Letter to Calum

In response to Stan Collymore’s ‘statement’, regarding his Falkland’s tweet, Falkland’s veteran and author Ken Lukowiak replies to Talksport’s MD,  Mr Calum Macaulay. 

Dear Calum,

Firstly let me thank you for agreeing to meet Dougie and I last week. Although, after the little dance that we seemed to need to go through before we did all finally sit down together, I’m not sure if you agreed to meet us, or we agreed to meet you. Either way, we did all agree on something, so well done us!

May I also thank you not only for your subsequent letter but also the statement that was released by your Stan after our meeting. People have been questioning if Stan actually wrote the statement. Call me cynical, but I’d be amazed if he’s even read it. As statements go I couldn’t have penned one myself to annoy and cause even more distress within our ranks. Although, I can’t help but feel that when that statement was drafted, you thought that that might be the case. I also feel it was a statement that was aimed more at your stations sponsors that it was to the people who Stan had offended.

You asked at the meeting what I thought Talksport could do to help bring about a resolution to this matter. I replied, that I felt, the first thing that needed to be done was for Stan to issue a full and unequivocal apology. Simply for him to say that he was ‘sorry’ for the hurt his tweet had caused. And that he now had an understanding of why it had been so offensive to Falkland’s veterans and their families.

His statement did neither of these things. It was also no help to the peace process when Stan re-tweeted a tweet that mocked the size of the protest that took place outside of your offices. All I can think, in Talksports defence, is that Stan’s babysitter had to go for a bathroom break, Stan then managed to chew off his mittens, and banged out a quick tweet.

Yourself and Stan seem to hold the belief that our disagreement has come about purely because of our misunderstanding of the ‘context’ of his tweet. We didn’t ‘get’ the ‘context’ of his Falkland’s rant. As Stan so eloquently tried to explain in his next tweet on the subject “Not one mention of 1982, not one mention of our soldiers, navy or airmen, not one mention of Argentina. No mention of the 20th century!!” (Yeah, you thick squaddie idiots!).

stan tweet (2)

As I said at our meeting, he didn’t need to mention 1982. I believe that you can’t have a debate about the most popular colour of nail varnish worn by the Ladies of Port Stanley today, without the war in 1982 having some ‘context’. Because if my friends had not made the ultimate sacrifice, in 1982, the ladies of Port Stanley today – wouldn’t be there. You’’d have the Senoritas of Puerto Argentino.

But I’ll tell you what Mr Calum Sir, in the interests of Détente let me do my best to try to see things your way. Stan wasn’t saying we ‘thieved’ the islands in 1982, Stan was talking about a time, back in the day, when we first ‘thieved’ the islands. Right, now I understand what he meant. Therefore, unless once more, I’m getting it all out of context, what Stan is saying is that he supports the Argentine claim of sovereignty over the Falkland Islands. That is what he’s saying, isn’t it?

falklands tweet

But then, of course, this is Britain. And despite the fact that 258 British subjects lost their lives in the war. Or that we didn’t start the war. Or that in the war we were fighting an Evil Fascist Military Dictatorship, who not only illegally invaded British territory, but also disappeared tens of thousands of their own people. Stan Collymore has the right to support Argentina’s claim to the Islands. And if Talksport, a British radio station, have no qualms about him doing this, under their banner, and in amongst other tweets promoting their schedule, I guess that’s also allowed. I just think it’s a crying shame. But then I would – wouldn’t I. Because I’m British. And I had friends who died there.

There is one statement in your letter that I really do have to take umbrage with. You wrote that Stan gives his: “unequivocal support for the British Armed Forces wherever they are operating in the world – including the Falklands and Northern Ireland”.

I’m presuming that Northern Ireland got a mention in dispatches, because of the final part of our meeting, where we discussed Stan’s Northern Ireland tweets. In one he showed his ‘unequivocal support’ for our troops who served in the Provence, both past and present, by tweeting:

“Any country invades England, forces it’s will without mandate for 400 years. I take up arms, teach my kids, and there kids to do the same.”

So well done the IRA and splinter groups thereof for taking up arms! And that tweet is unequivocal support’? Well, I guess it is – for Republican terrorist organisations.. Or am I getting the context all wrong again?

And yet once more, this is Britain, and Stan Collymore has the right to support the armed struggle of the IRA. Who’s catalogue of crimes and murders are too numerous to mention here. Though I feel I do have to mention the 700 plus British Service personal who lost their lives through people taking up arms. Talksport also have the right to continue employing a man who supports the IRA. But likewise we have our rights. I have the right to complain about his remarks and to make my disgust known. And your radio stations sponsors and advertisers also have the right to say that they don’t want their products or services associated with Stan Collymore in anyway

Finally, let me finish on Stan’s tweet of advice for the British subjects who live in Northern Ireland. Stan told them that they should “Fuck off back to Britain”. As I am sure you are aware the Loyalist population of Northern Ireland are as Irish as Gerry Adams, and have as much right to live there as anyone. To tell them that they should F off back to Britain is racist. If someone was to say the same thing about the black population of this country, Stan would quite rightly be the first to start screaming from on high.

The peace in Northern Ireland is holding, and as someone who served there, I really do give thanks for that. But it is still a fragile peace. Ignorant, uninformed, comments by Stan Collymore, are not only stupid but also dangerous. Because it takes just one spark to light the fire. And it really is beyond me how your parent company, Ulster Media, a Belfast based company, are happy to continue giving a platform to Stan Collymore’s hate filled bile.

I’m also wondering if his ‘F off back to Britain’ tweet is illegal. What do you think? What do your sponsors think?

I hope one day that we meet under happier circumstances. No, I really do.





6 responses to “Letter to Calum

  1. peter hopkins

    1695 Britain was there first well before Argentina knew the islands existed.

  2. Hi Ken great to see you again keep fighting for whats right love Tony Pye and family xx

  3. WTG ken keep fighting the good fight mate pete [chalkie ]white hastings

  4. Ken ,

    I don’t reckon you get any pleasure at all putting any of the responses together but I am so glad you do , yet again fantastic response

    cheers Al

    Sent from my iPad


  5. Ken, my daughter, Melanie Burnell, posted this on Facebook after sharing my ‘share’ of the ‘Letter to Callum.’ A child’s ( in 1982 ) perspective …………

    ‘Dear Stan, I thought you were perhaps younger than me and, therefore, you may not have known the impact your ignorant comments would have. I remember, at seven years old, singing ‘..For Those in Peril on the Sea’ in assembly and having a hollow sense or foreboding. The reason -I had just waved goodbye to my Dad, at Southampton Docks, on the QE2, alongside hundreds of other children. He was at sea, heading for the South Atlantic. When I asked my mum what ‘peril’ meant and she told me ‘danger’, the penny dropped. Would I see him again? I’m fortunate, he returned. I learned, at Brize Norton, that sometimes when you cry, it can be because you are happy! I was eight and my Dad came home! I knew, instinctively, that not every child would be as happy as I was. Also, I knew then, as I know now, that our British Soldiers, men and women, play a massively important role in protecting the freedoms we enjoy today. This year will be the anniversary of the start of the First World War. There are many still with us, who remember the horror of being under attack during the Blitz, and being invaded by Argentinian Forces. Have you any idea what it was like? Have you spoken to anyone who has been affected by it before or since your ‘tweets’? To quote something my Dad said and still says, Stan, “Get a grip!”. You have a platform to promote some positivity. Use it. Whatever your politics are you’re allowed your views because of our Armed Services -Past and Present and yet to come! You have no excuse, Stan. Apologise to all of those you’ve offended- because you can and because it’s the the right thing to do. Oh, and don’t tweet’

    Glenn Smith, RE Vet.

  6. warrior2worrier

    Thank you Glenn for sharing your memories. I don’t know why – they bought a tear to my eye. I guess it’s because your words brought back memories of my home coming at Brize. I was so happy that day.

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