Niall McCrae: The Left loathes working class icons like Millwall FC

‘No one likes us’, chant supporters of Millwall Football Club, like a badge of honour. But now their landlord dislikes them too, and wants them out. Apologies for readers with no interest in football, but please bear with me, for here is a much broader theme of our times. If we don’t protect our culture, soon we will have nothing of our heritage but museums for tourists.

Lewisham Council, a Labour-dominated authority in south London, seems hell-bent on destroying the remnants of its white working class and docklands culture. The Den, Millwall’s stadium in grimy Bermondsey, is owned by the local authority, whose plan is to evict the football club for a major property developer to build a complex of shops and high-rise housing.

Regeneration, the council believes, is more important than the fortnightly gathering of the sons and grandsons of dockers. Clean them away to somewhere on the Kentish fringe. Thousands of homes will be provided, but for whom? How sad it is, this unholy alliance between global capitalists and left-wing politicians who support the mass immigration that has pushed the common people out of boroughs where their families have lived for generations. The need for more shops is dubious: the large Surrey Quays centre is just down the road, while people are abandoning the high street for internet shopping.

I had the privilege of watching Millwall win in the FA Cup on Saturday. It was raucous, but the high spirits of fans leaving the ground were tempered by a prominent banner to save their club’s home. Die-hard supporters of this unfashionable team include Danny Baker, who was raised in a council flat near Cold Blow Lane, his bedroom window within the glare of the floodlights. In his autobiography he described his baptism, at the age of 5, on the terracing of the old Den:

“Few moments in my life rival the experience of attending my first game, of being instantly exploded into the screeching Hogarth sketch.” 

In anger, Baker injudiciously asked why it was he rather than Lewisham Council who got cancer. Another follower is the fabulously bilious Rod Liddle. But such representatives of working class culture are dismissed by the authorities as part of the problem: they are stuck-in-the-muds, obstructing the path of the multiculturalist money wagon.

We are rapidly losing our cultural assets to the profits of big business and wholesale demographic replacement. Many areas of London are bereft of pubs, partly due to the influx of abstinent or socially repressive ethnic communities, but also the economic reality that there is more money in blocks of flats – both for the builders and the local authority. The grabbing hands grab all they can, unless we make a stand. Uncontrolled immigration is overwhelming our identity, culture and way of life. Ever-higher blocks of flats with no room to swing a cat; multitudes in a transient, rootless existence. Enough of this.

Brexit shocked our leaders, revealing how detached they had become from the ordinary people. The heaviest vote to leave the EU was from the white working class, who are most vulnerable to institutional neglect and to middle-class contempt. In her television interview at the weekend, Theresa May spoke of ‘a quiet revolution by those who feel the system has been stacked against them for too long’. We need a Donald Trump figure, someone in power who can tweet the council and make them see sense. Does anyone in our establishment care?

(Image: Gloworm44)

Niall McCrae

  • RingedPlover

    Surrey Quays. Sound much better I suppose than Surrey Docks!

  • Alan

    The bien-pensant left hate the working class; they dared to vote for Brexit instead of doing as their betters told them.

  • Outraged Tunbridge Wells

    By all accounts two of the prime movers of the offshore company leading the development were a former Mayor and senior council official in Lewisham. I wonder if they have maintained contacts within the council that might be used to push through the CPO. Following the money might be most enlightening

    • beautykinguk

      They don’t need a CPO, the Council own the stadium and the land that it stands on. Millwall just rent the ground. Agree though, if right that the developer has links to former elected members and civil servants then there should be a full inquiry.

      • Outraged Tunbridge Wells

        I believe Millwall own some of the land adjacent to the stadium and it is this that is the subject of the CPO. I wonder if there has been a formal bidding process or if Renewal have been shoehorned in?

        • RoadrunnerNick

          I wonder whether the local authority owns the stadium as a trustee providing a sporting facility, with the site perhaps reverting to an original owner if the community use ends. I can think of a central London hospital and a north London library where such a reversion occurred. Even if the council is not legally a trustee, it is morally a trustee of East End sporting heritage.

  • Uusikaupunki

    From what I know of Lewisham Council, these supporters have committed the ultimate unpardonable sin….the sin of being white…

    • TheRightToArmBears

      and apparently not feeling obliged to apologise for being white.

  • launcher

    My 2 minute hate today is Lewisham Council (feel free to join in:)); 3..2..1 > hating!

  • beautykinguk

    I was really enjoying the piece until I got to the line “someone in power who can tweet the council”. What the world needs less of is Twitter and the self-pitying bile that spews forth from it. I also don’t want to see institutions changing their long term plans on the basis of what Twitter says….that way madness lies in my opinion.

  • Owen_Morgan

    “Many areas of London are bereft of pubs, partly due to the influx of abstinent or socially repressive ethnic communities…”

    Can’t we just call them “muslims”?

    • Nockthesheeple

      If you think London is bereft of pubs you should go to Salford.

      • Owen_Morgan

        I remember Salford when it had pubs, lots of them. I’ve never lived there. I was from a few miles westwards. For me, Salford was just a place on the way into Manchester. When they “developed” Salford, during the Eighties, they started with the houses, which meant that, for a short while, an incredible number of pubs remained standing, with no houses in between.

        Then the pubs came down, too, as well as that warehouse that stood at about forty-five degrees, for a couple of weeks. And the Beeboids arrived and the rest is history. Or “herstory”. Something like that.

      • John Standley

        And East Birmingham.

  • CheshireRed

    Not a Millwall fan by any stretch but I’ve been keeping an eye on this issue and truly it is a disgrace. Would our ‘leaders’ sanction the demolition of the palace of Westminster or the development of Hyde park for inner city affordable housing? I suspect not. Yet they’re prepared to line a 132 year old sporting and cultural institution up against a wall for the final bullet just so ‘developers’ can line their pockets. Excuse me, but I don’t think so.
    I’ve said for years that football clubs (and other sporting clubs for that matter) should be protected with a sporting / cultural equivalent of listed building status, to protect them from greedy owners and outside interests exactly like this. Those responsible should hang their heads in shame, and our Culture and sports minister Karen Bradley should be stopping this proposal in its tracks with a red card for Lewisham council.

    • Squiggle

      An Asset of Community Value – like Camra have encouraged with threatened pubs perhaps?

    • TheRightToArmBears

      But you are expecting governments that have sold off most of the country’s school playing fields for development to now protect a commercial football stadium.
      Such optimism.

  • Nockian

    Got to make room on the plantation for all the slaves.

    The so called ‘housing crisis’ in the South is manufactured through the Bank of England’s bubble economic policies which have created massive malinvestment at the point at which the new money gushes out of the system-which is the city of London.

    Councils are responding to demand and central Government policy to build more affordable housing which inevitably means high concentrations of shoe box size homes piled high everywhere they can be built.

    Our lords and masters seem bent on turning Britain into a low wage economy in which a select few will live in total luxury whilst everyone else live menial lives on a mix of welfare and crap jobs.

    A new boss will be the same as the old boss, what has to change is attitudes and education. If we wish to break out we must go well beyond a referendum vote and embrace real free market capitalism, end public welfarism and cut the chord joining banks to Government.

    It might not save Millwalls stadium of course, but then, in a sense, the stadium is nothing more than a representation of people’s dissatisfaction with the state policies. It’s a line in the sand, a marker, a feeling of something owned and controlled, but it’s really no more than self generated bread and circuses.

  • Colkitto03

    Does anyone on this site really think of London as part of the UK any more? I go often for work and I feel like an alien.

    • Major Tom

      As a real city with lived-in history London is dying – its now becoming a rootless city.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      I grew up in Victoria in the ’40s and ’50s, when it was still very like a village with old-established family-run shops. None of the folk I grew up with live there now.

    • John Birch

      There needs to be a wall erected at some point around London with passport control on all entry and exit points.

  • Craig Martin

    If planners need space, I think sending the bulldozers into the universities would be the best call. Uni’s have been producing thoughtless, indoctrinated mini-dictators for too long.

  • Bik Byro

    Only yesterday this board was debating state interference versus free market forces and the feeling was very much in favour of less state interference.

    Now : You either like state interference or you want free market forces. You can’t cherry pick as and when it suits.

    Otherwise you end up sounding like all the Remoaners who love democracy right up until the minute it gives them a decision they don’t like.

  • therealguyfaux ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    “We need a Donald Trump figure…”

    Odd, that– after all, the ACTUAL Donald Trump in his businessman incarnation was only too happy to invoke compulsory purchase to put up developments with the blessing of local governments, only in the US, it’s called “eminent domain.” Of course, Trump would likely look to make a deal: “Millwall can be part of a NEW development I’m doin’ at a DIFFERENT location, where their ballpark will be the centrepiece!” (Cf. how a fellow New York City developer like Bruce Ratner was able to build the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn).

    • Nockthesheeple

      If somebody want to make Millwall FC an offer they can and it is up to the club whether they think it s good deal or not. That is how value for society is increase. This whole plan sounds like a value-destroying proposal.

  • Nockthesheeple

    One can argue compulsory purchase where land is needed for a road (say) – and I mean “argue”. But so that it can be sold to a private developer, when the owner of the property was not themself willing to sell at that price, amounts to no more than theft.

    Society is built on property rights and this whole thing is outrageous.

    • TheRightToArmBears

      Shades of another Socialist/Tory property theft, Crichel Down.
      No Tory or Socialist (all other parties, except UKIP, are of the same stamp) will evr do the decent thing, unless pushed by a determined non-politician.

  • David

    I am no football fan but can very much identify with this articles central point, namely the way that the left’s leadership is deliberately, and increasingly, alienating itself from the working class.
    When campaigning for Brexit, ‘working’ with both Ukip and Vote Leave, we soon realised that we received most support from the less affluent areas, so we reflected that intelligence in our work. In the working class areas of the East Anglian towns our branch operated in, there was a strong anti-Labour feeling, particularly so in the Council Estates. Although we were obviously middle class campaigners, arriving in up market cars, there was nevertheless a ready smile and an instant rapport once they realised we were from Vote Leave or Ukip, and not the local Tories or Labour, campaigning for Remain.
    The most snobbish Remainers were the middle class, especially public sector employed people.
    It is so very sad how Labour has turned against its own working class base, but excellent for Ukip as we hope to gain much support from both of the legacy parties.

    • Alan Llandrindod Wells

      Just show them a picture of Emily Thornberry.

    • John Birch

      The most snobbish Remainers were the middle class, especially public sector employed people..
      I still maintain that remain are mostly feeding from the government teat and leave were people working in the real world.
      The old concept of left and right has now turned into public and private.

      • David

        To a considerable extent yes, but not exclusively.

        • John Birch

          Obviously not exclusively but I would love to know the percentages.

          • David

            Agreed !

  • ScrewEU

    Surrey Quays isn’t “large” and Bermondsey isn’t “grimey” in comparison to the poxholes it is surrounded by. You know as little about Millwall and its culture as Lewisham.

  • Major Tom

    ‘The Left loathes working class icons like Millwall FC’

    Football clubs like Millwall are a fortnightly reminder to the Left that the English working class may have moved out of cities like London but they still exist.

  • TheRightToArmBears

    The Left hates everything about this country that isn’t owned by it body and soul.
    That’s why the left is importing a new electorate to replace the white electorate that has rejected it.

  • Benthic

    Well said Niall.

  • Terry Howard

    A cultural asset indeed. Without football, how will British traditions like homophobia, anti-semitism, general racism, drunkenness, mindless violence, hooliganism, tax-dodging, corruption and paedophilia be nurtured? What role models will there be for the nation’s young without professional footballers and their “wags”. Our struggling working class, always able and glad to fork out £412 per head for a season ticket at Milwall (£798 minimum at Man U), will otherwise lose the meaning to their lives.

    • greencoat

      ‘Without football, how will British traditions like homophobia, anti-semitism, general racism, drunkenness, mindless violence, hooliganism, tax-dodging, corruption and paedophilia be nurtured?’

      Don’t worry, today’s Labour party, with the assistance of its Islamic wing, embraces all of these things.

    • Philip Duval

      Well done Terry, you’ve just proved the author’s point. A riot of prejudice and a total absence of understanding.

    • BungleFever

      Congratulations Terry, you have proved the author correct. Do you sneer at the poor whilst reading the Guardian and voting for Labour and demanding we reverse Brexit as well?

  • realfish

    It’s not just in Millwall’s case are we losing our cultural assets and with it our sense of identity, at the same time, up in Brum, Morris Dancers are forced off the streets by people, with no understanding or value of our history and who disrespect British traditions that can be traced back 500 years

  • BungleFever

    You are correct and it is not just Football they are going after. Have a look at home many Athletics tracks that have been ripped up for luxury flats. In London Athletics is an all class sport, but you will find a great deal of Working Class people taking part. Yet it becomes harder and harder to find a training ground.

  • Hampsteadpinko

    You missed out the most important bit – “nobody likes us and we don’t care”.

  • Peel

    Great article, and very surprising: maybe the green shoots of honesty are nudging up through the perma frost of the 1997 cultural revolution. That icy freeze was kept in place by the brilliant smear propaganda of racism levelled at any and all dissent. I recall John Humphrys working up a volcanic more indignation against William Hague on Radio 4 years ago when a Yorkshire MP called for an end to the cultural changes being imposed and was condemned as racist for so doing. Hague expelled him from the Conservative Party. Rotherham etc etc show how right that MP was and how the 1997 smearing was so dishonest and so effective. Truly Orwellian thought crime.