2007 - 2021

Farage’s England

The EUROs are becoming a gathering place for some of England’s most toxic communities and commentators. Today the Sunday Times and the Spectator outdo each other to try and cough-up the most offensive commentary possible.

The Spectator continues to publish shock-jock and inveterate racist Rod Liddle who spews out the following:

“The people boo not because they are racist, as Southgate and the idiotic commentators feel moved to suggest, but because they loathe the gesture. They loathe it, firstly, because it is the symbol of a movement they loathe, Black Lives Matter. It is not the anti-racist element of BLM that they loathe, but the rest of it — the Marxism, the critical race theory stuff, the corrosive hatred towards capitalism and white people. It is not the slightest use Southgate trying to tell us that it’s not about that. That is like making a Nazi salute and claiming it’s nothing to do with Hitler — it simply isn’t true.

Liddle – [yes this Liddle ‘Did Rod Liddle also post these racist comments?‘] even has the temerity to argue that we should follow his and Millwall’s example.

Not to be undone the Sunday Times today publishes an extraordinary piece by Brenda Power (Ireland football players take the knee and lose their heads).

In it she agrees with Hungarian President Victor Orban’s objection to the Irish players taking the knee before spilling what must be one of the most contorted pieces of logic possible:

“Before they next parade their “woke” credentials to fire themselves up for another exciting 0-0 draw, the Irish team might take a moment to consider the history of this tedious platitude. Five years ago Colin Kaepernick, a black NFL player, refused to stand for the US national anthem before a game because, he said, he would not “stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour”. So now, when a player takes the knee in his own or another country, whether intended or not he is making a statement of contempt for that country’s anthem and national identity, incorporating a specific point about its historical treatment of black and coloured people.

In a paragraph that somehow made it past an editors desk she continues:

The gesture of kneeling has submissive undertones evoking a slave’s inferiority, and has taken on even more heightened significance since a US police officer murdered a black man by kneeling on his neck. There was, and remains, a perfectly good reason why black American sportspeople might kneel to disrespect the US national anthem. There is absolutely no reason why Irish sportsmen should kneel to disrespect the Hungarian nation, or indeed our own.”

It’s jaw-droppingly inappropriate and offensively stupid writing.

The intensity of the focus is increasing with Farage joining the throng as the English far-right sense an opportunity.

Gareth Southgate’s ‘Dear England’ letter provoked a clumsy threat from the key architect of Brexit and far-right commentator Nigel Farage this week.

Writing in the German magazine Deutsche Welle (DW) (‘Black Lives Matter and the fight for England’s soul’) Michael De Silva wrote: “He stopped short of saying that Black people have no place in England and that, actually, Black Lives don’t Matter — but even his 270,000 subscribers are able to read between the lines. Farage concluded his statement with a closing threat, urging Southgate to “focus on football and not politics, otherwise we’re in for a really, really horrible, divisive few weeks.”

De Silva continued: “Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford, who has embarrassed the British government on its failure to provide food for underprivileged children, and Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, who has spoken out in support of the LGBTQ community, are just two of the players whose actions and gestures should make England fans proud. Instead, there are a mostly older generation of England fans who simply aren’t able to stomach such a challenge to the status quo.”

As former England striker Gary Lineker succinctly tweeted last week: “If you boo England players for taking the knee, you’re part of the reason why players are taking the knee.”

“England have an exciting mix of players heading into a tournament but their resilience in continuing to take a knee is infinitely more impressive – “humble, proud and liberated in being their true selves” according to Southgate. But to some England fans, being Black and being English are mutually exclusive identities, and it’s that sizeable minority who are indulging in yet another act of Great British self-harm.”

Despite conflating Britain and England, De Silva is sadly spot-on.

The editors of these publications know what they are stoking.

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  1. Tom Ultuous says:

    As I’ve said before we need a ‘Fascist Lives Don’t Matter’ movement. Too many agendas are being driven by f******* bleach injectors.

    1. Stephen Cowley says:

      Given the tendency of the Left to initiate violence and extend the meaning of “Fascist”, that would be worrying.

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        Left wing violence usually stems from injustice. Right wing violence is usually state instigated or moronic.

        “The cheapest sort of pride is national pride; for if a man is proud of his own nation, it argues that he has no qualities of his own of which he can be proud; otherwise he would not have recourse to those which he shares with so many millions of his fellowmen. The man who is endowed with important personal qualities will be only too ready to see clearly in what respects his own nation falls short, since their failings will be constantly before his eyes. But every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud adopts, as a last resource, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

        ― Arthur Schopenhauer

        1. Stephen Cowley says:

          Class loyalty can be as moronic as national loyalty, though perhaps it wasn’t so 50 years ago.

        2. Colin Robinson says:

          I reckon Arthur would get short shrift in Wales tonight.

  2. Tom Parkhill says:

    Funny how the same people want wearing of poppies in November to be semi-compulsory. Still, history, Empire.

  3. Niemand says:

    Yes, the usual knee-jerkers are waxing lyrical and frothing at the mouth. I am sure Spiked must have joined in too (I won’t look). About the best thing we can say about this is that Southgate and Linekar probably have much more influence than Liddle and Power (whoever she is) and had you not highlighted Farage’s contribution I would definitely have missed it.

    Southgate’s Dear England letter was really very good and gives me some hope in fact, as it is hard to imagine a previous manager writing such a strong message to supporters. In my own mind I want to think about that, rather than what the stinking arsehole Farage thinks about anything, with Liddle only just behind.

  4. Tim Hoy says:

    Spot on as usual Mike. Amazed at the lack of backlash though. Calling out hatred, particularly, but not exclusively racism normally gives me the opportunity to be overrun with mansplaining whataboutery but those on Bella seem to have been guilty of raising the bar on comments. Good. Keep em coming. X

  5. SleepingDog says:

    I see Bella has closed the comments on the Scotland knee question before I could ask about whether it has considered whether any UK players might show some solidarity for the IICSA investigations, and how the SFA’s own Final Independent Report into non-recent sexual abuse in Scottish football stacks up.
    https://www.scottishfa.co.uk/news/final-independent-report-into-non-recent-sexual-abuse-in-scottish-football-published/
    Maybe Scottish, English and Welsh players could make some kind of recognition these abuses, of solidarity with victims, and a show of collective strength against perpetrators which may have some deterrent effect, before their matches. If not now, when?

    From the article above, I think Gary Lineker’s comment is spot on. If anyone booed a gesture in defence of sexual abuse victims in football, perhaps the police would be interested in them.

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