2021 Jun 20 - Scotland, England & Iran

This weekend we were treated to a hung draw at Wembley, and Iran elected a new hardline president which means we’re soon to be treated to a hung draw and quartering at their national stadium next week as the political prisoners welcome in the new government as part of a grisly final 15 minutes of fame.

First of all that England-Scotland football match, it started off with players kneeling for the BLM movement, sparking confusion in the process as some of the Scottish players thought that someone had dropped a pound coin onto the pitch and that there was money to be kept by whomever found it. Anyway that political stunt turned out to in fact be the score in the end: kneel kneel. A pretty dismal performance by both sides, 90 minutes of slow, uninspired rubbish. The England fans can sing “Football’s coming home” all the want but frankly it’s about as likely to come home as Shamima Begum is, and the only shots on target from the Scots were from bottles of Jagermeister in the embarrassing drunken rabble huddled outside Leicester Square tube station. A few weeks ago the wife asked me if Scotland really hadn’t qualified for the tournament since France hosted in 1998, to which I corrected her: “No, that’s the World Cup you’re thinking of, we haven’t qualified for this tournament since England hosted it in 1996” Scotland have not been good this century, and it doesn’t make qualification easier when Yugoslavia get to enter a dozen teams. At least there’s just one German entry to contend with these days.

Anyway, talking of fanaticism ultimately leading to depressing results, Iran has a new president. He’s called Ebrahim Raisi and the BBC call him a strict conservative which could mean anything from him bringing in crucifixion as a form of punishment, to maybe just extreme political views like opposing the idea of James Bond being portrayed by a Nigerian lady. As things stand, it’s very much the first of those. Iran is going to be the same as it ever was, or at least the same as it’s been since the revolution in 1979. Prior to then of course the country known as Iran was still called “Running” and it was surprisingly liberal. Thereafter of course there was a crackdown against western culture, although I once heard they had an 80s cover band called Quran Quran. As to Mr Raisi, I’m sure he has some choice things to say, especially when it comes to Joe Biden’s desire for some kind of nuclear treaty and the lifting of sanctions. All of which will of course be a smokescreen for discussing Iranian social freedom’s and the US support for Israel. The thing that rarely seems to be mentioned as much as it should be is neither side actually wants to compromise. They both see it as a religious conflict where there is no middle group in god’s eyes. When it it really comes down to it, the entire region only therefore gets two choices of government: western liberal democracy, of which Israel is the only one, or brutal sharia autocracy and the sectarian genocide that goes along with it. It’s an argument 4,000 years in the making, though perhaps Joe Biden could get a rehearsal in by flying into Birmingham and trying to settle some kind of armistice within the Labour Party before he travels to the Middle East.
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