In the quarter-finals and semi-finals of Euro 2008, I have supported Portugal against Germany, Croatia against Turkey, the Netherlands against Russia, Italy against Spain, Turkey against Germany, and Russia against Spain. I have, nevertheless, enjoyed myself enormously.

Since I shall be cheering for the Spanish on Sunday night, people who like to gamble may think this is reason enough to bet heavily on Germany to win the competition. (On the other hand, see this post.)

“After the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labour has vanished…”

Today, tehgraun‘s arts critics are writing about sporting events, so we have theatre critic Michael Billington on darts and rock critic Caroline Sullivan on the Second Test Match.

Tomorrow we’re promised “chief football writer Kevin McCarra on Finnish contemporary dance” and “golf correspondent Lawrence Donegan on the San Francisco Symphony’s Brahms cycle”.

I like this kind of thing.


While I’m on the subject of the Poles in the UK Parliament, I’ve got a question. Has Denis MacShane’s slide into absurdity been a gradual, steady thing, or has it gone in fits and starts? If the latter, are there key moments that one needs to know about? I can remember that I once used to think he was a more intelligent than average politician whose opinions were worth paying attention to — but that seems like a very long time ago now. Maybe it was just because he appeared to know something about European social democratic politics, and I have an unreasoned prejudice in favour of people who appear to know something about European social democratic politics?