Tag Archives: Europe

The referendum result, and how not to lose.

brexit,leave eu,europeIn the wake of the momentous decision to leave the EU, the last 24 hours has seen the inevitable toy throwing from those who wanted to remain. Forget the democratic process, losing has not been accepted with any grace.

The was inevitable of course, they did pretty much the same after the last general election when they also threw their toys out of their prams, and whilst as a support of leave from day one I was ready for some attacks and I expected them to be heavy with vitriol, what I didn’t expect was for some of them to come from people I know personally.

I am many things. I might be ignorant, I might even be stupid or small minded, but I’m not racist and I’m certainly not a Nazi so if you throw those words at me in any context and no matter how angry you are, you only get to do it once and you do it at your peril. Because if you think I won’t forget and will happily continue working with you, you are wrong. Very wrong.

Away from the personal side of things, the remainers have also been busily complaining that all of us who over 50’s who voted to leave have stolen the future away from the young. A claim so laughable it beggars belief.

Does it not occur to them that having lived through the demise of our country and seen the future we had planned for ourselves and our children stolen away, we actually voted to try and get it back?

Does it not occur to them that having been around for a few years, we might actually have based our decisions on experience?

And do they not see that far from losing anything, the young have been handed a unique opportunity to get actively involved in the rebuilding process and create a booming future for themselves and their country?

But equally, do they not see that their childish reaction to defeat provides a perfect illustration of just why so many people who reside in the place we call middle England have become so angry at what has happened to this country?

Of course not. Because like many on the petulant left which is, I suggest, where most of them sit politically, they refuse to accept defeat, refuse to accept the will of the majority, refuse to accept that they might be wrong but most importantly, they refuse to accept that this country has the potential to lead rather than be led.

I don’t, I never have, and nor do 52% of the people who voted which, in case they hadn’t noticed, is an astonishing show of faith in the democratic process which you seem to despise.

You lost. Get over it, accept it with good grace and move on. Because if you don’t, the only people who will suffer are your bitter, angry selves.

@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

The future’s bright, the future’s British.

brexit,leaveEU,europe,great britain,

So there it is, we won.

Thanks to 52% of the population, Britain will now be unshackling itself from the controlling mess that is the European Union.

Inevitably, the doom and gloom merchants have been bemoaning the result claiming that it is a disaster for the country and clinging on to the ‘half the country didn’t vote for this’ line but it is far from that. For as Diane Abbott so brilliantly put it (and that’s a sentence I never thought I would write) ‘what we have seen is a roar of defiance against Westminster’.

After years of being patronised, criticised and even bullied by those we elect to run the country for us, the British people have spoken and we have cried enough. And by doing so, we have sent a clear message to the politicians that we are no longer going to put up with their crap. Instead, we want them to do their jobs and actually govern on OUR behalf as opposed to their own.

As a supporter of the leave campaign from day one, and who has taken plenty of flack for it from certain circles, I would be more than justified in going on a bit of a gloat now, but I won’t. And I won’t for one simple reason; I don’t have to.

This is a great day for my country. This is Independence Day.

@dougiebrimson

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

 

Brexit? It’s a no brainer.

brext, europe, britain, politics, referendumThe other day, I employed the power of Facebook to ask for a single sensible reason why we should remain as members of the EU.

Amongst the deluge of responses providing me with reasons to the contrary, I received only a single pro-Europe voice which made the claim that were we to vote to leave, the banking industry would flee our little island in droves and as a consequence, the banking industry would suffer.

Well with the utmost respect to those at the coal face of the industry, in terms of eliciting sympathy, bankers rate fairly highly on the ‘fuck off’ scale and indeed, the majority of people who responded to me would seemingly be delighted to see them getting a taste of the medicine they’ve spent years creating. (Go and see The Big Short. Honestly… go see it!)

This reaction didn’t exactly come as a surprise. I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I’m English first, British second and European never and for decades I’ve watched helplessly as my country slipped ever deeper into the cesspool that is the EU. As a consequence, the opportunity to leave genuinely excites me, and for two particular reasons.

Firstly, I think it’s fairly obvious to anyone who lives in the real world, as opposed to an ivory tower or the wilds of Cumbria, that our housing and public services are at breaking point. And despite the liberal-left screaming that this is all due to a lack of investment by the Tory government (whilst conveniently forgetting the 15 years we endured under Blair and Co) the stark reality is that we are in this situation because our population has risen by around 10% since 2000. We might not be full, but it certainly feels and looks that way in parts of the country. It is therefore imperative that we gain proper control of our borders which is something we simply do not have at the moment and nor will we have whilst a member of this mess.

Secondly, membership of the EU costs us £55,000,000 per day. Think about that for a second. Yes, we get chunks back in subsidies but official figures still put the cost to us, the British tax payer, at between £33,000,000 and £20,000,000  per day. Do I really need to say any more on why that is utter madness?

Inevitably, having finally woken up to the fact that the majority of the population want out, the ‘stay’ campaign have begun a policy of scaremongering (‘jungles’ in Kent’… seriously?) whilst even that well known lover of all things British, the joyous Ms Merkel, has begun pleading with us to remain. Of course she has, she’s suddenly realised that fairly soon she’s going to be looking into a daily black hole where our £33,000,000 should have been as well as having to deal with a refugee crisis which could not have been handled any more appallingly if she’d tried.

Well those are her problems, not ours. And whilst I’m not daft enough to accept that it won’t be a bed of roses from day one, I fail to see how in the long term, the UK can fail to prosper away from an organisation which is absolutely nothing like the one we originally signed up for back in 1973. We might even start putting the Great back into Great Britain.

It’s a no brainer for me, Brexit all the way. The sooner the bloody better.

PS: I must reluctantly make reference to this, if only because it’s one of the sticks being used to beat the ‘Leave’ lobby. If you’re reason for voting to remain in the EU has anything to do with UKIP, I would urge you to think again. Don’t vote to stay because you don’t like Nigel Farage, vote to leave because it’s the right thing for the country, and ultimately, for you.

Speaking of Facebook, and apologies for repeating myself, but as some people are aware, I am one of a number of people involved in a legal dispute with Jonathan Sothcott, the producer of Top Dog.

I won’t go into details here as it’s now a matter for HMRC and the police who have already interviewed him in connection with our allegations. However, both Top Dog Films Ltd and We Still Kill The Old Way Ltd, have recently been wound up on account of unpaid invoices and as a consequence, the investigator for the Official Receiver has contacted me and requested that anyone remaining unpaid for work on Top Dog, We Still Kill or for that matter, any film made by one of Jonathan Sothcott’s companies, contact him direct as a matter of urgency.

His details are: Andrew Beckett, Official Receivers Office, The Insolvency Service (London), 2nd Floor, Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT .

Tel: 0207 637 6337 email: andrew.beckett@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

@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.

Georgina, refugee, brexit, politics, author, screenwriter, racism, racist, hooligans, blogger, UKIP, Farage, Sothcott

Meet Georgina, my latest troll. (plus news of Mr. Sothcott).

I awoke this morning to discover that I had a new troll. Her name is Georgina Arapi and she’d apparently taken exception to my recent blog, It’s time for charity to genuinely begin at home.

Now I have no problem with people holding different opinions to mine and indeed, have been called many things in my time and been accused of holding all kinds of beliefs. However, I learnt long ago that the second you start trying to defend yourself against such accusations, you’ve lost. Conversely, if you stand your ground and come from a position of confidence in your own beliefs, you usually disarm the accuser leaving them with nowhere to go except into the world of reasoned debate or onto the other side of a ‘blocked’ button. Or so I thought.

For what Georgina did was to avoid any direct contact with me and instead, began to trawl through my Facebook friends list and send people the following message:

troll, politics, europe,refugeesThat, I do have a problem with. 

Thankfully, someone did the decent thing and let me know what she was up to but given the nature of the attack, I decided that rather than deal with it privately as I would normally, I would fight fire with fire and expose Ms Arapi as the cowardly troll she obviously is. So I posted details of her activities on my Facebook page together with the screengrab you will see at the top of this page.

To say she wasn’t happy at being publicly outed is an understatement -not least because the response to her was far from complimentary and within a few hours, obviously in response to complaints from her, Facebook deleted my original post meaning that everything vanished into the ether. However, it proved two things to me.

First, my Facebook friends list is inhabited with all kinds of awesome people and secondly, I hit the nail pretty much on the head with the original post. Because if people on the left are being forced to resort to such a pathetic tactic as sweeping through Facebook in an effort to try to undermine those who don’t follow the same fanatical beliefs as they hold, it’s pretty obvious that they’re running scared. As of course, they should be.

For despite what they believe, caring for veterans and wanting our taxes spent on our elderly, our schools, our public services and especially the NHS isn’t racist, nor is it bigoted. It’s common sense, it’s fair and it’s the right thing to do.

Speaking of Facebook, as some people are well aware, I am one of a number of people involved in a legal dispute with Jonathan Sothcott, the producer of Top Dog.

I won’t go into details here as it’s now a matter for HMRC and the police who have already interviewed him in connection with our allegations. However, both Top Dog Films Ltd and We Still Kill The Old Way Ltd, have recently been wound up on account of unpaid invoices and as a consequence, the investigator for the Official Receiver has contacted me and requested that anyone remaining unpaid for work on Top Dog, We Still Kill or for that matter, any film made by one of Jonathan Sothcott’s companies, contact him direct as a matter of urgency.

His details are: Andrew Beckett, Official Receivers Office, The Insolvency Service (London), 2nd Floor, Abbey Orchard Street, London, SW1P 2HT .

Tel: 0207 637 6337 email: andrew.beckett@insolvency.gsi.gov.uk

@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.

Georgina Arapi, refugee, brexit, politics, author, screenwriter, racism, racist, hooligans, blogger


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.

 

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. 

.

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

Why today is the real test for EURO 2012.

Come on England!

So, it’s underway. Thus far the games have all been great and thankfully we’ve seen barely any of the racism that was so feared pre-tournament.

What we have seen however, are sporadic incidents of violence but of course that was always going to happen wasn’t it. After all, why else are we seeing so many riot police on the streets of the host nations?

And this of course begs the question; why so much talk of one potential problem and so little of the very real one? After all, there have been thousands of inches of print and hour upon hour of television expended on racism whilst the very real threat of hooliganism has received barely a mention in comparison despite the fact that far more people are at risk of being caught up in violence than of being racially abused.

The reason of course, is that the pre-tournament media needed to fill space be it on paper, on line or on air and racism fits the bill perfectly. It is in many ways, the perfect story because we all understand it to be wrong which means that they can say pretty much whatever they like and hype it for all it’s worth sure in that there is no one to provide any kind of contra argument let alone complain.

Conversely, no one cares that some Ukrainian nutter is spewing forth dire warnings of what might happen should any Englishman dare step onto their soil because we all know that such threats are laughable, the media more than most. But they are also well aware that going into hoolie-mode might well attract the wrath of both the FA and the government and why risk that?

No, hooliganism is only news when something happens and then it’s suddenly big news. Occasionally, very big and very bad news.

In many ways, that’s why today is the big test for this tournament. We talk a lot about the Poles, the Ukrainians, the Russians, et al, but thanks to history and our domestic football culture, the English will inevitably always be at the centre of any discussion about hooliganism. They will also be the target. Not just for the local hooligans (and for ‘local’ read Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, Croatians, etc, etc) but for those who seek to soil our nations reputation and undo all the good work that has been done to change the negative perception of our travelling support.

That to me is a real worry. Let’s face it, there are plenty of journalists who would be happy to do whatever it takes to hand Mr Platini our collective heads on a plate and there are certainly enough policemen out there willing to help them do the job. With UEFA hardly being our biggest fans, finding ourselves standing in the dock in front of them is not an attractive proposition.

Don’t get me wrong and make no mistake, England might not travel abroad looking for trouble these days but there are plenty of lads amongst their number who won’t back away if it kicks off. However, those lads are also old hands who know the score and they are well aware of the bigger picture. They know better than anyone how to read an atmosphere but the problems arise when they are placed in a situation where backing off or chilling out isn’t an option left open to them.

As I write this, the majority of the England fans are in place, the sun is shining, the beer’s already flowing and the Police are twitchy. As the day progresses, it may well get more nervy and with our game over early, the fans will have a long evening ahead of them.

Oh yes, tonight is the first real test for this tournament. It’s also a huge test for our reputation. Let’s hope everyone passes it.

An interview with author Dougie Brimson (warning: it’s long!)

"not so hard bastard" sexy lover fighting books
A handsome devil.... not.

I’ve posted this as a page on my blog but thought it might be useful to post it as a standard blog as I know some people have connections set up.

So what follows is the text of an as yet unpublished interview I gave to a journalist just yesterday (Jan 9th 2012)! I’ve posted it simply because it provides reasonable answers to many of the questions I receive on a fairly regular basis.

I hope you enjoy it but if you have a question of your own, please don’t hesitate to mail me. Oh, and it’s quite long!

How and why did you become a writer?

I fell into it by accident really and it was certainly not an aspiration or anything like it! I had left the Royal Air Force after 18 years as an engineer and was ‘working’ as an extra on TV and in films. EURO 96 was on the horizon and I was on set filming an episode of Casualty for the BBC when the idea came to write a book about my experiences following football. That book eventually became ‘Everywhere We Go’ and it really was a case of right book, right time.

The rest as they say, is history.

How do you get your ideas?

In the early days, they were driven by the readership as I thought they would be. That’s why I wrote follow-on books about local derbies, England and the London clubs (all of which are now out in eBook format).

After that, I moved into fiction which largely came about as a result of an approach from the TV writer Lynda La Plante who wanted me to write something for one of her series and from that point on, I’ve tended to write about things which either interest me or which I am passionate about. Given the way I write and the fact that much of my work revolves around my own opinions, I think it’s vital to take that approach.

How long does it typically take you to write a book?

How long is a piece of string? I actually write fairly quickly but there are all kinds of things which impact on how long a book will take to complete. However, I usually aim to have a first draft of a full-length book completed in two to three months although I actually wrote the second half of my novel Top Dog in under ten days and some people say that’s amongst my best ever stuff! 

How do you write?

I’d like to tell you that I have a very clearly defined routine which involves writing at least 5000 words a day or a straight 8 hours at the keyboard but the truth is that I am horrifically ill disciplined and it doesn’t take much to distract me if I’m not very careful. Twitter for example, can keep me occupied for hours which is quite pathetic and if I know that there’s an old movie on telly it’s game over!

I actually had to sell my beloved motorbike because if the sun was shining I’d be out on the road, deadline or no deadline!

However, if I’m in the mood I’ll sit down and simply write for as long as I can and that can be anything from 2 to 20 hours in a day. All I need is tea, food and very loud soul or jazz funk music to keep me going but make no mistake, it’s bloody hard work sometimes.

So why do it?

Well it’s actually quite a decent way to earn a living! After all, I don’t even have to get dressed most days and you can’t say that about many jobs!

More seriously, writing can also provide a real buzz especially when I get in the zone and the words just come pouring out without me having to think too about them. Whilst writing ‘The Art of Fart’ for example, I was having so much fun that I actually had to keep stopping because I’d be giggling so much I’d get tears in my eyes.

It’s also fair to say that I derive a huge amount of pleasure from interacting with readers. That’s actually a huge part of it for me because having someone tell you that they like a particular book kind of makes all those hours at a desk worthwhile if only because it proves I’m doing something right!

You seem to have written books in pretty much every format there is which is quite rare amongst authors. Why did you branch out from non-fiction?

Simply because having written four books with my brother, I wanted to do my own thing. The problem was, I didn’t really know what and so I wrote a comedy book called ‘The Geezers Guide to football’ and then a couple of thrillers before going back into non-fiction. Now I’ve written another comedy book and my next project is also more humour so maybe that’s where I’ll settle. Who knows?

Where do your ideas come from?

Two places, my warped imagination and the market. Whenever I talk to writers I always tell them that if they want to write for publication it is absolutely vital that they get to know who their target readership will be, research what they are reading and then write something to suit.

That might sound mercenary but it’s exactly what a publisher will do when they’re deciding if a submission is right for them so why not make the process easier for yourself?

In my case, my target readership is lads and as a lad myself (albeit an older version!) I understand that we’re basically simple creatures who know what we like to read and more importantly, how we like to read.  I try to give them what they want, it really is as simple as that. Thankfully, it seems to be working!

However, don’t get the impression that I take my readership be they real or potential for granted because I don’t. As a professional author my readership is my livelihood and if I don’t keep them entertained, I’ll starve!

How much time do you spend on research?

That depends on the project. When I was writing non-fiction football stuff it was a 24/7 operation because football culture was and remains a constantly moving beast. Thankfully, I had loads of good contacts who kept me supplied with information and to be fair, I couldn’t have written half as much as I have done without their help.

For the fictional and comedy stuff, research hasn’t ever really been an issue because I’ve been able to draw on personal experiences. If you’ve read ‘Billy’s Log’ I’ll come clean and say that it’s very much an amalgamation of my own life and that of my mate who will remain nameless!

So are all of your fictional characters based on real life?

sexy lads romance love
Billy's Log - autobiography?

God yes! Everyone in every novel I’ve written has been based on someone real be they family, mates or even celebrities. I ever based one character on my local newsagent!

Character creation is actually a really important part of my writing process because once I have the outline nailed down, the next stage for me is to fully construct the people I will be writing about and that starts with three things; their name, their face and their voice. After all, to all intensive purposes that character is a real person with a real history and real problems of their own and so you have to know what they will look and sound like! But equally, if you’re going to put them through something you have to understand exactly how they will react and what they will be thinking at that moment and all of that has to be built up.

That’s so much easier to do if you use a real life base-line to work from not least because if you’re struggling, you can actually ring them up and chat to them or even stick something on YouTube to give you a feel of them. It’s amazing how simply hearing someone’s voice can help you work through something. It certainly does it for me!

So what other writing tricks do you use?

Music is fundamental to my writing because I can’t write without it. But it can’t be any music, it has to be the right music. As a result, before I start work on a new project I’ll spend ages picking the right album or tracks which I put together as a playlist on iTunes. That becomes the soundtrack and it’ll be on repeat throughout the writing process.

It fairly quickly becomes almost hypnotic and I soon find that I’m able to switch in and out of a project simply by pausing the music which is an awesome thing to be able to do. The downside is that once I finish the project, I can’t listen to any of those tracks again without instinctively starting to type!

Your novels The Crew and Top Dog are two fast paced and very tightly plotted thrillers. How much work did you do in advance?

Ah….. well I actually spent a huge amount of time on these two books but the funny thing about them is that in both cases I wrote the endings first. You see I knew I wanted specific twists within the last few pages and once I had those straight in my mind I had to commit them to paper. The rest of the book was about how I took the reader to that point.

Judging by the fact that The Crew is frequently ranked at #1 in the kindle download charts for football books and is still receiving good reviews over ten years since it was first published, it clearly worked!

So why the move into comedy?

My dad was an entertainer and comedian so I think comedy is in the genes! Truth to tell, I love writing humour more than anything else although in real life, I’m desperately unfunny bordering on grumpy!

You spent a long time in the Royal Air Force. Will life in uniform ever feature in your future work? Or would you ever consider writing your autobiography?

I have a couple of ideas but at the moment, that’s all they are. I have a list of 3 or 4 books ahead of those.

As for my autobiography, it’s an idea that has cropped up a few times in recent years but the honest answer is that if I did write it, I doubt anyone would actually believe it because it would be like a bizarre version of Forest Gump! As anyone who knows me is aware, I’m one of those people ‘things’ happen to!

For example, I was quite possibly the first person in the west to know about the Chernobyl disaster! But if I tell you how, I’ll possibly have to kill you!

As a professional author, do you enjoy the part of your job which doesn’t involve writing?

I love the promotional aspect of writing and do everything I can to sell my books and spread the word about what an ex-editor once called ‘Brand Brimson’.

I also like to talk to writing groups whenever I’m asked but that’s about it really. I don’t get invited to literary functions and have never been anywhere near a literary festival of any kind.

I’m not really sure why that is but hey, that’s the literary world for you. It’s never made much sense to me.

How so?

I’ve been writing for 15 years now and one thing I’ve learned is that there are a huge number of people involved in publishing who fail to grasp the idea that the most important person in the whole process is the reader.

So does that explain why you were once quoted as saying that you’re not at the bottom of the literary ladder, you’re one of the rubber bungs underneath? What did you mean by that?

I made that comment during an interview in which I was asked about the genre of ‘hoolie-lit’ which in case you don’t know was the label tagged on to those of us who wrote books about the subject of football hooliganism.

Anyway, the point I was making that in spite of the fact that as a genre it spawned something like 60 books the bulk of which were by first time authors, drew loads of people back into reading and made a small fortune for various publishers and bookshops, no one involved has ever received any recognition let alone credit from within the literary world for what happened. Quite the opposite in fact, we just get looked down upon.

It still pisses me off to be honest. But that’s literary snobbery for you.

It’s well documented that your involvement in the Elijah Wood movie Green Street Hooligans did not go too smoothly. There have been various versions of the story but you have never really given your side of things. Would you like to take this chance to explain what really went on?

The brief version is that the director and I had a difference of opinion. She thought she knew everything and I knew she didn’t. Sadly, in the end I was forced to give up on it and walk away but the finished item kind of proves I was right because whilst it’s ok, it could have been so, so much better. That’s women for you.

Will you do more movies?

I certainly hope so!

I actually have a few screenplays on the production treadmill at the moment and would hope to do more in the future but I learnt an awful lot working on Green Street so won’t make any of the same mistakes I made there. I hope not anyway!

How did you secure your first publishing deal?

My brother and I had been writing some draft material and in the end, I walked into WH Smiths, took a book and wrote to the publishers asking if they would be interested.

That publisher was Headline and within a week or so they wrote back asking for some material and so I sent them some. They quickly came back asking for more and after two or three times I told them that if this carried on they’d have the whole book anyway so they best tell me if they wanted it or not. They wrote back and said they did and that was it.

It was only some years later that I realised how lucky we were and that it doesn’t generally happen like that!

How did you find your agent?

I don’t have an agent! Oddly, in spite of having 14 books published I’ve never been able to find one who wants to take me on so I’ve basically given up looking now. However, if anyone wants the job, I’d be happy to talk to them!

What tips would you give to aspiring writers?

The single most important piece of advice I would give them is this; if you can’t take criticism, don’t do it. Reviews can be brutal but so can reading or hearing simple feedback and if you think that you will struggle with someone slagging off your work, don’t put yourself in the firing line.

After that, it’s the basics. Write what you know, know your market, join writing groups, etc, etc. But above all, enjoy it! If you don’t, how can you expect your readers to?

What was your worst ever review?

Time out in London reviewed my first book ‘Everywhere We go’ thus: Everywhere We Go…. yeah right. Fuck off.

And your best?

I can’t remember the actual book but one of the English broadsheets (The Times I think) once called me ‘the hooligan’s pornographer-in-chief’ which I thought was quite cool. It’s certainly going on my gravestone!

Actually, the best reviews and in truth the only ones that really count are those from readers. I’m very lucky there and appreciate them all (but please, keep posting them!!)

If someone wanted to get a feel for your writing, which of your books would you recommend?

That would depend on who they were and especially what sex!

I do have a soft spot for my novels and to be honest, of all the books I’ve written ‘Billy’s Log’ is a personal favourite because it still makes me laugh. Indeed, I’m going to bow to pressure and write the sequel later this year.

What books do you read?

Autobiographies are a favourite of mine together although I steer clear of footballers and anyone under 40! I recently re-read Joan Simms book which is brilliant and very funny.

I also read military non-fiction and there is a book about the bombing raids on Port Stanley during the Falklands war called ‘Vulcan 607’ which is a particular favourite as I was there!

You have recently made the switch over to epublishing. How did that come about and how is it working?

I was approached by a company called the ebookpartnership.com who wanted to know if I would be interested in putting selected books from my backlist online.

I didn’t really know much about the process at that point but had a couple of titles which I knew I had the electronic rights to and so handed them over, more as a test than anything else. The reaction was amazing and now I have 12 of my backlist available to download. Two of those, ‘The Crew’ and ‘Everywhere We Go’  are actually free and although I was reluctant to do this at first, it has worked out astonishingly well as the ratio of sell-through purchases has been brilliant.

Is it working? Well I suddenly have full control over what I write and when I write it and it all happens at the speed I want it to happen as opposed to having to fit in with a publisher’s schedule. So hell yes! I’m a convert. So much so that I actually wrote ‘The Art of Fart’ specifically to release to the online market.

fart sex love anal "bodily functions"
The Art of Fart - Bargain!

Tell us about ‘The Art of Fart’.

As anyone who has read the opening chapter on Amazon will know, it’s yet another book which has its roots in my own life! After all, when you grow up in a house of 8, 6 of whom are male, farting is going to feature quite heavily!

But in all seriousness, it’s just a bit of fun. It was certainly hilarious to write!

So what’s next?

I’m currently working on another novel, this time a comedy about football and then I may well write the sequel to ‘Billy’s Log’ which I already have mapped out.

However, if life has taught me one thing it’s that it never runs smoothly so who knows? I just hope I’m around to find out!

Why this Thatcher fan will never vote Tory again.

Thatcher, greatest leader ever! And sexy too!
Come back Maggie. We need you!

It’s not often I write about politics but today, I have to make an exception.

Quite why this compulsion has hit at this particular time is unclear as the decision I’ve made and the reasons for it were made months ago but hey, my subconscious has decided that today is the day and so here we go.

I have never made any secret of the fact I have always voted Tory and am a huge fan of Lady Thatcher. My father led me along this road from an early age but it was reinforced when I joined the RAF (the military are traditionally right-wing) and set in stone when I headed south as part of the South Atlantic Task Force in 1982.

If anything, my anti-left resolve was hardened when Blair and his loathsome cronies came to power and set about their pre-planned destruction of the social (and as we later learned, economic) fabric of our country. A crime which is far more serious than the ongoing obsession with a so-called illegal war in Iraq yet which will similarly and tragically never result in any kind of justice being imposed upon those responsible.

Have no doubt, I was thrilled when Brown was ejected from number 10 and chuffed to bits that my vote contributed to his demise. I had high hopes for Cameron and even though he was forced to bring the Lib-Dems in, I was convinced that anything would be better than what we had been enduring. Yet as the weeks unfolded and the true extent of the damage Labour had inflicted on the country began to be exposed, I began to become concerned. And the more I heard, the more my unease grew.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually support many of the things the coalition are doing and whole heartedly back the cuts the government are making because at the end of the day, that’s my money being wasted by the NHS, the Civil Service and even the MOD (don’t get me started on that!). I also applaud the stance being taken over law and order and the growing calls to repeal elements of the human rights act. However, I certainly don’t support some of the cuts made to defence especially the destruction of the Harrier fleet which will surely rank as one of the most crazed military decisions of all time.

But there have been two particular issues which have enraged me since Dave came to power and combined, they have ensured that I will never vote Tory again.

The first is the issue of Europe. I’m English first, British second and European never. Whilst I understand the concept of a European state and accept that there are certain elements of it which are of huge benefit to the nation, there are other aspects which disgust me, others which terrify me. To me, it’s clear that the EU is a club which needs us far more than we need it and that alone is reason enough to leave. So where is my referendum? The one Dave repeatedly promised.

As each day passes, the clamour from the nation calls for it and whilst we are finally seeing noises that it might actually happen at some point, the stumbling block remains the construction of the actual question. But it shouldn’t, it should be a simple in or out question. If the people say we stay in, then fine. But if they say we want out, then it’s a total out.

Either way, it will be a democratic decision and those who voted contrary to the outcome will have to deal with it just as the country will have to deal with the consequences whatever they might be. But the fact remains, we want our say and we should be given it. The fact that we haven’t is a disgrace.

The second issue is the one which not only leaves me baffled, but furious. Indeed, even as I’m sitting here I can start to feel my blood boiling.

Britain is a wealthy country, of that there is little doubt. Yet at the moment we have, thanks to Blair and co’s mismanagement of our finances, a huge debt. As a consequence, the government have been forced to make massive cuts to public spending the majority of which, as I’ve already said, I support.

However, given the fact that we are in such a mess, why the bloody hell are we spending £8.1 billion a year on overseas aid (and that will increase to £11.4 billion in 2014. That’s a 34 per cent rise!)?

Cameron argues that it is essential to spend this money to maintain our status on the world stage and more importantly, that we have a moral duty to help those living what must be awful lives. But whilst I think the former is bollocks and do have some sympathy with the latter, surely as an elected government you also have an even greater moral duty to ensure that you don’t have kids in your own country who live in abject poverty or elderly men and women who, having spent the bulk of their lives paying into the system, are being forced to choose between eating and heating because their pensions are so low.

I wouldn’t mind so much if it made any sense. Call me old fashioned, but does a nation which spends £20 billion a year on defence and £1.25 billion

Tory party giving away our money. Not sexy politics David!
Overseas aid.... the sad reality?

space programme really need £280 million from the British taxpayer? Would it not be better all round if someone were to give them a quick call and tell them to get their priorities right?

And did it not strike anyone at the Department for International Development as odd that many senior officials in Sierra Leone went on a huge spending spree shortly after they handed them a cheque for £1.2 million to aid ‘peacekeeping’ efforts?

I know I’m being flippant but sadly, those are two examples from a very long list of bizarre decisions and whilst the sums involved might not make much difference to the old age pension or child benefit, they would make a huge difference to organisations such as Childline, Cancer Research, Macmillan, the RNLI and even the RSPCA who as it stands, are essential charities almost wholly dependent on public donation. And I for one, would far rather my taxes went in that direction rather than risk them ending up in some African despots Swiss bank account or to countries who wish us nothing but harm in return.

Quite why Cameron and company cannot see that escapes me and that, in essence, is why I will never vote Tory again. Not because they are crap politicians or even dodgy characters, but because after years of Labour destruction and miss-management, they have failed to adhere to the fundamental rule of political life. That as a politician you are elected by the people to serve the people.

To do that, you have to listen to and act upon the will of the majority and the sad fact is that at the moment, at least when it comes to these two issues, they’re certainly not listening to me and plenty like me.

So why on earth should they get my support.