No more excuses

The 'Running Round Tottenham' song is sadly indicative of a lot of bigotry that has always been around, but nowadays is steeped in absolutely nothing but utter cretinism.

To quote John Goodman in 'The Big Lebowski': "Say what you like about National Socialism, but at least it was a philosophy!"

Anti-Semitism (much like racism, homophobia, genuine sexism and plenty of other 'isms' beside) was always based on a perception - always a warped, cynical and evil perception usually borne of an inferiority complex - but was proven to be utterly mindless really only during World War II, because of it coming to an unimaginably hideous conclusion.

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Science and plain common sense obviously show anti-Semitism to be the repulsive load of pony that it always has been, whilst only someone truly warped would still subscribe to it.

What makes singing this even worse is that the perpetrators almost certainly wouldn't even be able to string together a reason for singing it in the first place. Maybe they'll say 'well it's anti-Spurs, innit?'

Well fine, sing a song about Spurs then - sling some swearing into it, I know I have. But I bet these folk couldn't even tell you one thing about what being Jewish even begins to mean. And ignorance is no defence either in the eyes of the law or as a moral escape route.

Perpetuating this nonsense is incredibly dangerous - once people aren't even thinking about saying or singing abuse, it starts to become even more dangerous (and tacitly accepted) than hearing it from the sad freaks in the minority who actually base their twisted ideas about Jews on some form of rationalisation.

This is what bigots want - they love to hear a group of football 'fans' yelling this mindlessly because it means it's seeping unthinkingly into a wider consciousness.

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Sadder still, West Ham United is a club proudly steeped in much of the tradition of the Jewish diaspora in England, specifically London. The Jewish population in the East End and East London have long had a massive say in the history and development of this specific part of London for many, many decades.

For example, from Brick Lane over a hundred years ago through to Bethnal Green and Whitechapel to Mile End and a thriving community in Forest Gate. I know more Jewish West Ham fans than I do Spurs (ok I know far more of our lot than theirs generally but I know plenty enough of Spurs to make that judgement).

A couple of the old Jewish boys I know are far more steeped in east London history and culture than those singing this muck - both the wannabe ICF youngsters and indeed the old-enough-to-know-better middle-agers who seem to be identifying themselves as our fanbase's heartland.

Did any of these bright sparks sing this song within earshot of Eyal Berkovic, Yossi Benayoun, Tal Ben Haim or (admittedly they'd have had to not blink lest they missed the chance) Yaniv Katan or Yilmaz Orhan?

And would they cheer patriotically to hear the tale of our legendary winger Len Goulden who refused to give the 'Heil' salute when England played in Berlin in the late 1930s and was reported in the press as playing with 'a special ferocity' as England demolished the Germans (I think it was at least 6-1)?

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Maybe they wouldn't if they found out Len was Jewish. More likely they'd start singing a song about him 'stitching up the Krauts' and start up with a 'Two World Wars and one World Cup, do dah, do dah!' chant in homage to a war this country fought against a regime dedicated to the end of the Jewish race?

They'd do something unthinking, stupid and hypocritical no doubt, however it played out.

I'm, sorry, but there are no excuses for this sort of filth. I pride myself on being part of the finest support of any football club anywhere - after all, it's pretty much all we have to grasp at nowadays. If you can somehow condone or rationalise this in any way, then please sod off pronto.

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