There was a touch of Celtic absurdism, too, in the award given to the fans of the Republic and Northern Ireland by the mayor of Paris for their madcap antics all over France during the Euros. While the English and the Russian hooligans were going at it like dogs in the old port of Marseilles, the Irish were performing acts of ostentatious kindness, such as changing a tyre, ‘serenading’ a young woman, collecting rubbish, and singing to the police. Whether they liked it or not.
There is good and bad cholesterol, now Paddy was showing that such was his mastery of the concept after years of trial and error, he had found that there is also good and bad eejitry. And this apparently was the good stuff, though in terms of any meaningful contests taking place at the tournament, we would be going home early.
The Euros event with the most lasting impact was probably the ‘retiring’ of John Giles from the RTE panel, a singularly abysmal executive decision which must raise serious issues of age-ism. You can’t do sexism or racism, and in theory you’re not supposed to do age-ism, but seemingly RTE felt free to do it anyway in relation to one of the great Irishmen of our time.
The only other possibility is that they thought that someone else could do the job better, and at that point it starts to get a bit scary. Or maybe . . . maybe there was no reason at all.
After their own outbreak of bad decision-making, the Brits tried to do something vaguely sensible by shortcircuiting the contest for the Tory leadership and giving the prize to Theresa May, the only potential leader who had the good fortune not to be Andrea Leadsom, or Michael Gove, or Boris Johnson.
And David Cameron wandered off, his country ruined, to be remembered in one thousand years’ time as the man who somehow gave the keys of the kingdom to Nigel Farage.