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October 2016
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Toxic rhetoric: at last we have a name for the assault on football from the media and their blogging allies

By Tony Attwood

In the course of things, Untold’s ongoing battle with the Anti Arsenal Arsenal is of little significance.  But there is an issue that links us to the wider world, in the sense that the aaa uses the same sort of approach to debate as Donald Trump, Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.

And for a long while those of us who are worried by what the aaa and their multiple web sites, plus their allies in the newspapers and on radio and TV do, have been hampered the lack of a name to describe what it is that these people use to propagate their views.   But now there seems to be a growing agreement: it is called toxic rhetoric.

New Scientist this week defined Toxic Rhetoric as  anti-establishment, anti-migrant, with circle-the-wagons anger and insults escalating.

I might add my own personal concern – not just the rejection of logical analysis and evidence in the debate, but the lack of all understanding of what evidence actually is.   To see a person write to Untold and be told that he has provided evidence – for it was the “evidence of my own eyes”, or to have another saying, “I could supply evidence but I can’t be arsed” as if that were a serious point to make, is frightening.

Of course my concerns about the aaa and the way debate is conducted here is nothing compared with the fact that one can have a lot of people in Eastern England saying “we’ve got to get rid of immigrants” without engaging in any debate as to who will do the seasonal jobs on the farmlands which dominate Eastern England, if all the East European migrants are banned.

And that’s the problem – the complete lack of carried-through debating logic.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump “sees himself as more powerful than mere facts” as James Hoggan put it in New Scientist and one can’t but help think that the aaa see it the same way.

As for the cause of the descent by some people from logic into toxic rhetoric, the evidence is all there.  Social media allows people with loud voices to reach more than they used to be able to do in the public bar of the Crown and Anchor.  Combine that with the fact that, as Yale Professor of Philosophy Jason Stanley said, “such figures prey on public fears to reconstruct reality to pander to them,” and you have the current situation.

Add to this the fact that change now runs at such a pace it is not surprising that people can be worried about climate change, the economy, unemployment, the terror, security…  And if worry is the new norm why not sweep it all away in the simplistic belief that one simple change (get rid of Wenger, elect Trump, vote Leave) will sort out everything.

That’s a modest contribution to the debate about the way in which people’s perception of their world has changed; it is hardly profound.  But it is a start.  For it affects not just the big issues of the day, but also every day life.  What you think about the club that you purport to support, and going on from there, what you think about your neighbours, your government, your teachers, your employers; everything can be unified into one cry for change as the solution.  Once you have a politician who says not only that his rivals are wrong but are idiots, you either know we are in trouble or else you think, “here’s someone who speaks the truth”.

Once you have Boris Johnson write and publish a limerick about Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish president, having sex with a goat in which the President is called a “wankerer”  and then have him as Foreign Secretary you have a problem.  Not that I am a supporter of Erdoğan – as it happens, I am absolutely not, but that is not the point.  Once you have senior politicians calling each other names it is hard to re-establish diplomacy, and find solutions to what can be very deep rooted problems.

So just as we have people write to Untold every day saying how desperately we need a new centre forward because Giroud is useless, without any recourse to an analysis of how many goals Arsenal scored, how many he scored, and how many other teams scored, or indeed an analysis of how likely a transfer is to “solve” the problem perceived, so on the national  stage we have people who say, “Don’t worry about climate change, it is not happening.”

Oh and don’t bother your little head to much about The Terror, we’ll stop it.   And don’t worry about Boris J being foreign secretary, he’ll be fine.

But why do people think like this?  This is what has been worrying me.  I agree that experts can be wrong, of course they can, but evidence and expert analysis is by and large all we’ve got to go on.

However people do want simplistic realities because it is mentally less taxing and more comfortable than uncertainty.  Believe that the phrase “we’re going to make America great again” actually has some meaning and basis in reality, and that’s it, your problems are over.  Believe that Britain can leave the EU and that will be it, all will be sorted, and that’s it, no more thinking is needed.  Believe that if we replaced Arsene Wenger Arsenal would be bound to win the league, and fine, we can order another round in the pub.

Then put on top of this the fact that people can now use social media to share these simplistic stories that reinforce their view of reality, and the fact that Twitter in particular demands very short thoughts and Facebook certainly doesn’t seem to like anything too complex or long but actually prefers pictures (mostly of kittens) and you have the new world.

Not a totally new world of course.  Tribes and gangs were based on the same sort of approach – no one ever became gang leader by promising a new economic policy.

But it is worse than this, because as the model works, the model gets extended.   On the site Donald Trump is running at about 80% of his claims are “mostly false”.  If he loses there will be many out there who will think that his failure was the failure to make that 100%.

So it is only going to get worse.  I am not sure if anyone in the football world has started using bots yet to propagate their views in the way that the EU campaign in the UK used them, but when you have machine code that pumps out falsehoods as truth, and people start believing in them, then you really, really are in trouble.

So the football debate mirrors the political state of play.  The biggest stories in football each year are the transfers rumours, and even though clearly mostly these are false there are many people who seriously believe that other clubs get the players they want and need while Arsenal don’t because… well fill in any one of a dozen reasons, none of which has any evidence to back it up.

Toxic rhetoric is what we have now got all around us, and fighting against it is a major issue.  In a very small way Untold does its bit, insisting on evidence, and trying to reveal just how insane issues like transfer rumours are with our weekly Transfer Index.   The fact that by August 31 over 100 players will have be announced as being on their way to Arsenal will however make little impact either on those who propagate the rumours or those who believe them to be true.

As a society I fear we are sinking as fast as the bloggettas and their friends in the media have dragged down football.  But at least having a name for what we are fighting makes the battle seem a little clearer.

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36 comments to Toxic rhetoric: at last we have a name for the assault on football from the media and their blogging allies

  • Leon

    “So the football debate mirrors the political state of play. The biggest stories in football each year are the transfers rumours, and even though clearly mostly these are false there are many people who seriously believe that other clubs get the players they want and need while Arsenal don’t because… well fill in any one of a dozen reasons, none of which has any evidence to back it up”.

    It’s difficult to find a reliable, dedicated, unbiased & up to date source of Arsenal news. Their own web-site is parsimonious with just a snippet or so every few days, and none of my “five a day” blogs are anything more than opinion & comment, but somehow among all the rumour & gossip there’s grains of truth and I get a reasonable idea of what’s going on.

  • Josif

    “So just as we have people write to Untold every day saying how desperately we need a new centre forward because Giroud is useless, without any recourse to an analysis of how many goals Arsenal scored, how many he scored, and how many other teams scored, or indeed an analysis of how likely a transfer is to “solve” the problem perceived”


    It’s ironic that you seem to ignore the facts that don’t fit your narrative. For instance, I have written number of times in the comments section that Arsenal indeed scored just three goals less than Leicester City…despite having 78 chances more than Leicester. If you apply those numbers in the equation, you will notice how bad our conversion rate was comparing to Leicester City. We needed 7.14 chances per goal while Leicester needed just 5.68 chances per goal. That means we would score 54 goals with their number of chances (fourteen less than Leicester did) while they would score 81 goals with our number of chances (sixteen more than we did).

    Hell, even Mr Wenger himself has said that we lacked a 20-goal-in-the-league striker last season and made a bid for Jamie Vardy last month. I guess either Mr Wenger is a) wrong or b) he has founded Anti-Arsenal Arsene while we weren’t watching.

    Olivier Giroud, as history has proven, is not a 20-goal-in-the-league striker. He has had four seasons at Arsenal to prove otherwise, has been surrounded with top creative playmakers such as Mesut and Santi and still hasn’t reached 20 goals in the league. At the age of 30, he is highly unlikely to become that kind of a striker next season. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve written many times before, I do rate Giroud as I think he has scored more goals than one could expect for a striker that we signed for mere 12 million pounds. He is just not a top striker that can propel us to the title. He is more of a Kanu or a Wiltord than an Henry.

    Of course, you do have a point that a new striker doesn’t guarantee 20 goals in the league but once you realize you don’t have internal solution for that problem, you have to seek for external one.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    As for as this blog is concerned , as more of ‘them’ leave , I believe that hundreds , nay thousands of new converts will join us.
    The evidence ?
    Well we just have to wait for Tony to announce the latest figures!

  • tunnygriffboy


    Yes there is a lot of BS about on the twittersphere, a lot of it rubbish. The supposed ITK drive me bananas.

    However, can you answer this honestly. Do we need a new centre forward ? Bear in mind Welbeck will be out for a long while.

    My feeling on it is that Giroud at least needs an understudy to enable him to rest. He has at times manfully led our line for long long periods even when obviously tired.It would be nice if a striker was brought in with slightly different attributes so they could be rotated depending on the opponent. If he were to be better than Olivier then so be it.

    Does Giroud frustrate me ? Yes on certain occasions he does. This mainly due to his lack of pace. Also his performances drop off considerably when he looks fatigued.

    However for a man who cost £12 million he has been a really good buy. Since he came to the league he has scored more headed goals than anyone. They way he brings other players into the game is excellent, he always works hard and his goal scoring record is really pretty good.

    I love the way he has worked so hard to improve his game. Not blessed with the natural ability of many he has worked his way up from a lowly beginning to carve a quite outstanding career for himself.

    I just feel he needs help to keep himself fresh and even competition to spur him on to new heights.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal


    I think everyone agrees if Wellbeck is injured we need a cover at ST position.
    But as pointed out so many times at UA that siging depends upon availability of a decent one and if the biz cud be concluded with regareds to price etc.

    My personal view is that Wenger is looking for a striker who is better than Giroud but you know its not an easy task as Striker availability is short.

    You can see what Epl clubs have done uptill now.Nothing worth mentioning.

  • Josif
    We needed 7.14 chances per goal while Leicester needed just 5.68 chances per goal.

    OK, so as a person who has studied science my first question is, are all those chances of equal merit and opportunity. I have no idea.

  • Rosicky@Arsenal


    Can you figure out what was Leicester cinversion rate if all the dubious penalty decisions are deducted.

    Maybe Giroud is not quick enough but he still gets a place in the team for his hold up and link up play plus his defensive contribution on set pieces.

  • My argument in this piece is against simplistic answers to complex questions. “Do we need a new centre forward” is a simple question, and not one that is particularly helpful – indeed it is one that is thoroughly misleading, to my thinking.

    A player who could score double the number of goals as Giroud did last season without disrupting the goal scoring efforts of others, and allowing others to play the style they have been working on, would of course be highly welcome.

    A player who could score double the number of goals but who then disrupted the whole layout, style and approach of the team, could be a disaster because we would then need to rebuild half the squad.

    And that is before we start asking the questions…

    a) can we find such a player
    b) will the club he is with let him go
    c) will he actually want to come and play for Arsenal

    etc etc

  • Josif


    Well, unless there is an evidence that their chances were better than ours, my point stands.

  • Josif


    I agree regarding Giroud’s overall contribution. One of the reasons why I said that I rate him is the fact he adds physical dimension to our game that we otherwise don’t have. I still remember his first game against Stoke Lumberjacks, a goal-less draw in which Giroud was our most important defender.

    Off-topic: I feel a bit of pain whenever I write your nickname. I like Tommy a lot. 🙁

  • Shard

    An over inflated sense of self importance, entitlement, and just a need for attention. That’s what seems to drive these people. I mean these were the guys saying Wenger bought Ozil because they protested. The same about Xhaka. They are all experts in who to sign and why this can/didn’t happen as if they really know how the transfer market works.

    On the larger front, it is depressing and scary. The constant breaking news/twitter explosion has left no room or patience for analysis, contemplation and an appropriate response. Be the quickest and loudest, and preferably not reasonable, and you are more likely to be heard. The ‘moderate’ voice is largely unheard because it isn’t sexy enough. And when someone does make a good point, it is submerged in a torrent of vilification from agenda driven people. Some of whom aren’t even aware of them being pawns in a larger game.

    Also, perhaps the ‘liberals’ in society share some of the blame. They’ve been peddling equality where even stupid ideas are meant to be given as much air to breathe as anything else. Only because ‘every opinion matters’. Every opinion matters, but not equally. Flat Earth societies have no right to not be called stupid and wrong. In fact, they absolutely should be.

    In this sense, Untold was one of the first sites to take on the stupidity of the AAA. Indeed to give them that label, which I refused to use for the longest time since I didn’t want to divide the fanbase. I was wrong. This narrative always needed to be challenged and understood for what it is. An agenda driven attack on the club. It isn’t ‘fans who care’. Fans who care can have grievances. But not resort to this sort of abuse that is now the norm among them.

    Congratulations Untold. Keep up your fine work.

  • Tony
    “Simplistic answers to complex questions” is what our society is all about as your excellent piece points out
    No matter what you write, it aint going to change !
    BUT, please don`t let that stop you
    It`s what makes Untold so worthwhile reading

    Thanks, makes me realise, perhaps I aint so daft after all

  • Rosicky@Arsenal

    Tks Josif

    I think we agree reg Giroud.
    Re Tomas Rosicky its such a pain to know he has left the club. But it has to happen one day.But we are proud of Tomas Rosicky for his loyalty to the club for all those years and i feel blessed to have seen Tomas Rosicky giving brilliant performances for us fans to cherish. Infact my fondest memories of Arsenal are associated with Tomas.

  • Chris


    the thing that strikes me is that thoes – in politics – who keep on lying then say : well the voter can make the difference between truth and ‘exageration’.
    We heard that from Farage, Johnson and in an interview I read, even Trump admitted that most of his statements, accusations etc were false…

    So maybe lying is the new thruth….

    Considering we are basically at war with some sort of the equivalent of HIV or cancer on a humanity level, we ought to worry if people are so unable to think.

  • Jerry

    Excellent article Tony! For some reason everyone takes the simplistic approach for arguments resulting in weak debates if there is even a debate at all.

    @ Josif,
    Arsenal scored 61 goals from open play, counters, or set pieces.
    Leicester scored 57 from normal play (open play, counters, or set pieces).

    Only two teams scored more from open play than Arsenal- Man City and Tottenham, who both finished below Arsenal in the table.

    The only difference goals wise between the champions (leicester) and Arsenal: they got 11 penalties (scored 10), while Arsenal only got 2. In fact, Leicester scored more than twice as many PKs than 18 other clubs. That’s why Wenger and Arsenal might have wanted Vardy, current Arsenal players can’t dive for pks (sorry I meant buy a penalty).

    In fact, from normal play, only 1 striker has a better goals per minute ratio: Sergio Aguero

    1. Sergio Aguero: 20 normal play goals in 2375 minutes = 118.8 minutes between goals
    2. Olivier Giroud: 15 normal play goals in 2431 mins = 162.1 mins per goal
    3. Vardy: 19 normal play goals in 3140 mins = 165.3 mins per goal
    4. Harry Kane: 20 NP goals in 3370 mins = 168.5 mins per goal
    5. Lukaku: 17 NP goals in 3177 minutes= 186.9 mins per goal

    You take away PKs, from normal play (open play, counters, & set pieces), only 1 striker was head and shoulders above Giroud last year. Can you think of a player or way that could get us more penalties next year?

  • tunnygriffboy

    Asking if we need another striker may not be as easy a question as it seem for the variety of reasons you descrbe Tony. Isn’t that why our manager is paid what he is, why we have a scouting system and why we spent £2million on a data analytics system ? Or am I missing something ?

    All I know is asking Giroud to carry the attack until Christmas without support after the summer he’s just had is asking for trouble .

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    …as Walter wrote the other day Tony, its a frightening world outside-it has been on a world scale since 1933,but often we have been ignorant of whats been going on.How would the Cold War have looked like had we been on the internet back then?But frightening outside means frightening inside,which is the origin of fear-our minds. Take a look at this,try to stay to the end.

    All of that from fear.Its all based on domination and the fear of being dominated?The only enemy we have is our own minds.Colour,creed and gender mean little in the great scheme of things,its just a variation of energy made manifest-to be enjoyed for what it is?But the fearful Egos systems of us all dont see it that way.All is an enemy, and the Egos love this system of delusion?And from this all have suffered.
    What if all the energy of those nuclear tests and the money had gone into other things had actually gone into helping the worlds people how might it have looked?

    And anyone who really keeps an eye on World politik knows its much worse than most people think. Im not talking about mainstream media or even broadsheets but the places where reportage exists that goes unnoticed by most of us but really reports on whats happening.
    Britains in a strange place at the moment as many different types of cultures are now squaring up against one another.”Leave” certainly made this much much worse?And how can this be placated unless all sides back down? Youre right Tony, the German newspapers also noted that Brexit(yes/no) was way too simplistic to solve the “dilemmas” that it pretended it was going to deal with.
    Of course Brexit isnt going to deal with any of the “dilemmas” when its the Ego system raging in humans that are causing all the problems.How can it?
    I read this the other day:
    For the first time in history,” Hannah Arendt wrote in 1957, “every country has become the almost immediate neighbor of every other country, and every person feels the shock of events which take place at the other end of the globe.” Arendt feared that this new “unity of the world” would be a largely negative phenomenon if it wasn’t accompanied by the “renunciation, not of one’s own tradition and national past, but of the binding authority and universal validity which tradition and past have always claimed.

    What she wrote makes sense.But.How can that be implemented when Nationalism is at an all time peak since August 1914? Nationalism in our time seems outmoded?
    Is it time that a world citizen idea comes in, and we stop this old style Nationalism?

    Where did all of that old Nationalism leave us? Millions upon millions dead,traumas that arent healed and an ongoing legacy of vendetta and illusory hatred.Some of which seems to go back thousands of years,yet no dialogue has been entered into, as many cultures are based on an idea of supremacy.
    The internet means that Post -Modernism is clearly going to grind and grind until things are so fractured we cannot see them anymore, but until that point, plurality and tolerance must be implemented.Otherwise we are only going to be stuck in fighting,verbally or physically-how can it be otherwise?
    Yet how can people carry the idea of being an “absolute” in Post-Modernity,its illogical?
    So I outlined before where I think fear and anger are coming from, but is it that as a manifested form(the internet) that this illogicality is being played out most?

    Modernism( ie the idea of “progression” in the way it was in prior centuries) isnt possible again(nor is it coming back as a centralized force,unless there is some kind of alien/outer space attack that “unifies” much of humanity(there will still be divisions ie attack/dont attack the Alien?) or a Totalitarianism the likes of which we have never seen before,organised on a scale so large it would be truly daunting-but Flux and natural critical thinking would destroy this in the end too) until deep space travel and colonization starts-and that will face all sorts of the same dilemmas.It takes a long time to add to our thought systems as we are thinking of yesterday and creating our today’s.
    Take a look around, all the thoughts ever thought are with us every day popping in and out of peoples minds.

    But Capitalism doesnt give a crap about plurality or tolerance, it just wants more to chew up,but how long will this go on before Marx is proved right and a world war has to be made to clear the way to produce more again,but will Mother Earth sustain this? We are facing severe problems ecologically,yet people seem trapped in greed, a greed that destroys the earth-but we are still unhappy.So we are back to the old problem of not feeling good enough.Fear again.

    Im not sure the rage of the WOB can ever be placated now,the fires are too strong,the scapegoat is too manifest as a meme, the drum beaters have made the goal of the competitive dominating orgasm too addictive to not induce a rage that only a lack of hormones can change when this orgasm isnt achieved?But the illusion of the game is so strong,the lust for the orgasmic winning moment and identification of being a winner is beyond anything else in the world at the moment,except violence?And what price that?
    How can people understand their world when news outlets are so basic or don’t report what going on?Or when the world is a mass of screaming absolutes? Or a world of Charles Foster Kanes who need their puritan opinion and lust for control,over humans or those who peddled sensationalism to the point where more and more systems of deception have to be conjured up to make their means ends?Yesterday sensationalism is today’s boredom is tomorrows extremism?What right do these people have to do this? Why would you want to impose your vision of the world when is not objective and therefore prone to creating more problems that have consequences that are far reaching?

    But its still a pot that about to boil over.Whose strong enough to put the lid on? Social media unless its switched off as source is only going to make things worse,until it does boil over and what if the world cant contain it?World markets are much more prone to the Chaos theory than we might think,and now this is bouncing back on people immediately as are the effects of violence.And fear is creating more fear.
    Can any centralized force put a lid on this? I dont think so.Its about psychological self responsibility now and through this at least a basic tolerance and plurality?But this is seen a sign of weakness-an irony considering its about the only strength there is-think about it,all we do affects everything else.How can it not? But who wants to do this?

    The old cultures are about domination,but who can be a victor, when all naturally and eventually divide through the Ego systems being “right” and frightened of “other”?Thats not to say that there are many wonderful and beneficial ideas from the past,how can there not be?But we are in a different time now.

    You can see it clearly. The 20th Century is now ending.The notions and absolutes from that time are smashing against one another, but no victor can be found, there is no answer from that time,or none that until now has been agreed upon by all peoples nor can there ever be again,if there ever was?But still the old Modernist and older historical games are played out as if they will make things alright-when they never were so how can they be?And now all peoples are in the equation,like never before,at least now we are aware of this where as the older forms of Imperialism meant exclusion and soon some will loom much larger than ever before as the old Imperialistic ideas raging in the minds of those that feel weak or inferior try to become manifest.And all are terrified as they come together that they will be destroyed by the thoughts of another rather than enjoying one another? Has there ever been such dissatisfaction?

    The world is too small to sustain each group rising forth to take power, as all are now coming forward so how will it be?Mother nature is also perhaps too fragile to deal with some big scrap?The weapons and technology of today mean that a WW2 scenario cannot take place. Another international conflict will mean severe come backs on all who survive?
    The big problem in the early 21st C is that the older centuries of thought are hanging around.Boris is out of date, so is Farage and Trump too,whether they believe they mean well or not their ideas of problem solving are based on a time already passed not on todays needs and problems.Toxic rhetoric seems to be best picked up on by those still of times prior thinking to our needs today? Are we all affected by this? We know that any kind of Utopian-ism isnt going to work,so what to do?How can all be placated in a time of extreme fear?
    Britain is merely a microcosm of a world problem. How can culture sit by culture in plurality and tolerance when behind culture is an Ego systematic ready to dominate and engulf other cultures in the face of ecological meltdown?Not an easy task to deal with.But the old times are over.The media looms large over all these but show a face of virginity went it is all but that.
    Less debate more discussion?More dialogue towards unity and less to division?More respect and understanding? Take these away and what do we have?

  • Gord


    Arsenal Ladies beat Chelsea 2-1.

    Chelsea got the first goal of the game, on a too hard back pass by Alex Scott to the goalkeeper. Oops!

    So, Arsenal actually scored all 3 goals.


    The same pundits that never comment on the officiating in the EPL talking about it in the MLS. Why?

  • Brickfields Gunners

    If each drop of water was to drop does not make an ocean…there would be no sea…
    if each note of music was to say…one note does not make a symphony…there would be no melody…
    if each word was to say…one word does not make a library…there would be no books…
    and if each of us were to say…one person does not make a difference…there would never be love and peace on earth…
    though we are just ONE individual…and cannot do everything…we still can make our actions count…
    too often we underestimate the power of a touch…a smile…a kind word…a listening ear…an honest compliment… or even the smallest act of caring..
    ..all of which have a great potential to turn a life around…
    have a lovely Monday and a great week ahead .

  • Brickfields Gunners

    @ Kenneth Widmerpool – July 17, 2016 at 10:04 pm – Well , here is a company trying to better things !

  • Pat

    Tony, you mention the people from Eastern Europe collecting the crops, probably for a pittance and living in dire conditions.

    30 years ago, most people in Eastern Europe had a steady job and a decent standard of living. They weren’t forced to go abroad to do seasonal work for a pittance. Somehow the crops in Britain still got harvested. And the crops in Eastern Europe got harvested as well.

    It is the destruction of their economies in the past decades that has forced people from Eastern Europe to come here and accept hard work for poor wages.

    Needless to say, that is not their fault and they should not be blamed for it. Instead, the truth should be told.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Pat, did you ever go East after the Wende?
    Who destroyed the EE economies, and how? And which countries do you mean by EE?
    Do you think youre going to get your Britain/England back culturally even if teh UK leaves the EU?
    Just asking.

  • Pete

    Talking of ignorance, I met two people who voted Leave. I asked them why. Response was, paraphrasing, “the Queen wants to leave and that is good enough for us”. No, they weren’t joking. Leaving aside the issue that the Queen’s views are unsubstantiated…

    Pat – While acknowledging that some peoples’ lives in Eastern Europe were undoubtedly better 30 years ago under communism than in the EU today, where is your evidence for the “destruction of their economies”? That seems an extraordinary claim – but I don’t know the GDP per head comparative numbers (or some other indicator) so would be interested if you could point me in the right direction. Always keen for the truth to be told…

  • Pat

    Hi Kenneth. Eastern Europe I mean German Democratic Republic, Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Bulgaria etc.

    After 1990 their economies, previously People’s Own firms (that was the expression used in the German Democratic Republic), were privatised and often sold off to foreign capitalists.

    I know the German Democratic Republic best. Firms producing world class goods were bought for a nominal sum and then closed down. Anything desirable was shipped abroad. Thousand lost their jobs within a couple of years.

  • Pat

    Don’t know what you mean by getting Britain back culturally. I think we should move forwards to a fairer Briain in a fairer world.

  • Pat

    Should be thousands not thousand. Tens of thousands would be more accurate.

  • Pete

    Pat. Done some research on East European countries (not all now in EU).

    Life Expectancy: Up from 69 to 73
    Cars: From 1 in 10 people to 1 in 4.
    GDP per Capita: Around 40% increase.

    “In most postcommunist states, life has improved, often dramatically. Citizens enjoy
    higher living standards, broader political rights, greater autonomy and personal dignity.”

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Pat,sorry to ask- just building up a picture at the moment, which world class goods do you mean from the DDR (that were being manufactured)? And why did the FDR close them down and why did they sell them to “foreign capitalists”? Of course they were going to be privatized, as the FDR (is) was capitalist and not Communist.Once the Wende happened all those countries were going to be made into capitalist ones.
    It is true that the former DDR had and still has major unemployment problems and deeper problems that would scare many people if they knew what was there.The former DDR had to be rebuilt and the Wessies didnt want to pay for them,even the train lines were deliberately different,imagine the cost of relaying and building just that. This was a task that was like no other in the world at that time. Physically and culturally to try and unite a divided country.
    And do you absolve the Soviet Union from leaving its former Empire in such a state?
    What do I mean culturally? I think that the underlying fight for the most people re Brexit is one of culture.-I wrote about this yesterday.
    Im not saying you, but many people think they can go back to another time,free of “invading” cultures.

  • Jambug

    Jerry @ 7.52

    1. Sergio Aguero: 20 normal play goals in 2375 minutes = 118.8 minutes between goals
    2. Olivier Giroud: 15 normal play goals in 2431 mins = 162.1 mins per goal
    3. Vardy: 19 normal play goals in 3140 mins = 165.3 mins per goal
    4. Harry Kane: 20 NP goals in 3370 mins = 168.5 mins per goal
    5. Lukaku: 17 NP goals in 3177 minutes= 186.9 mins per goal

    You take away PKs, from normal play (open play, counters, & set pieces), only 1 striker was head and shoulders above Giroud last year

    —Myself and others have posted similar, in fact even more in depth statistics to those, but it makes no difference. They just ignore it, disappear, and simply repeat the same thing tomorrow.

    The fact is, if Giroud:

    a) Had an injury free season.

    b) Took penalties.

    at the rate he scores he would easily achieve 20+ goals a season.

  • porter

    Tony we have always had migrants in East Anglia in July , August and early September as we harvest the crops that you eat. But unlike immigrants they then left to go grape picking in other European countries as did many English lads too . Like many things that remainers still comment on , it wasn’t a problem before and it won’t be in the future.

  • How on earth can you predict employment in two years time based on what happened before we were in the EU.

  • Porter

    You asked who would pick the harvest and I merely pointed out that it would be the same people that have been doing it for a long time.

  • Pat

    Hi Kenneth and Pete. I’m probably too late on this stream and you’ll never read it but here goes.

    I don’t judge the health of a nation by the number of cars. All the socialist countries of Eastern Europe had efficient and very cheap public transport. And factories and other workplaces when they were newly built had homes and facilities nearby so people didn’t have to travel so far.

    Cars are one of the major causes of city pollution and the resultant deaths.

    I had a friend in the German Democratic Public who lived in a thriving village. After 1990 one of the first things that went was the bus service.

    The GDR was not a basket case before 1990. Have a look at its economic position in the world. For a country of only 17 million people it was high up the rankings. I know one thing; the birth rate in the GDR dropped dramatically after it ceased to exist. Families no longer felt secure, and especially women suffered. Equal pay, excellent cheap crèches and kindergartens, good meals at work, had all made the life of women much more rewarding.

    I was in Poland last year and saw some films about the places where factories have gone to be replaced by low skilled work on zero hour contracts – often done by women. Rents have risen astronomically and added to that they have high costs of privatised electricity and other services which used to be part of the rent. And all to pay when you don’t know if you’ll have work from one day to the next.

    As to the Soviet Union – a lot of the countries of Eastern Europe were very industrially undeveloped until the Soviet Union assisted them to build up basic engineering and other essentials to building up your own industry on which any independent economy is based. And all this when the Soviet Union itself had suffered horrendous destruction and loss of life as a result of the fascist invasion.

    Anyway, if you want to know what happened in the GDR, research the Treuhand. There were cases like a refrigerator firm which was closed down because it was alleged to be polluting and then its former workers found their technology was being used by the firm in West Germany that bought them for a song.

  • Kenneth Widmerpool

    Hi Pat,thanks for writing back.Hopefully I can write again fully later, as it might be a long one.
    Do you mean Foron and Greenfreeze? Treuhand did support the firm to modernize,as according to them the factory was outdated and needed upgrading and they wanted a private buyer,but it was sold to an Italian firm,and youre right Greenfreeze is still all over the world. I will go into this a bit more later.

    But in this instance your right on(Foron etc)but what the Wessies did was only the same as Thatcher,Blair and Brown did. History is a complex thing, with people pilfering and selling whatever they can get once they get on top.The stain of this is on everyone.