Warning: this “foreign affairs” blog may contain quite a lot about football over the next month. With the World Cup underway, I’m finding it hard to concentrate on my usual diet of failed states, UN resolutions and brave struggles for democracy. The 42-inch-plasma TV is now installed and looking vulgar and out of place in my otherwise tasteful, sitting room. It arrived just in time for me to watch Argentina-Nigeria – a game that Alan Beattie has called the “bad governance derby”. Argentina won 1-0, as sovereign defaulters triumphed over sufferers from the oil curse.
Then in the evening – England’s 1-1 draw with the USA, featuring the latest in a long line of horrendous, suicidal errors by England goalies. I remember when I was growing up, it was taken as a read that England produced the best goalkeepers in the world – just like we had the best police. I still have some faith in the police – but the goalies?? Read more