Don’t cry for me Margentina
November 21, 2017 – 8:15 am | No Comment | by:

After years of Fergie seemingly being at war with everyone and everything it made a pleasant change to have a sound, easy going and humble bloke in charge of our football team.

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Ice Breaker by:
November 21, 2017 – 8:26 am | No Comment

icebreaker

Training days can be a mixed blessing. On the one hand you get to spend the day drinking tea, eating biscuits and chatting to your workmates, which is always better than working. However, on the other hand you have to engage in such stupidity as rowing imaginary boats, role play and ‘getting to know each other’. Which is always stupid in a workplace where most people have worked together for the last decade.

My teaching assistant and I had made a pact before the training that, no matter what, we were sitting together, none of this sitting next to someone you didn’t really know or like.

This particular trainer wanted us all to ‘know each other just a little bit better’. Which is never a good idea with people you already know far too well. “We will do a little Ice Breaker. Let’s imagine (role play coming up, everyone gets twitchy and stares out of the window and just wishes that being able to ‘beam out’ of here was a reality) we are all on a bus”. Oh for fuck’s sake reverberated silently around the room. We obediently rearranged the furniture so that the chairs were in rows of two behind each other. This was our bus.

I sat next to my teaching assistant, as was our deal. She, not so gently, pushed a few people out of the way so that we were sat together. She was not about to sit next to someone she hadn’t worked with every day for the last five years. God knows where that type of behaviour could lead.

“Tell your partner something about yourself they don’t already know”, the trainer ordered. Sounds simple enough, but I was sat next to a person who already told me everything about herself. She’d tell me what she had for breakfast, dinner and tea. How she cooked it, where she bought the ingredients, what ingredients to use, how to mix it, how long to cook it. This was to a person she knew had absolutely no interest in cooking or making stuff. All I am interested in is eating the final product.

She’d tell me about her children, how they were doing at school, what they said to her that morning, what she said to them. What they wore, how they wore their hair, what hair products they used, who their friends were, who they didn’t like. What they watched on Netflix. She’d tell me all about her husband, his work, what he did or didn’t do the evening before, who his friends were. I knew all about her sex life, when she had had it or not.

ice-breakers-for-sale

Not having it was of great concern to her and she’d deliberate about the issue for many a long hour. Why they hadn’t had it, when they were going to have it, how they were going to have it and where. She’d tell me about her ‘time of the month’, what it was like, how it felt and if she was late or not. So really I’m thinking that this woman isn’t going to be able to tell me anything about herself that I don’t already know. So I turn to her with a smug look on my face and say, “So, tell me something about yourself I don’t already know”. There was a brief hush, which for her was very unusual. “Ha! You can’t do it, can you?”, I say complacently. She sat stubbornly looking forward, legs crossed, her foot tapping out a rhythm to a non-existent tune.

She turns to me: “I’ve seen your dick”, she replies, with a huge superior look on her face. “NO, no, you haven’t”, I stutter. “How, when, what do you mean?” I say, looking around nervously.

“I’ve seen your cock”, she repeats with more confidence, knowing she has me on the back foot.

“You have not seen my cock”.

“I have the picture in my phone”, she replies.

“A picture, a picture, it could be any cock, how do you know it is my cock?” I say, a little irritated that she had been able to tell me something that I didn’t know, even though it was bollocks.

“I got it from a reliable source”, she says, smiling.

“Show it me”, I say.

“You want me to show you a picture of a cock?” she says in a loud voice. Because she was aware that now, everyone in the room was also interested in the picture of my cock.

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I looked around to see every face staring at me. I turned as red as a traditional tomato, not one of those genetically modified yellow, orange or stripy tomatoes which are a bit scary I think. “Well”, says the trainer, “I thought the conversation would be more appropriate for a bus”. She’d obviously never been on the 192.

The trainer prattles on about shite, and my face is still red with embarrassment. I say to my teaching assistant, “Why am I embarrassed?, I don’t have a picture of some random bloke’s cock in my phone?”

She looks me in the face and says that long-held customary retort, used by many a working class woman through the ages: “Fuck off”.

Don’t cry for me Margentina
November 21, 2017 – 8:15 am | No Comment | by:
Don’t cry for me Margentina

After years of Fergie seemingly being at war with everyone and everything it made a pleasant change to have a sound, easy going and humble bloke in charge of our football team.

CYCM 28/10/17: Oh, Broadhurst Park is Wonderful, it’s Full of Holt, Holt’s and United….
October 25, 2017 – 10:45 am | No Comment | by:
CYCM 28/10/17: Oh, Broadhurst Park is Wonderful, it’s Full of Holt, Holt’s and United….

The history books don’t tell us if Joseph Holt ever met the Hyde brothers, Ralph and Alfred, and they certainly don’t tell us if they ended up scrapping. For this preview’s sake though, let’s just …

Take Back Manchester Festival 2017 – #ToriesOut
September 29, 2017 – 8:00 am | No Comment | by:
Take Back Manchester Festival 2017 – #ToriesOut

Five days of demonstrations, cultural events, rallies, comedy, music and public meetings will take place all across Manchester to protest the Conservative Party conference from 30 September – 4 October 2017 including a major national demonstration the day the Conservative Party Conference opens on Sunday 1 October.

Kick It Out?
September 20, 2017 – 7:33 pm | No Comment | by:
Kick It Out?

By Johny Helzapopin
In a week where Romelu Lukaku has scored again for Manchester United, continuing his blistering form since his arrival from Everton, off-field issues have overshadowed what all United fans should be focusing …

Red Rebels – A book review
September 15, 2017 – 5:18 pm | No Comment | by:
Red Rebels – A book review

Roughly two-thirds of the way through Red Rebels: The Glazers and the FC Revolution the tone of the book changes from a rollicking, scarf twirling love story imbued with Mancunian rebelliousness to almost Private Eye …

Remit to the bored – CYCM 02.09.2017
August 31, 2017 – 11:26 am | No Comment | by:
Remit to the bored – CYCM 02.09.2017

Course You Can Malcolm returns to Broadhurst Park in the new surroundings of the SMRE Bar this Saturday before the match with Leamington between 12 noon and 3pm featuring the author of a new book on the Glazer takeover and FC United, plus two music acts and a talk about the club’s new disabled supporters group.

Spirit, patience, gentleness
August 16, 2017 – 6:20 am | One Comment | by:
Spirit, patience, gentleness

‘Spirit, Patience, Gentleness,
All that can adorn and bless
Art thou – let deeds, not words, express
Thine exceeding loveliness.

Light in the wheat fields…
July 22, 2017 – 9:19 am | No Comment | by:
Light in the wheat fields…

“Fuck off you fucking pervs”, the skinny peeing girl screamed at us. “You having a shit?” someone said. Standing up and rearranging her attire, she replied, “No, I’m not fucking having a shit, you fucking pervs, I was fucking pissing”. She was a lovely girl as it turned out, from Blackley. She guided us to the field.

You can keep your privates away from me, thank you very much
July 11, 2017 – 8:50 pm | 2 Comments | by:
You can keep your privates away from me, thank you very much

Having never given it a second thought, mainly down to having the NHS and therefore not needing it, private healthcare was something I’d never been intimately acquainted with. That all changed a few years back …

Bevan knows I’m miserable now
July 7, 2017 – 10:01 am | No Comment | by:
Bevan knows I’m miserable now

I still have debts from a decade ago when my wife’s mother had to undergo treatment for cancer in a country that doesn’t have free-to-access health care. My wife spent most of the first two years of our marriage over there nursing her, while my part-time wage, credit cards and personal loans were stretched to pay for treatment.

Now I can go into any company – Make July 5 NHS Day
July 6, 2017 – 7:34 am | No Comment | by:
Now I can go into any company – Make July 5 NHS Day

For the first time every man woman and child in the country could see a doctor and get the help they needed no matter their ability to pay for medical care.

STP me if you think you’ve heard this one before
July 6, 2017 – 7:30 am | No Comment | by:
STP me if you think you’ve heard this one before

We’d had enough of the relentless “private sector good, public sector bad” market-based twaddle that had infused health policy for more than two decades – it was time to stand up and be counted

We were makin’ love by Wednesday…
July 5, 2017 – 7:28 am | No Comment | by:
We were makin’ love by Wednesday…

Today a three-day strike by hospital workers defending their right to acceptable conditions and pay has begun. They are striking against Serco, a multi-billion pound global company that won the contract to supply cleaners, porters and other staff to hospitals in London. Serco’s CEO is Winston Churchill’s grandson. Our solidarity with Serco workers is absolute.

You can polish a turd…
July 3, 2017 – 7:30 am | No Comment | by:
You can polish a turd…

They later discovered that the kind elderly man, with time on his hands, had lay in his bed and very carefully sucked all the chocolate off his maltesers.

“We’re going to save it you bells…”
June 30, 2017 – 7:35 am | No Comment | by:
“We’re going to save it you bells…”

It took my first holiday abroad on my own with my mates to try and get my head round why I’d need travel insurance, I think the conversation went “why did we need that as it’s free isn’t it?” The concept that it wasn’t free just didn’t make sense at all.

TaterhashtagMakeJuly5NHSday…
June 30, 2017 – 7:27 am | No Comment | by:
TaterhashtagMakeJuly5NHSday…

She’ll be 70 next year. The fact that 70 is still considered very young has got to be smashingly symbolic of cradle to the grave-ism if we manage to get a movement going in the next twelve months that culminates in a Manchester party in 2018.

Time to take a chance
June 7, 2017 – 11:30 pm | No Comment | by:
Time to take a chance

Author Selina Todd, who wrote critically acclaimed The People: The Rise and Fall of The Working Class, tells AFL why she’s voting Labour…

Fear, love and hope will rage…
June 7, 2017 – 8:32 pm | No Comment | by:
Fear, love and hope will rage…

For the first time since the first time, I will be voting for a manifesto I actually believe in. Since Jeremy Corbyn won the first leadership election, he has galvanised many on the left. And he has done it with basic social democratic ideas and policies that aren’t even ‘radical’ in the grander scheme of things.

Don’t draw a cock
June 7, 2017 – 12:50 pm | No Comment | by:
Don’t draw a cock

Every time I get in the voting booth I get the urge to draw a cock on the ballot paper. It’s worse this time cos a family member has appointed me as a proxy. It’s double temptation to draw a cock.

Making America Grate Again (lessons to be learned)
June 7, 2017 – 12:48 pm | No Comment | by:
Making America Grate Again (lessons to be learned)

It was now, with alarming ease, that people who’d never before mentioned race to us felt comfortable in the company of relative outsiders to spout their new-found, or more likely long-held but until now supressed views about the perceived danger they faced from Islam and the burden of paying the medical bills of lazy, unemployed African Americans and Latinos. Far from being the joke figure he was to us, Trump was being openly celebrated by many I met in Atlanta as a leader who would deal with these “problems”. These sorts of conversations were not difficult to get into on that visit. Foreign policy never came up though.