Monday, March 05, 2007

Guns At Knifefights

There’s a well known warning against bringing a knife to a gunfight. I was reminded of this sagely advice twice over the weekend.

On the first occasion, Liverpool’s impotent strike force were made to look even more inadequate by a John O’Shea late goal that have a woeful Man Utd an underserved win at Anfield. The second time I thought about knives was yesterday when West Ham managed to defy all reason and lose a game in which they had gone in at half time with a 2-0 lead gifted to them by Carlos Tevez.

Everybody praises United for their play this year but what Alex Ferguson seems to have instilled into them is a mentality that breeds goals. Other teams pitch up with players who look sharp from front to back only to find their opposition getting down to understated business with the simplicity of the gun, or at least a hard right foot.

Menzies Campbell’s knife lost its blade about six months ago and he’s been searching for it under the bed, behind the sofa, and in his greenhouse where he was using it to prepare some trellis for this year’s runner beans. Or so it would seem. It is one of politic’s saddest sights to see the once able deputy struggling to even bring a knife to a knife fight. It again reminds me how much politics (like football) is a game won by strikers. The party has not shifted or changed that radically since Kennedy was in charge. No party can ever change its core beliefs that much, no matter how much David Cameron wants to suggest otherwise. Yet if the party has not changed, then it shows how much the public’s wish to vote for the Lib Dems was have been heavily invested in something as fickle as the leader.

Blair has a supreme right foot, and Cameron is showing that he can occasionally get one in the corner of the net. Like the Premiership season for Liverpool and West Ham, the future political landscape will be decided long before the Lib Dems see their way clear to buying themselves a proper centre forward.

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