James Forsyth

A national embarrassment

A national embarrassment
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‘We only got two votes, we only got two votes.’ That England’s World Cup bid only mustered two votes is a national embarrassment. All the briefing had suggested that we were in a very competitive position; The Times was predicting that we could win as many as 15 votes.

This failure has led to a rapid change of tune from Cameron loyalist MPs. One told me just now that ‘you know how awful the whole process is you saw Panorama.’ But just yesterday, Cameron was proudly holding up the Sun’s BBC-bashing front page (have a look at the spread on pages 4 and 5 of the paper).

In truth, we should never have got ourselves involved in this horribly mucky process. Instead, we should have demanded that the FIFA stables be thoroughly cleaned out.

It might have been Gordon Brown's decision to offer such strong government backing to the bid, but the coalition government shouldn't have compounded that error.