Earlier I wrote about how Sevco fans were disowned by Linfield supporters in the aftermath of the Dundee Utd game the other night. But that game was notable in Sevconia for something else; the Dundee Utd programme which listed Linfield as “the most successful surviving club in world football.” I don’t know if the stat is entirely correct, but you’d have to be daft not to have got the point of it. And even the Peepul had the IQ’s to grasp it.
Predictably, they aren’t happy.
They must find this stuff tiresome. I know I certainly do. Yet telling the truth, and keeping on telling the truth, is important, especially in the modern world where truth itself is seen as something flexible instead of something fixed and where the foundations of it are under constant attack. Whenever I’m asked if I will ever cease banging this drum I have a simple answer; when people stop telling lies about Sevco I will stop telling the truth about them.
As long as the Survival Lie exists, it will need to be challenged.
Dundee Utd are challenging it in their own way. They are not the first club to do so, and they will not be the last. It was Winston Smith, the protagonist of 1984, who mourned of how “if all others accepted the lie … if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into history and became truth.” It cannot think of anything more hateful. In terms of Scottish football, those who push this fiction can try to support it any way they like; it will not stand.
The Peepul are wailing furiously at this. I never did understand why, if they believe their club survived, they give a damn what another living soul thinks about it. Their hysteria over this, which manifests itself in so many ways, is emblematic of something grounded in the deep-seated knowledge of what really happened here and what it means. Denial is, as they say, the first of the five stages of grief. It amazes me they never moved past it.
But as easy as it is to understand their feelings on the matter, I am less sure about those of other people. Some of the hacks who have tut-tutted at this should be heartily ashamed of their own cowardice and servility. Most puzzling of all is Graham Spiers.
Spiers is a guy who continues to fascinate me.
He’s one of the only journalists with “form” for telling it like it is with goings on at Ibrox, but so often he tries to straddle the middle ground.
He knew that a section of the Rangers support was a disgrace to the club, and he said so, but he never tackled the club’s own attitudes.
He knows they were up to no good and that people at Hampden helped, but he’s never dug into the issues.
He knows Sevco died, and he says so, but he has accused Dundee Utd of being “naughty” by inserting this into their match programme.
What’s “naughty” about telling the truth? They have done no more or less than he has on numerous occasions. They’ve simply stated a fact, and they did it in a game that didn’t even involve the Ibrox club so if it wasn’t a dig because it wasn’t directed at them.
That’s the difference between your girlfriend overhearing you muttering to yourself about her big bum and actually telling her, to her face, that she has one.
There’s no intent to cause emotional distress in one of those things … but clearly, you can still wind up in trouble.
I honestly marvel at the attitudes of the media over this, but especially Spiers. He could do a tremendous service to the rest of the game here by speaking on this more. He says he finds it tedious; no less tedious than it is for those of us sick and tired of the lie.