For years, the great and the good have suggested that if we wanted to make politics of interest to the masses, Simon Cowell should be put in charge, and our leaders voted into power during an X-Factor-style, Saturday evening showdown.
However, now Cowell's star is on the wane, and safe in the knowledge that the drone that emits from most of our politicians' mouths, wouldn't be enough to spur even Will.i.am to spin his chair, can I suggest we hand the whole country over to the FA instead?
With David Beckham now short of something to do during his daylight hours, and Sir Alex similarly disposed, you've got two multi-millionaires (salary not an issue) who a large proportion of the population respect. And, to boot (forgive the pun), have the power to prompt millions to part with their cash, get up early on a Saturday morning and hang on their every word (even those which don't make much sense).
Okay, so we probably don't want Golden Balls running the economy, but on a (slightly) more serious note, take a look at the FA's current credentials: a minimum five-week suspension for racial abuse; a multi-racial, global cabinet (no immigration nonsense here); staff where the amount of money you earn is in no way linked to the colour of your skin; and citizens who cheer you on whatever your ethnicity or country of origin. I'm reliably informed that the Man City players did not appear to dislike Roberto Mancini because he was Italian; they just didn't like him.
On the downside, women playing by the FA's rules, and on their fields, are certainly not being paid the same amount as their male colleagues. Not that different to the UK at large then.
Long-story short, political apathy is at unheard of levels and a solution is desperately needed. As we commence the stop-start road to the next election, the leading parties are lurching towards their particular ends of the political spectrum. This is a desperate attempt to appease their core voters, which will probably end up losing everyone else along the way.
Ukip might be flavour of the month, in England if not Scotland, but at least they're getting the population fired up about politics again. Barricading someone into a pub might not be the most articulate way of voicing one's opinion about someone else's political views, but it certainly has a certain British flavour to it. If Europe follows suit, maybe its citizens will resort to holding up party leaders in pizzerias, boulangeries and tapas bars?
When we're passionate about something, we respond, and in the best cases, we act. Something Cameron, Clegg and Milliband seem to have missed. Jamie Oliver gets it. Sugata Mitra gets it. Football might not be the answer, but apathy certainly isn't either.Suggest a correction