Of stationery, dessert and malicious pleasure

“Schadenfreude” is one of the great German words, alongside “kugelschreiber” and “Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte mit Schlagsahne” [sadly, Notepad is unable quite to deliver their full umlaut-laden beauty]. However, if I was to write about ball-point pens or Black Forest gateau with whipped cream, I would be inviting sarcastic comments from Lino about it being another slow news week, so I am forced to talk about the delight one feels at the misfortune of others, especially when the “other” in question is Tony Blair.

So high, so mighty, so Christian bloody Socialist in opposition — I never forgave the twat for being the first to sign up for David Alton’s anti-video bill. And now, he’s finding out that it’s a goddamn sight harder to actually govern the country, rather than merely whine about how it’s being done. There are all those nice vested interests: people do not hand you seven-figure sums out of the goodness of their heart. Oops! Better U-turn on that decision to ban tobacco sponsorship in motor racing. Except it becomes doubleplusoops when the details of that million pounds crops up; even if you hand it back, its stink lingers around. Not so smug NOW, are we, Tony? And that’s aside of them making you pay to go to university, dumping wind-chill payments for OAPs, and abandoning the bill to ban fox-hunting. Principles are the exclusive prerogative of being in opposition. It all goes to prove what I’ve said all along: one bunch of tossers are just the same as another.

Mind you, ‘new’ Labour and F1 Racing would seem made for each other, going by the jaw-dropping fiasco of Michael Schumacher. German sportsmen with that name are apparently able to cheat blatantly, and with disregard for life and limb, yet escape punishment. Readers may recall a goalkeeper called Schumacher who launched one of the fouls of this, or any other, century on a French forward and got away scot free. A decade later, Michael has been given a non-punishment of jaw-dropping stupidity; he loses the points he won last year, but not anything else – such as the money or the trophies. This is a bit like penalising the FA Cup runners-up by taking away the goals they scored in the final, so that they were defeated 3-0 rather than 3-2. Who PRECISELY does it hurt?

I have bizarre nightmares in which Max Moseley sits in judgement on Louise Woodward: “The bad news is, you’re going to prison for 15 years. The good news is that it’s back-dated to 1982 — we want you to pretend really hard that you’ve been in jail since then. Case dismissed.” Still, what do you expect from the son of Sir Oswald? Given this “interesting” approach to justice, if I was Ralf Schumacher, I’d mount a bazooka on my car for next season, ‘cos he could probably nuke the rest of the starting grid without fear of repercussions…