Spirit, patience, gentleness
August 16, 2016 – 7:20 am | One Comment | by:

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

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Spirit, patience, gentleness by:
August 16, 2016 – 7:20 am | One Comment

The Mask of Anarchy
By Percy Bysshe Shelley

As I lay asleep in Italy
There came a voice from over the Sea,
And with great power it forth led me
To walk in the visions of Poesy.

I met Murder on the way -
He had a mask like Castlereagh -
Very smooth he looked, yet grim;
Seven blood-hounds followed him:

All were fat; and well they might
Be in admirable plight,
For one by one, and two by two,
He tossed the human hearts to chew
Which from his wide cloak he drew.

Next came Fraud, and he had on,
Like Eldon, an ermined gown;
His big tears, for he wept well,
Turned to mill-stones as they fell.

And the little children, who
Round his feet played to and fro,
Thinking every tear a gem,
Had their brains knocked out by them.

Clothed with the Bible, as with light,
And the shadows of the night,
Like Sidmouth, next, Hypocrisy
On a crocodile rode by.

And many more Destructions played
In this ghastly masquerade,
All disguised, even to the eyes,
Like Bishops, lawyers, peers, or spies.

Last came Anarchy: he rode
On a white horse, splashed with blood;
He was pale even to the lips,
Like Death in the Apocalypse.

And he wore a kingly crown;
And in his grasp a sceptre shone;
On his brow this mark I saw -

With a pace stately and fast,
Over English land he passed,
Trampling to a mire of blood
The adoring multitude.

And a mighty troop around,
With their trampling shook the ground,
Waving each a bloody sword,
For the service of their Lord.

And with glorious triumph, they
Rode through England proud and gay,
Drunk as with intoxication
Of the wine of desolation.

O’er fields and towns, from sea to sea,
Passed the Pageant swift and free,
Tearing up, and trampling down;
Till they came to London town.

And each dweller, panic-stricken,
Felt his heart with terror sicken
Hearing the tempestuous cry
Of the triumph of Anarchy.

For with pomp to meet him came,
Clothed in arms like blood and flame,
The hired murderers, who did sing
‘Thou art God, and Law, and King.

‘We have waited, weak and lone
For thy coming, Mighty One!
Our Purses are empty, our swords are cold,
Give us glory, and blood, and gold.’

Lawyers and priests, a motley crowd,
To the earth their pale brows bowed;
Like a bad prayer not over loud,
Whispering – ‘Thou art Law and God.’ -

Then all cried with one accord,
‘Thou art King, and God and Lord;
Anarchy, to thee we bow,
Be thy name made holy now!’

And Anarchy, the skeleton,
Bowed and grinned to every one,
As well as if his education
Had cost ten millions to the nation.

For he knew the Palaces
Of our Kings were rightly his;
His the sceptre, crown and globe,
And the gold-inwoven robe.

So he sent his slaves before
To seize upon the Bank and Tower,
And was proceeding with intent
To meet his pensioned Parliament

When one fled past, a maniac maid,
And her name was Hope, she said:
But she looked more like Despair,
And she cried out in the air:

‘My father Time is weak and gray
With waiting for a better day;
See how idiot-like he stands,
Fumbling with his palsied hands!

He has had child after child,
And the dust of death is piled
Over every one but me -
Misery, oh, Misery!’

Then she lay down in the street,
Right before the horses’ feet,
Expecting, with a patient eye,
Murder, Fraud, and Anarchy.

When between her and her foes
A mist, a light, an image rose,
Small at first, and weak, and frail
Like the vapour of a vale:

Till as clouds grow on the blast,
Like tower-crowned giants striding fast,
And glare with lightnings as they fly,
And speak in thunder to the sky,

It grew – a Shape arrayed in mail
Brighter than the viper’s scale,
And upborne on wings whose grain
Was as the light of sunny rain.

On its helm, seen far away,
A planet, like the Morning’s, lay;
And those plumes its light rained through
Like a shower of crimson dew.

With step as soft as wind it passed
O’er the heads of men – so fast
That they knew the presence there,
And looked, – but all was empty air.

As flowers beneath May’s footstep waken,
As stars from Night’s loose hair are shaken,
As waves arise when loud winds call,
Thoughts sprung where’er that step did fall.

And the prostrate multitude
Looked – and ankle-deep in blood,
Hope, that maiden most serene,
Was walking with a quiet mien:

And Anarchy, the ghastly birth,
Lay dead earth upon the earth;
The Horse of Death tameless as wind
Fled, and with his hoofs did grind
To dust the murderers thronged behind.

A rushing light of clouds and splendour,
A sense awakening and yet tender
Was heard and felt – and at its close
These words of joy and fear arose

As if their own indignant Earth
Which gave the sons of England birth
Had felt their blood upon her brow,
And shuddering with a mother’s throe

Had turned every drop of blood
By which her face had been bedewed
To an accent unwithstood, -
As if her heart had cried aloud:

‘Men of England, heirs of Glory,
Heroes of unwritten story,
Nurslings of one mighty Mother,
Hopes of her, and one another;

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many – they are few.

‘What is Freedom? – ye can tell
That which slavery is, too well -
For its very name has grown
To an echo of your own.

‘Tis to work and have such pay
As just keeps life from day to day
In your limbs, as in a cell
For the tyrants’ use to dwell,

‘So that ye for them are made
Loom, and plough, and sword, and spade,
With or without your own will bent
To their defence and nourishment.

‘Tis to see your children weak
With their mothers pine and peak,
When the winter winds are bleak, -
They are dying whilst I speak.

‘Tis to hunger for such diet
As the rich man in his riot
Casts to the fat dogs that lie
Surfeiting beneath his eye;

‘Tis to let the Ghost of Gold
Take from Toil a thousandfold
More that e’er its substance could
In the tyrannies of old.

‘Paper coin – that forgery
Of the title-deeds, which ye
Hold to something of the worth
Of the inheritance of Earth.

‘Tis to be a slave in soul
And to hold no strong control
Over your own wills, but be
All that others make of ye.

‘And at length when ye complain
With a murmur weak and vain
‘Tis to see the Tyrant’s crew
Ride over your wives and you -
Blood is on the grass like dew.

‘Then it is to feel revenge
Fiercely thirsting to exchange
Blood for blood – and wrong for wrong -
Do not thus when ye are strong.

‘Birds find rest, in narrow nest
When weary of their wingèd quest
Beasts find fare, in woody lair
When storm and snow are in the air.

‘Asses, swine, have litter spread
And with fitting food are fed;
All things have a home but one -
Thou, Oh, Englishman, hast none!

‘This is slavery – savage men
Or wild beasts within a den
Would endure not as ye do -
But such ills they never knew.

‘What art thou Freedom? O! could slaves
Answer from their living graves
This demand – tyrants would flee
Like a dream’s dim imagery:

‘Thou art not, as impostors say,
A shadow soon to pass away,
A superstition, and a name
Echoing from the cave of Fame.

‘For the labourer thou art bread,
And a comely table spread
From his daily labour come
In a neat and happy home.

‘Thou art clothes, and fire, and food
For the trampled multitude -
No – in countries that are free
Such starvation cannot be
As in England now we see.

‘To the rich thou art a check,
When his foot is on the neck
Of his victim, thou dost make
That he treads upon a snake.

‘Thou art Justice – ne’er for gold
May thy righteous laws be sold
As laws are in England – thou
Shield’st alike the high and low.

‘Thou art Wisdom – Freemen never
Dream that God will damn for ever
All who think those things untrue
Of which Priests make such ado.

‘Thou art Peace – never by thee
Would blood and treasure wasted be
As tyrants wasted them, when all
Leagued to quench thy flame in Gaul.

‘What if English toil and blood
Was poured forth, even as a flood?
It availed, Oh, Liberty,
To dim, but not extinguish thee.

‘Thou art Love – the rich have kissed
Thy feet, and like him following Christ,
Give their substance to the free
And through the rough world follow thee,

‘Or turn their wealth to arms, and make
War for thy belovèd sake
On wealth, and war, and fraud – whence they
Drew the power which is their prey.

‘Science, Poetry, and Thought
Are thy lamps; they make the lot
Of the dwellers in a cot
So serene, they curse it not.

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

‘Let a great Assembly be
Of the fearless and the free
On some spot of English ground
Where the plains stretch wide around.

‘Let the blue sky overhead,
The green earth on which ye tread,
All that must eternal be
Witness the solemnity.

‘From the corners uttermost
Of the bounds of English coast;
From every hut, village, and town
Where those who live and suffer moan,

‘From the workhouse and the prison
Where pale as corpses newly risen,
Women, children, young and old
Groan for pain, and weep for cold -

‘From the haunts of daily life
Where is waged the daily strife
With common wants and common cares
Which sows the human heart with tares -

‘Lastly from the palaces
Where the murmur of distress
Echoes, like the distant sound
Of a wind alive around

‘Those prison halls of wealth and fashion,
Where some few feel such compassion
For those who groan, and toil, and wail
As must make their brethren pale -

‘Ye who suffer woes untold,
Or to feel, or to behold
Your lost country bought and sold
With a price of blood and gold -

‘Let a vast assembly be,
And with great solemnity
Declare with measured words that ye
Are, as God has made ye, free -

‘Be your strong and simple words
Keen to wound as sharpened swords,
And wide as targes let them be,
With their shade to cover ye.

‘Let the tyrants pour around
With a quick and startling sound,
Like the loosening of a sea,
Troops of armed emblazonry.

Let the charged artillery drive
Till the dead air seems alive
With the clash of clanging wheels,
And the tramp of horses’ heels.

‘Let the fixèd bayonet
Gleam with sharp desire to wet
Its bright point in English blood
Looking keen as one for food.

‘Let the horsemen’s scimitars
Wheel and flash, like sphereless stars
Thirsting to eclipse their burning
In a sea of death and mourning.

‘Stand ye calm and resolute,
Like a forest close and mute,
With folded arms and looks which are
Weapons of unvanquished war,

‘And let Panic, who outspeeds
The career of armèd steeds
Pass, a disregarded shade
Through your phalanx undismayed.

‘Let the laws of your own land,
Good or ill, between ye stand
Hand to hand, and foot to foot,
Arbiters of the dispute,

‘The old laws of England – they
Whose reverend heads with age are gray,
Children of a wiser day;
And whose solemn voice must be
Thine own echo – Liberty!

‘On those who first should violate
Such sacred heralds in their state
Rest the blood that must ensue,
And it will not rest on you.

‘And if then the tyrants dare
Let them ride among you there,
Slash, and stab, and maim, and hew, -
What they like, that let them do.

‘With folded arms and steady eyes,
And little fear, and less surprise,
Look upon them as they slay
Till their rage has died away.

‘Then they will return with shame
To the place from which they came,
And the blood thus shed will speak
In hot blushes on their cheek.

‘Every woman in the land
Will point at them as they stand -
They will hardly dare to greet
Their acquaintance in the street.

‘And the bold, true warriors
Who have hugged Danger in wars
Will turn to those who would be free,
Ashamed of such base company.

‘And that slaughter to the Nation
Shall steam up like inspiration,
Eloquent, oracular;
A volcano heard afar.

‘And these words shall then become
Like Oppression’s thundered doom
Ringing through each heart and brain,
Heard again – again – again -

‘Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number -
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you -
Ye are many – they are few.’

MCYC 29/07/16: The Oddiesey
July 24, 2016 – 8:03 pm | No Comment | by:
MCYC 29/07/16: The Oddiesey

In Homer’s epic ‘The Odyssey’, it takes enemy of Poseidon and all round faffer Odysseus ten years to make it home after the fall of Troy. While it’s not taken the Oddies quite that long …

Common Sense
July 12, 2016 – 7:17 am | One Comment | by:
Common Sense

“Common sense will tell us, that the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others, the most improper to defend us” Thomas Paine, Common Sense, 1776.
There’s been a deflating familiarity to the …

Moston hosts a miniature dystopia – rush to see this gloomy delight…
July 7, 2016 – 10:32 pm | No Comment | by:
Moston hosts a miniature dystopia – rush to see this gloomy delight…

Model villages, overhead photographs of cities, landscapes viewed from a plane – the delights of miniaturisation are well known to we control freaks. Everything well ordered and in its place, for us to be able …

June 15, 2016 – 4:24 pm | No Comment | by:

While I was slowly jogging around Platt Fields trying to look like I was actually running, I noticed something that I had observed before about Geese. But this time having more time on my hands due to the whole being off work thing I decided that I’d take a closer look.

Banning of FC United founder was ‘flawed’ and ‘unfair’
June 15, 2016 – 4:20 pm | No Comment | by:
Banning of FC United founder was ‘flawed’ and ‘unfair’

FC United bosses were wrong to ban the club’s founder and owe him an apology, according to an independent report into the blocking of his membership.

Mind the gap
May 28, 2016 – 4:21 pm | No Comment | by:
Mind the gap

I sensed that some of those in attendance were possibly beginning to appreciate the extent of the damage wrought by the chumocracy that has been allowed to develop as an assortment of chancers, bluffers and worming careerists have brought the club to its knees; an affront to the decent egalitarian and democratic principles on which FC United was founded.

Truth, Justice and the Football Fan’s Way
May 2, 2016 – 12:46 am | No Comment | by:
Truth, Justice and the Football Fan’s Way

Some level of justice was finally delivered last week to the victims of the Hillsborough disaster; victims that included those who lost their lives at a football match 27 years ago and those who still …

FCUM: 101 damnations
April 19, 2016 – 8:49 am | No Comment | by:
FCUM: 101 damnations

These questions are aimed at getting to the heart of the corruption of FC United’s founding principles. Most of them have been legitimately asked of FC United Board members in recent months on the club’s official forum set up for that very purpose. However, most Board members refuse to answer…

The Pamphlet: Fans call for improved democracy at FC United
April 16, 2016 – 6:50 pm | No Comment | by:
The Pamphlet: Fans call for improved democracy at FC United

To bring the issues forward for more discussion in the lead up to the general meeting on April 24th, The Pamphlet was created and distributed at Saturday’s game by a concerned group of people, including four of the original FC United of Manchester steering group plus writers from the fan publications Under the Boardwalk (the original FCUM fanzine) and A Fine Lung.

Never mind the ballots, here’s the money
April 7, 2016 – 6:34 am | No Comment | by:
Never mind the ballots, here’s the money

When it comes to Walsh’s stepping down, I’m left feeling a bit like when someone’s leaving card comes round at work and you’re not sure what to write as you used to think they were sound but recently you suspect that they might be the one nicking your milk from the fridge and there was that time when they were a right dick at the Christmas party.

FC United chiefs apologise to club’s founder for ‘mistaken impression’ of ‘threats’
April 6, 2016 – 3:18 pm | No Comment | by:
FC United chiefs apologise to club’s founder for ‘mistaken impression’ of ‘threats’

An FC United statement has been released today saying:
“Around the time of November’s AGM personnel connected to the Board and staff of FC United of Manchester inadvertently and without intent caused the mistaken impression …

A home without a family is just a house
April 5, 2016 – 12:36 pm | One Comment | by:
A home without a family is just a house

Sadly it now seems more and more likely to me that rather than serving as an inspiration for football fans who are fed up of feeling powerless in the corporate world of modern football, the legacy of this Mancunian adventure will be one of deeply disappointing yet wistfully avoidable failure.

Leighton to follow example of FC United chief
April 1, 2016 – 12:01 am | No Comment | by:
Leighton to follow example of FC United chief

Following the news that FC United bosses want to investigate their own fans for criticising the club’s hierarchy, several big names are now also considering action against football supporters.

FC United of Manchester: how the togetherness turned into disharmony
March 31, 2016 – 11:46 am | 2 Comments | by:
FC United of Manchester: how the togetherness turned into disharmony

“There is a fundamental deficit in democracy, transparency and accountability between the club and its members…”

Think about the future…
March 30, 2016 – 8:22 pm | No Comment | by:
Think about the future…

FC United’s intention is to provide United fans with the community they’ve always enjoyed, but one untainted by the commercialism and authoritarianism we currently suffer… (Red Issue, February 2005)

There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part four
March 28, 2016 – 11:20 am | No Comment | by:
There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part four

The general way this farce was left to fester and then handled by the board and general manager is, in my opinion, embarrassing, furthering the splits and divides already prevalent after our “Summer of discontent”.

The Easter Rising from Manchester and Salford
March 27, 2016 – 7:16 pm | No Comment | by:
The Easter Rising from Manchester and Salford

Manchester Volunteers’ have their stories told in a new book and website, while there are talks on the subject in Salford and Manchester and beyond over the coming month.

There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part three
March 27, 2016 – 11:56 am | No Comment | by:
There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part three

If the 50p on the Benfica programme was the key to Pandora’s Box, then the board or general manager certainly didn’t take heed as the lid was about to be blown right off.

There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part Two
March 26, 2016 – 11:47 am | One Comment | by:
There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part Two

That month leading up to the AGM was among the worst four weeks supporting FC, when a fair portion of co-owners were made to feel like the enemy from within.

There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part one
March 25, 2016 – 1:55 pm | 2 Comments | by:
There comes a time when silence is betrayal: Part one

In the first of a three or four-parter (depends when we can be arsed) we are publishing a very long letter written by long-serving red Stu from the Bay, which was sent to FC United’s rulers. It was written in a genuine attempt to list all the things SFTB (and many others) believe the club have got wrong over the years, leading up to the discourse of the past nine months or so. It was done in the hope that the general manager and his board would give their collective heads a shake…