At the End of the Day

Footie supporter and Gordon Taylor hacker R. Murdoch

Derek & Clive go racially abusing

Anton Ferdinard (cousin of Rio, I think) claims he was called ‘a black c***’ by John Terry during Sunday’s Premiership game between QPR and Chelsea. This isn’t funny in and of itself, merely predictable from a top professional whose club displays a large banner at Stamford Bridge every weekend proclaiming its ‘Zero Tolerance Policy’ on racism.

What is hysterically funny, however, is the degree to which the affair is already imitating art, if you think the Cook and Moore ‘Derek and Clive’ albums were a form of art, which I do. There’s a track on one of these called ‘I wuz down the Tottenham ‘otpsurs’ which remains the funniest pastiche of working class foul language in history. In today’s Times, this masterpiece is remade as Ferdinand’s submission to the FA about what happened between John ‘I’m wiv yer woif’ Terry – an England captain, by the way – and Ferdinand on the playing fields of Shepherds Bush. The scene (only slightly reconstructed for dramatic purposes) seems to have gone something like this:

AF: ‘ere, did you just call me a f**king black c***?

JT: Oi! I never said ‘f**kin’ black c***, you f**king knobhead

We can feel some sense of relief at this point that Terry didn’t call Ferdinand a f**king black knobhead, otherwise he might have faced a long prison sentence. But later, as they departed the field, once more jolly old pals, this exchange occurred:

JT: ‘ere, did you ‘onestly fink I called you a black c***?

AF: No, I fought you called me a f**kin’ black c***, you f**kin’ c***.

Asked about the incident, Terry said, “I would never use such a term, and I’m saddened that people would think so.”

As Noel Coward would’ve said, “Of course you are dear boy, of course you are”.

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Tayloring the truth

I include soccer references in The Slog because first, I love the game and would like to see it restored to what it used to be; and second, because it is one of the more overt symptoms of our culture’s descent into the sewer. Also in the news today was Graham Taylor, the former Bolton Wanderers clogger now in charge of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA). Graham you may recall as the man who trousered £700,000 of Newscorp blood money after he caught it hacking his phone. From this one could deduce that Taylor is a bloke who prefers the spondoolicks to the law of social responsibility, and the collapse of PFA subsidiary GiveMeFootball.com would appear to support this theory.

Mr Taylor, was a major player in GMF. In return for offering access to an A1 soccer mailing database, GiveMeMoney charged Aussie betting company PlayUp just over £1m, but it then turned out that the list had been padded out with fakes – as were many of the mobile phone numbers supplied. Although Taylor was a director of GMF for ten years, he suffers from the same challenged vision and memory as his one-time tormentor Rupert Murdoch, in that he claims to have known nothing about what was going on.

However, the Courts having found in favour of PlayUp, just two days before the deadline to cough up the monies illegally obtained from the company, Graham Taylor resigned, and GMF collapsed. Two of his fellow directors then walked away and bought the company from the liquidators. It’s back in business as GMF Media, and PlayUp is £705,000 out of pocket.

The £1m a year PFA boss now says he “didn’t want to be involved” with GMF, so he must have stuck it out for a decade from a sense of duty, or loyalty, or greed or something. He really is a piece of work, is our Graham.

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Long, long ago in the dim and distant past when The Slog was but a caterpillar called NotBornYesterday, it worked with two journalists who still prefer to be nameless, and to be honest I don’t blame them. This is because we all came perilously close to having our backsides sued off by a man who has since changed his name to Lord Fondlebum of Boy.

The incident involved the then plain Peter Manglesum during his spell as an EU Gauleiter, and his adventures in Hungary. The allegation was that Wanglescum’s knitting circle in the East was fond of, you know, this and that….and might have been getting favours of an import-rate nature from the Trade Commissarine.

Later, I heard other rumours via various yachting girls in the Mediterranean, along the lines of Mandy being close to the aluminium sector, several oligarchs within which owned well-equipped and discreet Vodka palaces in the region. Later still, various trade deal correspondence involving import rates for aluminium were discovered to have had large sections deleted before presentation to the media for examination. Being an organisation for whom every attention to legality should be spared, the EU Commission cleared Mandelson of being Hungary for Boys, or indeed anything else of a lustful nature.

Throughout this time, Peter the Piper was seen and heard introducing Victor Dahdaleh the aluminium middle-man as ‘his friend’, albeit not in the knitting circle sense.

Yesterday, the Jordanian-born Anglo-Canadian wheeler-dealer was arrested by the Serious Fraud Office on a charge of facilitating bribes to be paid by Alcoa to Bahraini officials.

Lord Mandelson is, as we all know, bent: but this is not a criminal offence these days, and a man’s sexual orientation is his own affair. However, it could well be that close followers  of his Ladyship’s career should stay closely tuned to what Victor Dahdaleh might or might not tell Sweeney Plod in the coming days.

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Dead Wood

We had a power cut in our billet here today. Reception said it would take many hours for the electricity to be restored, because the whole street was dead, and as all the phones work on electricity, nobody would be able to wake up the electricity company from its siesta, and suggest it might come out to fix it.

The bloke on reception is Polish, and so it’s quite easy to have a reasonable conversation with him about the Latin pissup/brewery relationship. He tells me that they have a power cut about once a month, and he’s suggested to his boss a dozen times that the complex invest in a reception mobile phone in order to ring the various utility suppliers whenever what they’re supposed to be supplying doesn’t arrive.

I went out to do a bit of shopping and, having decided to purchase a fine pair of casual shoes, withdrew some cash from an ATM whose owner I know to be insolvent. As I checked the time soon afterwards, the spindle on an East-European wristwatch I’d purchased the previous Sunday dropped off, and rolled across the pavement towards a destination unknown. I arrived for my daily appointment with McDonalds wifi to be told, when I couldn’t connect, that it must be my machine.

EU members in southern Europe contain populations who say two sorts of things: either what they think you want to hear, or what will get them off the hook. Having followed the ClubMed bankruptcy saga for some months now, I should’ve known this before we came. But the trees very often get in the way of the wood. I wouldn’t say I have seen the light over the last few days, but I have certainly seen the wood. and it’s rotten.

John Ward, for The Slog, McDonalds restaurant, somewhere in Latin lalaland.