Monday, 1st August, 2022

[Day 868]

Today is very much the day after the night before. As you might imagine, the media as a whole and every newspaper is completely dominated by the success of the English Lionesses aka as the England Women’s successful team who triumped in the EUFA finals by beating Germany 2:1. The Queen in a message to the team included the line ‘..You have set an example that will be an inspiration for girls and women today…)’ Given that the scorer of the winning goal, Chloe Kelly, ripped off her shirt in celebration and ran down the pitch in a Nike sportsbra (for which she earned an instant yellow card, being the current regulation for shirt removal), then I think the Queen might have been slightly more judicious in her choice of words. No doubt it will become commonplace for young women to rip off their tops when celebrating any success as they have been informed that the women’s football team have been told by the monarch herself that they have set an example that will be an inspiration etc. etc. My copy of The Times had included a supplement to celebrate what is the first real success we have had since the World Cup final of 1966 (56 years ago) and I am sure that most other newspapers will probably have done the same. The German press, though, have been muted in the extreme and are claiming that they were denied a handball which would, if awarded, could have given them a penalty and probably the game itself. The ‘handball’ in question was during a goalmouth scramble in which the pall was pinging about all over the place and it did look as though the ball had hit the outstretched arm of an England player but neither the referee nor the VAR saw any intent in the incident and let it pass. To the best of my recollection, none of the German players claimed a handball either so this does look a case of ‘sour grapes’ After all, the Brits are used to being denied championship glory after some ‘iffy’ refereeing decisions but then we are quite used to losing – and the Germans are quite used to winning. I suspect that the Germans do not really know how to take defeat very easily – apparently some of the German press are even claiming that that they were robbed of success in the 1966 World Cup Final after all of these years. There has been an impromptu party held in Trafalgar Square this morning where a comment that was made was they the women had spent more time partying than they had playing fooball in th past 24 hours which is almost certainly true.

This morning I experienced a strange incident as I had received a text on my phone saying I had tried to pay someone I did not recognise and could I click a link to ‘resolve’ the matter so that a payment of something over £150 could be paid. I did smell an instant rat in all of this and got onto the fraud department of my bank. This sounds an easy thing to do but took several minutes of hanging on, not to mention going through lots of security filters. Eventually, I spoke with a ‘real’ person and I was quite right not to have clicked the dubious link. The bank official checked over my account and confirmed that no suspicious activity had taken place or was pending and then gave me a specialised email address to which I could forward the suspicious text. This I did and although a certain amount of time has been ‘wasted’ by these activities, at least I did not fall for a scam to which it might have been all too easy to have fallen prey.

This afternoon has been a gloriously sunny afternoon which I have spent in rather an indolent way. First I read all of the footage and some of the back stories to the England success. I have just one fear after all of this adulation because it is reckoned that many honours and no doubt cash will accrue to all of these players. Now honours are one thing and well-deserved, and cash that finds its way into the development of the women’s football game is only to be applauded, but I do worry that showering players with a lot of cash and sponsorships are not a good thing, either for these young women as individuals or as sports personalities. I fear that for some of them, too much cash could be the ‘kiss of death’ and would have to be handled with a great deal of care.

The political scene continues to amuse. Rishi Sunak is so desperate to make up ground on Liz Truss that he has promised to cut income texes before the end of the next Parliament i.e. in seven years time. This must be the crassest of own goals as the Truss team are saying ‘we will cut taxes within seven weeks, not seven years’ which is the evident riposte.