Anorak | Breaching The Peace On Public Silences

Breaching The Peace On Public Silences

by | 8th, February 2008


A MINUTE’S silence, if you will, for the eight Manchester United players who perished in 1957.

Eight journalists were among the 23 killed in Munich, and the newspapers may consider a minute’s silence for them, too.

A minute’s silence was tried at Wembley, before England and Switzerland kicked off. The journalists were quiet. But the referee blew his whistle after 27 seconds (Times), 28 seconds (Independent), 23 seconds (Sun). (Watches should be co-ordinated to avoid confusion.)

There were the isolated catcalls in the expensive seats, a few irritating bursts of “Shhhhhhh!”, but the biggest din was made by the German referee blowing his whistle (28 seconds) to get the match going.

The Times wonders if the minute’s silence can be attained this Sunday, when Manchester United play Manchester City and referee Howard Webb “blows his whistle at 1:29 – the hour of kick-off, not the lengthening silence.

The pundits will listen out for a “few idiots” breaching the peace. Indeed, the silence has been so talked about, so hyped, that some may find it irresistible to break. Shouting out may appear as an act of rebellion in the face of much right-mindedness and consensual thinking.

You Only Do What We Tell You

At a recent Arsenal v West Ham United match the visiting West Ham fans chanted “Stand up if you hate Tottenham”.

The Arsenal fans in the vicinity stood.

“Sit down if you hate Tottenham,” chanted the Hammers. The Arsenal fans sat.

“You only do what we tell you,” came the final chant. And they were right.

Fans should do what they are told, lest they behave like, well, football fans.

How To Guarantee The Full Minute

And the full minute’s silence will be observed. And here’s how to make sure we all obey.

As soon a silence is broken, referee Howard Webb should restart his stopwatch. This will go on until the full minute’s silence has been observed, not 23 seconds, not 28 seconds, not even 58.9 seconds.

We will all stay behind until it is done. It is what we are all screaming for…

gunnersmascot.jpg(This game of Hammers Says followed right behind a minute’s silence for the death of Motherwell captain Phil O’Donnell. It was impeccably observed. Although, the Anorak confesses that had he spotted, as Anorak’s Ed Barrett did, the Arsenal mascot, the ten-foot high, livid green Gunnasaurus, with arms behind back and head bowed, the mind may have wondered.)

Posted: 8th, February 2008 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink