Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Taking His Eye Off The Ball

In all the anguished talk about the working class before & after the election (taken to such an extent by some that it became voyeuristic), there was little said about the recreations & diversions enjoyed by working people. It's a pity that was the case. Otherwise we may have been spared the muddled, middle class drivel served up by "Marxist" academic Terry Eagleton for the Guardian's Comment is Free pages last week (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jun/15/football-socialism-crack-cocaine-people ).
It hardly requires someone of Eagleton's supposed IQ to appreciate that sport, football in particular, is often used as a distraction by those in authority. However, it is crass in the extreme to extrapolate from that the position that sport is inherently inimical to the interests of working class people.
Eagleton would do well to leave the cloistered environment of academia & actually talk to those fans, most of whom are working class, who've organised campaigns against the venal characters running their local clubs & have quickly acquainted themselves with the economics of football at a rate which would impress any tutor in the subject. Moreover, he would benefit from talking to a few colleagues of mine at work who are Liverpool fans as well as assiduous & politically-savvy union reps. I showed them Eagleton's piece. Their response? Let's just say they begged to differ.

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