Opinion – Right vs Wrong

On Wednesday evening last week, I settled down on my sofa to watch the England versus Spain match in the UEFA Women’s European Championship. I am not a regular viewer of women’s football but I am a patriot. More importantly, with the Premier League season still weeks away, I needed a fix.

As you may be aware, the England ladies emerged victorious. But there was a moment in the second half of extra time that has stuck with me.

An English player and a Spanish player had a very (and I mean a VERY) minor coming together. In fact, they barely brushed each other. The England player hit the ground as if shot by a sniper. As she rolled around on the ground, writhing from the pain of her apparently mortal injury, the commentator said that she had “bought a free kick”. The in-studio pundits suggested that she was “using her experience” and her “game intelligence”.

I can’t be sure but I would guess that the Spanish commentary team described the scene in a rather different and more accurate manner. The England player was cheating.

It is not as if we as a society have lost sight of what is right and what is wrong. It is that we have chosen to tolerate the wrong so long as it is in our favour.

Cast you mind back to the “Partygate” affair involving Boris Johnson and his cronies. Having ordered the country to stay at home and to protect the NHS, they were gathering to quaff champagne, chow down on cake and generally thumb their nose at the very public they were elected to serve.

When those parties were uncovered, the Prime Minister and his cohorts wriggled and squirmed. There were no parties, they claimed. These were not parties but gatherings of work colleagues. There were parties but the PM had been “ambushed by cake”.

They were clearly and manifestly in the wrong, but it was a wrong that suited them and that apparently made it just hunky-dory.
And so we come to the wrongdoing a little closer to home in the UK demolition industry: the bid rigging, price fixing and collusion uncovered by the Competition and Markets Authority.

Two companies – Erith Group and Squibb Group – are contesting their involvement. But the other eight have all put their hands up and said, effectively,: “guilty as charged m’lud”.

Yet three weeks after the scale of the bid rigging scandal was laid bare, the trade association that counts (or counted at the time of the alleged price fixing) all 10 of the companies named in the probe seems to be opting for the “bought a free kick” ploy. In a game of black and white, they have consciously chosen grey. Judging by the ongoing lack of action, we can only presume they believe their member companies were somehow ambushed by financial cake.

Like the free kick that wasn’t and the government response to Partygate, this is not an inability to distinguish between right and wrong. This is choosing wrong because it better serves their needs.

And all the while, the reputation of the member companies not implicated and the wider industry see their reputation continually dragged through the mud.

Incidentally, that England free kick that should never have been earned the team no advantage. It merely wasted time whilst genuine fans questioned their support of a team that would resort to such underhanded methods.

These similes and metaphors just write themselves.

If you enjoyed this article, if you got value from it or if you would like to help support this website, then please consider buying the author a coffee…or two. Just click the image below.

Please consider supporting this website.