first step of Dermot’s road to damn it all, no need to ask us. With a recent piece being the latest stop, which he nibbed on the Easter 2016 commemoration which was had as its riff, in contrast to the Easter 1966 version,( about which he was clearly miffed ), that this time:

    -All the children of the nation are being cherished equally.

    That sorta thingy.

    Last Sunday , Damascus Dermot’s eyes were firmly on Lyon and his prose was breath-takingly reminiscent of the George Hamiltonian quote of the century about the national holding of its own.

    (Mind you, one has never quite worked out precisely which Nation, and which Breath the Methody Old Boy, GH, was/ is beholden to. Put another way, whether he was pandering to the M.O.B. or to the, erm, MOB.).

    Alas. glancing down through last Sunday’s literary take on Euros 2016 (whose title gave a notion of an all inclusive nation –see above ) it would appear that it was some mischievous sub-editor who supplied the head line. And not actually the writer, after all.

    One did not need to slinge too far down the GAA -positive prose of Blogger Bolger’s piece before feeling this pebble in the shoe:

    -In 1938, the GAA used the excuse of Ireland’s first president, the infirm Douglas Hyde, attendance at a soccer international in an official capacity, to gleefully rid them of a Protestant patron by expelling him from the GAA.

    Eh ?

    It would appear that, sadly, Dermot’s road to Damascus never made it past Lyon, after all.
    All agog, his eyes have been glued to the goggle box since Day One of the Euros 2016 and will be to Day Zero. (No hint here, oddly enough, of the ‘Easter 2016 Commemoration Fatigue’ which was such a feature in the Sindo not too long ago).

    This constant viewer, therefore, and native of Finglas will have noticed the many and varied soccer, oops, football stadia which are stippled across the French landscape. While they come in all shapes, sizes and capacities all these ,erm, cathedrals of sport share one common architectural feature:

    -Chaque stade est complet / Each stadium is complete/ Nil aon staid neamhchriochnaithe.

    No version of Schubert’s unfinished symphony here, no hint of Edwin Drood, (Dicken’s last and incomplete novel) or suggestion of Antoni Gaudi’s abridged Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.

    For that class of thing one must look to that G.A.A. work in progress, Croke Park.
    One wonders why this architectural anomaly on Jones Road (which no Jones has ever tried to keep up with) should be so. Could it be on account of the mindless-set which inserted that prosaic pebble in the shoe (see above) ?

    Speaking of Douglas Hyde / Dubhglas de hIde : his most enduring legacy to his country was:

    -The Necessity for De-Anglicising Ireland.

    Which is hardly ever mentioned (in fact, never) by the leading article writers south of the Black Sow’s Dyke – eg. D. Bolger (c.f. expulsion from GAA) or F. O’Tool (c.f.,non-attendance of bigoted RC ministers at Doughlas H’s funeral rites in St. Patrick’s Cathedral).
    One of the most fascinating aspects of eavesdropping on the Republic of Ireland’s footie heroes is how it morphs into a game of :

    -Spot that Mainland regional accent.

    Alas, now that the sons of Maggie Thatcher have (once again) taken ‘one hell of a beating’ perhaps it is time for the F.A.I. to cast its monofilament net a little wider for those of an Irish heritage who can be, erm, cherished equally.

    Now that England footie is on the rocks and no longer rules the Mexican waves on the terraces, maybe the FAI might look a little further north toward the Northern Lights of Old Iceland to supply the rocks for our half-empty glass of Paddy.
    There could well be rich pickings there, very rich.

    The Perkin has enduring memories of visiting Reykjavik (Rekkers in the language of Syd and Doris) in 1972. The Cod Wars, to do with fishing rights, were in mid-wage between Iceland and the U.K. at the time – it seems now that, at last, erm, the Minnows have got revenge. Served ice-cold, of course.

    But it was for a different kettle of combative fish that one found oneself In Rekkers. A side-bar battle of the Cold War was being fought there at the time: between chess grand masters Bobby Fischer (sic) and another Boris, by the Soviet name of Spassky .
    And it was a different aspect of the visit which stuck in what one is still pleased to call one’s memory.

    Being the local interest evinced by one’s revealing one’s nationality.

    (Being bilingually Icelandic they spoke the German Q’s English with a certain degree of flawlessness)

    -Put it there, cousin. Most of us here are descended from medieval Irish monks!

    A revelation which would not be at all out of kilter with the zeitgeist in the de-iced Free Southern Stateen of poltroons and poltergeists.

    But that is all in the imperfect future tense, going forward.

    Right now, at this moment in t., let us delight (modestly) in our unchallenged and unchallengeable status of (gulp) The Best Fans in the World.

    The Triumph of F.A.I.-lure

    On their DNA is inked the instinct of the herd
    On the way home they’ll sing on undeterred
    Feelgoods of Athenry
    Each one an Atta, boy
    Les Francais must have le mot juste: merde.

  9. M M June 28, 2016 at 3:57 pm #

    One thing it’s brought into perspective is the amount of ridiculous hype which has been afforded to the Northern Ireland team.

    Here we have a country with a population the size of Belfast not just beating England but comprehensively outplaying them as well. I hope the relentless “Our Wee Country” type articles will now stop in the press and on the TV.

  10. John June 29, 2016 at 1:09 am #

    Was it only myself? – Or did anyone else find the absence of John “Multi Megabucks” Delaney somewhat conspicuous during the whole tournament? – I might be wrong, but my only sighting of JD, was a millisecond appearance on the News, when the RoI Team arrived home at Dublin Airport.
    – And this guy is paid in the region of 400 Grand a Year (twice as much as an equally inept Taoiseach – himself paid more than double The President Of The U.S. – Presiding not only over an enormous population, but with a great deal more of substance etc during his 7 and a half year tenure – than the plank that is Edna).
    Meanwhile…We’re stuck with (quote) “Wages are outrageous!”…Delaney until 2020.

    Other than that… England’s ‘display’…Shameful.
    – As was Wales’ (Team) celebrations. – And for a portion of the British Isles that voted so overwhemingly for the Brexit, they seem to suffer from very, very rapid memory loss – regarding the amount of money that has been pumped into the Region from the E.U. for quite some years, since the collapse of the Mining / Heavy Industries.
    In recent days – Cornwall, another fair recipient of E.U. Funding (and a high % pro-Brexit), are literally begging for their continuation of Funding.

    And if Jeremy Corbyn’s ‘Vote Remain’ Poster – in his front window – that looked like he’d stuck it in the window ‘after a few’, with sellotape/tape that looked like it had been cut from a roll with blunt scissors – is any sign of his ‘Leadership qualities’, let alone attention to detail, then he finally has reached the end of the road – as well as ignoring an 80% Vote against him. Unless he goes, Labour will be in the wilderness for 15 years – if not more.