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Give us something we can smile about
IS IT just me or is everything rubbish at the moment? The news, the weather, the economy, the present and the future are all – without exception – depressing.
I remember being a teenager in the early nineties and everything was fantastic. There was good old Gorbachev in the Kremlin bringing an end to the Cold War.
There was Gazza blubbing at Italia 90 and getting the whole nation behind the England football team (more on this later).
Every day was a Happy Monday or a Thank God It’s Friday.
I know we have just had the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee but no sooner had the last Union Flag paper plate being swept into a black bin bag than the news returned to floods, the horrible trouble in Syria and European bank bosses shaking their piggy banks only to be greeted by the sound of silence.
The politicians here in the UK are not helping – though at least we can’t accuse them of sugar-coating the pill.
There’s no money, so we all have to work longer and harder.
Everything is focused on the negative. It’s all about austerity and how we need to cut back to get us out of this mess – when what we actually need is a ray of hope – some optimism. But that is in short supply at the moment and nothing is less likely to inspire people to work more than telling them they have to work more.
If the politicians won’t give us a ray of light, then it’s up to me and desperate times call for desperate measures.
Now, optimism is not my strong point. Indeed I am the man who begrudges paying into a pension because I am convinced I will choke on a Brazil nut at my retirement party.
However it is time to show some blind faith – and there are two things in life where blind faith is a must. There are two facets of life where you must ignore the facts, the scientific evidence and the obvious and just simply believe.
One of them is religion and the other is supporting the England football team.
I have decided upon the latter and I would advise you to do the same.
And here is where I set myself up for a magnificent Icarus-like fall as the wings of my beautiful stupidity are destroyed by the searing heat of rationality and reality.
Hear me out, though. Tonight, a Friday night, at 8.45pm, England will play Sweden in the European Championships (that’s the tournament everyone’s forgotten about because of the Jubilee and the Olympics).
But tonight, England will be victorious against the Swedes, and what better place to watch it than in the pub, awash with beer and unbridled patriotism.
From there, buoyed by the support back home, our heroes in white will go on to win their group, then onwards to the quarter finals where they will stick the boot in to Putin with a three-nil victory over Russia. The semi-finals will see that squirt Ronaldo in tears as Portugal are sent packing in a five-nil thrashing by the three lions.
Then (you know where this heading, don’t you?) England will face you-know-who in the final. No penalties, no extra time, just a resounding eight-nil victory and the lifting of the trophy. Take that, Merkel.
Now, that is what I call optimism. But if I can set myself up for such a fall in the pages of a newspaper, then I’m sure you can all manage a little optimism too, because we need it now more than ever. Much more of this and I’m packing my bags and moving to Australia.