What a depressing week – I hope the coming weekend will erase the memory of the last 5 days. From data cock ups to sporting ignominy a battalion of incompetents have presided over a series of lamentable events. The nation is left with a clutch of black ostrich feathers to wave at the cemetery gates. I suggest we go Victorian – dress completely in black crape for the entire year to show our collective disgust.
Only one of the casts of players from the dismal week of weeks has acquitted himself with any sense of decency. Paul Gray, the chairman of HM Revenue and Customs, quickly resigned over the “extremely serious failure” of security after personal details of every child in UK was lost by Revenue & Customs. Please tell me how a Government department can lose the records of 25 million people on its child benefit database. Thank God for the standards of Mr. Gray who with a old fashioned sense of honour took the pearl handed revolver into the darken room of fate and blew his corporate brains out. His heroic action generated a deserved flurry of positive PR.
The week’s principal reprobate was the England football failure Steve Maclaren. He knew if he could hang around like a bad smell for 12 hours he could shuffle off into sporting oblivion with his bank balance a few million quid in the black. The other cockroaches of political power still cower behind the headlines of the week all clinging onto the shards of their careers – hoping that their reputations can survive the barrage of abuse. I am sure they are taking strength from feeding off the rotting carcass Sir Ian Blair. He found a hiding place and has managed to hang on to his job rather than stepping down gracefully after the tragic death of Jean Charles de Menezes. Perhaps he considers that it was not fair to be judged on the tragic shooting of one person rather than the rest of his career. But the shooting happened with him at the top and the findings are damning in terms of the number of mistakes that were made. An innocent man died but Ian Blair is still there toughing it out to the bitter end.
There is one person this week that I feel deserves a little sympathy and that is the feckless England goal keeper Scott Carson. The run up too the vital game on Wednesday saw the media in predictable “hyper drive” All the tabloid and broadsheet papers not to mention the TV and Radio were in a lather. The focus was certainly on team selection especially when it came to who would be between the sticks. I am sure that this affected Carson. I have never failed to meet a person in public life that can detach him or herself from the headlines especially when it precedes a major event. A goalkeeper needs to keep his mind focused – and as the last line of defence is venerable to mind games. I suspect that the sport pages got to him. I am sure the opening howler was the result of the surrounding hype. I am pleased that he has not been ridiculed. I think he is a talent and I hope that he can recover from the debacle and move on. The villains of the night were the geriatric grandees of the Football Association. The only salvation for the future of the Peoples game is that a dynamic board of deputies is installed in Soho Square as quickly as possible. But that’s unlikely to happen instead there will just be another Aunt Sally thrown up to take the hits and deflect the real issues at the heart of the disease. Complicated issues need thoughtful consideration something beyond the intellects of those hungry for power.