Monday, January 23, 2006

Slug problem

So that disgusting filth-monger Andy Coulson and his toilet-paper rag, the News of the World have got their way and England manager Sven Goran Erikson has said he's going after the World Cup.

He'll be gone by the final then as I can't see us getting past the group stage. He might as well go now to be honest. I hope the NoTW is happy with their "coup". Just as it looked like the few remaining decent English players still playing top flight football in this country were about to come together as a decent fighting unit, the bloke who's made it all possible has been hounded out because of a childish practical joke and will now spend the next 5 months travelling the world looking for his next earner instead of guiding our gallant lads to glory. Bang goes the chance of a 40th anniversary present to the nation (won on the old enemy's front garden, to boot) and the boy David's knighthood. Worse still, Posh won't get to call herself Lady Victoria and I won't want to be in her way when she finds out. How did they trick Sven? By somebody dressing up as everyone's favourite contemporary villain, an Arab. I do wish the police would take away Coulson's computer for something and then everyone could speculate why. That would be sweet.

I really fail to see what Sven did wrong. He was doing what we all do, having a bit of a private chat with someone he thought he could do a deal with; possibly setting up his next job and exchanging some private thoughts with somebody he thought he could trust but was instead just feeding him leading questions and filming it. I chat and meet with potential clients all the time because I'm self employed. Sven's hedging his bets in case it doesn't work out so I really can't see why he's villified for it. So he occasionally likes to leave his Hush Puppies outside the wrong door now and again - newspaper people aren't exactly known for their fidelity, honesty or high moral values so I wonder by whose standards Sven was being judged? Rupert Murdoch's. Rupe's standard for selling papers by whatever means possible. The irony was, after Diana, the NoTW said it wasn't going to use paparazzi pictures anymore. Just dirty tricks instead, then.

And what about the NoTW readership? I use the word advisedly. Remember, this is the paper that in August 2000 and then under the stewardship of soap star beater, Rebekkah Wade, whipped its outraged "readers" into such a frenzy of illiterate vigilantism in the wake of the tragic Sarah Payne murder that they attacked a house belonging to a paediatrician, daubing it with the graffito, "Paedo". These are the people Rupe's coaching to vote-in governments. Great that. Kind of comforting. Anyone remember the "Constable Savage" sketch from Not the Nine O'Clock News in the early 80s? They probably thought it was a serious documentary.

But what can you expect of something owned by the supreme sleazeball, Rupert Murdoch. Nothing's sacred to him. If I remember correctly, he even said as much immediately after the tabloids' finest hour, the death of Diana. His papers didn't even mention Charles Spencer's undisguised attack on them at his sister's funeral. Why, I can't even begin to understand when half the world was watching anyway. Maybe they actually felt guilty? His political standards change when he reckons he's on a winner for News International, not for the benefit of the country his papers are published in. He'll urge you to vote for anything as long as his miserable organisation wins when they can report the country falling apart as the bonus.

Everything is fare game for him. He created the modern paparazzi; a phenomenon that made him so much money in the UK he went off and bought Fox in the US. It also created this ridiculous "fame" culture where people are given celebrity for nothing other than being on the front of a downmarket newspaper with their chest or gusset exposed or for hating another instant celeb. When half the world's in turmoil over the rise in fundamentalism, the tabloid front pages over here are worried about what tenth rate so called "celebrity" is going to be evicted from the Big Brother house or has most cellulite. He's almost single handedly brought the majority of the population of this country down to believing that nothing really matters any more except the ability to sell papers.

He buys up all the decent sport on the telly so he can show it on his amateurish satellite station that almost everybody has but nobody can afford. It means football isn't played at 3.00 pm on a Saturday, it's played whenever it can fit in with Sky's demographics and when most people in Korea or China will be watching. Because they're now laced with TV money, the British leagues are full of undertalented and overpayed foreigners. Arsenal, one of our traditional home international side feeder clubs, regularly fields 11 foreigners and not because they're any good, but because they're followed religiously in their own countries meaning even more merchandising opportunities for this years' change of strip (Oh, you're the Palmer's Green Almunias are you?"). Football isn't the working man's sport anymore, not at £50 a ticket. We won't see any live cricket on TV in this country now either for the next four years at least, because Sky bought the rights. I hate that! I don't want to have to pay a premium rate to watch my favourite sport when I've already bought a TV licence; something that will come bundled with a load of crap I'll never ever watch. It's not progress, it's a backdoor monopoly and it's evil. What's the deal anyway? The population will whinge on about the BBC showing repeats or having to pay a licence fee of £130 a year or however much it is yet they'll happily fork out double that on top of the licence for something they probably won't watch much of anyway because they'll be down the Three Ferrets watching it with their mates on the widescreen.

Let's put this in perspective. They're not doing this out of any kind of philanthropy by making these popular sports more accessible (Channel 4 made cricket popular again here despite reservations about it being done on a commercial channel), they're making them less accessible in the hope that you'll pay £30 a month to watch them through the wok stuck to the front of your house. And who ends up having to do this? Those gullible sods who can least afford it and who once again, get taken cynical advantage of.

OK, Rupe. You've had your revenge on us for transporting your ancestors, if that's what it's about. Although your Australian heritage obviously doesn't mean that much to you because you gave that up so you could be an American and get even richer. It's not often I actually say this about anyone but, I really do hate you. I hate you so much I hope your old age is singularly unpleasant and painful and that the IRS get to take every penny you've ever earned.

0 Vegetable peelings:

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