Time to let go, chaps, time to let go

Pic: Daily Mail
I’ve nothing against people wearing fancy dress to big sporting occasions. If they want to spend hours watching a football match sweltering inside a suit of armour or an animal costume, well, that’s their choice. But I do wonder why English people persist in the ridiculous fantasy that a game between England and Germany is a rematch of the Second World War.
The fact is, the war was a terrible tragedy which did huge material damage and cost the lives of millions of people. These losses are cheapened – mocked even – when pictures of a pair of idiot England fans dressed up in RAF uniforms are beamed round the world.
It’s time to end this rubbish. I rarely agree with Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn but this paragraph from his diatribe in Monday’s paper was spot on:
At South Africa 2010, the Germans again came out on top against England – as they have in every major tournament since 1966. Surely it’s time to bury the tiresome ‘Two World Wars and one World Cup’ taunt for good.
The fact is, England were beaten by a younger, fitter, better team, with a home-grown manager (who is apparently inspired by his mentor Jurgen Klinsmann’s time at the mighty Tottenham Hotspur). Germany has now beaten England in every match in the finals of a major championship since 1966 and yet we persist in invoking our one success, 44 years ago. Even more embarrassing is our habit of insulting German people by using the words ‘Kraut’ or ‘Hun’, and then pretending that we are still at war with them.
It really is time we grew up.

Probably best known as…

The recent demise of Reg Varney saw another rash of newspaper articles recalling someone half-remembered from way back when. Even though he had been the star of at least two well known TV series (not just the awful On the Buses but also the earlier, and funnier, The Rag Trade) the obituaries still had to remind many of us as to who exactly he was, falling back on the old clichés: ’15 minutes of fame …’, ‘probably best known as …’. Happily still around, even if not acting any more, is Mr Jon Dixon whose 90 seconds of fame played a significant part in the way in which the Dambusters have come to define Britishness. I hope the repeat fees from all those ‘100 Best TV Ads’ documentaries are some sort of compensation.