Robert Halfon, the Conservative MP for Harlow has been calling for the FA board to resign following the disgraceful England performance at the world cup.

It has been picked up locally here by the Harlow Star, by the BBC here and even by the Daily Mail here

Rob, who is a season ticket holder at Chelsea, makes some interesting points, particularly about making the FA more democratic, and the ability for Fans to remove the board.

I can actually see his idea working.

Official England supporters could in effect become the shareholders of the FA. Imagine how many more fans would pay to be members of the supporters club if they had a vote on who was sat on the board of the FA. Imagine if it was elected who would be there….

I can see Trevor Brooking surviving as he seems universally respected by fans as the only member of the FA who actually “gets it” but in an open election how many of the others would survive? I would bet not many.

So who would end up running the FA in those situations? Well I can see heads of some clubs supporters clubs getting large block votes, and maybe some ex professional footballers as well, but would other sports stars and ex managers be able to bring their expertise to the FA? I think they would.

I think elections to the Board of the FA would reconnect the FA to the fans, to the grassroots, it would also give the board much more “clout” and probably guts to make some tough decisions.

I really do think Rob Halfon is on to something here.

I cannot use words to say what I want about the Match this afternoon, so I will simply give you the words of the Greatest playwright in History:

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o’erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rockO’erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill’d with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height.
On, on, you noblest English.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call’d fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war.
And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start.
The game’s afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘God for Harry, England, and Saint George!’

I am really pleased that flying over the Civic Centre in Harlow, at the moment, is the English Flag of St George. I am pleased that the council is publicly showing support for our boys as they battle at the World Cup.

Even prouder am I, now that the Armed Forces flag is flying above the Civic Centre, supporting our Boys and Girls battling in a much more dangerous way so far from home.

Ever more bittersweet this lunchtime as I heard of the 300th death our troops have suffered in the conflict in Afghanistan.

We are flying the Armed Forces flag this week to celebrate Armed Forces Day on the 26th June (the day in 1857 of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross) and so we jolly well should.

Regardless of your view on the conflict in Afghanistan or Iraq, I hope we can all agree that those in the armed forces who put their lives on the line day after day in support of the country deserve the countries support!

It is a sad society where some places, towns, people show little or no respect to those who risk their lives to provide freedom to the people of the British Isles, and indeed freedom for our friends in other countries.

That is why people and towns need to make a difference. We can’t all be Wootton Bassett, but we need to keep faith with our Armed Forces and make their celebration part of everyday life.

Nothing wrenched my gut quite like my daughter the other month, when in a supermarket and spying a gentleman in Army Dress Uniform said “look mummy daddy its one of the brave ones!”

I hope by the celebration of Armed Forces Day, by big events or just by “Flying the Flag” more young people will grow up with a greater appreciation of what our Armed Forces do for all of us.

In the meantime Harlow Council continues to promote the charity Help for Heroes , as they provide direct support for those wounded in conflict, with a collection box and wrist band sale on our main desk in the reception area.


What a BAD night.

And yes I am talking about the footy!

It should have been a wonderful evening – and let me tell you why:

Firstly the Germans had lost earlier in the day; a warm feeling of Schadenfreude should have filled every Englishman.

Second we were Celebrating Robert Halfon’s win at the General Election at Harlow’s wonderful Royal British Legion club (its a lovely venue with a great big screen)

And third lets be honest England should have been about to trash the Algerians.

We witnessed a depressing turnout of sub standard football. I have been a leader long enough to recognise the problems, Fabio Capello obviously doesn’t see them yet. I always think leaders particularly strong leaders need to be able to bend in the breeze and not be so fixed on one direction that any problem snaps them like a hard twig. Leaders need to be more like Bamboo flexing in the wind.

Capello needs to see that some great players are great because they play a certain way, week in week out in the premiership. Asking them to play a different way just to fit into his preferred formation will not work. Fabio needs to be more flexible and accommodating to the styles of the players he has in his squad, and needs with only one chance left to let the players flow more like they do in their natural environment.

It’s fine having a team of the best individuals in the world, but if they don’t gel as a team, and are not allowed some degree of leniency then they will never achieve what they can.

Multiple rules and regulations can help an undisciplined team in the beginning, but lets be honest we all desire less regulation, less intervention and ultimately want to be able to work to the best of our abilities.

Fabio needs to relax and then perhaps the rest of the country can relax with him as we start winning.

Ok – so an afternoon out from politics sees me at my parents house, on the couch with my Dad and Brother, glued to the TV.

My brother and I are both Spurs fans and with Dad being a Chelski fan, we were united (pardon the pun) in cheering against Man U.

It was great to spend some “boys time” with my Brother and Dad, and not to think about Council budgets, or writing political leaflets.

Football is of course the greatest of levellers, and sometimes its nice just to “be normal”