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October 01, 2015


Nick L

There's something in this. BTL Guardian comments are often fiercely anti-Islam and but sympathetic to Russian foreign policy. The RT editorial line often gets an airing, at least until last week's claims are consigned to the memory hole. Difficult to know what the overlap is of course.

I think part of what is going on in the wake of the failure of democratic revolutions is a duel between two absolutist alliances in the ME right now, KSA-led Sunni reaction and the Russian-Iranian entente. At least the Holy Alliance united the three major denominations. We seem to be standing on the sidelines, entangled with the actors who are supporting the people we oppose -so much the same as ever.

Paul M

Speaking of, here's Slovan Bratislava's "welcome" refugees: https://twitter.com/itsultralife01/status/651516471378624512. Does not leave much to the imagination.

Dan Hardie

Zeljko 'Arkan' Raznatovic recruited his 'Tiger' militia, who gave such distinguished service killing civilians the Yugoslav wars, from the Red Star Belgrade firm.

I'm wondering if England is now out of step with the rest of Europe in that most of our hooligan firms, certainly for Premiership clubs, now find it very hard to get a ruck going due to the severity of police surveillance, and have now gone into the reminiscence business full-time, whereas elsewhere in Europe the hooligans do actually still fight.

I was in Crete in the summer of 2011 and noticed a lot of graffiti - English language, going on about 'hools'- for one of their local firms, and thought they were probably just a bunch of spray-painters. A few months later I read about three people being stabbed to death outside a game on Crete- can't remember anything like that in the UK for a long time.


TBH, the idea that it's "the English disease" has been pretty self-serving on the part of other European clubs denying the problem exists for a long time now. Didn't Lazio ultras kill a ref back in the 1990s? Galatasaray's lot killed two Leeds United fans in 2000; if we wanted to log all the incidents of serious violence towards black players in central Europe and eastwards we'd be here all day.

One thing that is interesting is the globalisation of style and tone; the slogans, clothes etc have converged on the British model, the moves on the Italian ultra model, while the level of actual violence did the opposite. If you include the EDL, and you should seeing as it started off called Casuals United, you might even say that politicisation has become global - it's one of the elements of the global subculture - but its content is adapted to local context.

It couldn't be otherwise - UWK can't really hate the EU or Bulgarian immigrants, the idea is absurd. Also, if the look is British*, and the terrace performance is Italian, with the big flags and flares, the politicisation is probably originally German - think St. Pauli, whose association with the hard-left goes back to the very beginning.

(You know what's really weird? Going to a match in the MLS. It's like a football re-enactment society. They've got every detail down, but you don't get the impression anyone actually cares...the sort of thing endless snobs come up with about America, of course, but there you go.)

*a remix of European sources, but then these things always are a reinterpretation of something else.


Betting on western European football ultras to remain resolutely pro-immigrant is what I'd call a risky strategy.

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