Up Front 12/07

You wouldn’t have to be a dedicated follower of football to have noticed that yet another manager of the England football squad has got the boot. After a team of some of the richest sportsmen in the country failed to perform against Croatia, the manager was unceremoniously put out to pasture. It’s interesting how distinctly football the whole scenario is. A bad result, that leaves England out of the Euro 2008 competition, infuriates fans and has a knock on effect on the economy. So football fans bay for blood, and they get it. Some people will find it hard to understand why the same doesn’t happen to a Police chief when, on his watch, an innocent man is shot dead on the tube. Or why a Chancellor doesn’t take a fall when the personal details of twenty-five million citizens go missing. As I write, thousands of families will be receiving personal letters of apology from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, after computer discs with their bank details, and the names, ages and personal details of their children, went missing in the post. The main concern is that the information will fall into the hands of criminals who will attempt to use this information to take money from bank accounts. The possible consequences, when the scale is so large, just doesn’t bear thinking about. One friend of mine recently had his bank account used by someone who placed a £250 bet with an online casino. The bank’s fraud department weren’t able to give him any more details of the transaction but I sincerely hope the thief put the bet on England to win Euro 2008.