Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Law of Unintended Consequences: “Kicked out of Europe”

There is a certain (morbid) fascination in both counter-factual history and trying to anticipate the effect of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The latter usually kicks in when someone tries to bring about an effect, but something contrary happens. Politically the chancellor might cut taxes to “boost the economy”, but instead just finds that the rich get richer and tax revenues go down. We might think that those are anticipated consequences even if we believe the chancellor when he says those were not the intended consequences.

So what are the consequences of the fan violence last night in the Marseilles stadium last night after the England-Russia football match?

Some can be anticipated and have happened.

UEFA have had to act. France is under terrorist threat and does not need fan violence – inside or outside the stadia. That we could expect.

Uefa has threatened to disqualify England and Russia from Euro 2016 if there is any further violence by fans. …

Earlier in the day, England, Russia and local fans were embroiled in ugly clashes with riot police, with a number of bloodied fans being taken to hospital.

In a strongly-worded statement, European football’s governing body said it would not hesitate to impose sanctions on either Russia or England should such violence occur again.

Measures included the potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, it said.
BBC News Website, 12 June 2016 | Euro 2016: England and Russia given disqualification warning

So far, so predictable.

But what if UEFA “throw us out of Europe” sometime in say the next ten days? We invented Football, how dare the perfidious Europeans throw us out of a tournament! Well if they don’t want us for football, we don’t want them for anything else. And we can vote to tell them so!

Is such a scenario any more far-fetched that the wittering lies, denials, claims and counter-claims of the Leave and Remain campaigns?

The Law of Unintended Consequences could lead to the UK leaving the EU – everyone says the decision is based on a knife-edge. What if the Current Bun (the preferred paper of the “fruitcakes”) wades in with a variation on “Up yours, Delores!”?

Shall we go one step further in speculation?

Putin apparently is one of the few world leaders who would like to see us leave the EU. It is said that his tentacles extend into all sorts of dark corners – do they extend into the gangs of Russians taking part in the unrest in Marseilles?

Certainly it is probable that if the UK has not managed to prevent the old style English football hooligans from travelling to Euro2016, their nihilistic attitude is likely both to welcome a series of fights with the Russian gangs and to be not too bothered about any of the wider consequences.


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One thought on “Law of Unintended Consequences: “Kicked out of Europe”

  1. Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin told a news conference: “There were 150 Russian supporters who in reality were hooligans. These people were well prepared for ultra-rapid, ultra-violent action. These are extremely well-trained people.”
    BBC News Website, 13 June 2016 | Euro 2016: 150 Russians ‘behind’ violence

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