Do we need Lord Ferguson?


Sir Alex Ferguson by Andrea Sartorati

Let’s get this straight; I don’t support City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea or Leeds. But I have been recently musing the widespread adulation of Sir Alex Ferguson that has now led to 2 MPs (Tony Lloyd, Graham Stringer) calling for his elevation to the House of Lords. You cannot argue against the proposition that he is one of the most effective football mangers of all time, the facts speak for themselves. But I am concerned that further public recognition will send very damaging signals to society about attitudes and behaviour in public life. He is a person who regularly uses intimidation as a tool to control others. Psychological intimidation is an outrageous abuse of power in any situation and, such is his position, that he usually holds all the cards (e.g. the recent incident of the exclusion of the journalist who dared to ask about Ryan Giggs). Love is the very opposite of overbearing control- it comes from inner security that generates freedom and encouragement. It is not self-obsessed; it cares more about others than its own reputation. Sir Alex Ferguson has shown that when he feels affronted, he withholds forgiveness and co-operation (e.g. The BBC’s investigations into his son’s activities as a football agent that has led to years of non-communication). These may be understandable reactions but they are hugely damaging to everyone concerned and should be challenged not encouraged by further decoration. A friend once said ‘I’m interested in having courageous conversations’. I hope those around him are having such conversations to help see reconciliation as the better way. And in the meantime, elevation to public office seems entirely inappropriate- do we want playground bullies up and down the land to be given a large, public seal of approval?

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