Il Duce At Sunderland?

What do I know about Paolo Di Canio. Well he pushed over the referee in a Premiership game which was absolutely hilarious… I mean it was absolutely disgraceful. Nobody in our house laughed…much. And he was responsible for one of the most selfless acts of Sportsmanship when he stopped playing rather than score a open goal …because a player from the opposing team was down injured.

So a nice guy…who might be a bit of a fascist..literally. But to be honest, I didn’t think he had shown enough as manager of Swindon Town to get the Sunderland job. seemed to me there were better candidates…

Sunderland is a Labour town. They weigh the votes andSunderland South is generally the first place to declare on General Election night. So not the most obvious place for an alleged fascist to become manager of a football team. and I hope nobody mentions to DI Canio that the Sunderland regiment, the Durham Light Infantry was just about the first regiment to invade Italy in World War Two.

But can a fascist…be acceptable in footbalL management? In England? Lets be honest there are a lot of unapologetic fascists in Italy.

Are all football managers required to be Labour men like Alex Ferguson.? Presumably it’s acceptable to be a Tory or a Lib Dem member? And UKIP? ….BNP? Communist?

Is it past the time when British politics was merely a consensus involving just three political parties. It seems self evident that the influx of European footballers and coaches into England will necessarily produce people whose politics is outside the “British” norm…if indeed there still is a norm”.

Not to mention Scotland and Norn Iron. Before the 1963 FA Cup Final (according to Eamonn Dunphy in his book on Matt Busby)  two Manchester United players from Norn Iron…Harry Gregg and Sammy McMillan were involved in an incident with Johnny Giles and Shay Brennan over the singing of “rebel songs”. No newspaper carried the story in 1963 but would be headlines in any tabloid in 2013.

Of course Norn Iron is a place apart. But we don’t seem to get it. We vote DUP, Sinn Fein into office but curiously pretend that everyone in public life votes for the Alliance Party. Or the Greens.


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