It probably won’t surprise many of you to learn that I am a dedicated computer war gamer.
It’s what I do to relax when I’m not working on blogs or magazines or books.
I enjoy kicking back of an evening by launching flaming projectiles into villages, massacring enemy soldiers, razing cities to the ground and expanding my empire one province at a time.
Of all these games, the Total War series is my favourite, especially Rome and Rome II as I’m a huge geek about the Age of Antiquity.
This week I purchased Creative Assembly’s brand new game, which is something of a sequel to the second Rome title, which they released last year.
The new game is called Attila: Total War. It takes place in the timeframe in which the Roman Empire had split into two, the Western and Eastern empires, and gives you a choice of various factions to run, with Europe, Western Asia, North Africa and the Middle East as your playground and battlefield.
I am easing into the game slowly, as you have to.
Twenty turns into the game, Attila is born and you have about another 20 years (80 turns) to get your house in order before his army starts looting and burning its way across the continent.
The late game objective is to survive that onslaught, although his famous nomadic tribe can be encountered and battled before he emerges to lead it.
They are, of course, the Huns.
This morning, after last night’s sectarian songfest at Starks Park, the Usual Suspects are engaging in the old “whatabouttery” and pointing fingers across the city.
In particular, they’re focussing much of their ire on the Green Brigade and the “Hun Banner” from the League Cup Semi Final.
The flap over this word bothers me somewhat.
A lot of people want to classify the word as sectarian, but they have no grounds on which to do so.
A lot of Sevco fans claim to be hurt and offended by the word, but that cuts no ice with me, I’m afraid.
That sort of mock outrage belongs in the schoolyard. The word has very clear roots and equally clear connotations.
I use the word rarely, but when I do use it I know exactly I mean by it, and I defy anyone to pull me up for it, or attempt to suggest I’m a bigot.
The word hun refers to a mentality, and a set of behaviours.
We saw that “mentality” last night at Starks Park, and I have no problem calling those chanting the disgusting songs and slogans huns.
I equally have no problem labelling the Manchester rioters, or the thugs who send threats online or in the post, or by phone huns, because that is what they are.
You see huns in every walk of life, not just football, but here in Scotland there’s a particular branch of the Sevco support which has made the expression their own.
The dictionary describes them thus; “A member of a warlike Asiatic nomadic people who invaded and ravaged Europe in the 4th-5th centuries.”
The same term was levied at the Germans of World War I and World War II, and when Churchill used it he did so in the same context as the word is still used today.
The Hun is defined by his barbarous behaviour, by his destructive manner, by untamed and unchecked aggression and animosity. One word has been used to sum them up over and over again, across the ages; uncivilised.
The tag fits perfectly well with the gutter rats at Starks Park last night, and after years of watching them and their loutish behaviour I cannot but conclude that there’s no prospect of making them fit into normal, decent, society … they are forever the outriders, the nomads, with no place to call their own, which is why so many of the nutjobs on their far fringes dream of the “whites only homeland” and other such arrant nonsense.
They don’t belong with the rest of us, and deep down they know it too.
So, before any of the denizens of Ibrox begin to bubble and wail about the title of this piece, I’m very clear that it’s not a generalisation directed at the whole of a support …
It’s a specifically targeted word against a section of that support that just won’t join the rest of the world, that doesn’t wish to civilise, that is content to wallow in hate.
In my vocabulary, it’s what I use to describe the lowest of the low … from the bankers who almost broke down the system because of their greed to the bigots and racists of the EDL and the BNP … they are all huns together. Wreckers. Destroyers.
The longer it takes for the dregs of Scottish football to get a grip on their own behaviour, the more we’ll come to recognise them by that word and nothing else.
Some of us are going to keep banging the war drum until they get it or are rooted out.
Those who tolerate them and make excuses for them are every bit as bad.
Whatabouttery has no place in this. Time for them to get their house in order.