Like many I had a season ticket and regularly attended football matches out of habit and to demonstrate my loyalty to my club. I went regardless of whether matches were enjoyable. There was a sense of duty and it was most definitely a habit.
IMy team, QPR, had been mismanaged - I believe - since being bought by very wealthy businessmen over ten years ago, gone from the Premier League to the Championship, sold (often for not very much) or given away the best players, and suffered a record EFL fine and transfer ban.
But I continued to support them out of habit. Renewing the season ticket every year is what I, like so many others, did every year out of some misguided loyalty.
And then I realised the owners planned to deduct £280 for 28 streamed matches regardless of whether I watched them and were to use my season ticket subscription as an interest free loan. As a non-season ticket holder, I could stream any game for £10.
I have lost the habit of going to football matches. How many will think very hard before they spend large sums of money to go back? The genie is out of the bottle.
I understand that there are a few games throughout the Premier League season that haven’t been part of original TV deals so now those in charge have decided to be magnanimous because of current difficulties with Covid-19.
They have decided to broadcast them them on the different platforms so that you, the supporter, can see every game this season and for that privilege they are only asking for £14.95 per extra game. That is on top of the money that dedicated supporters have to find every season to watch their teams on multiple broadcasters.
Well done the spineless FA, the self-serving Premier Leaque and this idiot government for sitting on their collective hands.
Lessons from Ardern
I read Sean O'Grady's piece ( “What Keir Starmer can learn from Jacinda Ardern”) with interest and agreement.
There is something so infectious and "can do" attitude from this New Zealand prime minister, that it gives us all hope, especially to the people of her country now blessed with a leader who has the necessary overall majority to really make things happen in a proactive way and consequently make their lives better.
She faces head on challenges and does not flinch from taking the necessary actions, particularly in response to Covid-19.
I have long been an admirer of this woman, who injects real empathy and persuasive optimism. Obviously her political path is not strewn with roses all the way, but half the battle is to take the people with you and make them feel they have a real say over their futures.
So yes Kier Starmer could learn valuable lessons but then again it would be a grave mistake for him to turn himself
into a laugh a minute leader. We have all been grateful for his reals sense of gravitas in complete opposition to Boris Johnson's now inappropriate jocularity.
He does need to lighten up but he is a supremely measured man, who will know when to do that. Personally I think Jacinda Ardern ought to give worldwide Zoom lectures, on how she can empathise one minute, be necessarily steely the next and still come up smiling after that, but then she is a woman and we are known for our multitasking!
Judith A Daniels
I wholeheartedly agree with those Tory MPs like Sir Graham Brady, who say that it’s a big ask not to see their families for extended periods as a result of Coronavirus restrictions. I know from my own experience how one's mental health can deteriorate when separated for months on end from close family.
If those MPs really cared about families being together, they would have supported amendments to the Immigration Bill. If made law, these amendments would have continued existing arrangements for unaccompanied child refugees to be reunited with close relatives in the UK.
Sadly, they did not, because it is always easy to pick on the most vulnerable in our society in order to ensure those MPs retain their seats and curry favour with their party leader.
So, there we have it.
Lost control of Covid-19. Lost control of Brexit. Losing control of his party.
Impaled on his imperial vanity, Boris Johnson the shabby man of Westminster.
Denis Macshane interprets the abysmal result for the right-wing Freedom Party in Vienna's City Council elections as signalling a decline in the importance of immigration as a political issue in Europe.
Following a scandal, the collapse in the Freedom Party's vote was inevitable. The biggest beneficiary was Sebastian Kurz’s People's Party, which doubled its vote.
At the national level, Chancellor Kurz’s government has a hardline immigration policy including, “precautionary detention” of asylum seekers.
Dr John Doherty