In Berlin: on football fever and Cleggmania RIP
Posted on 24 June 2010 | 3:06pm
Breakfast in London, lunch in Berlin, so a chance to read the Fussball-mood now that England and Germany are drawn together in the last 16 of the World Cup.
On yesterday’s outings, you would have to give it to Germany if football was the only judgement. Their win over Ghana was one of the fastest, most skilful and most entertaining matches so far, with the added spice of two brothers playing on opposing sides. The Milibands have nothing on the non-speaking Prince-Boatengs.
But when a game is as big as this one, other factors, relevant and irrelevant, come into play. England, I can report, is winning on the heatwave front. It is a nice day here, but nothing like as warm as when I left home. England also wins – narrowly it must be said – on the number of flags flying from cars. England wins by a landslide on the nationalist fervour pouring from news-stands, but then German news-stands are always more sober.
So it is only really the football that might be the problem, and surely with the new found mood that had even Fabio Capello smiling and chortling, they ought to be able to fix that by Sunday. That being said, England fans might have cause for concern at the sight of their players celebrating so wildly the winning of a match which Clive Tyldesley had suggested in commentary was the international equivalent of Premier League v League Two.
Having just had a brief run, there is one factor I must concede unequivocally to the Germans. Clean streets. I know this is an obsession of mine, and has no bearing whatsoever on the outcome of the match, but it is very noticeable. This is what a Tory Mayor and a Tory-Lib government does for us, eh?
I did not see the whole of the Cameron-Clegg ‘Face the audience’ programme on the Beeb last night, but I am assuming they edited in the best bits for the packages I saw on the news … in which case the question is bound to be asked … what is Nick Clegg for?
Cameron seemed to be doing all the talking, and when Clegg tried to get a word in, his boss shut him up and answered for him. All a bit embarrassing, and the body language not as good as when they first got into bed together. Nick had the look of a man who wished he had not had that last drink and ended up doing something he regretted. And what was the red tie all about? Too late, Nick. Stick to gold. It suits you.
It is not just Cameron who ignores Clegg though. I was in the BMI lounge when the deputy PM came onto breakfast telly this morning. I know airport lounges are not the liveliest of places, but of 24 people in the room, I reckon one bothered to look up and listen. Moi.
Out on my run, I went by Madame Tussauds, which had pictures of Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy outside. I popped in to ask if they had any plans to get waxworks of the new coalition leaders in Britain, Herr Cameron und the multilingual Herr Clegg.
Sometimes it can be really good fun being stared at as though you’re stark staring bonkers. Cleggmania ist Geschichte, as we say in these parts.