Harry the Hornet: football’s perfect response to Paris.

Harry1In the wake of the horrific events in Paris, English football was quick to show it’s solidarity with the French capital. First at Wembley and then on Saturday, when every game in the English Premier League was preceded by the singing of La Marseillaise.

Now as a fan of a Premier League club (ahem) I was happy to stand in silence whilst the French national anthem was played (well I’m hardly likely to sing it) and I also understood why the Manchester United fans saw fit to interrupt it with a chant about Eric Cantona. He is after all, the greatest living Frenchman and closely allied with the club. However, little was I to know that even as the game began, a social media storm was brewing. A yellow and black hornet shaped storm.

The reason for this angst can be found toward the right of the photograph at the beginning of this blog. For people watching at home began to accuse Watford of being disrespectful by allowing the club mascot to line up with the players. But they are wrong. In fact, the exact opposite is true for one very important reason.

I know most football fans say this about their clubs, but Watford Football Club really are unique. I may have spent decades bemoaning the ‘Family Club’ tag and spend a good portion of most Saturdays ridiculing the ‘clap your hands, stamp your feet’ brigade but the fact remains that they are, and always will be, a genuine family club. Our club mascot, Harry the Hornet, is an integral part of that family and to me, to most, when he stands with the players, as he does so before every home game, he does so to represent us, the fans.

Therefore, for him to stand with the team and join them to show solidarity with the people of Paris was not simply right, it was absolutely right.

And if you still have an issue with that, you don’t understand my football club at all. But that’s your  problem, not ours.

Come on you ‘Orns.

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

Here it is. The most useful book I’ve ever read on the writing process.

Brad1As someone who has written in pretty much every type of genre and format possible, I’m often asked for advice by others keen to follow in my blood and sweat stained footsteps.

Whilst such requests are flattering, suggesting as they do that I know what I’m talking about, I tend to avoid questions of this nature because the truth is that there is no real mystery to writing. In fact, be it novel, non-fiction book or even screenplay, there are only really two things you need and if you have both, you’re already well over halfway there. However, if you have only one, you’ve got nothing. 

What are those two magic elements? They are, quite simply, a decent story and motivation. 

Decent stories are, to be fair, reasonably easy to come by. Motivation isn’t. indeed, of all the things a writer needs, motivation is often the most difficult thing of all to source and retain. For that’s what will drive you on to write, learn, develop and finally, to finish. 

So, with that in mind, I want to do something I never thought I would ever do. I want to recommend a book to anyone looking to write for either publication or screen. It was written by a chap named Brad Burton and is called Life. Business: Just Got Easier.

Yes that’s right, it’s a business book.

I won’t go too deeply into what Brad says or how he says it but what I can tell you is that whilst it might not teach you anything about the craft or technicalities of writing, it certainly will teach you everything you need to know and more about the process of keeping yourself motivated from blank page to ‘the end’ and beyond. Just as importantly, if you treat each individual project as a small business in its own right (which is exactly what each is if you think about it) it will show you how to manage them and your time more effectively.

It’s amazing stuff and it has certainly worked for me. I can’t see how I can give it a higher compliment or recommendation than that.

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

It’s not shoot to Kill, it’s shoot to stop.

armed police,paris,ISIS,terrorism,londonThere has been a lot of talk today about the idea of a shoot to kill policy, much of which is clearly coming from people who have probably never even held a weapon let along fired one in anger.

Central to their opinion is the idea that if an armed policeman finds themselves in a situation where they have to discharge a round, they should employ a shoot to wound policy. This would allow the assailant to be questioned and/or face justice at a later date.

Now whilst I am certainly no expert, I have let off more than a few rounds in my time and so with that in mind, I can state with some degree of authority that the idea of a shoot to wound policy is bollocks.

This is real life, not a playstation game or a Hollywood movie. You don’t shoot to wound, you don’t even shoot to kill, you shoot to stop. As such, those trained to use a firearm in the execution of their duty, be they soldier or copper, are taught to aim at the central mass because if you take a round in the chest, you are almost certainly going to be in serious trouble. At best you’ll have been  stopped, at worst, you’ll be dead. And in all honesty, in either case you’ll only have yourself to blame because you’ll have been doing something you really shouldn’t have been.

Shoot to wound isn’t even practical anyway. These are marksmen, not medics. And leaving aside the difficulties of trying to hit an almost certainly moving target whilst under the intense pressure of a firearms situation, what about the implications for the officer if they fired a shot and missed? What offence would they be guilty of if the assailant went on to blow themselves up, kill a member of the public or a fellow officer? Or what if their shot hit an innocent passerby? And how about if they took the shot to wound but killed their target instead? The lawyers would have a bloody field day.

We owe the security forces in this country a huge debt and over the coming months we will need them more than ever. If the police are in a position where they are forced to take fire at a target it will be as the very last resort and at that point, we need them to be 100% focussed on what they have to do.

The idea of placing an additional pressure on them is not only ludicrous, it is downright dangerous.

@dougiebrimson

football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpoolMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

police,terrorism,armed,ISIS,ISIL,Islam,war,military


Paris: Why we must stand united. 

paris, islam, terroristIt would be folly to even suggest, let alone believe, that all Muslims are terrorists or that all British Muslims support terrorism. The facts obviously don’t support that and if you think they do, you should take a long hard look around. And then at yourself.

However, to deny that there is a  problem on our shores is not simply naive, but foolhardy. It’s only a matter of time before what happened in Paris last night is replicated here.

That’s why the time has surely come for the British government to stop pissing around and let the security services off the leash. If that means internment for those they are most concerned about, so be it. But equally, we need to be far more aggressive in the control of our borders and the removal of those who have no right to be here irrespective of where they have come from or what religion they follow.

Furthermore, we need to let those who want to settle here that if they want to be welcomed, it is they who need to adapt, not the other way round. That means accepting our customs, our laws and our way of life as the will of the majority. If you want to wear a Burkha, practice Sharia Law, treat women as second class citizens, consider rape is your right as a male, subject your poor children to beatings or even FGM or even drive on the right, there are plenty of places where you can go where those things are acceptable. They aren’t here.

That might not sit well with the liberal left, but that’s too bad. Will it take the slaughter of 120 in the West End before they admit that appeasement and an open border policy are fundamentally wrong? Or will it take another series of explosions on the underground before Cameron grows some balls and actually starts to lead from the front?

But most importantly, as a collective nation we have to stand together and defend the way of life we have in this green and pleasant land. That means Christian, Muslim, Jew, atheist, and even Klingon. ISIS want division and if we let them have it, not only do we let them win but this nation will never be the same again.

For the sake of our future, all our future’s, we cannot and must not allow that to happen.