Wayne’s World – The Real World’

Both The Mail and The Independent led with pretty much the same headline, comparing Wayne Rooney’s world with that of what they described as ‘the real world’. Credit to them both. Jonathan Brown for The Independent summed the story up thus;

‘..the opulence of Wayne’s world and his historic record-breaking deal stands in stark contrast to the other news that rocked the city this week. It is now estimated that 40,000 people in the Greater Manchester area will lose their jobs as a result of chancellor George Osborne’s plan to cut £83bn from public spending to fight the deficit.

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The Geopolitics of the Ryder Cup

Have you ever been bemused by the incongruity of the European Champions League draw or, for that matter, any of the draws for contemporary European football? Kazakhstan is there and so is Azerbaijan and Armenia. Many of the republics of the former Soviet Union are included. Georgia is there as are the Baltic Republics. Israel gets itself an invite as does Turkey. By any stretch of the geographical imagination, this is truly an expanded Europe. In fact, a more accurate name for these sporting fixtures might be the Eurasia Cup. Don’t misunderstand me, I am more than happy to see this expanded ‘Europe’ battling it out on the playing fields, but I do marvel at how audacious Uefa has become in unilaterally redefining the European continent.

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Mother Russia Woos FIFA

Two very contradictory articles appeared in The Guardian 10/9/10 concerning Russia and its future prospects. The first was a Guardian Editorial 10/9/10 outlining both the grim economic prospects of post-Soviet Russia and also the autocratic nature of its power structures. On the economic front the editorial reads;


‘Russia itself is languishing. Its economy contracted by nearly 8% last year, its worst annual economic performance since 1994, and – despite being so dependent on the  stuff – it is producing less oil now than the Soviet Union did in the 1970’s. Russia’s economy has shrunk twice in the last decade, and deindustrialisation is making itself felt in Russia’s mono-cities – those reliant on a single industry.’

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Gold for Somalia

When Mo Farah won gold at the European Championships yesterday it was far more than just another excellent athletics performance from the British athletics squad. To understand the importance of Farah’s victory, one has to consider the place that the Somalian community currently occupy in the British socio-economic system – rock bottom. Even the much maligned Bangladeshi community, through sheer length of tenure, has a higher social standing in our so called multi-cultural, tolerant Britain.

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World Cup Journalism No8

With the momentary pause in FIFA’s never-ending football road-show, come the journalistic legacy predictions. And they can only ever be predictions at this stage because we are dealing with such intangibles like the ‘national feel-good’ factor or the ‘nation building bonus’. Will the extravagant new infrastructure ever be fully used again? Probably not. Will the corporate world’s new found love of all things African translate into renewed investment in Africa and a fairer World trade system? Only time will tell, but don’t hold your breath. South Africa has extreme pockets of old colonial wealth and a seemingly intractable morass of colonial legacy problems that no one-off FIFA event can ever hope to touch and it would be totally naive to imagine otherwise.

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