The Sun says German football rules are better than UK’s, but can’t bring itself to mention fan ownership. I wonder why…?

There was an interesting article in The Sun the other day comparing German football to British football.

It followed the usual theme of saying that everyone else has it better than us poor old Brits, but – leaving aside a petty sleight of hand by comparing the most expensive Arsenal season ticket to the cheapest Bayern Munich one – it did make some good points about fan culture and attitudes in general.

Of course, it’s easy to point the finger and say the endless jingoism when it comes to national football that The Sun peddles won’t help so it’s a bit hypocritical to complain about how tribal British football is.

The thing that really caught my eye though, was more noticeable through it’s absence, which was namely fan ownership of football clubs.

I was intrigued to see what The Sun, a right-wing newspaper (albeit one that backed Labour in 1997, 2001 and 2005!), would say about the different ownership culture in German football, given the ownership of The Sun.

I have to admit I was disappointed, amused but not entirely surprised to see they had left out all reference to fan ownership as a possible explanation of the state and culture of German football.

For instance, what does The Sun, and by extension it’s editorial team and by further extension it’s owner, think of fan ownership, where clubs are required to be at least 51% owned by the fans?

Perhaps more to the point, what does The Sun think about the lack of overseas owners in the German league!

It’s obvious why they’re not going to mention this, and in fairness to the poor writer even if he wanted to I don’t think he’d have a chance of writing about it given the ownership of The Sun, it’s political stance and everything else that goes with it.

The only sad thing, gentle mocking aside, is that for a paper that so proudly trumpets that it’s on the side of its readers it feels unable to provide them with the truth about something many of them would feel instinctive sympathy with.

I do wonder whether the writer was sympathetically discussing German football in the hope of guiding some readers to looking into it with more depth than he could provide in writing the piece.

Football is all about passion in Germany, not money. England can learn from us | The Sun |Features.

UKIP Councillor slams focus on numbers of candidates and not quality #missedtheironytrain

A UKIP Councillor has written a quality letter in the latest edition of the Local Government Association’s First magazine, which is just one example of the thrilling stuff I read in the bath on a nightly basis.

The Councillor, who shall remain nameless, lambasts political parties who ‘give little weight to the creditability or work ethics of a candidate.’

Quite.

Indeed, he goes on to say, ‘they are far more interested in the number of candidates they can field rather than quality.’

I couldn’t agree more.

On a completely unrelated topic, did you read the scandalous story of the council candidate who took a picture doing a Nazi salute but then claimed he was just impersonating a potted plant?

What about the council candidate from the same party who posted vile anti-semitic conspiracy theories and rants on Facebook over the course of several months and then claimed her account was hacked?

Clearly, this must surely be the party the UKIP councillor had in mind when he criticised parties for focusing on the quantity of candidates and not their quality.

Tory Ministers blame “diversity” on declining civil service standards

Ex-MP Paul Goodman wrote an interesting piece on ConservativeHome today about his concerns over the civil service at Westminster and the alleged growing problems the government are having in dealing with them.

On the whole it’s pretty well-balanced, but one section in particular stuck out to me.

As Goodman outlines his three areas of concern and experience in dealing with the civil service, he comments on something that Conservative Ministers with experience of government allegedly all continually claim, namely the declining standards of the civil service.

This, it is claimed, can be blamed on,

Labour’s “diversity agenda” for the civil service…background or gender or ethnicity came to count for more than ability

So let’s get this straight, the reason there have been declining standards in the civil service is because Labour insisted that the civil service hire more working class people, more women and more black and asian or other ethnic minority people?

Because obviously there are no working class people, women or ethnic minorities who can possibly write letters in clear English, which is what Paul Goodman uses as an example of declining standards.

Are Tory Ministers really claiming that standards have declined because more women work in the civil service?

Do they look at a woman or someone with a regional accent and automatically believe they must have gotten there because of their gender or class and not on account of their own talents?

Have they taken a note of every poorly drafted letter and noted who wrote it, and checked to see if it was a woman, a black person, or something from the North of England?

How many Tory Ministers actually have previous experience of government? There can’t be many – Ken Clarke springs to mind. Who else has these ridiculous views?

The funny thing is these Ministers would never have the guts to say this publicly because they know the public would excoriate them, so instead they whisper it anonymously to journalists so they can drip feed their poison into the media without ever having to be held accountable for their views.

At Bradford Council we’ve announced we’re looking at ways we can tackle under-representation of ethnic minorities at a senior Council level. I’m confident we can do so without declining standards, even if anonymous Conservative Ministers would appear to disagree.

The article is about issues concerning the civil service, but it shows up the issues many people have with politicians too.

IDS and universal credit. “They lied to him.” Trouble with the civil service The Tory Diary.