Wednesday 14 May 2003

Bring back Ernest Bevin

Today's Times tells us that:
Ernest Bevin, probably the most illustrious Labour Foreign Secretary, once explained that his policy objective was “to take a ticket at Victoria Station and go anywhere I damn well please”.
A fine policy. But what of today's Labour-run Foreign Office? Well, how about this?
The Foreign Office has warned Celtic supporters not to travel to Seville unless they have tickets for next Wednesday's Uefa Cup Final.

It has posted a special warning on its travel advice service telling fans to stay away from the Spanish city unless they already have a match ticket and accommodation reserved.

Half of the 50,000 Celtic fans going to Seville know that they don't have tickets. They know that they may not find accommodation. But they still want to be in town for the club's biggest game for over thirty years, and why not? Of course they should "respect Spanish laws and customs and follow, immediately, any instructions from the authorities", but do we really need highly paid British bureaucrats to tell them? Why can't we take a ticket and go wherever we damn well please?

Bring back Ernest Bevin.

(Disclosure: I am a Kilmarnock fan.)