The Evils of Racism

Oh dear, I seem to have upset the Baggies. Several other political blogs have covered this too. This does have a West Ham relevance, so bear with me.

Yesterday I was invited onto the Today Programme to talk about the Carol Thatcher ‘gollywog’ row. During the interview with John Humphrys (which you can listen to HERE) I made a relatively jocular reference to Adrian Chiles, and said he had probably heard far worse at the Hawthorns every Saturday afternoon. West Brom fans have taken great umbrage at this. I can see why they think I must have been referring to racial comments at the Hawthorns (a ground I have yet had the pleasure of visiting) but that is not what I meant. I just meant that at football grounds in general, the ‘banter’ is of a fairy extreme variety, and not a place for those of a delicate nature. I am only too well aware of WBA’s trailblazing record in this area (Cyrille Regis, Laurie Cunnigham etc), so I would certainly not wish to cast a slur on the club.

I deplore racism in all its forms and if I thought Carol Thatcher’s remark was racially motivated I would be joining the people who seem to be delighting in her predicament. I’m not going to rehearse all the arguments here – it’s not the place to do it.

The reason I want to clarify my remarks regarding WBA is that I recognise how horrible it is not just to be accused of racism, but for it even to be hinted at.

Indeed, on two occasions at West Ham I have intervened when I heard a racial comment being directed at a player (on the first occasion it was aimed at one of our own players, Matthew Rush) and asked the idiot to button it. I can’t pretend I wasn’t nervous about doing it, but everyone around me backed me up (luckily!) on each occasion. I would like to think I would do it again but I am glad to say it hasn’t happened since 2001.

A couple of months ago, someone a couple of rows behind me shouted out to an opposing player something which many would regard as homophobic. I couldn’t decide whether it was banter or really was homophobic. By the time I had decided that yes, it was homophobic, the moment had kind of passed and I did nothing. I’d like to think if it happens again I’d have the guts to turn around and say “that’s me you are talking about. You got a problem?” If it does happen, no doubt you’ll read about it here.

UPDATE: I have just posted a thread on my political blog explaining how the debate on this thread has been far better informed and polite than the debate there. Wonder how my political readers will react! I have quote Darren’s comment in full at 10.43am. He sums up the dilemma perfectly, and with great humour.


92 Responses to The Evils of Racism

  1. the headmaster says:

    Carol Thatcher is a plank, simple as. Anyone with half a brain realises that talk of gollywogs in 2009 is not acceptable. Well, I did say half a brain.

    Good on ya Iain for standing up to inappropriate remarks at the Irons. Me, I tend to regard football grounds as kind of extra-societal, an arena in which behaviour is acceptable that simply isn’t anywhere else. Does this include racism? No. Homophobic remarks? No. However, when you allow grown men to vent rage and venom in the cause of football, sometimes a return to baser instincts is the result.

  2. At least the “situation” gave you an opportunity to adress the topic here.
    Too many of us do not have the guts to yell back at the idiots. I can remember quite a few “moments that have passed” where I said nothing. Feels awful.
    I’ll try to keep this in mind for the next game.

  3. Scalyback says:

    I listened to your piece with John Humphries and cannot believe anyone with any sense could be offended by what was said.

    What is wrong with this country? Innocent remarks are taken completely out of context and do gooders start shouting foul or racism etc. If this continues I can see the St Georges Cross being banned as a symbol of Christianity and therefore offensive to other religions. The NF and BNP must be loving this!

    The only saving grace about the Carole Thatcher non event is that I believe the majority of people think it is nonsense.

    You should not need to be using your blog to explain your intentions to dimwitted baggies; they must know only too well. I reckon the vast majority of decent West Brom fans will agree.

    PS Perhaps the Black Country should be renamed as it clearly will be offensive to somebody somewhere.

  4. pel says:

    Good story Iain.
    If you’ve said nothing at the time, you’ve at least addressed it here and let others (me) know that other fans will have the decency to back you up if you make a stand against these morons.
    I’ll keep this story in mind next time i’m at a game – although that doesn’t happen as often as it should 😦

  5. babelman says:

    Ian, all a storm in a teacup. Its all sticks and stones etc. If I get called a piece of white trash..ouch. I can’t stand Thatcher (her mother) so i am not defending her, but she was not being too smart. Really all this is, is rudeness. Coyi

  6. arjan drissen says:

    ian, it might be because I’m a foreigner but did I just read correctly in your final few sentences that you are gay too?
    respect for showing courage mate!

  7. Iain Dale says:

    It’s hardly a secret, Arjan… 🙂

  8. Biffo the bear says:

    I’m sure Mr Chiles has heard worse at the Hawthorns. As you say there are not many limits on what can be heard at Football, the Thatcher person, however, was not at a Football match, i do recall one incident at Upton Park when a person standing in front of me used a racial insult at one of our players I think it was, turned round to see me, (bear sized person) and my mate (big black bear sized person)looking quizically at them and, sort of shrivelled up a bit as we laughed a kind of..’you wouldn’t even have the courage to say crap like that unless you were at the football now would you sonny?’ and shook our heads.
    Anyway, regarding Thatcher, I’m not sure how the term ‘Golliwog’ can be used without being racially motivated. Hopefully it’s one less tory on the telly 🙂

  9. Teffler says:

    Are you gay Ian?

  10. Ironside says:

    I’m sure too that Carol Thatcher’s remark was probably not racially motivated (in any event I would give her the benefit of any doubt) but that is not the point. It’s nothing to do with whether your West Brom Comments suggest any racism on your part either – clearly they do not. The real point is did her comment (and for that matter possibly your West Brom comment also) have the capacity to offend.

    What HAS shocked me about Carol Thatcher is that she seems incapable of appreciating the simple fact that her comment did cause offence. So when the BBC said that the whole issue could be resolved if she apologised to those involved for causing offence – nothing to do with being racist you note – she refused to do it.

    I can only think that those raising a fuss about Carol Thatcher being allegedly treated badly have missed that key point also. Both she and those supporting her have grossly underestimated the impact of that word and the comparison that she made on other people. It’s not a question of racism but rather one of ignorance.

    I’m sure that if Carol Thatcher really understood the impact of the word she used then she would provide an apology for the offence caused. If you heard Carol Thatcher comparing Carlton Cole to a golliwog during a West Ham match (an unlikley scenario I admit!!) I would hope that you would keep up the good work and intervene again. I’m sure that you wouldn’t be surprised if others around her took offence. So why the surprise about the reaction of her BBC colleagues? Or is it the fact that it’s the BBC setting that you and many others are enjoying getting your teeth into?

    On any view it was a crass and insensitive word to use and we should all be capable of recognising that. It’s nothing to do with the BBC, ‘political correctness gone mad’ or any of the other half baked excuses that we have heard. If she could understand and apologise for the offence it caused then we could all move on.

  11. Goody says:

    Zola for manager of the month!!! COYI!!!

  12. the headmaster says:

    Goody for ‘irrelevant post of the month’ !!

  13. the headmaster says:

    Withdraw Teffler’s post Iain. Please?

  14. Stelios J says:

    Agree with THM, Iain; Ms Thatcher is a “plank”; her stupidity inexcusable and the BBC’s decision was the only viable option; however, compared to her mother, father and brother, she’s a veritable saint, so of all the Thatchers, Ben included, she’s the one I’d least prefer not to be locked in a room with.
    Says a lot really, doesn’t it?
    St. J

  15. SJ Chandos says:

    Carol Thatcher! The acorn never falls far from the tree does it? But I am not going to waste any more time talking about her ignorance.

    As an aspiring politican,I am sure that you will have learnt from this incident. Any loose talk or jovial references can and will be turned against you by our jackal like media, that I am afraid is a fact of public life. But do not feel too bad Iain, it has happened to most of us at one time or other!

    On racism, I think that things have improved 100% from the dark days of the late 1970s and early 1980s. I well remember NF paper sellers on the streets outside Upton Park on match days and open racism on the terraces. In 1991 I was part of an organisation that sought to raise these issues with the club and I got a snooty reply that there was not a problem! I wish I had kept that letter because really it should be in the club museum! With Kick it Out and other similar initiatives there has been significant improvements.

    Today, it is usually the odd individual that make these comments. However, there is now a general consensus that racism is unacceptable. Paradoxically, the same consensus is not so apparent on other discriminatory issues such as homophobia. To effect change we all have to take personal responsibility and challenge offensive behaviour. As far as I am concerned it is very easy to talk about ‘political correctness’ if you are not on the rough end of discrimination and exclusion!

    My own beliefs and convictions lie on the opposite side of the political spectrum to yourself, but I do not doubt your convictions. And good on you for standing up and being counted. As one of your conservative philosophers (and a former resident of Balaam Street), Edmund Burke, once said (to paraphase) ‘for evil to prosper it is only necessary for good men to do nothing.’

  16. Unity says:

    No probs, Iain.

    As you seen from my comments at the Ministry, I do certainly think that Draper’s ‘nasty’ jibe was completely out of order and that your efforts to defend Carol Thatcher were, and are, prompted by honourable motives and the best of intentions. Its not the first time you’ve stuck your neck out a little preciptiously for someone on your side, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. It’s just unfortunate that her comments do appear to have rather questionable, whatever her actual intentions.

    Insensitive is perhaps the correct adjective for the ‘golliwog’comment.

    As for comment regarding Adrian, hopefully what you’ve discovered is that our regard for Cyrille, Laurie and Brendan, and for every black footballer to have played for the club since, is akin to the regard that you fans have for the West Ham players who were the backbone of England’s 1966 World Cup winning side. We’re neither of us the biggest of football clubs but each of our clubs has that one special place in footballing history that makes us stand out from the rest and, as fans, that’s something we cherish above everything else, because its ours and our alone and it makes our club unlike any of the others.

    So no real offence taken here – I simply wanted to get over to you just how those players mean to us Baggies and what a profound effect they had on the lives of so many people up here.

  17. Stelios J says:

    What proof do you need, Teffler?

    I do assume that you’re merely illiterate rather than purely stupid!

    St. J

  18. Ho Jo says:

    Sadly I have heard much anti-semitic chanting at West Ham, both home and away. As a Jewish season-ticket holder, I have often wondered if those singing the songs and shouting the chants consider me to be less of a fan than them because of my religion.

  19. Ironside says:

    That’s a very good point Ho Jo. It’s something we could and should stamp out quickly because it does none of us any credit. I’m sure that some of those singing the anti-semitic stuff would say that its just banter and a way of winding up the Spuds. But as I said in my post above, ignorance is just as big a problem sometimes in terms of causing offence as fully fledged racism.

  20. Teffler says:

    Gay´s are not “a race”. So It´s not racism. Gay´s are mentally illmore like as the nature did not make a man to be with another man for obvious reasons. Well if it did you wouldn´t exist Ian. So put yourself together and find yourself a decent woman.

  21. Ironside says:

    Hey Teffler, there’s only one person posting on this page who needs some therapy and it’s you mate.

  22. the headmaster says:

    Teffler’s moronic comments offend decency.

  23. SJ Chandos says:

    Yeah, anti-semiticism is rife in the exchanges with Spurs fans. It needs to be stamped out. The most disturbing incident I witnessed occurred in the Barking Road after the Stoke City match. An adult man walking along with a boy of 7 or 8 teaching him the words to a song about gasing people (to the tune of I never felt more like singing the blues). Unbelievable ignorance and irresponsibility!

  24. Teffler says:

    Offend decency? Nah. Ian at least go out and try to be with some hot women and stop this nonsence. You´ll see why a woman is made for a man.

  25. SJ Chandos says:

    Teffler, dear oh dear, what an ignorant homophobe!

  26. Stelios J says:

    Is Teffler coming out?
    St. J

  27. Teffler says:

    What offends decency is when people are making it “normal” to be gay. It´s not good for children to see it made out that way.

    It´s definitely a mental illness of some sort. Every man enjoys being with a woman saying otherwise is a lie, simple as that. So stay with what is made for you, you are a man so it´s a woman. Simple as that.

    Good bye

  28. the headmaster says:

    Usually that level of vitriol is an indicator of latent, repressed tendencies. Sad.

  29. Iain Dale says:

    Can we call this little tangent to a halt please, ladies.

  30. Ironside says:

    Finally something from Teffler that we are all glad to hear; “Goodbye”.

  31. Stelios J says:

    Uhum, that’s laddies!
    Yep, I have the programme of the first game I ever saw; v Derby County, November 1969. I was not yet seven!
    John Charles as “centre spread” and Clyde Best on the wing. Stood in the chicken run, boxes for elevation and can’t even remember the score!
    That it took another 13 years or so for Viv Anderson to become the first Black England player is a real eye-opener!
    No doubt there was racism at the Boleyn, but the nature of West Ham’s policies, were, in this day and age, massively progressive and we should be proud of that!
    Besides, those banana boxes we stood on, were as flimsy as our defense!

  32. Johnboy says:

    Dear Teffler,

    if you would like to discuss the matters raised by your good self I would be only too happy to oblige. I would advise bringing some friends. And a tool. Other than yourself.

    (What ******* tool? This *******tool!)

    Cheers Ray X


  33. SJ Chandos says:

    Yeah Stelios, I remember Clyde very well. In all honesty, he was not the most skillful, or fleet of foot, player I have seen in the claret and blue. However, I had time for Clyde and thought, in a number of respects, he was underated.

    I think his finest performances in a Hammers shirt were during the league cup run of 1971/72. In particular, his headed winner in the match against Leeds Utd at Elland Road,the 5-0 defeat of Sheffield Utd and the 1st leg semi-final winner against Stoke City.

    John Charles was a Hammer through and through. A good, dependable defender who came up through the Academy. It puts in to perspective the vastly increased financial rewards of a football career these days, when you consider that he gave it up in the early 1970s, at the age of 28, to run a fruit & veg stall!

  34. Johnboy says:

    And could I be the first to offer Teffler a big huggy manhug. OOOh you need a big cuddle.

    You big wally.

    P.S. As for finding a good woman, do you honestly expect any of us to believe you’re getting any?

    At all?


    Come on.

    You’re not, are you?

    Nah, didn’t think so.

  35. Stelios J says:

    Incredible, isn’t it, SJ?

    The first game I actually remember was at home to Man U, a couple of years after my initial immersion! By then I had a poster of Clyde on my bedroom wall and loved him to bits.

    You’re not wrong; made Todd Carty look graceful at times, but with BM, TB, JH, MP, BB and (THE!) FL and HRin the side, that I could relate to CB and JC, 30 years before clubs such as Everton had a black player playing for them, shows that, warts ‘n’ all’, this club of mine always had a beauty beyond compare.
    St. J

  36. IronMick says:

    I think the point raised about the anti-semantic chants is a very good one, there really is no difference between that, racism, or homophobia – it all needs to stop. I find it strange that the anti-Jew abuse has slipped under the radar to be honest.
    On that note I wonder how many people singing that they have a foreskin actually do. it’s my thinking that many people sing that song totally hypocritically.
    I love the banter but my guide to know what is acceptable is to think, if I said that to somebody on the street, would they be offended? It’s pretty simple.
    Oh Treffler – bore me later, do you know what century this is.
    SJ Chandos -I used to play football in Balaam street park everyday, classic. Brought back some memories there mate!
    Oh yeah, Thatcher – I’m sure she didnt mean to offend but at least have the savvy to accept that she did and apologies.

  37. bazzahammer says:

    teffler is probably a hardcore christian. my advice take no notice.

    well done iain for not being scared to show true self!

    after all, that is what being a west ham fan is all about!


  38. savvyho says:

    Iain, few months back, you posted a ‘wednesday rumour mill’ in which you wrote ‘May Allah be pleased’, when it had nothing to do with the subject or in fact your beliefs.

    What was this about? I assume you was not being racist then either so why be so careless?

    As for those atacking teffler, he just stated a fact thats all. I don’t want to give a PSHRE lesson here but I’m sure you know what I mean.

    If a man wants to be with a man, and a woman a woman that ls their choice. But, you cannot deny that a man was physically designed for a woman and vice versa.

  39. SJ Chandos says:

    Stelios, I role and prominence of black players at West Ham in the 1960s and 1970s is something not generally recognised outside Upton Park. It is as if it started with WBA in the late 1970s/early 1980s!

    I think it another example of how forward thinking Ron Greenwood was. Also, Greenwood was one of the very first managers to try and buy foreign players, with the Israeli international, Spengler. Unfortunately, that was a step to far for the UK authorities of the era. It is ironic that they blocked the move, considering the multi-national make up of the PL now!

  40. Kim says:

    Hello Iain. Blimey, where did teffler come from? Hopefully he has gone back to wherever it is and won’t put in an appearance again. However, it says a lot for your personality and how great the blog is that we all put up with you being a Tory – hee hee!

  41. HammersWest says:

    Thanks for the mention of us ladies Iain,
    Yes we are out here, and this is probably the only football place I admit to not being a laddie. As for Teffler, I can’t imagine any ladies hot or not who could bear to pass time with you. Looks like you’re not welcome anywhere.
    Looking at your post Iain I can see how it got misread, but I ‘know’ you, as for Ms Thatcher, I agree it was not racially motivated, but it certainly was stupid.
    Anyway, can’t wait for Sunday,

  42. Goatygav says:

    If it had been Ricky Tomlinson or Jasper Carrot snitching on Carol Thatcher then it would’ve been Liverpool or Birmingham you’d have mentioned. As you say it could’ve been any football ground in the country that you could’ve heard “Worse,” at.

    If Baggies fans have complained about this then, quite frankly, they’re being oversensitive. I guess in future we should all be worried about offending the fans of other team’s sensibilities shouldn’t we? I really can’t imagine the whole of the Bobby Moore stand singing, to the tune of Blue Moon, something like: –

    Millwall! – Our Clubs are historical rivals!
    But we enjoy the friendly banter!
    When you visit Upton Park!

  43. Old Rag Man Reg says:

    it’s got sod all to do with morals and everything to do with nature.
    if you fancied blokes you’d be shagging with ’em…so get real!

    and don’t say you wouldn’t cos your a bloke

    end of

  44. Graybo says:

    hmmm… back to the OP … Iain, full marks for being bold enough to call the racist ranters in the stadium to order.

    If more people did that, and if more people backed up those who do, then we would be in a much healthier society.

    When we let people get away with that sort of stuff it just grows.

    I remember my Dad standing up to some skinheads on the District Line once and I was fearing for his life. I honestly was worried about how they were going to react. That would have been in the 1970s. I fear that if the same happened today if I confronted some kid about his behaviour on the street or in the tube then I’d end up as a knife-crime statistic. I wouldn’t be scared to do so, but my family knows this and have in the past pleaded with me not to.

    Just wanted to encourage you guys who are bold enough to speak out when something wrong is happening in the stadium.

    p.s. Teffler has gone (good riddance)… at least he didn’t stick around long enough to find out all our political leanings as well, eh? That would have been interesting.

  45. Graybo says:

    I’ve just received this from another website I visit…

    ** The problem with the website forums has now been resolved and everything is working normally again. Apologies for the outage today, this was due to server problems at our hosting company.**

    Am I allowed a wry smile, in the light of everything I’ve just read on here?

  46. Englandsnumber6 says:

    Blimey i read the article thinking i was going to respond on a football/racial matter only to see a homophobic debate!! Stick to football guys, as i always say as im a teacher, ignore naughty behaviour.
    As for the racism incident it seems to me British people have lost the meaning of it, just as we are embarrassed to call ourselves English or fly a flag incase we upset some religious sections. Ive got red hair i was bullied and taunted all my youth, if you shout abuse at football matches it all shouldnt be taken as racism. If you called the fat bald referee with glasses, a fat bald headed four eyed *!~# no one would bat an eye lid, if he was black and you said the word black in the insult you would get an adverse reaction. Black,pakistani, jewish, ginger, fat, bald, get over it they are just insults,insults to an individual not a RACE. And as for calling a player a poof, there has never been a single case of a current player coming out as gay. A fan shouting poof just points out the fact that the fan a moron.

  47. DevoDevo says:

    On the subject of racism, I have mentioned on here before that I have recently bought the DVD, Boys of 86. What surprised me, given the year and the fact that I attended games regularly in this era, was the monkey noises that George parris endured at Charlton away and I think the other one was Chelsea? Incredible.

    With regards the anti-semitic chanting, whilst not condoning it, I think this is done purely as a ‘wind up’ to a set of fans that proudly call themselves Yiddos.

    I expect we’ll hear some more “monkey” noises in Spain on Wednesday, which indicates that in Britain, we have at least moved on since the dark (no pun intended) days of the 70’s & 80’s.

  48. Graybo says:

    Incidentally, Clyde Best update in case it’s needed … he was inducted into the Bermuda National Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He was awarded an MBE in the January 2006 New Year’s Honours list for services to football and the community in Bermuda (according to Wikipedia entry, which I am reasonably confident is correct).

  49. Roymondo says:

    I just think the world would be a better place if we all tried not to offend people and, if we inadvertently do, apologise and move on. Which Carol Thatcher should have done then it would all have been quickly forgotten. We should also all try not to be offended too easily.
    People like Teffler are best ignored.

  50. IoDHammer says:

    I saw something pretty horrific at the west ham barnsley game. When Carlton Cole put away the 3rd about 3 or 4 of the Barnsley fans did what i only want to describe as a racist “dance”. Wont go into specifics. But i was pleased to see that they were alomost instantly escorted out of the ground by police before many people noticed. They had been causing trouble all game as the police where by them fromt he first goal until they left.

    Obviously they were a vast minority and were dealt with appropriately.

    Bazzahammer i know many “hardcore christians” who dont mind homosexuality lol

    Its always a minority that ruin things, build reputations for racism, homophobia etc

    Not all football fans ae racist, not all christians are homophobic, not all muslims are fundamentalist etc etc etc

    Ive been to a couple of chelsea games (FREE TICKETS FROM WORK!) And i have always been shocked at how much racism ive heard in that crowd…

  51. chris says:

    I wish the media would stop printing and talking about issues like this,racisim will never go away until will stop keep going on about it.
    I am mixed race and was only 1 of 2 mixed race people that attended brampton manor school in londons east end in the 1970’s early 80’s. Me and my family took some stick and I was called some strange things back then but times have changed,for instance,play in any football team now and in the dressing room ,people will often exchange insults on race, appearence etc and everyone just laugh’s with each other.Maybe we are different I dont know,but why is it media types, papers radio t.v etc have to keep going on about race issues we are trying to go forward as a nation this kind of reporting only sends us backwards.

  52. Graybo says:

    Excellent post, Chris… 24/7 media has a lot to answer for.

    IOD Hammer thanks for your comments, too. (not all… etc etc)

  53. Darren says:

    What a remarkable morning’s posting, and funny with it. But here’s the thing. I’m a gay West Ham boxholder (see, we’re everywhere, but mainly near a bar) and to my similarly hard-drinking footie mates that’s about as interesting as whether I’m left or right-handed. But isn’t all of this about context? My black (straight) mate is forever keen to reinforce the stereotype about the size of what’s in his underwear, a Jewish acquaintance is a Spurs supporter and loaded (and gets ribbed for it), I’m always complaining that West Ham players are universally ugly (though things are improving a bit of late). They are only words, it’s malice or intent that matters. By all accounts Carol Thatcher meant nothing by what she said (anyone who has ever seen or heard her would be aware she’s hardly the sharpest knife in the drawer). So consider this: it’s the last ten minutes v Hull, everyone’s up for a corner and in goes Cole, Boa Morte, Ilunga and Faubert, a bit of melee and the ball goes out of play. Bloody hell, I said, no idea what happened there it was just a forest of black, shaven heads. I know said my mate, it’s like looking down on a box of matches from here. Now I think that’s funny, and NOT racist. But dissect it on Radio 4 for a couple of hours and see where it ends up. Bored already.

  54. Goatygav says:

    Roymondo – In four, common sense filled sentances, you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head.

  55. IoDHammer says:

    Darren, how is west hams ugly player situation improving? lol Whos hot and whos not?!

  56. wrighty says:

    Iain, totally off topic here but i have a question for you, albeit a little cryptic. Have you ever crossed paths with Heather Rabbats? Do you have a clue where i am going with on this, if not, its linked towards the FA, Tevezgate etc etc. Would love to hear your opinions…

  57. Gary says:

    Hi Iain,

    I just listened to your interview and am getting more and more disillusioned with this country and the politically correct brigade.

    This has nothing to do with the fact you are a fellow hammer but there really was nothing offensive in your comments at all.

    I think those who are making something out of this really do need to take a long look at themselves and grow up.

    I hope this does not create problems for you and your career because some do gooder has not got a life to get on with.

    I voted for your blog mate Im sure you will win and you never know you might get a few baggies vote for you now.

    keep up the good work.
    up the hammers


  58. Iain Dale says:

    Wrighty, yes I spoke on a panel with her recently at the DEMOS think tank. Not quite sure where you are going with it to be honest.

  59. wrighty says:

    I hear that she may become the next CEO of the FA, not sure if it is true. I was just thinking….. Barrister + Board member of Millwall………. wanting to stamp her authority on the job straight away… you probably have an idea where it will end up.

  60. Iain Dale says:

    I hadn’t heard that and severely doubt that would be her intention. Seeing as she is married to West Ham director Mike Lee, I imagine she is better informed than most on that subject!

  61. wrighty says:

    I had no idea she was married to Mike Lee. Do you have any inside info into who could be taking the job there. I heard that Ms Rabbats was shortlisted and the job was to be announced soon….

  62. DevoDevo says:

    Quality post, darren, I’m still laughing at Gay Boxholder 🙂

    Anyone who played football will understand that there is banter between men, whether it alludes to colour of skin/hair, weight, baldness or any number of things.

    You can be humourous without being malicious.

    Iain – can you start up a Manure preview thread. Interested to see people’s thoughts and whther we can crack their inpenetrable defence?


  63. Ironside says:

    Hey Gary relax! It’s nothing to do with political correctness taking over the country or thought control by do-gooders. Carol Thatcher used a word to describe someone in a way that IS offensive. However, she has flatly refused to acknowledge that or to apologise for any offence caused. If she had done that it would have been over with.

    What has blown the issue up is those who like to use the ‘political correctness’ tag to attack targets such as the BBC for idealogical reasons. Look at the Ross/Brand furore; the Daily Mail and others took a daimetrically opposite stance to attack the BBC in a case where the people involved were more than happy (unlike Carol Thatcher) to issue profuse apologies.

    So don’t fall for their wind-ups. Society isn’t going to hell in a handcart so take it easy and as the bus adverts say, enjoy your life!

  64. West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    Regarding Thatcher it was a silly remark to make, although I think in a very misguided way she mean’t it affectionately, just as people are getting offended by her comments and want her to show understanding, they should sit on the other side of the fence and understand that not everybody has had their upbringing although its ironic given her mother she is unlikely to have had much exposure to multiculture or to “political” correctness. Having said all that imho she should make a brief explaination and apology for her comment.

  65. Darren says:

    Blimey DevoDevo, having reflected on ‘Gay Boxholder’ that probably is a contradiction in terms! Best I stay off the BBC for a bit, perhaps. Though all this chat about ‘a crack in an inpenetrable defence’ is starting to look a bit weird through the same eyes. Shall we move on? Though, since IOD Hammer asks, an afternoon spent watching Behrami, Collison or Tomkins passes a bit easier than the days of iain Dowie or even the remarkable Mr Tevez…

  66. IoDHammer says:

    What about upson or parker eh!

  67. Darren says:

    Fair play, and if we’re honest Scottie Parker’s dress sense wouldn’t be out of place in some of the bars and clubs I’ve seen the inside of…

  68. Swearry Thierry says:

    Like most people I cannot abide racism and I’m certainly no fan of Carol Thatcher. But there’s something about this ridiculous imbroglio that hasn’t been mentioned yet: snitching! This case reeks of: “Please sir, Carol Thatcher said a naughty word, sir!”

    It was an off-air remark, albeit a silly one. Why make it worse by grassing to the media? A career move on the part of a ‘rival’ perhaps? The seventies roots of anti-racism have long been forgotten and political correctness is often just another management tool these days. Increasingly, The Beeb is acting like a crap London borough council.

  69. Graybo says:

    The truth about Gollies (stick the usual www in front of

  70. supernumbersix says:

    Roymondo – spot on. Ironside ditto. I pretty much live by one rule and that is to always treat people in the same way that I would like them to treat me. We’d sort out alot of ‘problems’ that way. Well pretty much everything really. Shame the wretched Thatcher family and ‘people’ like Tefler have never understood that rule. Sorry, I didn’t say it was always easy.

  71. martin keech says:

    Adrian chiles should be more worried about how offended his wife and kids are, while he runs around with a young bit of stuff.

  72. Roshi says:

    Black, white, yellow, fat, skinny, gay, lesbian, ginger, blond, ugly, spud, who care’s. Life is about living and generally being a good person, I have no time for bigots or racists and I especially have no time for goody two shoe’s like Adrian Chiles and if anyone has seen Jo Brand live then you would have more than enough dirt on her to keep the BBC PC unit in work for a year.

    ps. Iain respect for keeping so dignified, when I guess you were seething. I was. Rob

  73. D&G says:

    Britain has become a nation of egg shell treader’s, human rights activist’s and PC brigadier’s (not sure any of that makes sense but you get the gist) The slightest bloody comment out of turn and you are literally lynched for it!

    Kids aren’t even allowed to walk to school in the snow anymore. HONESTLY ‘Great’ Britain has become a bloody joke.

    Do you realise Europe is laughing at us because the whole nation ground to a halt due to 15cm’s of snow!

  74. D&G says:

    Can I add last year I had snow above my headlights literally level with the bonnet of the car. Not only did I manage to drive but guess what I did a days work as well (shock horror)

  75. Daveip1966 says:

    Roshi, I’ll go with all on your list apart from spud – they deserve all they get

    (declaration of confusedness: Atheist hammer in a mainly big 4 supporting Islamic country with a muslim wife)

  76. Frankie D says:

    Ho Jo

    Anti semitism has nothing to do with the religion of Judaism. Arabs are semites too.

  77. Ironside says:


    So what do you think of Teffler’s comments on here? Are we all ‘egg shell treaders and ‘pc Brigadiers’ to criticise him?

    It does this country credit that there are people who will stand up and object to racist or discriminatory comments. It does Iain credit that he will intervene at Upton Park when someone shouts that stuff out. It’s not a sign of weakness, but rather one of strength. We could do with a lot more of that attitude around other countries in Europe as we will no doubt see when England play Spain shortly.

    So let them laugh (if they really are) about the way we deal with snow. Let them feel smug if they prefer the way that they discriminate against gays in Turkey or gypsies in Italy. I for one am proud that the majority of us refuse to stand for that in this country. We still have a long way to go (as the Carol Thatcher ‘backlash’ has shown) but the willingness of so many to oppose discrimination and understand the hurt felt by others is definitely ‘Great’ in my book.

  78. Gus says:

    Hey Chris good point mate ! I too am mixed race but wasn’t we half-caste back in the day ??? My kids say you cant say that these days dad it’s politically incorrect ( B……s )

  79. savvyho says:

    Spot on Frankie D.

    Sadly, the media have attached a new meaning to the phrase.

  80. Shropshire Hammer says:

    Ironside, couldn’t agree with you more. What is ‘Great’ about Great Britain is that most of us respect people for what they are; people, regardless of colour, etc. However, I wish I had your balls Iain, as I recently heard Illunga called a ‘F*****g N****r’ by one of a group of men behind me in the Centenary Stand, I cowered away from confronting him, something I am not proud of, but sometimes it is easier to pretend not to hear things rather than confront the issue head on. I am sorry to say that this sort of comment is still fairly common, shame, particularly when you look at some of the black players that have proudly worn the claret & blue. (Ince excluded, but that has nothing to do with his colour)As for Thatcher, she is a product of her mother, so for me I wouldn’t excpect anything different.

  81. Frankie D says:

    Shropshire Hammer

    You get idiots in every kind. The imbeciles who called Illunga that horrible thing probably have the intelligence of a pea.

    Disagree with you on Ince though. Like you and me he is capable of making mistakes. He is West Ham and I will always support him.

  82. Goatygav says:

    Would also disagree that the comments are fairly common. I haven’t witnessed any the last 10-12 time’s I’ve been to Upton Park. Either in the Boleyn before-hand or at the match.

  83. Iain Dale says:

    Shropshire Hammer, it helps that I am 6’2 and 17 stone!

  84. Terry mason says:

    Iain why did you remove my post? it just goes to show how left wing England has become what happend to free speech.I was born and lived in bethnal green for many years and i watch it go from a cockney strong hold to a curry house

  85. supernumbersix says:

    Goatygav – I agree neither have I, further back even than 10 – 12 games. That does not mean that I don’t believe it does go on. One of the reasons I love WHU, is the fact that we had black players turning out regularly way, way before WBA. If I ever hear it close by, I hope I have your guts Mr Dale to tell them to shut it.

  86. D&G says:

    Sorry Ironside but yes you are. My missus has lots of gay friends and I have nothing against them at all.

    Everyone has there own views. He doesn’t like gays so who cares! Like I say people in England are too fast to jump on people’s views they don’t agree with.

    Here in Amsterdam is probably gay capital of Europe I also have a VERY good black friend. They celebrate sinter klas over here. Know what that entails?

    A white guy dresses up in a costume and paints his face black yes black, he is sinters helper and got black coming down the chimney. Could you imagine that happening in England? There would be a bloody riot but here in Holland blacks don’t have a problem with it because it’s tradition.

    My friend actually thinks it’s hilarious and so do most here. It’s tradition from YEARS back and it wont be changed. If that happened in England god the law would be changed the next day because it just might insult someone.

    There is also a thing called queens day. Know what the entails? EVERYONE gets patriotic and fly’s their flag outside their window to celebrate the queens birthday. I wonder if everyone would be allowed to fly the St George’s flag outside their window in England? No because it is now seen as a racial symbol and it might insult someone……..

  87. Iain Dale says:

    Terry Mason, I deleted it because it contained either homophobic or racist content. Simple as that. Don’t like it? Well go elsewhere.

  88. Terry mason says:

    Iain do you think we are better off from allowing so many in our country or are we worse off? please explane you reasons

  89. D&G says:

    Terry there are good and bad reasons. I once saw a guy (looked Eastern European) on the tube who had a scar from his left ear to his right and had obviously survived a throat cut in his own land.

    Now people persecuted like that need Western help and fully deserve to have residence in our countries. The people that want to scrounge, enjoy our free benefits and commit crime can stay away.

    This isn’t a solely Labour problem though. Brussel’s demands every country let in a certain quota and before the police would pick up illegals and keep them in a detention centre until seen by the court NOW they are instantly set free and told to turn up at a certain date (like they are going to)

    System doesn’t work and needs to be changed asap! They need to distinguish between the needy and the scroungy.

  90. Ho Jo says:

    Franky D & Savvyo – I am at a loss to understand your point in relation to the point I made? Unless you happily sing the foreskin song and therefore don’t believe to be offensive or anti-semitic because it’s about Jews and not Arabs?

  91. mokumhammer says:

    The whole C. Thatcher incident is to do with the fact –
    1 – TWO people took offence to her remark, in the green room after the show (Brand & Chiles)

    2- when questioned by the bbc about the incident, she shrugged it off as not being a issue.

    3 – She refused to apologise

    & the third point was her downfall. Good.

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