Today, as a follow up to yesterday’s article on the Sevco fans – and I was delighted to note the belated media response to their behaviour; maybe progress is being made after all – I was checking out some of their sites today in the hope of finding condemnation of the behaviour of that section of their support that can’t let a centuries old hatred die.
Well instead I found an illuminating article on one of their sites, Ibrox Noise, which has one of the most awful examples of whatabouttery and a defence of bigoted filth as you will ever read, anywhere.
It truly is remarkable.
To save you from having to read over it, I can paraphrase it.
Sevco fans behave like scum because they are routinely the subject of sectarian abuse at other Scottish grounds.
First up … eah?
Is that true?
One of the things that bothers me about the kind of people who write this stuff is that they get away with things when writing about groups of people that they wouldn’t get away with if they were writing about individuals.
He’s actually trying to tell us that the fans of Alloa, Morton, Falkirk, Queen of the South and others are bigots?
I think not.
In another context, this would be a libellous comment … but no matter.
I absolutely do not believe that claim is true.
It’s an attempt at justification, and a pathetic one.
I often read what’s posted on that site, and I find much of it to be the handiwork of a barely educated goon who learned how to use WordPress and ought to be congratulated for that if not much else. But that’s a literary criticism, and doubtless many find my work to be the same and I never bother overmuch with those who think so.
What does bother me somewhat is that the content on there frequently slides into the gutter and often dips over the abyss.
This is the website that devoted an entire article to a discussion of child abuse, in another diversion from issues involving the cheating of his own club.
That’s trawling the sewer, pure and simple, and the writer ought to have been wholly ashamed of himself.
But he wasn’t, because if he was capable of that he would never have done it.
Today’s piece suggests to me that there’s something wrong in the minds of certain of these people.
He could have written a piece apologising, but he’s not going to.
He could have actually written much the same article, in a measured tone, saying that it was time Scottish society had a look at the wider issue, and his allegations about other clubs fans might not have seemed like such pitiful reaching.
He could have done many things he chose not to do.
Instead he deflected, and then tried to excuse.
His own view is pretty clearly expressed when he puts the word “naughty” – in relation to chanting – in those quotation marks.
Now, I’m using them because that is a quote.
He is using them as “quote unquote”, which as you know is a sarcastic reference which tells me he doesn’t think they were naughty at all.
Indeed, I don’t either.
What they were was bigoted, sectarian and illegal.
He uses the word “naughty”, in other words, the way certain gangsters use it when they’re talking about their criminal behaviour.
With no shame. With no real recognition that there’s no such thing as a victimless crime here, that, as I pointed out yesterday, even people as far afield as China feel the effects of this kind of stuff and struggle to reconcile it with how they feel about this country.
The article really boils down to his disdain for the rest of Scottish football.
He repeats that old “obsessed” rubbish as if it means anything, as if we’ve got no right to comment when our national sport, indeed our whole country, is being dragged through the gutter.
He sees no value at all in the argument that if his club could learn to behave, if it could be dragged into this century, if it would cease its appalling catalogue of misbehaviours both on the playing side and in the stands; in short, if it acted like just another football club and not a special case, not as a supremacist organisation which thinks it can do as it likes, then it would be treated like one.
There would be no need for scrutiny or for these endless editorials.
His argument is nonsense.
It is also dangerous, and not just to wider society.
His is a club that badly needs a period of introspection, of examining itself instead of looking to blame others for how it’s turned on.
When it was born amidst the wreckage of Rangers, Sevco could have been anything. It could have been a club that did its business and conducted itself in the proper fashion. It’s the fault of the people who helped steer it towards its current incarnation that things are where they are.
I marvel at these people and their capacity for self delusion.
I also marvel at their total inability to join the rest of the world in behaving in a civilised way.
But most of all, I marvel at the notion that even if everything they said was true – that the world hated them for who they were, not what they did; that they were regularly treated appallingly by other people; that they were, as they never tire of whining, the real victims here – that it would somehow absolve them of their own misdeeds.
“But they did it first …” carries not one iota of legal or moral weight.
It is excuse making of the worst, most pathetic, kind.
The writer doesn’t deny that sectarian singing took place at Ibrox at the weekend.
Nor does he deny that it was many thousands who were engaged in it.
He admits these things. That there was a huge outbreak of criminality in the stands, the kind that shames his club and all football here.
Rather than tackle that, head-on, and express dismay, whethere genuine or as fake as a Dave King promise, he took the low road.
Instead he tried to deflect, with finger pointing and grandstanding, as though you can possibly hold even a chunk of the high ground when you’re reaching up, with straining fingers, to grab a hand-rail out of the gutter.