True Faith, a popular and widely-read Newcastle United fanzine, has decided to give Coalition of Resistance regular space in its pages. This follows the coalition making a big impact on the historic 26 March TUC demonstration. Michael Martin from True Faith explains why a football fanzine is actively supporting Coalition of Resistance.
It may seem a little odd that a football fanzine should express a political view regarding the current (first) wave of cuts to public spending. Odd only, however, if you believe people live and breathe in nice neat little silos and don't have any social experience outside the little box they are associated with being in.
I grew up in the 1980s on Tyneside. What young people had in terms of fantastic music to listen to (The Specials, New Order, The Clash, The Jam, The Smiths et al) we lacked in life opportunities as Thatcherite monetary policy accelerated the decline of the North East's staple industries of coal-mining, shipbuilding and manufacturing. But it wasn't just young people who saw their lives narrowing in front of them.
Good, hard-working, salt-of-the-earth people from the North East were thrown onto the scrap heap. Lives were destroyed, families and communities torn apart. The North East has never recovered.
Back then we were all told by the Tory government that there was no alternative. Sound familiar? We were told those old industries were dead and had to go as the country could not afford to prop them up. It wasn't political ideology, apparently. Looking back now, almost thirty years after that Thatcherite hey-day, such denials seem laughable.
Ironic then, that the financial services sector, which was heralded throughout the 80s and 90s by the Tory government as representing the new prosperity, should have caused the global financial crisis. Ironic again that Osborne should be pinning his hopes of economic growth on the resurgence of a manufacturing sector his political fellow travellers did so much to destroy around all regions of the United Kingdom.
But hey, this isn't political, we really do have no alternative. It isn't political ideology. We have no choice. Swallowing it?
Supporting a football club, particulalry one like Newcastle United, is an expression of civic pride, and the people responsible for the running of a daft football magazine are at heart northern patriots who want the region to prosper and thrive. And we'd like to win some football matches as well.
The destruction of jobs and services now underway threatens the social fabric of life in our region. These cuts will make life miserable for everyone. No-one is immune.
We are happy to put the fanzine and website at the disposal of the Coalition of Resistance and support action which opposes the brutish destruction of life in the North East of England. Its only a small token, we don't imagine this gesture will shake the foundations of the establishment, but its our little contribution and, as the man said, we are all in this together aren't we?
"The allocation of resources, is the religion of politics" - Aneurin Bevan.
True Faith, Newcastle United Fanzine also at www.true-faith.co.uk
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