So many quotes from the great orator that was Tony Benn, this one is my favourite from the Observer in 1991:
“It’s the same each time with progress. First they ignore you, then they say you’re mad, then dangerous, then there’s a pause and then you can’t find anyone who disagrees with you.”
The response to Roy Hodgson being appointed as the England Manager for the National Football team was one of shock as expectations had been firmly placed elsewhere. This shock resulted in a wide response of upset and anger manifested against Roy as an individual. It was into this context that his speech (use of the letter R was picked upon) was used to degrade him.
In themselves, the newspaper headlines were not horrific, after all we are used to “Wozzy” (Jonathon Ross) using humour for the same issue. The real issue here, for me at least, was the context. Hodgson was not wanted by the popular majority, people were angry that ‘their man’ was not even approached and so the press began its bandwagon against Hodgson, before his appointment was confirmed and the main point of attack was his speech. It was not humour, it was a personal attack. Humour in the same light is reflected by the Fulham fans (whom he was once affiliated) having a banner that used the same tone but in a different context.
I believe that Hodgson was being bullied – my hope is that one day soon, he will be able to use humour against the very people who sought to knock him back.
Roy (great name too!) – I wish you well and trust that your ability and experience will be evident to all.
fascinating article called “Africa needs God” at Times online. Worth a read.