Thursday, 2 September 2021
Knowing The Score
Raheem Sterling, born in Jamaica to Jamaican parents;
Harry Kane, eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland;
Harry Maguire, eligible to play either for Northern Ireland or for the Republic of Ireland; and
Declan Rice, previously played for the Republic of Ireland.
13 of the 26 members of the recently near-triumphant European Championship squad, 50 per cent of the total, would have been eligible to play either for Ireland (in the case of Maguire, for either part of Ireland) or for what used to be called a New Commonwealth country.
Well, of course. What else could anyone possibly have expected? That is working-class England. Half the people in it are at least a bit Irish, or at least a bit New Commonwealth, or both. Anyone who might object to this, even leaving aside an Irish dimension that was already at least 100 years old in 1948, to which aspect of the pre-Windrush Britain that almost no one could now remember would you wish to return? The music? The food? The weekly bath nights?
The next monarch but one, Stormzy's gym buddy, has endorsed a dominant popular cultural force that now defines itself as much by the taking of the knee as by the singing of the National Anthem with the wrong lyrics; they are "God save the Queen," not "God save our Queen." People who did not like it, well, you could always support Hungary.