Lie after lie after lie…

Now that the truth about the non-existent vote on the TUC Rally is quite well known to LFC fans, via The Liverpool Way forum, as to how Spirit of Shankly went to this rally as a group, claiming that a vote was taken, and that it went in favour of not just going, but also that SOS should go as a group, when no such debate nor vote occurred – well final confirmation of the untruthfulness of Spirit of Shankly Office holders has finally been struck home by The Guardian.

Graham Smith, SOS Secretary, finally admitted on the Liverpool Way forum, two months after the fact:

“On the bus stuff, he is spot on about the vote issue, a slip of the keyboard by Roy Bentham saying there was a vote, there never was.”

The trouble with that statement, is that whilst admitting that there no vote was taken on SOS going to the TUC Rally for ‘The Alternative’ (in any capacity, let alone as an organisation), it throws in another lie to try and cover-up Bentham’s lie about there being a vote, by making it out as some sort of typing error: “a slip of the keyboard“.

That Bentham article and quote again, as it appeared in The Guardian:

“Members of the football supporters’ union the Spirit of Shankly are travelling by coach from Liverpool. The group, which was formed three years ago and campaigns on football and wider social issues, has 11,000 members. Roy Bentham, 43, said: “There was a vote and our membership decided we should support the TUC and the march, that we should do our bit to oppose what is going on, so we are setting off at 4.30am and hope to be in London by about 10am.”

Apart from stating that the quote was a verbal one, it reads like a verbal one.

 The Guardian has now confirmed that their journalist, that wrote the above, spoke to Roy Bentham. So it was not a typed statement, where a keyboard error may have occurred. It is confirmation that Smith was lying about it in an attempt to explain the statement away as a mistake.

Not only that, but The Guardian has advised that their journalist has spoken to Mr Bentham again, and…

“He has spoken again to Mr Bentham who is happy to confirm that it was a vote based on a show of hands at an EGM. He said there was a motion ‘put to the floor of the [spirit of shankly] EGM and a resolution was passed’ by a show of hands. He said there was a cheer afterwards underlining the backing for the motion.”Chris Elliott, The Guardian.

Utterly outrageous! Aside from not being able to get his and Smith’s story on the matter straight as to whether there was a vote or not (there wasn’t), Bentham claims that there was an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on the matter, despite this one paragraph above being the only evidence of any such event!

So, either:

  1. Spirit of Shankly held a private and secret EGM, after their 2011 AGM, which apparently only a select few were invited to, as there was no mail out or announcement. The minutes and results of this EGM have not been made available, nor has a video been made available, and a vote was apparently taken by hand, in contravention of their own rules about voting (voting is supposed to occur online, and all eligible members are required to use a three-digit PIN in order to vote): or
  2. This never happened and Roy Bentham is lying…again.

Either Spirit of Shankly has conspired to hold a secret EGM, with a selected few, or conspired to lie to their membership, and everyone else, about holding a debate and having a vote on an issue when no debate nor vote occurred.

Suffice to say, neither of these eventualities speak well of Mr Bentham, nor Spirit of Shankly.

Graham Smith has lied in order to try and cover-up the fact that his Transport Officer, as well The Chairman, the have both lied about a vote and/or a debate taking place on the issue.

 Spirit of Shankly has therefore acted in this matter not only without any democratic authority, but its officers have clearly conspired to prevent a democratic and open debate from occurring, and still continue to try and cover-up what occurred with lies and deceits. When found out, they still continue to try and lie their way out of it, trying lie after lie in the hope that something sticks.

A reminder on how this actually went down at the AGM (11:30 in): Clearly there was no debate, nor a vote.

A reminder of some of the other nonsense so far spouted about SOS going on the TUC rally:

“Spirit of Shankly is a Union and the umbrella body for unions is holding a demonstration that members put forward to us and agreed strongly at the AGM that we should support.” – Fran Stanton.

For starters, The TUC is the umbrella body for Trade Unions – not Football Unions, Credit Unions or Mother’s Unions, but Trade Unions. Secondly, as there was no discussion nor a vote, and the item was not even on the agenda (it was raised in the last five minutes of the meeting under “Any Other Business”).

” …many of the TUC provided travel is already fully booked, with many of the spaces being taken up by Union reps rather than actual members. – Fran Stanton.

Not true, either.

Places were still available on coaches to the rally from Liverpool TUC run coaches, when this statement was made, less than a week before the rally. Six coaches went and the unemployed would go cheaper than the SOS arranged travel. This SOS arranged transport was therefore more costly to some, but no cheaper than that provided elsewhere, so as well as being unnecessary, it was clearly arranged regardless of what was happening elsewhere, rather than because of it.

Those comments from Fran Stanton were in an email, which was copied to the Vice-Chair, Media, Secretary and Travel Officers of Spirit of Shankly. They all knew about it.

Spirit of Shankly is supposed to be a Supporters’ Union, run democratically, with an online voting process, but here, not only has the Committee and a few activists completely bypassed its own rules on the matter, but they have lied to the membership, and through The Guardian, the whole country about it!

Smith has also been shown-up as a liar, by his trying to tell people that there is no connection between the SOS Share Scheme and the Season Ticket loan that SOS offers in association with Partners Credit Union, in order to mislead people into taking up season-ticket loan scheme.

Smith tells people that the two schemes are not linked, despite the documentation available from both Partners and SOS stating that to be eligible for the Season Ticket Loan, you must first pay into the SOS Share Scheme, and be a “regular saver”.

This scheme only allows you to withdraw funds once a year, and SOS and Partners are at odds over how accessible the money that you must save into this scheme is, before you can get a Season Ticket Loan. SOS says you can access it for “anything”, whereas Partners initially said for “emergencies”, but a recent update of their site has removed this word, but it still says;

Share withdrawals will not generally be available on this account because of the reasons why it was set up, however we will allow one withdrawal per calendar year.”

That is opposed to what SOS says, which is:

Q: Do I have to use the money in the SOS Share Account towards a share in supporter investment?

A: No, you don’t. This money can only be withdrawn once per year, but allows you to save for anything – holidays, European trips, future Season Tickets, and if you wish, a future stake in any supporter investment.

So, according to SOS, you can save up for “anything”, but Partners may not let you take the money out for just “anything”, on that one occasion a year that you are allowed to do so.

Smith continues to claim that this is all wrong, and they are not trying to fleece anyone – but the documents and his own organisation’s web site contradicts his claims on how the loan works, and Smith only offers his meaningless word in contradiction, with no documentary evidence available to support his claims.

Since this matter gained publicity on The Liverpool Way forum, instead of changing what their site says, and what the application form and its terms says, SOS have updated their site with a new look and more facilities, but the content remains unchanged. They still contradict Smith on you having to pay into the SOS Share Scheme, and they still contradict Partners over accessibility, even though Partners too have recently altered their site, and the relevant text to all this, but not significantly. The issue remains.

So SOS, in the person of Graham Smith, along with Paul Gardner’s sometime attempts to sew confusion, is clearly and deliberately misleading people over the actuality of the matter, as to what you might be financially committing yourself to, if you want to get a season-ticket loan from Partners.

Use common sense: if you can use the money that you save into the SOS Share scheme for “anything”, then why not simply have people save into their own accounts that they also have to set-up, instead? That way, they can get a dividend, and the funds they have to save into it to be eligible for a season ticket loan as a “regular saver”, are much more accessible.

There is no good reason for making people put funds into the SOS share scheme. It is designed to be difficult to withdraw from, to prevent you from frittering the money away instead of saving for a share. The only reason for this is to try and hook people into saving up for a share.

It is an additional and unnecessary requirement being placed upon people who want a season-ticket loan, and SOS knows it, hence why they have Paul Gardner going around the web, on blogs and forums, using gobbledygook, in order to confuse, and why Graham Smith just flat-out lies about it.

The Spirit of Shankly organisation could be great, but it is being run by lying, militant, idiots, who have more in common with a mob than a democratic organisation.

They do as they please, say what they like, don’t care who or what they offend,  have no scruples, no shame, and will no doubt revert to character assassination in order to attempt to undermine anyone who speaks – or writes – anything critical of them, especially when it is the truth of what has occurred, as opposed to their false version of it, that they have been trying to put across to people by using their web site, forums and Social Networking facilites – and then, when someone catches them out, they try and cover-up what they have been up to, with more and more lies.

These officials are a disgrace and as they claim to represent Liverpool Supporters, they bring shame on Liverpool supporters.

They are corrupt, incompetent liars.

I very much doubt that any of them have a sufficient sense of decency, honesty or honour, in order to do the decent thing and to resign, and will instead continue to corrupt Spirit of Shankly from the inside out.

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