Politics is a game of two halves

The Euros – politics by other means

Even as the realisation sunk in that, once again, England had been denied footballing glory by a penalty shoot-out, there was only one question on the nation’s lips: “What does this mean for British politics?”

Would Gareth Southgate have been able to hold Hartlepool for Labour? Is Jeremy Corbyn the real England manager? The Critic offers your complete guide to football’s journey to PoliticsHome.

England’s Defeat Shows Why Brexit Was A Mistake – The Independent

Last night’s result shows what a jingoistic country Britain has become since the 2016 referendum. While more sophisticated European nations like Italy and France are famously indifferent to sport, our newspapers are full of headlines urging our team to win. Until 2016, the England football team was known around the world for the sober dignity of its players and their skill at taking penalties. Throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, its fans were famous for their good behaviour abroad and their warm approach to other nations and cultures. Even their chants reflected a keen sense of how the world could be divided by politics and then united by sport – none more so than the elegiac “Two World Wars And One World Cup, Doo-Da, Doo-Da”. All that has been lost, and it’s Boris Johnson’s Fault.

Having Checked With Number Ten, I Am Against Racism – by Tory MPs

It isn’t easy being a Conservative these days. You used to know what you stood for: spending restraint, low taxes, law and order, personal responsibility. Now it could be anything. Is booing the England team a bold free speech gesture or rude and borderline racist? Come to that, is borderline racism a bad thing, or actually prime ministerial? To our intense relief, Number Ten has come to the position that racism is bad and that if we condemn it, the prime minister won’t hold it against us.

Lessons for Gareth Southgate from the Manhattan Project – by Dominic Cummings

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Actually, St George Was Turkish – Twitter

Just a reminder that “coming home” is actually derived from Scandinavian and Germanic roots. It would be more correct to use the Old Frisian, “kuma hem”.

Until 2016, the England football team was known around the world for the sober dignity of its players and their skill at taking penalties

Bernie Would Have Played Jack Grealish Much Earlier – The Guardian

A man who had a great time in the mid-90s and has now settled into a life of marriage, beard and suits, Gareth Southgate is a classic centrist dad. Blairites may find his talk of patriotism appealing, but his rejection of radicalism is revealed in his refusal to realise that only a proper socialist planned midfield will deliver victory over the forces of fascism.

Time to Replace Penalties With The Single Transferable Goal – The Liberal Democrats

If you want to change the results, you have to change the system. For too long, the big old parties have benefitted from the winner-takes-all penalties system, which doesn’t properly reflect what fans want from the game. A Liberal Democrat government would offer a referendum on a new system for deciding who has won, with options including an Alternative Goal system, or one where trophies are shared between teams based on support. Other ideas are available:

Marcus Rashford: An Apology – Off-message Tory MP

Last night, like the true England fan that I have been for nearly ten days, I vented my frustration at the result. Following a conversation with the Chief Whip, I would like to say that I recognise Marcus Rashford is a footballing genius and also considerably more popular than any political party. I will be keeping my thoughts to myself for the foreseeable future.

Boris Our Chief Of Men – The Telegraph

Like his father, Winston Churchill, who captained the Three Lions to victory over the West Huns in 1966, Boris Johnson has taken England to the brink of triumph. They may not have won on the night, but like Richard Lionheart, Boris has returned from the Covid Crusades, released Robin Hood and defeated the Sheriffs of Lockdown. Like Alfred the Great, he has both burned his cakes and eaten them. Like Boadicea, he has tasted defeat at the hands of Italians, but like King Arthur, he will return again in glory at our hour of need.

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