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.
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!).
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?
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.