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A really shite post-election United metaphor

Submitted by on May 8, 2015 – 10:25 pmNo Comment
Should have stood, you dick.

Should have stood, you dick.

I was half way up the Holte End and heading towards the exit tunnel when a mate grabbed my arm and pulled me back a couple of steps, sending me off balance. “You’re not fucking going” he said stopping me from mardy arsing my way into the Birmingham night. “It’s not over. It’s not fucking over”. It certainly felt like it was.

David Elleray had ruined our day out in the sun, disallowing Keane’s perfectly good goal in the first game the previous Sunday and setting up a replay with Arsenal that many felt was a bridge too far for United. Not least of all because it was sandwiched between two European Cup semi-finals against a formidable Juventus. He seemed determined to finish Sunday’s job, sending off Keane with half an hour still to play and now giving Arsenal a penalty for what looked like a perfectly good Phil Neville challenge on Ray Parlour. Which of course it wasn’t.

I was determined not to watch Bergkamp put the ball past Schmeichel and kill our Treble dream. Not now we’d actually started to believe it could happen after weeks of nods and winks but no one actually daring to say out loud that we could do it. We were the better side over the two games and should have gone through the first time of asking. Now Keane was off and 12 yards separated Arsenal from Wembley and United from the Treble. A goal would, in all likelihood, also give Arsenal the momentum to go on and win the League. I didn’t want to see that.

Only a few yards separated us from the Arsenal fans behind the goal at the opposite end too. But it was a very persuasive arm around me and, in faint hope rather than expectation, I was back at my seat watching United players pointlessly protesting with Elleray and Bergkamp getting ready to ruin everything. Of course, the Dutchman put the ball at the perfect height for the ‘keeper and the rest is Turin, Tottenham, Wembley, Barcelona history. I’m very thankful for my friend’s faith that it would be ok.

I want to find a way of taking this insignificant sequence involving me almost leaving Villa Park, being persuaded to stay, then seeing a penalty save and a remarkable Ryan Giggs goal at our end, and using it as a metaphor for today’s election, providing some hope that no matter how bad it gets and how much you want to turn your back, there is light. But the truth is that we are now absolutely fucked.

Us Treble-seeking Reds (left leaning voters) might want to blame David Elleray (The Tories) for unfairly penalising Phil Neville but it was a daft challenge and he should have intelligently seen him out of play. Elleray’s stage was set and Neville made it easy for him. All he had to do was put on that smug face, point to the spot (Sun headlines about Milliband being in Salmond’s pocket) and watch our hopes and dreams wither and die against the backdrop of Southern yelps of victory. Try as I might, I’m not going to be able to stretch this to a Schmeichel save and a pitch invasion. Sorry.

It was easy for them in the end, the bastards. A perfect storm of voter apathy, misdirected spite and an orchestrated campaign of fear by right-wing media. UKIP taking white, working class votes from Labour in towns and cities all over the UK. Lib Dems taking all of the flack for the past 5 years, with Cameron and his Eton mafia unbelievably getting none. The shiny-faced, pompous prick didn’t need to do much but keep Murdoch et al pumping out their bile, leaving Lib Dem voters, in their minds, with a choice between the Tories or lunatic communists colluding with the SNP for the break-up of the UK and the loss of all those rich oil and gas reserves. They listened and the map turned blue. Absolute madness that not even the smuggest of Tories could have predicted.

The UKIP threat to votes was predictable but few thought the Scots would react so strongly to Milliband’s involvement in the Independence vote and would wipe out Labour up there, creating such a shortfall of Labour parliamentary seats that it will be almost impossible for them to govern if not part of a coalition for perhaps over a decade or more. It’s sickening to think that Cameron, whose mates fucked the economy in the first place, just lay in wait last night, watching it all unfold.

And so those horrible twats now get a full five year term to implement £12billion in cuts and can go about dismantling what remains of the welfare state, plunging unfathomable numbers of families into poverty and desperation. Sadly, it is difficult now to imagine a Villa Park ending. The political landscape allows for their systematic assault on vulnerable people. I see no slow-motion pictures of Bergkamp leaning to his left and slotting the ball to his right towards an outstretched Peter Schmeichel. No shirts are being peeled off and swung around heads. There’s no one flooding onto the pitch to carry heroes aloft.

We might get up tomorrow and feel different and in months to come we might see some true leadership and a strong message hope from politicians and people of influence who want to mount a challenge to the pernicious few that have slithered their way into power. For now though, what a shite day.

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