The Plastic Hippo

April 27, 2014

Insult and injury



Great fun can be had by hurling deeply offensive insults and aiming blood curdling threats of physical violence at real and imagined opponents in the strange reality television world of politics and football.

Sadly, the instant gratification of describing David Cameron as a duplicitous, venal, dishonest weasel is ultimately futile because David Cameron knows he is a duplicitous, venal, dishonest weasel and basically doesn`t care what people think of him. Similarly, howling that Grant Shapps is a lying crook or that Iain Duncan Smith is a psychopath or that George Osborne is a bit simple is as pointless as describing Eric Pickles as fat or Michael Gove as being incredibly ugly. The fact is that they are just being themselves, it`s what they do and no amount of bile and invective will suddenly make them discover a heart or a soul or, indeed, any sense of shame.

Calling Nick Clegg spineless will not cause a spine to miraculously grow in the rotting Liberal Democrat cadaver and describing Ed Miliband as a whining, adenoidal swot forever destined to come last in the sixth form debating society will not stop him sulking in his bedroom complaining to his Che Guevara poster that it`s not fair. Nigel Farage positively thrives on insults because bad-mouthing an attention-seeking alcoholic bigoted freeloader is exactly the kind of attention an alcoholic bigoted freeloader seeks. For Nigel, being insulted is proof that he is being noticed and any challenge to his fictitious hate-mongering is nothing more than a foul smear or “facts” as they were once called in politics. He will be furious that something as trivial as a sacked football manager has relegated his nightly news broadcasts complaining that news broadcasters are wilfully ignoring him and denying him the right to explain away offensive racism, misogyny and homophobia as just a bit of a joke.

The temptation to spit out yet more abuse directed at those who wish to secure our votes through hypocrisy, half-truths and downright lies will increase as we approach the local and European elections now only weeks away. Regarded as something of an irrelevance in the Westminster corridors of power due to pitiful turnouts and the dismantling of local government anyway, the darling hustings of May will serve as a dress rehearsal for the main fixture next year. The dung slingers desperate to retain or seize control will test the waters to see what depths of negativity can be plumbed and will spring off-side traps with casual disregard for the laws dealing with slander and defamation.

Slander, defamation and insults are all water off a duck`s back to footballers and the men who manage them but unlike politicians, the soccer gods have to contend with actual injury and unlike politicians, the men who manage face instant dismissal if complete and unchallenged domination is not achieved. The failure of David Moyes to deliver Manchester United to the Champions League has nothing to do with sporting excellence but everything to do with the 25 million quid heading towards Anfield next season. His temporary replacement having secured a four nil win in his first game in charge might now hope that all that defamation nonsense involving his sister-in-law is now well and truly forgotten.

With three games to play, or four for Manchester City, the title comes down to the clash between Liverpool and Chelsea. This fixture has some history and not just for the more conventional forms of insult and injury. When Luis Suarez took a huge bite out of the arm of Branislav Ivanovic in April 2013, Chelsea fans screamed abuse at the Uruguayan attacker and Liverpool fans screamed abuse at the Serbian defender. Suarez served a ban and also served a ban for making racist comments. He might be a racist, diving cheat with a taste for man flesh but Suarez is forgiven because he is rather good at scoring goals.

With just weeks to go before the World Cup in Brazil, cynics might speculate as to the identity of the English defender at Chelsea, Crystal Palace or Newcastle who will put the boot in for Suarez to ensure that he misses his appointment with Roy Hodgson`s heroic England at the Arena de Sao Paulo in the Group D match on 19th June. He might be a racist, diving cheat with a taste for the girlfriends of team mates but John Terry could just earn himself an MBE.

Insulting politicians doesn`t work; perhaps we should try the Suarez approach.

1 Comment »

  1. As John Terry was ruled out of the game due to an injury sustained in Madrid on Tuesday his MBE chances were remote at best.
    Those “facts” again.

    Comment by Rob — April 27, 2014 @ 8:42 pm | Reply

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