Talking Point

There are innumerable reasons to dislike John Terry but the recent photograph of his vehicle in a disabled parking space was the sour cherry on this particularly unpleasant cake. It sums up the arrogance of someone who clearly believes the law doesn’t apply to him and the casual disregard for other people, especially those for whom the space was designated.

There must be something in the water at Chelsea that creates such monstrous egos but what allows them to get away with it? Compare if you will the appalling behaviour of Mourhino towards the team doctor in front of millions of people and the equally appalling behaviour of Jeremy Clarkson, witnessed by a few people. Clarkson lost his job, the BBC was called to question while the airwaves and newspapers were full of commentary about bullying at work. Meanwhile, back at Chelsea, Jose’s still pouting away, the FA are taking no action even though they apparently didn’t even speak to the doctor who, by anyone’s standards was a victim of workplace bullying and public humiliation.
For such a male dominated organisation, it’s astonishing that the FA seems to be without any balls. But then you only have to look at FIFA ….

Arrogance, corruption, bullying and incompetence can be found in industry, public services, politics and other sports. Huge companies don’t pay the tax they ought, but aren’t actually breaking the law just like those sorry parliamentarians who ‘technically’ did nothing wrong with their dodgy expenses and property deals. Some of us may feel uncomfortable about Amazon’s tax arrangements but, like me, carry on using it because it suits us. The same could be said about buying cheap clothes, made by workers we know are treated atrociously or paying trades people in cash who may not declare their earnings, jumping the lights or not always keeping within the speed limit. We’ve all done it and very few of us can claim to be always on the side of the angels. In my experience, those that do make such claims are usually insufferable bores and often, liars but that’s beside the point.

I think most people have a basic sense of what’s right whether that’s taking a bit of effort to check that the person who served your food is actually going to get the tip you choose to leave, to not park in a disabled bay or letting a little boy get close enough to get autographs off West Ham players near the tunnel.

So, I just wonder if I’m alone in feeling rather uncomfortable that West Ham won’t be paying the cleaners, catering and other staff when we go to the new stadium and instead the ‘ taxpayer’ will – but then we’re tax payers too aren’t we? I’m sure it’s perfectly legal, and as long as those employees get the Living Wage and are treated properly that’s fine but it just has a faint whiff of something not quite right.

I’d like to think that the ethos of West Ham has its foundations in decency, fairness and loyalty. It would be a great shame if those qualities were left behind at the Boleyn.