Faint Hearts 70

I hope that some of the sentencing overreactions to the looting will be corrected. But I saw one hilarious overreaction last night as Spurs supporters were herded past our flat here from Tynecastle after their match. There was the kind of massed phalanx of police that I haven’t seen since the miners’ strike, with armoured helmets and horses much in evidence. In the middle of this mass, much outnumbered by police, was a tiny little knot of Tottenham Hotspurs supporters, being herded towards Haymarket station.

Having seen Spurs hammer Hearts 5-0, I suspect the Spurs fans were too ecstatic to be annoyed. But it looked really extraordinary, so on going down to the chippie I asked a policeman why the huge escort – Hearts supporters aren’t known for violence against visitors. He replied very gravely that the looting had started in Tottenham, and they didn’t want that kind of nonsense here. So either the police had no intelligence on how many Spurs fans were expected, or they had decided to escort them three policemen to every fan. Scottish fear of the barbarian English is quite a wry concept.

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70 thoughts on “Faint Hearts

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  • Vronsky

    Any football fan will tell you that Hearts fans are about the worst of the lot – only mitigating factor is that there aren’t very many of them – the ‘small dog’ effect.

  • craig Post author

    My uncle Bill Burns was a Hearts supporter and took me to a couple of matches as a child. My Aunt Minnie had married a protestant…

  • Tom Welsh

    Maybe the police were there to protect the jubilant Spurs fans from disgruntled locals?

  • ingo

    On the ball City, hopefully the very well behaved Norwich fans will not be eaten alive buy Stoke’s supporters after City’s forthcoming win this weekend…

    Stopping drunken fans entering or participating in football games would change the tune somewhat. That football games today turn out to be re-inactments of bonnie prince william’s mating games amongst the young irish men some 400 years back tells us something about grudges and clans and families that come from these isles.

    To compare them to a bunch of freebooting medieval pirates with Irish mothers and Viking fathers would be too great an honour, they are seemingly unable to take their football responsibly, not to speak of the drink and drugs that come with it.

  • Adullamite

    Any football fan will tell you Celtic and Rangers fans are without a doubt the worst in the UK. Hearst fans would never have caused trouble last night. Neither would the Spurs fans, but there again over the top policing is standard at football games. They are never around when yobs are causing trouble in your street mind!

  • Sylv

    In a previous stream there was reference to American language creeping into British English. The odious Evan Davies referred to ‘staycations’ on Radio 4 this morning. He is so enamoured with Americans, but if he went to live amongst them, he would find that Americans think that British people are all ugly, with long noses, and all the men are gay. I lived there quite a long time and this was said to me on more than one occasion!

  • Dunc

    “Any football fan will tell you that Hearts fans are about the worst of the lot”

    I live literally a stone’s throw from Tynecastle, have done for the last 15 years, and I don’t recall ever seeing Jambos causing trouble.

  • mary

    The Americans are right on two out of three of those on Davis. Isn’t he irritating with his giggling on Radio 4 Today and his worship of the money men on The Bottom Line? He also does the Dragons’ Den. Well in in the BBC.

  • Scouse Billy

    One of the wiki links is interesting:
    “BAP is funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts of Philadelphia, which was established in 1985 by the billionaire J. Howard Pew, a devoted supporter of the Republican Party and other right-wing groups. These include the far-right Heritage Foundation and the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a foundation which was set up by former CIA head William Casey to sponsor books “widely regarded as influencing Reagan Administration economic and social thinking.” One such book was Losing Ground by Charles Murray, the extreme-right inventor of the term “underclass” and advocate of the abolition of welfare.

    In the records of the foundation of its “successor generation”, BAP describes regular meetings of “24 Americans and 24 Britons aged between 28 and 40 who, by virtue of their present accomplishments, had given indication that, in the succeeding generation, they would be leaders in their country and perhaps internationally.”

    In its 1997 newsletter, BAP warmly welcomed the elevation of its members to the Blair Cabinet: “Congratulations from all of us!”

    All of Blair’s new political appointees at the Ministry of Defence, including Defence Secretary George Robertson, have been members or associated with the Atlantic Council and its labour movement wing, the Trades Union Committee for European and Transatlantic Understanding (TUCETU), which formed from the afore-mentioned Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding (LCTU), organisations that are backed by the CIA.

    TUCETU’s membership has included Doug Mc Avoy (general secretary of the National Union of Teachers), Lord Richard (Labour leader in the House of Lords), Lord (John) Gilbert (Tony Blair’s defence procurement minister), right-wing trade union leaders such as Bill Jordan (head of the International Confederation of Free Trade Union, the CIA’s chief labour movement operation), Lord (Eric) Hammond and Lord (Frank) Chapple, and former Portuguese president Mario Soares (recently revealed to have been a CIA asset).

    TUCETU also incorporates Peace Through NATO, the group central to Michael Heseltine’s covert MoD campaign against CND in the 1980s. It receives over £100,000 a year from the Foreign Office, as well as payments from CIA-backed trusts. TUCETU chair Alan Lee Williams was a Labour defence minister under Callaghan, who defected to the SDP. He now describes himself as a “defence consultant”.”

  • John Goss

    Mary, Scouse Billy, I notice Shami Chakrabarti is a member. So perhaps not all rogues. George Robertson has been (is) on it twice, as a member, and patron, where he appears as Lord Robertson.

  • John Goss

    The third embedded link in Harpie’s comment linke is about secret societies, Knights’ templar, Freemasons, Skull and Bones, Bilderberg, et al. David Icke makes some very valid points, especially about the indebtedness of governments, kings and rulers to secret societies. A few years back I read Icke’s book “I am me, I am free” which is very disturbing, if true. There is a whole chapter on Freemasons and secret societies, but I think many of us part company when he starts discussing the “lizard people”. (Fantasy and science fiction are not my genres). However Craig would no doubt be interested to know, if he doesn’t know already, that when the Knights’ Templars where virtually wiped out, those who escaped went to Scotland and thus began the Scottish rite of freemasonry.

  • John Goss

    As well as the superfluous “linke”, whatever that means, apologies too for digressing from the main theme of over-policing of a Hearts’ football match with Tottenham. (The other stuff is really interesting though. Thanks Mary.)

  • OldMark

    ‘I see Davis is a member of this ‘club’. I would dearly like to know what their real agenda is.’

    Mary/Scouse Billy- BAP, like NED (National Endowment for Democracy- set up in 1983) was formed in the wake of the peak of CND membership (in the UK) and more generalised anti-US sentiment in western Europe, in the early eighties. The aim of both organisations is the promotion & projection of US ‘soft power’.

    The more intelligent members of the Reagan administration understood that the cold war model of promoting ‘soft power’ ( the Congress for Cultural Freedom, financial support for the ‘social democrat left’ and non CP aligned unions, etc)was no longer working well by the earlier eighties. The mass protests against the deployment of Cruise & Pershing missiles in western Europe demonstrated this fact- and seriously spooked the MIC in the US.

    The formation of groups like NED & BAP was the result- a subtler, more left-friendly version of Operation Mockingbird (hence the inclusion in the BAP project of the likes of Shami Chakrabharti).

    More on that original template for the projection of US soft power here-


  • mary

    Courtenay Griffiths QC was on BBC News just now giving his views on the sentencing of those arrested in the riots and whether there has been any political involvement in the justice system.
    It reminded me that he led the defence of Charles Taylor at the ICC court in The Hague and I thought I would find out what the verdict was. Unbelievably, after three and a half years with many delays, the trial ended in March this year and the judges were due to deliver their verdict at the end of the year. Now there are some contempt proceedings about the witnesses and I assume a further delay will follow. The wheels of justice at The Hague certainly grind exceeding slowly.

  • Rob S

    Hearts have amongst the worst supporters in Scotland. Fans sing anti- catholic songs, and worse, threw bananas into the pitch when Rangers played the first non-white player in Scotland

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Americans think that British people are all ugly, with long noses, and all the men are gay.” Sylv
    Old Mark, yes, the NED was set up, I think, in the early 1980s when it became clear that direct CIA funding of leftist organisations and media (eg. ‘Encounter’ magazine, The Congress for Cultural freedom, etc.) was no longer as effective as they had been. And so, the NED took over many of the CIA’s functions in civil society. This paralleled the rise in NGOs and liberal foundation (Carnegie, etc.) funding for dissident/oppositional/critiquing bodies and individuals. The aim, naturally, is slowly to co-opt without those co-opted fully realising that they are being co-opted and to shape the evidence-base and all sides of a discourse.

  • larry Levin

    I heard somewhere that the union jack being referred to as “the butchers apron” This is very wrong I hope an apology is made in due course

  • Scouse Billy

    John, I’m not a fan of Shami Chakrabarti. I have my reasons but they are way off topic here. Let’s just say Liberty steers clear of certain issues close to home…

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Scouse Billy, please do feel free to elaborate wrt ‘Liberty’. It is relevant, in my view, in the broader picture, esp. in relation to CM’s own position (and that of other whistelblowers) within the UK. Thanks very much.

  • mary

    Remember too that Shami was ‘selected’ to sit on Judge Leveson’s panel of inquiry into the Murdoch swamp. She is actually an establishment stooge/place person? She is ex Home Office and apart from being one of the British American Project alumni, is also a governor of the equally dubious Ditchley Foundation.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Thanks, Scouse Billy, that is fascinating, an area about which I knew very little. One of the particularly chilling sentences reads thus: “Indeed such a threat is almost routinely made against campaigners for reform.”
    If that is the case, then that is terrifying. And the silence about it more terrifying still.
    Also, if one looks at the cases of people like Denis Lehane and Roderick Russell, one can see that these organisations that are supposed to fight for liberty and justice and freedom from opporession tend to shy away from confronting certain configurations of power within the ruling structure.
    That was a really excellent link. Thanks. Any lawyers have views on this? Courtenay?

  • John Goss

    Scouse Billy, thanks from me too. I’d no idea about any of this. Absolutely nothing surprises me any more. I’ve only just got back from a night out, and scan-read the web-page you posted. Incredible. Sally Clark and Angela Canning are victims of legal malpractices I never knew existed. Why has Liberty refused to get involved? I need to read this again but one sentence that stood out was: “The secret courts view of evidence – often reliant on pseudo or ‘crank’ science, and hugely based around the use of non sequitur (the legal term “it does not follow”) may provide a pointer to the likely future for criminal justice in the United Kingdom.”
    That really concerns me. For some years I have been bothered about changes in the judicial system, particularly when habeas corpus was abolished during the Iraq war. This had not happened since the time of the treason-trials of the 1790s, which lasted a decade and was another disturbing period in British history.
    Like Suhayl I should like to hear Courtenay’s slant on this.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Suhayl Saadi,

    Baiting me mate are you?

    “That was a really excellent link. Thanks. Any lawyers have views on this? Courtenay?”

    O.K. here is a comment forwarded to me by a friend ( not my comment) – so read it and digest.

    The person is UK based and resonding to the options – post riots…

    “He is right to say our policies are “need-centred and child-focused”. So what is the alternative? Do we want to disincentivise people who are poor from having kids they can’t afford? Does that mean only the rich should have children? May be people below a certain IQ should be sterilised? Do we bring back smacking in schools, hard labour in prisons, the death penalty, armed police, evicting criminals from their homes?
    It’s a great debate, we all love to talk about it but all the answers I’ve heard to our many problems leave me with a sick feeling, some of them, may be the Chinese, Nazis and Americans would be proud, but Britains? These are tough questions which as people in a privaleged position raise moral and ethical dilemmas.
    Let’s not react disproportionately. 4 people died in this riot and yes we rightly should value people more than property. Britain is a great country, I certainly wouldn’t live anywhere else. But he is also right to say we don’t have poverty here and that is because we have an “overly” generous welfare system. So does that mean we are ready to cut welfare so that we do have “real” poverty? I agree with him that “the man who thinks he has no future has nothing to lose”. So surely if we create more of them, what does his logic predict?

    There is much thinking indeed for our politicians to do. All we can do is pray and try to do our little bit to make this world a better place.”

    Now – back to you?

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