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October 2016
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We are right, you are wrong; we know best, we cannot be challenged


Society needs authority, since without it, we have anarchy or worse still, madness and chaos that destroy all before it.  That said, some forms of authoritarianism are worse than others. For example, the theocracy currently in vigour in Iran has limited the power of the average citizen significantly and is posited on the concept that one or a handful of religious leaders should determine the fate of millions.

Then there is the military authoritarianism needed to defend the nation in times of war. While this can lead to excesses as well, there exist democratic mechanisms to balance this risk.

However, when it comes to the average person, rigid and absolute authoritarianism almost always leads eventually to revolt and revolution, even anarchy and a cyclic return to authoritarianism, in many cases.

The authoritarian depends on memes that are simplistic, generic, seemingly truthful, inevitably illogical and rarely rational. Donald Trump’s flights of fancy like building a wall 50 feet high along the entire Mexican border (paid for by the Mexicans) and stopping all Muslims from immigrating to the US are based on racism, xenophobia, a siege mentality, profiling and exclusion.

In Football we have different levels of authoritarianism starting at the amateur level, where players are told to listen to their coach/manager and can be excluded from playing if they don’t.  Once on the field, they are told by an authoritarian figure, the referee, what they can or cannot do and can once again be excluded from playing any longer if they fail to obey the Laws.

Once we get to professional Football, the power of the manager is almost absolute. He or she decides what players will play that day, for how long and in which position(s), more or less what tactics they will try and use, and what strategy and or strategies they will try and implement before and during the game.

The officials enjoy their usual absolute authority when entering the stadium, during a match, and when leaving it, which includes; when it starts, when it ends, the total time it takes, who gets to play and how they play, what they will tolerate and what constitutes fair versus foul play, to name a few of their powers.  All of the above are vital authoritarian powers that said authorities need to exercise in order to avoid chaos and confrontation in Football.

Authoritarianism fails miserably when the following occurs;

  • The manager or coach disrespects the game and attempts to win at ANY & ALL costs, thus bringing the game into disrepute and himself and his profession into disrespect and shame. (Mourinho)
  • The players behave like savages or clowns and demean the Game, themselves AND their team, and perhaps even their opponents, in public.  (Spuds versus Chelsea)
  • The fans demonstrate a complete lack of respect for their team, their opponents and visiting fans, their manager, their history and traditions, their administrators and owners and stakeholders. (the aaa, the various WOB movements, etc.)
  • The match officials and their superiors failing to perform their core mission of protecting players, punishing serious fouls, removing players unfit to continue playing, keeping proper time and preventing time wasting, and also, by this failure, bringing the game into disrepute. (Riley etc.)
  • The media knowingly publish patently false, biased or slanderous articles that also bring their profession, the Beautiful Game, and its followers into disrepute. (BBC, Sky etc.)
  • Finally, the senior authorities whose immunity from reality and accountability permit them to abuse their powers granted by football stakeholders worldwide, to feather their nests at the expense of Football followers, and to act as if they were divinely appointed demi-Gods ( the government, FUFA, Uefa, the FA etc.) responsible to nobody but themselves!

What all these miscreants have in common is the simplistic conviction that they can do no wrong because they are a power unto themselves and that their word is absolute.  Their world is black and white……you are either with me or you are against me, there are NO grey areas.

They accept NO need to justify their actions, because they either have position power (awarded by their titles)or an absolute right to say or do whatever want, regardless of the consequences and irrespective of the fairness or truth normally required of just human endeavour.

The really frightening thing is that many people WANT this kind of blind absolutism, veneer of assuredness, pseudo- security and monolithic simplicity in their lives. The followers of Trump invariably quote these very ¨qualities¨ as justification for adoring him…they want a dictator who will tell them what to do, how to think and when, where, and why they should act, believe or think.

The aaa and the WOB’s approach the Arsenal in exactly the same way. We are right, you are wrong; we know best, we cannot be challenged etc. Debate and democratic choices are anathema to them; they are morally and intellectually superior to their opponents and tolerate no dissent or discussion.

This type of authoritarianism lends itself to absolute dictatorship, intolerance and violence, extremes of thinking and action, massive human suffering and injustices, xenophobic and chauvinistic extremes and finally to moral bankruptcy and ethical calamity.

The sad thing is that they are ordinary people like everyone else but simply contaminated by a thought process, despite its noble intentions, that is corrupt and unredeemable.


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32 comments to We are right, you are wrong; we know best, we cannot be challenged

  • Leon

    I rely on the BBC for most of my news of just about everything, and find that although they make the occasional mistake (which they own up to), they most certainly do not “knowingly publish patently false, biased or slanderous articles” The key word here is “knowingly” Are you saying that they deliberately misinform the public?
    Your accusation is itself extremely slanderous.

  • johnno

    Leon really ??
    With the British media all that is being reported on is a point of view. So every article you have pretty much ever read is biased. If you don’t believe that the public is being misinformed to suit an agenda, then i suggest you start trying to live in this world instead of reading about it.

  • Pete

    WOBs and AKBs are simply different sides of the same coin. From where I’m standing, a lot of fans are fed up with the authoritarianism of Arsene Wenger and the club.

  • Gord

    Muppets are not hired by the various medja outlets to be accurate, but many people place as much value in their statements, as the journalistic staff.

    Viewed as a process, a muppet is not 0 bias. I don’t know many muppets that one might even consider symmetric with respect to positive versus negative bias. While some muppets may take care in taking extreme views (square integrable? finite variance), some muppets seem to look for opportunities for extremem points of view.

    How can an organization that cares to be thought of as a valuable source of information, hire such a person to represent them on topics?

    I posted a link to an Ars Technica article a few days ago, about how psycho-scientists came up with rules for determining the fascist tendencies of people (back in WW-II?). I think that was nominally a link about authoritarianism.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Don , are you a University Don? you’ve spoken as if you are one. I am just cracking a joke. Please don’t take me serious.

    Whatever is thrown up will ultimately comes down at some times. So it just a question of time which we don’t know when before that theocracy currently invigorating in Iran will come down if the Iranian people unanimously rises up against it.

    If Mr Donald Trump is voted into office, we’ll see if he’ll implement or not his 2 main primary campaign slogans of, building a Mexican wall and banning Muslims immigration into the US. If he becomes President, will he throw away these 2 polices of his he had campaigned on to the US citizens to vote him to office which they did? I doubt if he will. Because the former which is criminal in nature and the latter that is terrorism in nature are both a big and bigger threats to the US security as a nation.

    I have over visited the websites of the BBC Sport, Espnfc and the BR to see if Vardy has come to terms with moving to Arsenal. But apart of the old stories on this matter and that one that said Arsenal are still confident Vardy will sign for us, I am yet to see that he has signed for Arsenal. I have no any other option other than to wait for the good news saying he has signed for us.

  • Ando

    An interesting and thought-provoking article with just the occasional grammatical error: the words authority and authoritarian mean slightly different things in a given context; and I believe the word you are looking for is irredeemable.
    Nevertheless, the argument is sound and worth making.
    I have read that facism is a response to a psychological urge in the infant who, from their egocentric view of the world, wishes for an idealised father figure, one who provides the shelter of certainty and decisiveness against an apparently chaotic and thus, threatening external reality.
    This innate human longing for order, when not satisfied and then internalised in infancy often manifests as a yearning for a ‘strong’ leader – one who can apparently deliver certainty, protection and reassurance of the individual ego that its needs can be met by submission to the Father.
    That Trump fellow is just the latest manifestation of this mass need on the part of insecure and fearful individuals acting en masse, encouraged by his publicity machine. The more outrageous his pronouncements, the safer his supporters feel – “Daddy will make those nasty men go away”. This makes him only accountable to them in the assuaging of their fears, real and imagined.

    In the matter of WOB, aaa: these are the clubbing together of individuals who wish to promote their own agendae and who claim that their view of matters is the only correct perception. (“Haven’t won the PL for x years, MUST be Wenger’ s fault”) They may well attract the support of individuals for a variety of reasons but to compare their stance as being akin to fascism is, in my view, a bottle of a stretch. Perhaps I have misunderstood the underlying point of the article?

  • Pete I think that just about proves the point

  • Leon


    “So every article you have pretty much ever read is biased.”
    Did I say that? I don’t think so.
    My issue is that Don is saying the BBC is “knowingly” lying and slandering without offering any evidence, which is a libel in itself.
    I’ll grant you there will always be some bias however impartial the original intention.
    Actually I don’t think the BBC is misinforming the public to “suit an agenda”. I don’t know where you get your news (Untold Arsenal?), but I know who I’ll trust for the truth.

  • Leon

    Sorry,I misunderstood that quote “so every article etc” in my answer to you.
    I guess I addressed that afterwards.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    @ Leon

    There is a great difference between what the BBC does in its News department and what it does in its Sports department. I suspect (though I have no proof) that the BBC regards Sport as entertainment but still an important revenue stream. Because of this I suspect that their journalistic standards are much different than in, say, their foreign affairs bureau. Because they will almost never be held accountable to what they write, their writing is aimed at getting hits…not at telling the truth, or being unbiased.

  • Leon


    Possibly. You make some convincing points, but again “knowingly” publishing false & slanderous articles? That’s a bit of a stretch isn’t it?

  • Chris

    Good article Don,

    reading it I just wonder, considering the Brexit discussion how this kind of attitude is going to influece the Brexit vote….

    I am not too optimistic about it.

    Same about the next presidential election in the USA.

    I believe you are pointing to facts and attitudes that are not only present if folltball reporting but in politics as well.

    We are living in troubled times….

  • John L.

    The BBC does not represent high quality journalism or objectivity and balance in its reporting, (although it does have some honourable exceptions). Its political reporting is selective, and it carries out stunts, through senior staff like Ms. Kuessenburg.

    Therefore no wonder that its football coverage is so anti-Arsenal, with mouthpieces like Messrs Lineker, Shearer, Savage and Co. given such prominence.

  • How on earth can you say the BBC is an unbiased in its reporting because you just have to watch employees on Match of the Day spew there anti Arsenal and Wenger every chance they get. They try hard to undermine the club I love. Any Corporation that hid the fact that one Of its members was a serial child molster and yet still put him with children cannot be trusted to tell the truth. They lost my trust when not only was it Saville but more in their employ doing the same.

  • Leon

    There should be a Godwins Law for any discussion regarding the BBC and eventual references to Jimmy Saville.
    I give up and will now leave the thread.

  • There is no law when it comes to the truth been told and proven, nor should there ever be while we like it or not.

  • bjtgooner

    Regrettably the BBC has degenerated from the high standards it once displayed.

    From the mid 1960s the accuracy, quality and balance of news and current affairs reporting started to decline & still declines to this day.

    On sport – just look at the anti Arsenal bias – dreadful – why do we have to pay for a licence to have a gang of misemployed muppets malign our club?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Came across this article in my inbox and it got me thinking that it is just as suitable advice for football fans as well .I will just outline the salient points in the article with my comments in brackets ( ).

    7 ways for doctors to stay motivated
    26 May 2016, Wanda Cheng

    Being a doctor ( or a football fan ) is almost akin to getting onto a roller coaster blindfolded, without definitively knowing the end point.

    1. Keep the end in mind –

    … the absence of meaning, people fill the void with pleasure or power,
    ( and in the case of certain fans – abuse ,and an unjustified and an unfounded sense of superiority.)

    2.Do unto others, what you would have them do unto you –

    As cliché as it sounds, rude or unreasonable people tend to invite negativity and punishment into their territories.
    ( I concur .)

    3.Remind yourself that life is beautiful-

    It can be really difficult to keep smiling when times are hard;…. or when every decision you make seems to be second-guessed by everyone from the patient to the nurse to the consultant.
    ( Just imagine what crap AW has to put up with from the smarty-pants fans, the biased media and other so called experts !)

    4.Track your progress-

    Keep a list of your goals and see how far you have come and how far you have to go.
    ( Remember , 2 FA Cups ;from 4th to 3rd to 2nd place IS considered progress !)

    5.Take a break-

    …a period of rest can work wonders for burnout.
    ( That’s what the close season is for ! Have a Kit Kat !)

    6.Try something new –

    Trying something new often helps in re-framing a negative scenario into something better.
    (AKBISM works for many ! Or for ‘them’, why not try to exercise your brains !)

    7.Reflect –

    Give yourself time to think about what you see and hear.Process and internalize….
    ( Think of the various changes and improvements that the club has undertaken and give thanks .)

    I do hope that this article has helped you in some positive and meaningful way . If not – too bad , your loss !

  • para

    Dont fall for the crap that you are told about Iran. Remember there was once a country called Iraq some years back, and what happened to it? Guess what, it’s the same plan.

    To think that democracy in the west is any different from Iran’s ruling system, is to be a fool. They all have the same goal but they each use a slightly different system to get there.

    They go around the world pretending to “save” people from “dictatorship”, but in reality for solely their own interests, and most people believe them because of their media propaganda. They do not have one once of empathy for anyone in any country, only for the agenda they have to folllow.

    First of all, what gives the US the right to go around playing at being “world police”? Nothing. They are just being used as a “tool” to police the world. Now that tool is to be reigned in before it becomes too powerfull.

    The BBC is/has become one of the most insidious propaganda machines out there. They brainwash you without you even realising it. Everything being broadcast is a part of the agenda. Everything. And they make you pay for it too.

    For anyone to really truly believe that voting is real must have left their common sense behind.

    It is sad to see how the media has even more captured the minds of the next generations, and they now would not even start(know how to) to ask questions like previous ones.

    I challenge anyone to go a full 3 months without media, that is TV, radio, papers hard copy and internet, movies etc. Absolute no input to the senses.

  • Brickfields Gunners


    One day an aeroplane cleaner was cleaning the pilots’ cockpit when he saw a book entitled “How to fly an aeroplane for beginners. Volume One”.

    He opened the first page which said, “To start the engine, press the red button.”. He did so and the airplane engine started.

    He was happy and opened the next page. “To set airplane moving press the blue button.”

    He did so and the aeroplane started moving at an amazing speed.

    He wanted to fly so he opened the third page which read, “To let the aeroplane fly, please press the green button.”

    He did this and the plane started to fly.
    He was excited!!!

    After 20 minutes of flying, he was satisfied and wanted to land so he decided to go to the fourth page.

    He almost fainted after reading the instruction..

    The fourth page read, “To learn how to land, please purchase Volume Two at the nearest bookshop!!!!

  • Pete

    To be clear, the Pete above is someone else! Obviously, I do not endorse his view…

    Pete (the original)

  • Top Guns

    Sending stewards to Manchester City to remove Wenger Out banners just reinforces the belief that the Arsenal is now run as a dictatorship

  • Jammy J

    Leon if you genuinely don’t believe that the BBC (and the rest of the British media) are not just a propaganda machine to push forward the agendas of the ruling class, then i do despair. The “news” they present, is just another tool into getting the general public to believe and do, whatever they need them to. Although on the face of it the BBC and Guardian may appear to be “liberal” and “genuine”, they are really no better than the rest of them. I would suggest getting your news from other non-mainstream sources, otherwise you will be left with an extremely skewed and purposely (mis)directed view on the world.

  • Jammy J

    @ Top Guns – I’m sure if you told the people living in the dictatorships of Hitlers Germany or Stalins Russia, about the harrowing tales you’ve had to endure because of the ruthless dictatorship of Arsenal football club, they will all have great sympathy for your pain.

  • Jammy J

    Sorry i just realised that was a double negative! – *if you genuinely believe that the BBC (and the rest of the British media) are not just a propaganda machine….

  • Leon

    Jammy J
    Do you have any suggestions for non-mainstream sources? Not blogs I hope. I’ll give anything a try, but in the meantime will stick with BBC TV News 24 & their online news site, which I continue to maintain does not “knowingly” publish false or slanderous articles as is claimed by Don McMahon.
    It seems odd that he’s not replied to any of the comments so far. Something he’s never shy of doing.

  • Leon

    Jammy J
    I do have a Private Eye subscription and used to read Time Out when I lived in London. Do they count? 😌

  • Leon


    I think I’ll opt for the”democracy in the West”
    How do you make it through the day?

  • Menace

    The BBC has lost its moral high ground, freedom, language & honesty. It has become a nepotistic sham.

    The EU has reached its true reflection a sea of drowning dreams. Freedom is the only way to a true democratic future. The PMs passion for his country is reflected in his UK tax dodging foreign hidey hole. Borders are non existent & EU criminals flow freely into Britain (as do many others).

  • omgarsenal

    Not odd at all Leon………..just not wasting my time on muppets like you. The evidence has been provided by numerous UA bloggers about the BBC but if you want to believe that they mistakenly wrote fabulations and were ignorant of any clear falsehoods, then I have a bridge in London that I’d like to sell you…..

  • Jammy J

    @ Leon – I’m sorry to say, but you must find those sources on your own. You need to learn to be able to differentiate between bogus, corrupt, agenda-driven news outlets and ones that are simply trying to present facts and drawing sensible conclusions from those facts (and not covering up any stories that would be damaging to certain people/groups). Anywhere that is affiliated with any mainstream news networks, will be just as corrupt as the more mainstream publications, as will places with large funding behind them. And just to reiterate; every single mainstream news corporation – without exception – fall into the first group.

  • Jammy J

    And please don’t shit on blog as a news source. Just because they don’t have the funding to present their information in a different form, doesn’t make their content less reliable or valid than their mainstream counterparts (in fact, as long as they provide sources for what they are saying, i would be far more inclined to believe what they are saying).

    You seem extremely naive, so i can only hope that one day you will wake-up and you can stop talking down to people that don’t believe the BBC and Guardian are the pinnacle of objective and investigative journalism.