Thursday, 25 August 2011


Looking at the television at what was happening in Lybia set me thinking about the subject of loyalty. What do we mean by Loyalty?
In Lybia bit appears to mean blind following of a leader who to most reasonable people was a tyrant, a bully and a megalomaniac. Yet despite all that, to these people he must have had some charisma which makes them so loyal even tough it is obvious that the end of his dictatorship is at the end.
On a very shallow level I have a similar dilemma on Saturday. For 25 years I have supported Leicester City with my son. The problem is that when I was young I went to my first football match with my father at the old Dell to see Southampton. Some of my earliest memories are of Saturdays getting the bus full of excitement. Of the feeling of elation if they won or dejection if they lost. I can still the headmaster 's voice when he warned of the grave consequences if any boy bunked off school to see Stanley Matthews and Blackpool in a cup replay. ( No floodlights in those days so it was afternoon.) ~Half the school must have been there! Then the time I sneaked down from the Baltic Vanguard in Surrey Docks to see them with out telling my parents. Who should I meet on the way back to my car but my father. But my son, daughter and I have great memories of following Leicester City. Again there has been the elation and the depression. Wembley and the third division ( League 1 nowadays.)
On Saturday what will I do. Support the blue shirts I suppose but a little bit of me will still feel for the red and white stripes.
Then there is the idea of loyalty between the fans and the players. Nowadays there are not many players who are loyal to their teams. They are all mercenaries out to make as much money as they can. Contracts mean little though that is not entirely the fault of the players. If a team wants to cash in on a player they will sell him without any mention of his contract. Managers express their undying loyalty to the club and then leave the next week. Owners pledge their confidence in the manager  and then sack them the next day. Where are the Steve Walshes. the Terry Paines. the Mat Le Tissiers these days?
So what is loyalty? It is easy for me to pontificate about loyalty in terms of football but it must be hard when it involves life and death.
(My book Brotherly Love a Thriller obtainable for downloading from explores the loyalty question when a brother involves his sibling in what appears to be dubious actions. Should the sibling stay loyal to his brother or turn him in to the authorities? It is a story about fear, of somebody out of his depth in a world made strange to him by events he cannot fully comprehend. It is a novel about Ken Flood being pulled by family loyalties along paths of experience which would be best left unexplored.Ken Flood lives a quiet life with his wife, Doreen, and two daughters in Plymouth, working as a lecturer in the University. He minds his own business and is relatively happy with life. Until, that is, his brother Norman arrives unexpectedly one day asking for help.Norman works for the government or so Ken assumes.  What his brother asks appears to Ken to verge on an attempt pull him into the murky waters on the edges of crime. Ken has to decide quickly whether to help his brother out of brotherly love or let his brother face his unknown pursuers alone.Reluctantly Ken agrees to help and soon finds himself outside the law, being chased by people he does not know, trying to deliver a mysterious package, given to him by his brother, to a man he has never met in London Along the way there are chance encounters with people who through friendship are willing to help.)