So England never made the grade, but some sort of political row was as nailed on as Italian on-field cynicism.
Seriously, though, the Azurri deserved their victory.
Over and above the match itself, it was always going to be the case that a Three Lions debacle would see a fringe of racist nutters having a pop at the team’s black players.
It’s a route-one means to get a reaction by a fringe that will likely never go away. I’m not even sure that they are hardcore racists – just hardcore agitators who wield racism as a hot button that guarantees an upset apple cart.
Delightfully, up popped Priti Vacant to catch some flak for labelling the racist barbs ‘disgusting’, having previously dismissed the knee business as ‘gesture politics’.
And in the blink of an eye, back we were to the same old tired, bonkers arguments
Not that you can call them arguments, because equating criticism of the knee to support for racism does not even begin stack up. You can slate Extinction Rebellion mayhem on the streets but still be 100% supportive of action to combat climate change. It doesn’t make you a denier.
What ever happened to the position that you can agree with somebody’s point but not the way they’ve gone about it?
Well, that’s whistling in the wind of political expediency.
There is not only one way to support any cause, but the favoured activist-extremist tack is to lump any non-adherent to their own dogma into the enemy camp. Therefore, knee loathers become ‘racist’ just as Corbyn became an ‘antisemite’.
It’s a ‘logic’ that is as warped as racism itself and is, ironically, straight out of the Goebbels playbook.
Patel was of course wide of the mark whatever your perspective. The players’ actions were not a matter of politics, simply those of a group of young people taking a stand, so to paradoxically speak.
If anything, she has played gesture politics by hitting out at the activist frauds just as these bandwagon-hopping, self-appointed ‘progressive’ jesters rince the racism thang to boost their own profiles and to wound the Government.
Most of these ‘outraged’ social commentators who bang on about the ‘racist’ booing of the knee would of course never contemplate sacrificing any of the power or wealth they have accumulated and continue to rack up on the back of an unequal social order.
It’s in their personal interest to never dismantle the apparatus of systemic racism, and this duplicity bubbles at the core of ally slacktivism. At the end of the day, allies go home and get to hang up their costumes until the next time they choose to enter the fray under their own terms.
Nice work if you can get it.
Until racism as a cause is relinquished by professional and amateur politicians as a tool of proxy war and self-actualisation, it won’t be meaningfully addressed.
So it’s here to stay.