We don't need pundits when there's so much action

I'm loving all the European matches, here, there and everywhere, even if they come so thick and fast it becomes hard to work out where here and there is. You can't tell by the adverts around the grounds. If they are all in English, it doesn't necessarily mean we are in England or Scotland. More likely somewhere out east, where advertising space is cheap so English companies buy it all up to send exciting messages back home.

Such as "Flaming grilling just tastes better". That was on a hoarding in Sofia for the Newcastle game. At first I couldn't work it out. The awful Jonathan Pearce had already told us twice that the Sofia team were known locally as "soup eaters", so was this a dig at their team? Or could it be an advert for a crematorium? Bobby Robson, in his sleek, black, double-breasted suit and black tie, did look as if he were dressed for a funeral. Eventually, when there was a throw-in near the advert, we got a close-up and I could see a little logo saying "Burger King". Ugh. Why did I waste time trying to make sense of it?

The architecture of the grounds can also be confusing. In Italia 90, you could tell it was Italy by the brilliance of the stadia design. Now our grounds are just as stunning as Italy's.

The grass, that's often a clue. They may have class teams in Italy, but there's a lot of crap turf. Perhaps it's to do with their architecture being too stunning, too grandiose, shutting out nature, reducing light and rain. Whatever happens in Europe, I bet we'll win the award for best pitch.

Perhaps the main effect, the first casualty, of these two weeks of Euro overkill will be the death of TV comment and analysis. At least in this house, where I am sitting glued to the box. I have now decided I want to be in the stadia not the studio.

With so many matches whizzing around the planet, coming at us from all angles, out of all sorts and sizes of boxes, the normal fan hasn't got time for peripheral stuff.

When Sky was on its own, with Super Sunday, Fab Monday, Trific Tuesday or whatever, I never tuned in at three for a four o'clock kick-off. What a nonsense: what can they possibly have to chunter on about for a whole hour? But I was usually there at least 15 minutes before, ready and waiting, with my coffee in hand, selection of fruit lined up, whisky for half-time, biscuit for afters, plus a glass of wine in case of extra time. I wanted to see the teams and the line-up, watch the phizogs as the players trooped on to the pitch, then have a quick dash to the lav during the last commercial.

But now, dear God, there aren't enough hours in the day to fit in all the rubbish, all the padding, when there's so much good stuff to watch, real live matches, often at the same time, or at overlapping times. So what I do now is switch on exactly at kick-off. Then at half-time and full-time, I don't wait to hear their boring views, potty analysis or replays that have already been replayed. I either take a break, lie down in a dark room and recover from all that eating and drinking, I mean avid watching, or I switch to another live match.

I suspect more and more fans are doing this. Comment is cheap, action is sacred, as C P Scott should have said. We now have so much live, wonderful action that we have no time or inclination to take in comment, no hunger or need for punditry.

I did tune in for Des Lynam's first appearance on ITV, and switched off at once. He looked nervous, a new boy unsure of his surroundings, despite his smartly pre-scripted remarks.

Apart from making studio comment obsolete, the mass of live matches has also ruined the point of programmes that relied on round-ups of the week's action. There's little point now in tuning in to the BBC's Football Focus when the action they have to show is old action from matches we have already seen.

I did watch last Saturday and practically fell asleep when the normally amusing Gary Richardson went on a walk with the Wimbledon manager, Egil Olsen. The walk seemed to last weeks. I don't think I've ever seen such padding.

Then it was back to the studio and Ray Stubbs, yawn, yawn. My number one favourite hate in football is still Jonathan Pearce. I do find myself standing up and shouting when he starts his chauvinistic ranting. Stubbs has the opposite effect. Snoring, it's called. He is so soporific, so vacuous, with his big, empty face, his big, empty smile, his big, empty, banal links. I probably won't tune in to Football Focus again, except in the hope that Mark Lawrenson, who is beginning to look well pissed off with Ray, will grab him by the Horlicks.

People have been predicting that the main result of too much televised football will be falling gates. Recently some experts have seen signs at places such as Villa. A meaningless sign, as they've always had a fickle crowd. The top clubs, the traditionally well-supported clubs, are as popular as ever. Just look at Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Sunderland.

I predict that the main effect of too much football on television will not be on football but on television. First, a lot of the studio stuff will become redundant. Then it will be a television channel that goes to the wall, not one of our well-known clubs, which has been the accepted wisdom so far.

It's the TV companies, not the football clubs, who are fighting each other for our custom. While they are shrieking and hollering about their On Digital, Off Message nonsense, pay-per-groan deals, interaction bollocks, cable crap, on which they are spending trillions and which will end with one of them going bankrupt, we can just sit back and watch a wealth of European football. Enjoy.

Hunter Davies is a journalist, broadcaster and profilic author perhaps best known for writing about the Beatles. He is an ardent Tottenham fan and writes a regular column on football for the New Statesman.

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It's time for the government to think again about Hinkley Point

The government's new nuclear power station is a white elephant that we simply don't need.

Today I will welcome Denis Baupin, Vice President of the French Assembly, to Hinkley.

His own choice to come and visit the site of the proposed new nuclear power station reflects his strong desire to prevent the UK disappearing up a dangerous dark alley in terms of energy policy. It also takes place as France takes a totally different path, with the French government recently adopting a law which will reduce nuclear energy in the country.

Greens have opposed Hinkley ever since the government announced its nuclear strategy. Hinkley, with its state aid and an agreed strike price of £92.50 per megawatt, has always been financially and legally suspect but it is now reaching the level of farce. So much so that George Osborne is required to be economical with the truth in front of a House of Lords committee because he cannot find anything honest to say about why this is a good deal for the British people.

Mr Baupin and I will join hundreds of protestors – and a white elephant – to stand in solidarity against this terrible project. The demonstration is taking place under a banner of the triple risks of Hinkley. 

First, there are the safety and technological risks. It is clear that the Pressurised Water nuclear reactor (EPR) – the design proposed for Hinkley C – simply does not work. France’s nuclear safety watchdog has found multiple malfunctioning valves that could cause meltdown, in a similar scenario to the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the US.  The steel reactor vessel, which houses the plant’s nuclear fuel and confines its radioactivity, was also found to have serious anomalies that increase the risk of it cracking. Apart from the obvious safety risks, the problems experienced by the EPR reactors being built at Flammanvile in France and Olkiluoto in Finland have pushed the projects years behind schedule.

Secondly, Hinkley poses risks to our energy security. Hinkley is supposed to produce 7% of the UK's energy. But we now know there will be no electricity from the new nuclear plant until at least 2023. This makes power blackouts over the next decade increasingly likely and the only way to avoid them is to rapidly invest in renewable energy, particularly onshore wind. Earlier this week Bloomberg produced a report showing that onshore wind is now the cheapest way to generate electricity in both the UK and Germany. But instead of supporting onshore wind this government is undermining it by attacking subsidies to renewables and destroying jobs in the sector. 

Thirdly, there is the risk of Chinese finance. In a globalised world we are expected to consider the option of allowing foreign companies and governments to control our essential infrastructure. But it is clear that in bequeathing our infrastructure we lose the political control that strengthens our security. The Chinese companies who will be part of the deal are part owned by the Chinese government and therefore controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. What a toppy-turvy world globalisation has created, where our Conservative British government is inviting the Chinese Communist party to control our energy infrastructure. It also seems that China National Nuclear Company is responsible for the manufacture of Chinese nuclear weapons.

Of course it is the Chinese people who suffer most, being at the hands of an oppressive government and uncontrolled companies which show little respect for employment rights or environmental standards. By offering money to such companies from British consumers through their energy bills our government is forcing us to collude in the low human rights and environmental standards seen in China.  

Research I commissioned earlier this year concluded we can transform the South West, not with nuclear, but with renewables. We can generate 100 per cent of our energy needs from renewables within the next 20-30 years and create 122,000 new quality jobs and boost the regional economy by over £4bn a year.

The white elephant of Hinkley looks increasingly shaky on its feet. Only the government’s deeply risky ideological crusade against renewables and in favour of nuclear keeps it standing. It’s time for it to fall and for communities in the South West to create in its place a renewable energy revolution, which will lead to our own Western Powerhouse. 

Molly Scott Cato is Green MEP for the southwest of England, elected in May 2014. She has published widely, particularly on issues related to green economics. Molly was formerly Professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the University of Roehampton.