Black or White? More grey…

100_2063How do! / 你好 (nĭ hăo) / Namaste / Welcome!

Today marks the memorial of the terrible fire and Grenfell Tower disaster that claimed 72 lives. The enquiry goes on. The battle against protected imperialist privilege remains. The racism of yesteryear hasn’t faded at all. These days a man born on November the 30th in 1874 at a palace (Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire) is gaining rather a bit of attention. This, a man who, somehow appears (on camera) to have been meddling in Police affairs in 1911. This is long before you look at Sir Winston Churchill’s cash for influence…

“…ought to be lain bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new viceroy seated on its back” – Winston Churchill, on Gandhi, “a half-naked fakir”

Hussein Onyango Obama is better known to many as former US president Barack Obama’s grandfather. He was one of thousands held in British detention camps during Kenya’s Mau Mau Uprising of the 1950s. Winston Churchill served as leader there from 1951–1955. Not many people know about that. Even the Imperial War Museum’s web link skirts over the wartime leader’s involvement.

“Many of our friends in Muslim countries all over the East have already expressed great appreciation of this gift.” – Winston Churchill addressed the cabinet in 1940, They set aside £100,000 for a London mosque to honour the Indian Muslims who fought for the British Empire.

At the weekend thugs and far right fascists waved Hitler-style right arm salutes in front of the Sir Winston Churchill statue. The very character who helped Britain and her allies to overcome Nazi Germany, fascist-state Italy and a hugely militarist Japan hellbent on expanding their Empire. In April 2014, Labour candidate Benjamin Whittingham tweeted on Twitter that Sir Winston Churchill was “a racist and white supremacist”. The Labour Party removed the post and apologised to Churchill’s grandson Sir Nicholas Soames – and the world. In February 2019, before COVID-19 ravaged Europe, Labour’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell called Sir Winston Churchill a villain. Newspapers often dig up some rusty pieces of Churchill-bashing and The Guardian’s Gary Younge’s piece from 2002 is hugely relevant today.

“I think my grandfather’s reputation can withstand a publicity-seeking assault from a third-rate, Poundland Lenin. I don’t think it will shake the world.” – Sir Nicholas Soames (Grandson of Sir Winston Churchill, The Daily Telegraph, February 2019.

Groomed by class, and shaped by his headstrong opinion, Sir Winston Churchill helped deliver Britain through its darkest hours. Strong leadership and action needed to prevail – and it did. People gave their all for freedom and choice. Without such actions, Britain and Europe surely would have fell to Nazi ideals. To freely discuss Sir Winston Churchill and his party’s feelings of other races is easy now. Back then, in another lifetime and era, many were obsessed with master races and strong genes over others. There are even religions, cults and countries now pushing and plugging that notion, but that is another story, for another day.

Sir Winston Churchill was not a stranger to eugenics and controversy. The man himself adorns countless history books, five-pound notes and was and is celebrated by many. Many British-Indians see Sir Winston Churchill as a figure of division. They have a just case, and rightly so they are free to argue their cause, after all the defeat and prevention of Nazi rule on British soil was all about that. Freedom of speech belongs in the U.K. Even during Sir Winston Churchill’s time pre-war and after World War II many argues his faults and his seemingly eugenic views as far more than just class division. His speeches were often tinged with venom and fear-mongering: watch out for those pesky East Asians

I’ve always found Sir Winston Churchill’s books – of which there are volumes to be fascinating and idiosyncratic. They’re outlandishly eccentric pieces from a time of Empire and fear of Communism and Fascism. They’re contradictive deep pieces of opinion and words twist and turn hither and dither to form a kind of blog or diary or history bibliography. Many have deep direction. Most have one-sided takes. The more that people can read into Sir Winston Churchill’s works the better. They’re illuminating and showcase an often-troubled mind full of intellect and discovery. One moments they pour with respect, the next they stand over their quarry and stamp their feet down. Like all heroes, he’s a troubled kind. To question his legacy is natural. There is no alternative narrative from his dealings in World War II. But there are other stories, lesser told and lesser written about. Sir Winston Churchill’s A History of the English-Speaking Peoples is by and large referred to as social Darwinism in a manuscript.

“I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.” – Part of Winston Churchill’s address the Palestine Royal Commission in 1937.

If given a school report for his handling of World War II, Sir Winston Churchill would be awarded an A* with all possible distinctions and awards.  For his relationships to the Suffragettes, well, how can you offer bail one day and then imprison many just a few years later? That’s the mark of a poor Home Secretary. Sorry, Sir Winston Churchill that’s a U mark on your report card: unclassified, as in terrible. Historians and defenders of the recently desecrated statue of Sir Winston Churchill are now doing battle in the foreground of society. Was Sir Winston Churchill a racist? Hmmm, these knights, there must have been a few over the years that have fell foul of the race cards. How about his treatment to the working classes and liberals he once represented? Scribe another U on the report card please. How about using the Army (Lancashire Fusiliers) against Welsh miners in 1910? That Tonypandy and Rhonda Valley matter deserves another U. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, superfan (in the girl group sense of things) denounces any such things.

Without looking over the Atlantic at the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, we have a few of our own in Britain, in recent years. Racism has never gone away. I recall the Stephen Lawrence enquiry in 1999 said that the killing of young black teenager was “institutionally racist”. Disparity in races has been around all my lifetime and I don’t believe anyone who thinks otherwise. Social-economic constraints act as shackles and supress. I always wondered how shows like Little Britain and Bo’ Selecta could get away with playing black characters. But, me being white, I didn’t question them, I just assumed somebody somewhere in the ages of political correctness had said these shows were portrayals on not to mock anyone. Now it seems actors, comedians, writers and more are apologising for fun. Others like Ricky Gervais are making video blogs.

#BlackLivesMatter and other protests, as well as raves in Daisy Nook (near Oldham, Lancashire), and seem to cast a shadow over the COVID-19 coronavirus problem that is filling our lives right now. The bug is back in Beijing, China and should serve as a warning that suppression of the virus globally is far from achievable – right now. Just as the establishment presented Sir Winston Churchill as a hero and awarded him a state funeral, I can’t help but think that the powers that be will paint all the protestors with one dirty paintbrush and dishonestly claim that they’re the problem. Sir Winston Churchill was made to look like he won World War II with speeches and dogged determination alone. As the Red Army of Russia rolled over Nazi Germany and into Europe, Sir Winston Churchill campaigned so fiercely to take out the Communist threat that he was swiftly shuffled aside. The coalition with the supportive Labour Party sent him packing. It was his ousting that paved the way for Dominion of India to gain independence from Great Britain/the U.K. on 15th August 1947 ( a day after the Dominion of Pakistan). That led to the Republic of India.

Indian history is complex – and British intervention, colonialism there only makes things more complicated. Hindus and their belief, have been around far longer than second testament Christian values and have experienced more fusions, branches away. Nobody has the right to say their religion is better than any other religion. But, as history tells us, our species is pretty damn good at enforcing and passing the message of the latest Messiah, God or entity to pray to at some temple, home or prayer mat. Sir Winston Churchill was raised a time when 24% of Earth’s lands sat under the British Empire’s flag. He knew that “the empire on which the sun never sets” was fragile. The ruins of European nations and the balance of global power now swung between the U.S.A. and U.S.S.R. Anti- European colonialism and anti-imperialism thoughts. Peaceful disengagement led to a British Empire of 700 million becoming just 5 million.

Our modern multicultural society is really privileged. We have the freedom and the questions to tear apart pop idols, song lyrics, scientific facts and history. We can have discussions that our parents and forefathers could not. Well, some of us. Don’t deny the good things from history and hide the sculptures and portraits away. Dig out the dirt and add it. Let people make their decisions and choices about how to remember people from key historic times. Nobody is perfect. I wasted a punnet of blueberries this weekend. They went mouldy. I feel ashamed. I hate wasting food.

“I cannot understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes” – Winston Churchill, Minister for War and Air, 1919. Was it teargas or mustard gas? Academics are still debating

Sir Winston Churchill had read about the Irish Famine and knew of its bleak effect on humanity. This knowledge was useless to him. The man who sacrificed Coventry, would let down Bengal to an even greater effect. The Japanese occupation of Burma and its affect on Bengal led to Sir Winston Churchill having to do something. He didn’t. He actively refused to send aid – and perhaps as Britain was engaged in austerity it was a justified lack of aid, or not. There is great debate. Some estimates say 2-3 million people died. British Empire colonial policies did not come to the rescue. Sir Winston Churchill had served in the Boer War he had seen concentration camps, he deployed the infamous Black and Tans (Irish War of Independence, 1919). If you think Saddam Hussein was bad or ISIS (Daesh), look up Mesopotamia and a certain Winston Churchill, Colonial Secretary. Perhaps there is reason as to why some memorials keep getting targeted with paint. Maybe the Indians shouldn’t as Churchill called it, bred “like rabbits”?

“Churchill was very much on the far right of British politics over India. Even to most Conservatives, let alone Liberals and Labour, Churchill’s views on India between 1929 and 1939 were quite abhorrent.” – John Charmley, Churchill: The End of Glory

Voted as Britain’s Greatest Ever Briton in 2002, today’s society is understanding this complicated man in ways less fitting for a late Sunday night TV drama. In 2007, Sir Winston Churchill’s legendary statue on Parliament Square was splattered with red paint. The once mighty Churchill grew up in and around an era where racial hierarchies and eugenics were plentiful. We, on the other hand, have the chance to fight and discuss equality. The man who sent tanks and troops to Glasgow in 1919 should not be spared our discussions – and he should not be met with hate, for it is too late. Now, more than ever, we must embrace the past and educate – or learn.

You choose.

Their gaff, their rules?

How do! / 你好 (nĭ hăo) / Namaste / Welcome!

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” – George Washington

Before I write any more, firstly, I need to clarify that I hate the idea of animals suffering. Actually, it forms one of the reasons why right now I do not have a pet. If I cannot be certain where I will live within twelve months, how can I look after a cat, dog or hamster? I’ve been lucky enough in my life to be raised around animals. My Dad and Mum gave me Pup, who was with me for about 17 years of my life as man’s best friend, a wonderful dog. There were cats along the way, Basil (think of a detective that was a rodent), Sparky and Tigger (original, right?). I had umpteen hamsters: Bright Eyes, Stripe, Gizmo and Gremlin to name but a few. Astrid, my sister, will tell you of her hamster Doris, and how she selected it on the basis that it bit her bigger brother (me) in the pet store. There were mice, bred and rehoused, with responsible intentions. I had fleeting dreams of being a vet – but for a huge dislike of blood. Then, it was time to study a BTEC National Diploma at North Trafford College and eventually study a BSc Behavioural Biology. Since then, my wildlife and animal passion has evolved into a pastime, set of interests and hobbies. The professional world was oversubscribed, underpaid and hard to escape clicks. It wasn’t for me. Instead I find myself softly influencing future generations and making people think twice.

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”- S.G. Tallentyre, The Friends of Voltaire.

Stumbling into education with transferable skills just meant I swapped elephant dung in the morning for a whole raft of new pooh. I’m in China, their gaff their rules. But I can talk freely about some topical issues. What is a wet market? Well, it’s just a marketplace that sells fish, meats, vegetables, and fruits. The produce is not dry (like fabric or electronics). The goods at wet markets are perishable. Not all wet markets slaughter animals or have a fishmongers. Across the Indian subcontinent (e.g. Thailand), China, Japan, Korea and the island countries northwest of Australia, wet markets can be found and are a common feature of daily life. Foods can be fresh, cheaper than supermarkets, and going to these markets themselves can be a huge part of your social life. It is tantamount to culture and traditions for many people. To close many wet markets may be seen as xenophobic and cause more problems. But, will these same wet markets yield the next outbreak?

Wang Mengyun’s video of a bat being eaten in Palau has become infamous. It is disgusting in my opinion. What adds further disgust is that RT and the Daily Mail, amongst many, posted this via news outlets and social media claiming it was from Wuhan. I was even sent it on the Chinese app Wechat. I’m not justifying or defending her, or any other fools eating weird crap. Data and images can easily fit any story, without, erm, actual information. Of course, if China is involved, then there’s always an element of menace and worry from a social point of view. What exactly are they up to over there?

The wet market here hasn’t reopened (and many will never reopen, as many are rumpured as marked for demolition, to be replaced by more sanitized versions) which is great. I’m actually excited for when it does because they have limited the list of edible species right down. You wouldn’t believe the list before. There was no list. It could have been likened to taking a walk in a zoo. Except, that zoo was closer to The Green Mile, and all the inmates were destined for the grimmest of chops. Owls, giant salamanders and frogs may not appear on the menu in Beijing, but across this large nation of China, there are huge differences in diets. Here in Guangdong, it is said that the Cantonese eat everything with four legs, excluding chairs and desks.

Afterall the list isn’t far off what is approved as meat in the U.K. The most exotic things are to be found all over Britain such as ostrich, deer, reindeer, alpaca etc. Sadly, the list still includes fur species: mink, foxes and raccoons. BUT activism and conservation are growing here. Thoughts are changing. Many influential and middle-class people really believe that bigger changes are coming. Conservation and animal welfare are some of the few things people can protest here. The WHO advised China to “sell safe food with better hygiene”. That seems to be triggering a huge revolution in hygiene. There’s revulsion at the rich who can afford palm civet soup, braised bear paws and deep-fried cobra. These rarities are not farmed or caught for everyone. There’s status and face to show off, and keeping up with the Joneses is on the menu. Rebecca Wong explains in her book about the illegal wildlife trade that things are far from simple.

The China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation is pushing for an end to meats from wild sources. Many cities such as Shenzhen and several provinces are banning the sale of wild-sourced meats – yet China only has a temporary ban in place (and that excludes use for Traditional Chinese Medicines – T.C.M.). Is the ban effective? Well, The Daily Mail, managed to get images and a journalist into Guilin, Guangxi province and show dogs alongside cats, with T.C.M. posters showing bats. The W.H.O., the U.N.’s Convention on Biological Diversity, have called on China to do more.

China’s Wildlife Protection Law to permanently make catching and eating wildlife as a food into a criminal law will follow. The decision’s first real steps had been made on February 24th 2020. It is expected the list of 54 wild species bred on farms will be further reduced. Do people really need to eat hamsters and bird of prey? Do these horrific farms need abolishing? Does the farm license from The State Forestry and Grassland Administration conflict with their interest in wildlife protection? Places like Guangzhou and this province of Guangdong will need to seriously rearrange their eating habits. Chinese news sources, backed and owned by the state, have decried the practice of eating wildlife. One such piece, China Daily, went further than most with an English opinion piece by author Wu Yong. He correctly pointed to the Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (home base: Wuhan) and their publications warning of the next big outbreak, following SARS in 2012. There are voices from within China banging a drum to the same beat: stop eating wildlife (50% of people surveyed in 2014 said wild animals should not be eaten). And should the laws come how vague will they be? How will provinces, cities and local areas enforce the laws? Who will steady the balance books of those who need the income?

“Without freedom of thought, there can be no such thing as wisdom – and no such thing as public liberty without freedom of speech.” – Benjamin Franklin

It is easy to say that wild animals carry viruses, and should they not be eaten by people, then there is little to no chance of these zoonotic viruses affecting human lives. If we do, then the viruses are with us. But, how many viruses start on farms from long-term domestic animals? Think Pandemic H1N1/09 virus and its outbreak from Mexico/U.S.A. in 2009 that killed about 151,700-575,400 people globally, according to the CDC. The problem is that for some their eyes are bigger than their bellies. They don’t want you and I, or others telling them what is right or wrong. For some status and entitlement is paramount. Why can a rich U.S. hunter go and shoot a lion in Africa, when a poor villager can’t catch pangolin in Vietnam to support their family? Will bans work? Will the trade go from loosely regulated to completely underground shady dealings? “Psst, wanna but a civet?” What is a civet anyway? I imagine many having seen a pangolin too. Look them both up. They’re wonderful little critters. Just don’t grill them!

“It is clear that not in one thing alone, but in many ways equality and freedom of speech are a good thing.” – Herodotus

China has endured food safety scandals, unusual additives being included in food, a distrust of food regulation, corruption and countless public health appeals and campaigns seeking to improve standards. If you live here long enough, you’ll know having diarrhea tablets to be most useful. Food poisoning happens and at public ad even private restaurants, finding hand soap can be a miracle. Everyone carries hand sanitiser and tissues, but few look forwards to visiting an outside toilet. To get to the modern regulation systems of the U.K. standards, the U.K. under the name of Great Britain and its Empire had many flaws and faults. Many want change but it will take time. Not every country is perfect, some wash their chicken in chlorine, don’t you America? Tradition and odd ingredients need talking about, at least. Without conversation and debate, how can we as people strike a balance between nature and need?

This pandemic is always going to throw up many questions. Should all wet markets adapt and abandon tradition in favour of hygiene and high standards? Yes, for the sake of humanity, surely! Should we be searching for the next big pandemic? Should we be vaccinating our pets and our zoo animals when the cure to COVID-19 arrives? Will the virus replicate and mutate in other domestic animals? Have we ignored the warnings (2017 and so on) for too long? Will wildlife poaching rise in the shadow of little eco-tourism? How many more lies will the internet spread about handwashing?

“We have to go see Bill Gates and a lot of different people that really understand what’s happening. We have to talk to them, maybe in certain areas, closing that Internet up in some way. Somebody will say, ‘Oh, freedom of speech, freedom of speech.’ These are foolish people. We have a lot of foolish people.” – Donald Trump, Twitter user.

Keep talking. It’s the only way to progress.

 

The cover image: chicken anus on a stick. From a Taiwanese takeaway store, in China.

 

Plastic or Fantastic #1 Jumping Ahead

你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do / S’mae / Namaste

Plastic fans or overseas fantastic fans?

When it first happened, we were a little jealous. No. In fact, we were bitterly jealous. As the likes of Liverpool, Manchester Utd and Arsenal gathered overseas fans, City had no hope in hell of travelling beyond Greater Manchester. Together with other so called big 4 club Chelsea, they often dominated the pathways into European football’s top competition and commercial cash card. Terms likes ‘plastic fans’ or phrases based on the geography of where a fan came from, ‘Kent reds’, ‘Singapore reds’, or ‘Here’s another ferry from Ireland’ could be heard. Ignorant fans labelled the new followers as glory seeking lightweight supporters in a heartbeat. I know, because I used to say it and still do from time to time.

Before the Premier League was formed, history served Man Utd well, they’d won it in ’68 – as the first English club to do so. Liverpool did better beating the rest of the pack in 1977, 1978, 1981, and 1984. Nottingham Forest were a founder club of the Premier League – and have the European Cup in 1979 and 1980. Of the 22 founder clubs that season, only 12 are in the 2019/20 season of the Premier League. Like Nottingham, the other 9 clubs have had a topsy-turvy recent history. Where are Wimbledon?

The Champions League followed the European Cup. For the former, Aston Villa won it in my birth year. However, only Chelsea, Man Utd (twice) and Liverpool (twice) have managed to win it in 25 years of the Premier League. Man Utd received global acclaim on how they rebuilt a club following the Munich air disaster and capitalised on a social liberation and liberalisation in the 1960s. They cashed in on the surrounding pop culture with “Fifth Beatle” George Best and so on. Football fans and even the neutral fan could join in or follow a team beyond their own turf. They wouldn’t be begrudged their second club from time to time. It was the norm.

Real Madrid and Barcelona have appeared in the Champions League since cavemen bashed clubs over dodos. They’re almost ever presents having qualified for seemingly every edition. Barca have managed 15 straight seasons of last-16 knock-out games. Their 16 domestic league titles since 1990 has featured just four finishing standing outside La Liga’s top three. Since 2008-09 they have finished twice, three times. They won the other seasons. Real Madrid last finished 4th in La Liga’s 2003-04 season and also clinched a Champions League Place. In 1996-97 they didn’t join the Champions League –  having qualified in the edition of the season before. The Champions League rebrand of the top European Cup started in 1992, at about the same time as the Premier League in England. The global branding of Spanish football has been clear – and one rarely unbroken for Real and Barca. They bucked the trend in terms of fans following top clubs from Asia. Neither team sported red, like the flags of Singapore, China or Hong Kong’s sponsors Sharp name. But, their following was few and far between until Ronaldo and Messi arrived. Then, they banked on superstars.

In the years leading up to the Premier League, floating on the stock exchange wasn’t a bad move. Man Utd did that. City just floated – with no direction. As branding clung to fashionable stars like Beckham and Giggs, football entered a new era for City too. Financial ruin caused by off the field mismanagement and on the field turmoil. Freefall entered the blue half of Manchester with little sign of abating as one club would march to a historic treble (that people seldom hear about these days). Even City signing Chinese player Sun Jihai in the early 2000s did little to stem the flow of international fanbases looking from the east towards somewhere west of Manchester.

Liverpool have won zero of the 27 Premier League titles on offer yet have fared well in Europe during the Champions League era. They like Man Utd, have been in Europe, to the FIFA World Club Championships and European Super Cups. The International Champions Cup has featured them plenty. Exposure beyond the Pennines, Irish Sea and the Lancashire boundary has been kind to them. Man Utd have been described as a global brand – long before City lifted a Premier League trophy. Overseas tours followed the money as City spewed out close to home European numbers like Hamburg’s HSV and Oldham Atheltic away. Even Stockport County and Sheffield Utd had a crack at China – although West Brom came first, long before the Eastlands was a term.

Manchester City’s first foray into the Champions League came from a third-placed league finish in 2010/11. City have featured 8 times in UEFA’s top competition since reaching the semi-final twice, hardly enough to make a dedicated Wikipedia page on City in the Champions League. Higher league places mean higher Premier League revenue and City gave won half of the Premier League titles on offer since their first on 2011/12. Since the takeover in 2008 they’ve shot from ‘marketable lovable team seeks caring partner’ to ‘dominatrix of the year’. Back to back titles, especially considering the strengthening and determination to dethrone City’s centurion of point getters has justified some clever marketing deals.

City and Utd having a derby in Beijing could have been a big thing. It was a farce and never happened. USA had that first privilege at a later preseason. As thousands of red shirts outside the Bird’s Nest Stadium cried, shouted and shown general anger, pockets and handfuls of City fans skipped around Beijing bars, experiencing the City fan culture. A few days later, similar happiness happened in Shenzhen and the culture of Manchester – and football spewed outwardly. Shenzhen Blues and Hong Kong Blues were soon joined by 11 more groups – recognised as official supporters clubs by Manchester City. The OSC formed in 1949 and now has around 250 clubs globally, with around 20,000 registered members. It provides a direct and sometimes challenging link to Manchester City. It is officially recognised and backed by the club but remains independent. Kevin Parker has been voted as General Secretary for 20 or so years running now. He does wonders for the club in a demanding voluntary role. Alan Potter, Howard Burr, Mike Young, Christine Wardle, Karen McCormack are names that help run this ever-expanding organisation, but I don’t know their exact roles. They get mentions in matchday programmes and online from time to time but maintain quite a modest presence.

The annual membership for Manchester City’s Official Supporters Club goes far. A percentage goes to City in the Community. Another amount is made available for charitable applications by the Official Supporters Club membership. Shenzhen Blues donated around £500 to a children’s charity, A Heart For China. The membership gives a card, often a gift and the chance to apply for tickets by each branch. There are many other benefits and event support is one. One thing that as a supporter travelling from nation to nation, or town to village in the UK, means that knowing where your nearest OSC is, you can say hello. So, if you’re in Addis Ababa or Newton Heath, you’ll not be far from one. When I first moved to Dongguan my closest branch was Hong Kong Blues. I met up with that lovely branch until Shenzhen Blues became mainland China’s first branch. From then, I have met so many mainland fans and expats here on work, or just visiting and that is exactly what an OSC should be for: to bring people together.

The Premier League Asia Trophy featured in Nanjing and Shanghai and we’re not really here… we never thought we’d see this many blue shirts or this level of enthusiasm overseas. To continue this writing, I will explain why fans of English clubs overseas are fantastic – and not just plastic unlike the Leeds fan who shouted, “Our fans are from Leeds, your fans are Chinese” at someone not even born in Asia… in Perth this week. Man Utd’s 4-0 win over their bitter Pennine rivals shouldn’t have come into his thinking. Anyone the video us out there.

To be continued.

再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye / Hwyl Fawr / Dhanyabaad / Alavidā

“I’ve got the Beijing Blues!”

你好/ Ní hǎo / Nín hǎo / Hello / How do,

On Saturday morning at 6.20am, I boarded a Didi (think Uber taxi services, but in Chinese) outside my apartment. The muggy morning air added to exhaustion from a game of football the previous night.

On arriving at Shenzhen Airport an hour later, I checked in, with my hand luggage only and swiftly walked to Costa Coffee. Here I had a brew, a sandwich and then met David/John/Beckham (he has three English names!) leader of Huizhou Blues Manchester City Official Supporters Club. Through a combination of pigeon Chinese and WeChat’s in-application translator, we talked and eventually boarded flight ZH9103 bound for the capital city, Beijing. On arrival David/John/Beckham (who stopped following Man Utd following Ferguson’s boot being lashed at his boyhood hero David Beckham) and I grabbed a taxi. I thought we were going to the hotel. Nope, we ended up at St. Joseph’s Church. From there we boarded another taxi. Were we heading to the hotel? No. We stopped at another church. However, after a stroll we ended up in Beihai Park which is quite sweet.

The final taxi took us to Tian’anmen Guangcheng. David/John/Beckham’s first time in the capital was quite different and I was happy to share his first flight and journey around the famous old city. Finally we ended up at the hotel around 8pm. Here we met Martin Ng of Hong Kong Blues and headed for dinner. A grand lamb hotpot was called for. It answered. Off back to the hotel we went, with full bellies.

After an early breakfast I met all of the presidents of each Manchester City Official Supporters Club in China.They hailed from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Qingdao, Dalian, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Huizhou, Chongqing, Nanjing, Xi’an and the host city Beijing.

We each boarded vehicles and headed to Kaiwen Sports Academy in a northern part of the city. The impressive multi-sports education facility features a tranquil running track amongst trees, landscaped sporting arenas suitable for baseball, fencing, football, golf and a whole host of other sports. Around tables we sat in an function room and discussed social media, supporters in China and much more. Our ideas were requested and presentations given. It struck me how proud I have become of Manchester City. Through this partnership, City2City, Cityzens Giving, City in the Community, and coaching schemes you can really feel how big the club’s longterm reach has become. From the dull old days of Platt Lane and a sagging football stadium, City have emerged into a prosperous era, that didn’t just begin in 2008 – and didn’t just take flight due to trophies and player investment. Community has played a vital role. It always will. This is our City. This is our way.

Following the first act of the meeting, we lunched together, had another meeting and then went to play football with City’s China-based coaches. After than win, we changed, had a barbecue and watched the City game (sandwiched around photos and presentations to the new supporters clubs). The trophy was lifted and we drifted back, content with a wonderful and constructive weekend. The only down side to the whole thing was a cancelled flight followed by delay after delay after delay in the flight taking off. Safety first – the storms in south China were pretty ferocious.

再见/ Zài jiàn / Bài bài / Ta’ra / Goodbye


 

Hello 各位会长:Hello Presidents:

大家好,三天的北京之行匆匆而过,大家也即将或已经踏上了回家的归程,希望大家都能一路平安!Hello everyone, the three-day trip to Beijing passed by in a hurry, we are about to start on the homeward journey, I hope we can all go safely!

三天的时间说长不长,但相信大家都对彼此加深了一些印象,希望我们为力能有更多的互动!Three days is not a long time, but I believe that we have made some impression on each other, I hope we can have more interaction for the strength!

接下来,就麻烦各位会长能将其他会长拉到自己的球迷群,互相学习互相提高!

Next, I would like to ask the Presidents to bring the other Presidents to their own fans, learning from each other and improving each other!

!祝好!Good day

KEVIN, MANCHESTER CITY (CHINA)


多么美妙的一天!What a wonderful day it was!

首先,感谢曼城中国办公室,让我们聚集在一起,认识交流分享经验。
First of all, thank to office of Manchester City for bringing us together and sharing our experience.

从Kevin和Andrew手中接过会旗,从6位老会长手中接过认证礼盒,成都曼城球迷会正式加入曼城官方球迷会.
We have received the flag and certification box from Kevin and Andrew alongside 6 current presidents. Chengdu has officially joined the Manchester City OSC.

感谢所有曼城工作室人员以及所有会长在认证期间给予我们帮助,使我们在一周内完成认证资料的准备
Thanks to all the City official workers and presidents for giving us help during the certification period, so that we could complete the preparation of certification materials within a week.

感谢48仙女们,到机场接机,并全程陪吃陪喝陪睡,爱你们比心
Thanks to the 48 fairies to pick up the plane at the airport and accompany them all the time. Love you super!

最后,非常高兴见到你们!期待下一次的见面
In the end, I’m very glad to see you! Look forward to the next meeting.

GRATINGS,

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (CHENGDU)


本人有幸作为北京曼城幽月球迷会的负责人参与“冠军之城”北京活动。2012年的曼城中国行早就了我和俊达(北京曼城幽月球迷会负责人),Vicky(上海曼城球迷会负责人),小欣(广州蓝月曼城球迷会负责人)的缘分~而今香港,深圳,青岛,南京,西安,成都,惠州官方球迷会相继得到官方认证!各位负责人在曼城中国办公室的支持下齐聚北京!感谢球队带给我们的一个赛季的美好!感谢曼城俱乐部一直一来对中国球迷的关怀!感谢曼城中国办公室对于协会支持和帮助!感谢北京曼城幽月球迷会全体会员对于各种活动的参与和配合!感谢我的队员璐铮,付强,博轩对于临时指派工作的无偿奉献!感谢各地负责人一直以来的辛勤付出!未来无限精彩,无限可能,愿能与诸位共同见证!We are the champion !Love u all !

I was honored to participate in the “Champion City” Beijing event as head of the Man City Moon Fans’ Club in Beijing. The 2012 Manchester City China Tour was early for me and Junda, Vicky, Shanghai Manchester City Fans’ Association Chief. Xiao Xin (Guangzhou Lanyue Man City Fan Club Leader) fate ~ Today, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Qingdao, Nanjing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Huizhou official fans have been officially certified! With the support of Manchester City’s China Office, all the leaders gathered in Beijing! Thanks to the team to bring us a good season! Thanks to the Manchester City Football Club for always showing concern to the Chinese fans! Thanks to Man City China Office for its support and help to the Association! Thank you to all the members of Beijing Man City Moon Fans Club for their participation and cooperation in various activities! Thanks to my teammate Lu Zheng, Fu Qiang, Bo Xuan for the temporary assignment of free dedication! Thank all the responsible people all over the world for their hard work! Future infinite wonderful, unlimited possibilities, wish to witness together with you! We are the champion! Love you all!

CHRIS,

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (BEIJING)


今天起
我们就是
西安曼城官方球迷会啦
💫
1个月的认证时间不长不短
有了俱乐部和其他球迷会的帮助
一切都容易起来
🤪
我们成立的9个月里
一起成长
谢谢你们的信任 陪伴 理解

其他城迷会都很优秀
也很感谢昨天各位会长大大的分享
我们西安要学习的还有很多
很高兴认识你们
以后还请多多赐教呀
🏻
俱乐部小哥哥们辛苦啦
活动很棒哦
🏻
希望中国城迷会越办越好
也希望我城战绩越来越棒

C’mon City

We are the Champions

今天起
我们就是
西安曼城官方球迷会啦
💫
1个月的认证时间不长不短
有了俱乐部和其他球迷会的帮助
一切都容易起来
🤪
我们成立的9个月里
一起成长
谢谢你们的信任 陪伴 理解

其他城迷会都很优秀
也很感谢昨天各位会长大大的分享
我们西安要学习的还有很多
很高兴认识你们
以后还请多多赐教呀
🏻
俱乐部小哥哥们辛苦啦
活动很棒哦
🏻
希望中国城迷会越办越好
也希望我城战绩越来越棒

C’mon City

We are the Champions

From today
We just
Official fan club of Xi’an Manchester City

1 month certification period is not long
With the help of clubs and other fan clubs
Everything is easy
🤪
In the nine months since we were founded
Growing up together
Thank you for your trust, your company, your understanding

The other city fans are great
And thanks to all the Presidents who shared so much yesterday
We have a lot to learn in Xi’an
Nice to meet you
Please give me more advice later
🏻
Good job, club buddies
Great event, huh?
🏻
I hope Chinatown fans are getting better
I want my city to be better

C’mon City

We are the Champions

PEIYAO,

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (XI’AN)


充实的一天
感谢俱乐部让我们相识。
A full day
Thanks to the club, we got to know each other.

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (QINGDAO)


恭喜曼彻斯特城市球队获得英超冠军。我们也得到曼城官方认证了!大连曼城球迷会!牛逼!!!
Congratulations to the Manchester City team on winning the England Premier League title .We also got official certification from Manchester City! Dalian City fan club! Awesome!!!

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (DALIAN)


感謝各位兄弟姐妹的熱情招待和俱樂部所有領導和大佬給予的學習机會。

Thank you all for your warm hospitality and the learning opportunities offered by all the leaders and big shots of the club. Thank you, brother and sister.

很感恩在 .. 陌生的城市找到熟悉的角落,飄洋過海看見大家與各位結緣

I am grateful to find a familiar corner in a strange city, and I see that we are related to you

MARTIN NG,

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (HONG KONG)


下次來惠州吧. Come to Huizhou next time.

DAVID,

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (HUIZHOU)


Thank you kindly to everyone. 谢谢你们。You have inspired me in more ways than you know possible. I hope to visit every supporters club in China over the next year.  If you are in Dongguan or Shenzhen, drop me a message. Dinner is on me. The bill, that is.

We are all ambassadors to the great football club and Champions, that is Manchester City. I’m a believer in giving without expectation to receive. I’m sure if we all work very hard, together, we can deliver a fan base in China that is rich in diversity, attractive to senior club members and welcoming to all. We can make an impact right here, right now. This is our City, no matter where we are.

Thanks again for the support of Beijing! 再次感谢北京方面的大力支持

City ’til I die. Yours in football and City.

JOHN ACTON,

MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL SUPPORTERS CLUB (SHENZHEN)