Tag Archives: England

British football must take a stand against FIFA.

poppy, fifa, footballAs you must be aware by now, FIFA, in their infinite wisdom (sic) have decided to punish the FA’s of the four home nations for offences relating to the display of the Poppy on Armistice Day.

Now you don’t need me to go into the grubby details because they are no longer of any importance. What is important however, is what happens next. For it surely goes without saying that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland must refuse to accept this punishment on the basis that the poppy is not, nor ever has been, a political symbol. 

The various FA’s of course, have a record of ballsing things up and we are already hearing noises about fines being paid, albeit reluctantly, in an effort to avoid any potential sanctions. But in this instance, all those sitting behind their polished desks at Wembley, Hamden Park, Vanguard Way and Donegal Avenue have to understand the depth of feeling involved and accept that this is an issue which is bigger than football. Much bigger in fact.

It is about the integrity of the poppy, the memory of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and the fact that our tradition of remembrance on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month is enshrined in the British DNA. Not because it’s political as FIFA allege, but because it is honourable and respectful.

As a consequence, those who administer our national game have to do the right thing and make a stand against this ludicrous decision. Anything else would be a dereliction of the duty they owe not just to those who follow the game, but to the history of their respective nations.

@dougiebrimson

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football, soccer, comedy, cost of football, manchester united, liverpool, derby, watfordJust in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes.

Further information at dougiebrimson.com

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Why we should welcome the FIFA investigation into the Poppy.

fifa,poppy,england,scotland,footballSo it appears, as threatened, that FIFA are going to investigate both the FA and the SFA for a variety of incidents relating to the displaying of a political symbol during their World Cup qualifier on 11th November. Or Armistice Day as some of us refer to it.

The symbol they refer to is, of course, the poppy and whilst a large portion of the British sporting public are rightly up in arms about this affront to the war dead, it might shock you to read that I hold the opposite opinion. Yes, that’s right, this particular veteran actually welcomes this investigation, and for a variety of reasons.

The first is that it will show English and Scottish football fans just how strong the backbones the staff at our respective FA’s actually possess. For given the public reaction, not to mention our inbred dislike and distrust of both FIFA and UEFA, even the acceptance of a token fine would be seen as an admission of guilt and given the significance of both the poppy and the date to the British people, that would be totally unacceptable. Hence, they dare not back down.

Second, it will show once and for all exactly how FIFA regard the English game and the people who follow it. Indeed, given the nature of the allegations, one has to wonder why the Welsh FA aren’t also being investigated given that they put on a show of remembrance in Cardiff the following day.

So angry are fans at this affront that many are already calling for the home nations to step away from the existing governing bodies and whilst I can’t ever see that happening, if FIFA fail to show any flexibility with regard to this matter, the damage to our relationship could be immense.

Finally, and most importantly, it will establish once and for all that the poppy is NOT nor ever has been a political symbol. For the stark reality is that if FIFA decide it is, and the FA accept that decision, it will set a legal precedent which would open the floodgates to all kinds of groups who attack the very idea of remembrance. 

That simply cannot be allowed to happen which is why we have to have this investigation and why we have to come out of it with the dignity of the dead intact.

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fart

football, soccer, comedy, cost of football, manchester united, liverpool, derby, watfordJust in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes.

Further information at dougiebrimson.com

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EURO 2016: The clash of cultures behind the hooliganism.

hooligans,ultra,euro2016,russia,englandThus far, despite numerous requests (44 at the last count), I have refused to make much comment on the trouble at EURO 2016. The main reason being that I’ve become as tired of saying ‘I told you so’ as I’m sure people have of hearing me say it.

But equally, it wasn’t exactly difficult to see how it would pan out as it was fairly obvious that as soon as the English came under attack and fought back to defend themselves, the general public, fuelled by the British media, would brand them all as scum until the reality hit at which point they would change their generally ill-informed tune. We would then see the usual drivel being spouted by the press (‘did it ever go away?’ ‘why always us?’ ‘they’re all Brexiters’ etc) and blame apportioned to everyone except those who are actually guilty. Including me. Oh yes, amongst others, The Mail claimed that Russian hooligans have been inspired by my books and of course, Green Street. 

Finally, we would start to see some sensible reporting of the problem including some serious investigation which is of course, exactly what has happened and where we are now. It’s a well worn path and one which someone like me, who has walked it many times, is bored of treading. Hence, it’s better to avoid it and wallow in the knowledge that pretty much everything we wrote in Everywhere We Go back in 1996, was bang on the money and continues to be relevant some 20 years later. A sad indictment of the game.

However, there is one element of the violence in France which has intrigued me enough to want to speak out and it’s one which not many people have picked up on.

For what we are seeing here is not simple hooliganism, what we are seeing is a clash of hooligan cultures. Or to put it another way, English Disease versus Ultra.

I talk about the differences between the two elements in great depth in my book Eurotrashed. The Rise and Rise of Europe’s Football Hooligans but in simple terms, those English/Brits who are not averse to the odd confrontation at games tend to keep confined to match days whilst for the average Ultra, it’s more of a 24/7 thing. As a result, it’s much more organised and much more violent.

That said, Ultra, like hooliganism, is a catch-all term. The groups we ultra,EURO2016,hooligan,Russia,Englandare seeing from Russia are very different from the Ultra who infest Italian football who are in turn, different from the Barras Brava who follow football in Latin America. Indeed, we also have a fledgling Ultra culture emerging in the US although there is little to suggest that violence will ever become ingrained in MLS.

The one constant however, is that these groups look to English football as the home of hooliganism and so when the opportunity comes to confront the historical ‘top boys’ in battle, it will usually be grasped with both hands. What we are seeing with the Russians at EURO 2016 is the most brazen and public example of this although ironically , it may well backfire with many English groups already dismissing the attacks on innocent fans as being little more than cowardly and certainly against the spirit of the culture. 

Quite what the next few days has in store is anyones guess although as I type this, Lille is on high alert with Russia due to play there tomorrow and the city full of fans from many nations including England and Wales who play in Lens on Thursday. There is also the small matter of the Poles, the Germans and the Turks (all of whom have already been involved in trouble which has gone largely unreported) not to mention Ukraine, Slovakia, Sweden, Croatia and of course, the locals who, as we saw in Marseille, are not averse to picking off the odd Englishman.

But whatever unfolds, given the response from UEFA today, the consequences for those nations whose fans get involved in any further trouble are going to be significant.

Let’s just hope that sanctions are all we have to talk about once the dust has settled.

@dougiebrimson

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street

Just in case you didn’t know already, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes

It’s time for charity to genuinely begin at home.

England, charity, great britain, syria, islam, religion, brazil, europe, afghanstan, india, pakistan, africa, calais, footballI know this might well offend some people but that’s too bad because this rant has been a long time coming. You see whilst I’m sure they’re having a horrific time and I have every sympathy with them, the truth is that I don’t care about Syrians, starving Africans or for that matter, any of the myriad of people suffering around the world.

What I do care about, and passionately, is what’s happening here, in my country.

I care about veterans being forced to live on the streets or not being given the help and support they desperately need. I care about the elderly having to be kept in hospital because there is nowhere else for them to go and be looked after. I care about people who work their bollocks off but are forced to use food banks because they have to pay fortunes in rent to private scumbag landlords because all the social housing is being handed to the lazy, the workshy and immigrants who contribute little or nothing to the pot but see nothing wrong in taking everything from it.

I care about people who feel fearful in their own homes because not only are the police being cut to the bone but the rights of criminals are seemingly more important than those of their victims. I care about those who can’t even get to see a doctor in A&E because the departments are swamped with people who in many cases, are only there because they can’t be arsed to wait to see their GP, and I care about people who are being forced to wait for life changing or even life saving operations because the NHS is swamped.

And those people I care about, and many more who endure hardships as a result of budget cuts and decisions driven by political correctness rather than common sense, are the people I want my taxes spent on. Not the inhabitants of some third world country who are either hell-bent on destroying themselves or who can’t be arsed to drag themselves out of the dark ages and be part of the human race yet are happy to keep taking our money whilst stabbing us in the back. Or worse still, simply migrate here and then set out to recreate the hell hole they came from because they so despise our way of life, at our expense naturally. Well fuck that and fuck them. It’s not right, it’s not fair and this one way street of compassion has gone on for far too long.

We as a nation have a duty of care to the people who built us, the people who have defended us, the people who protect us and the people who work hard to pay their taxes and do the right thing and the time has come to stop throwing money at the rest of the world and start putting that debt first. Or to put it another way, stop being the worlds whipping boys, take our country back from the self-serving hypocrites and start putting the great back into Great Britain.

Because if we don’t, if we carry on as we are, we are going to lose ourselves forever.

Rant over.

*I posted this rant on a private Facebook group on Friday and the response was huge. So much so in fact, that I posted it on my own page where it exploded.

Out of almost a thousand people who have commented on it, there was only one negative reference which proves to me that more and more people are becoming increasingly frustrated and angry at what is happening to our country.

But one other thing came though loud and clear and it was the fact that so many people said ‘at least someone has had the balls to say it’. For that, to me, underlines where and why it has all gone wrong. We have allowed this situation to develop purely because as citizens, we have fallen for the ‘he who shouts loudest gets heard’ process of government and as a consequence, we fail to stand up and say what we actually believe.

That in essence, is why I’ve transferred this rant to my blog. Because I for one am not going to fall into that trap any more. Not when there is so much at stake.

So please, if what I say strikes a chord then tell me. Be it by commenting or simply sharing. Likewise, if you disagree, feel free to let me know. It’s a free country, you have that right.

And despite the fanatics who wish otherwise, it will always remain so.

@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.

 

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.

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The two main reasons why Brazil 2014 went so horribly wrong for the English.

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So that’s that then. Another world cup done and dusted.

Thankfully, as it should be, the best team won. Talented, efficient and deadly when the chips were down, Germany were a joy to watch. Everything in fact, that England were not. Nor I fear, ever will be.

But for me, as someone who for all kinds of reasons took an age to get into the tournament, Brazil 2014 wasn’t actually about the football at all, it was about the TV coverage. Because let’s face it, it was pretty dire and ultimately, for me at least, that was entirely down to two men.

For the BBC, the name which caused my heart to sink wasn’t Phil Neville or even Robbie Savage, it was Mark Lawrenson. A man who is so far past his sell by date, he’d look out of place in an episode of Lovejoy.

Now I admit, I don’t often watch Match of the Day and when I do it’s usually recorded so I can zip through the boring bits (or as I call it, most of it) so my recent experience of ‘Lawro’ is generally limited to views of him at three times normal speed. Yet even then he’s dull, at normal speed, he’s simply painful.

I know he was a great player once but it was at a time when most of the players he talks ‘knowingly’ about weren’t even born so does he really have any relevance now? Especially with that irritating voice and his endless stream of inane drivel.

Which brings us nicely to ITV. I mean, where do you start with Adrian Childs? Personally, I didn’t. Or rather, I couldn’t.

I’m hardly best placed to talk about looks, and I’m quite fond of midlanders so I’m seemingly in a minority when I say that his accent doesn’t bother me that much. But the fact is that watching Childs is like watching a 90 minute long YouTube compilation of Russian dash cam footage. You know something bad is going to happen, you just don’t know what or when.

So my verdict on Brazil? Like the FA and our illustrious national team manager, our television broadcasters must be doing much better by the time Russia 2018 hoves into view. Although hopefully, all three teams will be altogether different by then. And by different I mean competent and entertaining.

Much like the Germans in fact.

wings-of-a-sparrow-final.png

 

My latest novel, Wings of a Sparrow is now available in both eBook and paperback format.

 

 

 

 

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Stephen Lawrence – the question no one dare ask.

racism, racist, sex, brimson. stephen lawrence, england, police, football, soccer, hooligans, writing, author, screenwriting, theresa may

I awoke this morning to the news that Doreen Lawrence, mother of the murdered teenaged Stephen Lawrence, is to meet the Home Secretary today to receive assurance that the two (yes, two) inquiries currently underway will not be affected by fresh allegations that police officers secretly taped the chief prosecution witness at the time of the initial inquiry.

Now, let’s cut to the chase here. Yes, a teenager was murdered and like all murders, it was a terrible thing. But we are talking about something that happened 20 years ago and whilst there is no doubting that this particular murder became important for all kinds of reasons and proved to be the catalyst for much needed and long overdue change in the way the police operated, can it really be right that our Home Secretary drops everything to meet the victim’s mother simply because of accusations made on a TV programme?

Does she not have more important things to deal with? Like the fact that we have a war in all but name going on within our own borders at the moment? Or that the country is teetering on the edge of a civil explosion?

No one can, nor should, ever belittle the loss a mother feels at the death of her son but has the time for bending over backwards to appease the Lawrence family not now passed?

More importantly, given the amount of money and time (both police and government) which has and is still being consumed by this particular case, not to mention the changes to policing which have already been brought about as a result of previous enquiries, should the family not be confident enough to know that whatever needs to be done is being done?

Or has this case, as many people increasingly suspect, now become more about retribution than it is about justice?

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For details of all my books and the latest news on current projects including the big screen adaptation of my novel Top Dog, please visit www.dougiebrimson.com 

Missing in action.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green streetAs a few people might have noticed, I have been missing in action of late. Well, at least when it comes to blogging.

I won’t go into the reasons why as they would make for quite dull reading but suffice to say, this laptop and I have been spending an awful lot of time together writing, rewriting, plotting and developing.

However, the decks have now been cleared, projects completed and time has not only been freed up, but will be better managed so expect a return to normal service at any time now. Thankfully, with the way things are, I certainly won’t be short of things to rant about.

Just as importantly, I have lots of news on all kinds of things both books and films so will start to throw that out as well.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green streetAmongst that lot will be news on the paperback release of my most recent book, Wings of a Sparrow and details of progress on the movie adaptation of  Top Dog 

Exciting times! 🙂

Watford FC: so close but thankfully so far.

watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street, premiership, englandOK, the dust has settled so my thoughts on yesterday and Watfords trip to Wembley for the richest game in football, for what they’re worth.

As a Watford fan, it pains me to say it but we didn’t turn up on the day, pure and simple. Anya, big Al and Lloyd Doyley (I know shock horror, praise from me!) are the obvious exceptions with the addition of Fess who should have been brought on at half-time, if not at the start.

Crystal Palace were average at best with the exception of Zaha who was different class. How many times did he take the piss out of our defence? Phillips… well you just knew he would do it but fair play, I wasn’t the only one to notice that he didn’t give it large in front of us as many would have.

The Palace fans were awesome, ours less so. Ok, much less so. Indeed, if yesterday highlighted one thing it’s the issue of our support and the lack of any cohesion. I know that there are plenty who have tried to sort it out but clearly, it has failed badly and so maybe it’s time for the club to actually step in and become directly involved with the fans to see what can be done. With so much good will toward the team and the owners, I think that we could potentially do something really creative if there was the will on both sides to actually do it so let’s use this moment to kick start some proper open dialogue. After all, we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Wembley… amazing stadium but the transport situation away from the place is dire. Not simply because of the logistics but because the organisation is so poor and information so lacking.

But however down we feel today, it has been an amazing season and the journey from the horrific event that was the game against Wycombe to walking up Wembley way yesterday proves that being a Hornet is always going to be eventful and certainly never dull.

However, the truth is that we aren’t ready for the premiership yet -I think anyone with a brain in their head will acknowledge that- and the idea of a season being spanked week in week out is not one that held an appeal for me. And that’s how it would have almost certainly been. As I said, Zaha ran us ragged at times, imagine what 10 of him could do.

So it’s onwards and upwards and all eyes on the 13/14 season in the championship which arguably, is the best league anyway if you like your football in the blood and guts style as I do.

The loan situation and the forthcoming rule changes to that side of things is going to mean the close season will be eventful (aren’t they all for Watford?) but I have faith in the owners and in Zola & Co so I have no doubt we’ll be stronger as a consequence so then watch us go! Who knows, we might even finish our stadium!

Come on you Horns!

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green street

Thanks to everyone who has been posting reviews of my books lately. They really are hugely appreciated and extremely useful. On which note, thanks to a huge demand, I’m delighted to tell you that my most recent book, Wings of a Sparrow, will shortly be released in paper format.

I’ll post further details nearer publication date but this will be the first in a series of re-releases with The Crew and Top Dog following shortly after.

English for English. It’s common sense!

england, english, language, dialogue, sport, football, soccer, racism, racist, NHS, hospital, police, brimson, hooligans, ebooks, kindle, amazon, itunesI was going to write a long rant this morning about a subject which over this last year, has become an increasing source of not just irritation, but actual anger.

However, the more I talk about this particular issue with other people the more I realise that this is one of those rants which is becoming increasingly universal. Indeed, once you get to the end of this blog my guess is that you will at worst have a degree of empathy with the point, at best simply say ‘about effing time someone said that!’

So with that in mind, here we go.

If you walk into any government building or have any kind of contact with a major commercial organisation, you will be informed at some point that any or all information is available in a variety of languages. Indeed, in the case of somewhere like a hospital, council office or police station, there will be posters and leaflets imparting that knowledge pretty much everywhere.

This is of course, how it should be -after all, we live in a multi-cultural society- however, it is a fact that any nation is defined by various things one of which is its language. Therein lies my problem.

You see I am and will always regard myself as English. Not British, not European, English, And last time I looked, I live in England and the language of my homeland is English which just happens to be the most widely spoken and understood language on the planet.

So with that in mind, if I contact an organisation of any description which is based in England and find myself dealing with an individual who can barely speak my language let alone impart the often complex knowledge I require, why am I made to feel like either an idiot or a racist if I ask to speak to someone I can actually understand? Or for that matter, who understands me? Isn’t that a perfectly fair and reasonable request?

Of course it bloody well is!

Yet too many organisations seem quite happy to place people in customer facing positions who, whilst they might be perfectly competent in most respects, are clearly unable to carry out their function correctly simply because of their inability to communicate. That isn’t good enough, not in this day and age. However, the only way things will ever change is if we, as both taxpayers and consumers, start to demand it and on a regular basis.

So do it!

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritanceThis will be my last blog before Christmas and so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy holiday and a brilliant New Year.

I’m not normally one for the festive season but I’m really looking forward to this one not least because it will herald in 2013 which for all kinds of reasons, is already shaping up to be a quite amazing year.

So to all those I have met, worked or had dealings with in 2012, especially those who are involved in new or ongoing projects, please take some time to relax, have fun and recharge your batteries because I don’t know about you, I’m planning on next year being the really big one and if you can’t keep up, you may well miss out!

And don’t forget, if you are lucky enough to receive an eReader as a gift on the 25th, you can download all of my books for around about £10.00 and that includes my latest, Wings of a Sparrow which is currently receiving great reviews and is already the subject of movie talk!

Enjoy!