Reversal of fortune

Sunday saw an historic event in Germany.
After failing thrice before, football club FSV Mainz 05 achieved promotion to the 1. Bundeliga for the first time ever. Tobias is doubtless rapt with joy even now.

To honour the stalwart lads from Rheinland-Pfalz I have composed a wee verse:

Climb whither thou couldst not before, now
Freed at last of gravity’s restraints,
To the Empyrean on eagle’s wings,
O thou heroic FSV Mainz!

I’m no Alfred L. Tennyson, but I think that’s pretty good, if I say so myself. If you think the rhyme doesn’t quite work, well, you’re wrong (and Tobias can tell you why). There’s terror and pity in there, too, if you know where to look for it. The eagle, you see, is the symbol of Eintracht Frankfurt, who were relegated to the 2. Bundesliga the day before, effectively swapping places with Mainz. One year ago, it was Frankfurt that achieved promotion to the top flight, pipping FSV at the post at (literally) the last minute. Now, as Mainz erupts in celebration, the Eintracht walks the walk of shame (though never, one is confident, alone). To continue in our artsy-fartsy poetical mode, let us imagine a discarded scarf lying in a gutter, emblazoned ‘Eintracht Frankfurt 2002/2003: Look on our works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

In other news, Germany elected a president or something yesterday.

4 thoughts on “Reversal of fortune

  1. Is there a more compelling argument for Yoorpean Monarchies than the German presidency? I only found out they had one last year…

  2. Des – I dunno, the Irish one? I suspect an Irish king would be a good deal more colourful than the current republic. Probably good for tourism too.

    Hey – how about that for a proposal to end fighting in Northern Ireland? Have an Irish monarch and declare him King of Ulster, while leaving Westminster in charge of actual government in the North. Let the Irish king open the parliament in Stormont instead of having a Governor General do it. The Orangemen could swear allegiance to the Queen and the Catholics to the Irish throne. Ireland could be “reunited” under a single throne without ending British government in the North.

  3. Ireland did have a king of its own, actually, until the passage of the Act of Union at the beginning of the 19th century, when Ireland became part of the UK. (As it happens, this was the same bloke who was king of the UK, but that’s just, emm, historical coincidence.) The Act of Union was largely a response to the 1798 United Irish uprising, so I’m not sure Ireland having a king again would make all sweetness and light.

    The founder of Sinn F?in, Arthur Griffith, did not advocate a republic but rather a dual monarchy in the Austro-Hungarian mode. SF of that day were nothing at all like the current lot, beyond being (like the current lot) deeply unpleasant.

    Going back in time, of course, there were separate kings in each of the provinces, as well as kings of every postcard-sized tuath in the land. Peace, love and harmony were not notably thick on the ground. Indeed, it was one of those kings, Dermot MacMurrough, who invited the Evil Brits over in the first place (though they were actually Evil Normanno-Welshmen at the time; ironic that the English were turned into Saxons in the Irish tongue).

    No, I don’t think NI’s problems will be solved by slapping a crown on Bertie’s noggin. Here’s a far better idea: (i) revoke the UK Act of Succession (barring catholics from ascending the throne); (ii) have Charles, or whoever takes over when Lilibet joins her ancestors, turn RC; (iii) elect a protestant Taoiseach (there’ve already been a couple of proddie presidents, so it’s not that great a leap); (iv) sit back and enjoy the show as Ian Paisley and the Orange Order denounce the Crown and swear fealty to the Republic.

    I just hope nobody makes the mistake of picking David Norris for number (iii).

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