It was the Sun wot lost it!Posted on

As one Twitter user said to me today I should not be surprised to have woken up this morning to a depressing, bullying frontpage of the Sun newspaper (to be clear, I saw the frontpage headline and byeline on Twitter, I do not have the Sun delivered!)

England’s new football manager is an articulate, intelligent and interesting man who has vast experience in managing football clubs and nations. He describes his literary heroes as John Updike and Philip Roth, has managed in 8 different jurisdictions and speaks 5 different languages. He also has rhotacism, a speech impediment which means he has difficulty pronouncing r’s.

The Sun’s response to his appointment? Playground bullying. “Bwing on the Euwos!”

It is a depressingly familiar tale. The Sun decides – do we like this person or do we not? Are they a villain or a hero? Once they decide on villain they look for weaknesses and prey, mercilessly. Like Heather Mills and her disability, Gordon Brown and his glass eye or Elton John and his sexuality, no discrimination is off limits if the powerful voices at News Group take against an individual.

The fact that this is a man who is set to lead England in the nation’s most popular sport, a sport which drives an enormous number of readers to the Sun, is all the more curious.

The Sun purports to campaign against “sick trolls” (and rightly so, hate speech has no place in modern society), however, as one of the most influential voices in the UK today they do nothing to dissuade the impressionable in this country from thinking that bullying is ok and preying on a person’s perceived weakness is just fine.

All the very best to Roy Hodgson this summer and beyond. He is a gentleman and an experienced coach. If the team doesn’t do well no doubt the tabloids will have their knives out but, let us not forget, It was the Sun wot lost it!

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