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Brogan last won the day on November 8 2015

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  1. I’ve just come back – ironically from a moving remembrance service – to read the latest in this thread. Can I repeat: no-one here has attempted to belittle remembrance. I only questioned holding an armed forces day at a football match, and worried that remembrance events were becoming ostentatiously trivialised and militarised. Yesterday's events only strengthened my views. In particular, the War Graves section at half-time showed how far remembrance can be hollowed of meaning. A list of locals whose Wellshill graves were maintained by the War Graves Commission was read out by children, along with the men’s rank and number. They were lauded as soldiers who had paid the ultimate sacrifice and were euphemistically described as ‘the fallen’. We were told we would remember them. But in remembering had anyone bothered to find out the human stories behind their deaths? For a start, half of those whose names were read out never fought. One was popular railway guard and reservist who died of old age in January 1915. Another grave commemorates the life of a retired Major who died peacefully at home in Balhousie Terrace. There was undoubted tragedy in some of the deaths of those named, even if they didn’t occur in battle. One died of natural causes on a training exercise; another was killed when he fell out of a train near Cumbernauld; a third fell off a horse in York. Yet another took ill in London and died in Woolwich hospital. Other deaths were accidents. One poor lad buried at Wellshill was shot in the back by his friend while hunting rabbits near Glenfarg. Perhaps the saddest untold story behind the names read out yesterday was that of a 45-year-old reservist tram conductor. After his shift, a little after 8 o’clock in the evening of Saturday, 17 August 1915, he went home to his wife and family in Brown Street, put his shotgun in his mouth, pulled the trigger and blew the top of his skull off. The trouble is that none of these fascinating, often moving stories were told, because they don’t fit a narrative that demands we only list names and numbers so we can say they all fell bravely for a single cause. But when people are so reduced, are we really remembering the human cost? I got the impression that anyone listening yesterday didn’t think much about it. This is how trivialised our remembrance has become: we seem more impressed by how quiet we were in the minute's silence than anything else. In the end, were those deaths more tragic than, say, the loss of our first-team goalkeeper, John Mulrooney, to a heart attack days after the outbreak of war? His lack of rank alone means his name will never be read out at McDiarmid. And Johnny Cameron’s war death will forever eclipse his moment of greatest bravery: when he rescued a wee girl who’d fallen into the Tay at spate in the dark in late February 1913. Cameron jumped fully-clothed into the river by Perth Bridge to swim to her and save her. But I want to close on a wider point. In offering my views on an Armed Forces Day – which would have passed without comment a few years ago – I’ve insulted no-one, nor been rude to anyone who holds a different view. I’ve attempted to put facts behind my opinions, and asked questions I was open to hear answers to. But I’ve realised most of those I’m discussing it with aren’t listening. In lieu of counter-arguments I, or others who hold similar views, have been called ‘blinkered’, ’idiots’, ’knobs’ and ’assholes’. I’ve been told to hang my head in shame and ‘get [my] attitude sorted out’. I’ve been informed that my comments were ‘offensive’ and was advised to miss the match. This thread hasn’t promoted discussion. Instead – and surely there’s irony here – it’s shown intolerance. Being called ‘assholes’ by a fellow Saints fan – and seeing the names on the list of ‘likes’ attaching themselves to such a nasty comment – strikes a new low. So this will be my last post on the topic – and in this forum. Compassion inflation and intolerance towards differing views will ensure the same Armed Forces spectacle is repeated next year. I won’t making the same argument against it then. I may not have managed to change minds, but I don’t regret for a minute speaking out against it.
  2. Because The Courier isn’t mistaken if its definition of ‘St Johnstone player’ is applied at it’s loosest and includes all former players. Similarly ‘in WW1’ would have to include those who didn’t die in the front line. I say it’s disingenuous because the phrase ’ten St Johnstone players died in WW1’ to my mind lends a misleading impression to the uninformed person that these were current players and that, like Hearts, we lost virtually an entire team of volunteers in the trenches. That isn’t true, but it leads to the sort of misconception that has already arisen in this forum.
  3. If the Courier says this, it's disingenous. After the war St Johnstone noted that five 'members' of the club had lost their lives during the war: 'Ecky' Halkett, Bert Sampson, Charles Scott, David McWalter and John Cameron*. But only two - McWalter and Cameron - were St Johnstone players at the outbreak. There were another couple of ex-players added to the list later. I'm not mentioning this to play down loss of life. But it's important to recognise why a club like Hearts make a big thing out of their losses in the First World War and why we should be careful not to inflate St Johnstone's losses to match theirs. Hearts lost so many of their players because most of their first team volunteered at the outset of the war. No St Johnstone player, as far as I'm aware, did. * John Cameron deserves recognition for another act of amazing pre-war bravery, which I've never seen mentioned by the club.
  4. Yes I know. I'm not disputing that, or that we're a relatively better side now. What I can't let go unchallenged is the bald statement that 'the only way that the 90's squad trumps this one is in the nostalgia stakes'. It's fanciful.
  5. Seriously? You rate Scobbie higher than Griffin? Anderson better than Kernaghan? I'd put McQuillan above Shaughnessy too probably. I might give Easton the nod over Bollan, but it would be close.
  6. Nonsense. We had far better players in the late nineties - O'Boyle, Griffin, O'Neil, Dasovic, Main among others. It was a quality side, peppered with internationalists and international squad members up against far better teams. It's unarguable that today's team has achieved a lot more, but you have to acknowledge wider circumstances, including the overall decline in quality of bigger clubs, that puts us in a far stronger position today.
  7. I'm even more unclear what your original point was. Manager does well with some players, but not with others?
  8. Why's it politically incorrect? Am I remembering it wrong?
  9. At some point, surely, someone is going to mention Billy Pirie
  10. I think Tommy will go for Sutton as a replacement despite Kane's performance on Wednesday.
  11. Unless I'm misunderstanding your original post, you implied that players improved when they came to Perth and that was down to Wright and Davidson. When someone pointed out the number of players who have bombed, you muddied the waters through unprovable yet bizarre suggestions that, contrary to all appearances, players like Sutton and Iwelumo may have actually been massive successes because 'who knows what they're like in the dressing room'. Can you not just accept that Perth is a great opportunity for some players starved of first team action e.g: Dunne and O'Halloran. Others are car crashes – Fallon, Morgan – and some are pretty much what you'd expect – Lappin and Wotherspoon. It's the way football is. Our manager does not have biblical powers.
  12. I'd say so. Certainly far higher than most club forums.
  13. Brogan

    Stevie May

    His assists have been the most impressive part of his game. Our last two goals have come from his perfect crosses.
  14. Brogan

    RWC 2015

    On the plus side, we should maybe take a look at signing Joubert for Saints. No idea if he's good on the ball, but he has a tasty turn of pace.
  15. Brogan

    Stevie May

    Sheffield Wednesday are the Hibs of English football: perennial failures who ruin any players who come to them, yet whose fans retain romantic ideas above their station.