May 29th, 2013

England v Republic of Ireland (friendly, 2013)

EMINENT ENGLAND HURL ABYSMAL IRISH LIKE DWARVES INTO A BOG 1-1

There is a great deal of balderdash spoken about the Irish, a nation of stinted, skirling mud-dwellers, whose closest biological relation, studies have shown, is not other human beings, but turf. It is said that they are exceedingly stupid. To divert briefly into the humorous, one recalls the joke about the Englishman, Irishman and Scotchman who shared a railway carriage. As the locomotive drew away from the platform, they were joined by a clergyman who asked them if this was the train to Devon. The Englishman, who was a little hard of hearing, said “the way to Heaven? I should have thought, sir, that that is a question we should be putting to you!” The Scotchman said, “I’d share ma’ whisky with you but I’m too bloody mean,” and headbutted the man of the cloth. Finally, the Irishman writhed around on the carriage floor, drooling, incapable of sentience and basic motor skills.

Although aspects of the above are clearly absurd – what on earth would an Englishman be doing in a carriage with an Irishman and a Scotchman? – we laugh at such jokes because they contain a large element of truth. However, the whole truth about the Irish is that they are both exceedingly stupid and deviously cunning. That one completely contradicts the other is of no matter to these unscrupulous people who in any case, being Kerrymen and so forth, have no idea what a “contradiction” is.

Some facts about our opponents on the field of  play, upon which England, of course, had their work cut out, as the Irish, green of face as well as shirt, blend invisibly into the background, making it appear as if England are playing no kind of opposition at all.

OWING to their ingrained obtusenesss and indifference to literacy, Irish words as written bear no relationship to how they are pronounced. “Sinn Fein” is pronounced as “Seinfeld”, while “Taoiseach” is, in reality, pronounced as “Spotted dick”.

ASSOCIATION football is not the most popular sport in Eire. More preferred pastimes include hurling, heaving, headstick, shintlock, Gaelic rules field draining, hogtrotting, stonebreeding and pony rendering.

VISITING an Irish village, and stopping at an inn for a beverage, you will be surprised at how deserted the place is. “What?”, you might chortle to yourself. “Have the damned fools run out of potatoes yet again?” However, an Irishman will soon appear – he will be wearing a felt Guinness hat and running at great speed, chased by a wild horse down the main street and shouting “Oi’m not bitter!”

ALTHOUGH very active in the lower limbs, the Irish are reluctant to have their arms leave their sides at any time. This has not only made for some exceptionally poor goalkeeping performances in past World Cup tournaments but also has had a deleterious educational effect, with Irish pupils utterly unwilling to raise their hands to answer questions in class. “Now, children, who can give me the names of twelve 19th century British Prime Ministers. Anyone? Fergus? Seamus? No one?”

CORPORATION tax in Eire is absurdly high. Set up shop in the country with some enterprising little concern – ARMS “R” US, perhaps, or OMNIMEGACORP (We Sell Everything – There Is No Alternative) and some impertinent little fellow in a green bowler hat is liable to send you an annual tax bill for anything up to five British shillings, or three sacks of potatoes, the local currency equivalent.

IF you stand on the rooftop of your house in Ireland, you can see across three counties. This is certainly true of myself and my own, Irish property, loath as I naturally am to visit it. For “three counties”, read “my back garden”.

There are redeeming features in the Irish, of course. Their church instils in their children the sort of fear of authority, benevolent or otherwise, which I have always striven to instil in my manservant Seppings. Moreover, while some criticised the Irish embassy in Bonn for sending a message of condolence to Germany following the death of Adolf Hitler, I, for one, considered it a sportsmanlike gesture to a worthy, fallen adversary which our own Mr Churchill would have done well to emulate.

Such were our benighted foes this evening, their child-frightening faces to a man fashioned by some pagan God more accustomed to making pewter jugs. The national anthems were at once the measure of the disparity between the nations far wider than any channel. Our own was yodelled with such lusty sincerity it is no wonder some of our players showed early signs of total exhaustion having rendered it. The Irish shambles, meanwhile, insufficiently booed, with its risible pretensions of nationhood commenced like some ramshackle brass band unaccustomed to playing instruments while standing on two legs, setting out to emulate the German national anthem but losing their way and wandering into the sea. There were a few chants of “No surrender to the IRA”, thankfully, for surrender to them we shall not. Nor Socialists like Michael Foot and Barbara Castle, or the Boers or the Prussians, for that matter.

The game began at a terrific pelt, the referee keeping a close eye on the Irish players lest they steal any of the Wembley turf, the English cocks thrusting forward in numbers. Every man jack in a white shirt gave 110% – 100% for club, 10% for country but this was no night to quibble about statistics. The Irish players looked on Wayne Rooney with envy. He physically embodied all that they were missing, particularly back in the 19th century during the Famine. Michael Carrick was barely noticeable and did nothing of any use whatsoever but that is often the sign of a great player, certainly an English one. Glenn Johnson was a brick in defence, and took to his duties like a brick to water. Rumours that Jermain Defoe was playing doubtless caused panic among the Irish defence. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain showed, time and again that there is no player more almost useful than he.

The Irish, meanwhile, capered randomly about the pitch like leprechauns in frantic search of an enchanted fiddle they had lost, in fear of a spanking from the Chief Gnome and being sent to bed without any peat potage. Amusingly, the ball bounced off the head of their forward, one Shane Long and into the net but this was quite clearly so contrary to his expectations it could not be counted as a goal. The insolent troglodyte, however, failed to apologise for his error to the England goalkeeper. Happily, Frank Lampard restored parity and sanity from close range, sending a clear message to Dublin that their brief time as a rogue nation was up; time to return to the commonwealth kennels, or face certain consequences of which more later.

Come the second half and England were bolstered by the presence of Leyton Buzzard at left back, who resembled little so much as a member of the English “mod” group the Leighton Baines – and  Phil Jones, showing every sign of becoming the greatest player earth has ever known. Sure enough, he rampaged up and down the pitch like a farmhand chasing a pig through a turnip field that has made off with his sandwich, oinking triumphantly. And so, with England pranging the Irish defence like fellows of one of the more prestigious Oxford clubs pinging coins at a little fellow in green braces dancing a jig and blowing on a tin whistle for pennies, the too-merciful referee called a halt to the Gaelic torment. This was the cue for Irish players and fans alike to assemble at the nearest clearing depot for immediate deportation, ferried back by a fleet of barges.

There remains just one further order of business. Since the Irish have dared, once again to pit themselves against the realm and yet loiter parasitically on the doorstep of the British Isles, the time has come for them to truly be cut loose. I propose special forces, trained in the latest “fracking’ techniques, sent out to drill away at the foundations of Southern Ireland, in order to detach it from the earth’s core and free-float to Europe, where it apparently feels so much more at home. I envisage them drifting up and around the Iberian peninsula as if on a giant raft, shouting forlornly, “Pegs! Tarmac! Old Eurovision Song Contest songs!” to no avail. Such was the folly of 1922…

April 10th, 2013

The Wing Commander – A Tribute To Mrs Thatcher

MARGARET HILDA THATCHER – A TRIBUTE

With the wireless airwaves and television sets alike dominated by donkey jacketed, arsonist socialist hooligans braying unspeakable slogans such as “We Hate Her For No Reason!” and “Death To Wonderful Old Women!”, it is time, I feel, for what has been all too lacking from the channels of the British Broadcasting Corporation or any of its commercial competitors – a hymn of praise to the greatest of political leaders, who saved Britain from being reduced to a North Korean-style command economy in which morning worship of the Dear Leader Michael Foot was mandatory and marriage to tractors declared compulsory under new European machine-sex laws.

For make no mistake, Great Britain would have been a dark and dreadful place had this grocer’s daughter from Grantham, Lincolnshire not assumed the helm of state. The younger of you forget the Socialist Hell that was pre-Thatcher Britain – unions threatening to hold the nation to ransom unless their workers were allowed weekends off, our children force-fed milk, the Long Marches when British Railways locomotives failed to function, obliging commuters to trudge from Bromley North to Bromley South, and the Winters Of Discontent that large numbers of overtaxed like myself were forced to spend in The Bahamas to evade the fiscal demands of Mr Denis Healey to fund the public treasury. Thanks entirely to his incompetence, in due course, the treasury found itself short of money and we were forced to go cap in hand to the IMF. This was also, lest we forget, the permissive era of The Sexual Pistols.

Mrs Thatcher soon put a stop to all of this. As a grocer’s daughter, from Grantham, Lincolnshire who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s she had a vision – that every man, woman in the Kingdom be liberated from the shackles of state socialism and, just as she had done, become grocer’s daughters, from Grantham, Lincolnshire who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s. There was no alternative. No slacking, or excuses – and she practised entirely what she preached.

Mrs Thatcher promised to “heal” ailing Britain and this is precisely what she did with the brisk, no-nonsense efficiency of a Florence Nightingale in the Crimean war, by amputating without anaesthetic the useless, rotten limbs of the United Kingdom – Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland (which served as a “naughty step|” for her cabinet “wets”) and large parts of the North, though clipping carefully around some of the superior shires. As one whose energy were formidable – she would make do with as few as four to five hours a day without drinking – she naturally ensured that the Scotch who worked in the country’s whiskey distilleries were kept in work. As to the remainder of the population, she freed them from state dependence so that they, too, could become grocer’s daughters, from Grantham, Lincolnshire who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s.

Mrs Thatcher believed in the self-regulating market and, of course, part of the automatic regulation of any such functioning entity is that they yield a good deal of waste product – or, to put it in polite “civil servant” speak, the unemployed. In their vanity, the socialist working classes disliked the idea of regarding themselves as steaming piles of extraneous excrement, as Mrs Thatcher recognised them to be. Encounters between herself and the trade unions were, therefore, tense. I personally recall one such meeting, in which she was approached by a Mr Len Murray of the TUC. Here, the great leader showed her common, domestic touch. She briskly doused Mr Murray there and then in warm water and lashings of Vim, then worked him over from head to toe with a scrubbing brush until he was as spick and span as a grocer’s doorstep.

Of course, Mrs Thatcher had to put up with vicious, snide, backstabbing campaigns from her more lily-livered cabinet colleagues and rivals – as well as the persistent rumour that she was, in fact, a woman. This was the cruellest insult to the greatest of statesmen – having known Mrs Thatcher personally, I can vouch that it was altogether false. I met her socially, as well as her charming wife Denis, who evidently experienced a lifelong struggle with alopecia judging by her appearance. Certainly, Mrs Thatcher had a charm that was almost feminine and I am perhaps not alone in having experienced forbidden frissons of homosexualist attraction towards the Prime Minister. However, these I remedied by repeated, flagellating strokes of a knotted piece of rope, hard against the bare back. Having thrashed my manservant Seppings thus, I found that all of my inappropriate energies were dissipated.

Mrs Thatcher’s influence spread even to sport. In 1974 and 1978, it is to be remembered, England did not even qualify for the World Cup. That losing streak changed in 1982, however, when we took on and beat Argentina in the Falklands War. Naturally, there were a few casualties but when it comes to the bracing spectacle and recreation of international conflict, there are always going to be a few fallers at Becher’s Brook. “Just rejoice!”, she said, to the offence of the lesbian whale-huggers, many of whom lurked in her own cabinet. Certainly, it is a disgrace that those who have never been to war and experienced what it truly means should pass comment on it. As one who has, I can only say that until you have personally drowned a terrified young Argentine conscript, whether in a barrel in the mess just for fun or merely at your distant behest at sea, you can have no idea of the relish it engenders.

She had a dislike for bullies, such as the terrorist Nelson Mandela but was prepared to look past a man’s duskiness and alien culture if she could divine in him qualities that made him “one of us”. A Mr Suharto was one example, as was Chile’s Mr Pinochet. She recognised, of course, that these men had their faults – neither of them were grocer’s daughters, from Grantham, Lincolnshire who grew up in the 1940s and 1950s, for example. That apart, she found no blemish in them.

In 1990, she was betrayed – having stepped down, her son, Mark Thatcher was denied his birthright of leadership of the Conservative party, passed over in favour of a pair of glasses called Mr John Major. Her legacy, however, endures. She yearned to lift the working classes out of thraldom to socialism and the trade unions. Now, thanks to her, there are hardly any working classes at all. She fought against the “toffs” in her party who, unlike her, never had to do a hard day’s work. Now the toffs are doing a hard day’s work all right, running the country. She yearned for the ultimate victory of enterprise and the values of the grocer – now that victory has come to pass, towards which all of us pay tribute as we shop at the winners Tescos, exclusively, forever.  There are calls for a minute’s silence in her honour at football stadia this weekend. It is to be hoped that other clubs follow the example set by Manchester Utd at Old Trafford, where a full, 90-minute silence was observed by the home crowd on Monday. It is the least we can do for her, in exchange for her own, eternal silence -  incinerated and never, ever to be heard from again.

March 27th, 2013

Judas – The Betrayal

November 11th, 2012

UK GOLD – HIGHLIGHTS

MONDAY

7:00
Rising Damp

Black tenant Philip (Don Warrington) makes himself a cup of tea, followed around by Rigsby. “Tea, eh? Bet you don’t have that in the jungle, eh, hhhmm, hhuh, hmmph?” Philip tales the cup of tea upstairs, followed by Rigsby. “Stairs, eh? Bet you don’t have them in the jungle, eh, hmm, hmrmff, hrrm?” Philip opens the door to his room. “Doors, eh? Bet you don’t have them in the jungle, eh? Hrrf, phrm, hmmum, hum?” Philip places his cup of tea on the table. “Tables, eh? Bet you -” Whereupon Philip hacks Rigsby to pieces with a machete, of the sort they have in the jungle.

7:30
Porridge

Despite repeatedly telling him to “naff off”, Fletch (Ronnie Barker) is anally raped by a white supremacist (Don Estelle).

8:00
Dad’s Army

“Don’t panic!” cries Corporal Jones as the platoon spot what they believe to be a German spy bobbing in a small boat off the pier at Walmington-On-Sea. He turns out to be a Jewish refugee and, over mugs of tea, explains to Mainwaring and his men how his people are being herded into concentration camps by Hitler’s henchmen and systematically exterminated. “A typical shabby Nazi trick,” snorts Mainwaring, while a horrified Godfrey forgets to ask to be excused and urinates himself.

8:30
Man About The House

His testicles at bursting point following weeks of being rebuffed by his two nubile female flatmates, a desperate Robin creeps downstairs with a view to “having it off” with landlady Mildred Roper (Yootha Joyce). To his surprise, he finds her slumped by the washing machine in a pool of her own blood, having impaled herself on a broomstick in a doomed attempt to pleasure herself out of frustration at her chronically impotent husband George.

9:00
Yes Minister

Consternation in the Civil Service as a Mrs Margaret Thatcher (Diana Dors), is elected Prime Minister. Sir Humphrey stalls her as she lays out her objectives; “My dear lady, while it would be most courageous, it would also be most infelicitous, not to say injudicious given the present concatenation of circumstances even to contemplate -” Upon which she strikes him on the head with her handbag, telling him that these are the Thatcher years now and he’ll do as he’s fucking told. Meanwhile, “wet” Jim Hacker is appointed Northern Ireland Secretary in a reshuffle and blown to smithereens by an IRA car bomb.

TUESDAY

7:30
Please Sir!

Fenn Street School is temporarily closed when a local council inspector discovers that the form master of 5C (John Alderton) is, at 28, actually younger than several of his fifth form pupils – among them, Sharon Eversleigh (Carol Hawkins) who has a 13 year old son in the second form at the same school. Meanwhile, there’s a new arrival at Fenn Street – Earl is good-natured, cheeky and likes the latest pop music. Just one problem – he’s black!

8:00
The Good Life

With little experience of precautionary measures in handling livestock, Barbara falls victim to streptococcus type II, a pig-borne disease. Jerry offers to take her to the hospital for urgent vaccination but stubborn Tom insists on doing it the self-sufficiency way, administering a medicine made up in the shed consisting of essence of nettle and runner bean juice. The remedy fails, Barbara dies but “waste not, want not!” Tom recycles her by burying her body in a shallow grave of compost. “Toffee-nosed” Margot complains about the odour of the decaying corpse, ostentatiously spraying Eau De Cologne over the garden fence.

8:30
Sykes

The “will they/won’t they?” sexual tension between brother and sister Eric and Hattie (Hattie Jacques) that has persisted over several series is at last overwhelming, as both give in to their desires in a passionate session of heavy petting across the kitchen table. Not a good moment for their friend Constable ‘Corky’ Turnbull (Deryck Guyler) to walk in through the back door, drumming his fingertips on his lapels. “M- Mum’s the word?” says Eric. Will stuffy ‘Corky’ for once put aside his duties as an officer of the law and look the other way for the sake of his incestuous chums?

9:00
Terry And June

When they realise that they haven’t had sexual intercourse for over 30 years, Terry and June decide it’s time to spice up their love life. They decide to do a bit of role playing, re-enacting a tryst between Hitler and Eva Braun at the Wolf’s Lair in full costume. They get down to it but unfortunately, in his excitement, Terry puts his back out thrusting out his arm in a stiff  “Sieg Heil!” gesture. Paralysed from the top of his outstretched fingertips to his toes, unable to bend an inch, June must get him to the Casualty department at once, standing him up in the front seat of the hatchback, head and outstretched arm protruding from the sunroof. Worse, the route to the hospital takes them past the local bagel shop, a gypsy caravan site and the hairdressers run by “confirmed bachelor” Tristram – let’s hope they don’t get the wrong end of the stick! And watch out for that extremely low bridge, June . . . JUUNNE!! . . .

WEDNESDAY

7:00
Love Thy Neighbour

Eddie gets into a row when he catches Bill (Rudolph Walker) picking apples from the branches of his tree hanging over the fence into the garden of his black neighbour. “Flamin’ nora, Sambo, it’s bad enough you’ve come down from’t trees wi’out stealing my fruit from them,” he shouts. “Look, honky, I’m perfectly within my legal rights,” retorts Bill. Eddie, however, calls in the local constable (Deryck Guyler). “Now then, what’s all this?” says the bobby. Whereupon Bill is taken in for questioning at the station, and falls down the stairs to the police cells, dying of his injuries.

7:30
On The Buses

Stan’s in the soup after a to-do while driving the Number 49. Distracted by a busty dolly-bird at a zebra crossing he loses control of the bus, sending it swerving off the road and into a canal, resulting in the fatal injuries of several passengers. Olive loses her glasses, with hilarious consequences – hubby Arthur calls her a “fat, ugly, stupid, blind cow.” Meanwhile, Jacko is put on the Sex Offenders Register following an incident with a schoolgirl on the top deck. And things get hairy down at the depot when a rumour is reported by the Daily Express that Adolf Hitler is still alive. Local “nutcase” Nobby ‘Gertcha’ Snodgrass (Arthur Mullard) spots Inspector ‘Blakey’ Blake and, mistaking him for the Führer, hacks him to death with a meat cleaver before he’s got time to scarper.

8:00
Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em

Bumbling Frank Spencer tries out a pair of rollerskates outside his house but loses control and finds himself bowling at high speed down a busy road. He slaloms round a milk float and, amazingly, sails right underneath an articulated lorry but his luck can’t last and he smashes into a double decker bus, his body sliced in two. A cat walks past the bloodied pieces of his corpse and shits in his beret.

8:30
Are You Being Served?

When Mr Humphries is caught masturbating to gay porn in the toilets of Grace Brothers, there is outrage and astonishment in the gentlemen’s clothing department as they realise he is a homosexual. Young Mr Grace sacks him on the spot, Captain Peacock frogmarches him out of the store and he later hangs himself in his garage, a ruined man. Mrs Slocombe quips that now she understands why he never took any interest in her pussy.

9:00
Steptoe And Son

With the country shrouded in economic gloom, the rag and bone men are forced to kill and eat the horse. Albert refuses his plate, however, out of fondness for “poor old Hercules” and eats from a pile of dung in the yard instead. “You dirty old man!” cries Harold.

9:30
Dad’s Army – The Finale

After nine years of defending Walmington-On-Sea against invasion from Hitler’s war machine, the Home Guard are shocked to discover that it’s actually 1949. “You silly old fools!” jeers Hodges, the greengrocer. “Didn’t anyone tell you? The war’s been over four years. It’s all nuclear now. Fat lot of use your bayonets’ll be against nuclear!” The platoon members melt away back to civilian life, dying within a few months now that there is no purpose to their life – except Corporal Jones, who continues to patrol the pier, bayonet fixed, just in case the Germans, who notoriously “don’t like it up ‘em”, decide to have another go. He dies in 1955, suffering a heart attack after an altercation with a gang of teddy boys.

10:00
Hancock’s Half Minute

Special edition of the series in which East Cheam’s most famous resident sits at his kitchen table, lets out a long, slow sigh, says “Stone the crows – what’s the point, eh? You tell me, eh? Dearie, dearie me, what’s the point?” before blowing his brains out with a service revolver.

October 17th, 2012

England v Poland (2014 World Cup qualifier, 2012)

EMINENT ENGLAND CANNON PERFIDIOUS POLES INTO THE CESSPIT OF IGNOMINY 1-1

There was a time, a greyer, bleaker time, under the Socialist administration of the 1970s, when England played Poland practically every fortnight. No doubt the purpose of these fixtures was for notes from Labour’s Cabinet to the Kremlin to be secreted in the unwitting players’ shorts, sneakily picked out at set-pieces by Polish henchmen posing as centre backs, so as to bypass the Iron Curtain. It is no coincidence that in recent years, with Poland having acknowledged the triumph of Capitalism, albeit bringing up the rear in the international market with its cabbage stands and low-quality gelatine moustache enhancers, these fixtures have rather dropped off, now that Mr Brezhnev is no longer around to issue orders to Mr Wilson.

Times have changed; with the pernicious advent of the European Union and the flood of migrants to these sceptred shores that has ensued, this fixture might well alternatively been titled England versus England. It was pretty clear to us back in 1939 that, in line with other nations in the Sub-European region, Poland only allowed themselves to be invaded by Nazi Germany because they were too lazy to run their own country. “Let Fritz do it,” they said to themselves, vowel-lessly. That same indolence pervades the modern Polish immigrant to England. It is plain that having arrived in this country, their sole intention, having put in a 70 hour weekly plumbing shift, is to idle around in bed at the British National Insurance payer’s expense.

For those unfamiliar with these people, here are a few facts about them. 1. The word “Solidarity” does not actually refer to a political movement at all, but a bowel movement. the hardness of its stool, whose intestinal gestation period can last up to four days, can be ascribed to their national diet of rancified dumpling. 2. For those Poles who are not caught up in the illegal plumber trafficking trade, their only source of work is to be employed, literally, as poles, holding up washing lines, tents at English boy scout conventions and so forth. Predictably, none of them find this amusing in the least. There, in essence, you have the opponents ranged against us this late afternoon.

The National Anthems provided a further measure of the disparity between nation and Eastern mud-region. Our own was bellowed with spunk, gusto and the sincere, raging, tumescent hope that Queen Elizabeth II lives to be 140. The Polish anthem, by contrast, was an abysmal dirge, with the redolence of old socks, ratmeat and the melancholy of an elderly boatman putting out to water, accompanied by his faithful dog, to drown the animal to save on household expenses.

The game began at a brisk pelt; it was obscene to see the Poles capering about in red and white, colours which are, by rights, property of the English crown. It was quite disgraceful that the referee did not immediately blow his whistle, confiscate the Polish players’ shorts and hand them over to kitman Roy Hodgson before awarding England an indirect free kick.

The Polish were pacey; years of trying to outrun English immigration officers explains that. They also played the ball along the ground, it being their only match ball, and, were they to kick it out of the stadium they would have to pop next door to Slovakia and borrow theirs. (Fortunately, the scarved women of Poland knitted overnight a giant quilt to place over the ground). However, it was not long before mighty English cannon carried the day. How could they not, with a line-up so superlative that some of the players are even deemed good enough to turn out for their own clubs occasionally? There was Tom Cleverley, who has come a long way since his days as the Fourth Form School Swot at Greyfriars school in the Billy Bunter novels. Michael Carrick may, or may not have been on the pitch; his genius is to keeps his opponents, as well as spectators, in a permanent state of uncertainty in this respect. Wayne Rooney was, as ever, the personification of the splendid English music hall standard “Roll Out The Barrel”. Gerrard, as ever, was spraying phlegm all over the park. Ashley Cole is a national hero; it was very noble, very white of him to stand up for John Terry recently, though he knew that he could never again be accepted among his own sort. He was one of a number of players in the English team of a certain pigmentation. Following events in Serbia, however, we show ourselves to be the better men when we refrain from referring to Cole and those of his hue in racialist, derogatory or insulting terms. Let us simply accept them for what they are and refer to them as such; the Spoils of Empire.

The pitch was still somewhat moist  following yesterday’s deluge – indeed, one suspected it was not so much a pitch as a giant water lily. So unoccupied was Joe Hart that there was every danger he might sink into the aquatic depths where he stood. Being English, however, he would doubtless have gone down with his six yard box. Up the other end, England swiftly acquired the lead, as Rooney shouldered home a Gerrard cross. That effectively ended the game as a competitive spectacle. It fell only for Phil Jagielka to stage a masterclass in three yard passing which on only several occasions saw the ball trundle aimlessly over the touchline as he displayed all the gentle touch of a Savile.

Come the second half and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain entered the fray. Chamberlain and Poland is always a good combination as it generally marks the prelude to an exciting, absorbing, if one-sided war and so the final stages of the match proved, with England peppering the Polish goal for fun, Wayne Rooney even going so far as to loft the match ball into the crowd as a gesture of goodwill.

Another triumph, marred only by a singular injustice. Midway through the first half Polanski received a caution. That our own Captain and inspiration John Terry should have been banned for four games for loudly saying that which he did not say, while a man found guilty of sexual intercourse with a minor should receive only a yellow card is, in the truest sense, a slap in the testicles to every Englishman.