The discussion on overseas QPR fans websites has highlighted not just the number of fans from different countries, but the level of commitment and love for the club that we overseas R’s carry with us back home. Some carry it from even further back…
When Ming the Merciless was Emperor of Mongo, a long time ago in a galaxy far, Flash Gordon saved the Universe from evil domination. Today there is a similar threat closer to home in West London with the Evil Ones growing in wealth and influence and apparently counting among their supporters both Robert Mugabe and Satan. However, hope is at hand, Ming the Merciless has surfaced again, this time in the West of Ireland and this time he is on the side of the Just.
This incarnation of Ming, though, has taken the democratic route to power. He was elected to Roscommon County Council in 2008, voted Mayor of Roscommon in 2010 and elected to Dail Eireann (Parliament) in 2011. So what does this all have to do with the Hoops ? Well, our man Ming, real name Luke Ming Flanagan, is a lifelong, madly dedicated R. When he was elected last year his celebrations were reported in the media: “held shoulder high by his jubilant supporters holding a turf cutting banner and a flag of Queen’s Park Rangers, the soccer club he supports”.
Clearly a man of taste and some of his other campaign issues would find favour with many Indy R’s; against closure of local hospitals and services and the “turf cutting banner” refers to his campaign to allow locals to continue to hand cut peat for their homes as they have done for generations. And a bit like zicoshoops recent post about oppression on his allotment, the authorities in the West are apparently using helicopters to film people who are out cutting turf.
Our hero is, though, best known for his campaign to legalise cannabis and was in trouble with the law when, as part of his campaign, he sent a joint to every member of both Houses of Parliament. It’s not known if they were all used or nor, but maybe it explains how the last government lost their focus on the economy.
In an interview with the Roscommon People Newspaper, Ming gave his view of the world:
Q: Best player you’ve ever seen ?
A: Stanley Bowles
Q: Best game you’ve ever seen ?
A: On telly, it was Man. Utd (1) – QPR (4) at Old Trafford on January 1st 1992. In person it was QPR (6) – Luton Town (1) At Loftus Road in September 1990.
Q: Favourite team and why ?
A: QPR, simple, we are the finest football team the world has ever seen.
Q: What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you ?
A: QPR losing 1-7 to Sheffield Wednesday. I’m a QPR man !
On radio, after his election early in 2011, he was asked if this was going to be a good year for him and he replied that if QPR won the Championship and Roscommon won the Nestor Cup it would be a great year – “Yeah, it’s a dream season for me and a dream season for QPR”.
Keeping an election promise (now there’s an idea) to give back half of his salary (there’s another idea) to projects in his constituency, his first act was to give 9,000 euros to Boyle Town Council to buy new road signs. He made an agreement with the Council to keep this quiet, but in the end the Council couldn’t take the money without confirming where it came from. “I have done my damndest to keep this quiet, but it seems that is impossible”.
Finally Ming has announced that he had stopped smoking cannabis in Ireland for the sake of his family and to be able to continue to represent his constituents. But his campaign for legalisation also continues; he had a suit specially made from hemp which he has been wearing in the Dail. Suits You Sir !
For more on our own Super Hero, a small independent film company produced a film about his adventures, which should be available on YouTube:
‘The Life and Crimes of Citizen Ming’ (2002) 82 mins – Big Yes Productions – (Documentary) Cast: Luke Ming Flanagan as himself (Ming the Merciless).