A couple of months ago, I talked briefly about celebrity fandom. The situation where a self-described working-class football club has some success, and suddenly finds all kinds of supporters coming out from pinholes in the woodwork. Whether or not the actual support that these characters profess is genuine or long-established or simply flag-of-convenience, it’s the overnight fashion to make it loudly public.
Last time I mentioned Iain Dale in that context, but there was another flagrant example that I couldn’t trace – until yesterday, when I came across it again in Stuart Maconie’s amiable travelogue Pies and Prejudice: in Search of the North.
He took it the same way, bless him:
Only yesterday, I saw a briefly fashionable young actor (his name escapes me but he was in Layer Cake or Lock Stock or Snatch or some other tedious bit of gangster porn) extolling his love for West Ham on some sports show, and proudly claiming, ‘The East End – home of hardcore naughty people!’
Hardcore naughty people, geezers, wide boys, hard men, rogues, ducking and diving, a bit tasty, well handy; if anyone has cornered the market in euphemisms for scum it is the Londoner.
By their friends shall ye etc.: