Sunday, June 19, 2005

So, Can We Call Him A Bigoted Moron Now ?

Now, here’s a question: is it ironic, or merely stupid, that the Spectator’s latest dose of Scousenhass comes from a guy with form for domestic violence ? Not that you can call Rod Liddle a wife-beater, not since the incident in question involved the young girlfriend he took up with after deserting his wife and kids. Classy, n’est pas ?

Fortunately, where Bigoted Boris is concerned any kind of logical backflips and moral limbo dancing are just ducky as long as the hate is there. Hence, articles such as this get published, despite making no sense whatsoever. For proof of that, consider the title: A City Above Suspicion. He’s writing about Liverpool Football Club. Does he even understand that a football club and the city in which it’s situated are not quite the same thing ? Apparently not – and it doesn’t get any better. Try this:

What the Football Association has done to Millwall is pretty staggering — and in the relentless competition between self-important, unelected institutions to win themselves badges of political merit, I think the FA gets the nod over the coppers from Reading.
Now, it may just be me, but I can see a certain difference between the Police and the Football Association. But Mr Punch likes the unelected tag, in fact he uses it again later, calling the FA an ‘ossified, undemocratic and self-serving institution’. As it happens, the FA does have a democratic structure which ensures that every member club has a voice. The only sense in which the FA is undemocratic is that, like every other comparable sporting body, it doesn’t give votes to people outside the sport. It says a lot about the current state of the Conservative Party that one of its MPs thinks it worth publishing a complaint that a private body conducts its business privately.

It is important though to maintain perspective, and not allow the asinine nature of Mr Punch’s point to cloud the insane chutzpah on display. The whiny one is complaining that the FA aren’t accountable enough to change their views, yet lower down we find him whining about FA boss Brian Barwick:

Liverpool-supporting chairman Brian Barwick, has been fighting to get reinstated in next year’s European Champions League, in direct contravention of Uefa rules.
Let’s move on from the sinister revelation that the English FA is involved in a dark conspiracy to increase English representation in Europe, and consider the essential humbuggery of the charge. Here’s how it happened: originally winners automatically qualified for next year’s cup. With the recent reorganisation that changed, until such time as UEFA was faced with the reality of a holder not being able to defend their title, at which point all and sundry realised that was insane. So, Mr Punch is really complaining that the footballing authorities don’t change their minds enough, except when they do. A-huh.

As far as actual specifics go, Mr Punch claims that at last year’s FA Cup game, Millwall fans were viciously attacked for no reason whatsoever by a bunch of crazed scousers. Except that the Millwall fans may have been chanting some stuff, except they weren’t really, and even if they were, the scousers were worse. Folks – does that really pass the smell test ?

But that’s not the half of it. Not only are scousers vicious Morlocks attacking the peaceful Millwall Eloi, but they’re also Lord Snooty, trampling on gritty working class grafters like Mr Punch. I couldn’t quite work out why this sounded familiar, then it suddenly came to me.

Actually, Millwall aren’t quite the epicentre of ‘lovable Cockney’ blather. West Ham have always led the way, but at least they really do have a great footballing pedigree. When idiots like Mr Punch start babbling about loveable ol’Millwall it’s always by way of excusing acts of stupid violence. Then again, at the Spectator it’s always better to be arch than accurate:

There is now a petition condemning the FA, signed by supporters of everyone from Tranmere to Torquay, and an early day motion has been put before the House of Commons expressing similar sentiments.
This is one of those lines where the dominating thought on reading is ‘how stupid does he think we are’ ? Talk about a double whammy of BS. How likely is it that Tranmere fans would sign up to this brand of ‘Nuke Merseyside’ lunacy ? Equally, Mr Punch not only hopes you know nothing about geography, he thinks you don’t understand the difference between private action and state action. He wants to posture as a bold defender of freedom against PC, yet he also wants to use the power of the state to crush the ability of a private organisation to disciple its own members. No, the argument is a nonsense.

Indeed, the whole attempt to cast Millwall as somehow martyrs to free speech is absurd. As it happens, the courts have already started the process of dealing with actual offences committed that night, but it is quite in order for the governing body of a sport to act to protect the sport, even where no criminal offence has been committed (hence concerns about ‘tapping up’ and the like). What happened is that Millwall fans decided to pass the time chanting their approval of mass slaughter. Unlike Bigoted Boris, I’m a real Conservative, but even I agree that the concept of free speech doesn’t preclude the idea of sanctions for ‘fighting words’. In fact, such chanting may indeed be illegal but even if it were not so, whether or not it is appropriate for members of an association to sing songs about killing other members is certainly is a matter on which its governing body are perfectly entitled to take a view.

That is the real analogy with the ‘gay horse’ fiasco. Abstract away from the PC details and ask if the Police should take action against an obnoxious drunk abusing people in the street. To ask it is to answer it. Ditto, if the concept of offensive chanting means anything at all, singing songs celebrating the slaughter of opposing fans qualifies. Mr Punch turns out to be a good choice after all. Who else would be shameless enough to put their name to this garbage ?


Of course, one reason for Bozza's urge to push the 'crazed scousers' line is the desire to bury his own role in these events.

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