Tag Archives: support

Will Leeds’ Unrivalled Matchday Support See Them Through? Or Will the Online Mob Spell Disaster? – by Rob Atkinson


Leeds United matchday support – simply the best

With apologies to Charles Dickens: we have the best of fans, we have the worst of fans. We’re Leeds United, and it’s high time we acknowledged this essential truth. The dividing line is perhaps a bit blurred – but, broadly speaking, the matchgoing support, those who roll up home and away, providing that intense atmosphere and fervent backing, can have few if any rivals anywhere in the game. If the fate of the team was down to these lads and lasses, we’d be certs for promotion.
But sadly, these days, you have to factor in the virtual world, and the Leeds United presence there – if we can assume for a moment that these online fans really are genuine Leeds followers – are not of the same quality as those matchgoing heroes. The outpouring of negativity both last season (as acknowledged by several players who admitted that it does affect them) and latterly this season too, has become a real factor in the team’s nervous and jittery displays. The trolls of course will deny this, but then, they would, wouldn’t they? But the fact is that professional sport is a matter of fine margins separating success from failure – so that any diminution of support is a negative and unwanted factor. And sadly, that’s something that could well cost us dear.
I’m by no means convinced that the worst of these online offenders are genuine Leeds fans anyway – there’s a lot of recently-started Twitter accounts out there, and you have to assume that some, at least, have been created for – shall we say – mischievous purposes. That will be a minority, though – but, as ever, there will always be a number of the dimmer type of Leeds fan, always looking for a passing bandwagon to jump aboard, and thinking that departing from a party line of “Bielsa is God” makes them appear windswept and interesting. That scenario has been quite obvious recently too.
I’m no more aware than anyone else what to do about this, beyond raising our voices in objection to the negative posters and trying to rally genuine support. That’s what I’ve been trying my poor best to do, and I know others have too. Doubtless we’re all taking the same kind of stick, sarcastically being called “superfans” etc. It’s all water off a duck’s back, of course – and, anyway, a bit of stick from a few hard-of-thinking types would be well worth it if we could make only the tiniest difference to online behaviour. And I have noticed more positive and supportive tweets lately, which is encouraging.
Because, in a game of fine margins, the slightest positive effect can make the difference, and take us where we all want to be.
Marching On Together 

Supporters of Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything; Link Now Fixed

A number of people have been in touch to say that they have tried to donate to the blog, but have found the PayPal link not to be working.

I think I’ve fixed this now, or donations can be made using the email address RobofLeeds07@aol.com. Must say sorry to anyone inconvenienced or whose time has been wasted.

Thanks to all concerned for your invaluable support, it’s vastly appreciated. The blog has just had its best-ever day, with over 31,000 hits on Sunday Feb 1st. It’s down to loyal and generous contributors that I’m able to keep this going.




Noel Hunt Scores to Leave Leeds Boo-Boys Red-Faced – by Rob Atkinson

Ipswich Hero Noel - not good enough for 15th placed Leeds

Ipswich Hero Noel – not good enough for 15th placed Leeds

Really, you had a feeling it might happen. After a barren spell at Leeds United, Noel Hunt has made the loan switch to high-flying Ipswich Town – and has become an instant Tractor Boys hero with a last-gasp winner at Charlton Athletic.

No Tractor Boys at Elland Road – but boo-boys aplenty. Sadly, ’twas ever thus. I go back as far as Terry Yorath, who was routinely slaughtered by those on the terraces with size 12 gobs to accommodate their size 12 bovver boots – and with a size zero brain ostensibly directing things from somewhere in the pelvic region.

Yorath was a Welsh international who went on to have a fine career with Coventry and then Spurs. He was just one of too many players chased out of LS11, confidence in tatters, by the hard-of-thinking masses whose idea of motivational support amounts, it seems, to monosyllabic, visceral abuse. Great way to back the lads, lads.

Two of Cloughie’s imports in the autumn of ’74, John McGovern and John O’Hare, suffered ignorant abuse and were likewise sent packing from Leeds, doubtless grateful to get away. Instead of pining for what might have been in the White shirt, they settled for an English Champions medal, two European Cups, sundry Wembley triumphs and a bucketload of glory down Nottingham way. The bright lads on the Gelderd, unabashed, continued to hold that they were “roobish. Not good enough for Leeds, like”. Our talent as fans for shooting ourselves in the collective foot was honed as sharp as a knife in the back, even then.

This level of expertise as assessors of footballing talent is still manifesting itself among the Leeds United faithful. A small but loud minority will concede nothing to the pros in terms of their ability to label a player as “crap”. Even in the immediate aftermath of Hunt’s late winner at Charlton, there were many rather defensive tweets in the ether, insisting that Noel is “still crap”. After all, what does his manager know? Or his fellow pros??

Several United players down the years have been unable to give of their best with this sort of “support” ringing in their ears. Unaccountably, a goodly proportion of these hopeless, useless articles have gone on to do well elsewhere – at clubs whose fans embrace old-fashioned and out-dated practices, like cheering on whoever wears the shirt. That’s far too naïve and unsophisticated position for the bright sparks in the Leeds crowd, though. Of course it is. We’re Leeds and we know best – right?

It could be that Noel Hunt might still have a future at Elland Road. It’s hardly unknown for a player, his confidence holed below the water line, to be buoyed up by the experience of a run in some other club’s side, a chance to play his way back into form. Perhaps Hunt will be an example of that kind of renaissance. But equally, he may prefer to pursue his career elsewhere. You could hardly blame him.

Players are a valuable asset for any club. Those assets may appreciate over time, given success and the adoration of the fans. But some may sink without a trace and feel no option but to start again elsewhere, if anyone will take a punt on them. Ipswich boss and Leeds United fan Mick McCarthy must be pleased right now that he took a punt on Hunt.

Leeds fans are as self-congratulatory a mob as you’d find anywhere in football. They are prone to applauding themselves as the best supporters around. Taking an army of 7,000 to Blackburn as well as frequently following Leeds in numbers for midweek games away on the south coast – this speaks volumes for the fanaticism of the United support. But support is about more than just turning up in numbers, and sadly Leeds fans in my experience are frequently lacking in the aspect of support that involves actually being supportive. And that’s a significant fault that can have real consequences for players’ careers and, by extension, the club’s prospects of success.

Good luck to Noel Hunt in his loan spell at Ipswich, and beyond – wherever that might be. It’s difficult to envisage him back at Leeds, but I for one would be delighted to see him return, confidence restored. But confidence is a fragile flower, easily blown away by the scorching wind of spectator scorn in a white-hot cauldron like Elland Road with its mad up. The question Hunt might be asking himself in January, with a successful loan at Portman Road behind him, is: “Do I really need that??

The answer to that question might well result in Noel Hunt bearing down on the Leeds goal in some other team’s shirt in the not-too-distant future, to score against us and condemn the Whites to a possibly costly defeat. It’s happened before, it’ll almost certainly happen again. And you know what? We’ll bloody deserve it.

Marching On Together: Please Support This Fast-Growing Leeds United Blog – by Rob Atkinson

Unrivalled support

Unrivalled support

Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything is growing rapidly. Back in September of last year, just before it was included on the News Now platform, the blog had received a total of only 13,000 hits in a little under nine months.  It was growing, but very slowly.  Now, that figure stands on the brink of the 900,000 mark. Sometime in May, if not before, somebody will register the one millionth hit. There are 1,182 WordPress followers, with an additional 2,891 following by email.  And it’ll be onwards and upwards from here.

I’m determined to see this blog continue to grow and thrive. Other projects will spring from it, notably a book about the varied fortunes of Leeds United between the Championship success of 1974 and that of 1992 – a “Full Circle” period that includes the thinly-chronicled second division years of the 1980s.  I believe that I provide a valuable service in trying to keep Leeds United fans – and others – around the world informed and amused.  Many are the comments I have had saying that this blog has cheered things up when the situation around Elland Road has seemed bleak.  It’s heart-warming and fulfilling to get feedback like that; it inspires me, as it would any writer, to carry on trying to provide what readers want.  I’m passionate about Leeds United Football Club, and I don’t hold back from communicating this in my blogs – which I try to keep coming at the rate of roughly one per day (sometimes more) where other commitments allow.

Every little helps

Every little helps

To do any and all of this, I need your help. I need individuals to read and share the blog so that those numbers continue to climb – this is so important. I also need small donors, people willing to click the PayPal button on the top right of each page, and give even a quid or two – or maybe commit to a quid or so a month – because it all helps. Many of you have been kind enough to do this already, for which I am humbly grateful – and as those people know, I always write to express that gratitude. Those who have donated £10 or more will receive a complimentary copy of the Full Circle book when it is published.

To put the value and helpfulness of small donations into context: if everybody who ever clicked on an article on this site had donated as much as 10p a time, I’d have been able to fund publication of my book under my own steam by now.  Every little counts – and there are a lot of you out there, with more joining every day.  Please help, if you can.

But as well as straightforward donations and increased readership and following, I also need people who are prepared to get more heavily involved – those who are willing and able to place adverts, sponsor sections of the blog – or even the whole thing. I would ask anybody interested in this to visit the Contacts section – and drop me a line. Again it helps the blog – and with hits running to an average of 25,000 a week and rising, it should be of benefit to you and your business, too.  And I know that there are some extremely enterprising and successful people out there, following this and other blogs – well, you’d be extremely welcome on board here.  But hurry – if Signor Cellino nips in first for a full site sponsorship, I can hardly say no!  And I believe he does have a few bob to spare…

This blog is going places.  I really believe that. It’s just a matter of time – and of how much support and encouragement I can hope to receive from my valued readers and fellow Leeds United fans. So, please help if you can – become a Friend of the Blog. Join in and get on board, and let’s make a big success.  Respond to the articles, join in the debates that ensue.  There are exciting times ahead – Leeds United may be about to turn a corner, so let’s all go forward and succeed together.  I’m actually thinking of instituting a Friends of the Blog list – and I’m open to any other suggestions for helping Life, Leeds United, the Universe & Everything keep on growing and thriving.

Last, but not least – to my small but dedicated band of trolls, the ones who write in so often and so passionately – but for my eyes alone (as their input hardly ever sees the light of day) – do not worry; none of this is aimed at you! You just continue to entertain me and make me laugh, if you will; I require nothing more from you.  You certainly help with the blog’s readership figures – but my request for actual help and support is aimed at true Leeds United fans and friends and followers of the blog.  Thanks, though –  I’m glad we could clear that up…

Ciao – Siamo Leeds.  Marciando Avanti Insieme

Time For True Leeds United Fans to Get Positive and Support the Club – by Rob Atkinson


Elland Road packed with the faithful

Sometimes, a good old-fashioned cliché is the only thing to resort to, especially when things seem bleak and morale is low.  So I have a couple to offer that may help at this uneasy time when Leeds United stand on the brink of yet another new beginning and we’re all questioning what’s wrong in the club after one of the worst results in our entire history.  The two that spring to mind are “The darkest hour is the one just before the dawn” and “Let your faith keep you strong“.  There may well be others equally applicable.

The thing about clichés is that they wouldn’t be quite so hackneyed and frequently-quoted if they didn’t have that element of truth and common sense about them.  The central message of any such quotation as related to Leeds United right now must be that the club needs positive support in bad times even more than in good.  This is no time to spread despair and linger over the agony and humiliation – for such it surely is – of a defeat to an inspired but much lowlier team.  What we have to do now, as a massive collective of followers for one of the world’s most famous and fanatically-supported football clubs, is: stick with it.  Tough it out.  We’ve had bad times before, and ultimately they’ve helped make the good times even sweeter.

Rochdale was a bad experience, worst of all for the fans who made the journey and backed their men to put on a professional display for the shirts they were wearing and the badge on those shirts.  The fans that make these trips are the single most notable thing about the Leeds United of today.  They are a modern phenomenon, supporting a mediocre team with almost unfailing good humour and vociferous enthusiasm.  Fans of clubs we visit are in awe of the sheer passion these fantastic fans generate.  But clearly, any group of football followers will have a collective breaking-point.  That point was reached at Rochdale; the fans had had enough and they said so.  They expressed their anger and their pain in terms that even the most complacent and overpaid player could easily understand.  The manager was brave enough to emerge after the game and take his share.  He has expressed no disagreement, but has remained dignified and determined.  When success comes, Brian McDermott is the kind of man who will think back to yesterday at Rochdale so that he will not be carried away in the flush of achievement.  Brian is a steady man, and he will take on board the disappointment and suffering of those loyal fans.

But we’ve had our moan now.  It was a message that had to be sent out, and our representatives at Spotland duly obliged.  It’s done; let’s move on.  We stand on the brink of – quite possibly – a major upturn in the fortunes of Leeds United.  Just as efforts over the past year in team building are very much a work in progress, so the achievements behind the scenes and the changes wrought there are possibly slightly under-appreciated.  But Leeds United today as a club is a very different entity than the one labouring under the yoke of Bates’ last few months in charge.  This is something for which we should all be truly grateful.

Rochdale is gone, just as Histon disappeared into the past.  Not so long after Histon, we were winning at Man U – and this was at a time when that was quite a hard thing to do.  Rochdale will be remembered as a low point, but the highs which will follow are apt to be all the sweeter for that bitter experience.  Such are the slings and arrows of outrageous Leeds United.

Now we wait for the tangible results of all the backroom activity currently going on at the club and at the Football League.  We can justifiably wait with some excitement; the signs are good that the club is about to commence operations on a whole new level.  The FA Cup meant little to us this season, in reality.  The pride and feelings of the fans, granted.  But as a competition, it is one that we can manage without – just as long as our progress in the right direction is maintained.  That’s the cause in which we should be lending our support.  What’s about to happen might just be a massively significant time in the history of our club, and we must be seen to be behind the teams – the ones off the field as well as on it.  And we’re a team ourselves, a massive united group of fanatical supporters who all wish to be involved in the success of United.  Any team needs to pull together, and that’s just what we need to be doing, right now and going forward.

So please – put Rochdale behind you and get your chin up.  We’re Leeds and we’re proud even in those times when the team give us little reason to show that pride.  Players come and go, teams evolve.  Even management and owners aren’t forever.  But the club and the fans are bound together in perpetuity, and we must seek to go forward as a united force.

We Are Leeds, Marching on together.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but we’re going to stay with them forever – at least until the world stops going round.  Let’s remember that.

Leeds United Fans – Why do Some Appear to Revel in Negativity? – by Rob Atkinson

Leeds, Leeds, Leeds!

Leeds, Leeds, Leeds!

I’ve read a couple of articles lately, both decently-written and making some good points – but both leaving me despairing over the massively negative attitude current among a certain section of Leeds “support”.  The tendency, in fact is not only massively negative, it’s eagerly, loudly, brassily negative.  It embraces negativity and holds it close like it never wants to let it go.  It’s the very antithesis of what support should be all about. It’s defeatism in its most depressing and demoralising form; if these articles had been written in wartime, they may very well have been taken out and shot.

The common theme of course, hammered home with relish and supportive statistics, is that We Are Not A Big Club Anymore.  The people saying this say it passionately and with conviction.  Not only do they wish to believe that Leeds aren’t a big club, the very idea that some fans may not believe this – may, in fact be holding dear the belief that United are still big – clearly upsets and offends them.  They crop up everywhere, these pallid little people, spreading their message of gloom and churning out invidious comparisons by the bucketload.  They’re becoming an effective voice wherever fans gather together to discuss matters Leeds.  In fact there’s only one real problem with their whole campaign. It’s utter, unmitigated bollocks.

The fact of the matter is, no club is bigger or smaller than its fanbase, its potential for support.  A very reliable gauge of this is freely available in these tech-savvy days we live in. It’s what is nattily called “online presence”.  Give your mouse some exercise and find out for yourself – if you don’t already know.  In cyberworld, second division, under-achieving, out-spent and unregarded Leeds United are absolutely HUGE.  This is the best barometer you could wish for of the measure of passion out there, the incredible hunger and thirst for any morsel of news, any topic of debate about the Mighty Whites of LS11. They’re out there, right now, all over the globe.  They’re clicking away at their computer terminals reading and digesting, or they’re writing in dozens of languages about Leeds past, present and future.  Our great days on the field are an increasingly distant memory, and a large proportion of the match-day support of a decade ago are marginalised and still priced out of actual engagement with the match-going experience, despite a return to relative sanity in the pricing structure.  But around the globe, in the ether, over the airwaves and most importantly inside the heads of millions of fanatics, Leeds United are top four, a phenomenon.

So, why this overweening eagerness to paint us as a small club?  Is it the tiresome need of social writers to dress themselves up as that bit different?  You know – slightly windswept and interesting, with that world-weary air of cynicism etching attractive lines into their fashionably-troubled yet intellectual brows.  It’s odd.  Any real pretensions to “cool” tend to be dissipated by the unseemly scramble to out-do each other in the negativity stakes, and they’re usually followed by eager-beaver starry-eyed acolytes who wish to attach themselves to any view that doesn’t qualify as mainstream.  Perhaps that’s the answer – are we dealing with an online football-flavoured brand of snob obscurantism?

I’m not advocating the other pole of this issue, by the way.  That worryingly Freudian habit of a certain Franchise’s fans to shout from the virtual rooftops about how they’re the biggest, the best and totally huge and wonderful throughout the world and all four dimensions of spacetime. I’ll mention no names here, but the initials are man u.  I’d be even more concerned if our collective attitude was as deluded as that, not least because – in the case of our acquaintances from over the hills – their Devon and Cornwall-based support have made of themselves a laughing-stock with such wishful thinking.  Certainly in Barcelona and Madrid, and in various other centres of realism too, not excluding Beeston.

No, all I want is for certain people to remember the basic meaning of the word “support”. It does not include the peddling of negative thinking, nor does it encompass unhelpful and misleading assertions regarding comparisons with such giants as Norwich and Dull City.  All of this is willful and groundless cant, calculated to spread misery and crush hope.

Support is about identifying yourself with the club you love, and spreading the word to those less fortunate who have not seen the light.  It’s about getting the shoulder behind the momentum of recent promising form – and being prepared to back it all the way, in the face of the withering carpings of naysayers as and when necessary.  Support is an overwhelmingly positive thing, and it needs to espouse and reflect positivity in everything it does.

Criticism is part of this, we are not simply a massive band of yes-men.  But criticism can be couched in positive terms too – this will not do for Leeds United, we said of Bates, and behold, he is gone.  The same applies to ticket prices, or transfer policy, or anything else we’ve been unhappy with from time to time.  We say “this will not do because We Are Leeds, and we demand better”.  So we can be critical – and that can be effective – but it’s still our overriding duty to be biased, and to talk the club up – because we’re supporters. Criticism that amounts to a wholesale belittling of the club relative to other clubs who may be enjoying some temporary success – that’s just ridiculous, and so counter-productive as to be a sin. Spreading alarm and despondency is not needed, not helpful, not to be embraced.  There are idiots enough in the media eager as all hell to do that, without people who are supposedly fans getting in on the act.

So please, those who peddle pessimism or deal in negativity, think again.  Think not only of whatever you’re getting out of venting these frustrations of yours, but also of your obligations towards the club you’re supposed to be supporting.  Let’s not give our enemies, among rival clubs’ support and within the media, such a cheap advantage.  If you’re a fan, then act and speak as one.  Support your club as a supporter should.  After all – We Are Leeds United, and we are the best.

Leeds Must Back Brian When the Going Gets Tough – by Rob Atkinson


Now that Brian McDermott has nailed his colours to the mast in acting swiftly to quash mounting speculation that his immediate future might lie in the Republic of Ireland hot-seat – it’s time to reappraise our manager once again.  Rumours were running hot earlier today, with petrol being poured on the fire by the unscrupulous likes of the Mirror, who took a few random quotes from over the years to the effect that McDermott was keen on the Ireland job, and added two and two to make unlucky 13 – but that’s the Mirror for you.  If Brian McDermott had been in any sort of a quandary over this situation, it could well have run and run, destabilising not only the preparation for this weekend’s game at Bolton, but also the whole platform being built for the season ahead.  That would have been highly unfortunate to say the least, in a massively competitive league where the finest of margins will separate success from failure.

That McDermott has come out at the earliest feasible opportunity and – whilst acknowledging that he does have international ambitions with Ireland – scotched the immediate prospect of this happening by declaring his 100% commitment to Leeds United, reflects massive credit upon him.  The terms in which he has outlined his determination to achieve success with Leeds, speaking of the warmth of his relationship with the fans as well as of the club in general and how it deserves success, will endear him even to any remaining doubters.  If commitment and passion for the job in hand count for anything, then Brian McDermott is surely destined to be a brilliant success at Elland Road.

But the harsh realities of the club’s current, less-than-certain financial situation will dictate the practical extent of his ability to influence matters on and off the field.  For the best coach in the world, results will be a function of resources – you cannot, as they say, polish a turd.  The holes in United’s first team squad, apparent to anyone with any awareness of the demands of league football over 46 gruelling games, threaten to hemorrhage a lot of the possibilities from Leeds’ nascent campaign. However steady and solid the start has been, there is clearly the potential for a bad run which would leave the club playing catch-up on a steamroller as the sleek speedsters of the Championship elite pull away into the distance.  Should this arise – according to normal form at Leeds United – Brian McDermott might well find himself trying to do a difficult job with a tin hat on, dodging brick-bats from know-alls in the stands and on social media too.

That we as a body of support are capable of this type of behaviour is simply a matter of fact; you just have to look at the twitterati campaign of scorn and abuse against Noel Hunt to realise that. McDermott is evidently aware of it too, and he has made a point of defending Hunt, which again is to his credit.  This is a manager who has made all the right noises ever since he’s been at Leeds, and now he’s deferred what is evidently his ultimate professional ambition: to manage the country he feels most closely attached to.  To say that he deserves our unstinting support is a masterpiece of understatement.

So, it may well be that this season might get tougher as it unfolds.  There may well be trouble ahead.  If that happens, then it is devoutly to be hoped that those of the tendency to dive on a keyboard, or chelp from the stands before their grey matter has been warmed up will pause, and reflect a while.  Maybe they will cast their minds back to this week before venting their frustrations on a man who is trying to do what is right for our club, maybe they will have second and better thoughts and actually give loud expression to their support and backing for this man who has so completely devoted himself and his talents to taking Leeds United back where they belong.

Will Brian be given the time and space, the peace from the loud-mouth tendency that other managers have craved and not been afforded?  We can only hope so.  Our manager is inviting us to March On Together, and that should mean something special to any Leeds fan – so let’s do that, even if times get tough.  That way, when United return to the top, perhaps we’ll ALL be able to say “We deserve it.”

I Blame The Parents : Thoughts Arising Out of the Philpott Tragedy


Life sentence: Philpott

I find myself wondering today, in light of the fact that a waste of DNA like prison-bound Mick Philpott is biologically capable of fathering 17 children – and evil enough, aided by his accomplices, to hatch a money-making plan that took the lives of six of them – whether it is now time to reappraise the adoption regulations.  These strange little bits of judicial nonsense currently deny – quite arbitrarily – the chance to adopt for various categories of people who are unable to have their own children.  I’m talking here about the people who are adjudged to be unable to bring up prospective adoptees in the “right” cultural environment, people deemed too old or too compromised in official eyes by relatively mild mental health conditions, even people reckoned to be suffering emotionally from their inability to conceive naturally – and so on.

There seems to be an awful lot of good parenting skills out there being needlessly wasted, while all the time utterly unsuitable people are producing positive litters of children without the first clue of how to bring them up, look after them or contribute in any positive way to their well-being and social/emotional development.   All of this, just because of the accident of being physically capable of reproduction.  We simply can’t afford to waste good parenting skills – they’re all too rare and precious, as even the most cursory glance around us will reveal.

What is the cost of this evident anomaly down the line, in terms of the kind of society members – quite apart from the tragedy of children who don’t survive – that such a crazily-weighted lottery is producing? And meanwhile, let’s not forget, good people with much to give of both love and the example they’d set in bringing up children, are left on the sidelines, wringing their hands as a whole generation of clueless “parents” brings up a succeeding generation in their own repugnant image.

I can honestly foresee a time when parenting will be by licence only; not that I would advocate this as “A Good Thing”.  It would smell uncomfortably like social engineering to me, and I’d want to know a great deal about the machinery involved in any such process.  But can we really carry on as we are?  Talk to any teacher, and you’ll hear a tale of despair when the conversation turns to the contribution of many parents to their children’s disciplinary standards, and to their education as a whole.  Teachers appear currently to be struggling to accomplish the virtually impossible: turn out well-rounded, educated individuals who are fit to take a place in society, with hardly any support or input from the people most intimately connected to those children concerned.  That’s not just a big ask, it’s a massively unfair burden on professionals who can influence only a portion of each day their students experience, for a relatively small slice of that child’s life.

I have a friend who is a teacher; from everything I know of her she’s a very good teacher.  I know she despairs of the role that some parents play in the development of some of her students, and I can quite see why.  How hard is it for her to take, then, when her cousin and his wife are turned down as adoptive parents because – among other bafflingly specious reasons – “We don’t think you’ll get over not being able to have your own.”  Doesn’t that rather rule out anybody who can’t have their own kids?  Who actually “gets over” a blow like that?  And can we speculate on why people who can have their own kids would want or need to adopt?  It all seems extremely illogical, and it’s a perpetuation by default of the damage being done, every day, every week, every month and year by the people who – as a matter of biological happenstance – end up with the job of raising the next generation.

Maybe, ultimately, we’ll be able to put right a few of society’s ills, and perhaps more attention and resources devoted to the education and support of people contemplating parenthood will assist that process.  I really think it would help, and let’s praise to the skies the first government that sees this as a priority and does something about it.  If you think it through clearly, you could hardly imagine a better investment, a safer investment, than money devoted to training and support with a view to producing better parents.  The savings arising out of the consequent reduction in crime, mental health issues, anti-social behaviour and the disintegration of communities would be incalculable.  Good parents are the ideal people for the job of parenting – goes without saying, or it should do.  God speed that happy day when this is recognised and acted upon.

But meanwhile, let’s not waste the resources freely available to us now in the shape of a massive pool of potentially excellent parents – who currently see their urgent desire to love and care for children they’d bring up in an exemplary fashion being frustrated.  Thwarted by officialdom with its petty rules and guidelines, and its limitless miles of red tape.  There’s far too much subjective judgement going on in this whole process, too many petty prejudices being reinforced by intransigent regulations and ill-advised, ill-informed officials.

My friend’s cousin and his wife now happily have their own child – but it’s another, unknown child – unwittingly losing out on a wonderfully loving home – who has suffered by the bizarre decision they were faced with when they applied to adopt.  There was even some suggestion that the woman’s Polish nationality figured in the “rationale” employed by the decision-maker.  That’s absolutely scandalous when we’re talking about a stable, affluent couple who were looking at adoption rather than IVF because of their view that there were so many unloved kids already out there.

Ask yourself, honestly: what better motive than that could any pair of prospective parents have?  Let’s embrace what people like this have to offer, and maybe help save future kids from future Philpotts.  The biggest lesson of this tragic case is that the complex and difficult adoption dilemma is an issue that we absolutely can’t afford to ignore any longer.

Please Support This Blog and Get The Truth Out There

I’d like to invite and entreat any WordPress users who feel that the current government of the United Kingdom are acting in a callous manner towards the poor and vulnerable in society to read, follow, share and otherwise support this blog.  I ask this respectfully, but in the hope of gaining your support, because I need your help – or I’m just whistling in the dark.  I believe that, from small beginnings, I can help to make a difference – but not on my own.

In among all the Leeds United and other light-hearted football rubbish within these pages, I’m trying to get a serious message out there as to what this despicable Tory-led Coalition government is doing to people who are being unjustly targeted, and are extremely ill-equipped to fight back.

I’m talking about people driven to suicide by vicious cuts to what is already poverty-level income.  People in extreme stages of ill-health being found fit for work, and dying mere days afterwards.  People who are almost blind, suffering from paralysis, multiple amputations, cancer, cardiac failure and other distressing, limiting and life-threatening conditions, being told that they’re fit for work, being accused – in effect – of shirking.

Meanwhile, the lucky ones earning in excess of £1 million a year will shortly benefit from a £100,000 a year tax-cut – an amount EXTRA for each of them every year that might otherwise fund four newly-qualified teacher posts – or more nurses, better healthcare, less child poverty.  But no, these vast amounts of money are going straight into the back pockets of those who are already fat cats, creaming off the resources so desperately needed elsewhere.

Do you think this is right?

Do you think this is fair?

Do you think this is just?

Or do you think that the truth about our government’s policies should be told, and then spread as far and wide as possible, so that people sit up and take notice of what’s actually going on?  Sharing a blog is the modern-day equivalent of shouting from the rooftops.  So – let’s shout a little.  Please.

It will be June at least before I can hope to gain endorsement by the News Now platform, and so gain a wider audience. In the meantime it would be extremely helpful if WordPress readers/users could help me to expand my readership, with a view to spreading that truth where currently we seem to see mostly lies and malicious propaganda. You may well, if you’re the type of person I’m aiming at, who hates injustice and stands up for the disadvantaged, find some stuff that you can agree with!

Please take a minute to have a read, and then share with your like-minded contacts.

Thank you in advance.

Mini-rant #1- An Act of Faithlessness.

This is the first in a series of mini-rants, being bite-sized portions of my large supply of bile and spleen concerning matters that piss me off.  These handy snacks of vitriol shall be served occasionally by way of appetisers for the more verbose offerings I share as main courses.  The dessert menu is a work in progress, but you’re welcome to ask for the Whine List.

Apparently an Everton fan of 36 years support left today’s FA Cup tie against Wigan before half time with his team 0-3 down. He’d already booked a hotel room for what he’d obviously assumed was a nailed-on semi-final appearance at Wembley for the Toffees.

Well now – where to begin?  Honestly, doesn’t that make this outraged supporter, on two counts, the kind of “fan” you need like you need a sharp attack of dysentery. First the arrogance, assuming quarter-final success like that. Any football fan, deluded scummers* apart, will tell you that’s just begging for fate to kick you in the teeth. Idiot.

And walking out before 45 minutes is up. What a spineless, spoiled, selfish thing to do, showing a lack of faith, courage and moral fibre. Look at Arsenal, 0-4 down at Reading this season, and won 7-5. They had fans desert them too, and boy did those of little faith look stupid.

So well done that soft, limp Toffee.  Double idiot, and a wimp to boot.  He should take his support elsewhere if you ask me – and I think I know just the place.  He sounds absolutely ideal for the plastic, whinging, glory-hunting congregation at Old Toilet, home of the “Greatest Football Club In The World™” – he’d fit right in there, though he’d probably need to adopt a home counties accent.

What is the game, and the support, coming to these days??  Yours, Disgusted of Leeds.

*Scummers: a term of endearment employed by Leeds United fans to denote followers of The Mighty Manchester United.