Thursday, 27 August 2009
West Ham Til I Die
(Apologies to readers confused by this. I am replying to a post on another site. Quite why the author of that post felt the need to address me there, rather than on here, I do not understand. Bill, please feel free to continue the debate on here but do let me know it is you, rather than posting anonymously. I will keep this thread open. I would reply on your thread but, of course, I am not afforded the right of reply on there am I? Not as me anyway.)
Bill, hatred is a dangerous emotion. Why did the violence kick off on Tuesday? Because a bunch of thugs (who are too young to understand the history of the ill feeling between the two clubs) believed the hype, swallowed the nonsense peddled by movies like The Football Factory and Green Street and took up the battle cries of those who are older and should know better.
I cannot see how the posting of a football chant about "Hating Millwall" on a West Ham chat forum was taken out of context when used in an article on this blog about the events on Tuesday night. I am 100% certain that the chant was sung inside and outside the ground on the night. Your post was made in the direct build up to the game and could well have been a contributory factor in inciting some of the young and impressionable fools who tarnished the name of our club and embarrassed our nation.
To say, as you do on the org, that I hold this hate filled post on the org and its author as "personally and solely responsible" for the events is, of course, absurd. I have done no such thing. I quoted it as an illustration of how careless words can assume a different dimension subsequently. You didn't just quote the chant, of course, you felt the need to show your delight at the sentiment by adding "LO very L" and to add "Totscum" in brackets. I therefore asked if the chant is really so funny now.
You are quite right, I have used the word "hate" too readily in a football context and admit to it on this blog. I put it down to lazy English but it is also down to a society that has embraced the word "hate" and become far too accepting of it. To be honest, as a teenager I did "hate" the Revie managed Leeds United and, in the aftermath of THE Cup Final, I felt something akin to hatred for Carragher because of the instruction to close Scaloni from that throw in. Do I hate now? I hated the bombers who attacked London. I hated the terrorists who attacked the Twin Towers. But beyond that, no. Hate a whole club and everybody associated with it? Not possible.
I do not believe for one moment that you wanted the events on Tuesday to take place. However, the sentiments that you expressed and laughed about undoubtedly fueled what happened. I blogged that the best result on the night would be for the game to pass without incident; you blogged a chant of hatred for Millwall. Tell me, who was the more irresponsible?
You also talk again about a campaign I am running against you personally. That is incorrect. I would have quoted that post, whoever had submitted it. The fact is, that post and probably thousands of others like it (on both sides of the divide) contributed to what happened on the night. I also quoted lines from Green Street on this blog and apportioned blame there too. You cannot control the reaction of an audience, you therefore have to be careful not to incite in the first place.
Tell me, had you stood in front of the yobs and led the singing of that song, would you then try to claim that you were in no way responsible for what happened? I suspect the police would disagree. I don't see that your being 1200 miles away on Tuesday night is in any way relevant. Bin Laden wasn't on the planes that slammed into the Twin Towers was he? Are you therefore saying that Bin Laden's hate filled messages about the USA played no part in the attack? That would be crazy.
Your post made subsequent to the events was initially mealy mouthed at best. I quote,
"I’ve missed what seems to be a brilliant second half and extra time. Can anybody post a link that shows me the match or at least the goals? David any ideas? It would be nice to get a report from one of you orgsters who were at the game, football related only please.
I’m not going to glorify what I’ve seen in the online press this morning by mentioning it, not interested".
Not interested? How about condemning it?
I have read what you have written subsequently and admire your restraint when your son was disgustingly abused and, genuinely, I do not think that you are a bad person at heart. I do think you post some bad sentiments sometimes under the excuse that it is just banter and, unfortunately, the "We hate Millwall" chant crossed the line in my opinion. If the garage forecourt is covered in petrol, what sort of person strikes and drops a match?
Posted by Hammersfan at 14:54