Thursday, 23 April 2009

St George's Day

If it amounted to a bit of an excuse to put on a funny hat and have a drink then this would be a saint day like any other. It doesn't though and it really pisses me off. The flags come out and overt or thinly veiled racism gets a chance to mix it up a bit. I turned Radio 4 off this morning on my way to work because I heard them giving air time to one of the most odious, insidious, contemptuous of arses: Nick Griffin. His latest rallying cry is that 'allowing' black British people to call themselves black British amounts to 'bloodless genocide'. I would be happy to enlighten Griffin and his pathetic cronies about their obvious misunderstanding of the term though, not wanting to stoop to the same level, I'd resist the temptation to make it a practical demonstration.

History tells us that even at the most volatile times the far right never gets to more than 4th place in this country. Mosley's BUF had rallies with 10,000 people in attendance; the NF could muster a fair size crowd of very poorly educated and badly dressed thugs policed by often sympathetic and poorly educated but smartly dressed SPG units. That was about as well as they did because, by and large, and despite a systematic weakening of trade unions; some seriously dangerous changes to the national curriculum; a biased and ill balanced press and oppressive legislation & policing, most working class people in this country can see through all the crap that they (and now the BNP) peddle. This doesn't mean that we can become complacent though.

When I turned off the radio I re-tuned to TalkSport. I thought that, even though it's quite blokey, I could get away from the depressing stuff and listen to some stuff about football. The first thing I hear is Alan Brazil mouthing off about 'people coming over here with 6 kids, sponging off the state' and the fact that he paid for it. If he wasn't so obviously Scottish he'd be the very definition of a Little Englander. His ignorance is embarrassing. His status as a national broadcaster is beyond belief when you hear the kind of unsubstantiated Daily Mail type twaddle he waffles on about. He thinks he can get away with it because he follows it up by saying, 'Och, you can't say these things cos people think you're being racist when you're being patriotic.' Second guessing an opposing argument doesn't mean 1. you win 2. it makes your argument valid or 3. that you are worth listening to or 4. saying you're not something means that you're not that thing. Brazil is a nasty weasle. I hope that the TalkSport execs realise that he doesn't actually speak for target audience. It's doing the majority of football fans a serious disservice. You only have to go to The Library or The Lane to see that there's a lot of mixing on the terraces. despite the tribalism and history of hooliganism I actually believe that football offers an opportunity for harmonisation and increased cultural syncretism. It changes the the way you see other people. I see a Spurs shirt first- in the context of football nothing else matters. I (much to the embarrassment of the boy sometimes) will turn to the person next to me at the match or on the train and talk to them.

Contrary to belief of those that don't attend matches, most of the time it doesn't even matter what shirt they're wearing. Of course some people get carried away but a fight over football is, by definition, limited. It's never going to ignite the spark that will lead to oppression or genocide. Alan Brazil needs to bugger off back to the 1970s. The sooner that Talksport realise what an offensive and outdated Muppet that bloke is the better. I also think that everyone should be given an England shirt and flag. Then you'd be able to spot the scared, pathetic chumps by their lack of a cross of St George.

Post script: I am aware of the 'football war' but even a cursory flick through the history books will show that this was going to kick off anyway.

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