Roy Hodgson is mediocre: the England job should be Redknapp's
Opinion Digest: Hodgson's unlikely promotion, how London is sucking England dry and the Long Depression
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ROY HODGSON: ENGLAND'S MR AVERAGE
MARTIN SAMUEL ON FA'S MEDIOCRITY
Harry Redknapp just wasn't ordinary enough for the Football Association and England, writes Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail.
"Ordinary would have fitted the schedule." After all, the last thing the FA would want, apparently, is a manager "whose season went right to the wire, who was still in there sparring with Arsene Wenger and Roman Abramovich come May". The FA imposed upon themselves a "foolish and unnecessary schedule" in parachuting the manager in just before Euro 2012. Redknapp's record speaks for itself: FA Cup winner in 2008, League Cup finalist in 2009, Champions League qualifier in 2010, Champions League quarter-finalist in 2011, top four again in 2012. That record is not good enough for the FA, who have gone for a man who is "lauded for winning as many matches as he has lost for West Bromwich Albion" and is "ensconced in the mediocrity of mid-table".
The players want Redknapp and the people want Redknapp but the FA have gone for a suit who can "cosy up to all the executives".
LONDON IS BLEEDING REST OF THE UK DRY
WILL SELF ON THE SELFISH CAPITAL
London is sucking the lifeblood out of the rest of the country, with institutionalised prejudices of the political class now instantly reinforced by the City of London, writes Will Self in The Independent. London will become "a kind of Singapore, a wealthy island of urbanity surrounded by impoverished satrapies". The cap on housing benefit will result in an "exodus of the poor to urban centres as far north as Walsall" and is simply a continuation of "class cleansing" introduced by New Labour. Any positive noises made by Cameron et al about the regions are "subjected to the Orwellian sing-song chant: 'Public sector bad! Private sector good!'" Go anywhere outside London and you'll see decline, with "charity shops aplenty along the high street". London cares not a jot for this, having long since gone back into growth. Politicians might "bleat on about their constituencies", but "the truth is that the vast amount of their time is spent in Westminster, drinking skinny lattes as their hearts pitter-patter in response to the latest Beltway gossip".
LOOK TO THE LONG DEPRESSION
DONALD SASSOON ON LESSONS FROM HISTORY
Economic crashes are part of capitalism's history, and we can learn a lot about the current financial crisis by looking back to the Long Depression of 1873, writes Donald Sassoon in The Guardian. While the crash of 1929 has "become the proto-crisis" to which all other crises are compared to, the truth is it was quite different to that of today. It is more instructive to look to the so-called Long Depression of 1873-96, which, while different in nature, echoed many of the things we are seeing today. The crisis was global and led to a realignment of the world economies: the US replaced Great Britain as the leading industrial power while Germany caught up. There was rising unemployment and strikes, but no economic collapse. Eventually, a European war resulted in further consolidation of the American economy, the Bolshevik revolution and the beginning of the end of Europe as a significant political force in the world.