December 09, 2003

SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT

London erupts:

Braving icy temperatures and singing their hearts out, an estimated 750,000 fans crowded the streets of central London to salute England's World Cup winning rugby squad on a victory parade of the capital.

Traffic was brought to a standstill as fans - some with painted faces - formed a three-kilometre scrum, waving flags and banners to create a carnival atmosphere and unprecedented scenes of sporting jubilation.

Rugby is meant to be a violent sport. How many cops were needed to take care of this crowd? Only 500.

And how many were called upon to tame just 100,000 peaceniks during George W. Bushs visit? 5,123.

(Via reader Rob B.)

Posted by Tim Blair at December 9, 2003 10:17 AM
Comments

A thug's game played by gentlemen; rugby league, on the other hand is a gentleman's game played by thugs.
Australian rules football is a thug's game played by thugs.

Posted by: Habib at December 9, 2003 at 10:23 AM

And how many were called upon to tame just 100,000 peaceniks during George W. Bush’s visit? 5,123.

It could be argued by the peaceniks that 5123 police was excessive.

Rugby is meant to be a violent sport. How many cops were needed to take care of this crowd? Only 500.

Maybe the violence of the crowd is inversely proportional to the violence of the sport. Why else would soccer fans be so violent?

Posted by: Andjam at December 9, 2003 at 11:27 AM

Rugby is meant to be a violent sport. How many cops were needed to take care of this crowd? Only 500.

Why would rugby being a violent sport imply that it would attract a violent crowd? Try umpiring kids' sports, THEN you'll get a violent crowd.

Also, surely the disproportionate police numbers would would be due to the crowd being a HAPPY crowd rather than an ANGRY crowd, which is hardly surprising.

Posted by: Joe at December 9, 2003 at 11:52 AM

I always thought that soccer crowds were rowdy because the game was so dull; explain why there's no cricket riots? (Excluding the sub-continent).

Posted by: Habib at December 9, 2003 at 11:53 AM

Don't you find it ironic - political opinions aside - that a peace protest requires far more police than a large crowd of rugby supporters?

You know a peace protest is by its nature supposed to contain people who want peace and who should be by nature peaceful.

Rugby supporters enjoy a game which you cannot describe as peaceful. So it is just an observation that is all, not passing judgement just an observation. Lets not analyse it to death.

Posted by: Rob at December 9, 2003 at 12:07 PM

Habib, I suppose you'll be adding that soccer is a chocos'game played by chocos.

(By the way, slight clarication: AFL is a bogans'game played by the wetbacks)

Posted by: freddyboy at December 9, 2003 at 12:10 PM

Uncanny how Timbo manages to turn the RWC celebrations into another gratuitous swipe at those who abhor war (especially unjustified war).

So while we're at the non sequitur game: George Bush, USA, How many kids did you kill today?

(Seems it was 9 in Afghanistan yesterday, but I haven't seen today's scoreboard yet).

Perhaps peace is a tad more important than rugby? Perhaps the anti war people were PROTESTING? Perhaps the rugby fans were CELEBRATING?

Ah, Timmy. You utterly contemptible twit.

Posted by: Nemesis at December 9, 2003 at 12:46 PM

"Ah, Timmy. You utterly contemptible twit."

Such wit! The spirit of Oscar Wilde lives.

Posted by: Ross at December 9, 2003 at 01:02 PM

Amazing, Nemesis. And did it bother you at all when children were being murdered by the Taliban and Saddam Hussein? Funny, I don't remember any protests about that. I don't remember any protests about children being murdered today in North Korea and Africa. Peace protests will gain respect when they are not lead by defenders of the most murderous regimes in the world (and it wouldn't hurt if, as noted above, they were actually peaceful).

Posted by: Karen at December 9, 2003 at 01:10 PM

So Nemesis you have turned the rugby celebrations into killing innocent Afghan children. By your own standards you are worse than the one you are trolling. Do you know what irony is? Is there any humour left in you or has the hatred of Bush blotted everything else out of you leaving a crusty and angry husk.

This is the reason why you guys cannot lay a glove on GWB, your hatred has trumped everything - reason, analysis even humour. Take a chill pill and have a good lie down or better yet watch a good game of rugby - stay away from peace protest footage, it obviously winds you up to much.

Posted by: Rob at December 9, 2003 at 01:16 PM

And yet Karen, we didn't hear any of your ilk expressing concern about the kids of the Hussein/Taliban regimes pre-war(s) either.

Strange how, when war started, suddenly it became of paramount importance to you lot that we invade Iraq -- to liberate all those poor children! (of their natural resources, houses, schools, etc.)

Rob may advocate Xanax for those who find War more than a little disquieting, but I'd like to hear from any of you geniuses how 9 dead kids in Afghanistan yesterday results in a "win" for freedom, democracy, etc.

Id say more like 2000 new terrorists created.

Posted by: shaun at December 9, 2003 at 01:55 PM

shaun: Karen's 'ilk' wasn't doing nude-ins and building puppets but you don't no if they weren't expressing concern do you. I found it disquieting watching women being beheaded and children being used as cannon fodder (perhaps you would like the Taliban to return and restore order) and I find it disturbing that you and Nemesis are so thrilled at the deaths of those 9 kids.

Posted by: Gary at December 9, 2003 at 02:13 PM

Both sides of the West's "debate" on the issue of this war are genuinely horrified at the deaths of these nine children.

No Western soldier, sailor, or airman would conciously have targeted those children.

On the other hand, the Islamo-Nazi war criminal (for it is a war crime to hide amongst civilians) cared not a whit about them nor other innocents as he went about his nihilistic murderous rampaging.

Hopefully, someday Afghan children will learn how their peace, freedom, and security were bought with the many precious lives of others and they will know to guard it zealously.

PS--Thank God it was England v Australia and not France v New Zealand!

Posted by: JDB at December 9, 2003 at 02:24 PM

Since when did this particular post by Tim have anything to do with Afghanistan? That is what I am saying. If this was distinctly about the War on Terror or something like that then I would have no problem with Nemisis and the like bringing up such issues.

The point I am making is that we have started from an ironic comparison and now ended up in Afghanistan. No doubt if he had made a post about raising kittens you guys would once again end up in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Rob at December 9, 2003 at 02:31 PM

Some of us have been complaining and concerned about murderous regimes for some decades, we just haven't been able to get many of the self-righteous, smug, sanctimonious twits who call themselves "progressives" interested unless they can blame it on the US. Been this way since at least 1966, when I began to work on it. Of course, back then they called themselves Marxists, or socialists, or whatever. The names change, the behavior doesn't. Nemesis is merely a newer manifestation of an older type.

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at December 9, 2003 at 02:53 PM

Thats why Tim talks about lunch. Presumably that would not end up in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Osamas Psychotic Proctologist at December 9, 2003 at 03:19 PM

Afghanistan would end up being about lunch though. With EXPENSIVE WINE.

Posted by: Yobbo at December 9, 2003 at 03:29 PM

I've had a long day so forgive the lack of analysis and background to my following opinion:

Anti-American/War/Howard protesters = some of the most socially irresponsible, short-sighted, illogical, unreasonable, foolish, time-wasting, really good at arts & crafts of the effigy sort, bunch of dick-heads most of us will ever come across. They make my hands itch....

Other words i couldn't be bothered using but apply to the feral faction: smelly, hippy, lefty, wankers who don't really examine the facts, dirty-dreadlocked, unwashed middle-class sissies who probably feel guilty for not being born (enter racial minority group of choice) one-legged transvestite lesbians with gender issues and glandular problems.

Rant of the day now ends....

Posted by: Jake D at December 9, 2003 at 03:35 PM

'we just haven't been able to get many of the self-righteous, smug, sanctimonious twits who call themselves "progressives" interested unless they can blame it on the US'

that sums it up perfectly

if it can't be laid at the feet of the US - even unjustifiably - they're otherwise engaged, phone off the hook, no appearance your honour

Posted by: ilibcc at December 9, 2003 at 03:49 PM

For example, look at limousine liberals like Noam Chomsky or Phillip Adams. Compare the amount of criticism they throw at Western leaders/ideals/culture/society, and how little they direct at terrorists, dictators, etc.

It's always good to have people weighing up the pros and cons of our way of life, or society, etc. But what many liberals seem to lack these days is PERSPECTIVE. EXAMPLE: The nation of Israel seems to attract more criticism than any other Middle Eastern nation, and yet Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, and the only Middle Eastern country that even comes close to resembling a multicultural society (e.g. equal rights under the law for Jewish and Arab Israelis).

Posted by: Richard at December 9, 2003 at 05:06 PM

Richard,

Chomsky would argue that he is American, pays taxes to the American government, and therefore he has the right to criticise America. He would say that since he has little or no influence in, say, North Korea, that to concentrate his efforts on Kim's crimes would be a waste of effort, whereas he can effect change in his own country.

There is also the argument that Chomsky criticises the biggest terrorists of all, the US.

As an aside, Israel doesn't have equal rights for its citizens. Where did you get that preposterous idea?

Posted by: fatfingers at December 9, 2003 at 05:31 PM

But I never said that he didn't have the right to do so. His problem has to do with his lack of PERSPECTIVE. If he wants to be considered a master commentator of current world issues, then he's got to realise that he won't be taken seriously by people such as myself if all he ever does is criticise America/the West, and remain silent about dictators, terrorists, etc.

Would you think it appropriate for him to write a book criticising America's role in the invasion of Germany without mentioning German atrocities against its Jews...and Germany's invasion of Austria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, France, and Russia (unsuccessful)? After all, Chomsky isn't a GERMAN citizen...

And you're dead wrong about Arab Israelis not having equal rights:

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Society_&_Culture/arabs2.html

see especially "LEGAL AND POLITICAL STATUS".

Posted by: Richard at December 9, 2003 at 06:43 PM

Think those 500 police were in attendance in order to protect the crowd at least as much as to keep the peace? The sight of all those jam-packed rugby fans must have had many a suicide bomber salivating.

Posted by: Will at December 9, 2003 at 07:08 PM

"There is also the argument that Chomsky criticises the biggest terrorists of all, the US."

As far as thugs like Saddam, Omar, Bin Laden, Jong Il, Assad, the Iranian Black Hats... are concerned - you're right. Who's genuinely terrified of the US? Those who have delcared themselves enemies of America and true western principles. Guess that includes you, fatfingers. Go ahead and cry us a river.

Posted by: Will at December 9, 2003 at 07:17 PM

Shaun and Nemesis, your 'logic,' thinking, whatever, is why it is you are on the fringe of public thinking. Bush, Clinton, Blair are not going to be believed to be wanting to kill children. When such assertions are made I think most know better and eye any of your other motivated opinions as suspect. I finally heard a couple of Bush-hating liberal friends admit their objections really were a fear of losing their standard of living, they reluctantly agreed it was good freedom may have a chance in Iraq. They overcame their hatred of Bush and love of politics at any cost to see what it really said about themselves. Shaun, don't fear more terrorists being made is a good reason other people's freedom should not exist, the existing terrorists left alone will come after all you hold dear so realize they don't care what you think, it is what they think. Freedom to the Iraqi people!

Posted by: Thom at December 10, 2003 at 12:24 AM

Everyone, the best thing to do with Nemesis is simply ignore him. He rarely, if ever, has anything interesting, let alone intelligent, to say. He'll come in, make some tangential comment that makes no sense but offends most people due to its vitriol, and the whole intent of the original post is thrown off.

Leave him be...

Posted by: Jerry at December 10, 2003 at 01:16 AM

It is a pity that the English rugby team didn't come home during President Bush's visit.
You could have maybe combined the crowds and fooled the world into thinking there was real support for Saddam.
Conversly the rugby fans would have been rowdy enough to give the peaceniks a good going over, thus freeing the Bobbies to get on with fighting real crime.

Posted by: papertiger at December 10, 2003 at 01:27 AM

But what did all those 500 rozzers have for LUNCH, eh? That's the real question.

Posted by: David Gillies at December 10, 2003 at 02:02 AM

Fatfingers:

Chomsky would also argue that the Khmer Rouge didn't murder innocent people. Or, at least, he did until the lie became so obvious that he had to let it drop. I don't much care what Chomsky argues, because he'll support "his sonofabitch" more tenaciously and amorally than the U.S. government ever did. Why he is greeted with any less disgust than your average holocaust-denier escapes me.

Posted by: JPS at December 10, 2003 at 02:16 AM

It's also interesting that there were "at least 67 arrests" at the anti-Bush demo.

At the rugby parade? NONE.

Despite the fact that the crowd was 7 times larger in the latter case.

More about this story here:

England Rugby Team Trounces Stop the War Coalition, 70-10

Posted by: The Tapir at December 10, 2003 at 02:17 AM

Posted by Andjam:

"Maybe the violence of the crowd is inversely proportional to the violence of the sport. Why else would soccer fans be so violent?"

Uh, so if they are inversely proportional the peaceniks are violent because Brush was bringing peace?

Interesting logic you have ...

Posted by: John Galt at December 10, 2003 at 03:39 AM

....and speaking of demonstrations, don't forget the ANTI-TYRANT/TERRORIST marches planned in Iraq for December 10th. Please help spread the word. No pink tanks for those who are serious and have lived under the threat the threat from killers all their lives.

Posted by: wen at December 10, 2003 at 03:44 AM

you blogg people over discuss everything.
its a damn celebration of a winning rugby team..
now leave it alone.

Posted by: gijoe at December 10, 2003 at 04:28 AM

Sorry, "BUSH was bringing peace?" (typo)

Posted by: John Galt at December 10, 2003 at 04:43 AM

Back to the real topic here, rugby. I was in London when they won the World Cup, and was pretty impressed by how the enthusiasm was channelled into non-destructive outlets. No hooliganism like you get with some of the football fans, no overturned police cars or rioting or guns being shot into the air like you get in some American cities after a win in the Superbowl or World Series. The coach and the team were class acts, and I hope the sport -- infinitely more interesting and exciting than football -- prospers.

Laurie K.

Posted by: Laurie K. at December 10, 2003 at 06:56 AM

The beauty of rugby is that it has *controlled aggression*, not violence. It also helps that rugby is not full of 'athletes' that take a dive when anybody is within 5 feet of them. It's also a game where hairstyles are meaningless.

Posted by: mg at December 10, 2003 at 11:56 AM

Rugby supporters and players consider themselves a large fraternity. They are always amiable -- case in point the HUNDREDS of white-shirted England fans who made it home alive after Jonny's dropgoal gave England the win.

Posted by: Mat at December 10, 2003 at 01:05 PM

So a celebration of sporting triumph requires more police than a anti-government protest. Go figure.


Posted by: Spud at December 10, 2003 at 01:48 PM

So a celebration of sporting triumph requires more police than an anti-government protest. Go figure.


Posted by: Spud at December 10, 2003 at 02:02 PM

Erm. Actually less, Spud. Try reading twice instead of posting twice.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 10, 2003 at 02:41 PM

because Brush was bringing peace?

Thanks for saying it was a typo. At first I thought it was another epithet for Bush, with "brush" sounding like some sort of term for vegetation.

Erm. Actually less, Spud. Try reading twice instead of posting twice.

Follow the carpenter's motto: read twice, post once. (Actually, I'm a bad offender when it comes to typos and the like)

Chomsky would argue that he is American, pays taxes to the American government, and therefore he has the right to criticise America. He would say that since he has little or no influence in, say, North Korea, that to concentrate his efforts on Kim's crimes would be a waste of effort, whereas he can effect change in his own country.

I congratulate Noam for acknowledging that he has double standards and trying to rationalize them. The main problem I have with his argument is that North Koreans aren't free to criticise their own government, so it needs more external criticism than it would otherwise.

Posted by: Andjam at December 10, 2003 at 08:55 PM