Hate Britain?

“Great Britain. Not really much great about it these days, is there?”

Hands up if you’ve heard a comment like that in recent times. In fact, I think it’s worse: I’d argue that there’s a lot of hatred being fired around today. Listen to radio phone-ins, flip through Internet forums, earwig lively debates and you’ll often experience strong opinions bordering on hatred. Maybe it’s not real hatred, but at times it can seem like it.

I recently started an article on a BBC Olympic forum about Paula Radcliffe. I’d just watched the whole race, researched my facts and wanted to say that I was proud of her great achievement of finishing the marathon against all the odds. Sure, she didn’t have legs to win it, but I was so inspired when she appeared in the stadium, grimacing but determined that nothing other than a lightning strike or spontaneous combustion would stop her crossing that finishing line. What I didn’t expect was the volume of negative replies that I got totally trashing one of our best athletes because she didn’t win. Terms like “loser” “she choked” “has-been” rolled off the keyboards of the ignorant with enough venom to stun a cow.

I won’t go on any more about it here (read my responses here – GMoneyLFC is my user name there – if you’re interested) but it did make me wonder about attitudes overall today.

We love the underdog. We love to see the plucky efforts of the good-but-not-great sportsmen and women give it a go, even if they fail. But dare our TOP people fail……..HANG THEM!!

Maybe it’s the crappy weather. Perhaps the Credit Crunch. Threat of terrorism? Reality TV? Whatever the cause, people seem to love putting others down, often hurling profanities at them that would make even Richard Pryor blush. Sure, I’ve shouted a lot at the TV in the heat of the moment during England’s latest failure, but that’s during live events, and I don’t really wish Steve McClaren to fall off a cliff. Much.

I’m not going to get all hippy-like on you, but some people should just put things into perspective. If you have to hate, hate the real people who give us misery, death and destruction in this world. Sports stars who fail? No. ’cause just like I hope Paula does, they might bounce back and leave you embarrassed as they become that hero you hoped they would be.

Wow – that was serious!! And now for something completely different…

A big shout out to my big sis who’s reached the grand old age of 40 today!

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