Malky and messages?

I was in the Lakes when it happened, Ian Moody resigning and then Malky not taking the job he hadn’t been offered; at least that’s how I interpreted the brief glances at TV screens as I wandered Keswick and its environs looking for news about Fabio and his non-arrival. It was much to do about nothing, I thought.

Jake: 'we like meddling in other people's business'
Jake: ‘we like meddling in other people’s business’

Then things seemed to kick off as I returned home and picked up a ”Metro” at the local train station, as is my wont when I pass by or through it. That “Metro” contained the body of a number of text messages, any of which, in my previous incarnation as an employed person, would have rendered me virtually unemployable; at least unfit for the job I was doing at the time and liable to serious disciplinary action.

The reason was that those texts, unpleasant at any time, were and are unacceptable in this day and age. They were racist, sexist, hopmophobic and anti-semitic. Had I sent them I probably could have been sacked. I certainly couldn’t have continued in the job I was doing as my daily dealings were with women (highly competent), with people of colour (equally so), gays (top-notch) and persons of various creeds and religions (I hope you’re getting the message).

Yet the League Managers’ Association didn’t seem to think the texts mattered, not at first. I believe I was driving down the M6 when I heard something to the effect that they said Malky was under great pressure and let off steam to a friend during some friendly banter, but it might have been later, when I’d got home.

What bollocks.

Totally and unequivocally bollocks, as the LMA seemed to recognise, because by Saturday their website contained the following:

“The LMA apologises for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention.

It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable…”

And that, perhaps, encapsulates this whole sordid episode. Such comments are unacceptable but there appears to be a body of powerful people willing to accept them, as banter if nothing more. I’d argue strongly that a very masculine, not to say macho, environment and a small, interdependent community has provided a breeding ground for the generation of particular attitudes and their communication to successive generations. If you think I’m wrong, name any gay footballer in the Premier League.

Many years ago I came across research into the “Technical and Vocational Initiative in schools” , (known as TVEI, then TVE) which discussed something  the researchers called “containment”. When faced with a need to change many teachers had outwardly accepted the changes but didn’t alter inwardly, in their beliefs. Now, I don’t think containment is restricted to education. Like many people, I grew up in an all-white, quite intolerant environment. I’m not convinced that everyone I grew up with has changed their level of tolerance, although they say they have. I’m not surprised to find someone is sending texts, now unacceptable, that society wouldn’t have frowned on 50 years ago. I’m not surprised there are those who would write this off as banter.

John McCormick:
John McCormick: things have changed since 1964

If Malky did send texts of the kind identifed in the “Metro” he is out of order, well out of order. And he is, apparently, paying the penalty for being out of order (to the tune of £7.5 million, according to the Daily Mail, whose article at is well worth reading).

But  I wonder about the attitudes of the men who have grown up in the closed world of male, white-led, anti-gay, and no-women-except-Karen-Brady football. I have to ask how many of his contemporaries in the LMA are wondering what all the fuss is about and how many should be sharing his disgrace.


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3 thoughts on “Malky and messages?”

  1. You can legislate as much as you like but if the public perceives that the law is one sided, or lacking in justice, you cannot legislate against the way people feel or think.

    Positive discrimination increases prejudice. Abusing the public wishing to discuss their fears and concerns about increased immigration by screaming racist at them, as the Labour party did increases prejudice.

    The elderly detest the way in which immigration has changed the towns of their childhood, such as Blackburn, to the point of it being unrecognisable to them so they feel strangers and even outcasts in their own Town or city.

    Appointing mayors be they ethnic who are unable to speak English or homosexual because of their particular proclivities is one way of antagonising a sizable portion of the community. Legislation punishing Christians on religious sensitivities when Moslems can play the race card has the same impact and creates more hostility.

    There will always be Neanderthals but the greatest damage to racial harmony is seeking to act as “thought police” and dictating to a very weird British nation what they may or may not make jokes about. It is committing an act that will without a shadow of doubt result in irreparable resentment.

    A huge sector of society consider that Enoch Powell was right. I have at long last concluded that colour prejudice is largely irrelevant, what most people resent is culture difference. When in Rome do as Romans do. Words however are trivia and people should grow up and accept we do not live in a perfect world and never will.

    There will always be those who want the death penalty brought back, perhaps even for homosexuality again be made illegal or the borders closing to immigrants. Education may work but forcing people to conform and taking away freedom of speech will not.

    Witch hunts over Malky will do far more damage than anything he said or emailed in his private life.

    • from what I gather AT this wasn’t in he’s private life . I heard these texts were discovered on a work phone sent in relation to work issues , therefore it becomes a disciplininary issue. I don’t think the debate here is immigration or political correctness but appropriate behaviour by someone in a responsible position who should know better . I’m not saying he should never work again but like Di Canio I’ll be suprised if he does , at a high level anyway .

  2. I’ve read what the papers claim were the texts and even I thought they were shocking . I’m not a prude and I’m certainly not PC , but they were just downright offensive . If they were meant to be funny they’re not and you just wonder what goes through people’s heads when sending these things . Nothing electronically sent is secret and people in their positions surely should have known they’d be under some form of scrutiny . Maybe they’re just thick .

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