Saturday, December 14, 2013

Game 16

Saints went up to St.James Park to play Newcastle United, managed by former Saints manager Alan Pardew. I remember being hugely dissappointed by our loses there last year but Yohan Cabaye who bossed the game then was missing with injury. His absence didn’t stop us conceding early, Yoan Gouffran being yet another Frenchman scoring for Newcastle this season, but our own Lancashire Spaniard Jay Rodriguez equalising and getting four points for my FPL side.

Newcastle United (1) 1      Southampton (0) 1
Gouffran 27'                Rodriguez 65'

Last Season: Newcastle 4 Southampton 2
Points in the same games last season: 15
Points so far this season: 24
Projected Finish: 8th place with 50 points

Friday, December 13, 2013

Toby Young on Censorship

So Toby Young, brave defender of the freedom of the press fancies himself as a bit of a Voltaire[1], defending the right of an individual to free speech. So who does the right wing polemist want to defend? Is it a hate-filled islamist firebrand? an anti free-school socialist? even a Guardian journalist? No, strangely enough it’s another right wing polemist Katie Hopkins.

In case Toby Young ever reads this it’s not really how this works. To invoke Voltaire’s spirit you have to pick something that the readers know that you don’t agree with like Owen Jones, not someone who despite your vague suggestion that you don’t agree with it in paragraph 9. Also don’t get wrapped up in hyprocrisy by saying that Robbie Crossan shouldn’t start a petition calling for Ms Hopkins to be removed from programmes and interviews[2]. Why are you privileging Ms Hopkins’ right to free speech above Mr Crossan’s?

  1. Although Voltaire seems not to have said “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” That seems to date back to a mistake by a biographer in 1906. Still it’s a good ideal to aspire to.  ↩

  2. No, I haven’t signed said petition, like Toby Young I welcome freedom of speech so Katie Hopkins can say what she likes. Unlike Toby Young, I just don’t restrict that right to my political allies.  ↩

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Green Brigade

A couple of days ago, I posted up on Talk Celtic, a message board for Celtic fans and as it was reasonably well received thought I should cross post it here. A bit of background, UEFA have told Celtic that there can’t be any political chanting or banners at Celtic Park. The Green Brigade upped the ante by putting up banners of William Wallace and Bobby Sands, one image acceptable to the establishments and one image certainly not. Then last Friday at Fir Park, Motherwell, some seats in the vicinity of the Green Brigade were damaged at a cost of £10,000 to £20,000 depending on which newspaper you wanted to read. The Celtic Board responded by banning some fans and forcing others to sit elsewhere in the stadium for the rest of the season.

post on Talk Celtic 9th December 2013

Southampton fan in peace. It is true that I’m getting involved in something that I can’t truly understand but I think that football as a whole needs more Green Brigade not less. Do you want supporting Celtic to have all the passion of Old Trafford when they aren’t winning or the Emirates Library?

Some fans then say yes, chant and sing for the team but why bring the republicanism and politics into it? It’s because of Celtic’s history going back to the 19th century. Not many football clubs were founded to raise money for the poor and not many groups of fans would care that the club wasn’t playing the living wage. That’s all politics and history and it shows what the ethos of the club is and why supporters are proud of their club.

I’m a little wary of the “more than a club” slogan because all clubs are even if it’s just expressing a bit of civic pride in their own town. That being said, the slogan still holds true, when you support Celtic or any other football team it’s not just the 11 well paid professionals you’re supporting it’s the soul of the club.

Without history and ethos, what would the difference be between supporting Glasgow Hoops or Glasgow Blues? It might as well be a fashion statement. Even Portsmouth fans have had to invent a history that makes Southampton out to be the bad guys in the South Coast Derby. History and ethos provides the context for everything in football.

Your board should be pleased the Green Brigade exists, not embarrassed about it. They should work with the GB to get rid of any parasites who are attracted by the chance to cause trouble but overall the Green Brigade is an asset to the football club. I fear I must be missing something important because it doesn’t make sense from outside why the club would want to dilute the atmosphere and split the GB up to the farthest flung corners of the ground.

One day, hopefully, Southampton will play you in a competitive match, on that night a Celtic Park without the Green Brigade will be easier for Saints but poorer for football.

Blog Linking - David Keen

One pleasant aspect of blogging back in the early days was discovering and linking to people just like yourself, a typist with things to say. If I found someone interesting then I often posted about them and their blog. One such blogger is +David Keen who posts as Opinionated Vicar. David is a Church of England vicar back in my old stamping ground of Yeovil, and it was his parish’s church hall that Yeovil Games Club currently rents. Unsurprisingly the blog is mostly centred on evangelism and “mission” but with touches on poverty, helping people and local developments.

I tend to fall out with him when he lapses into believing that Christians are persecuted in Britain, by which he means that Christians don’t have a privileged place in the legal system to persecute others. But apart from that he seems a reasonable guy and we’ve had some good discussions. David hasn’t reached the frenetic level of posting that he did in 2008/09 but then he has got a tough day job which must come first.

Today’s post is typically thoughtful on the strains in Mental Health trust budgets. It’s been no secret that Mental Health trusts, along with other trusts have had to deal with budgets reduced in real terms. In theory this money should have gone to the Clinical Commissioning Groups, but they have spent most of the year getting up to speed. In the meantime, how are those local CCGs supporting the mental health of their patients? As we are approaching a winter where the more noticeable physical ailments of patients will be only too visible[1] then the less noticeable depressions and dementias will be all too easy to put off till the spring, then till the summer and so on.

Anyway, welcome to the blog list, David, hope you’re the first of many.

  1. Expect to see footage of ambulances queued up to admit patients to a particularly hard pressed Emergency Department soon.  ↩


Nothing ever stays the same and I’m no longer in deepest Somerset. I’m now living in Freemantle ward in the lovely city of Southampton[1] with Labour’s Alan Whitehead as my MP. Bit of a step up from David Laws isn’t it. I still work in the NHS but now for University Hospital Southampton with a really good Income Management team.

  1. Well, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it’s lovely. We’ve got the parks, the Common and the sight of the dockside cranes is beautiful.  ↩

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

And I'm back

Inspired by a nostalgia post about ten year old blogs in the Guardian. I was tempted to blow the digital dust off my old blog (not quite 10 years old but close). As expected some is a little embarassing but sometimes I was good and I did make some good friends and got good debate going. Blogging isn’t the same now as then but I’m going to treat it as it was. It probably won’t last long, but it might be fun.