Category Archives: social media

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.

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.

The picture that shames a nation.

shame1A photograph appeared this week which shamed this nation.

No, it’s not the one you are thinking about, horrific though that was, it’s another one.

This one.

soldier1
I know something of the background to this and I’m glad to say that thanks largely to the veteran community on social media but primarily to some of the excellent charities who support homeless veterans,  the guy and his family are now receiving the help he needed. But that’s not the point, the point is that he ended up in this desperate situation in the first place.

That he did so is a source of shame to us all.

A nation is defined in many ways but to me, a key reflection of a country is the way it looks after those who have served to defend and protect it. One only has to look toward the US to see the reverence with which it treats its military veterans to see that and the same can be said of many countries across the world. So why is it not the same here?

For sure, things are much better than they were 20 years ago when telling someone you were an ex-serviceman was akin to an admission of leprosy, but even now, veterans are frequently regarded as second class citizens. That’s especially true when it comes to the issue of social housing which goes some to explaining why there are in the region of 4500 veterans currently living on the streets of Britain.

Yes, that’s right. Four thousand five hundred.

That isn’t right, it isn’t fair and it’s actually contrary to the Armed Forces Covenant which states that local authorities in England give additional priority to members of the armed forces community with urgent housing needs. Well if being homeless isn’t urgent, I don’t know what is yet all too often, and for all kinds of reasons, elected officials are allowed to duck their duty of care and instead, abdicate their responsibility toward veterans to charity.

But at a time when this country is once again on the verge of asking our men and women in uniform to place their lives in danger to protect our way of life, should we, and especially our elected officials, not be doing better for their comrades? Of course we should. Not just for their sakes, but for the sake of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Be it on The Somme, Normandy, Burma, Korea, Northern Ireland, The Falklands, Kuwait, Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan or any one of a thousand conflicts in which the British military have been involved.

One homeless veteran is one too many. It always will be.

If you would like to know more, please visit Homes4HomelessVeterans or Soldiers Off The Streets.

The joy of football, and Watford.

footballAnyone who knows me will be aware that I like a moan. And I don’t mean ‘as much as the next bloke’ I mean over and above the next bloke. Some would even argue, with some justification, that I have forged a career (of sorts) doing it.

The reason I moan is simple. It’s not because I think it will change anything or that I think anyone will actually take notice or even care, it’s because it makes me feel better. And so, from the state of the nation to the ongoing pain in my left-leg, if it causes me enough angst to get my brain rattled, I’ll give vent to my thoughts. Be it in public, on Twitter and even occasionally, here. Which, to be fair, is why I set this blog up in the first place.

Oddly, the one thing I don’t often moan about is football. OK… I’ll rephrase that. The one thing I don’t often moan about away from football, is football. Instead, outside of match days where moaning is obviously bog standard practice, I tend to adopt the true meaning of the word ‘support’ and actually provide a bit of backing for the team I’ve followed pretty much forever.

Sadly, this is not a practice adopted by many of my fellow Hornets who are currently in meltdown over our supposed poor start to the current season.

Now for those who do not know, Watford were promoted to the Premier League last season and subsequently not only appointed a new manager, but imported almost an entirely new team. After four games, we’ve drawn three (all of which we could and perhaps should have won) and lost the fourth away to the team who will almost certainly walk the league given their squad of world class players. As a result, we currently sit 17th out of 20 teams in arguably the most competitive division in world football. 

To me, this is no disgrace and is actually slightly better than I expected given the wholesale changes. We’re certainly looking more solid at the back than we have for years and actually have a midfield worthy of the description and that can only improve as they play more games together. And it will improve.

Yet if you listen to the rantings of some of our ‘fans’ you’d think we were in free fall because we’re not creating many (if any) chances. Now whilst it’s true that goals win games, what these people are tending to ignore is that the only two areas of the team which remain unchanged following promotion are our goalkeeper and the two guys at the front. And in every game thus far, both of our strikers have been almost man-marked out of games. Not just by defenders, but by Premiership (and by definition, better) defenders than they had to face last year. No wonder chances are few and far between.

But you don’t turn from a 20 goal a season striker into a donkey overnight and everyone at the club knows that with time, and possibly a bit of tweaking, it will all come good. 

So to all those currently battering Twitter and Facebook with your whining, give it a bloody rest and do what you’re supposed to do; support. But above all, have faith.

In Pozzo we trust remember. And they certainly haven’t let us down yet.

My 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.  

Just click on the relevant link for more information. Some of you newcomers might also want to take a look at The Geezers Guide to Football. ?

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Screenwriting and the art of the opportunity.

writing, screenwriting, author, ebooks, independent film, self publishing, amazon, kindle, sex, pervert, writer, horror, hooligan, gangster, thrillerA couple of weeks ago, whilst trawling through my hard drive searching for something I’d written an age ago, I stumbled across a folder which contained the first draft of a script I wrote earlier this year.

I actually wrote it on a bit of a whim and whilst it has a football theme, it’s as far removed from my normal stuff as it is possible to get. However, whilst it received decent feedback as well as some quality notes and even a glimmer of interest from a very well known producer, the demands placed on my time by other projects had seen it slide slowly down the pecking order. So much so that it had reached the point where the chances of my ever picking it up and doing the work it required had become negligible to zero. At least in the short term.

As I pondered this later on, the more I began to think this was a bit of a waste. Not simply in terms of the time I’d already put into it, but in the sense that it’s a good premise and would actually make a decent little movie.

Then the thought struck me that if I didn’t have the time to do the work, why not find someone who did? After all, as things stood it was just sitting there on my hard drive and with things as they are, that’s where it was likely to remain. 

But then the thought struck me that rather than simply pay an established writer with a few IMDB credits to their name, I could give it to a relatively unknown and provide them with an opportunity. After all, I have a very good agent, links to a number of producers and a decent track record so this was potentially a chance for someone to get their name and work out and about.

The more I thought about this idea, the more it excited me and eventually, I decided that it was certainly worth asking around to gauge interest.

So, later that day I posted messages on Stage 32 as well as on a couple of the Facebook screenwriting groups outlining my idea and asking what people thought of it. The response was astounding and ranged from outright hostility (why would I want to do it when you couldn’t be bothered/arsed?) to genuine excitement of the ‘me, me, me’ kind.

However, whilst I was bemused by some of the negative comments I received, some of which were downright hostile in tone, it was clear to me that I was certainly on to something and I soon found myself with a short list of extremely talented writers willing to get involved. But the more I went through them, the more I kept coming back to one name; John Bale.

An actor and film maker, John is also a talented writer and was in fact, the winner of the extremely prestigious BBC Writers Room competition in 2013 which already marks him out as a much better writer than I given that I got elbowed from the same competition early on. So quite how or why he jumped on this escapes me but I’m thrilled to bits that he did. For once we had agreed the deal, not only did he completely rewrite the original script at lightning speed, in response to notes from a director we’ve attached to the project, he’s since come up with three alternative endings!

As an example of both recognising and jumping on an opportunity, that has to be as good as it gets because from nowhere, thanks entirely to his efforts, John has taken a script that not so long ago was gathering dust, to the point where in a very short space of time it will be ready to send out to producers and financiers.

Just as importantly for me, so successful has this been as an exercise that I may well take the same path with another script I have which is also lying dormant. Albeit for an entirely different reason.

Exciting times.
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I’m currently working flat out on the third (and final) novel in the The Crew/Top Dog series and all being well, that will be released toward the end of the summer. In the meantime, I’m delighted to tell you that my non-fiction book Rebellion is now available as an ebook.

football, protest, manchester united, norwich, bournemouth, wimbledon, tory, politics, FSAFirst published in 2006, it tells the background to some of the more infamous fan protests including those at Charlton, Wimbledon, Manchester United, Manchester City, Norwich and Bournemouth amongst many others.

And on much the same subject, my last novel, Wings of a Sparrow, may well be heading for TV as a four part comedy drama so watch this space!

All of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes

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The rise of UKIP and the one fact people seem to be avoiding.

219c1-politicalcorrectness1It’s not often I’ll blog on the subject of politics because generally speaking, I’ve no real interest in debating my personal beliefs with other people.

However, as a Falklands veteran I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I’m a fan of Lady Thatcher nor that I hate the left with a passion. Nor have I hidden the fact that whilst I always voted Tory, that changed the day they took the shameful and ill thought out decision to scrap the Harrier and replace it with… well, nothing yet.

To many of course, my love of Mrs T marks me out as some kind of raving Nazi/homophobe/racist/rapist/child molester/tax evader/bigot* (*delete as appropriate) which is fine. This is after all a democracy despite what many seem to think and so we are all entitled to opinions. However, recently something has happened which has piqued my interest. It involves, not surprisingly, the rise of UKIP as a political force.

Now I’m sure you’ve read the papers and watched the news recently so you won’t need me to tell you what’s been going on and you will also have no doubt seen that the reaction from both left and right has been predictably rabid.

Yet to me, something fundamental is going on here. For when I watch the news and see members of the public being interviewed about why they have (or intend to) tick the UKIP box on the ballot sheet, they all seem to have one thing in common and it’s a thing no one seems to be noticing; they’re almost universally either middle aged or elderly.

Of course, the lunatic left make the argument that another thing these people have in common is that they’re almost all white and therefore, must be racist. An accusation which is not only laughable, but offensive for fairly obvious reasons. Indeed, some of the things I’ve seen written about the average UKIP voter borders on hysteria. One tweeter even told me in all seriousness that she believed that UKIP was underpinned by members of the EDL, the BNP and Combat 18. Madness.

However, by being so quick to wield the racism card (always their favoured weapon of suppression) against the very people who were building this country in the days when multiculturalism was barely even a word let alone a concept, what the loons fail to realise is that they are actually reinforcing the very reason why so many British citizens are embracing what Farage & Co are saying. And every time they attack those same people for being little Englanders, out of touch, old fashioned, homophobic, Islamophobic or anything else they care to throw out, they simply hammer another nail into their increasingly redundant argument because the simple truth is that the silent majority are sick and tired of being on put on the defensive whilst being forced to listen to lie after lie whilst watching their lifelong efforts being dismissed and their taxes squandered. Just as importantly, they are tired of sitting and watching whilst this once great nations history and traditions are being eroded and our inbred sense of tolerance and fair play abused.

Or to put it another way, UKIP have finally provided the platform for a long suppressed but increasingly discontented middle England to stir and cry enough is enough. And about bloody time too.

I don’t agree with everything UKIP stand for but I make no apology for the fact that I think they are a long overdue breath of fresh air to British politics and if, as seems likely, they’re going to give the established parties a kick up the arse if not a bloody nose, then they’ve got my vote.

Because if the political system in this country has been screaming out for one thing, it’s exactly that. 

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football, comedy, humour, rivals, derby, soccer, premier league, championship, manchester united, chelsea, liverpool

My comedy novel, Wings of a Sparrow seems to be creating a bit of a buzz film wise which, given that it started out as a film script, is quite exciting.

Hopefully, I’ll have some news on that very soon as well as of another project which if anything, is even more exciting as it’s very close to being greenlit.

Speaking of which, my next movie is close to being announced and with We Still Kill The Old Way doing well, it certainly is an exciting times!

 

 

ukip, tory, labour, liberal left, politics, conservatives, cameron, millband, farage, EU, europe, football, soccer, hooligan, gang, uk film, britain, england, election

Funny is as funny does.

facebook, twitter, social media, author, screenwriting, sex, racism, violenceFor some reason, I seem to get asked an awful lot of questions. Most are inevitably linked to writing or football but others range from requests to be introduced to people I barely even know to enquiries about just how far I would like my head shoved up my arse. However, the other day a question arrived via Facebook which ended up causing me all sorts of angst. Not because of what it wanted to know, but because of what I replied. For in response to ‘are you Rolf Harris’s love child?’ my reply was ‘if I am, my mum has some serious questions to answer’.

Now to me, this is bog standard banter and whilst it might not exactly be in the best of tastes, it soon became apparent that a few people were pretty much disgusted by it. To them, I wasn’t being funny, I was actually belittling the subject of child abuse. A charge which to my mind, says more about them than it does about me.

However, as the PM’s poured in and I dug a little deeper into the backgrounds of those who were having a dig (as I tend to do under the ‘know your enemy’ rule), it dawned on me that there was a fundamental difference between me and the majority of the people who had got the hump. One which was reinforced by a steady stream of messages which started to arrive asking me what all the fuss was about.

For like most of the people who posted their support, I am an ex-serviceman, and the bulk of the people who were criticising me were not.

Reflecting on this later on, it struck me that this was a perfect illustration of a simple truth. One you will see as plain as day in any documentary about the armed forces. For it is a stone cold fact that one of the things which binds the military together is the ability to find humour in pretty much anything.

That isn’t just true of the forces of course (you’ll certainly find a similar sense of humour on the terraces) but what is unique to the military is that the development of a dark sense of humour is actively encouraged because it is one of the most invaluable tools an individual can have in their armoury. After all, how better to cope with extremes, be they emotional or operational, than to be able to laugh about them? 

That’s not to say there aren’t boundaries because there are. But they are often very different from those you would expect to encounter in a wholly civilian environment and it’s safe to say that amongst the military the concepts of both good taste and political correctness are frequently set aside in the quest for a laugh to lighten a mood or a situation. 

Indeed, when I wrote Our Boy, much of which takes place in a military hospital, I was extremely careful to get the dark humour element absolutely bang on. So much so in fact that many of the one liners in the script were actually given to me by lads who’d spent time at Headley Court recovering from injuries the like of which few of us can even begin to comprehend. 

Of course when you leave the military, most people will retain that dark sense of humour and whilst on a day to day basis we are able to reign it in, when it comes to something like Facebook it’s all too easy to slip back into old ways, especially when you’re interacting with other veterans. 

However, when it comes to social media where the boundaries of good taste are at best cloudy and at worst non-existent and you are actually pulling back from lines of decency as opposed to pushing forward to where you think they might be, how are you supposed to know what is and isn’t acceptable? The truth is that you can’t, all you can do is play safe. But that is surely the cowards way out. Humour is after all, supposed to push boundaries and as someone who is and will continue to be quite outspoken about the concept of political correctness, I’m certainly more than happy to stick with my own self-imposed boundaries of good taste as opposed to those which convention or the liberal left impose on me.

But the more I thought about this, the more I started to consider how far apart my personal line of decency might be from those of others I interact with via the web and so I decided to do a little experiment. Last night, whilst Germany were busy demolishing Brazil, I began posting increasingly provocative things on both twitter and Facebook to gauge the response each would get and more importantly, where it would come from.

The one which caused the most furore was ‘The last Brazilian to have that many shots fired at him was at Stockwell Tube station’ which attracted all kinds of comments ranging from ‘that’s brilliant’ to ‘you are a disgusting human being’.

Now to be fair, I did actually hesitate when posting that as even I thought it was close to the mark. I also apologised for it immediately afterwards (and did so again 15 minutes or so later. Far be it from me to be hypocritical!) however, to say it was an illuminating exercise is an understatement. 

For not only did it reinforce pretty much everything I had suspected about banter and social media, it also underlined in thick black pen one very simple truth and that is that a sense of humour is as much a product of our own upbringing and environment as any other aspect of our personality.  

Or to put it another way, just because you don’t personally find something funny doesn’t mean that it isn’t.

PS: If you think that was the worst joke about Brazil I heard last night, you are sadly mistaken. But even I have lines of decency I won’t cross!

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All of my books are available via Amazon by clicking here.

 

 

This Band of Brothers…

argentina, falklands war, thatcher, royal airforce, nimrod, vulcan, harrierToday is the 6th of June. A date which in the history of the world, will forever hold a special significance. For it is of course, the anniversary of the D-Day landings, and I hope you don’t need me to tell you what that means.

For me, such days are memorable for all kinds of reasons. Remembering the fallen is obviously the most important but not far behind is the joy I get from seeing those glorious old men and women who, bedecked in their berets, blazers and medals, are placed firmly centre stage and looked upon with the awe, reverence and respect they so richly deserve.

Heroes is too small a word.

Now as some of you may know, I served in the military. For over 18 years in fact. And although I played a minor role in the Falklands War, went through Gulf War One and have marched past the Cenotaph with the Falklands Vets more times than I care to remember, I have never really considered myself to be a ‘proper’ veteran. At least not in the sense that I have always regarded those who are quite rightly filling our newspapers and TV screens this morning.

However, (and I won’t go into it all now but if you want to know more, click here) this last week, for the very first time in the 18 years since I last wore a uniform, I have actually started to feel like one of them. A member of that special Band of Brothers we hear talked about so often.  And ironically, I have Mister Stanley Collymore to thank for that.

veteranFor as a result of the disrespect he has shown, and continues to show, to the 255 men whose boots he isn’t fit to even glance upon, he has awakened an army which has come together to gain not just respect, but justice but for our fallen comrades.

And believe me when I tell you that we will not rest until they get it. A simple truth Talksport, media organisations, elected officials and Talksport advertisers will already be acutely aware of.

Yes, I said ‘our’ and I said ‘we’. Because the truth is that I am finally not only happy, but proud to count myself amongst their number.

Tally ho chaps!

falklands, veteran, war, soldier, sailor, airman, RAF, Navy, racism, social media, twitter, Facebook, football, soccer,

This Band of Brothers…

argentina, falklands war, thatcher, royal airforce, nimrod, vulcan, harrierToday is the 6th of June. A date which in the history of the world, will forever hold a special significance. For it is of course, the anniversary of the D-Day landings, and I hope you don’t need me to tell you what that means.

For me, such days are memorable for all kinds of reasons. Remembering the fallen is obviously the most important but not far behind is the joy I get from seeing those glorious old men and women who, bedecked in their berets, blazers and medals, are placed firmly centre stage and looked upon with the awe, reverence and respect they so richly deserve.

Heroes is too small a word.

Now as some of you may know, I served in the military. For over 18 years in fact. And although I played a minor role in the Falklands War, went through Gulf War One and have marched past the Cenotaph with the Falklands Vets more times than I care to remember, I have never really considered myself to be a ‘proper’ veteran. At least not in the sense that I have always regarded those who are quite rightly filling our newspapers and TV screens this morning.

However, (and I won’t go into it all now but if you want to know more, click here) this last week, for the very first time in the 18 years since I last wore a uniform, I have actually started to feel like one of them. A member of that special Band of Brothers we hear talked about so often.  And ironically, I have Mister Stanley Collymore to thank for that.

veteranFor as a result of the disrespect he has shown, and continues to show, to the 255 men whose boots he isn’t fit to even glance upon, he has awakened an army which has come together to gain not just respect, but justice but for our fallen comrades.

And believe me when I tell you that we will not rest until they get it. A simple truth Talksport, media organisations, elected officials and Talksport advertisers will already be acutely aware of.

Yes, I said ‘our’ and I said ‘we’. Because the truth is that I am finally not only happy, but proud to count myself amongst their number.

Tally ho chaps!

falklands, veteran, war, soldier, sailor, airman, RAF, Navy, racism, social media, twitter, Facebook, football, soccer,

Why Falklands veterans are at war, with Collymore.

military, veterans, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport

Last weekend, ex-footballer and radio pundit Stan Collymore posted the tweet you can see on the left of this page.

Now aside from being factually inaccurate, it is also offensive. Not just to me as a Falklands veteran, but to a sizeable number of the veteran community, their families and a great many ‘civilians’ who support the UK’s Armed Forces. For it was tweeted on the 32nd anniversary of the sinking of both HMS Coventry and The Atlantic Conveyor together with the loss of 31 souls.

Although Mr. Collymore deleted it fairly soon afterwards, along with a number of other equally offensive if not illegal tweets, he was too late for it had already been screen grabbed and widely circulated. Many people, including The Falkland Islands government, became angry at the disrespect shown to the 255 who died during the South Atlantic conflict and began voicing that anger on twitter with many asking for an apology.

However, despite being someone who has been quite vociferous in his call for personal accountability with regard to the use of social media, ironically as a result of offence aimed at him via twitter, these requests were met with distain and even an accusation that we, as a group, were in the wrong for taking the tweet out of context.

Now I could go on, but I don’t need to. The background (and whole lot more!) to this can be found in these two blogs. I would urge you to read them both.

Veteran to Veteran

Mad Doggers and British Men

Now, as I type this over a week later, over 20,000 veterans and equally outraged citizens are have come together on Facebook and are waging an online war against both Mr. Collymore and his primary employer, Talksport.

bbc, falklands, match of the day, MOTDI have been told that on the two occasions he has appeared on air, the station’s twitter and email feeds almost went into meltdown whilst the phone lines were blocked with angry callers. In addition, news that he had been signed to appear on BBC’s Match of the Day 2 next season resulted in the corporation being deluged with complaints to such an extent that it was forced to issue a statement that contrary to reports, Mr. Collymore had not been booked for any appearances.

Many people simply want an apology (and possibly a donation to a suitable military charity) but the majority want his removal from the airwaves altogether. But thus far, aside from threats of legal action from Mr. Collymore against all sorts of people including ironically the BBC, the silence has been deafening.

Quite what happens next will be interesting to say the least. But one thing is certain, the veteran community is coming together like never before and they are seriously pissed.

Watch this space.

If you would like to know more, you can hear Simon Weston and myself discussing the issue by clicking on this link to BBC Three Counties Radio. I am on at 2:06.00

 

military, veteran, forces, falklands war, writer, author, screenwriting, Thatcher, football, talksport, world cup, Brazil