I was catching up on the latest episodes of Shameless when the idea for the shoddy Photoshop work you can see came about. In the context of the current situation at Elland Road, the dialogue from the opening titles seemed so incredibly apt – particularly the part about allowing something we hate to continue without forcing revolution.

During Shameless’ opening titles, the fictional character Frank Gallagher questions the absence of an uprising against ‘Con-Dem-nation, which, for those of you outside the UK, is the United Kingdom’s leading coalition government of centre-right Conservatives and the centre-left Liberal Democrats.

“Have we had a national […] stroke?” Frank asks, “Is ‘revolution’ a word? Or was it never?”

It’s not that British people don’t complain and make their voices heard, the brilliance of the rant is that it’s heavy with irony and plays on a stereotype – this country is full of people like Frank who have taken exception to some authority or another, who moan about it incessantly and do absolutely nothing to challenge it.

In many ways, The Scratching Shed stands testament to that. None of us like Ken Bates and we try to counteract his propaganda, but we continue to sustain and recognise his power as individual fans by funding him. His power is contained within that funding.

Protests do work. They raise the issue, get the necessary media attention needed and in some instances, the response people are hoping for will occur without need for further action. The controlling powers won’t risk their authority by calling the protesters bluff. They will instead meet their demands before things escalate.

Generally speaking however, these are protests against a democratic organisation or government. By protesting, people are – perhaps without even realising it – threatening removal of power through democratic means (ie. an election or vote of no confidence). This means the majority can always force the issue. If Frank’s opinion that the UK Government is failing is shared by the majority, and said majority are willing to take a stand instead of passively allowing it to continue, change can be achieved.

However, protests against a dictatorship are an entirely different thing. The threat of democratically removing power isn’t there, so unless you can find an alternative threat, no one is forced to react – and it has to be a threat you’re willing to follow through on.

There may be other options, but to really challenge Ken Bates’ power and force his hand, threatening to remove funding is the only route to success I can see working at Elland Road.

The problem is, removing that funding won’t be an option for many. Fans will – quite understandably – argue that they’re Leeds United supporters first, anti-Ken Bates second. If removing the funding inextricably tied to Ken’s power means supporters have to stop attending games, the response is all too easily predicted – it simply won’t happen.

It’s for this reason that I’m left to question whether revolution has a place in 21st century Britain? Unless we make some kind of threat to Ken Bates’ power, then how are the protests anything more than symbolic?

And this isn’t a criticism of Leeds United Supporters Trust and Saturday’s march – the Trust simply act based on what their members ask of them – my criticism is of the wider fan base, myself included. We want change, but we live in a society where we (usually) don’t have to sacrifice anything to achieve it.

We live in a country and an age where the only revolution we experience is beamed through satellites from third world countries thousands of miles away to the comfort of our living rooms.. We’re incredibly lucky that the government and almost every organisation and business allow us to moan about the most trivial nonsense and because they need our votes and/or money, they’ll respond to try and keep us happy – no matter how ridiculous our complaints are.

If the outcome of that isn’t satisfactory, we’ll seek like-minded individuals and moan collectively, maybe even start an online petition. If they won’t listen to the complaints of one person, a collective approach usually yields some kind of result. And in the rare instance that fails, we’ll march on their headquarters and cause enough of a fuss to get the press involved – no one wants bad press, they’ll respond. They always respond.

But what happens when they don’t? What happens when you’re an irrationally loyal group of customers squaring off against an old-fashioned businessman who has squashed more uprisings than most of us will ever see? Because that’s where we are at this moment in time – we’re attempting to stage a revolution without making any kind of threat because we refuse to sacrifice anything. We’re going to war with a few chants, some pretty signage and no weapons.

We need to step things up a gear and consider how much we’re willing to sacrifice.

“Every revolution, demands the sacrifice of a generation.” Simone de Beauvoir