Boro Chewed Up By Tasty Toffees On Quality Street

WHATEVER the result, spirited Boro – the club as a whole – did themselves proud and flexed some Premier League muscles on a night that felt like a trailer for next term.

I know it is terribly unfashionable these days when only emphatic victory in swaggering style is deemed good enough, , and it seems heresy after a cup quarter-final exit , but I really  enjoyed that game and that experience.  I know you are not allowed to say it these days after a defeat but it was a great match.

Boro did well at times, they competed, they created a couple chances, they never stopped beavering away but even Aitor admitted they were beaten by a better team and by two moments of magic from a quality player, Gerard Deulofeu.  After the early goals well organised Everton were fairly comfortable.  Had Boro nicked one it may – may – have sparked a fightback but in truth it never looked likely.  It is easy to look for scapegoats and lace into individuals but there are always two teams on the pitch and one of them were markedly better. Especially up front. It happens.

But beyond that,  it was great night.

It has been a long time but some long submerged Teesside memories of the big time were stirred as the Riverside staged a game with action and an atmosphere fit to grace the top flight. It was a game that pressed a lot of subliminal buttons for spectators.


            Determined Dani Ayala wrestles to get a half-Nelson on Big Unit Lukaku

It was a pleasure to watch and be part of a game that had all the trappings of an encounter among the elite: fantastic players showing sublime skills,  some bruising personal battles – especially the tear up between imperious Dani Dani Ayala and Lukaku – and, most importantly, a pulsating, absorbing atmosphere with fans from both sides loud and proud and showing some unique touches that mark out Middlesbrough as a club that are an expression of a united community.

First and foremost it was brilliant to be at a match that felt BIG: there was a throbbing crowd riffing on spirited full-blooded football in a match with high stakes. That is what we all yearn for week in, week out. Football is nothing without pro-active fans, the symphonic soundtrack that reflects the heighten emotions of a match that matters.

No disrespect to the hardy faithful from Fulham, Wigan or Bolton but to have a big atmosphere you need away fans numbered in their thousands not in dozens.  There were more coaches than a summer’s  day at Flamingoland parked up behind the South Stand pouring out herds of Scousers with their strange accents and big city ways and all in high spirits and the crackling started early on then a familiar old tension built for an hour.

Everton brought a brilliant Boro-sized following of 4,800 – which was probably the biggest away contingent on Teesside since Operation Riverside when Charlton arrived en masse on a free charabanc shuttle service for an FA Cup quarter-final replay in 2006 and were despatched with a pointed musical message.

The Blues fans, always good travellers, were there with a sense of purpose in what was possibly their biggest game of the season – it is their only realistic hope of success this term and after 21 years without a trophy that is attractive

And cup fever had taken grip of Teesside too with almost 10,000 extra fans – although arguably Boro’s trip to Ipswich is the bigger game this week. So the ground was buzzing in the build-up as fans filed in and were quickly intoxicated by the tingle.

The old school pre-game call-and response ritualised posturing from both crowds started during the warm-ups and gradually grew in volume and passion and 10 minutes before kick-off it had finally drowned out the MMP 80s hospital radio mega-mix.

Once the game was underway there were soaring highs and lows in the volume control reflecting the action on the pitch. Everton were deafening in between their goals, loud and lusty and they threatened to be the first team to out-sing Boro in ages, home or away, but every probe, chance and injustice swung the sonic balance back to Teesside. It was great.   Even winning boss Roberto Martinez was moved to remark on the Boro fans racket.


                               Torch Song: Boro fans light up the Riverside for Ali

The most poignant moment came on 33 minutes as the Riverside dazzled with a spontaneous smart phone salute to Ali Brownlee, accompanied by the “one of our own” chant.  It was an impressive sight with the twinkling Milky Way draped around the pitch like a spangled scarf, including plenty of lights in the Everton end.

After the Redcar steel-works SOS display at Old Trafford got a lot of national exposure and gained cultural traction, the symbolic support for Ali again made the commentary on national TV. Boro will be getting a reputation in the media as artists for a social conscience, doing illuminated art installations celebrating causes close to our collective hearts. It could become our “thing.”

As the game wore on it got feisty. Tackles flew in. There were a couple of WWF moves. There were derisive whistles and jeers and booing aimed at the referee as he waved away a strong penalty call and waves of tangible hostility aimed at Everton’s players as tempers threatened to boil over late on.  It was the kind of intimidating cauldron that we haven’t seen at the usually chuntering stony-faced Riverside for years. It was fantastic.

Good teams bringing large numbers of away fans is a key ingredient in full-blooded football with an real atmosphere that uses the whole palette of passion. We so rarely get that in the Championship and that as much as anything has led to the arms-crossed indifference that is the default for long spells in home in recent years.

But the big match buzz of Everton and there terrific travelling army stoked up the tension and the volume. We could be getting that regularly next season.



BUSY, busy. No time to do a full preview. But I’ve done a flash-back to the Titanic Trilogy against then champions Everton back when Boro had just crawled out of the coffin you can read as you decide what will happen tonight. *opens window, tosses form book out*

I think it comes down to Boro staying firm in the first 10 minutes when Everton will try to assert themselves and then after that the question is whether Boro can score. If they can, then I think they will win. It could be City away or United away. Or maybe Arsenal away. I’m braced for extra-time. And I’m not scared of penalties. In the  last two shoot-outs Boro have hammered in 16 goals! Bring it on.

Over to you. Usual drill:  forecast the score and how the game will pan out. Who will be the hero? Boyhood Everton fan David Nugent? Or Tomas Mejias? You decide.


112 thoughts on “Boro Chewed Up By Tasty Toffees On Quality Street

  1. Werder

    A brilliant speech by Hilary Benn, not a person I normally support.

    What do you do? The French have asked for help, our allies have asked for help.

    In essence we are talking about dealing with action in Middlesbrough but refusing to help in Billingham.

    I pose a question, do Daesh think a few airstrikes in Syria will make any difference adding to a few in Iraq.

    These people killed 30 British citizens in Tunisia, 130 in Paris, throw people off buildings, beheaded the head of a museum, blew up a plane.

    If we don’t vote for air strikes what will Daesh do? The answer is they don’t care about us, they will attack us whatever.

    The argument that air strikes will result in civilian deaths in Syria is a red herring. They are slaughtering people all the middle east, supporters stopped a bus in Africa and killed those who couldn’t recite the Koran.

    There needs to be a political solution, there is no doubt about that but doing nothing is not an option.

    I am sorry, I know it will irritate many but I think they are talking tosh. They laud the International Brigade in Spain.

    I think Corbyn is a lily livered, Islington Socialist.

    **AV writes: I refer the honorable gentlemen to my previous answer.

    1. AV

      I didnt see your previous post but I refer my honourable gentleman to the points I made.

      The people we are dealing with don’t give a monkeys about us, you can sit doing the three monkeys as much as you like, you can contemplate your navel and discuss history as much as you like.

      The facts are they are not sat in Syria and Iraq awaiting a political solution, the Imams dont want them called Islamic State because it isn’t.

      You can sit safe in Gazette Towers but the fact is they are not going away. There is a political solution needed but do you want us to take any action?

      Please come up with a political solution that will take a few months whilst they have a ceasefire..

      AV writes:

      You have to end the political and economic support they are getting. That means:

      1 Move to expel Turkey from NATO, stop the process of them joining the EU and withdraw ‘favoured nation’ status unless they close their border immediately, stop trading oil with ISIS immediately and stop bombing the Kurds – the only people ACTUALLY fighting ISIS

      2 Apply sanctions on Saudi Arabia, who have been exporting militant Wahhabi fundamentalism for decades and are arming and funding these and other to the tune of tens of millions of dollar as year. Cease all arms sales to them. Withdraw political support for them in their series of covert proxy wars against Iran.

      3 Stop supporting and trying to manipulate dictatorships in the region hoping to use them as political pawns. Back democratic movements, show ordinary people that the way to get rid of Assad, or the generals in Egypt or wherever if through progressive popular political movements, not Islamist terror.

      1. You’ve got my vote there. As an aside I note that not one of them from the UK, France or wherever is talking about the end game. When and if the bombing ever stops.



    1. Of course not! Just a little bitty bit of it. What say you if Russia came along and said ‘we’ve got a thing about Cornishmen and their nasty pasties, so we’re going to bomb them but don’t worry coz it’s only a bit and not the whole of the UK

      So, no problem there then. Off you go Ivan, bomb away. What O!

      (Easy, all too easy!)

  2. I’m not saying it isn’t a problem but the immediate solution lies in cutting their funding and support from their ‘friends’ in Saudi Arabia and stopping the corrupt gangs in Turkey for example who seem to be buying the oil they are stealing – plus how about a dedicated unit to block their propaganda on the internet and a less sensationalist media who seem to revel in reporting the gory details of their sick crimes.

    Did the war in Afghanistan stop al-Qaeda? like them it’s not really an organisation but a flag that groups associate themselves with – you’ll just get the next umbrella organisation replacing them if you don’t solve the ideological attraction to such causes – bombing foreign lands usually only recruits more ant-west jihadists than are killed.

  3. A lily livered Islington socialist who is incredibly moral, who sticks to his principles, who speaks out when it would be much simpler and better politically to stay quiet.

    Yes he is no politician he is far too honourable and decent for that. I for one respect someone who for no political or personal gain simply speaks his mind. A mind that believes as do I that everyone person has worth and that one innocent life should not be taken if we can help it.

    That does not mean doing nothing simply that at every point you have to think is what we are doing going to make the situation better or worse?

    If a NATO plane dropped a bomb and killed someone I loved it would take a strong person to not feel hatred back. Surely people can see that bombing a country which is already war torn with innocents on every side being slaughtered in their thousands that indiscriminately dropping bombs will not solve anything and on the contrary will give Isis thousands more sympathisers.

  4. When the USSR agreed to knock the Berlin Wall down and end the cold war, one of the agreements was the NATO would stop any expansion to the east.

    Well what do you think has happened since? All the way to Ukraine they are mooching, that’s the reason for this big lie, these globalists hate Putin because he is proud to be Russian and wants to stay an independent nation.

    And that my friends is the end of the story.

  5. Well Kenny Everett’s parody is now a reality.

    Its incredible that supposedly intelligent leaders in this day and age can be so ignorant of their actions. We have tried to usurp Assad despite not learning that in the Middle East there are extreme religious factions that will not live in harmony unless a despot leader enforces law and order by extreme measures. They do not live by Western values, viewpoints, social conditioning or religions and why should they? Iraq and Libya are a mess after Western interventions and zero contingency plans for after the event.

    So we have Turkey on our side and fighting against Isis/IS/Daesh but against the Kurds who are also on our side but fighting the Turks and IS but big Dave cant see the problem or conflict of morals, values and interests. Throw in Russia bombing Syrian Rebels who the West have armed and supported because they were fighting Assad, the same Assad who Russia supports and arms.

    So who do we bomb when Russia are bombing the 70,000 alleged ground force rebels on our side but not all of them of course only the not quite so moderate Rebels whilst we bomb other Towns and Cities where we believe IS are located along with innocent Women and Children who have no allegiance to IS but like Parisians innocently caught in the crossfire created by the vacuum the West created in Iraq and further exacerbated by weakening Syria and Assad through our ignorance? Of course nobody in the West remembers Assad three years ago warning that these Rebels are dangerous and not what the West thought they were. I don’t recall Assad’s followers bombing the West.

    Why don’t we bomb the Oil Refineries and Pipelines that are one of the main sources of IS income and indeed the customers who are paying IS money for their Oil which in turn is generating the income to perpetuate their atrocities? Maybe because the truth is uncomfortable and makes for strange bedfellows. Why are we so sanctimonious about civil liberties and human rights when we are crawling up Saudi Arabia’s backside who behead and lash people in public on a daily basis or is that because its a nice type of legalised beheading and lashing of young women because they have ventured out without a male chaperone – presumably because they couldn’t get the car started? If we acknowledge and accept the cultural differences there then why not elsewhere?

    What about India whom we seem so fond off lately who seem to carry out crimes against women as an alternative pastime to golf or cricket? We send them billions in aid annually yet there are children begging on streets, operate a middle ages caste system but can afford a Space program?

    How about China and their civil liberties, freedom of expression and the right to be heard and unhindered access to the internet?

    And then of course we have the world’s self appointed policeman the USA who have myopic tendencies when it comes to Mexico where drug cartels run the country, police forces are corrupt and prisoners raped and tortured and forced to sign trumped up charges right on their doorstep. But hey lets go bomb the Mid East and sort their human rights out.

    What has happened to those 300 young schoolgirls who were captured by Islamic extremists in Nigeria? What did Big Dave do about that? Or Obama or Putin, Merkel and Hollande? I guess that because they were Nigerian the West didn’t value their lives or their families suffering and disgustingly spinelessly still don’t. Not a single finger was raised to bring those responsible to justice despite the clamour for Hollywood’s finest to tweet and make supporting videos.

    I’m not a supporter of Corbyn or indeed a leftie Labour voting terrorist supporter but there quite simply is no plan other than an emotive knee jerk to the events of Paris that will sate the desire for revenge. But against who exactly? Are all Syrians IS or Assad supporters? how do we differentiate and whose side exactly are we on? Assad? IS? or the supposed “70,00” rebels in the middle who are all various factions eager to seize power in the vacuum the west has created and is still creating?

    Assad wasn’t the problem, he was someone whom the West could have courted and persuaded and incentivised to change his ways and it would have been at a far lower cost than to date (let alone what it will cost going forward). We can’t get our Police to respond to a burglary or an ambulance to a road accident victim yet we can suddenly find billions to bomb Syria.

    Are our politicians who voted for this really so ignorant that they don’t realise that Rebels/Terrorists are not an army in the obvious sense, they aren’t all just assembled over a hill in a Desert somewhere? IS are already in Europe they are already in the UK and we could all draw up a list of the half dozen or so UK Towns and Cities where they are most likely to reside yet we have tolerated hate being preached in fear of being in breach of European Human rights laws. Hypocrisy and double standards, scaremongering and sheer incompetence at work tonight in the Houses of Parliament from members of all parties.

    US, French, Russian, Emirates, Saudi and now UK and other forces all active in the same war zone and all with different terms of engagements, enemies and agenda’s and yet they can’t see the problem staring us in the face. Remind me again which side is Turkey on?

    Perfect planning prevents poor performance. Has Dave actually got a plan? Or Obama, Hollande or Putin for that matter because if they do it doesn’t look like it from where I’m sitting. Getting to the source of IS funding and wealth is a huge and uncomfortable embarrassment for the West yet cutting off their oil generating wealth at least should not be difficult for modern day fighter planes. Now where is the bulk of that source of Oil, oh yeah its in Iraq, the Country that we have already been approved to bomb and have been bombing, strange that one isn’t it?

    Tonight was all about not losing face and nothing remotely to do with effectively taking out IS. That will only be done with a joined up coalition policy and troops on the ground as in the Kuwait war where we start at one end and keep going only this time don’t stop and don’t walk away half assed. Eastern Syria is already obliterated to oblivion, IS still remain, and we have politicians who can’t or won’t see the Elephant in the room so lets adopt Kenny Everett’s foreign policy instead.

    **AV writes: I think it is just cynical gesture politics, being seen to be doing something and knowing dropping bombs is an easy PR hit and can be sold as “tough” and “decisive” when the dirty work of diplomacy is boring and has little impact in the ratings.

    1. “Reality” politics for the Facebook and Kardashian feeding generation, bereft of intelligent original thought let alone diplomacy.

  6. Good post RR, but I fear wasted on those who have never travelled and tasted, felt or smelled the disgusting stench of humanity stripped of European comfort and technology.

    I don’t think this issue of is any great consequence apart from the politics. Big Dave wanted to humiliate JC in public to hang on to power and the job he loves best. JC the man of principle was caught between a rock and a hard place but compromised to hang to his job. Keep the French happy – drop a few bombs on Raqqa.

    Having lived here for over 35 years, my message to the diasBoro is that no one else really gives a damn.

    Since the 7 day war and the PLO was born the world has been slipping slowly to a new normal and it will take generations to settle down and even then may not be the type of world we wanted for our kids and grand kids. Human nature is nasty, brutal uncaring and selfish.

    Lets not forget that there is a religious bias to this. Europe and US are spinning this after 2,000 years of Christian culture, conveniently forgetting the way we used to be no so long ago – ignoring the hypocrisy of Remembrance Day “lest we forget” or Holocast Day.

    No, Islam, Daesh PLO AQAP Boko, LRR are no worse than we were and neither are the autocracies of the Middle East – the time span is different but not by more than a generation or so.

    Eventually our own blood lust, our misplaced conscience or political interests will dictate the land war and there will then be blood. This death cult will have its wish for Armageddon.

    No one wants war in this part of the world despite its inevitability but we are all resigned to it. I have seen more than 20 mini wars here over the years and maybe the so called holy books are right and its time for the war to end all religion.

  7. Good morning all! Here we all are on the morning of the night before and reports suggest British pilots have taken their 12 bombs and dropped their load on some infrastructure in Syria. Who gave them permission? Why the British Parlimant of course following a vote at another hugely respected organisation, the UN.

    Did the sovereign state of Syria agree to this – why no of course not! But it hardly matters as their legally, democratically elected government and president count for naught (quite right, bloody terrorists- eh?).

    But the legal niceities and jurisdiction of a democratically elected state are but secondary to why I write. On the subject of Daesh or any other affront to our sense of security or honour there is a deeper and more abiding reason that the 12 bombs were dropped. That reason, one amongst many but central, is our collective need to do something when something is done to us.

    The third Newtonian law of motion can be applied here – that is that an equal amount of energy against an object will be met by an equal amount of energy in return or as in the case of terrorist outrage ‘the more you kill of us, the more we will kill of you’. Consequence, an esculation of killing when ironically those who give their consent to more killing make reference to stopping it.

    But there’s more. The need, the deep emotional need to do something is based on the our inability to do nothing. In fact, in the ‘honour system’ it is in fact the inaction of a pacifist, a coward and a ‘terrorist sympathisor’. Our collective inability to control our own feelings of outrage result in more killings and increasing violence.

    However, now we and those who represent us in Parlimant can now feel better. We, collectively, have achieved a catharsis. We’ve collectively ‘done something’ for us and our mates (note how Hillary Benn provided us with a speech that massaged our emotional angst and was roundly applauded by those who desperately needed to be seen to do something and thus be in control of events- which of course they are not).

    So nothing is new under the sun. They say whem someone buys a car it’s generally an emotional decision, well that’s what happened last night and this morning people will be able to munch on their cornflakes and sip their hot coffee, feeling sooo much better personally knowing that for the deaths we’ve suffered we’ve been able to drop 12 bombs and there’ll be a few more to come.

    Feeling alright now? Good! Off you go to work then.

  8. A bloke who knew a thing or two about war said:

    “Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country”

    Herman Goering at the Nürnberg Trials

    I’m not saying fighting IS is wrong but the “Realist/Pragmatist” in me wants to have a definite plan with deliverable objectives via a joined up concerted effort and an agreement on what happens, how it is going to happen, when it is over and most importantly how we keep the peace. The West have been meddling in the Middle East for almost a thousand years now. The Crusades ultimately failed because of different armies under different Countries and Kings not having joined up thinking. Seems that Dave and Hilary mustn’t have been very good at History.

  9. BTW: There seems to be move to now refer to ISIS as Daesh instead – here is where the word comes from if your interested and what it’s use is designed to do.

    Daesh is an acronym for the Arabic phrase ‘al-Dawla al-Islamiya al-Iraq al-Sham’ that actually translates as ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ – which is the basis of the acronym ISIL of course.

    So on the face of it little point in a rebrand – but apparently IS militants do not like the word Daesh as when it’s spoken it sounds similar to the Arabic word ‘Dahes’ – which means ‘the sowers of discord’ and it is that which they regard as a great insult.

    It also attempts to reinforce them as not being representative of anything to do with an Islamic State, which is a concept of a state operating under Shari’a law – though those who follow them actually believe it’s the purest form of Islam.

    So in the end it’s all part of the propaganda war and it probably attempts to undermine any credibility they have with potential recruits.

  10. Before we switch back to Football…

    Just watched Hilary Benn’s speech – it certainly was an eloquent coherent passionate argument that would make many a sceptic question their resolve. More than anything it underlined what Corbyn is lacking – the appearence of any obvious leadership material qualities and the ability to communicate his beliefs in a manner that convinces.

    Watching Corbyn shuffle uneasily in the background as Benn gave his oratory I came to the conclusion that as much as I can agree with many of the points he has made, he is basically not leadership material. To be fair he had no credible competition in the leadership race but I’m not sure if can recover from being so comprehensively upstaged by a colleague on what was essentially his first big day in the job – on top of the debacle of the failure to come out on top after Osbourne’s massive U-turn on tax credits due to the performance of his bumbling shadow Chancellor.

    It’s the beginning of the end for him I’m afraid – not that he isn’t a decent bloke but sadly no obvious sign of him convincing anyone that he could be the next PM.

    **AV writes: I don’t think he ever thought about the prospect of being PM. I don’t think he even thought of the prospect of winning the leadership election. The intention was a modest one, to put of a left alternative and that caught the mood of the moment. He has never been a slick sound bite politician with a big ego of the sort you see on Question Time. He has been more of an off-stage networker active in left campaign and pressure groups that work inside and outside the Labour Party.

    I don’t think he intends to fight the next election, I think the whole drive is to push ahead with his leadership election mandate to democratise the party (make it more membership based, move policy back to conference, give constituency parties more power to hold MPs to account etc) and then step down so a renewed party can select a new leader. That won’t be Benn now though.

    1. I agree that he probably became leader by accident and is now trying to bring forward a new kind of democratic politics and make the party less top-down managed as it became under Blair.

      But the trick was to give the appearance of being around for the next election – he looks like a dead man walking right now and he hasn’t been helped by the vitriol being spouted by his so-called supporters at more moderate Labour figures.

      If both sides dig in then It’s going to be an ugly civil war that even the UN can’t resolve – not sure what kind of party will remain when the dust settles. The PLP and the activists are seemingly split and that means only one winner – The Tories!

  11. Werdermouth

    Although Hilary’s speech was certainly eloquent, well paced, timed with meticulous precision and delivered with the utmost professionalism his historical view and understanding of Franco and Spain are not in line with my history books. The British Government at the time refused to sell arms to the democratically elected Spanish Government and in so doing strengthened Franco and by default his buddies Mussolini and Hitler.

    Of course I may have misunderstood his interpretation and my grasp of history but when dissected it may come back to haunt him especially if events in Syria take a turn for the worse. He failed to mention how the US dropped more bombs on Vietnam than in the entire course of the second world war and how that turned out and that was against an enemy that was contained both geographically and politically!

    Tony Blair also possessed a degree of suave credibility and certainly cultivated the right image. History however has since shown a very thin veneer. There are a few more years to go until an election and at that point in time what will come to pass will be in the past and judged based upon its merits over the course of time rather than the merit of its rhetoric in the short term.

    You may be correct in that it could be the beginning of the end for Corbyn or there again history in a few years time may look back upon it as his finest hour with the country looking for a calming, stable, ethical and honourable alternative to the politics of wanton greed, personal gain and lasciviousness.

    Going back to football, AK must be relieved that he is getting a break on here at the minute as he prepares for another hoodoo ending performance on Friday!

    **AV Writes: Vietnam is an interesting analogy. The US had initially covertly supported and armed the Viet Cong in their fight against French imperialism and were later stunned when that liberation struggle was then extended to the fight against US intervention in the area. In Vietnam there were also mission creep and as the guerilla war stepped up and the Viet Cong were slipping over the porous Cambodian border the US started bombing indiscriminately there too, leading to massive civilian casualties, the collapse of the state and the rise of the barbaric death cult that was the Khmer Rouge and their killing fields. It seem military super-powers only have one response. And it doesn’t usually work. You have to learn from history.

    1. I think the overall impression made by the speech was that Corbyn is not a leader with the skills to be able to convince people who are undecided to follow – and now everyone can see that more clearly.

      1. With all due respect I don’t think you know Corbyn nor do I think you recognise what he’s upto and his modus operandi.

        To lead when people don’t know or fail to recognise that you are leading. That is genius.

    2. Can AK anticipate the strategy and performance of his opposition & cut his cloth accordingly or will it be another masterpiece of defensive grind with a mistake by Ipswich letting us in to score a early/late winner?

      I let you guess which one I think it will be.


  12. I came on the blog to check the comments on the match and found a fantastic debate on Syria and IS!

    My thoughts on Sytia and IS are this, we have little choice but to bomb IS because sitting back and doing nothing in the military sense while acts of terrorism continue which they surely will, is not acceptable or part of the psyche of the British people indeed most nations I think. So we have to respond simply to feel ‘better’. Although for certain the bombing wont stop the terrorism and will probably increase the number of disaffected young Muslims, who feel allientaed and angry, joining IS and comitting acts of terror.

    The solution for certain involves challenging Saudi Arabia and applying serious pressure, but for some perverse reason European governments including our own and the USA also will continue to do nothing. AV’s points on where the solution lies seems spot on to me apart from Turkey, which is a country Europe needs to bring closer because that is the way to influence and instigate the change which is needed there. But, there is no easy or quick answer, but for sure increasing the bombing in Syria against IS is exactly what IS want.

    As for Corbyn, he’s not lily livered, it takes balls to take a stance such as his in the face of such strong opposition both within and outside of his party. I dont support many of his principles or policies but I admire the guy and he certainly isn’t an Islington Socialist. An Islington Socialist is essentially a Tory in disguise.

    I also dont think Corbyn is good for the long term health of the Labour party or indeed for British politics, his election has caused chaos in the Labour party meaning they are incapable of being an effective opposition when god knows the country needs one. Corbyn also makes them unelectable because the overwhelming majority of people in this country are either moderate/liberal conservatives or social democrats. The election of Corbyn has given us a guarantee of ten years of Tory rule, not a great prospect if you’re on the minimum wage and need tax credits to feed and house your kids.

    Those in the Labour party who elected Corbyn and think he’s great are misguided I’m afraid.

    And dont get me onto the nuclear deterent! £100 billion really? George Osborne keeps tellng us the country cant afford this that or the other but apparently we can afford £100 billion to build and maintain four nuclear boomers. And for those who say we need them as protection my answer is Germany, Japan and Canada (fellow G8 members) seem to manage pretty well without.

    I’ll do the footie later!

    1. we have to respond simply to feel ‘better’.

      Agreed! Catharsis plain and simple but stupid! Well that’s politicians in general for you and that’s the more reason to have someone like Corbyn around to act as a counter-weight. Still it ain’t easy challenging a hurricane on top of a cliff. So wait till the noise dies down and incrementally chip away changing things in the long term.

      He’s only been sittin in the seat for what 3 months? The Labour Party is in the throes of change. Some people are resisting that change but change there is and it’s self evident because JC has been voted democratically by the members as the leader.

      Patience, humility and understanding those that have opposing views will in the end enpower you to lead in another direction. Eventually the change will come!

      On the football front we have our very own manager who has a vision and has enacted change. ‘We need educating’ he says. Perhaps we do but there are disparate aims. Joe Public wants to enjoy his football whilst the Chairman wants Premier League football. Perhaps AK needs to understand he’s got to deliver some if not all of both if he’s going to achieve that which he wants.

  13. Has big Dave remembered to invite China to the Bombing party I wonder as the Chinese declared war on IS only a few weeks ago. Is there now an even bigger danger that the “not allied and almost but not quite coalition forces” end up arguing and fighting amongst themselves.

    France “I was going to bomb that”

    UK “Tough we bombed it first”

    Saudi “Well you better not bomb the hospital that is housing IS intelligence unit as we are bombing that tomorrow”

    Qatar “Ha Ha, too late we have just bombed it”

    Syria “Well what are we supposed to bomb tomorrow, there are no schools left and we don’t want to look good in the eyes of the West?”

    Australia “Go find your own bomb targets and stop copying ours”

    Russia “Well we did have our own targets but then Turkey decided to attack us”

    US “Not my problem we’re too busy looking for the only slightly moderate but more extreme, not so friendly Jihadi terrorist rebels” (as oppose to the much more moderate anti Assad Jihadi Rebels who of course are not terrorists with a capital “T”)

    China “Whereabouts in the China Seas exactly is Syria, we’ve just launched a missile”

    All “Well we need to bomb something tomorrow as our TV reporters are waiting and watching and its making us look weak”

    Meanwhile, Jordan, Denmark, Canada and the Netherlands amongst others have complained to the UN because their Air Forces are running out of targets to bomb and keep having to swerve and avoid everybody else’s fighter planes over Syrian skies. Just imagine being in the tower of Damascus Air Traffic Control.

    Oh and Russia have violated Israeli air space this week, oops! (This bits actually true by the way). “The incident was ‘an error’ and marks the only failure so far in military coordination between the two countries over Syria said Moshe Ya’alon.”

    Israel, military coordination, who would have thought it?

    Plan, what plan, what could possibly go wrong, we don’t need a plan?

    1. Anna from Redcar and Tom from Middlesbro South asked a question of Jeremy, ‘Why can’t we vote for bombing in Syria, all our mates have?’

      Spartak shakes head wondering where the Labour Party gets people who fail to know that voting with the Conservatives doesn’t look good for their OWN party.

  14. I have reservations about military intervention in Syria without a clear objective. As far as I I am aware however, the RAF bombed an oilfield this morning.

    I would be in favour of that if it was part of a strategy to disable the terrorist group formerly known as IS by cutting off their sources of income, their access to the banking system and their access to the internet.

    1. Or we could bomb the heck out of their Customer making their oil untouchable and IS an economic pariah and reduce Global warming all in one fell swoop. Trouble is we don’t like to talk about where the Oil goes, taps nose knowingly with a tilted head and a wink.

      Personally I blame the lone striker system, if there was more support up front on the ground then our main strikers wouldn’t be so isolated.

      Its no use lobbing long range bombs from a distance and expecting them to stick, Dave has no plan “B” and his hold up play is useless. Same old, same old, if the entertainment value and popularity ratings don’t improve soon the middle ground will start switching channels to reruns of “I’m a Jihadi get me out of here”.

  15. Certainly glad that ak made six changes on Tuesday, will give us a chance on Friday night. Plus the fact that our opponents have a good record against us, something ak seems to like. I would be pleased if he played the third midfielder, further forward of course, but he has earned the right to dictate the team and the tactics so we will see, it would be a very good three points.

  16. Mr Red, I admire your commitment to a more expansive style, but in this case a concentration on rapidly closing them down and denying them space could reap rewards. I too find Dave’s route 1 approach a bit primitive in this day and age.

    I understand there is a football match tomorrow. Another jinx busting away win would be very nice.

    1. Never mind the quality feel the quantity, said the. …

      Ok!Ok! I’ll stop right there!

      3 points the imperative then?


  17. Bloody hell! I’ve been away 24 hours and it’s all happening. Once again, I’m learning so much from the Diasboro regarding the contretemps over yonder. I didn’t think I would find myself in agreement with Jeremy Corbyn but I think he has a point. Will we ever learn the lesson of history?

    Some marvellous contributions but, as with our thoughts on Boro, I find myself aligned with Redcar Red.

    The deed has been done, however, so, as with Boro’s prospects, it’s a case of waiting to see how it all turns out. If we get something tomorrow night, I might alter my usually pessimistic/realistic view of how things are shaping up. As for Syria, I confident it will all end in tears.

  18. There were some very good reasons for overthrowing Hussain in Iraq, who was responsible for many, many deaths, chemical attacks on his own people, vicious oppression and a major war with Iran. In the end, I wasn’t in favour of the invasion because of the likely civilian casualties, and even some elements of his armed forces were innocent conscripts.

    Unfortunately, there was no plan by Bush and Blair for what to do after ‘winning’, just a general idea that democracy will solve everything. Maybe some people in Iraq feel the terrible price of democracy has been worth paying. I read an estimate that 61,000 civilians were killed by the Blitz and other air attacks in WW2. It seems people in Britain were prepared to pay such a price.

    The ISIL terrorists kill, rape or enslave anyone who is not exactly like themselves, who does not believe what they believe. They have a plan to spread this ‘caliphate’ including to Britain. If they have a growing territorial power base their terror campaign will continue and intensify. But if they are living ‘on the run’ they can be restrained to some extent, as with al-Qaeda.

    On the other hand, Syria is another maelstrom of competing groups, some of whom might be moderate at the moment, but how can we control which ones gain power? It is difficult to know what the result of bombing will be, all we have is an assumption that anything is better than allowing ISIL to spread through Syria, Iraq and beyond.

    One thing I am clear about is that we should support the Kurds. They have suffered many long years of repression by governments in that area and it is satisfying to see at least some of them now living in freedom.

    **AV writes: And yet the Kurds are bombed abroad an oppressed at home by NATO member with aspirations to join the EU. That is where it starts. It is hard to say you are fighting for peace and democracy when you are in bed with people engaged in decades of systematic brutality.

    1. Oh, if it was so simple. If the Kurds had their own homeland paradise would be for them. Unfortunately, not so, for reports from their own people suggest those in charge are even more corrupt than they have ever known.

      The poorest of the poor are amongst those who suffer most for the sins of the few.

      When I was in Libya to the east of Benghazi before Ghadaffi was killed, I saw some of the poorest Libyans living in shanty towns whilst the rich crows built mini palaces for themselves and their wives (multiple per crow). The Libyans I spoke to were so ashamed many denied the shanty dewellers were Libyan. They told me they were Eygptian migrant workers.

      Where ever you travel, whatever country you visit, to a greater or lesser extent to few prey on the many and a few of them scratch a living fron the refuse we all throw away.The species that we are was ever unbalanced and distorted.

      You would think that by eliminating some or all of the crows we could make progress. Unfortumately, the species will always produce them and inevitably it will remain the same – unbalanced, distorted and corrupt.

  19. I enjoy the blog everyday. And learning more about life. But I also like the Championship as there are matches coming thich and fast. Like tomorrow. UTB!

  20. Well, my overall conclusion of the last few posts is some of you should stick to politics!

    If daesh were living in little huts marked ‘IS here’ then bombing them would be a good idea. But they aren’t, they live amongst the general population. There was an interview with a guy in the Guardian who had been held prisoner by them and he basically said don’t bomb them, because that’s exactly what they want. They want to frame the west as the evil infidels, and interestingly the refugee ‘crisis’ was threatening to challenge that – how could the evil west accept all these muslims? Then of course they bomb Paris and the knee jerk reaction is to stop the refugees coming in.

    Isn’t the general rule to do the opposite of what your enemy wants?

    The Labour party is in total chaos though, I feel sorry for Jeremy Corbyn, there was so much hope when he was elected, but he’s getting attacked from all sides. Cameron’s ‘terrorist sympathiser’ line was a disgrace.

    1. I’m somewhat confused borophil as I find myself agreeing with 95% of what you say (spartak scratches his head with a bemused look on his face). And it does appear, given the national media’s obssession with all things negative about JC, that the Labour Party (that’s what it says on my membership card, not New Labour) is in disarray.

      However, I would suggest to you that this is but an error in perspective and not the whole picture, purposely promoted by people with a vested interest.
      Beyond the eyes of the many, a re-configeration is occurring throughout the root and branch of the party. A new ‘stealth’ strategy has been devised that has its basis in local representation by and through local representatives for the communities they serve. A big example of the product of this strategy is the by election win last night in Oldham.The governing party, regardless of their claim to be representatives of hard working families, received less than 10% of the vote. The people there showed that they don’t believe it.

      The ‘Establishment’ may direct their viteriol against JC and his cadre but they will find it more difficult to do so against a candidate who’s true mission is to be in the service of his own community and is seen to be so by their actions – no chauffeur driven shiny cars or credit cards on the never never. Its bicycles and public transport that will make a more humble, respectful and in touch politics and politician.

      Meanwhile here’s wishing AV and the Boro team a safe journey down to Ipswich and a great performance on the pitch for tonight’s game. I predict, optimistically a 2-0 win for our lads.


  21. Continuing on pointless activities I watched a good part of the first half of QPR at Reading. It looks incredibly like the matches at Derby and the Riverside.

  22. Meanwhile in Ukraine, our new comrade and ally Vlad the bare chested Putin is occupying large parts of the country with an eye on recapturing everything East of the old iron curtain. And his submarines have been patrolling our waters with a sonar eye on cutting our internet cables. Our parliamentarians are focussing on the wrong conflict.

    **AV writes: Syria is a proxy war, first for the regional powers (Saudi Arabi v Iran) and secondly for the world powers (US v Russia). It is a toxic cocktail. What could possibly go Sarajevo?

    1. I currently live in a country east of the old iron curtain and have done so on and off for almost 20 years. Vlad the bare chested would never be welcome here by any but perhaps 5% of the population. It is the same for the neighbouring countries. The old divisions for the most part are gone. There are plans to build a new Landrover car producing factory here. It will join 4 other already well established global producers.

      The changes I have seen.

    2. And Syria is a case of biter bit have been involved in a proxy war in Lebanon (not forgetting contributions by other countries)

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