England to take moral high ground by losing

ENGLAND are to take the moral high ground in the Qatar World Cup by losing all their games in protest, they have confirmed. 

After being banned from wearing the One Love armband, the team has vowed to protest Qatar’s human rights abuses by being soundly beaten in all three group games and coming home before the end of November.

Team captain Harry Kane said: “It was Harry Maguire’s idea. We asked why he was playing so badly in training and he said it was his personal protest.

“England are big box-office around the world. If we go all the way to the final we’re handing the Qatari regime a real gift. So we’re resolved to get knocked out without even rewarding them with so much as a goal.

“You’ll see it this afternoon when we take the pitch. We’ll hardly look like a football team at all, let alone multi-millionaire stars. The only possible explanation for us being so shit will be our principled stance against the Qatari regime.

“We thought Gareth might be against it, but he said it dovetailed with the way he saw things going perfectly. So take that, Qatar. You can shove your World Cup up your arse.”

He added: “If every team had the courage to go out at the group stage this travesty would be over before it began. But I’m told that’s not mathematically possible.”

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Five places to socialise the middle-classes haven't discovered and ruined yet

THERE are vanishingly few places left to meet that don’t serve chai and falafel. Savour these while you can:


Leased to local residents for growing food, and not yet fully invaded by sanctimonious knobheads with acres of sanitised landscape surrounding their own houses. You can still meet working people cultivating oversized marrows, not twats trying to cut their farmers’ market spend by growing exotic flora to show off on Instagram.

Pre-match pub

Meeting mates in a local boozer is a working-class pre-match ritual which could easily be usurped by moisturised men on their way to hospitality. On match day, life’s problems are ignored for the topics: who’s injured and do we have time for another pint? Not bleating about renovating one’s Welsh farmhouse. Finish your craft gin and f**k off.

The dog track

Greyhound racing is still some way from gentrification. If it succumbed, there would be no winners, only social and cultural losers. The middle-classes would enter their Labradoodles, cut out the barbaric racing and replace the hare with a bone-shaped tofu treat. They’re kept away by the fear poverty is contagious.

Car boot sales

If you’re going to a car boot to pull racks of last season’s gilets out of your Mini Countryman, don’t. Nobody will pay £6 for your homemade chutneys. Nor should you belittle sellers by asking if they take Apple Pay for a ten pence ornament or bully browsers into buying your tat because it’s ethically sourced. Get ripped off or go home.

The darts

A traditional pub sport which rarely features at dinner parties, darts remains working class. Large flamboyant events where shitfaced punters wear fancy dress are not aspirational. As such, it is unfit for annexation by smug twats in witty handmade costumes, sipping Pinot Noir whilst holding a sign to the TV camera reminding husband Simon that ‘Gaston has oboe practice after school tomorrow’. You’ve got Wimbledon, stick to that.