Millwall not scabs shock

BBC Radio 5 Live presenter and Millwall fan Danny Baker swapping shirts with Hollywood star and West Ham United supporter Ray Winstone

Prior to the two clubs meeting at The Den back in September 2011, Transpontine discussed the Millwall and West Ham rivalry and asked whether its origins in the 1926 General Strike is based on reality of fiction.

Millwall are playing at home to West Ham on Saturday in case you didn't know, and the police have promised a massive operation across South London to deal with it. Let's just say there's a bit of a history between the two clubs, and when they last met in 2009 there was some pretty heavy fighting.

One oft-repeated bit of football folklore is that this rivalry dates back to the 1926 General Strike. Here's what the Daily Mail said:

'Millwall, formed in 1885 by dockers and shipbuilders on the Isle of Dogs gained support in the surrounding areas and were then the best team outside the FA, nicknamed the 'Lions of the South'... Tensions reached their peak in the 1920s when Thames Ironworks moved to a new home and adopted the name West Ham United. As Millwall struggled, West Ham's star was rising. Fighting broke out during the 1926 general strike when the West Ham dockers were on strike while Millwall carried on working' (26 August 2009).

Or The Telegraph (28 August 2009): 'To the north you had the workforce of the Royal docks (drenched in the claret-and-blue of West Ham) and to the south, the Millwall, London and Surrey docks (Millwall 'til they died). When the Millwall shipyard broke the 1926 dockers' strike, the outrage over the water raised tensions to tipping point'.

This gets endlessly repeated across wikipedia etc. But is it true? By 1926 Millwall had been based in New Cross for 16 years, having moved from the Isle of Dogs in 1910. Doubtless Millwall had many supporters employed in the docks on the South of the River and presumably some still working across the Thames on the Isle of Dogs. But during the 1926 General Strike, the dockers across London seem to have been solid. Looking through quite a few books on the matter, I can find no mention of South London or Isle of Dogs dockers being strikebreakers.

On the contrary, at Surrey Docks only seven people turned up to work out of 2,000 on the first day of the strike. A mass picket at the gates of the Dock kept it effectively closed, and even the Port of London Authority clerical staff walked out - their first ever strike. The only attempts at strike breaking involved the use of students and naval ratings to unload ships. There were clashes between police and strikers in Tooley Street as these strikebreakers were brought in to Hays's Wharf (source: Nine Days in May: The General Strike in Southwark, Past Tense Publicaitons). But none of this involved dockers, Millwall supporters or otherwise, in strike breaking.

I am afraid the myth of the Millwall scabs seems to be a vicious slur on the South London proletariat! This will no doubt come as a relief to the team's most well known supporter today: Bob Crow of the rail workers' union.

[update 18 September 2011: this myth got yet another airing yesterday on the BBC's Football League Show with the presenter saying that in 1926 there were 'differences of opinions between the rival docks about whether or not to support the General Strike' and some interviewed West Ham fans repeating a similar line. Apart from anything else it is not true that there were rival docks in 1926 - all the main docks on both sides of the river including East India, West India, Millwall, Surrey and Royal Albert were taken under the single management of the Port of London Authority in 1909]

From Transpontine, written Friday, September 16, 2011.

Posted By

wojtek
Jan 10 2012 21:17

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Serge Forward
Jan 10 2012 21:31

Back in the late 80s, me and a mate used to get in free to Millwall games. It was like fucking being in fuckin purgatory. The fans were dead nice to us and didn't give a shit that we were red mancs gobbing off about how good united are grin

wojtek
Jan 10 2012 21:31
Quote:
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Millwall did provide workers for schools during the June 30th strike

The actual club, supporters' club, ultras, who? From personal experience, I know some of West Ham's lot to be cunts, it was piss funny when we (Wigan) sent them down last season!

wojtek
Jan 10 2012 21:41

Serge, that's probably cos you were man united... from 1:50 minutes onward grin

Serge Forward
Jan 10 2012 22:56

He's been doing that same routine since the 1970s... in fact, I've got the original recording somewhere, 'they've got no cowin bovril!'

Anyway, FC United is the future now. Moston here we come!

Caiman del Barrio
Jan 11 2012 11:27

Fingers Malone will be happy to hear this.

On a funnier note, I remember Chilli Sauce being so freaked out by Millwall fans when we took him to our local a few months back that he had to go home... wink

fingers malone
Jan 11 2012 14:08

Always knew it couldn't be true. Our name is clean at last.

Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Millwall did provide workers for schools during the June 30th strike, and a lot of the fans are scum.

Still upset because I beat you at pool?

smokescreen
Jan 11 2012 16:38

As a west ham fan I have blithely passed this piece of information on many times. Now I find out it's bollocks. You break my heart. Now I need to find a new reason to hate the Millwall.

Probably them beating us again.

bricolage
Jan 12 2012 22:24

I've spent my whole life hating Millwall, I was going nuts at the Den on New Years Eve when we beat them, I think they are a dying football culture, are hemorrhaging fans and might well go down this season... I've still never believed half of the 'political' stuff about them. To be honest this whole general strike stuff is new to me (but then I've never been interested in east london derbies wink), however the 'Millwall fans are racist' bit that gets paraded out now and then (pretty regularly by my fellow fanbase) has most often seemed to be based on the club as a perceived bastion of the much fabled south london 'white working class' (arguably pretty debatable as most Millwall fans come in on trains from Kent and everyone I've ever met from Bermondsey supports Man Utd) and all the crap that goes along with it. In terms of strikes, at the job I just left there was one other Palace co-worker and one Millwall guy, both of them went in to work on the November 30th BIG DAY OUT so I can't really moralise about anything... except for myself but that's just arrogant!

fingers malone
Jan 17 2012 15:12

Palace are notorious as the "middle class family values" club of South London. Charlton have never managed to be notorious for anything.

bricolage
Jan 17 2012 16:24
fingers malone wrote:
Palace are notorious as the "middle class family values" club of South London. Charlton have never managed to be notorious for anything.

Yeah, we've always been the 'Nigels', with a lot of fans coming in from nice Surrey areas. Ironically we're 'pikeys' to a lot of other clubs on account of the perceived view of Croydon as underclass scum. I don't think either is particularly accurate (although we do have a fair number of Surrey fans) but anyway I thought your argument was always that Croydon isn't a part of London?wink

Devrim
Oct 25 2012 23:38

The whole idea that supporters of one particular football team are scabs is absolutely absurd. It doesn't need any more comment than this.

Also considering the distance in time it is doubly absurd. People who supported this team scabbed in 1926, and therefore they are scabs? It is insane.

I can remember working somewhere in the late 80s where many people didn't talk to one particular worker because he had scabbed in 1971. I think there is something problematic in this, but the idea of accusing people of something because their grandfather's supposedly scabbed is batshit insane.

Devrim

martinh
Oct 26 2012 20:53
fingers malone wrote:
Charlton have never managed to be notorious for anything.

No one hates us, we don't care. wink

fingers malone
Oct 26 2012 21:12

I only hate Charlton for the time I walked for ages in the freezing sleet looking for the right bus stop after going to an away game at the "Valley" one day in January.

freemind
Oct 27 2012 09:02

I've never found Millwall to be any different re;racism than any other club and in fact knew a couple who were of the viewpoints we would share who were very vociferous in supporting the Lions shall we say red n black star wink

xslavearcx
Feb 12 2013 21:42

Good article. My english side of my fam are millwall from peckham but they all live in kent now..

South hammer
Feb 14 2014 20:03

Due to economic cleansing by the Tories, white working class people now no longer can afford to live in London. They live in Essex if their families came from east london and kent if they were from south london. Wouldn't it make sense to build a stadium for west ham in somewhere like Grays or Basildon?

Noah Fence
Feb 15 2014 03:51

Post removed.

woodgrain
Dec 14 2016 22:51
South hammer wrote:
Due to economic cleansing by the Tories, white working class people now no longer can afford to live in London. They live in Essex if their families came from east london and kent if they were from south london.

This is crap in several different ways. Many "white working class" people (the term having had less than 10 years in widespread use) with family backgrounds in London live in places outside of the famous Chatham and Essex, in counties that include Surrey (e.g. Woking, Redhill), Hampshire (e.g. Basingstoke, Southampton), Devon (e.g. Plymouth), and others. The families didn't leave because of "economic cleansing", but in most cases to get out of poor and overcrowded housing. Offers of council houses in places like Woking, where the Sheerwater Estate was owned by the GLC, and elsewhere, including within London but nearer the boundary, were keenly accepted - and why not? Others took out mortgage loans. It was mainly about housing, not wages or rents. They could have afforded to stay living in shitholes but didn't want to. And at the time it wasn't particularly important that they were "white", because many left in the 1960s, which, one or two small areas such as Brixton excepted, was before black and Asian immigration had made much of a mark on London. And the Tories weren't in government office in most of the 1960s. It's true that most British white working class families did leave London, though, which now has a non-white majority, and even in the last 10 years most immigration to the city has been by low-paid foreigners. The white lefties, ultralefties and anarchos from middle class backgrounds who reside in London today are almost all from other places in Britain and most of what they know about London working class history they have to get from books or the internet.

Steven.
Dec 14 2016 23:26
woodgrain wrote:
South hammer wrote:
Due to economic cleansing by the Tories, white working class people now no longer can afford to live in London. They live in Essex if their families came from east london and kent if they were from south london.

This is crap in several different ways.

That is complete nonsense. But there are some errors in your post as well. Like this:

Quote:
It's true that most British white working class families did leave London, though, which now has a non-white majority

London is 60% white. It is minority white British, but 15% white other.

Also in terms of most white working class families leaving, I'm not sure that's true. You got evidence of that? It seems to me more that better off people left to buy properties outside the city (especially as up until the last few years that was what was desirable). Whereas more poorer people would remain in London social housing (which is now under such threat).

woodgrain
Dec 15 2016 01:59
Steven. wrote:
woodgrain wrote:
South hammer wrote:
Due to economic cleansing by the Tories, white working class people now no longer can afford to live in London. They live in Essex if their families came from east london and kent if they were from south london.

This is crap in several different ways.

That is complete nonsense. But there are some errors in your post as well. Like this:

Quote:
It's true that most British white working class families did leave London, though, which now has a non-white majority

London is 60% white. It is minority white British, but 15% white other.

Yes, I should have said London now has a majority who aren't white British. The context was white British families leaving London. White British people were 45% of the London population in 2011 according to the census. They are probably a smaller proportion now, five years later. In 2001 they were 58%. In the same decade, the proportion of London residents who are foreign born increased from 27% to 37%. Foreign-born people accounted for almost the whole of the 1 million increase in London's population between 2001 and 2011 (source), and they probably also account for almost all of the 0.5 million increase in population in the last five years. (And if we try to define where London ends in a better way than by taking the official "32 boroughs plus the City" Greater London definition, it would probably be smaller and white British people would be in an even smaller minority.)

Steven. wrote:
Also in terms of most white working class families leaving, I'm not sure that's true. You got evidence of that?

For "evidence", go to estates, private or (originally) council, built in any of the towns I mentioned and ask. Or get to know some white British people whose families lived in London during the middle of the last century. At one time about one in four births in England were in London. The story of families moving out of London is a huge part of the history of the working class in this country.

Steven. wrote:
It seems to me more that better off people left to buy properties outside the city (especially as up until the last few years that was what was desirable). Whereas more poorer people would remain in London social housing (which is now under such threat).

You omit to mention the large numbers who lived in private rented accomodation in London. Getting a council tenancy was a step up from such a position.

But you are quite right that some working class people did move from London to buy houses on new or fairly new estates with large loans, if they'd saved up a deposit or could get family members to help out, perhaps before they started their own families. Others moved to council estates. Typically a town would have one or more large private estates and one or more large council estates. Both types of estates housed many incomers from London. That is a feature of the story of many towns in England, in some of which the population trebled between the late 1950s and early 1970s. The private rented sector in these towns was tiny in comparison.

Getting a council house (most council housing in these towns took the form of houses) was preferred to staying in private rented accommodation (which in London was mostly flats). Other types of social housing than council housing were relatively uncommon. Social housing was mainly owned by the councils for the areas that people moved to, but in some cases after 1965 by the GLC.

There was also migration within what is now the Greater London local authority area, to what are now its outer boroughs, and onward migration further out. So for example some families or young couples on the estates in the kinds of town I am talking about would have come directly from say Walworth or Battersea or the East End; others may have had parents who moved out of such inner areas in the 1930s to outer London boroughs (or a short way out of London if they moved before 1965 when the Greater London local authority was created, but inside the Metropolitan Police area, which the term "Greater London" had previously denoted) before they themselves moved further out, in some cases hundreds of miles out, to say Plymouth, but in others to closer places such as Wellingborough. Look at the population increases in say Wellingborough (Northamptonshire) or Basingstoke (Hampshire) in the 1960s and 1970s. Most of the incomers came from London. Local accents got swamped. If you want to do an internet search, a good term is "London overspill". The Wikipedia article gives a list of towns, although it is incomplete as a list of places that were widely referred to as taking "London overspill", which include for example the Sheerwater (GLC) estate I mentioned in Woking.

Chilli Sauce
Dec 15 2016 22:04

Woodgrain, for someone who's only posted on two threads, you really are coming out swinging...

Quote:
The white lefties, ultralefties and anarchos from middle class backgrounds who reside in London today are almost all from other places in Britain and most of what they know about London working class history they have to get from books or the internet.

So, the first problem here, at least from my perspective, is your casual use of the term middle class. Yeah, a lot of London anarchos come from economically comfortable families and have college degrees, however that doesn't somehow make them not members of the working class. Just because someone's parents didn't work on the docks or because they themselves work in education or whatever, they're still members of the working class. But even then, I know a lot of London anarchos - in keeping with wider trends - who work in the service sector.

Second, your weird dismissiveness towards those who migrate to London (in a city where over a third of the population was born outside of the UK) strikes me as really weird - nevermind the fact that there are large proportion of London-born London anarchos, many of who post on libcom. What point were you trying to make?

I think you are right that the anarchist movement - as much as one can be said to exist - has very shallow roots across the class and especially so in certain sectors and populations. But your post just came across as snide and really prolier than thou. I don't know if that was your intention, but that's how it reads.

Noah Fence
Dec 15 2016 22:41

This is a peculiar thread really but as an involved party I may as well chuck in my two bobs worth.
I'm originally from East Ham, ten minutes walk from the Boleyn ground and watched West Ham as a boy with my father, as a teenager with my mates and less so as an adult having done the Essex and beyond moving thing as has been mentioned. I was obviously aware of the antagonism between my club and Millwall. This sort of thing is not uncommon between clubs but I never once understood this ridiculous phenomenon. Grown men acting like silly little kids in the playground but often with very serious consequences. I always found a bit of mild swedging pretty entertaining but some of the shit I saw in the 70s and 80s was terrifying and sickening. What the fuck is rivalry on this scale all about? I suppose it's not surprising that even though the violence has largely gone from the British game, the stupidity continues. Vile homophobia, sexism and occasionally racism blight every game that I went to at my local club Colchester United until I hung up my season ticket at the end of last season after a row with an officious fucking pig got me thrown out of the ground. I just thought bollocks, why am I paying to listen to this shit and watch my team play miserably?
As for Millwall, I've had many an awayday there with both West Ham and Colchester but I never really enjoy it. There's something about being from north of the river that makes going south of it a deeply unpleasant experience - I usually break out in a rash half way through the Blackwall tunnel and start to have seizures if I'm not back northside within about 3 hours. My girlfriend once made the laughable suggestion that Kent was nice and that maybe we should think about relocating there. As I broke into uncontrollable shudders the poor sweet innocent child became aware by some kind of osmosis the impossibility of such a move. The subject has never arisen again.
All that said, if you really feel the need to hate one of these clubs choose Millwall. There is one really obvious reason to have an antipathy towards them, namely, Danny Fucking Baker!

woodgrain
Dec 16 2016 12:43
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Woodgrain, for someone who's only posted on two threads, you really are coming out swinging...

Quote:
The white lefties, ultralefties and anarchos from middle class backgrounds who reside in London today are almost all from other places in Britain and most of what they know about London working class history they have to get from books or the internet.

So, the first problem here, at least from my perspective, is your casual use of the term middle class. Yeah, a lot of London anarchos come from economically comfortable families and have college degrees, however that doesn't somehow make them not members of the working class. Just because someone's parents didn't work on the docks or because they themselves work in education or whatever, they're still members of the working class. But even then, I know a lot of London anarchos - in keeping with wider trends - who work in the service sector.

Second, your weird dismissiveness towards those who migrate to London (in a city where over a third of the population was born outside of the UK) strikes me as really weird - nevermind the fact that there are large proportion of London-born London anarchos, many of who post on libcom. What point were you trying to make?

I think you are right that the anarchist movement - as much as one can be said to exist - has very shallow roots across the class and especially so in certain sectors and populations. But your post just came across as snide and really prolier than thou. I don't know if that was your intention, but that's how it reads.

Swinging? I had to think for a moment what you meant, but you may mean aggressive or at least insufficiently respectful. You may mean someone should keep quiet while they learn the ropes here. Let me say that I dislike Libcom intensely and I won't get trolled into discussing why. The reason I posted was because someone mentioned the migration of working class people out of London; this is a big thing in the history of the working class in this country and in tens of millions of people's lives; it's not generally a topic of interest for politicos, whom I consider to be 99% tossers; and there is a chance that some readers may connect with what I said and give "permission" to the part of them that feels there must be an option for them that isn't either submission to the silly, energy-sapping, ideological, fake milieu that Libcom is part of or submission of a more normal flavour. I note that the first thing you reply to is what I said about politicos, but I don't want to discuss that further. It's a closed issue as far as I am concerned.

"Work in education". Lol! I'd like it more if you thought about how I posted a lot of stuff about the history of the working class in the region where many Libcom types live - basic stuff that is known to most real working class people in the region - and yet most of your milieu, a scene that supposedly knows and upholds what the working class needs, knows little about it. Seriously, ask why.

I will answer your second point. I am not dismissive towards all those who migrate to London, most of whom for 15 years or longer have, as I said, been low-paid foreign workers. There's a lot of ignorance about that in the country. London's population is increasing fast, and that is because of migration not by cocky entrepreneur internet-technology latte-drinking arseholes running startups, who are only a very small group, but because of migration by foreign workers from various countries who mostly earn shit wages.

I did not talk much about their experience, because I was writing about another part of the working class, but I did show I was aware of them and I certainly did not and do not dismiss them.

I am not sure how you came to think I was dismissing them. Perhaps it's a given in your circles that university lecturers and silly politicos whom most non-politicos avoid are in the same category as immigrant office cleaners etc., all together under the banner of "precarious", and therefore who dismisses one lot dismisses the other? smile

I am certainly dismissive - so dismissive that I'm not going to discuss this further - of politicos, not just anarchists but also libertarian communists, who are just as bad, who have migrated to London because they think that's where it's at. By that I mean they have migrated because of middle class employment and because while they may not be earning much in the big metropolis, especially given the high cost of accommodation, they nonetheless enjoy it as a big cultural centre for their little insular culture, just as it is also a centre for other types of culture such as opera and theatre. I'm talking about people who often have the term "working class" on their lips, without having a clue about, or much interest in, the actual history of the working class in connection with the city that they live in and the part of the country that they live in, namely southern England. I don't mean the 18th century or the peasants' revolt. I'm talking about history since the 1930s, through the 1950s and 1970s and right up to now: history that has determined working class people's personal family histories, where they live, what kind of houses they live in, their social horizons, etc. - really important stuff - and what attitude they have towards London. And these can be people who don't only have the words "working class" on their lips, but even "class composition". Like many ignorant middle class tossers, they'd prefer to talk about refugees than "white working class" British people, whom they've probably never been able to talk to much, and whom implicitly or explicitly they write off as racist knuckle-draggers who may have a tiny chance of wising up if they realise that the supporters of the next football club down the road aren't their lifelong enemies.

"Prolier than thou" is a stupid term and you should reconsider your use of it. It's used by head-in-the-sand tossers to give themselves reason to avoid reflecting on what they don't want to hear, and to discourage others from reflecting on it. I'm not in competition with anybody.

woodgrain
Dec 16 2016 13:05
Noah Fence wrote:
This is a peculiar thread really but as an involved party I may as well chuck in my two bobs worth.
I'm originally from East Ham, ten minutes walk from the Boleyn ground and watched West Ham as a boy with my father, as a teenager with my mates and less so as an adult having done the Essex and beyond moving thing as has been mentioned. I was obviously aware of the antagonism between my club and Millwall. This sort of thing is not uncommon between clubs but I never once understood this ridiculous phenomenon. Grown men acting like silly little kids in the playground but often with very serious consequences. I always found a bit of mild swedging pretty entertaining but some of the shit I saw in the 70s and 80s was terrifying and sickening. What the fuck is rivalry on this scale all about? I suppose it's not surprising that even though the violence has largely gone from the British game, the stupidity continues. Vile homophobia, sexism and occasionally racism blight every game that I went to at my local club Colchester United until I hung up my season ticket at the end of last season after a row with an officious fucking pig got me thrown out of the ground. I just thought bollocks, why am I paying to listen to this shit and watch my team play miserably?
As for Millwall, I've had many an awayday there with both West Ham and Colchester but I never really enjoy it. There's something about being from north of the river that makes going south of it a deeply unpleasant experience - I usually break out in a rash half way through the Blackwall tunnel and start to have seizures if I'm not back northside within about 3 hours. My girlfriend once made the laughable suggestion that Kent was nice and that maybe we should think about relocating there. As I broke into uncontrollable shudders the poor sweet innocent child became aware by some kind of osmosis the impossibility of such a move. The subject has never arisen again.
All that said, if you really feel the need to hate one of these clubs choose Millwall. There is one really obvious reason to have an antipathy towards them, namely, Danny Fucking Baker!

Hi Noah. Interesting stuff. I wonder to what extent the experience of having been brought up in a working class family where supporting a football team is given a lot of importance determines a feeling of fear and unease when going to other areas? Not to all other areas; just specific ones, where the colours are the rival ones, and maybe also to areas that lay on the other side smile I am from a South London family, with a few East London connections if you go further back, and without any football stuff in the blood, and older family members although they moved elsewhere than to Kent were fairly fond of Kent because it's where they went hop-picking. They usually walked all the way there on foot, although they didn't speak about that aspect of it much.

With some football teams at least - possibly many - there is a connection between the hardest nuts among the supporters and the business activity of the criminal "firms" of the area. In some cases, so I have heard, their activities also connect with the business activities of the "suits" at the club. Perhaps through nightclubs, car parks, property management, etc. Dunno whether you encountered this. Hard nuts tend to be submissive and respectful towards those who are harder nuts.

Noah Fence
Dec 16 2016 13:29

Woodgrain

The handful of Libcommers that I'm friends with in real life are working class plain and simple and don't live in London. I can't speak for everyone else. I moved away from London not to it. Incidentally, whilst my employment would by no means be considered 'middle class', l mostly carry out skilled manual work on construction sites, I am by normal standards pretty highly paid. I guess that counts me out of being 'real working class'. Well fuck that, isn't one of the things that we organise for in capitalism is better pay isn't it? Or should we put a cap on our demands in order to keep it real?
Anyhow, I don't know for sure but I suspect that some of your accusations may have some foundation but that others are pure fantasy. Regardless of all that I absolutely loved your post. That's the way to kick arses! Even if they don't deserve kicking. The late great Anthony H Wilson once said 'never let the truth get in the way of a good story'. A slight adjustment to 'never let the truth get in the way of a great post' fits the bill to a nicety here. Full marks comrade.

Edit: Cross posted with your post aimed at me. Btw, my praise of your post probably seems sarcastic but I am completely in earnest.

Noah Fence
Dec 16 2016 14:00
woodgrain wrote:
Noah Fence wrote:
This is a peculiar thread really but as an involved party I may as well chuck in my two bobs worth.
I'm originally from East Ham, ten minutes walk from the Boleyn ground and watched West Ham as a boy with my father, as a teenager with my mates and less so as an adult having done the Essex and beyond moving thing as has been mentioned. I was obviously aware of the antagonism between my club and Millwall. This sort of thing is not uncommon between clubs but I never once understood this ridiculous phenomenon. Grown men acting like silly little kids in the playground but often with very serious consequences. I always found a bit of mild swedging pretty entertaining but some of the shit I saw in the 70s and 80s was terrifying and sickening. What the fuck is rivalry on this scale all about? I suppose it's not surprising that even though the violence has largely gone from the British game, the stupidity continues. Vile homophobia, sexism and occasionally racism blight every game that I went to at my local club Colchester United until I hung up my season ticket at the end of last season after a row with an officious fucking pig got me thrown out of the ground. I just thought bollocks, why am I paying to listen to this shit and watch my team play miserably?
As for Millwall, I've had many an awayday there with both West Ham and Colchester but I never really enjoy it. There's something about being from north of the river that makes going south of it a deeply unpleasant experience - I usually break out in a rash half way through the Blackwall tunnel and start to have seizures if I'm not back northside within about 3 hours. My girlfriend once made the laughable suggestion that Kent was nice and that maybe we should think about relocating there. As I broke into uncontrollable shudders the poor sweet innocent child became aware by some kind of osmosis the impossibility of such a move. The subject has never arisen again.
All that said, if you really feel the need to hate one of these clubs choose Millwall. There is one really obvious reason to have an antipathy towards them, namely, Danny Fucking Baker!

Hi Noah. Interesting stuff. I wonder to what extent the experience of having been brought up in a working class family where supporting a football team is given a lot of importance determines a feeling of fear and unease when going to other areas? Not to all other areas; just specific ones, where the colours are the rival ones, and maybe also to areas that lay on the other side smile I am from a South London family, with a few East London connections if you go further back, and without any football stuff in the blood, and older family members although they moved elsewhere than to Kent were fairly fond of Kent because it's where they went hop-picking. They usually walked all the way there on foot, although they didn't speak about that aspect of it much.

With some football teams at least - possibly many - there is a connection between the hardest nuts among the supporters and the business activity of the criminal "firms" of the area. In some cases, so I have heard, their activities also connect with the business activities of the "suits" at the club. Perhaps through nightclubs, car parks, property management, etc. Dunno whether you encountered this. Hard nuts tend to be submissive and respectful towards those who are harder nuts.

I was obviously over egging the pudding in regards to my reaction to heading south but it is definitely something that I experience. People from my area have often made the same route as me from the east end to Dagenham to Romford to Basildon and from there on to Chelmsford and onwards to Colchester and Ipswich like myself or to Canvey Island and Southend. I would guess that many south Londoners have made similar treks to Sidcup, Maidstone etc. I think it's a fairly natural path to follow to try to get a better lifestyle although for many years the daily grind back to the smoke that I had to make to earn a living was quite a price for a bit of fresh air and a fucking shopping mall. Whether football has anything to do with my south London antipathy I'm not sure though. It's funny but east London hipster joints amuse me but south London ones piss me off. Probably nothing to do with the geography and more to do with the fact they the hipsters in those parts seem to have a strong strain of hippy in their make up.
Enough of the waffle, suffice to say we can easily succumb to silly prejudices that we carry our hole life.
I'm sure you know but 'hopping in kent' was pretty popular in the east end too. Nowadays I think it's more of a pastime for Islington greenies but I'm not certain.
As for the crooked business activities of the football 'firms' such as the ICF, I can't speak of any connection to the clubs themselves but certainly there was heavy involvement in the illegal parties and the accompanying drugs of the late &0s and early 90s. And yes, there's is a submissiveness towards and a reverence towards the next level of hard nuts amongst the tough guy community.

Fleur
Dec 16 2016 14:00

Absolutely agree that there was a working class exodus from London. My partner's father grew up in Bethnal Green and was very amused when we decided to move to London, albeit a bit shocked that we chose Millwall territory. But give me a break on the working classes have left London crap. Post-war development did clear lots of people out of their communities. The area where my grandparents lived (not in London but in another UK city dependent on manufacturing) was completely bulldozed as a "slum clearance" project, leaving some valuable city central real estate and dispersed the inhabitants to out of town/suburban estates. This absolutely happened but this narrative of the working classes left ignores the vast number of working class people moving to London. The manufacturing base, the docks, other blue-collar jobs which employed working class Londoners pre-war is gone but just because the nature of employment has changed it doesn't mean the presence of working class people has been eradicated.

A conurbation of some 10 million or so needs a vast pool of proletarian labour to service it. Someone has to serve the hipster wankers their lattes, not to mention every other aspect of service industries and municipal services which keep the city moving. A lot of this just boils down to not considering anyone who isn't a white Londoner of the nth generation working a manual labour job to be working class. Given that many of the service industry jobs are far more precarious and worse paid than the factory jobs which sustained people a couple of generations ago, this definition of working class just stinks. I'm absolutely sick of this line that the working classes don't include incomers because if it doesn't you're going to be pretty lonely, pretty soon.

My late father-in-law's parents were communists, they worked in the rag trade, his mother was forever getting herself arrested. But maybe by this definition of working class Londoner they weren't working class either. They were foreign Jewish immigrants who moved to London to escape persecution and to find work. They didn't have the sound of Bow Bells coded in their DNA.

Chilli Sauce
Dec 16 2016 16:18
Quote:
You may mean someone should keep quiet while they learn the ropes here.

No. What I meant is that you shouldn't be a dick and that making sweeping, preachy posts about whatever caricature you've created in your head about flirtini-drinking, secret London-anarcho toffs will probably not be well-received.

Anyway, just for the record, the first thing I replied to wasn't what you said about politicos, but about what is, in my opinion, pretty lazy use of the term "middle class". It's a term that, if we're going to use as communists, we need to be very clear what we mean by it as its accepted usage obscures far more than it explains. Although that's a trap you seem to fall quite happily into.

Also, just for the lolz:

Quote:
I'm talking about people who often have the term "working class" on their lips, without having a clue about, or much interest in, the actual history of the working class in connection with the city that they live in

Quote:
"real working class"

Noah Fence
Dec 16 2016 16:24
Quote:
anarcho toffs

Please let there be such a thing! Wide brimmed top hat, beautifully cut cloak and a hand crafted fizzing bomb! Oh yes!!!

Chilli Sauce
Dec 16 2016 16:43

Also, totally off topic, but I can't read this:

Quote:
I may as well chuck in my two bobs worth

And not see "my two boobs worth".