Sunday, January 03, 2010

The 1989 quote of the day

Maybe 'mikeovswinton' was onto something about Billy Connolly's political past if this old quote from today's Observer is anything to go by:

ON HIS SUBSEQUENT FRIENDSHIP WITH PRINCESS ANNE 'I'm not going to throw away the hand of friendship to suit 100 Trotskyites in Glasgow' (1989)

Referring to the Peasants of Leon as Trotskyites rather than as Trotskyists is usually a giveaway that Uncle Joe was once a family friend but radical politics was always a bit different in Glasgow.

I don't have the quote immediately to hand but I do remember reading about the late SPGBer, Alec Shaw, who would apparently rip into the 'Communist Blatherskites and Trotskyite Gobshites' - I'm paraphrasing (slightly) - from the Party platform in Glasgow in the 40s and 50s.

And by all accounts, that debate between Solidarity's Ken Weller and the IS's Paul Foot in '68 did get rather acrimonious. You'd be surprised by how many people can still hold onto the grudges long after they drop the politics.

Anyway, check out Connolly's 'Did I Say That?' column. If nothing else, it's a good timeline for showing how Connolly lost his comedy mojo a long, long time ago.


mikeovswinton said...

I was fairly sure someone who should have known told me about Billy C. Lets hope John Quail has the full story.
I don't know, I go to the orient (Hong Kong, not Leyton) for 10 days and I get back to find we've lost Megson as our manager and we may be (fingers crossed) getting the one time Future Celtic Manager into the Reebok hot seat. I just hope it ain't the lack of sleep kicking in and playing with my mind.

Darren said...

John Quail with the full story? What about the full story about John Quail?

I'm getting obsessed about that mythic book of his now. If it's not the greatest piece piece of political literature since the SPGB's 1978 pamphlet, then I'll be cracking skulls.

If you really want to crack the story about Billy C and Solidarity, you have to find out when Solidarity had a presence in Glasgow - I knew they were in Aberdeen at one point - find out who was the main bods in the main organisation and work your way back from there.

I still think Billy C was too close to Matt McGinn to have been swept up by Castoriadis and co, but I'd love to be wrong.

Megson? What is about him that inspires such dislike from the supporters of the clubs he manages? Is it just his style of play? I seem to remember him having a similarly fractious relationship with the supporters of West Brom, despite being one of their most successful managers since the time Big Tanned Ron.

No offence, but I hope Coyle doesn't go your way. I hope he stays at Burnley and that they survive another season in the Premier League. I don't think he should have went to Celtic, either, but that's another matter entirely.

If Bolton's really insistent on appointing someone who once pulled on the jersey, then surely Peter Reid's your man?

Or maybe they can wait around for a couple of weeks and get Phil Brown on the cheap?

That'd be entertaining. ;-)

mikeovswinton said...

I'll try to work out who told me about Connolly and see where that takes me.

Peter Reid? Great player. Phil Brown. Well, I notice that he pointed out that lots of people were linking him to the Bolton job but that he has a job to do at Hull. As far as I can see the only person linking him to the Bolton job apart from you was Phil Brown. He was a great coach with us.

As of now, Coyle is back to Burnley to talk to them about the talks he's had with the Trotters. Can't see it being anything other than him in charge of us. I may live to regret writing that.

Megson did get a poor deal from our fans, as he did from WBAs. I think the problem is that his instincts are relentlessly negative - if you are 1-0 up you defend that at the edge of your box. He's poor as a communicator with the fans. And he does tend to fix the blame - players (twice in his dying weeks he attacked his players for not doing what they were told. Well, its his job to get them to do that...)and, of course, the fans. There has never really been a problem between the fans and the managers at Bolton until megson came to the club.

He spent £14.5 million (actually slightly more) on defenders - perhaps a hint as to why Coyle is interested in the job. And we haven't kept a clean sheet in the league this year. He made some great buys - Cahill, Taylor, Lee. He also spent a fierce amount of money on Elmander. Although a Blackburn fan friend of mine did point out that there will be a queue of French clubs after Johan.

Darren said...

Just spotted the BBC Football news that Coyle has been in talks with Bolton.

I have to be honest that I'm a bit gutted by the news. I respected the fact that he chose not to go to Celtic in the summer, and decided to continue with what he started at Burnley. But leaving now, when Burnley are in the position they're in in January? It just seems like bad form, and I'd be really conflicted about my views about Coyle if I was a Burnley fan.

I understand that Bolton are a bigger club than Burnley but they're not that much bigger. Does it really qualify as a step up for Coyle?

And does a couple of seasons as a player for Bolton qualify as a strong enough connection to a club? If that's the case, maybe Dumbarton should contact Coyle about his future managerial ambitions?

Whoever does get job, it has to be said that they will inherit a decent enough squad. Too good - or rather too steely - to go down.

Famous last words. ;-)

mikeovswinton said...

Hope you are right at the end there.

Two years at Bolton don't quite sum it up. He scored the goal that sent us up in 95, I think, and he was at Burnden in the glory era of Bruce Rioch (beating the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal in the FA Cup for fun - usually we drew with them at home and then turned the knife at their place. 6-1 home wins in the League Cup against mighty Tottenham). Does the name Andy Walker ring any bells? I suspect that for many of us that's the time we really enjoyed the Wanderers, for all the achievement we had under Big Sam. Coyle was really loved by the fans despite the fact that he wasn't quite good enough for top level English soccer.

When I got back off my holidays I was amazed we were in the running to get him - I was hoping for Curbishley and if it goes pear shaped would still be more than happy for that outcome. But I rather gather that the tipping point has been the Burnley board's not coming up with the cash to turn Nugent into a permanent Claret.

I'd be gutted for sure if I was a Burnley fan. We did this to my second team, Notts County, when we got Sam. But then Arsenal did it to us with Rioch. Apparently he spent the year at Highbury telling the likes of Ian Wright that they didn't have the attitude of the lads he's left behind at Burnden.

Darren said...

I bow to your greater knowledge when it comes to matters relating to Owen Coyle's time at Bolton. TBH, if it wasn't for wiki I'd have probably forgotten that he spent a couple of years there.

When I think of that great Bolton team from those days, I obviously think of Walker, McGinlay, McAteer and Stubbs (maybe Fabian De Freitas at a push). I still half remember that cup upset against Liverpool. I'm sure that was when a lot of us sat up and took notice of Bolton again. (No offence, like ;-)

It does look like Coyle is going to Bolton, and I'll still be really surprised if and when he does. I didn't know about the Nugent business, but I guess I can see his point. If he does make the shortish trip, I hope he doesn't indulge in the usual managerial trick in such circumstances and raid his old club for players. I hate it when that happens . . . and not just because of Fortune's current misfortune in front of goal.

Whatever happened to Rioch? He was a good manager, and it wasn't as if he was that disastrous at Arsenal. He was the man who signed Bergkamp, after all.

Any truth in the story that the Arsenal board appointed Rioch knowing that they were going to headhunt Wenger at the first opportunity?

I'm not surprised by the story about Rioch and Wright. Wasn't Rioch the son of an career soldier, or something along those lines? One of the few Scottish Internationalists from that era who wasn't actually born in Scotland. I'm sure he was born in Aldershot. I'm sure I could wiki all this info if I made the effort. ;-)

Last point: Notts County are your second team? I've got a soft spot for them as well, and I'm not a hundred per cent sure where it came from.

I ramble on about that soft spot in an old post here.

Darren said...

"When I think of that great Bolton team from those days, I obviously think of Walker, McGinlay, McAteer and Stubbs . . . "

I can't believe I forgot about Alan Thompson. I am so bastard embarrassed. I was thinking about him all through game on Sunday, wishing that Celtic had someone with his bite on the pitch.

mikeovswinton said...

I half follow the Pies because they were the side who played at home when BW were away in the dim and distant era when I was at Nottingham Uni. As an SPGBer I'm sure you'll appreciate sheer unadulaterated cussedness in these matters, and this meant that I didn't follow the other Nottingham team in their triumphal progress to League Championships and European Cups. Instead, I got the trains to Bolton, or watched Les Bradd , Pedro Richards and Arthur Mann, and was more than happy.

My great memory of the Rioch era was a game near the start of his career at Bolton. Blackpool at home, very small crowd. The vastly underrated Tony Kelly plays a ball forward from the half way line apparently going nowehere and the crowd start to groan. Andy Walker comes from nowhere on a very strange angle. One touch. In the net, the Blackpool defenders and keeper standing like statues. Before the cheer a seconds silence. One of those "did that really happen" moments you rarely get at a football match. The other I recall was when Frankie W scored "that goal" against Ipswich. I'm sure the ground was silent for 4 or 5 seconds.

Darren said...

The Pedro Richards name rings a bell. But then, it would; there wasn't a lot of Pedros in British football back in those days.

I guess I like Notts County for the same reason that I have a soft spot for Port Vale, Bristol Rovers and Rochdale. They always seemed a bit neglected and ignored.

Yeah, Andy Walker was a good player. He had a respectable enough career but it never reached the heights that it once suggested. He occasionally does - or did - a bit of presenting and the talking head spot on the risible Sportscene in Scotland. (Not having a pop at him individually. Just registering my disgust at that piss poor excuse of a football highlights show.)

Funny enough, Owen Coyle also used to appear on Sportscene as a talking head when he was still managing in Scotland. From his performances in the chair, I'd never have guessed that he was going to become the sought after manager in the North West of England, but that's only because he was usually playing it for laughs on the show. (Maybe he thought it was as shit as they rest of us do?)

Do you read Louise Taylor in the football section of the Guardian? I know she gets a hell of a lot of stick from the readers but I thought she wrote an interesting piece a few days back about why Coyle is thinking of taking the job at the Reebok. I had no idea that Garside had interviewed him for the job at the same time he was interviewing Megson after Lee got sacked. One of those 'What Ifs?' of football which will never truly be resolved even if he does go to Bolton and makes a success of it.

The latest rumour that Burnley will go for Hibs's John Hughes if Coyle jumps is one of those chain reactions of football that I don't like. I think he's putting a good team together at Easter Road, and it's good that he's putting a firework up the backsides of the Auld Firm.

Maybe they'll revoke my membership of the Libson Lions fan club but I'd love it if someone other than Celtic or R*ngers won the SPL for a change. Well, as long as it's not Hearts.

Hughes was putting together a team that was allowing me to indulge in that fantasy. Shenanigans in Lancs is pissing on that dream.

aberfoyle said...

Connolly lost his comic when he got a few bucks in his pocket.His appeal to his own, was of the religious idiocy and its and its ever present bigotry.Money and status are a strange brew,beguiling and addictive,and for Connolly and his comic are a sad reflection on what to his would have been humour.

mikeovswinton said...

But he got a good review in the Grauniad the other day for a "return to form".