It's only a little thing I know, but some of the papers today are carrying news that Gordon Brown, along with the sports minister Richard Caborn, will be lobbying Sepp Blatter and FIFA today about their "bid" for the 2018 World Cup.
Gievn that the bidding process hasn't started yet, and it is the FA's decision, not the Government's whether we bid or not, it would take an idiot to not realise it's a PR stunt to elevate Brown's international status without actually getting involved in anything that requires a tough decision.
As we all know, Brown has a tendency to disappear at the first sign of tough international issues like Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. As I've commented in the past, the only balls Brown is his protege's surname.
Never the less, the spin machine trundles on, and Brown does his lobbying on a soft issue, presenting his much vaunted "feasibility study" to FIFA and presumably saying "I know this has bugger all to do with me but please be in the photo-op".
One might wonder how much this utterly meaningless spun gesture has thus far cost the taxpayer from our laughably prudent Chancellor's budget. The answer? Just short of £16,500 as it happens. That's how much the printing cost plus the drawing up (opinion polling etc) of the feasibility study cost.
Now some might say this is not a lot of money. Arguably it isn't. But then does one really need to spend £16.5K on a feasibility study about whether England could host a World Cup or whether England would want too?
Think about the questions for a second. Can we do it? Old Trafford, Anfield, Maine Road, Emirates, Stanford Bridge, Goodison Park, Reebok, Villa Park, Hillsborough, Upton Park, White Hart Lane to name just a few. Of course we can do it. Would we want too? What religion is the Pope again?