The weekend went just as I feared then.
Having written a long and frustrated piece for On Field of Green last month on why I viewed the Ross County fixture with some dread, I was not surprised when a handful of moronic “fans” behaved exactly as I knew they would.
What is it with these people?
Is there truly a part of their tiny minds that thought they were defending tradition here? Of any kind?
Can they really be under the absurd, and offensive, illusion that this was some kind of political expression?
That they were making some kind of point, that it carried any greater weight than simply being idiotic behaviour?
You know, debate can, will, and does rage over the section of the Celtic support that sings Republican songs. I understand both sides of the argument to a certain extent whilst coming down firmly on one of them.
When I was a regular at games both home and away I didn’t do it myself, but I never had a problem with those who did.
Those songs are about a political-military struggle for national self determination and if it’s valid to sing Flower of Scotland, which is about the same, and The Star Spangled Banner, then the issue is one of personal interpretation. It’s grey area territory; some people will find it offensive but that’s par for the course with any political view.
There’s no grey area with booing during the silence on Remembrance Sunday.
It’s simply disgusting, and I see no need for fudging or compromise on that point.
The people who did it are ignorant, arrogant, self regarding clowns who don’t belong near a football ground or anywhere else civilised people gather.
I don’t even want to hear the argument that this is somehow about freedom of speech, and how the soldiers of World War I and World War II died for it.
That sacrifice was unequivocal and those who made it weren’t asking for applause or even respect, but they earned it, and they are due it, and only a complete nugget would argue with that.
There is no argument in their favour here, and anyone attempting one is wasting their time.
This wasn’t blown out of proportion by the press nor the fault of the SFA or SPFL.
That silence is observed at every football ground on this island. It’s commemorated across the water in Ireland too.
It’s not a new thing either, and it wasn’t done to insult the sensibilities of the easily offended.
This is about remembering the dead. People who died for all of us.
The media milks this, but if certain people weren’t so goddamned ignorant they’d have nothing to write about. This isn’t the media’s fault, and aiming at their coverage is a deflection that offers undue protection to the people who were actually to blame, and that was those who booed.
Don’t even get me started on this ridiculous notion that this is a “protest” against what the British Army has done in other eras or in other parts of the world.
It’s cobblers, frankly, and is an insult to the intelligence of anyone smarter than a snail.
That argument might stand up against wearing having the poppy on the shirts, as it has become a blatantly political symbol, and one which aims to “honour” the role of the British military throughout history. Honouring that will be hard to stomach for many, for obvious reasons, and that’s one of many reasons it doesn’t belong on the shirt of a multi-ethnic club like ours.
But that reasoning doesn’t apply here.
The act of booing during a minute’s remembrance for those who gave their lives in defence of freedom is an abhorrence.
The people who did it are lowlife, lower than pond scum.
There’s no justification for it, and the club is right to want to root them out.
A press statement from Celtic has called them an “embarrassment to the club” but I disagree. They don’t represent us or the vast, vast majority of our fans.
They don’t represent humanity as far as I’m concerned, because even if they can’t stomach the idea of standing for British servicemen they can put that aside and find another reason to keep their mouths shut, like honouring the players who wore the famous hooped jersey and went off to fight, or just to honour all the dead, from all the wars, that have happened throughout history.
That their intellect doesn’t extend to finding a reason for keeping it zipped tells you everything you need to know about them.
That they lack the basic decency makes them bigots, every bit as bad as those they abhor on the other side of the city.
The harm done to the reputation of Celtic over this must make them so proud of themselves, as must today’s headlines in a press that purely and simply couldn’t wait to write these stories.
Because as much as anything else, this has given the media a wonderful counterpoint to the campaign which is now underway to have Rangers stripped of titles they won by deception, cheating and fraud.
It lets The Daily Record put an anti-Celtic story on the front pages whilst inside it urges Scottish football to “move on” from the EBT years.
So if you’re reading, morons, you did that.
At a time when we have these people right where we want them folk have to waste time, and effort, arguing the toss about this crap.
About a small bunch of people who elevate ignorance to a new height.
At a time when some folk are trying to build a cross-club consensus against a decade of financial doping you’ve given those who were swaying a reason to distance themselves from it.
You stupid, selfish arseholes.
On the match itself, we’re still proving that we’re the best club in Scotland by miles, and Griffiths the best striker we’ve had on the park since The King of Kings.
I thought we played well yesterday, as we did against Aberdeen and Hearts.
It’s not enough.
Ronny has failed the big test again, with a deplorable performance and a scandalous result on Thursday evening which got me so downhearted I couldn’t even be bothered to blog on it. I stayed offline for the whole of the weekend as a consequence of it.
We’ll win the title. We may even win the treble; in fact, I increasingly think we will.
That will certainly buy Ronny another year, and you can’t realistically sack someone who’s just done that, but as far as our ability to progress in Europe goes my confidence is shot, completely.
Speaking frankly, I don’t expect to win either of the last two games in this tournament and I don’t believe he’ll get us to the Champions League groups next season.
Whatever’s necessary to win big games at that level, well it’s just not there. Lessons haven’t been learned, the players don’t look fit or willing to die in the ditch and I’d prefer, speaking for myself, that someone else be in charge by then to give us a chance.
For all that, there are positives to be sure.
Tom Rogic, Leigh Griffiths, Kiernan Tierney, Stuart Armstrong, Nir Bitton and a couple of others.
All with the potential to go far, and folk we should be building the team around.
For others, like Stefan Johansen, a player I’ve praised fulsomely on this blog in the past, a change of attitude is long overdue. He’s at risk of becoming a major irritant to the Celtic support who see him walking into the team every week when he’s blatantly not performing.
All that is to say that I was pleased with the result, with the performances of a lot of the players and with the six point advantage we opened up at the top.
We’re in a good place domestically, although I more and more grow concerned with how we’re perceived in European football.
I want to see some sign that we’ve not just chucked it on that front.
More on that later, I’m sure.
I have a feeling this will be a busy week.