Football and Elks

The general consensus here (in Sweden) is that England were lucky to beat Denmark, and that the penalty was a dodgy one, to say the least. I have to say I agree, reluctantly. I’m also troubled by the way Johnson and his minions are seeking to exploit England’s success (so far) politically; especially Boris himself and the awful Priti Patel, after her sneering at the team’s ‘taking the knee’. I can feel the vomit rising…

Which is a shame, in view of Southgate’s and the whole team’s conduct off the field. They really are an example to us all. I’d like to wish them all the best on Sunday. But then I think of the behaviour of the England supporters – booing the Danish national anthem, shining a laser beam into the Danish goalkeeper’s eyes as he’s facing the penalty – and of our (i.e. Britain’s) deplorable government; and half-wish that Italy wins on Sunday. Which would be unfair to the team. (Most of it composed, as has been pointed out repeatedly, of the sons and grandsons of immigrants.)

I’ll be watching it from here in Värmland, where we’re on holiday just now. The pandemic meant we couldn’t do our usual European tour. But this really is a gorgeous part of the country. Hills, forests and lakes, mainly; plus a huge population of elks – 30,000, Kajsa tells me – though we’ve not seen one yet. Apparently they only come out at night. A bit like Priti, I imagine.

About bernardporter2013

Retired academic, author, historian.
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8 Responses to Football and Elks

  1. Gary Ramsay says:

    I think you’re being a little hard on the England performance against Denmark- the penalty was no more soft than the free kick that led to Denmark’s goal. The “stats” suggest that England had more of the game. I know it’s annoying that our useless government will try to gain some political advantage from the team’s success but people can’t be that stupid surely? Don’t answer that.
    I remember talking to you about West Ham when I came to discuss an essay I’d written on Malthus’s population theory. I don’t know how we came to discuss football, but we reminisced about the unlikely striker Brian Dear. Those were the days. Anyway, a year later we won the cup for the first time in 11 years.
    You were very encouraging about the essay, by the way. I came from a South London comprehensive and wasn’t very confident- I’d like to thank you after all this time for your helpfulness and humour (you gave a very funny lecture in which you highlighted the gullibility of anthropologists). I still get a little nostalgic about Hull: I’ve been back a few times and in some respects the city has changed for the worse; however, I’m always struck by how attractive the University is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for getting back in touch, Gary! What are you doing now? I moved back to Hull after a few years in Newcastle, but now mainly live in Sweden – to get away from what Britain has become.
      I thought England played well yesterday, and wasn’t too distressed by the result because they did so many of the other things right: taking the knee, and so on. One in the eye for Boris and Priti; although I don’t suppose they’ll see it that way.
      All the very best!


  2. The working class are disproportionately liable to engage in hooliganism compared to the middle class, you are asserting. That is pretty obviously true, yet post-war sociologists have gone to great lengths to avoid ‘classist’ contentions of that kind.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree. I wish the England squad well, but their fans – and the country at large – frankly aren’t worthy of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Neil SHADDICK says:

    You’re not fully ‘ex’ as in expat, Bernard, that’s the trouble. It took me fifteen years after moving to NZ to give up England cricket (England football fell by the wayside a lot more quickly, their being so dire in the nineties – Gazza and Beckham et al): but you’re a Swede now: you support Sweden: or if you can’t support Sweden, you support the nearest European equivalent which is obviously the Azzurri in this context. Trust me, you can’t be happy in a new country until you let everything about the old one go (I’m being a bit hypocritical actually – full disclosure as they say these days: I found a jar of Frank Cooper’s Vintage Oxford marmalade in an Auckland supermarket this week. Nothing like it).
    Forza Italia!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re sounding like Norman Tebbit – ‘the Tebbit test’! I’m happy with my divided loyalties. But if England had been drawn against Sweden, which at one time looked quite possible, I’d probably have supported the latter.

      I’m with you on marmalade. The Swedish version is much too sweet. I now go for a South African version, in little tins. Or make it myself out of lemons, limes and grapefruits (we can’t get Sevilles here). For other English goodies I use a wonderful British butcher in Stockholm, Taylors and Jones (Google it!), who do typical English sausages – i.e. unsmoked – and pies – i.e. with crusts on top. And my Swedish partner and friends like them too. Is that allowed for an expat? Or do I have to go through this phase of my life only eating raw herring?

      I was always told in Australia that New Zealanders – together with Tasmanians – are more British than the Brits. So you should’t have the problems of cultural adjustment that I have!


  5. Why are England’s football supporters so awful? Their dreadfulness has been a fact of life for many decades.
    Yet cricket’s Barmy Army are amusing and good sports.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To join the Barmy Army you need to be quite well off – to be able to afford the fares to Oz or wherever and the time off work. Football hooligans just come in off the streets; or buy cheap Ryanair tickets to Europe. It’s a matter of class, I’m afraid.

      Liked by 1 person

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