Football

Lets all laugh at Beckham?

It’s laugh at Posh and Becks time again isn’t it? This time the hilarity is that they gave their third child what is considered to be a silly name. Even better, a Spaniard was found to point out that the lad has (apparently) been given a girl’s name.

Celebs do have a habit of giving their kids daft names. They spend silly money on kids clothes and birthday parties. It’s what they do.

So why the huge fuss when Posh and Becks do what most of the rich and famous do?

I think Julie Burchill got it mostly right:

[They are] a spotlight turned on to the poisons of others. They are a pair of beautiful social barometers, lithe litmus tests who highlight the sad failings and desires of their critics. Between them, they have inadvertently managed to reveal more about the plagues of sexism, snobbishness and plain old-fashioned envy that disfigure Blair’s Britain than Germaine Greer, Dennis Skinner and Snow White’s wicked stepmother put together.

When people criticise the Beckhams, they generally say – in the words of the old American Express ad – more about themselves, all of it bad. Who criticises Posh for being too thin? The same commentators who jeered at the modestly luscious curves of Baby and Sporty Spice when snapped in bikinis. Who slams the Beckhams for greed and ostentation? Not socialists, who really do believe in wealth distribution, or those who spend their lives working selflessly for others, but money-grubbers who are bitter about never achieving their dreams of avarice.

It’s the same old sour grapes decanted into a shiny new bottle: class hatred, a long wail of petulance from middle-class salarymen who can’t understand how a gas fitter’s son came to be living la dolce vita while they themselves scrabble gracelessly for cash and have to scrape by with two holidays a year in Tuscany.

And she wrote that before they moved to Spain. I wonder how many of those who mock Beckham would have quite fancied living somewhere in southern Europe with bundles of cash? Oh Madrid is just so sophisticated isn’t it? How on earth will those two cope? Hence the guffaws everytime it is discovered that Beckham isn’t totally fluent in Spanish yet. Hence the little jokes about him thinking tapas was a carpet.

They have the ‘wrong’ background, the ‘wrong’ accents and they don’t know their place. It never should have happened to them. So much for ‘meritocratic’ Britain.

And all the sniggers about how Beckham is under the thumb, how it’s Victoria who wears the trousers show what a myth the whole ‘new man’ business was. Yep men who aren’t afraid of saying they love their wives, who appear delighted by fatherhood are still a cause for mirth in the UK.

How the press loved it when there was a story of infidelity – a sign that perhaps Beckham might return to ‘form’. Perhaps he might end up on the booze, waste all his money, see his marriage break-up and end up like Gazza – reassuringly (for the middle classes) out of his depth with all that fame and money.

Burchill was spot-on – Beckham hating tells us a lot about modern Britain.

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