Life imitates sport

I’ve not had much time for blogging recently, because, among other distractions, I’ve been spending my evenings drinking beer and watching the football on TV.

I had been hoping that last night’s match between Greece and Germany would provide me with a handy metaphor for a post on how the downtrodden masses can, through organisation and unity, overcome seemingly impossible odds, but sadly the cold efficiency of the Germans saw them run out comfortable winners.

Things are looking a little more hopeful on the political field though. The left may not have won in last week’s rerun election in Greece, but it appears they have done well enough to force Angela Merkel to accept some softening of the austerity programme imposed on the country.

On current form it looks like the Germans might end up facing Spain in the final; perhaps Iberian flair will make that match a better symbol for the future course of European protest.

Euro predictions

Since my last attempt at predicting the outcome of a major football tournament turned out rather poorly, I decided to wait until the first round of matches in Euro 2012 was complete before hazarding any forecast. I’m sure that Spain will pick up after their slow start, the Ukrainians and the Russians are looking useful, and even England seem to be less woeful than we had been led to believe, but I’m going to play it safe and tip Germany for the title.

In other European news, the Spanish banks have been bailed out, which may or may not be enough to stabilize the Eurozone, at least temporarily. All eyes are on Greece though, which returns to the polls this weekend after the last election failed to produce a clear winner. If the electorate hold their nerve, and vote for the anti-austerity left, then the whole future of European economic policy will be up in the air. What will happen next is a lot harder to predict than a game of football, but again it’s safe to say that the Germans will have a major influence on the outcome.

God save your mad parade

I know that at least a million other bloggers will be posting this link today, but I’m hardly going to let the occasion go by without taking the chance to simultaneously state my republican sympathies and revisit my punk rock youth.

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