The Missing Kop Blogs

The following blogs posts were removed from The Kop following complaints by Spirit of Shankly, despite some of them being there for several weeks, since the first week of March – 19 April 2011.

This was also however done with the complicity of the Digital Media management staff, Matt Owen and Paul Rogers, as this blogger had shown up the total lack of management and control that Liverpool FC Digital Media Staff have over the official site forums, having delegated responsibility to active Spirit of Shankly members, who cannot and will not tolerate any significant complaint or dissent against the organisation.
 Old Joe Stalin would have been proud, but I doubt Bill Shankly would have been.
SOS: Not Impressed

A blog originally posted onto official Liverpool FC social media network, “The Kop”

I just found out something I am not happy about and I thought I would bring it to your attention.

Spirit Of Shankly will be running coach travel for the forthcoming demonstration in London by the TUC, March for The Alternative. The demonstration will take place on Saturday 26th March 2011…

Excuse me, but what has this got to do with football, let alone Liverpool Football Club?

The nature of the cuts means the city of Liverpool will be badly affected, as will those living and working within the Anfield/Breckfield community.

Well then the people of Anfield/Breckfield can arrange their own transport to London – or get the TUC member unions to arrange it.

It seems to me that this is an abuse of SOS members and their funds. Spirit of Shankly is a Supporters’ Union, not a transport agency for political activists. It should remain as non-political as possible and act only in relation to matters concerning LFC supporters. So what if some happen to want to go to London for the day? I really am not interested in subsidising such activity by SOS.

The SOS pledge to “work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield”, does not give it carte blanche to do anything it likes supposedly on behalf of people who happen to live in the area.

IMO SOS needs reeling on this. This simply is not a fight SOS should be involved with.


SOS: Giant Con!

A blog originally posted onto official Liverpool FC social media network, “The Kop”
Some people seem to think that the nearest star shines out the rear end of our supporters’ union, but after reflecting on what has happened over the last few weeks, I have come to the conclusion that SOS is a giant con.

Remember, it was set-up using fans’ anger over those “Yanks”, who not only failed to live up to their promises but also saddled the club with a debt that prevented LFC from being able to step-up from that 2009 second place, and instead saw us fall to 7th, prompt the disillusionment of star players and continue to struggle to make Europe this season. Joining SOS, as Steve McQueen once quipped on film, seemed like a good idea at the time.

With the apparent long-term aims of ownership, or at least supporter representation on the board, which may happen some time in the distant future, perhaps, maybe, what SOS does in the meantime is offer cheap transport to fans travelling from Liverpool to away games.

One wonders if this transport is the same transport being used to go to this TUC “March for the Alternative” rally that they are organising transport for, which for some reason is leaving two and a half hours earlier to get to London than the six coaches that the Liverpool TUC are taking, which will cost some people £10 (others £20), when the SOS coach could cost as much as £30, and at least £20.

So with my blog on the issue having demonstrated that there is at least no need to do this, SOS justify it on the grounds that it was agreed with “strongly” at their AGM – when there was no vote and merely no dissent shown to the idea of it, although no one mentioned the intention of SOS going to this rally in an official capacity.

Indeed part of their justification for organising it includes falsehoods about the availability of spaces on alternative transport, and also therefore falsehoods about who or what is sitting in those seats. See the other SOS blog for details.

Whilst they repeatedly fail to demonstrate how this rally fits in with the stated aim, “To work with any relevant agencies to improve the area of Anfield”, SOS instead prefers to tell us, “We also have a constitutional commitment to the area of Anfield”, which is a rather more vague notion to work with, and could cover a multitude of sins that the specifics of the actual aims don’t allow – like going on rallies where there is no clear or obvious connection to the club or to its supporters, although they can’t even demonstrate how these cuts will clearly affect Anfield – quoting regeneration issues which are stymied by the Stadium issue, which is nothing to do with Government cuts.

I can’t say as I was completely surprised when they wilfully neglected to respond, until too late, to a matter about doing something not entirely dissimilar in nature to their own banner-waving – but I am not only unhappy with the decisions, but to the very different manner that these two matters were handled by SOS.

After many fans on forums and the likes of “The Kop” and RAWK had voiced a desire to get a large banner to demonstrate our support for the people of Japan, and our own supporters in particular, SOS was approached on the issue, before the Braga game, but neglected to bother to reply until literally hours after the Sunderland game and when our respects had already had the opportunity to be shown – noting that they acknowledged their member’s request two days before the Sunderland away game, when something could still have been done by them.

The most relevant parts of that request to SOS:

“We have a game coming up in the Europa League knockout stages, and with what has been happening in Japan, and with there being an Official Supporters Club out there and reporting how its members have been affected, many supporters on forums (e.g. RAWK) have expressed the desire to have banners, preferably a large banner, on display at the game, to express the support of Liverpool fans to LFC supporters in Japan, as well as to the people of Japan…
Perhaps SOS can come to the rescue of the idea of a big banner for things that have actually occurred in Japan and to LFC supporters – seeing as it so readily gets involved in rallies for people who may or may not be supporters, about things that may or may not affect them, but who happen to live locally.”

Some of this correspondence is referred to in the other SOS blog I have posted, where you will see that SOS officials seem to think that SOS is a Trade Union, but also from that same SOS official source came the phrase, “Liverpool FC does not exsist (sic) in a bubble, detached from the rest of the world and current events…”. No it doesn’t, but evidently, SOS does, and its bubble is as big as it wants it to be.

When responding about doing a banner for Japan – a response made hours after the Sunderland game last Sunday, and when the excuse for not replying earlier is that, instead of responding directly to the member, someone had posted a reply to my anonymous blog, but to which they had only responded about the TUC rally (and not in full), not about a banner for Japan…

“…as you say there is an Official Supporters Club based in Japan… has any approach been made?”

Has any approach been made? Not a clue. Not a goddamn clue what has been going on amongst our own supporters, on forums or on the front of or within our official web site, in the last ten days or so.

Well, hang-on a minute, hasn’t their Official(s), who responded to my blog, kept them informed about what has been happening on this site and on the front of the official site, at least? Is this really a reply out of ignorance, or is it feigned, in order to delay and put off the idea, because they just don’t want anything to do with it?

If we assume ignorance (the lesser crime, but a crime here nevertheless), it appears from the reply that they may not have even known of the existence of the Japanese supporters club. Our international Supporters Union…

Whether or not that is the case, once made aware, it certainly did not occur to our Supporters Union to do anything themselves, let alone to do the same sort of thing for our supporters for whom something has definitely occurred, as opposed to the vague reasons given for SOS going on a rally to London, apparently on behalf of the people of Anfield. Well, I used to live there, in L4 and in a part of L6 that is Anfield and I don’t want your involvement on this rally, on principle.

I am not bothered if you personally want to go to this rally or not – that’s your right – but why is SOS as an organisation going? Seems that SOS officials don’t just think SOS is a Trade Union, they also think it is a community representative organisation.

SOS, despite several attempts, still cannot come up with a single, clear example of how going to this rally actually or directly relates to, or complies with, its specific aims. Indeed it seems to me that the over-riding aim, of acting in the best interests of Liverpool Supporters, has been ignored in favour of what the SOS officials want to do.

It seems one answer is because their trade union mates are going, and they want to go in their own coach, and they don’t want to feel left out. Poor lambs…

But why divide the membership on political grounds, when you can leave it alone and carry all of them with you? How shortsighted is that in terms of an overall membership that is bound to cross many demographics and boundaries? Very, I’d say.

By the way, has anyone here read Animal Farm? Just wondering…

They don’t care. They have hundreds of thousands of pounds of members subscriptions to play with already. They ably demonstrate in the manner in which they accept one notion, on a nod and wink, and ignore another, not dissimilar notion, until it is too late, that they don’t care about being a Union or playing by the rules, or anything outside of their little patch of Britain. They don’t care about foreign Liverpool supporters, or people who don’t live in Liverpool or anywhere near to the stadium, except in so far as to how much money you can give them via a subscription. So much for being a Supporters’ Union. Seems that this is more a “People’s Republic of Anfield Union”, that has conned supporters all around the world about what it is really for, and what it really wants to do.

My politics are none of your business, so as a football supporter, why are you making this any of mine? Because of your bubble? Pah!

As far as TUC rallies and football supporters can combine, demonstrate a clear and obvious case for how these cuts will definitely affect us as football supporters, or at least per your specifically stated aims, because SOS hasn’t so far, despite what apparently amounts to its best efforts.

As I suspected from the start, they haven’t been able to justify their presence on this march because none-such exists. They just want to go, and that’s it. That’s all there is. It’s all just an excuse. They just want to ‘play’ with their Trade Union mates and take the SOS banner with them, and don’t care what anybody else thinks, so long as they can go under our supporters banner, which is evidently more of a priority for SOS than other people who are LFC supporters, but who don’t live near the stadium.

Finally, I hate Man Utd. I remember when they got relegated in the mid-70s and remember the response and attitude of their supporters to it, and the apparent denial they had of their own plight at the time.

I revelled in beating them 2-1 at Wembley in the League Cup Final of 1983 in particular, as I was there, but feel pretty much that same way on any other occasion that we do them over – but I also know that Sir Alexander Matthew “Matt” Busby, CBE, KCSG, apparent friend to Shanks and to Paisley, who was nearly killed in the Munich Air Crash of 1958, was not just their manager, but was once our club Captain, and although that fact doesn’t really matter, it does help me to never commit the following outrage:

That’s right, in case you have any doubt, that is the sight of SOS members at an end of season party singing a song and punctuating it with chants of “Munich!”

Is this any different to chants about Hillsborough? More organised, perhaps, and see how long it goes on without anyone looking to pull the plug. It is an utter disgrace!

I found out about that last year, and I am not sure exactly when it occurred, and was hoping this was a one-off and SOS might have changed, but I’ve listened to them, seen how they behave and given them a second chance, and it still seems that they are still run in the same way and by the same people that are responsible for that shameful display.

Ask yourself; if you are a member of SOS, why did you join? Is this kind of behaviour what you want to see from it?

After reading my blogs and watching that video, you might want to know that in order to cancel your membership of SOS, don’t just rip-it in two; you need to write to SOS c/o EDT, 98 Great Homer Street, Liverpool L5 3LF and tell them you are cancelling, otherwise I suspect that they may just keep taking or, at least, demanding your money.

SOS: Censorship on Official Site Forums
A blog originally posted onto official Liverpool FC social media network, “The Kop”
Apparently I am a Spammer and a troller.
Why? Well, it seems MickeyLove, a “Community Moderator” on the official forums, didn’t like me pointing out he was lying on there about my removing one of his posts from my blog SOS: Giant Con! for breaching the Data Protection Act 1998 by stating privileged information he could only have possessed through Spirit of Shankly. The breach has been taken up with them by their former member.
The fact is, what there was of Mickey’s arguments were responded to by me in the subsequent posts. What I then pointed out on the forums was that MickeyLove had also then gone onto the forums and attacked the messenger, instead of the argument I had made wilfully misquoted me
As well as calling me a “crank”, who is “lashing out”, he states of me;
“…his claim above that the credit loan is also to be used for a share scheme is just not true?”
I pointed out in my deleted post on there that I said no such thing. I pointed out that to be eligible for the Liverpool FC season ticket loan, from the partnership between SOS and Partners Credit Union that they are currently advertising, you must also save with the SOS Share scheme, for an unspecified period of time, and an unspecified amount. This scheme is a fixed-purpose scheme, and therefore you can only use that money for saving up for a share in SOS. Does MickeyLove, a supposed football supporter, not understand the meaning of the word “eligible”?
In short, using this scheme to save for a season ticket, also commits you to saving for a share in SOS. If you don’t save for a share in SOS, you cannot get the loan. So what good is the account if you only want to – or can afford to – save for a season ticket?
This scheme is not better than anything that already existed. It is not better for the member, or would-be member. It is only better for SOS.
My post that was deleted for being spam was pointing out that MickeyLove was wilfully misquoting me – and arguing not against me, but SOS – as SOS itself is the source of this information that I was using!
It seems that MickeyLove doesn’t want people who read the forums to know that as an active SOS member, he is censoring the forums to allow spam from SOS (hence the accusation of “trolling”, as I pointed out that I had reported the posts there about joining SOS for being spam), but as soon as he is shown to be a liar and a hypocrite (and by implication, perhaps a bit dense as well), he removes the posts under false pretences whilst continuing to allow the spamming of the forums by and for Spirit of Shankly!
It seems that the official site forums are being run by at least one liar and hypocrite who is abusing his position to censor criticism of himself and SOS, but also to allow SOS propaganda and spamming if not by it, then on its behalf.
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