Dead Men Left

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Anyone but...

Sorry about the absence of posts lately. Been watching the football.

All right, I haven't. I did, however, catch England vs. Paraguay last weekend. The Whitechapel Respect celebratory meal coincided with the game, so a TV and projecter were rounded up and put into service.

I don't see anything unreasonable in doing this; if we hadn't provided the TV, fewer would have turned up. I find the argument that socialists should actively oppose England slightly tiresome: there seems to be no quicker way to have a futile and bitter argument with precisely the people we should be trying to win over. It would have been particularly absurd, in a room full largely of Bengalis, some in England tops, almost all watching the match, to have raised an objection.

I can't think of a single instance - indeed, I'm fairly certain there isn't a single instance - where anybody-but-England has advanced the cause of socialism. It is more absurd, naturally, to pretend that supporting England is a singularly progressive cause, dragooning poor old Orwell into service for the ocassion. But disentangling the threads of identity, culture, and recognition that lead people to support England is not going to be done through bloody-minded opposition.