Pride and predjudice

The minute the game finished my first thought was ‘how do we win on Saturday?’ and my second thought was ‘how do we win Olympic gold?’

How is it possible to be simultaneously so proud of one set of individuals acting as a team and so ashamed of another doing the same thing?

Last night I roared along with so many others, watching as Steph Houghton’s Lionesses were knocked out of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the semi-finals, beaten by the better team, the United States. There is no shame in being beaten by the best team in the world. Our team was outplayed and outclassed but the standard of this tournament has, in places, been so high that it makes some premiership games look like a primary-school knock-about.

Yes there were mistakes. The dressing room afterwards will have been full of what-ifs and whys: had Ellen White’s boot had been three inches further back her goal would have stood, had Alyssa Naeher not saved Houghton’s penalty kick the score would have been equal (and probably gone to penalties so, who knows), had Millie Bright not been sent off, we’d have finished with a full-team…That’s the joy of sporting occasions like this, we can keep debating them in and outs for days.

The outcome wasn’t what had been hoped for; football didn’t quite make it home – this time, but the players put everything into it and there is no reason for them or the audience not to feel proud of their team spirit and their attitudes.

Unlike the members of the Brexit Party, taking up their seat for the opening day of the European Parliament. When the EU anthem – Ode to Joy was played, the all stood up and turned their backs. I was raging when I saw the pictures. To be honest, I think the whole playing the anthem thing in the Parliament tis a bit overkill but let’s not forget that these people were voted into their positions by the voting public to do a job. Regardless of your feelings about leaving or remaining in the EU, the fact stands that we are still members of the EU. We held elections to the European Parliament and the Brexit Party not only contested but also won a number of those seats. These are jobs that pay actual hard cash – £90k a year to be exact. It would be nice to think that members could behave in the chamber with a bit of decorum. I’m not feeling too kindly disposed toward the Lib Dems and their undignified yellow Boll***s to Brexit t-shirts, either.

OK, so the whole premise of the Brexit party is that they disapprove of the UK’s membership of the EU and that they believe they shouldn’t even be in the Parliament, but they are. They’ve been voted in by living, breathing, tax-paying members of the general public to do a job. If they disapprove of the whole thing so much are they going to refuse the money? Didn’t think so. Is it too much to ask that they turn up to do the jobs they are paid to do and behave with some manners?

It’s the rudeness that has me up in arms to be honest. I have no doubt that Farage and his cohorts think they are being so clever and so funny, turning their backs on their MEP colleagues, but, to me, they’ve just come across as petty-minded and rude. My 12 year olds have better manners than that.




About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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