It is well known that, more than other sportsmen, golfers tend to hold conservative views. Of course, that is because golfers are often outrageously boring, management-speak babbling, corporate wonks who never tire of issuing trite comparisons between the game of golf and the game of making money. “The key to success in golf is like the key to success in life …” and all that mystic-capitalist tosh.
Golfers particularly resent taxes — even more, perhaps, than the rest of us. Take this clip of Spanish golfer Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño berating his Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero for planning to raise the fiscal burden for Spain’s rich at this month’s Vivendi Trophy in France:
Translation: “Message to Zapatero; you are stripping us all naked.” (Like a banana, geddit?)
One wants to endorse Castaño’s admirable anti-statist spirit. Yet, as the Guardian blogger Lawrence Donegan nicely notes, Zapatero’s new taxes are probably aimed at, among others, those “who get paid at least €50,000 for pitching up to play pressure-free golf at a beautiful spot in France for four days.”
Not that there is anything wrong with making large sums of money from playing the world’s most challenging game. We all would if we could. But it does seem a bit, well, rich to make such a statement on television as one strolls down the fairway of the 14th casually consuming a banana.
Still, what do I know? Castaño’s off-hand remark appears to have a struck a chord. This clip has gone viral, having been viewed over 60, 000 times in one day. Maybe the message will get through to Mr Zapatero.