Playing games when it’s not sport..

2 Feb

Ben Williams arrived at Brize Norton on Friday along with the other 82 Brits who had been airlifted from Wuham. The BBC’s Ben Brown scooped an iPhone interview as the plane sat on the runway. The game was afoot. Could smoothie Ben elicit a ‘reaction’ from the hopefully distraught UK national? Did Mr Williams feel ‘let down’ by the British government’s slow response? No, err, actually, I think they did rather well getting us out. BB tried again. We understand that your Chinese wife couldn’t get on board and now you will be separated for several weeks. This must be very annoying and disruptive..Well, said BW, there have to be rules and what’s a few weeks when we’re in a potential global medical crisis? Anyway, we’re used to spending time apart.

And so it went on, BB playing the media ‘let’s get a controversial soundbite’ game while BW seemed relaxed and grateful despite obvious disturbance to his life. His refusal to point any fingers of blame culminated wonderfully when asked whether the on-board atmosphere had been tense, angry even. ‘No, it was rather chilled; we had good food and drinks.’ Mr Williams wasn’t playing the media game.

The media prefer controversy to contentment. Reporting has been replaced by fanning flames and most observers are aware of this game. When lives are at stake and the fates of nations at risk those who have the privilege of a vast audience should recognize the difference between sport and real life. Consequences.

The bongs and bangs surrounding that moment on Friday when we left the EU were the discordant sounds of a farcical game. Dominic Cummings, we learn, was in tears because he played a blinder. In tracksuit bottoms and untucked shirt he is the embodiment of his own clever mantra: think, believe and do the opposite of whatever the current wisdom suggests. This approach led the flawed but probably honest journeyman David Cameron, to dub Cummings as a ‘career psychopath’. I’m all there for thinking outside the box but when winning is the only game in town and the great European project is the fall-guy, the stakes are way too high. Boris’s words in praise of his Machiavell last Friday focused on the brilliance of Cummings’ infamous slogans ‘Take back control’ and ‘Get Brexit done’. Word games to win over a confused nation.

Nicola Sturgeon, easily the most impressive of the UK senior politicians has always played a rather longer game. Independence. Brexit has given her the handle to reopen that door and this morning that fine and honourable politician, Donald Tusk, indicated to Andrew Marr that the Scots might well be welcome in. Well he would wouldn’t he?

Alastair Stewart didn’t appear to know the rules of the twitter game – don’t get involved in any debate if you are remotely famous. You’ll lose your job or end up in court. There’s a game going on out there. Trolls are searching the twittersphere for faux-racists, sexist, un-LGBTQ, multi-phobic, unwoke and just plain normal people to feed a manufactured sense of outrage. Alastair, your mistake was in playing their game. You should have stayed on the subs’ bench and let Lawrence Fox do the talking.

2 Responses to “Playing games when it’s not sport..”

  1. John Trotman February 2, 2020 at 2:20 pm #

    Marvellous, Sorro. This mature sagacity hits the spot once again. Sorro for Archbishop, I say!

    Hey, any thoughts of dates for any island trip yet?

    Trots

  2. Nick February 12, 2020 at 1:51 pm #

    Enjoyable thoughts as always!

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