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Learning from Millwall FC

During the 1980s and 1990s Millwall FC was generally disliked -- and its supporters loved being hated. Their motto was "no one likes us and we don't care".

lThey were all profoundly loyal to each other and to their club. No matter how badly their club performed on the pitch, or their supporters behaved off of it, their loyalty was total.

Millwall's attitude was classic form of group-think. The values and beliefs of the group are far more important than anything that outsiders may think. The more they are attacked by outsiders, the more they stick together. They find more reasons to believe that they are right and the rest of the world is wrong.

So who do yesterday's Millwall supporters remind you of today?

  • Bankers who believe that they are entitled to a state funded bonanza because "we work very hard" "the crash was not my fault" "my bank did not take taxpayers money". The excuses would shame a five-year-old. Ultimately, it comes back to the Millwall chant: "no one loves us and we don't care". Wave two fingers to everyone and order a new Porsche.
  • Politicians who are outraged at having to pay back expenses. They mix indignation and self-justification with poor logic to keep their snouts in the trough. Like Millwall supporters they still do not get it about public disgust. And for those who are standing down at the next election, they really do not care either.
  • Posties who are striking for reasons no one clearly understands, even though they know they are committing slow, public suicide with every walkout. The internal logic of the aggrieved posties has taken over from any form of logic or reason that the rest of humanity can grasp.
  • Terrorists who sincerely believe that killing and murdering innocents is the high road to heaven. The values of the cult have taken over: they can interpret any event to support their world view.
In each case, the force of reason will have precisely no impact on any of them. They are beyond reason. Ultimately, they will only change when it is in their self interest.

That means a mixture or carrot and stick: make their existing choice ever more uncomfortable while showing that there is a better alternative.

The posties will get there because they face the most uncomfortable choice. The other groups probably won't -- they'll carry on for decades chanting "no one likes us and we don't care".

(Image: jaciXIII, CC2.0)

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