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Fight for the Alternative

Submitted by on March 28, 2011 – 4:27 pm2 Comments

Saturday saw a dual offensive by FC United fans against corporate control, greed and private ownership. Continuing the fight against the forces that turned Manchester United away from the principles and culture of its traditional support, FC United extended a recent run of good form by beating North Ferriby 2-0 at Gigg Lane, with 2,827 doing their bit to prove again that another kind of football club is possible.

The crowd included a larger than usual number of kids, welcomed in for free on the latest Youth United Day – an initiative that is now becoming a regular feature on FC’s fixture list. The win keeps FC on course for a play-off place, which would be a remarkable achievement given the lowly league position United found themselves in following this season’s FA Cup heroics.

A fair number of FC’s co-owners though spent the day down in that there London, marching in protest against the government’s ideological wet dream of cutting funding for public services, and their use of that money – generated by workers – to further feather the nests of the world’s richest and seemingly most unaccountable individuals and institutions.

FC United’s commitment to taking its community responsibilities seriously has helped foster an appreciation that we can’t exist in a bubble, and more importantly that we don’t want to shield ourselves from what’s happening in the wider world. We don’t want a society in which the least fortunate are cast aside and excluded from having a full, rewarding life. Football clubs have been too happy to pull up the drawbridge from their local communities, and if FC are to be the club we all know we can be, we shouldn’t shy away from standing up for those that will suffer most if the Tories get their way.

Such an attitude is why between 250,000 and 500,000 people – depending on which media outlet is reporting – spent the day marching through London, sending a message that there is widespread passionate opposition to the cuts, which are after all a choice, taken with barely concealed glee by the Tories and their sidekicks. They’re taking back what their well-heeled parents and grandparents were unable to stop – all those hard-fought for social gains of the last century, like workers’ rights and the NHS.

They tried to get the media to stop calling them ‘cuts’. They asked them to say ‘savings’ instead. Well if they want to be accurate, let’s just call it theft. It’s the money created by the work of ordinary people that is being redirected away from public services and put in to the pockets of the rich – hence the calls for a Robin Hood Tax, where just a tiny proportion of that stolen cash is clawed back to make things a bit easier for the worst off.

So on a day of such national importance, it was heartening to see a few FC scarves and hats on the march. Maybe next time we can come up with a suitable banner. It wasn’t all that different to a match day: imagine Course You Can Malcolm on a bigger scale – an eclectic range of musicians playing, surrounded by banners, the odd beer, plenty of vegetarians and even a kettle. If only the fare offered afterwards on the park was as inspiring as that at Gigg Lane…

2 Comments »

  • midjmo says:

    good piece Talky and well done to all who travelled down to show the Tories that we know what they’re up to and and will do what we can to stop them getting away with their twisted ideology.

  • midjmo says:

    According to a new study, Manchester is the third most deprived area in the country – behind only Liverpool and Middlesbrough.

    The report published by Department for Communities and Local Government, studies poverty and works out which places are the poorest. The poorest place in the country was actually in Essex, but Manchester had more areas of deprivation than anywhere else except Liverpool and Middlesbrough. Collyhurst was the tenth poorest place in England, behind Anfield, Liverpool, in fourth.

    The irony of these figures is that the poorest three local authority areas are among the hardest hit by Tory funding cuts. Is anyone surprised?

    Full story here:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/mar/29/indices-multiple-deprivation-poverty-england#

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