I miss screaming at Mo on the television back in 2012

At long last this summer (and given the weather I use that seasonal description loosely), the UK has achieved success in something sport-related.

Saturday, 30th July 2016, 6:01 am
Mo Farah

Perhaps it’s only my non-sporty view, but we seem to get very excited as a nation at the beginning of sporting endeavours – Euro 2016 springs to mind – before we fail miserably, yet again, and sack managers to make ourselves feel better.

Even with Murray’s Wimbledon win, we must of course remember that he is actually Scottish.

So where are the sporting stars of England? It seems a long time since 2012 and the London Olympics and this year – because they’ll be held in Rio – we don’t seem to have the foggiest as a nation as to who is competing and when the games even begin.

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This hot-cold, lackadaisical interest in sport must in some way contribute to our non-existent killer instinct when it comes to competing.

Perhaps part of this is due to schools and the subjects that the government truly pour the money into.

Over the years, we’ve been told that we’ll focus more on sport, but with Michael Gove in charge of education came a staunch focus on the core academic subjects and no room seemed to be left for anything physical, philosophical or creative.

Subsequently I see little improvement in our own sporting prowess.

Even our support is lacking. This year, Wimbledon was swallowed up by the Brexit fallout.

There was very little in the way of teasers or coverage until it began, and long gone seem the days when as a nation we’d be excited to tune in and see what shorts Andre Agassi would be wearing.

The brash arrogance of McEnroe now belongs to a different century, and there are no theatrics or controversy to keep us gripped and to turn us into a nation of sport lovers.

Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong by the Olympics this summer, but at the moment I do not even know when they begin.

I am as bad as the next person, but I rather miss the thrill of screaming at the television whilst Mo Farah ran back in 2012.


I am pleased yet cautious that there is a new education secretary.

Justine Greening takes on the mess that Michael Gove started and Nicky Morgan continued, with the uproar over academies, the damaging suggestions to scrap Qualified Teacher Status and the chaos of the Year 6 SATs all still raging on.

For my money, I would suggest a quick revert to the old letter grade GCSE system before 2017. It wouldn’t be tricky to implement seeing as the government has given next to zero in terms of guidelines anyway – and a full reversal of the academy train.

Given that a local academy has just got ‘Requires Improvement’ from Ofsted, I think we all know it’s not the magic wand Gove was insisting.


I read recently that James Corden, who is now huge in America, is a devout Christian.

He believes that the prayers of his parents saved him from a life of alcohol and drug abuse.

I am an agnostic who veers towards atheism, but I also have a degree in the study of religions and a teaching specialism in it.

I have to say that the concept of religion has always seemed incredibly appealing to me.

This is especially because of the sense of community and comfort.

But I am simply unable to make that leap of faith.

For faith to exist, by its very definition, you have no need of proof.

I am missing that rather key component in the mindset of a believer.