Football’s ability to bring folk together and unite nations, giving us pride and shared identity, is as powerful as ever.
It is wonderful to see the three countries of Great Britain – England, Wales and Scotland – in the finals of the Covid-delayed Euro 2020.
The conflicts these games reveal are good-humoured… for the most part, at least.
Virus restrictions were strained or ignored as thousands of Scotland fans descended on London for the clash between the world’s oldest international football rivalry.
Yet the sense of fun was also infectious.
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Nicola Sturgeon’s Scottish National Party, aided by blundering English nationalist Conservative MPs, is fuelling grievances, resentments and divisions with the aim of smashing Great Britain and the UK.
So we need to remember that more unites us as a country than divides us.
England, and Wales for that matter, would still play Scotland if it went independent.
But should the games no longer be a family affair, we will have lost something important.
The hole smashed into the Tory blue wall destroys the myth created by Boris Johnson: that the country likes him and is happy with a Tory Government.
To lose a rock-solid southern seat is a vote of no confidence every bit as shattering for the Tories as the loss of Hartlepool was to Labour.
Local issues mercilessly exploited by the Liberal Democrats were major factors in the Chesham and Amersham by-election.
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But the complaint from voters that they felt taken for granted is one that should worry a party that has been in power for 11 years.
Yet the most significant impact of the result is to expose Johnson as no longer the guaranteed winner his party thought he was.
It’s pour show
Torrential rain, soakings and floods – welcome to the Great British summer.
If these downpours of Biblical proportions carry on, we will need to start building an ark.