Contemporary short fiction, poetry and more

A missive to a Millwall fan

What I am about to say is partly flippant, and partly deadly serious. It is about our place of origin, football teams, and justice.

It mainly concerns the person formerly known as Sir Jimmy Savile.

I am Leeds. I can’t help that. I was conceived in Leeds. I was born in Leeds. Leeds is the 3rd biggest city in the UK. The only teams in Leeds apart from Leeds United AFC are Sunday league teams.

Jimmy Savile came from Leeds. His funeral took place at St Anne’s Roman Catholic cathedral in Leeds.

I get it that crowds of opposing teams are going to chant about Jimmy Savile from now until Kingdom Come. It happened when Jared and I were at Hillsborough. People are people.

But I won’t tolerate any imputation that my origin in the city of Leeds, or my support for Leeds United AFC, or that of any members of my family, or my friends, has anything whatsoever to do with Jimmy Savile.

I am a socialist, and I believe in trebling, for a start, the funding for the services that deal with vulnerable people of all ages. I was brought up by lawyers, and I believe in independent monitoring groups who could go into any institution, ask any question, seize any document or piece of evidence, and who would be no respecters of status or person.

For what it is worth, I can say that West Yorkshire is a predominantly urban county and that, in urban areas, it is mostly Labour. Jimmy Savile (who spent 11 consecutive New Year’s Eves with Mrs Thatcher) is generally hated, as is Peter Sutcliffe. Just like British Muslims with Al Qaeda, we hate these people more than you do, because they are closer to us, and their appalling histories have the potential to do more harm to us than to you.

This is not a thing to make light of. I think that you get that.


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