There’s a moment in George Orwell’s 1984 when the protagonist, Winston Smith, in the midst of torture, clings on by reminding himself that insane ideas can be embraced by the whole country and that being in the minority does not, itself, infer madness.
“Sanity is not statistical,” he says, in one of the most clear headed moments of the book.
Today it’s worth repeating that because to read or listen to the media right now is to be assaulted by story after story that asks us to question everything we know – and take note of that word; it’s not stuff we believe, it stuff we actually know – and which everyone else appears not to recognise. In their world this weekend heralds the “return of the Old Firm game.” In ours that hated term drifted away in the wind when Rangers was liquidated.
At another important juncture in Orwell’s novel, he sets out the concept of doublethink, which is the ability to hold two conflicting ideas in one’s head at the same time, and never even recognise that they contradict one another.
You see that all the time at Ibrox and in our media, as they try to separate club from company even as they use the two as interchangeable when that suits them.
It must take mental agility on a whole other level to keep these juggling balls constantly in the air, and at times I have a mad admiration for those who try.
Then I remind myself that they think it’s the rest of us who are crazy.
Another feature of the book is the way that history is constantly rewritten, erasing the past for no other reason than to suit the narrative of the present.
That happens here too.
There was a time when an understanding of what happened at Ibrox was universal in Scotland; a CVA meant the club lived. Failure to get one and they were dead and gone. On the day it was refused the papers acted accordingly and printed obituaries and confronted the reality of what had occurred.
Now some of the same people whose names are on those articles don’t even acknowledge that a liquidation occurred.
They use words like “relegated” when they talk about what befell the club; it is a flat out lie but they persist in doing it anyway.
They talk about the retention of history when the club couldn’t even retain the contracts of the people who played for it.
They talk about continuity and never bother to ask why the SFA treated the club as a Newco in its Scottish Cup seeding in 2012.
When they try to talk about precedents they have to stretch reality until you can hear the elastic snap; the only precedents that actually exist in Scotland are Airdrie, Clydebank, Gretna, Third Lanark and a handful of others, teams that were and are no more.
One thing I think we’re all sick of is the number of ex-Celtic players and managers who’ve lined up to repeat the lie. They should know better, and many of them do. Some repeat it because they have to; if they want to get in the papers it’s better to simply toe the line rather than take on the Sevco lunatic wing. Others are intellectually weak and unable to think outside of the box in which Scottish football has been stuffed for far too long.
There’s a moment in the book where Julia, Winston’s partner in thoughtcrime, shocks him when she reveals in conversation that she can’t actually remember that Oceania wasn’t always at war with Eurasia. The casual indoctrination of otherwise intelligent people into this kind of unreality is not something unique to Scottish football.
I do not care how many ex-Celt’s come out of the woodwork to tell us that Scottish football is better for the “return of Rangers.” I don’t care that our own absentee landlord and majority shareholder appears to believe it. I do not give a damn what Neil Lennon think of this or what everyone from Hugh Keevins to Graham Speirs writes about it or says about it now, or how much they squirm on the hook when you ask about what they were saying at the time.
I know what “failed to get a CVA” means. I know “the club” is not a phantom entity but something that exists within a corporate structure, otherwise it would have no stadium to play out of, no wages to pay players, no way to hold them to contracts and no organisation to meet SFA or UEFA regulations. I know what happens when that corporate structure is no more. I know what liquidation means and that history can’t be purchased over the counter.
We all know. Even those repeating the lie know that’s exactly what it is.
This is not 1984. This is not an “Old Firm” semi final.
Rangers really was liquidated.
We saw it on TV. We read it in the papers. Common sense tells you. Even the most basic understanding of football law spells it out. It’s not up for debate.
It’s a pure and simple fact.
We are the sane.
Sanity is not statistical.
They really are dead.
(Spread the word … keep telling it like it is … share this post and others which hammer the truth out.)