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Charged with ‘aggravated misconduct’. For a tweet he made when he was 14.

Here is an extract from the report in today’s Times:

The Middlesbrough defender Marc Bola has been charged by the FA [Football Association] with aggravated misconduct for comments he made on social media when he was 14, nine years ago.

The FA has alleged that Bola, now 23, who signed for Middlesbrough from Blackpool in 2019, posted a ‘reference to sexual orientation.’ He is facing a written warning, an education course or a potential three-game ban for the post from 2012.

An FA statement read: “Middlesbrough FC’s Marc Bola has been charged with misconduct for a breach of FA Rule E3 in relation to a social media post on April 14, 2012.

If, rather than mouthing off on Twitter, the fourteen year old Bola had had the forethought to instead commit a violent crime meriting up four years imprisonment, the sentence would have been considered “spent” by now under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

49 comments to Charged with ‘aggravated misconduct’. For a tweet he made when he was 14.

  • Peter MacFarlane

    Somewhat related: this morning I received the annual (iirc) letter inviting me to check my details on the electoral roll. On the outside of the envelope is this message: “Everyone who lives in Scotland and is 14 or over can now register to vote”.

    14! Words fail me, for once.

  • How can you possibly be found guilty of a breach of rules you weren’t subject to at the time? Unless he was a youth footballer?

  • Paul Marks

    He “broke the rules” before he was even a member of their organisation.

    The “Woke” F.A. may declare they are “Anti Fascist” – but they act like Fascists. So do the “Woke” Corporations in general.

    An “education course” – yes a person must not think differently to the “Woke” Frankfurt School Marxists. And NO I do not think that a 14 year boy should be rude about homosexuals – but that is up to his parents to tell him, not the bleeping “F.A.” some NINE YEARS LATER.

  • Paul Marks

    People who buy tickets to football matches – or pay for sports television, are putting money into the hands of “Woke” types such as the Football Association.

    Still that is true of just about every Corporation now.

    The Milton Friedman view of a corporation as a politically and culturally neutral organisation, just interested in making money, is totally dead.

    “DEATH TO THE WEST!” is the only thing the Corporations seem to care about – as we see from Hollywood making “Woke” films and television shows, without caring whether they make money or not.

    Most Corporations (regardless of the industry) seem obsessed with hunting down “wrong think” among employees (even things people said BEFORE they became employees) and customers (“we do not want you as a customer – you are a Transphobe!” or whatever), making money is an after thought – if the Corporate Managers are interested in making a profit at all.

    Capitalism is culturally dead. The education system has killed the culture that capitalism is based upon – and that was not accident, that was the plan. The Frankfurt School plan.

    The ESG (Environment and Social Governance) scores among American banks and other corporations (pushed by the government) are just formalising the “Woke” (Frankfurt School Marxist) culture that is already dominant.

    The basic principles of “I do not care what you believe and say outside work time – I just want you to work hard while you are here” and “I do not care what my customers believe (believe about religion, politics, whatever) – I just try and give them all a good service” are dead, quite dead.

    And those are the basic principles of a Capitalist Culture – destroy those principles and everything else falls.

    And those are the principles that the “Woke” Frankfurt School Marxists have targeted – and the Corporations are “Woke” now. “Diversity and Inclusion” means uniformity and exclusion.

  • Penseivat

    Perhaps some enterprising (and very computer literate) people could delve into the history of the FA moguls and make public any anti-woke comments they made years ago. It would no doubt make very interesting reading.

  • Zerren Yeoville

    Is there anyone who retains any shred of doubt as to the real reason why The Powers That Be want to remove every shred of anonymity and privacy both online and offline? How much power would accrue to them by having the ability to exhume every loose or heated comment made by anyone ever?

    In supposedly unrelated news, the limit on contactless card payments in the UK is to be raised from 45 GBP to 100 GBP – a move which has been demanded and campaigned for by precisely no-one and which has been derided as a pickpockets’ charter. But the clear intent is to further reduce the use of cash and thereby increase the ability of The Powers That Be to make a permanent ID-linked record of every purchase you make.

    Meanwhile, if you buy a generic 50 GBP Mastercard or Visa gift card (rather than a gift card tied to a specific retailer) you will soon find out that a limit of 40 GBP has been imposed on their use for online shopping, translated directly from EU money laundering regulations which sets the limit on unregistered gift cards at 50 EUR. Don’t hold your breath waiting for this absurdity to be corrected post-Brexit by raising that limit to 50 GBP to match the most common gift card value.

  • pete

    This is a private matter between the FA and the player. The FA can choose its own rehabilitation period or decide not to have one at all. Libertarians shouldn’t want anyone else to interfere.

    I can see the FA’s point in ‘charging’ the player for his adolescent tweet.

    Social media is here to stay and taking this action sends out a message to today’s 14 year old football hopefuls to be careful on the internet. This will probably mean a reduction of these incidents in the future and so will be better for the game’s image and finances.

    People who don’t like this are free to set up their own football games and to administer them as they wish.

  • XC

    Ya’ll can B&M all you want, or you can do what increasing number of Americans are doing: abandon professional and much of college sports. Honestly, there is other stuff to do with friends and families and it *hurts* your direct enemies across their entire stack of turtles. These are high fixed cost businesses and if you can remove growth they will fail quickly.

    If you want to do a bit of work with Alinsky, tell the bar owner that putting up media of spouse abusers is off putting.

    -XC

    PS – Hate twitter? Refuse to click links that take you to twitter. It’s hard for a month or two.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    pete writes,

    This is a private matter between the FA and the player. The FA can choose its own rehabilitation period or decide not to have one at all. Libertarians shouldn’t want anyone else to interfere.

    Libertarians should not wish anyone to forcibly compel the FA to change its procedures. However it is perfectly compatible with libertarian principles to attempt to get the FA to change its procedures by mockery and criticism. The FA’s aim may well have been to punish Bola pour encourager les autres. That they hope to scare children now does not change the injustice and cruelty of punishing Bola for having expressed bad attitudes as a fourteen year old. Given the close to 100% prevalence of “having said something offensive” among teenage boys, it is scarcely different from punishing a randomly chosen person for the deterrent effect.

  • People who don’t like this are free to set up their own football games and to administer them as they wish.

    Sure, and if the privately owned supermarket bans you due to a mean tweet, you should feel free to set up your own supermarket as well 🤪

  • Stonyground

    I don’t know who this guy is, whether he is one of those footballers who get paid a million pounds a minute or one who gets more modest remuneration. But it would be nice to see him tell them to fuck off and just walk away. It must be really brilliant to get paid a huge amount for doing something that you like doing so much that you would do it anyway but really. I was a bit of a twat when I was fourteen, are any of my accusers trying to claim that they weren’t?

  • Paul Marks

    Perry beat me to the punch.

  • John Lewis

    The recent banning of the cricketer Ollie Robinson by the ECB for slightly “dodgy” tweets made while still a teenager was another, albeit higher profile, example of institutional overreach.

    Robinson is now back taking wickets for England and it’s almost as if the media has decided en masse that continuing to refer to the ban would be counterproductive. Those former players who were quick to express their mental anguish in multiple articles on the Bbc sports page only succeeded in showing the world their own small-mindedness.

    On a similar note this week there was immediate condemnation of “racial abuse” by Hungary football fans. However conclusive evidence has been thin on the ground and my guess is that the abuse was about as racial as the graffiti on the Marcus Rashford mural i.e. childish and borderline obscene but no more than that.

    Football fans have always booed the opposition and while throwing bananas on the pitch is racist behaviour throwing paper cups, as was apparently the case this week, is not. In any case ostentatious pre-match kneeling in support of the Marxist blm organisation was never going to go down well in a country which has actually suffered communism within living memory.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    Why paper cups?

  • Flubber

    So the FA and the ECB want to follow the NBA into financial oblivion? Fine by me.

  • Paul Marks

    Imagine a private business, or charity, or society, RJECTING the Frankfurt School Marxist “Diversity and Inclusion”, i.e. Uniformity and Exclusion, Agenda – they would be crucified. The Equalities Act of 2010 may not formally apply to them – but it, de facto, does.

    The idea of “go to another company” or “go to another football association” is, therefore, totally daft.

    “I do not care what you say or believe outside of work – I just want you to work well whilst you are at work” and “I do not care what my customers believe – I just just try and give them all a good service” – these are basic principles of capitalist society. And they are precisely the principles that the Frankfurt School Marxists (the “Woke”) seek to destroy.

    And they have largely destroyed these basic capitalist principles – I do not think there is a single large company left that would endorse basic capitalist principles. Or a single large charity or sporting association that would endorse these basic principles of a free society.

    Have the “wrong” opinions – ever (at any time) say the “wrong” thing, and you are OUT. No job, and (soon) no access to banking or payment services.

    ESG – Environmental and Social Governance. The Western version of the Chinese Social Credit system – although it is indirect (working via banks and other bodies corporate).

  • Paul Marks

    Although Perry beat me to the punch – I will say that the comment of Pete, if it was meant seriously, is the most asinine comment I have read for a long time. In effect it was saying go-to-another-Football-Association. Not even another club – another Football Association.

    Do not just set up another club – set up a whole new Football Association, that does not support censorship and persecution. On reflection I suspect “Pete” was being ironic.

  • John Lewis

    I have no idea Natalie.

    When I was young we used to chuck toilet rolls onto the pitch. Later on seat cushions, where available, were a great way of showing ones discontent with a teams (or referees) performance. On a more localised level Chelsea supporters are fond of throwing celery while in North America fans of the Detroit Red Wings have thrown squid onto the ice throughout the last 70 years. It’s a spectator thing.

  • Gene

    John Lewis, the octopi thrown on the ice by Detroit Red Wings fans is an old tradition during the Stanley Cup playoffs. It is meant to inspire the Detroit players, not as a sign of unhappiness.

  • The Jannie

    Is this the sweet FA?

  • Bogdan the Aussie

    Pete is just another COMMIE who is applying, SELECTIVELY, “free” market rules in order to promote COMMUNISM.

    I know how it works; I’ve lived under the boot and whip of a commune fascist regime in Poland for the best part of my life.

    Never, ever in my baddest nightmare, thought, I would envisage or predict that the COMMUNISM in its most DEGENERATE form would descent on EUNUCHALIA where I am living my miserable life now.

    Very, very sad greetings from Aussie

  • Schrodinger's Dog

    I’d be curious to know how many professional footballers have committed serious criminal offences – you know, assault and the like – and are still playing, their crimes seemingly forgotten by the footballing authorities.

  • ’… it is scarcely different from punishing a randomly chosen person for the deterrent effect.’

    Oh god, please don’t give them ideas!

  • Sam Duncan

    “14! Words fail me, for once.”

    This country’s f**ked.

    My parents died recently and, going through their things, I discovered a copy of the Glasgow Herald from 1970. By coincidence, there’s a report on the front page of the first British election in which under-21s could vote; a council by-election in the Kelvinside ward, won by the Tory candidate. It was also the first time the ward had been held by someone from one of the national parliamentary parties.

    There is, as Adam Smith noted, a great deal of ruin in a nation, but it’s taken just 50 years to go from that to “hate speech” crimes, lockdowns, mass surveillance, vaccine passports, and registering 14-year-old children to vote.

  • John Lewis

    FIFA tried to ban players from wearing poppies because the world governing body prohibits ‘political, religious or commercial messages’ being displayed on the pitch.

    The organisation, which was raided by the FBI last year on corruption charges, even threatened to deduct points from both England and Scotland if they ignored the ban during their World Cup Qualifier at Wembley.

    Coming back to the England players pre-kickoff kneeling I was reminded of FIFA’s stance on political demonstrations just 6 years ago.

  • I have, from an infallible source, that we are still guilty of Original Sin. How long has that been? There really is no statute of limitations here.

  • Mike Solent

    One might point out that the FA are a private organisation and are exercising their right to be as intolerant as we might choose not to be.
    And yes I do appreciate that the greater power a private organisation has the more important it is that it show responsibility in the use of that power.As has been pointed out, there is only one FA in this country.

  • bobby b

    As I read all of these comments, I’m wondering if some of the libertarians here are becoming more comfortable with the idea, in the US, of amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it less comfortable for FB/Twitter/etc to censor political and philosophical views.

    It’s hard to start your own grocery store. It’s hard to start your own football league. It’s hard to start your own social media platform.

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – the Social Media companies have it both ways.

    When someone wants to sue a Social Media company (say someone on it has accused them of raping children – and this LIE has been shared all over the place, leading to their home being fire bombed) Facebook and Twitter (and so on) say “we are a Neutral Public Platform – you can not sue us, SECTION 230”.

    But when they CENSOR someone (say someone trying to SAVE LIVES by spreading news about Early Treatment of Covid 19) Facebook, Twitter and so on say “we are not Neutral Public Platforms – we are PUBLISHERS, we can censor anyone we judge has broken our ultra vague terms-of-service”.

    So which is it?

    Is the Social Media company an Neutral Public Platform protected by Section 230, or are they PUBLISHERS who can censor anyone they do not like?

    One or the other – NOT BOTH.

    But expecting the “Justice” Department (or the FCC) to act on the above is like waiting for the Durham Report.

  • Paul Marks

    As bobby b lives in Minnesota (at least he may do – for all I know he may really be my next door neighbour in Kettering, England) I almost asked him to send me some photographs of South Dakota – but it is not necessary, as there are the Terry Redlin paintings that most people have seen.

    Those paintings are a lost (or partly lost) America – the same America I was just watching in the 1976 version of “Midway”, my favourite military film (although that America is long gone – or going).

    Incredibly terrible things happened to Russia and China in the 20th century (tens of millions of murders by the Marxists), but Russia is still Russia and China is still China – they both still exist, and will continue to exist.

    But America?

    Frankfurt School Marxism may turn out to be more deadly than the Classical Marxism that hit countries such as Russia and China.

    “Frankfurt School Marxism is not just hitting America” – I know that, that is what is tearing out my heart.

  • bobby b

    Ha! Paul, my “house” is presently parked at the top of a 100′ cliff overlooking the Badlands in SE SD. Wish we could post pics here. My mail goes to Minnesota, but my body goes . . . wherever.

  • Jeremy Sleath had worked for West Midlands Trains for 17 years. He was a Senior Conductor who had served his employer faithfully and admirably. He was sacked in September 2020, at the end of the national Covid-19 lockdown, for writing on his personal Facebook account:

    “Thank F*** our pubs open up today. We cannot let our way of life become like some sort of Muslim alcohol-free caliphate just to beat Covid19.”

    (From Archbishop Cranmer.)

    They didn’t even give Jeremy the option of cringing and being ‘trained’ never to say it again.

  • Ferox

    When companies allow their trademarks to be used colloquially it waters them down, making it harder for them to sue for infringement (see Xerox trying to de-verb “xerox” for years).

    That should be how 230 works – if you want to use it to claim immunity from a libel suit, you should be required to demonstrate that you exercise NO editorial control over the content on your platform. Failure to do so should simply disallow the exemption from liability.

    That it does not work like this is an excellent indication that it is in fact working precisely as its authors intended – a hammer for their enemies, a balm for their allies.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Mike Solent
    One might point out that the FA are a private organisation and are exercising their right to be as intolerant as we might choose not to be.

    Just because I, as a libertarian, don’t want to send the cops to kick down their doors for doing something I disagree with, doesn’t mean I can’t point out that their behavior is stupid, maybe even evil. Free markets deal with stupid organizations by a process called creative destruction: stupidity puts people out of business. Unfortunately the government frequently interferes with this self cleansing system with stupid ideas like “too big to fail” or ridiculous ideas like the government having a Minister for Sport.

    bobby b
    As I read all of these comments, I’m wondering if some of the libertarians here are becoming more comfortable with the idea, in the US, of amending Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to make it less comfortable for FB/Twitter/etc to censor political and philosophical views.

    I am extremely ambivalent about this idea. Why? Well if you or I got to make the change it would be great, but we don’t. The worst people in the world get to make the change and the change will not be good. The idea is to get rid of the liability shield so that companies have to chose between two options: 1) be responsible for all content, 2) Don’t editorialize and be a common carrier. We libertarians hope that they chose number 2, but what happens if the law is written in such a way that 1 is the only viable option? What happens if changes to 230 MANDATE the type of censorship we have been seeing? What happens if some clever lawyer writes it in such a way as to avoid 1st amendment issues (much as the Texas abortion law was carefully crafted to avoid Roe issues.)

    It seems to me that it is better to leave well alone and find ways to circumvent the regime.

    It’s hard to start your own grocery store. It’s hard to start your own football league. It’s hard to start your own social media platform.

    It is. It is extremely hard, and this is a point you have made many times quite effectively. But I’d counter with the question: “what is the alternative?” Do you plan to ask the government to pass legislation or administrative law to correct the problems? Do you, really, honestly, think that getting the government MORE involved will make things better? When has getting the government involved not made things much worse?

    The best solution I can see is simply this: innovation and entrepreneurship: constantly evolving to create little ephemeral bubbles of freedom. Governments are inexorable destroyers of freedom, but they have one weakness — namely that they are not nimble. We cannot fix that reality short of a revolution — which I don’t advocate — but we can move swiftly to create free spaces for us and our families to live. That is the solution. We can’t “fix” government, we can’t use them to make us more free, they always make us less free. There is no long term solution. Only being constantly on the move adopting new technologies, new ideas, new plans, exploiting niches to make spaces for us to live as best we can.

    I’m a libertarian. I don’t look to the government to solve my problems, even the ones that government creates, I look for private solutions. And I don’t make the choice for ideological reasons but simply because government doesn’t fix things, it makes them worse, whereas private solutions have built civilizations.

  • bobby b

    “I don’t look to the government to solve my problems, even the ones that government creates, I look for private solutions.”

    Same here. But I thought I saw more than the ordinary number of people here agreeing that starting their own grocery store or football team was too hard, and it seemed to me that that implied a waffling on that libertarian ideal.

    Re: Sec 230 – we still require FB et al. to be editors to the extent they remove kiddie porn and a few other categories. We haven’t given them a free pass on those things – so long as they satisfy the definition of platform within 230, we protect them from lawsuit but still expect them to remove illegal postings after notification.

    But we still have that pesky “or any other thing that might bother us” phrase within the allowable removal list. (“Otherwise objectionable”, IIRC.) Amending that would keep them removing the compulsories – KP, the illegal stuff – while staying hands-off-for-partisan-reasons for fear of losing the platform label.

    It’s not asking for more governmental action in doing so. We’re asking for less governmental protection of a politically-favored group of businesses. If the murder law contains an exception – that Eskimos can murder with impunity – the seeking of the removal of that exception wouldn’t be tantamount to seeking more government action or power. It would upset no libertarian bent.

    (Edit to add: If “political philosophy” was a protected class, there’d be a great Equal Protection argument here.)

  • bobby b

    “much as the Texas abortion law was carefully crafted to avoid Roe issues.”

    What a fart in a windstorm. Trump called this one correctly – it’ll be gone in a second, as soon as someone somewhere starts one of those lawsuits, because at that time there will be a proper plaintiff and a proper defendant (which is why the USSC didn’t touch it yet – there weren’t any) and there will be an instant injunction against it while it travels upstream.

    The only way it then survives the USSC is if they’re ready and willing to rewrite RvW. And Roberts will do everything in his power to quash that. He doesn’t want to be the CJ who loses the nine-person Court.

    The only purpose of this new law was to annoy – indeed, enrage – the abortion zealots. (But I have to admit, it did succeed there.) Abortions will continue as usual during the injunction period.

  • Paul Marks

    The Football Association – a “private organisation” that does not work with the government bureaucracy at all. And if anyone believes that – I have a nice bridge to sell them.

    All these “Woke” (Frankfurt School influenced) “private organisations” work hand in hand with the government bureaucracy. The idea that they are some local baker refusing to bake a Gay Marriage cake, you can go the next baker a few doors down the road, is utterly false.

    Big Business and these “charitable” bodies, work in “partnership” with the government bureaucracy. And they exclude competition – that is the point of the “partnership”.

    “If you do not like what the Football Association are doing – create another Football Association” – yes and grow wings and fly to Pluto.

    “I am sorry – but your football ground violates our health and safety regulations” (or some other twist).

  • Paul Marks

    bobby b – good photograph. And good place.

  • Paul Marks

    There they are – kneeling in support of Marxist BLM and waving their Rainbow Flags.

    A totally non political organisation – just about football.

  • Fraser Orr

    bobby b
    If the murder law contains an exception – that Eskimos can murder with impunity – the seeking of the removal of that exception wouldn’t be tantamount to seeking more government action or power. It would upset no libertarian bent.

    Imagine the murder law did have an exception for Eskimo perpetrators, and the government went to pass a law to fix this — something that they legitimately should do. What would that law look like? One sentence? “The exception to section 123.a.iii of the criminal law exception Eskimos from criminal liability for murder is hereby repealed.” Of course not. The “Inuit Murder Grant Repeal, Expiration And Termination” (IM GREAT) law would be a 2000 page boondoggle, which, among other things would make it illegal to use the term Eskimo, instead of Inuit, enhance mail in ballot procedures, add a tariff onto property taxes for the creation of the Inuit housing relief fund, fund a bridge across a river to Joe Smith’s congressional district, declare our solidarity with the Afghan people, add a new set of authorities to some three letter agency to regulate your toilet, make “Eskimo Bars” illegal hate speech, and increase the salary of legislators by 15%”. That’s the problem. You’re not king. You don’t get to dictate what is in these outrageous bills. So your simply changes to 230 sound great on paper — a one sentence thing — but it wouldn’t be that. It would be some massive law that probably had exactly the opposite effect than you want or expect.

    230 was written when the Internet wasn’t all that important — when politicians didn’t see it as a useful tool to acheive their two core goals (getting reelected, and growing the power and budgets of government). It was part of the CDA, a political ploy to address a moral panic over porn (which also got loaded up with crap.) The “Communication DECENCY Act”, I mean the moralizing is right there in the name. 230 wasn’t important to politicians back then so it flew under the radar. Now it has a huge spotlight on it — it impacts politicians in a big way. They won’t make that same mistake again.

    BTW, regarding the Texas abortion law, I think my point is that it is an interesting, and rather worrisome ploy. One of the things that is burgeoning in the political sphere is a new way to circumvent constitutional rights, namely privatizing the action that government cannot do. We see this with Google, Twitter etc. where they are censoring very important dissenting views, but are not subject to the first amendment rules. So through a kind of hidden, indirect, nod, nod, wink, wink coordination, the favored party gets to censor with impunity. It seems to me that the Texas law is an extension of this — having abortion enforced by private individuals through lawsuit rather than by the government action. I’m not a lawyer, so don’t understand all the subtleties of it. But I thought the parallels were interesting.

  • bobby b

    “One of the things that is burgeoning in the political sphere is a new way to circumvent constitutional rights, namely privatizing the action that government cannot do. We see this with Google, Twitter etc. where they are censoring very important dissenting views, but are not subject to the first amendment rules. So through a kind of hidden, indirect, nod, nod, wink, wink coordination, the favored party gets to censor with impunity. It seems to me that the Texas law is an extension of this — having abortion enforced by private individuals through lawsuit rather than by the government action.”

    Oh, I agree. But we’re back to that age-old point of, do we stay above the fray and just let THEM do the bad stuff, or do we do it right back and let them understand exactly what they’re inviting? On another post earlier, it was (loosely) phrased as “it doesn’t bother me to make others live up to their expressed ideals.” I have no doubt that the Texas abortion law became supportable very shortly after Biden said that he knew a continuation of the eviction moratorium was illegal, but it would take some time for a ruling to make it so, and so he was going with it. The abortion law was the same thing – in an “in your face” manner.

    Progressives understand control of institutions, because they’re statists. People who fight for less group control – less state power, less social power – don’t organize well, which is why we’re so far behind right now as the progs sign up the various social control points – FB/corporations/etc. – to be their “non-state” enforcers. It as if we’re taking a non-violent response to a violent invasion – we might be moral and right, we might eventually someday win, but it’s not been working well so far.

    At least some GOP people are fighting back instead of apologizing and rolling over. I get tired of the Vichy GOP. At least this time, the strategy was to assemble a controlling power – not a corp, but the actual citizenry as the weapon – to take “the state” out of the loop. That was new thinking. Ultimately it won’t work, but it’s new and fun.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    The next expansion of censorship must be to the future. Be prepared to be victimised for things that the authorities claim you will write or say in the future! Perhaps algorithms will be used to locate the people most likely to be future offenders, or quantum computing will mean we can interact with future states of the computer, and thus get some knowledge of the future.

  • Albion's Blue Front Door

    The Middlesbrough player may face a suspension too for a reckless challenge he made when playing at nine years old, leaving the victim limping for a couple of hours afterwards. Because he wasn’t booked at the time of the tackle, it is only right that justice now be done and a fine at least imposed.

    Okay, I’m making it up but you never know…

  • Paul Marks

    Fraser Orr – politicians DID make that mistake again.

    I remember Republicans saying “it is just Alex Jones” when the censorship campaign really got under way – but then it was “just someone else”, and someone else, and someone else… and so on. And soon we were all in the “when they came for me, there was no one left to speak for me” situation.

    The GOP did NOTHING – because they were caught in the “a private organisation do nothing wrong” trap. The left noted that trap as far back as the 1970s – when they started to push “Social Responsibility” (i.e. Collectivist Tyranny) in the Business Schools – if conservatives will never do anything against Big Business, then Big Business becomes an IDEAL way to impose Collectivism and crush political and cultural dissent.

    Not exactly a new idea – as using Big Business (especially Credit Bubble bankers) to impose Collectivism was the central idea of Saint-Simon some two centuries ago. Use the “capitalists” to destroy “capitalism” – whilst conservatives sit there stunned, like ducks who have been hit over the head.

  • Paul Marks

    What do people think that, for example, “Davos” (the World Economic Forum) is for – it has always been about getting Big Business together with governments and “NGOs” (including even sporting organisations) as “Stakeholders” (Klaus Schwab “Stakeholder Capitalism” 1971) to crush all basic liberties – in the name of “anti racism”, “anti sexism”, “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT” or whatever the excuse for tyranny is that week.

    It is not just Klaus Schwab – they, the Collectivist Totalitarians, are Legion. And “the reason is never the reason” – they may justify tyranny by talking about “Global Warming” or “Covid 19” – but if one checks, they were pushing the same agenda BEFORE these things.

    The Totalitarian Tyranny is not really a means to an end (say “to stamp out homophobia”) – it-is-the-end. The Totalitarian Tyranny is the objective – unlimited power, for-its-own-sake.

    As for this case – it has one, and only one, good element. It reveals the evil – i.e. people who will defend the Football Association and declare it has a right to behave like this.

    There is a story of a group of people in a barracks in a National Socialist extermination camp – putting God on trial.

    One man defends God – “He created you all – He has a right to do anything He likes to you, and in this case He is not even doing anything – it is other people who are killing you” and on and on…..

    When the man finished speaking he seemed to vanish (but it was dark in the barracks) and no one seemed to remember meeting him before – “who was that man?” people asked each other.

    An elderly Rabbi spoke up – “I know who he was – that was Satan”.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Paul Marks
    if conservatives will never do anything against Big Business…

    If “Big Business” is not breaking the law, what precisely do you suggest they do? Create new laws? Impose new restrictions? The people doing that will not be you or me. It’ll be bureaucrats who made the mess in the first place. Bureaucrats whose goals are diametrically opposite than yours or mine. Let’s be clear, for the most part big business LIKES byzantine regulation. Why? Because they have lobbyists who mold the regulation in their favor, and they have massive legal and compliance departments to make it work. What it does though is makes it very hard for competitors to enter the space. Which is to say, regulation is what makes big business big. And it is the bigness and lack of competition that is at the heart of the problem.

    If your argument is that conservatives (and to be clear, I am not a conservative) should start stripping away regulations, laws and protections then I am with you. If you are suggesting new regulations and laws, or application of things like anti trust, I am not at all with you.

    IT is my rule of political parties: when democrats see a problem they create a new regulation, when conservatives see a problem they create a tax break, when a libertarian sees a problem they start a new business.

  • bobby b

    If a business no longer primarily serves its true stakeholders – the shareholders – and instead serves the socially-appointed stakeholders – the mass of people who claim some entitlement to its fealty – hasn’t it become an arm of government?

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    If a business no longer primarily serves its true stakeholders – the shareholders – and instead serves the socially-appointed stakeholders – the mass of people who claim some entitlement to its fealty – hasn’t it become an arm of government?

    I’m not sure I fully understand the question, but I’ll do my best. Bottom line, if the business is not serving the shareholders then the shareholders have the power to correct that, and can do so. However, there are two things to consider in that regard:

    1. Is the business really not serving the shareholders, or is it not serving the shareholders in the manner in which you or I think it should? Moreover, in any large business there are many shareholders, and the business serves those who have sufficient shares to move things. I own stock in Amazon, however, I doubt the board gives a fig about my opinion on their social programs.

    2. One of the big challenges is that the government often intervenes in the shareholder position. For example, CALPERS, the California State Employees’ Pension Scheme, controls a vast amount of wealth, and uses it to push around various companies. This is a clear government interference in the market, and the actual shareholders — the contributants to the pension scheme, have very little power over it. There is also talk of the various public markets getting involved to try to enforce various green nonsense, and these markets are so heavily controlled by the SEC that they might as well be government agents.

    So, de jure, I disagree — shareholders control what the board does. However, de facto, you are right because of some of these issues. FWIW, I find the idea of a “government pension scheme” utterly anachronistic, what is this the 1950s? Why don’t government employees have 401ks like the rest of us? Of course the answer is self evident — it is done to give bureaucrats lots of OPM to push people around. One need only look at the state I live in, Illinois, where the public pension scheme (particularly for teachers) is utterly destroying the state. Why? For two reasons — first politicians made grandiose promises years ago as to payouts, and are long since gone before they had to make good on their promises. Second, because the government stole the money in the scheme rather than saving it.

    The problem you mention could be helped a great deal if various government agencies would give government workers the right to send their pension to 401ks instead. (And similar for various unions which do much the same thing), but of course that isn’t going to happen any more than I am ever going to be allowed to send my FICA contributions to my 401k.

    BTW, an example of this is the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth fund, basically a tax on North Sea Oil that Norway has been setting aside for its citizens for decades. Aside from the suprising reality that they have done this and the massive benefit the Norwegian people have from it, this fund is so large it controls nearly 1.5% of all the publicly traded stocks in the world. This is a HUGE amount of private power for a minor player on the world stage. Interestingly, the wealth fund holds a quarter of a million dollars credit per Norwegian citizen, whereas the US has quarter of a million dollars debt per American family. Which is to say Norway is the world’s richest country, and the USA is the world’s poorest country.

    (FWIW, since this is basically a British blog, Britain’s national debt is 25% of the US national debt per capita.)

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