I’m a Palace fan.
I’ve seen and been around this country over two decades (from aged 8 to 28) of lovely drives to 28 different away grounds supporting our team with my Dad and my bros – literally as a huge treat once or twice a year – a.k.a. the most fun ever.
Better than holidays.
We got into two minor scrapes in all that time:
Someone grabbing our Dan’s scarf out that he was dangling out the car window for a few seconds in Leicester (Dan got mildly bollocked for deliberately taunting some guy out the window) and a slightly hairy moment in Stoke where we had to stick dead close to my old man as we walked through a subway tunnel that suddenly felt a bit raw. But we were fine.
The other trips (including those ones!) are full of memories of having banter on the car and trying to spot a pub to have swift half in before the game, having first managed to park the car (slight triumph; every time.) Cheering/singing ourselves hoarse at the ground. Then chips after and still laughing our heads off at the songs.
Football fans are 99% lovely – and hilarious.
Yes, there are a few that organise a ruck (bleugh) but … it’s not an international incident that can trigger a police state response when it happens here is it?
…and when do you even hear about it anymore these days??
According to my Facebook feed, there’s been a bad incident:
English fans; stabbing; Russians.
That’s as much as I know.
And, it’s staying that way.
In the light of hearing this horrid news, despite my attempt at a media blackout, I have read other people’s comments and feel moved to share some inherited wisdom, or it’s wasted.
This England fan flare up/football hooligan tradition that is wheeled out at every major football tournament without fail – is deliberate.
Why would I think that? I have to defer to my old man. He was a mainstream journalist (who made it to the top of Fleet Street) who then wrote and self-published his paper every single week for over 25 years writing about Capitalism and the need foster greater understanding, to ready us for the moment of Revolution when their ridiculous casino stock markets spectacularly crash. He wrote stuff that is so relevant now, that you just can’t read anywhere. That man studied our class system and media mechanisms, and parliamentary farce like no-one else I am aware of.
I’m gonna stick my head our and leave my neck exposed here n say that were he still alive, he would give you a very steady eye and inform you that this predictable ‘trouble’ at tournaments is deliberately sparked off – so that people who don’t know football start describing all fans as grunts.
And a knock-on effect dollop of national chauvinism (us v Russians / them dirty Russians, etc.) to boot.
This year’s provocations in France are especially predictable as the states/rulers/elite/global capitalists/warmongering nazis/bureaucrats/aristocratic arseholes and their class-collaborating lackies at a managerial level are needing to tighten their grip on this farce that some still call ‘democracy’ .
They have to pull stunts to tighten their grip, because in fact they are losing their grip.
Their Capitalist economy is fucked; people have started to have actually have had enough and the curtain shielding the wizard has been pulled open by a little dog called the Internet.
France is in uproar over being fully reminded that each individual is a none-important person who can have their job security and happiness whisked away in a heartbeat if it suits their employer.
^^ Is the British media full of this ?? ^^
No. Is it fuck.
There have been a dozen incidents of police using tear gas against people protesting this Labour Law this year in Nantes alone. It’s been happening all over France – marches, strikes, blockades. And, it’s been getting nasty.
I’ve watched videos of French military police assaulting a 74 year old woman whilst forcibly arresting her.
Is that being shown on our screens in-between Capitalist adverts and the ‘sport’ that we’re supposed to swallow??? In a word – Non. It gets swept under the collective Capitalist controlled rug, to perpetuate the carefully crafted ever-so-British mentality that ‘the world still turns’ and ‘there’s nothing we can do’ oh, and England drew against Russia, keep moving…. nothing to see here – and ‘they love kicking off, those bloody French’.
That’s what this fighting is about.
And that same kosh (this hooligan story told via the mainstream media) will achieve the same results on both sides of The Channel: with some french being persuaded that we’re a bunch of yobbos and the same here.
I witnessed this CLASS WAR being waged first hand last night in my job. The bar where I work showed the game, and there were a few merry people who’d been on an all-dayer.
One lovely lad, about my age, who, if he’d walked into a temping agency for an office job would be instantly turned away for the way he spoke, made my night.
He gave me a £3 tip after I’d made friends with him and been nice to his group. We had a right laugh and that delicious human connection, when you’ve just made pals.
A couple of hours later (fairly drunk) his beaming face returned and he pressed 2 more pound coins into my hand, “Here – you’ve got a fiver to put in your son’s money box now.” 🙂 Aww 🙂
A really super sweet moment in my life, that I’m 100% sure both of us will remember forever. He really wanted to show me he thought I was sound and that he appreciated me being kind and open to making acquaintance and having fun.
It was a moment or two of pure love.
Exactly as us human beings are capable of living when you take all the bullshit away.
…. Soz to put a ‘but’ on the end of this ^, but let’s turn to the aged 20-something dolled up girls that were stood in a queue right next to us witnessing me gratefully accepting this wonderful moment, albeit it with a pissed-up guy who was by then slightly slurring his speech. With ZERO hesitation these were the comments – aimed directly to my face. The same face that had been just genuinely giving the bloke a goodbye hug before their eyes.
‘As if you have to serve people like that!’
‘Oh my God, how come he’s in here…. I didn’t think you let people like that in.’
‘Jesus mate, go back to school and learn to talk!’
^^^^ THIS ^^^^
This SHITE is the name of the game.
Perpetuating this class divide – one human being judging another over their command of the English language, social status, clothes they wear, job (or lack of) or the company they keep.
I’m not being cynical or fantastical – i have witnessed this all my 40 years of life:
the use of football+the media to perpetuate class divide.
Lower class English football fans have to be tainted as the lowest of the low. This in turn gives identity to those who see themselves as so much better.
Openly knocking those people that the media target is socially acceptable.
It’s not deemed racist, derogatory, abusive, in the same way that picking on someone’s colour, gender or sexual preference would be.
We are, lets face it – a nation of snobs.
I count myself extremely lucky that the people I can call my friends do not fit this description.
That’s what this focus on a scrap with footy ‘fans’ is trying to achieve.
That plus the objective of lumping all the trouble around into one mind-numbing narrative that bears no reality to the day to day life of a human bean.
A carefully crafted narrative, drip-feeding choice key words and concepts re wars that we are waging against innocent Syrians; who famous has just died; someone got robbed/murdered; the Queen’s (yes folks, it’s 2016 and we still have a ‘Queen’ ! hahaaa!) birthday, or her daughter-in-law’s latest dress; traffic reports from the (deliberately) permanently fouled-up roads; and the incessant bullshit bureaucratic nonsense about which fat cats are gonna rule us . All meshed into one ball-ache of a tedious, hard to listen to, depressing, continuous newsreel of doom and gloom that seeks to cast the same,
>> “Oh, ffs give it a rest!” <<
knee-jerk response from Joe Public to EVERYONE that dares to declare themselves a footy fan, blockade a port, petrol station, road, country lane or stand in a street with a banner that says ‘no’ be it to war, cuts, homelessness, fracking, nuclear, wages, people camps (er, i mean ‘immigration’) and put us in the same category as the ‘terrorist’ immigrants, and the ‘thick as fuck’ hooligans/footy fans/grunts/plebs/scallies/chavs, etc. .
It’s ALL deliberate and it’s purpose is simple.
It’s called D I V I D E and Rule.
Answer me this: does it take TWO YEARS to infiltrate and close down a small time South London football hooligan cult/cell/unit/gang?
Does it though?