Wednesday, February 08, 2006

In Which We Expand

This may, of course, be a one off. But let's cover Stephen Pollard, and let's not ask "What with?" Something I agree with him about -- some of the following is "spectacularly offensive so don't read any more of this post if that bothers you". There's another thing I agree on: at least he gives links so you can read the pieces he cites.

Now this is a rum thing. Today's Guardian has a piece bv Simon Hattenstone in which he recounts a chant by Spurs fans at Sunday's game, ...

Now this is right .... except that Simon Hattenstone recounts someone else's observations at the game, and the basis of his whole article, as I understand it is homophobia among a) football supporters and b) the press.

The only problem with the story is that I was at the game, as I am at all home games, and heard no such chant. Nadda. Nuffink. Now it may be, of course, that there were a few people who did indeed sing it, but the clear implication of the piece is that the chant was sung audibly by, at the very least, a large section of the the crowd. And that is -- since this post already has its share of vile words, another swear word won't hurt -- total, utter bollocks.

Now, Stephen, I'd trust you if I didn't think that you were in a soundproofed box drinking (or, as decent bloggers and all journalists would say, 'quaffing' as in I quaff, you drink, he/she necks) champagne (or vin blanc avec CO2 as we cynics call it) and you wouldn't have heard anything.

And would it be reading too much into it to find it odd that, the day after publishing Chris McGreal's piece of anti-Israel distortions, the Guardian then has a go at the White Hart Lane crowd, given that Spurs are widely known as the Jewish team? Almost certainly it would indeed be reading too much into it. But almost is the operative word.

The thing is, Stephen has arguments on his side, and they're good, or at least not bad, arguments. Simon Hattenstone (as not quoted by SP):

What disturbs me almost as much as the chanting is media silence, which then becomes collusion. Why didn't newspapers mention it in the match reports? Some would say that to even refer to it is giving the bigots what they want, and serves as a form of "outing".

No media reports. This could be, as Mr Hattenstone points out, tacit collusion. It could also be because there was nothing to report. Mr Hattenstone's leg may have been pulled.
But no! Brave Pollard sniffs anti-semitism!
If you read the first two paragraphs of Simon Hattenstone, you'll be pushed to crowbar in anti-Semitism. Here they are:

Bob is a big lad with a history of headbutting - though to be fair, he is the Robin Hood of headbutts, only redistributing violence in the name of justice. He has followed Spurs for 34 years, heard all sorts of nasty chants over the decades, and probably sung a few himself in his time. In short, he's no delicate flower.
On Monday he came into work, distraught. He'd been at White Hart Lane on Sunday and said he'd never heard anything like it.

I must quote Cameron Nob-Cheddar from Matthew Turner's comments:

Fucking Hell. Run on steel belted corsets not expected. Don't give up the day jobs lad -- if you've got them.

Our man discovers Danish humour. Affix steel corset now. You have been warned.
No, really. Put it on. Clunk-Click.
They're your ribs. You don't get another set.

Danish exports to the muslim countries have suffered severely, due to the controversy surrounding the Muhammad cartoons. Un the up-side, sales of the Danish flag in Gaza have never been higher.

Thank god for the NHS. We hope American readers were insured.
I've posted this because I was asked, via email, to comment on this, and specifically:

Other than the desire to drop a nuclear weapon on Israel, there appears to be not a cigarette paper between McGreal and President Ahmadinejad.

And I can't. I've tried things like "Other than being a strutting volcano of wit, his cigar twitching with the audience's laughter which a master comedian must learn not to respond to, much less echo, a one-man thesaurus of quips and put-downs, of witty repartee, from whom asking for the time of day is like dipping into Shakespeare's Best Bits, there is not a half-mile of lead wall between Groucho Marx and Stephen Pollard" but my heart wasn't in it.


Anonymous McGazz said...

Pollard's piece on Dunfermline is v. poor.

He suggests the protest vote might be directed at Westminster *and* Holyrood - seemingly unaware, as many non Scots (and quite a few Scots) are, that the LibDems are in coalition with Labour up there.

He also mentions Scotland's 72 Westminster MPs, despite the fact that boundary changes reduced the number to 59 last May.

2/14/2006 02:50:00 PM  

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