These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. After only 24 years we finally won promotion to the Southern Premier, a mere seven leagues below the Premiership. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time, and despite living in Brighton still go to most games. Still waiting for that bloody new ground in Slough tho.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

HELD TO RANSOM

Printed in the Southern League Central Division game v Potters Bar Town Saturday 9th November 2013. We won 4-3 after being 3-0 down in front of 231 people. 


How would you like to see the world run? By groups of people getting together to improve their communities or by wealthy individuals who threaten and bully when they can't get their own way? 

Cardiff City's Malaysian owner Vincent Tan is the sort of dictator all football clubs should chase off with a sharp stick. He's already changed the teams colours from their traditional blue to red and is toying with renaming them Cardiff City Dragons. He recently replaced the chief recruitment director with a 23-year-old from Kazakhstan who is a friend of his son. He done some work experience at the club in the summer including decorating the ground so obviously knows what he's doing! The Home Office ain't impressed tho and wont issue him a work visa. No doubt Tan would love the idea of a European Superleague with no threat of relegation for clubs that get to the promised land. 

In the US, the Tea Party, which is basically UKIP with guns, shut down the whole of the American government because they didn't like the fact that people in the country might be getting some affordable healthcare. Power companies have threatened that the lights will go out, if Labour freeze prices for two years while Grangemouth workers were told by a billionaire - agree to wage cuts and worse pay and conditions or the whole plant would be shut down. Bankers crashed the world economy. Now everyone else is told to tighten their austerity belts, thanks to half our debt being created by bailing out the banks in the first place. Yet none of those responsible have gone to jail and they carry on regardless. Imagine if me or you or trade unions had shut the country down or brought it to its economic knees. What do you think these people and the papers would be saying? 

Now I’ve got this crazy idea that a healthy society is one that supports everyone not just the rich few. And i'm not alone. There's an upsurge of of a co-operative movement that includes shops, pubs, and football teams. FC United of Manchester, the club formed by supporters who had finally had enough of the Theatre of Corporate Dreams, will start work on their new community stadium this month, funded in part by selling £1.6 million of community shares. Pubs are closing at a rate of 18 a week, and co-operative ownership is becoming an increasingly recognised solution. Residents of Moulsecoomb (where i live!) on the outskirts of Brighton are trying to open the first co-op pub on a housing estate. But The Bevendean will be so much more than just a pub with everything from cooking lessons, veg growing, health checks, job clubs, credit unions, repair workshops as well as a place to get a decent pint and meal at affordable prices. Somewhere for the community to meet, something that the community owns and can get involved in running. There are now over 300 co-operative shops with a further 30 in the pipeline. There is a phone co-op, energy co-ops, supermarket, libraries and swimming pools. And while its worth asking the question why such an important facilities like Grangemouth are in private hands in the first place, we might be holding our breath, waiting for governments to do anything to challenge the status quo. 

But we can make a difference now. Its bloody hard work and takes a lot of commitment to get these co-operatives to work; but if we want our lives not to be dominated by billionaires while making our communities stronger and better places to live, I’d like to know what's the alternative to people coming together to make a difference.

1 Comments:

Blogger NYJALB said...

I would respectfully point out that not all wealthy people are "bully's if they can't get their own way"

It is also a tad erroneous to dismiss the Grangemouth situation as some form of bully-boy tactic when it was simply a case of the harsh economic reality that the level of monthly losses at the plant could not be sustained at their current rate...something which was accepted by a significant number of the workforce from the outset, and ultimately by the Union activists themselves,once they realised that there own bully boy tactics of threatening strike action were not going to work. Those "glory days" of the 70s are long gone thank God!
I would go so far as to suggest, the vast majority of wealthy people, (in particular the "self made" variety) are the most philanthropic people around and help both local and national charities, as well as their local communities by donating directly with cash, or by offering free access to expensive resources.

Indeed we need look no further than our own club for evidence of how much some people, who have achieved considerable success in their private life, are prepared to contribute to their community!

Killie Rebel

9:59 am

 

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