You said you would remember us. But you forgot.

Swindon Town official website: “‘Kick Out Racism’ remains one of the most crucial initiatives in football today, and Swindon Town back the campaign to the hilt.”
But not fascism, apparently…
Swindon Town official website screenshot

Swindon Town official website screenshot

Mussolini and Hitlet

Mussolini and Hitler

It still pains me to look at photos like these.

And yet Di Canio said (in his autobiography) that Mussolini was “basically a very principled, ethical individual” who was “deeply misunderstood”.

No, I didn’t misunderstand.

I knew the evil I was fighting.

And I’ll never stop fighting it.

According to Swindon Advertiser Chief Sports Writer, Gary Rose, Paolo Di Canio has pledged his allegiance to Swindon Town – “Paolo: ‘I’m here to stay'”.
OK. I’ll add them to my list then.

Things that Paolo Di Canio has pledged allegiance to:
  1. Fascism
  2. Benito Mussolini
  3. Swindon Town

Judging by his determination to say nice things about Di Canio, Gary Rose seems to have signed some kind of pledge of allegiance of his own.

Grown-up debate

I don’t want you to miss any interesting discussions on the subject of Swindon Town’s embracing of fascism. So let’s review one on the Swindon Advertiser website from Monday 23 May.

First, read this post by someone called ‘BadProspects, Old Town’:

“There has been a lot of comment section talk regarding Di Canio’s suitability to head a team which bears the name of a town containing people of all creeds and cultures. Can the Adver take up the following questions at the press conference and get some proper straight answers from the STFC board (and maybe the man himself)?
  • Is he a fascist?
  • What do fascists believe?
  • Has he openly said he admires Mussolini? ( a dictator who’s troops used mustard gas on men, women and children in Ethiopia?)
  • Did Mussolini see laws passed which meant the death sentence for non-europeans in mixed race relationships? * Is di Canio aware that Mussolini passed anti-semitic laws in Italy?
  • Does di Canio have a tattoo of ‘Dux’ – a play on Mussolini’s nickname, ‘Il Duce’?
  • Has di Canio made straight arm fascist salutes to right-wing fans in Italy?
  • … and if the answer is yes to those questions, how does his appointment sit with the values and culture of Swindon and the football team which bears his name?
  • How does it sit with the FAs claim to want to kick racism out of football?
  • Does his fame and footballing talent really count for more than a philosophy of racial superiority? What message will this send the younger fans?”

An impassioned, but not unreasonable, set of questions, I thought.

So let’s see some of the comments he received in response:

  • “Get stuffed you moron!!!” – P*ssed Off
  •  “Tootle off back down the 420 to yellowland, troll.” – mcred
  •  “Yeah ! Get f****d you t#%t” – EastleazeRed
  • “Our message to you pal is p1$$ off back to Oxford!!!” – Lazaat
  •  “How many more times do you want us to tell you to **** off back to Poxford?” – mcred (again)
  •  “Get f*$%ed mate!” – International Robin
  • “You my friend are a complpete and utter mongoloid I dont give a s*** if hes a facist, what happens on the pitch is all that matter. – Jimmycrashmatt

Oh dear, it’s going to be difficult winning a debate against these intellectual heavyweights.

Actually, let’s not bother with them. There are bigger fish to fry.

Di Canio's 'fasces' tattoo

Di Canio's 'fasces' tattoo - a fascist symbol

Here’s something you won’t see in the Swindon Advertiser.

Paolo di Canio has two permanent tributes to fascism tattooed on his body. His back is covered with the ‘fasces’ – the traditional symbol of Italian fascism – which Benito Mussolini used in his personal flag.

His second is a tribute to Mussolini himself. He has the word ‘Dux’ – Roman for ‘Duce’ (Mussolini’s self-styled title) – on his right bicep.

Next time someone tells you Di Canio isn’t really a fascist, you can tell them that Tommy told you otherwise.

My name is Tommy

I was born in Swindon, and so I’ve always been a devoted follower of my hometown club.
But, when I was in my twenties, I had to suspend that support and go off to fight in a war.
The enemy – then, as now – was fascism.
We defeated it (or so I thought), but I made the ultimate sacrifice.
Now that sacrifice has been descecrated, and the manager of my beloved Swindon Town wears a tribute to Mussolini on his arm.
And no one seems to care.

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