Category Archives: Media

David Miliband once gave me a piece of advice, and I urge everyone to take it on board.

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Myself and David Miliband at the Mechanics Institute in Nottingham. 1st August 2010

Politicians peddle in, well, I will refrain from using the word, but I think you can guess it. When people go to Prime Minister school, they come out and give vague answers to complicated questions specifically so it looks like a sound bite that can be repackaged by the media therefore there is very little, if anything, that can be taken from what politicians say. David Miliband was a prime example of this. I saw him a few times when he was on the campaign trail in the 2010 Labour Leadership Election. He gave me one piece of advice that I have always carried with me and today I had to put that advice into action.

Listening, truly listening

He was recalling his time as Foreign Minister and talked about when he had to speak to his American counterpart who, at the time, was Hilary Clinton. He said this:

Whenever we had an issue or something to talk about, there was something that set her aside from every other politician I’ve ever met. Most politicians sit there and they are not listening to what is being said, instead they are just waiting for it to be their turn to talk. Hilary Clinton always did something different. She would get out a writing pad and a pen and paper. Instead of constantly butting in and saying what she had to say, she would write down what I was saying, her thoughts and would wait until I had finished speaking before she shared her conclusions. The one thing I got from that was that she was listening, and I mean truly listening, to what I had to say.

Today I had a conflict that was the result of a breakdown in communication. I tried it and it actually worked. I listened. Paid attention and respect to what the other person was saying and managed to resolve things. I would share that with anyone.

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Married at first sight: A review (mainly of the concept)

There was a show on Channel 4 recently called “Married at first sight” in which the basic premise was that a group of psychologists, anthropologists, an Anglican vicar, and so on, would discuss and match up two random strangers, who would only meet on the day of the wedding and see how it would pan out.

It was interesting, I’ll give it that but as a Catholic, I think marriage is a serious, eternal commitment. It is binding yourself to someone for the rest of your life and beyond the grave. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. It certainly shouldn’t be done for entertainment purposes. That, to my mind, devalues marriage.

Obviously, a programme like that that lays bare a dystopian view of marriage, and it has to get past the commissioning editors (the people who pick TV shows) and to do that it was framed as an “experiment”. They framed this experiment as, if two people were matched using scientific methods (like all dating sites use but e-harmony makes a point of saying they use it) then if they had an arranged marriage on the basis of this, would it work?

Now, this is only going to attract two sorts of people. It will attract desperate people and opportunists. They may feign curiosity, but no-one makes a life decision as big as marriage, out of curiosity. Nothing is as involving to a person’s core as the person they share a sexual relationship with. That is the Catholic view, but I have a lot of atheist friends and they seem to share that belief when I’ve shared it with them. Given that it involves something so core, it shouldn’t be the subject of a television programme as these are human beings. Inevitably, someone will, as someone did, get deeply hurt and driven to tears. The programme was well produced and presented but watching the inevitable happen was actually rather unpleasant. I think the science of it is interesting, but in a series such as this, to describe it as anything other than entertainment is misleading. It is called an experiment to try and validate the selatious nature of the show.

If dating sites use this logic, how many times daily are these logarithms run and how many potential partners are identified? Of those potential partners, how many result in them actually meeting, or having a relationship, or an intimate relationship? Crucially, how many people, with time and space given, actually end up marrying the person that the dating site says is best? If it doesn’t happen in the real world, why would it work in a controlled environment? Even when they do, are those marriages successful? It is a naive concept to thing that this would work and could be done ethically and it was opportunist of the show’s production team to exploit that curiosity. People generally don’t end up marrying people as a result of what a dating site says because it is generally a bad idea.

One general rebuttal that I’ve heard in response to this is that if the marriage doesn’t work out, there is always divorce. In my opinion, if divorce is something you are considering on your wedding day, you really shouldn’t be getting married. Marriage should be a rest of life commitment and not something done to get viewing figures.

If indeed, it were a genuine experiment and there was a genuine desire not just to make a television show but to see if an arranged marriage based on dating website logic could actually work, then the ethics must be considered. Given the subject matter of the experiment it would be wise not to use human subjects where possible. This is why, if it were an experiment, it wouldn’t actually need to take place. Given the immense human and emotional hurt, and spiritual collateral damage that could be involved in something like this, it would make sense, if the outcome could be theorized or predicted, not to actually use people in the experiment. In this particular case, it can. The idea for this show experiment actually comes from a Danish show experiment that has been exported globally so that there are several international versions of this show experiment. In all of the other versions the outcome is overwhelmingly similar. In the Danish one, the couples are divorced. In the Australian one, all but one of the couples are separated. The American one is the same. Therefore it does not take much of a leap that in the English one, at least one couple would fail and very few couples, the exception rather than the rule, make it past six months, let alone a year. A marriage failing, however dubiously entered into, is always an emotionally draining and stressful experience, as I can personally attest to having witnessed several of them break down.

In summary, this show has a really interesting concept, but it turns extremely dark and very disturbing when it becomes apparent that these people are being drawn into an obviously doomed situation, one that will undoubtedly damage them, and at that point, the show ceases to be a piece of fun entertainment and just becomes depressing.

If we strip away the illogical instruments of reason from this situation, we examine it logically and pragmatically. If we remove subjective elements from this, such as love, emotion, it can be seen to be hugely damaging in ways other than spiritually or soulfully, marriage is contract. It is a hugely complicated legal contract and one that can be enforced through the courts. Radmacher vs Granatino [2010] UKSC 42 is a legal case that declared that pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding. There is therefore no guaranteed legal protection for anyone from being legally bound to someone they might not want to be bound to. Signing any document, especially one as legally important as a marriage contract, should always be given due diligence and consideration, and to enter into such an arrangement with someone that one doesn’t know could potentially be devastating. I can’t see how they could have factored the UK’s strict marriage laws into the making of the program.

To quote the Simpson’s “You have given a chance for everyone to express love In its most purest form — a binding legal contract.”

Game of Thrones and why I can’t watch it

I have tried to be one of the popular kids. I have tried to get into game of thrones. I have tried and I have tragically failed. Every time I have watched a snippet (I have never been able to watch a full episode without falling asleep or screaming at the television in frustration) I have always been able to disseminate what the story and twist will be as it is usually ripped exactly from Shakespeare. The Sun Newspaper, that bastion, benchmark and guardian of all that is culturally important to England, and in particular English literature, points out, time and again, that Game of Thrones is basically Richard II. Later plot lines have been ripped from Henry IV Part 2 and Richard III. It is pointless watching something when you know how the story will finish. It is no longer thrilling. The fact that I stayed awake during GCSE English basically means that this holds no truc with me. How nobody else seems to be able to see this I don’t know.

On social media, people keep coming on my timeline saying “No Game of Thrones spoilers”. I say this, if you don’t want Game of Thrones spoilers, don’t Google “the Wars of the Roses” because that will give the whole thing away.

I imagine when they were brainstorming for Game of Thrones, that it went something like this:

“Right, I’ve got an idea. Of all the Shakespeare plays, the ones that people have read the least are the ones about historical Kings of England and the Wars of the Roses. Why don’t we rip them off and pass them off as an original creation? I mean, we’ll have to juggle a few things, like instead of saying “Now is the winter of our discontent” we’ll change the metaphor to “Winter is coming” or something like that, but essentially, if we take those books and just change all the proper nouns, we’ll have ourselves a winner. Of course we’ll throw in the exciting things that Shakespeare left out like sex and gore, because you know, we’re selling this to the lowest common denominator and they need stuff like that to stay interested and let’s throw in a dragon or two to thicken out the story a little bit but I think that should work. We just need a title, something like “Game of Thrones” only, y’know, not so lame…”

EDIT: On June 5th, responding to criticism about how a lot of the characters get killed off, George R. R. Martin wrote an open letter in which he said that Game of Thrones is a toned down version of Shakespeare. It’s very interesting. Click here to see it.

Maybe Facebook should have an “acknowledge” or “don’t like” button

Facebook has redefined certain words in our society.

Example:

The word “friend” is one of words Facebook has redefined. I was discussing this with a friend of mine the other day. I said to him that on my Facebook, I have (or had at the time, I now have one more) 132 “friends”. In real life though, I don’t have 132 friends, I have six friends a I would have defined the word friend before Facebook. Now, I have six really good friends. I have tops, twenty friends. The people that I have on my Facebook aren’t “friends” as such. They are relatives, colleagues, casual acquaintances, people I went to school with. A friend is a person you can call up and say “I’m feeling a little low, fancy a pint?” or someone that says “I see your down on your luck, let me help you out until you get back on your feet.” That is what a friend is. Not what Facebook says it is.

The word “like”

I’m pretty sure I have explained this before when talking about “like farming” so I won’t go into it but there are several posts that I want to acknowledge, or say that I am thinking about them, but “like” is a specific specific term for saying that I approve or am positive about something wen in actual fact, I’m not. I’m actually very negative about it. I “dislike” it. A fine example is something that cropped up on my Facebook today.

This is the post in question that displays, alarmingly, that a family is made homeless in Britain every 15 minutes.

This is the post in question that displays, alarmingly, that a family is made homeless in Britain every 15 minutes.

I did a fact check on this post (as I always do) and it checks out. The one thing I notice though is that 296 people, as of the point when I screen grabbed it, “like” the post. It seems, or at least appears, that those 296 people “like” the fact that 130 families in Britain become homeless every day. See, I can’t click like on that, because it unsettles me that up and down the country that many families, (which will comprise of at least two people) will become homeless. I want to raise awareness and show that I support the organisation, which I believe is actually what every one of those 296 people was doing, but I refuse to under the terms that in order to do so I would have to like post about a statistic that in some way appears that I condone that statistic. I think people have “liked” the post, as it raises awareness, but not the statistic therein.

Maybe a don’t like or “acknowledge” button is in order

What I want to do is acknowledge that I have seen this. I would like to acknowledge that I support that organisation (one of the few charities that I do support) and I would like to say that while I support the awareness being raised, I don’t “like” the fact that in the time it has taken me to write this, that five families are homeless, and some of them are likely unsheltered.

If Facebook had an “acknowledge” button, I would like to acknowledge that I have seen this post, and that I support the organisation, but I don’t “like” the statistic. I would like an option, other than like, to show my opinion of this post.

Also, David Cameron posts a lot to Facebook and he usually gets a few thousand likes. The comments denigrating him though usually get, cumulatively, more likes than his post. Facebook could save people a lot of time by just putting a thumbs down symbol there.

I realise that this has been proposed (and rejected) before, but I feel it is maybe something that does need to be looked at as it creates a disjuncture in or a warping of society when a word as ambiguous as “like” is attached to so many things. It doesn’t provide people with a fair picture of the world, or a correct view of people’s opinions if the only option they have is to like something or not like it. Youtube has a thumbs up, thumbs down system, why can’t Facebook have that too?

The Big Bang Theory: Sheldon’s fascination with Cornwall, Trains and Computers

I absolutely love the Television show “The Big Bang Theory”. The central character in it, Sheldon Cooper, every now and then references Cornwall. He also references his love of trains. He also references his love of computers and technology.

I grew up in the small Cornish town of Torpoint. Torpoint has only ever given the world one famous scientist, John Langdon Down, who was the first person to properly isolate and diagnose “Down’s Syndrome” which is named after him. I do, however, take a great interest in all of Cornish history, not least its scientific history.

Despite Cornwall’s quaint, idyllic and somewhat spiritual nature, it actually has a proud tradition of scientific discovery. Four of the things that defined the twentieth century, the car, wireless telephony, the train and the computer, were either invented in or significantly developed in Cornwall.

Sheldon and trains

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Outside Tyack's Hotel in Camborne. This was the destination for the first ever journey by automated carriage so is thus home to the world's first ever car park.

When I was younger (in the picture above I was 23) I would make a point of expressing my Cornish heritage. There was a £2 coin out at the time that had a steam locomotive on it. It was commemorating Richard Trevithick. Trevithick is a Cornish name so I thought I would read into him a bit more to find out who he was and what he did. Richard Trevithick harnessed the power of steam in the early 19th Century. He attached it to a carriage making the first ever automated carriage (or car) which was powered by steam. The first ever car journey was from Illogan to Camborne. The locals celebrate Trevithick Day every year to commemorate this. In 1803 he put his steam engine on rails and thus the steam railway was born.

How Sheldon Cooper, with his twin fascinations of Cornish history and trains has overlooked this, I don’t know.

Cornwall’s contribution to Physics

Cornwall is the home of Humphrey Davy. Aside from inventing electrolysis, he also isolated several elements on the periodic table, filling in a lot of the blanks. Penzance’s most famous son even has an element named after him.

Davy also had one of the most famous physicians of all time, Michael Faraday, study under him, fostering a deep connection between him and Devon/Cornwall as well.

Guglielmo Marconi, the father of modern telephony and radio communication developed transatlantic wireless communication and the place that he sent the first wireless message  from Europe to North America was from Poldhu in Cornwall.

These scientists aren’t on the periphery of science but in fact are what most of modern physics is based on. The fact that Sheldon references Cornwall without referencing these scientists in the same breath.

Computing

A mere 25 miles from Cornwall is a small town called Totnes. It is a fairly unremarkable place but it is noteworthy for a very good reason. In the 19th Century, mathematician Charles Babbage came up with the difference engine which is the modern forerunner to all computers. He is often referred to as the “Father of computing” and is a proud son of Devon.

Sheldon, history and Cornwall

The fact that these are specifically Sheldon’s interests, I found it odd that he has never told the history behind these things. That would be understandable but history and specifically the history of science is a passion of his. All the more remarkable is that he has referenced Cornwall several times, one might have thought he would have joined the dots.

Of course Sheldon Cooper is a fictional character, played by an actor, an exceptionally accomplished actor, called Jim Parsons. The character is written for Jim Parsons, so while this loose end isn’t picked up by “Sheldon” it probably should be by the production team.

Time for a Millennium Revival…

Let me tell you a little story. When I was 18, just turned, I went to work in a nightclub. That nightclub was on Plymouth’s infamous, world famous Union Street. It was a dream job. Even though I was working, it felt like every night was a party. Every night I would get drunk, come home with a pocket full of phone numbers ready to dial up the next day, then I’d spend the day chilling out in the pub, only for the same cycle to continue again the night afterwards.

The old Millenium Nightclub. Soon to be GOD TV's Prayer Revival Centre.

The old Millenium Nightclub. Soon to be GOD TV’s Prayer Revival Centre.

Those were good days. Understandably, I feel a great attachment to this building, perhaps more of an attachment than I do to most other buildings in Plymouth. Some weeks I would do a 48 hour week and not think anything of it. It didn’t feel like work. It felt awesome. Pretty girls, cool guys, enough alcohol to drown a small Scottish city and big men on our side to remove people if they started behaving as if they were from said small Scottish City. The awesomeness that flowed through this building was quite frankly, indescribable.

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Me in the crazier days of my youth, at Millennium Nightclub in 2003. Partying all night, chilling all day, Good times. People never took photo's of me during my teenage years. Telling that this is one of a handful of photo's from when I was 18 that has survived.

When I first started my relationship with my longest serving girlfriend, the first place I took her in Plymouth was this nightclub. Words really cannot describe it’s importance or its place in my life.

I think that when a building was such a formative part of your youth, it’s difficult to let that go. It closed. Early 2004, shortly after I moved to Nottingham, the company that owned it signalled what had been predicted for a long time, that the club would close. My heart sank. I’m a Stonehouse boy. I lived in the area of Plymouth where Union Street was from the age of 17, moved to Nottingham at 19, Returned to Plymouth at 27, and moved from there at 28. Of course in all this time I was constantly returning to visit my mother.

It was a constant thorn in my side, that everybody in Nottingham, a city two hundred miles away, was singing the praises of Union Street for a night out to my then girlfriend. She would come down to Plymouth and gradually, one by one, like dominoes, the clubs folded, closed, shut up shop and were turned into other businesses. The take-aways followed shortly after. They were followed by the taxis and Union Street became a desolate, barren, empty place, inhabited only by main stays like Jesters, Crash Manor and Twigs. When my Dad came to Plymouth in August 2013, himself a former sailor from Nottingham, we walked across Union Street at 9pm on Friday. You could hear a pin drop. Ten years ago the utter mayhem that was going on was a sight to savour.

I’ve seen other businesses fill the void but the one I view with most disdain is that of GOD TV. To see Millennium closed and boarded up was hard to take, but the one thing worse than it being boarded up is GOD TV moving in.

I am a practising Catholic. Most (in fact all) of my friends are lapsed, atheists or agnostics but have no problem with Christians. Even as a practising Catholic, I can’t stand the fact that GOD TV is moving into that building. My own moral objections are several. They monetise God. They package God up and miracles and sell them to people, providing of course that person has the money. I saw a guy on TV going to a GOD TV event. He said “I wanted to come but didn’t have the money [GOD TV were charging £25 for the event at Plymouth Pavillions] so I called the bank, and prayed and then they called me back to say they could extend my overdraft, and, here I am!” There’s something very unsettling about an organisation that charges people to garner spirituality.

The other aspect is that they are religious extremists, taking the bible literally and ignoring reason and logic. This leads to all sorts of horrible things like homophobia, criticising people who need things like blood transfusions and abortions, old, antiquated and intolerant views that are actually quite dangerous and really have no place in a progressive society.

A letter to the Herald in which a man thanks GOD TV for his recovery.

A letter to the Herald in which a man thanks GOD TV for his recovery.

There was a letter (right) into the Plymouth Herald that is an example of this blinkered way of thinking. As a Catholic we are always taught to look for the scientific answer to the problem. A Catholic (Father Georges Le Maître) discovered the Big Bang, or at least was the first to theorise it, two years before Edwin Hubble. Augustinian Monk and Geneticist Grigor Mendel first put forward the theory of natural genetic selection. Despite the bad rap that Catholics get, they’ve actually done the most, out of any of the religions, to further science and scientific discovery. GOD TV comes along and tells this man that he was saved through prayer. This chap unfortunately suffers with Asthma, but I’d be tempted to say it was the nebuliser that helped him to breathe again, rather than the fact that GOD TV was praying for him. How on earth he was able to watch GOD TV in a hospital is anyone’s guess. Last time I was in hospital the TV’s had about 15 channels, and none of them were GOD TV.

I am really disgusted that these people exploit the naive and vulnerable for private financial gain, but I leave them to it. People have the right to choose, leave them to make this choice. It disgusts me to my core that these people are operating in my city. It horrifies me that they are opening up in the area of Plymouth I most associate with. I think it’s disgraceful that they are moving into a prime spot on Plymouth’s principle, world famous night life spot. It chills me to my core that they are opening up in the building that I spent my formative years in.

The solution

I was speaking to a friend of mine, an atheist, who I used to work at Millennium, about this. He too expressed disgust. I have since spoken to others who worked their and they too have expressed displeasure at GOD TV opening its doors at the site of the former club.

As residents of Plymouth, this building meant something to us, something deep and spiritual and religion, organised religion had nothing to do with it, but as of yet these people have been unchallenged in their actions.

This year would have been the tenth anniversary of Millennium closing down. I propose that we send a message, a very strong message, the Millennium way, as to what we think of these people opening up on Union Street. They’re opening a “Prayer Revival Centre”, and I propose we have a Millennium Revival Day.

It breaks down like this. GOD TV are a business that is involved in media. On the day they open, they are going to have a big glitzy event. I propose that at the same time, we have a loud, boozy reunion of staff members, at one of the clubs in the area, maybe Crash Manor, or Jesters, I haven’t asked yet. We basically have us getting trollied across the road, the way we used to years ago, to send a message to them that what they’re doing to our old club is unacceptable. People would be encouraged to come along, get drunk, share stories of Millennium, the club, the faces, the times and revel in what the building used to be. All would be welcome and we would remember it as the great club it used to be rather than what it is being turned into now.

If you’re a former member of staff, get in touch, it’d be great to have as many people on board as possible.

We can show these guys what we think, reminisce about the past and party all in one foul swoop!

Who’s with me?

Goodbye Forest, I’ll miss you

It’s Super Sunday. I’m sat in Walkabout in Plymouth with my friends. They support a wide variety of premiership teams. I say wide variety, most could be found in the top half of the league, despite the fact that those supporting have little to no connection to the team playing.

My mum, mindful of the fact that while I was in constant contact with my Dad, (he lived in Sheffield and I didn’t see him week in week out) took it upon herself to take me to watch Plymouth Argyle. In the nineties, your dad taking you to see a football match was a rite of passage.

My Dad always promised me that he’d take me to see Sheffield Wednesday (a mid-to-top level Premiership side at the time) and Nottingham Forest (a top four side at the time) but whenever I’d go up and visit him in summer the football season wasn’t on, or had only just started. Every other half term or Christmas or Easter was a no-go. Everyone wanted to see their favourite (at the time, only) grandson, nephew, great-nephew etc and so Saturdays when I was up there were filled with “do’s” where they’d lay on a “spread” and well, that didn’t leave much time for football. He couldn’t get tickets for Forest or Sheffield Wednesday for love nor money, and it wasn’t for the want of trying.

My Dad did take me to my first game though. It was watching the mighty blades, Sheffield United, playing Liverpool, at the home of football, Bramall Lane.

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Sheffield F.C. were, and still are the oldest Football club in the world. Players like Pele have played testimonial matches their to show their appreciation for the great strides it made to the game. They played their matches at Bramall Lane before moving to the small Derbyshire town of Dronfield. Only two football clubs have received the FIFA International Order of Merit. One is Real Madrid, the other is Sheffield F.C.

No matter how many clubs claim to be “the home of football”, Bramall Lane has the greatest claim. It’s where the rules were first laid down. It’s where people first started to watch and engage with the game. The actual geography of where it lies is that it is surrounded by terrace after terrace of housing. To my mind, I think maybe Loftus Road, Upton Park and the old Highbury stadium have people living in properties adjoining or facing the ground separated only by a road and even then it speaks volumes that it is usually just on one side. There is trend of moving football clubs out of towns.

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The world's first ever Football Cup final was played at Bramall Lane.

I strongly disapprove of this. I think football should be for the people. I think when that is removed, the football club no longer has a right to its history. It no longer has a right to claim its roots as it is detached from them. When Wimbledon moved to Milton Keynes, it was no longer Wimbledon. It was a financial organization that had players and wanted to move them up the line. MK Dons aren’t entitled to claim an FA Cup victory, nor the amateur cup victory. That happened quickly. With other clubs, Chelsea, Manchester City and Cardiff, the transformation is happening far more slowly, but is nonetheless, still happening. They isolate their grassroots support and as a result become devoid of the culture, history and personalities that shaped the club in the first place. This disconnect from their history devalues their club, not financially but certainly culturally.

My time to watch Forest with my Dad would come several years later, in 2007. It wasn’t my first time seeing them either. I did also go and see Sheffield Wednesday with my youngest sister, as Argyle away at Hillsborough, but that’s a different story. Forest have always been a strong club locally and of the matches I used to go to, the City Ground was usually at capacity or thereabouts. Attendance is the bread and butter of any club. Forest had that going for them. They were, at the time, the only European Cup winning team to have been relegated to the third tier of English football. When I saw them for the first time, with my Dad, they were playing in what is now League one.

If Forest get into the premiership next season, which is likely, I want them to do well. I want them to do well because they are my team. The problem is that they will lose their soul.

Me and my ex-girlfriend were there, when they were in League One, the third tier, traipsing across Trent Bridge in an icy November snow. She isn’t even a fan, but we still went to show our support. If they get into the Premiership they’ll have a load of fair weather fans from around the world, most of whom have little or no connection to the club. The mass of supporters will devalue the contribution that I and others have made to the club and this support makes my support less worthy.

Then these new supporters will want to watch their team play. A raise in demand usually equates to a rise in prices. Who, these days has the money to support a premiership team by going to every match home and/or away? Because demand rises for a team exponentially when they enter the premiership, most of their loyal fans are priced out of the club.

Then there is also the point that the club becomes an in demand commodity, which big business wants to buy and muscle in on big parts of the club’s identity. Nowhere is this more prominent than with the ground. Newcastle’s iconic St James’s Park is now called the “Sports Direct Arena”. Derby County play at Pride Park (well worth a glance if you’re on a train in that part of the world) but that has since been renamed the “iPro Stadium”. I feel that something like that maybe coming down the line for my beloved City Ground. Hull City’s owner recently changed the name of the club to the Hull Tigers. The identity of the club had been Hull City AFC for more than 100 years. Changing the name for marketing purposes removes the club’s identity and turns it from being a football club into a commodity. I can’t imagine this happening with Forest. Their emblem is a tree and river, and I can’t see anything they could be changed to. Nottinghamshire Cricket Club however rebranded themselves as “Nottingham Outlaws” for Twenty20, so there really is no telling.

One football club that had an entrenched identity was that of Cardiff. They were the bluebirds, they played in blue but when they got to the premiership the name was changed to the Welsh dragons and instead of playing in their trademark blue, the kit was changed to red as their chairman wanted to appeal to international markets. The fans who had supported Cardiff had their culture stripped away to turn the club into an international commodity. If it can happen with Cardiff, it can happen to anyone.

See, I love Forest, but if they’re in the Premiership they’ll be operating in a league with no social value anyway, little more than a financial organization with no sense of loyalty. Even if they don’t succumb to that, and a big part of me suspects that they won’t, they’ll be operating in that environment and slowly will not be the club that I loved. They will no longer be the firm social enterprise they once were and will, I fear, just turn into a bland premiership entity. For this reason, when they get promoted I will leave them be.

There was just one more thing I noticed. I watched a Chelsea match recently and all the fans were sat there quietly watching the match. Personally, the “bants” is a key part of football in my opinion. Give me a shouty, sweary, drunken fourth tier match in a hell hole of a ground over sitting quietly watching the team any day of the week.
Suffice to say, if Forest do get promoted, as I said earlier, my mum brought me up supporting Argyle, so, while I wish Forest well, Argyle will get my undivided attention.

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