Last week FC United of Manchester, the club I co-own, was promoted to the Conference North. I have opened this post with that particular sentence because you may have missed last week’s news.
I may have only been to eight of their matches this season, I may not be a streetwise Mancunian and my claim to co-ownership may be based on the easy gesture of handing over £12 every July but I still feel proud that I feel part of something fantastic, however infinitesimal that part may be.
It’s difficult to turn my happiness and sense of satisfaction into recognisable words. I don’t feel ecstatic solely because of my own feelings, I have an inkling of what this success means to everyone connected to the club and it feels fantastic to be part of something like that.
I know that I’m slightly involved in something special. I’m entranced by FCUM’s place in the fabric of the North West’s social history, A Fine Lung, An Undividable Glow and Under The Boardwalk provided a masterly education. The interactions I’ve had, in both real life and on social media, have turned the easy gesture of handing over £12 every July into something significant.
FCUM’s political stance mean that the club is a living and breathing example of grass roots activism in action. Their political stance shows that FCUM is not just an example that football or sport should follow it is example that our wider society should follow, as tonight’s tweet from the club shows;
Our members have also agreed that the club will not work with organisations that operate Workfare as the scheme contravenes our ethics.
Success always feels great on its own terms but when you co-own a club like FCUM the success means even more. While FCUM’s success is fantastic on its own terms it’s even more fantastic in the present political environment.
The 2015 general election campaign has become the latest stop for the depressing cavalcade of scapegoating and division creation. During the last 5 years politician after politician has highlighted problem group after problem group. There’s been no end to the threats to our society faces; the public sector, “The Unions”, teachers, benefit claimants, the EU, the immigrants, the metropolitan liberal elite, the Scots.. This scapegoating has become frenzied during the campaigning season.
As you read these words rank stupidity and petty bigotry grow ever more acceptable. Rancid right wing bigots were once reviled but have now annexed the moral high ground. When they “tell it like it is” the unalienable right of free speech becomes an impervious shield of steel.
When people tell it like it is courtesy and consideration become ideas from the dark ages. When people tell it like it is prospective parliamentary candidates don’t freely use racial epithets they tell bad taste jokes and people say that it’s fine for other people to be machine gunned because they are “migrants”.
When wanton individuals shriek evocations of free speech it’s one of the most one of the most bitter ironies of life in 2015. The bastions of free speech will use their principled outlook to lambast the agents of Cultural Marxist control then complain that brainwashed cultural Marxist sheeple are criticising their point of view twenty four hours later. They sometimes threaten public sector employees with e-mails that feature their pernicious thought crimes. “Your boss won’t like to hear what you’ve said.” they say, telling it like it is.
FCUM’s success could not have come at more opportune moment for me. Their promotion is a timely reminder that there is another way of doing things in our austerity laden times. FCUM represents a better way of doing things; welcoming, inclusive, socially attentive and above all, hopeful.
It’s just a matter of looking at things in the correct way.