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Thuggery Returns: UK Sold Out Its Soul 2 Brexit

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On Sunday March 10th Birmingham City F.C. met fierce local rivals Aston Villa F.C. in an English Championship fixture. About nine minutes into the game a Birmingham City supporter, wearing a jacket emblazoned with the Z symbol representing that club’s hooligan group, ran onto the pitch and assaulted Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. Grealish had his back to the intruder, and knew nothing about the incident until he felt the blow to his jaw, which had been aimed at the back of his head

The intruder, one Paul Mitchell, was arrested and subsequently jailed for 14 weeks. Despite this, he was cheered and applauded by around 15,000 Birmingham City fans at the ground who had witnessed his actions. A number of others applauded his actions on social media, including a certain Alfie Perkins, who remarked that after the punch Grealish had gone down quicker than his deceased nine month old brother had gone down into his grave.

When Grealish later scored the winning goal, and jumped into a crowd of his own fans to celebrate, he was again assaulted, twice, by one of the stewards Birmingham City F.C. was employing in an official capacity. This steward was also taken away by police, although not arrested. Another steward also assaulted another Villa player during the same celebrations, but was not spoken to by police, who had either not witnessed this or simply got tired of having to deal with all the mayhem around them.

What has any of this got to do with politics?

Welcome to Brexit Britain. The arguments for and against Brexit have been rehashed again and again, and the more people have seen the consequences of the referendum vote, the less they have liked them, in general. But despite defeat after defeat in parliament, the British government is persisting with a course of action it has always known is harmful to the country (in spite of its members’ oaths as MPs and ministers) and does not represent “The Will of the People” (because no manifesto was published to inform people what the Leave side would do if it won).


Because the Brexit vote has empowered people who feel disadvantaged by the rules made by “other people” – the ones about what sort of economy the UK should have, who should live in the country, and how everyone should supposedly act within a democratic society. Not only do they feel they have won, they feel that gives them licence to wilfully flout those rules.

By soldiering on into unbreakable deadlock, the government is trying to stave off the day when a parliamentary process is redundant, and no one listens to any politician any more – without realising, or without choosing to realise, that the longer it soldiers on, the closer that day gets.

Not in our name

England was once notorious for football hooliganism – or rather, co-ordinated violence which used football as an excuse to get people fighting. Thanks to a lot of co-ordinated effort, almost all of this has now gone. For many years, as Rogan Taylor, the former Chair of the Football Supporters Association, was fond of saying, a greater percentage of MPs has been ejected from parliament for misconduct than supporters ejected from football grounds for hooliganism.

Though the old hooligan clashes........

© New Eastern Outlook