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June 2021

It’s a terror alert, but please pay your bill first; four Arsenal lads going overseas; Qatar in chaos

By Tony Attwood

I was in Cambridge last night – a small city on the border of East Anglia and the East Midlands, packed with amazing buildings from the 13th century onwards.  Multiple students, ten thousand bikes, endless restaurants – one of which I was in with a business colleague.

We had a nice meal and a good time, until suddenly a young temporary volunteer police office (there are fewer and fewer of the real thing it seems) came into the restaurant and told us there was an alert and we should all leave now.

I suspect you’ll know, we’ve had a couple of appalling terror atrocities recently, so everyone was certainly ready to get out quickly.  Which we were about to do until the restaurant staff made it clear that they wanted the bills paid before we left.   An interesting response to the Terror.  Sadly the temporary volunteer police officers didn’t have the nouse to tell the restaurateur where to stick it.

It appears the alert was a false alarm, and please thank any gods you pray to for that, and we walked calmly away (after settling the account), but it was interesting to observe just how stretched the police were.  There was of course 100% public co-operation (apart from the restaurateurs wanting the money), no crowds gathered to watch, everyone dispersed calmly and quietly.

And that was that, apart from while travelling north along the A14 later that night I suddenly saw a procession of police cars all with sirens blazing doing top speed heading south.  I counted 20 police cars in the matter of a minute or two all heading into … the roadworks.  Hopefully they managed to get through ok and sort out whatever they were after.  The news today has mentioned none of this.

Going through such an experience (and of course this was trivial nothingness compared to what some people have been through of late, and I’m not trying to suggest otherwise) it made me realise just how vulnerable we are in the UK with this notion of a much smaller police force bolstered by unpaid volunteers and security company staff hired for the day.

And it also set me a-wondering in terms of security at Arsenal.  I have, of course, renewed the season ticket, so nothing is putting me off going, but I do get concerned about the way security issues are handled at the Ems.

Let me give just one example: for each home match last season we were all sent the same message ahead of the game, asking to take our seats an hour before kick off.  If Arsenal ever bothered to consult a psychologist, or come to that anyone involved in advertising, they would be told that the fastest way to get people to ignore a request is

a) to repeat a written message word for word, over and over again.

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b) to do nothing to vary the design of the message, but leave that the same too

As a result of the adoption of this approach I think that although some of us made an effort at first to get to the ground earlier, we quickly dropped that as the message was repeated and repeated.   Yes, you can repeat a highly visual message to good effect on a TV commercial, but not in an email announcement – different media are “read” by the mind in different ways, and so have different effects and need handling in different ways.  Any advertising agency worth its salt would be able to tell Arsenal this.

Einstein didn’t say seeing something fail and then doing it again in the hope it works is a measure of insanity, but in this case it is not a very clever thing for Arsenal to be doing.

In a sense I suppose this is the British way; we bumble along believing that somehow it will all work out in the end and that anything different is best derided as “clever-clever” and not for the likes of us.  Johnny Foreigner might use psychologists and advertising experts, but us British are made of sterner stuff.   It’s a bit like thinking that cutting the number of police officers being employed will help enhance security, or cutting the number of teachers drastically will enhance education.  It’s gibberish but we’ll be ok because we are British.

Which I suppose inevitably brings my thinking to international football.  We’re never going to win, but we keep plodding along, just in case no one else turns up and we win the tournament by default.

We have four of our players in the 2017 Uefa European Under 21s which is about to start – meaning that several players might not be available at the beginning of the next season – which in turn will lead to claims that Arsenal were under-prepared for the start of the campaign.

Rob Holding and Callum Chambers are in the England squad, Krystian Bielik is playing for Poland and Héctor Bellerín is playing for Spain.

Meanwhile, staying with the international theme and going back to my opening thoughts on the Terror,  Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (sponsors of Arsenal), Egypt and Bahrain have broken off all relationships with Qatar.  The issue is the vast and ever growing outflow of funds from Qatar to terrorist organisations and supporters of extreme Islamist groups.

All land, air and sea traffic with Qatar has been stopped, diplomats are being ejected (probably after being asked to pay their hotel and restaurant bills) and Qatari citizens have 14 days to get out.

There are two types of people in Qatar: shoppers and slave workers.  Shoppers in Doha have been panic buying as food shortages let “set to” (in the lingo of the transfer sagas) break out.  Food and water is running out as 40% of Qatar’s supplies cross the Saudi border at one single crossing point – and that is shut.

Still they have five years to sort it out before the world cup.   Did I ever mention that I don’t think the world cup should be in Qatar?  I think maybe I have once or twice.  But still, I’m sure Fifa will act honourably.  As will Qatar.  Like f*** they will.

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17 comments to It’s a terror alert, but please pay your bill first; four Arsenal lads going overseas; Qatar in chaos

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Something about this impending Middle East crisis story , for me doesn’t seem to ring true . There seems to be more that meets the eye.

  • WalterBroeckx

    If it wouldn’t be for the terrible events in the UK over the last weeks it could even sound funny that “first paying the bill part….” Now not so funny…

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    It’s all about money, isn’t it? As money talks and makes people to do evil things they are doing or they will do if not for the money they are getting or will get.

    Against all expectations, Sepp Blatter’s controlled Fifa had awarded the 2022 World Cup hosting right to Qatar because of the huge money Blatter and his executives have illegally and hiddenly pocketed before they stage managed the hosting right to Qatar and would have again pocketed had they remained in control of Fifa up to the end of Qatar 2022. But no one or group has been able to unearthed this my likely atrocity committing claims. Maybe it wiil one day be unearthed.

    With all the intelligence service outfits of the CIA, the KGB, the M5&M6 and whatever be name of that of France the Americans and the Western & Eastern European mighty powers of the USA, Russia, Britain and France claimed they all have at their disposals, it’s interestingly surprising to see these powers have been unable to detect which country is responsible for funding huge funds ISIL are receiving to sustain their murderous campaign mostly against Christians across the world in the name of Islamizing the whole human race since their medieval military advance to achieve this thier criminal objective by brutal force was said to had been impeded by a French King who halted their conversion to islam by force advance.

    Not until Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain came out blatantly of recent to name at least one source out of the likely many sourses ISIL have been receiving money to mount their murderous islamazation campaign against Christians in the world and sustaining the campaign did we know who has been the CANDIDO behind the mask.

    Since this CANDIDO has now been revealed, what will the Western and the Eastern powers of the USA and those of Europe do to cut off the supply of funds and military supplies to ISIL where ever the are in the world to inactive them and subsequently terminate that evil organisation and other related and resembled ones to them, and also prevent other ones from springing up in future? Very difficult job & work to do but it had to be done if we are to have safety from Islamic violence in the world.

  • Andy Mack

    I believe we also have young players in the U20s and U19s (maybe in others as well).

  • Pat

    I’ve read the row with Qatar follows on from Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia. Sounds dodgy. Ironic that Qatar should be accused of supporting terrorists by Saudi Arabia. Iran is advising them to settle their differences peacefully.

  • Dammy

    Security at the Emirates needs to improve. Not because of The Sun headline yesterday (which warrants a ban) but the YouTube video showing the daredevil kids who sneaked in and scaled to the roof of the Emirates.

  • Benjamin

    What an egotistical and self-serving post. Truly repulsive. Tony, there are less police in Cambridge because they are putting more police in actual terrorist targets. Not middle class, snooty intellectual cities – is Oxford similarly threatened??

    Our major cities are under threat for a reason – they are newsworthy and make headlines, which is what the terrorists want. And you can have 1m+ police and you won’t stop these type of attacks – police numbers are just a sideshow to this – are you really saying that having 1,000, 2,000, 10,000 extra police would have stopped this?? Naive and stupid – you need to know where to put extra police – as consider in a city of 9m people (just London) – an extra 20,000 police covers 0.2% of the population. Make you feel safer? And covers 0.03% of the whole UK population. Think about this – 20,000 police at 30K = 600m!! So it’s not about number of police it’s about intelligence and prevention.

    And your view of international football is flawed – look at the progress that the under 20s and under 19s are making in international tournaments. The progress being made underneath the headlines is actually quite good for English players and teams.

  • Usama Zaka

    Se-ad Ko-la-shi-natz

    How to pronounce the his name

  • Menace

    Benjamin – so you are an expert in where terrorists strike & their motives. Intelligence is not sufficient. Action on intelligence is the key. Laws give us all freedoms – terrorists included. It is time for some hard decisions & tough action to include the International funders of these so called radicals. Cuts in the Police force does not help. The psychology of seeing Police on the streets has a feeling of security & is a deterrent.

    Barca & PSG are funded by Quatar as are several companies & sporting aspects. They are totally & absolutely taking the piss of the freedoms given to them. People, workers who are employed in Quatar will not be allowed to leave as many have no travel documents. God help them & us.

  • Clockendrider

    The irony of the Labour Party pissing and moaning about reduced police numbers and reduced police effectiveness.. you would need a heart of stone not to laugh.

  • Ben

    I love the tackles that Kolasinac makes from what I have seen, for sure he will be targetted by the refs here i feel.

  • Polo

    Welcome Sead Kolasinac to Arsenal. One down and two to go. Next up Mbappe.

    AW suppose to be a ditherer according to some.

  • blacksheep

    Benjamin, are you drunk?! Have you been to Cambridge? Or Oxford for that matter?

    You wrote: ‘What an egotistical and self-serving post. Truly repulsive. Tony, there are less police in Cambridge because they are putting more police in actual terrorist targets. Not middle class, snooty intellectual cities – is Oxford similarly threatened??’

    Much of Oxford and Cambridge is not well-off let alone middle class and snooty (whatever that fatuous description means) try standing on the terraces at Cambridge United or talking to car workers at Cowley. Please go and display your ignorance elsewhere and keep away from a site like this that offers an intelligent view of the world. Police numbers HAVE been cut. London and Manchester are NOT being policed by men and women from Cambridge or any other ‘snooty intellectual’ place.

    I live in London, and I have friends all over the UK and elsewhere. Terrorism is a global problem, no one is safe, and bombs, guns, knives, and hired vans do not discriminate on class lines.
    That is what is ‘truly repulsive’ you ignorant individual, not Tony’s post

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A typically AW signing – another player with a though name to pronounce !
    Why doesn’t he just sign someone with an easier to pronounce , like Smith , or Jones ?
    OH !

  • Brickfields Gunners

    *The Art of dealing ….*

    A retired old couple returned to a Mercedes dealership where the salesman promised to hold a car for them.

    But they found the car was just sold to a beautiful, leggy, busty blonde in a mini skirt and a halter top.

    The old man was visibly upset. He spoke to the salesman sharply, *”Young man, you said you hold that car till we raised the $95,000 asking price, yet you closed the deal for $75,000 to the young lady there. And if I remember right, you had insisted there was no discount for this model !*

    “The salesman took a deep breath, cleared his throat and reached for a large glass of water.

    “Well, what can I tell you? She had the cash ready, didn’t need any financing help, and, Sir, just look at her, how could I resist?”, replied the grinning salesman sheepishly.

    Just then the young woman walked over to the senior couple and gave the car keys to the old man.

    *_”There you go,” she said. “I told you I could get him to lower the price. See you later Dad, Happy Father’s day.”_*

    Once again….. don’t mess with seniors. I love this one.
    A great laugh. ?????