It's Easy to Boycott Israeli and American Goods-But What about My Football Team? (Now What?)
Booth, Lauren, New Statesman (1996)
Having shown no sign of possessing will-power since I reluctantly swapped nappies for knickers on my first day of school, I am finding this era of diets, boycotts, rehab and detox stressful. Recently, however, big "causes" -- rather than the threat of cancer and cirrhosis of the liver - have succeeded in improving my way of life. I have to thank the USA and Israel. (Wow, there's a phrase I didn't expect to be writing any time soon.)
Thanks to a personal antipathy for US super-corporations, and support for the Palestinian cause, my household has become a no-go area for American and Israeli goods. Boycotting Israeli produce is proving pretty easy: ever heard of anyone being addicted to olive oil or craving avocado pears (outside pregnancy)? Me neither. Some of the demands on the leaflet that warns "If you continue to buy them [the products below] you are buying bullets to kill children, women and innocent people in Palestine" are pretty hard-core, though, and actually take (gulp) an effort on my part to avoid.
Not shopping at Sainsbury's, Tesco, Safeway or Waitrose has made life interesting, but boycotting the hateful Marlboro brand means I'm really giving something up. But now, I have a boycott all of my own to put to the public, and the cause needs support from New Statesman football supporters.
Did you notice that two weeks ago, that loathsome bag of waste known as Lee Bowyer was about to be signed by Liverpool FC? Well, when I read this in the papers my first reaction was nausea. Why did it have to be my team, the team I've supported all my life, which proved once and for all that football is now all about money, money, money and has nothing whatever to do with the pride of the club or the will of the fans? Am I the only person in this country to find it sickening that a bully with a track record of drunkenness, greed and arrogance (and who, although cleared last year of beating an Asian student unconscious, was branded a liar by the judge and made to pay [pounds sterling]1m in costs) should have been offered [pounds sterling]35,000 a week to represent a multicultural city such as Liverpool, both at home and abroad? …