After last night I was hoping for something more positive to write here today. I deliberately didn’t post an entry yesterday because I thought I might have something better to blog about this morning, but what can I say? Like everyone else in England I’m gutted that it didn’t go our way, but I’m currently trying to continually remind myself not to get too wound up about it. It’s only a football match, after all: we only have to wait until the next tournament in a couple of years before it happens all over again. It is no cause for animosity or anger. Italy is just as beautiful as it was yesterday, it’s food and wine just as delicious.
What we should be angry about, though, is what remains: we still have a government which tried to use the Euros to distract us from it’s woeful failings during the pandemic; which cynically attempted to bend the good will created by the results onto itself. When it is obvious that Gareth Southgate was trying to build a team based on principles such as equality and diversity, Johnson tried to barge in and claim it for his own. Had England won last night, no doubt Johnson would now be acting as if he had been instrumental in the victory, or at least had supported it fundamentally rather than, for instance, refusing to condemn the fans who booed while the players took the knee. Southgate and the team stand for principles Johnson manifestly does not, yet he tries to usurp it’s success. That is the type of cynicism we should remain angry about. Things may hurt this morning, but when this disappointment has faded, we’ll still have bigger, nastier things to deal with.