By Christophe Jost
I must be transparent. I do not live in the UK, I am of German and Swiss descent, work in France and Switzerland, and have lived in quite a few countries so far in my life.
Some of the countries are rich, some are poor. So my vision may be a galaxy away from that of an English (wo)man – but it is neither better, nor worse than anyone else’s. It is just mine. And I certainly don’t perceive it as being in any way superior to anyone else’s vision. It is just the vision of someone not living in Britain who likes to speaks his mind.
As you may have guessed if you have seen some of my earlier contributions, I am an Arsenal fan, but then some issues are so much bigger than which club we each support, that this is of no importance.
However, it gives me an entry point, a small window into topics I can explore across borders and languages.
And to make it clear, I’m the owner of a small business, working across borders and continents. Which means that I am basically for a free flow of goods and services, for freedom of movement, for free enterprise.
I believe that every worker deserves to be paid correctly and try to respect people as much as possible. And I believe in the freedom of opinion. Yet I hate intellectual dishonesty and fight it with sarcasm (or silence.)
In terms of news, I keep on reading some weekly magazines in paper format, and, on the web, I try to read daily newspapers electronically. My sources, therefore, are multi-national: Switzerland, Germany, France. UK, US, Cyprus, Mauritius, Senegal.
And my rants are those of a humanist who hates intellectual dishonesty, sheer injustice and greed and hubris.
These days, with the pandemic spreading, I am amazed at how different countries are adjusting, preparing, fighting, protecting. And I find it amazing how the press, paper and online community in each country is reporting the developments.
I am no anthropologist, but I am certain there will be material for hundreds of doctorates in years to come studying how this plague is being addressed across Europe – or the world.
So, I’ll try in the weeks and months to come to give you another perspective on what happens in other countries, which mostly because other languages are spoken there, may not be understood or even be known about elsewhere – mostly because no one reports it.
As I said I am an Arsenal fan. Well…the paper I read the most in the UK is the Guardian. I just find it funny that reading the Guardian for the past 10 days, only one team gets regularly cited in regards to ‘coronavirus’.
Just one. You’ve guessed it: Arsenal.
Arsenal broke the Premier League. That is a fact. On March 12th. Like this:
March 12: Arsenal in lockdown after Mikel Arteta tests positive for coronavirus
March 13: Premier League prepares for suspension after Arteta tests positive for Covid-19
Brighton v Arsenal game on Saturday is postponed
Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi also tests positive. This story run with a picture of the Arsenal welcome sign outside Colney, but none of Mr Hudson-Odoi.
Then another story on the same day: Premier League and British football shuts down until April due to coronavirus – as it happened. This with a picture showing the Arsenal emblem behind a woman wearing a protection mask, followed by the sentence
“Chelsea in lockdown after Hudson-Odoi tests positive” (but no picture of him).
March 19th: Mikel Arteta recovering well as Arsenal reopen training facilities (although the re-opening has nothing to do with football…just maintenance….)
March 23rd: ‘Everything happened very fast’: Mikel Arteta opens up on a positive test.
This headline is followed by the first two sentences of the article: “Season stopped after Arsenal manager’s coronavirus diagnosis. The club says it would be ‘irresponsible’ to restart training.”
So we’ve got a positive looking title, and then well, Arsenal broke the PL. And Arsenal are hindering the PL from re-starting.
By the way, I did not find any news of Mr Hudson-Odoi, at least not in the form of a story although it may have been mentioned somewhere in a feed. But then again, he is not an Arsenal player.
Sure, you’ll tell me Arsenal are a big club and this is interesting.
But then by that logic, I guess Chelsea is not a big club and readers do not care about Chelsea, nor are they interested in an interview of their manager or of Mr Hudson Odoi.
And I guess no other PL club had issues with Covid-19 so far, so it is normal only Arsenal are mentioned… yeah… and no other club had to reopen facilities neither I guess.
Well, from a marketing perspective, as PT Barnum, the American showman and hoaxter said, “I don’t care what the newspapers say about me as long as they spell my name right.”
Thus from an Arsenal perspective, this is free SEO fodder. Yet from a news and reporting perspective, and from the perspective of giving a fulsome coverage of the new it is just miserable bullshit.
20 clubs in the Premier League
More than 500 players, 20 managers, 20 staffs, 20 whole organisations, at least a dozen of billionaires, oligarchs, countries as owners. I’d say the global footprint of the PL must be more than that of the Bundesliga which employs around 55’000 people.
And yet this the only thing is what the Guardian can come up with as a recurring subject: Arsenal and corona? Obviously their reporters are either sick at home or busy covering other emergencies.
It reminds me of a US presidential election where the aim is systematically to say the name of a competitor in the same sentence as some negative adjective. Trump is the master of this with Mayor Pete, crooked Hillary and all other competitors.
Just always talk of Arsenal, show the Arsenal logo or an Arsenal player and say coronavirus, or PL lockdown, or whatever synonym you can come up with. It is one of the oldest tricks in a dictator’s handbook and it is being repeatedly used by the Guardian.
I just try to imagine the young reporter starting out there. How is he re-trained? Maybe the Guardian sends them to the same school as PGMOL uses for new referees who, as they have themselves stated, needs to be re-trained.
If you compare that coverage to the one in Germany, you get a picture of two different worlds. But we’ll come to that in another article. In the meantime, in case you have doubts, or have come back from the jungle or Big Brother:
– try to stay at home
– if you cannot stay inside, keep your distance to anyone outside 6 feet at least
– always carry a bottle of hand sanitizer and use it when having touched anything
– stay calm, help your neighbours if and when you can and accept help from your neighbours if and when it makes sense. Show solidarity.
No one knows for now if your country is well prepared for what is coming. But just look at Italy. 10 % of people who got contaminated did not survive. In Spain, it is at 7%
The UK is at around 5%, France is at 4%, Switzerland at 2%, Germany at 0.5%
We are at war, and each of us has a target on its back. Take care all of you and thank you for reading through my rant.
Continuing our review of football from outside England, our next article comes from Don McMahon, retired professional referee from Canada.
- Why is it becoming so difficult to find a sponsor for new football stadium?
- Corruption flares up again in Italy, as Premier League figures don’t look too clever
- How much does a club have to spend on transfers to get a trophy?
- Does the team that is top after 14 games usually go on to win the league?
- How the Taliban infiltrated the World Cup and used it to maintain its war on women