Extending the Franchise
The top flight of English football has brought to mind uncanny parallels with the upper echelons of UK Politics in recent days. A conservative old guard are back on top of the heap, with bluer than blue Chelsea and the Cheshire stockbroker belt of Manchester United once again ruling the roost. Behind, the middle class Islington lefties of Arsenal and Old Labour, unionist Liverpool are having to play second fiddle, with a new force, perhaps all style and no substance represented by newcomers elbowing their way in: Spurs and Man City.
But another parallel can be drawn with our own division. Our book reviewer Niall Slater, a proud man of Forres remarked to me recently how disenfranchised Scotland is by the make-up of the new parliament and so it is the case with Wales. There may be more Tory MPs in the Principality than there are north of the Tweed, but the Conservatives are still a tiny minority party, distantly ruling from their Westminster base.
But, as a shaky coalition government provides Plaid Cymru with renewed hope of exerting some kind of influence in the chamber, so do Cardiff City stand on the brink of the Premier League. The romantics have been banging on about Blackpool in recent weeks and I have been no exception, but I’d find it almost equally as satisfying if the capital city club were to ascend a week on Saturday. Not since Alan Curtis and company put Leeds to the sword on the opening day in 1981 will the Welsh footballing fraternity have felt so proud.