I’ve just been listening to Talksport, specifically an interview with David Baddiell and his brother, Ivor.
They’ve just made a short film.
“The film is not intended to censor football fans,” said David. “It’s simply to raise awareness that the y-word is – and has been for many, many years – a race hate word. It’s our belief that some football fans may not even realise this, and the film is designed therefore to inform and raise debate.”
Really. I’m always genuinely fascinated by those who completely unsolicited wake up one morning and decide today is the day they are going to ‘inform’ me.
David and Ivor have been season ticket holders at Second Hand Fridge for over 30 years. But apparently one home game against Tottingham Hotspur was just too much for them to bear.
Spurs fans were chanting Yiddo and Yid Army as per, when a rather angry gentleman seated behind the Baddiel brothers decided to take exception to the chants and began shouting back, ‘____ off Yids!’, ‘________ Yids!’ and eventually, ‘____ off Jews!’
This inspired the quite rightly upset pair to complain to Bruce Buck and basically anyone else who would listen.
I have to say I find this initiative and the film extraordinary. Here we have have two Jews (but you don’t have to be Jewish to be upset by bigotry) complaining quite rightly about some troglodyte behind them who was in fact behaving illegally and in a public place.
But this initiative wishes to on the sly, also police and remove from usage one of the central words in Tottenham’s best known chants and it’s variations.
Now I fall neatly into the category of folk who do not feel that the use of the word ‘Yid’ or it’s variants is remotely offensive. It is always sung in a positive, bonding style aimed within the tribe and not at those outside the tribe.
We praise with it, ‘Jermain Defoe, he’s a Yiddo!’, we bond, ‘Yid Army’, we scent our territory at home games with the slow thumps of the stand and a deep, guttural ‘Yids.’
And so, right on cue the comparison to the ‘N’ word comes in. You know, the one that rhymes with ‘digger’.
This is an example commonly wheeled out by those upset by the use of Yid. It’s a card played heavily in the Baddiel video. The assumption is made that as people of coloured race have supposedly ‘reclaimed’ the ‘N’ word as the Jews have reclaimed the word Yid. The Jews – The Spurs faithful.
I’m struggling to be honest. Really having a bit of bother working out who’s who here.
Baddiel said on the radio that only 5% of Spurs fans are actually Jewish. Where he actually got this statistic from I do not know, but let’s not dispute it. So by his figure that’s 95% of Spurs fans who have no legitimate connection to Judaism other than enjoyment of the occasional bagel.
How then does the reclaiming of a word that you have no obvious link to make any sense? I am a whitey. If I was to wander around the place referring to myself or my friends of any colour as the ‘N’ word, I would be regarded as an idiot.
The inarguable connection between the ‘N’ word is with people of coloured race and specifically in a nasty, demeaning way… So what does this word, bandied about by largely non Jews actually mean?
The word ‘Yid’ to has it’s modern roots in slang, but it’s actual entomology from Middle High German word, ‘Jüdisch’ which gave us obviously the German ‘Jude’ and naturally… ‘Yiddish.’ The word Yid’s usage in Yiddish is without any offensive connotation.
As a term of racism it’s an anachronism. Alf Garnet bemoaning ‘bleedin’ Yids’ may make some politically correct loons feel uncomfortable, but not me. It was slang for referring to Jews but I’m struggling to see how offense can be really taken taken. On the Richter Scale of Nasty Words, the ‘N’ word has got to be a 9 and ‘Yid’ maybe a just be 3 if said really aggressively and then combined with lots of other nasty words.
This campaign is fundamentally dishonest.
One thing in life that sends me potty is the failure of people to acknowledge consequences. Now, there has to be parameters to this. You cannot say that someone being fat is a just provocation to run up to them in the street and start shouting, ‘Fatty!’ at them. That’s not on.
But if some one is sat next to you on the train endlessly screaming into their mobile phone and you politely ask them to finish the call somewhere else, that’s not you being rude, or intrusive, it’s you responding reasonably to provocation.
This campaign is so dishonest I’m staggered it’s got this far.
The troglodyte behind the Baddiels and indeed the mindless thugs on the film singing ‘Spurs Are On Their Way To Auschwitz’ are simply subhuman scum incapable of controlling themselves – some at the very thought of Spurs even existing as a football club.
These idiots hear the word ‘Yid’ and feel the overwhelming urge to start making references to gas ovens, concentration camps and Nazi salutes. What the hell has that got to do with us?
The logical conclusion to Baddiel’s argument is that Sikhs ought to remove their turbans at Second Hand Fridge lest the mere sight of their unbelievably provocative head wear sends home fans into an uncontrollable rage.
Trying to masquerade this as somehow ‘our’ problem is simply dishonest. If Spurs fans were pointing and shouting, ‘Yiddo!’ in a mocking manner at people they believe to be Jewish then fine, but that is not what’s happening here. The clips on the Baddiel’s film showing the scumbags singing about Auschwitz etc are not clearly signed that they depict football fans who do not support Tottenham.
Instead we have Gary Lineker revealing to us that the atrocities of the Third Reich were a bad thing. Gary, why don’t you hurl yourself into a vat of boiling crisp fat and give us plebs your take on what that was like, you patronising plinth?
I tell you what, David & Ivor. Stop trying to drag us into sewer you share with bigots and perhaps opt instead to take your weaseling, pseudo middle class campaign and shove it up your bottoms?