My soft spot for the FBI might date back to the late ‘50’s or early ‘60’s and a TV show starring Efrem Zimbalist Junior. How could a man of such authority be wrong? (Was he in the big hit show called Seventy-seven Sunset Strip?). Still now, when I hear or see the term FBI, I think that if nothing else, they are straight – notwithstanding the since revealed propensities of Mr Hoover. If I was involved in wrongdoing, and I saw people with FBI on their shirts walk in flipping a badge, I would at least know I could not buy them off. In world terms, that may be unusual.
FIFA is as corrupt as you can get. So are Russia and Qatar. The notion that FIFA could award a world cup honestly to Russia or Qatar is an insult to the intelligence.
Well, the FBI has now blasted out the irremovable Sepp Blatter, and God bless them! They have redeemed my faith not only in the FBI but the whole USA. They have done a service to humanity. There was a good piece by Gideon Rachman in the FT in the AFR yesterday about the power of the American justice system. He can now follow it up.
There is a brilliant piece by Daniel Finkelstein of The Times in today’s Oz. He goes back to the hard days of washing and ironing in Texas in the ‘30’s before electricity arrived. The man who brought them release from that hardship was called L B J. Mr Finkelstein says that LBJ was a crook, but the people of Texas could not give a bugger – LBJ had looked after them, and they would look after him. It is the same now with the ANC in South Africa, and with their attitude to Robert Mugabe and the frightful corruption in both nations. It is the same in FIFA, a sorry ladder of back-scratchers locked in their own dirty embraces. My own view is that Europe and North America should go their own way – Asia, Africa, and South America look to be incurable. People who shy away from that fact harbour people like Blatter.
It is difficult to see how FIFA might clean up when a majority of its parts are so dirty. The test will be whether Qatar and Russia hold their positions. Holding a footy cup in Qatar is like holding a cricket cup in Iceland. The WSJ says that $16 billion could be wiped off the Qatar stock exchange if they lose the rights in the name of which they are killing so many poor labourers. That could not happen to a nicer bunch of bastards. They could send the chit to Old Sepp. He might still be good for it.