Today, in the papers, a curiosity; a far-right activist is up in Scotland this weekend on a recruitment drive. He is targeting football fans from across the country. He has been in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The papers said he wants Hearts fans, Hibs fans, Sevco fans … and Celtic fans.
Something about this has my antennae twitching.
Either the article is grossly inaccurate – either because the writer has a great big shovel and a pile of shit in front of him and is determined to throw some of it our way, or because he’s just absolutely thick – or the activist in question needs to up his education on all things Celtic.
It doesn’t matter which.
Any attempt to connect our club, and our fans, with gutter rat scum such as this geezer is offensive, disgraceful and ultimately futile. It won’t fly. It won’t wash.
This mud will never stick, not in a million years.
The geezer in question – who’s name I’m not going to use, because why give him an ounce more publicity than he’s already squeezed out of this – represents an organisation calling itself the Football Lads Alliance …
Jesus. Do you remember when far-right organisations used to have catchy names?
Whatever happened to Combat 18?
You knew where you were with a name like that.
It suggested fists crashing into faces. It suggested Docker boots and shaved heads.
The Football Lads Alliance? It sounds like a pressure group for the prawn sandwich brigade.
Born in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in London, it sprung up as a “response” to those events.
Some would argue that it sought to exploit them, to make names out of otherwise annonymous scum. I would never allege such a thing, although it has brought some of these goons to prominence and has led to a nice sideline in merchandising.
I mean what kind of “street campaign group” sets itself up as a limited company and sells hoodies?
Fools and their money and all that …
Founded by an ex hooligan, the FLA claims to be a tolerant, open, inclusive organisation which seeks to bring supporters of various clubs together … to oppose Muslim extremism and “terrorism.”
Which, I dunno, sounds to me an awful lot like a medley of all the old songs we’ve heard before.
For this is the new disguise of far-right politics, wrapped in concern about growing Islamification.
It’s nothing but window dressing on the same old anti-immigrant, anti-ethnic bollocks but with a sinister new twist to it.
It taps into all the old networks and hate veins, and football fans have always represented rich pickings for organisations like it.
There are a handful of clubs in Scotland, and a handful of areas up here, which will give this guy the willing supply of brain-dead recruits he’s after; indeed one club’s supporters, or one group of them anyway, has already pledged itself to the organisation and have been working hand in hand with them for a while.
They openly boast about it on their website.
I refer, of course, to our old friends at Vanguard Scum.
Their support for this is steeped in shared values and views, and it doesn’t take a genius to understand where the areas of commonality are.
If you are judged by the company you keep – and these people should be; Vanguard Scum are the least of it – then this organisation is little better than something that crawled out from underneath a rock somewhere.
Now, you tell me … what Celtic supporter, anywhere, is going to march arm in arm with those guys on an anti-Islam, anti-immigration, anti-EU platform, flying in the face of our club’s own founding principles, just to listen to some ex-BNP boot boy in a suit extolling the virtues of Tommy Robinson and Nigel Farage?
Good God man, it’s warped.
Organisations like this one come and go; the EDL has all but gone as a political force which is why the flotsam, the dregs, like Robinson (looking for a new gig are ya?) are drifting towards this one. Britain First never caught on despite a social media machine which seems to grow and grow. UKIP managed to catch – we’re pulling out of the EU for God’s sake – but is now electorally dead and buried … but for every one of them that dies another one springs up.
I am not a judgemental person.
Celtic is a broad church, as we’re all so well aware, but this church has no room in it for people who take a dump in the pews.
If you are a Celtic fan who finds yourself drawn, for whatever reason, towards these vermin then please, do yourself and the rest of us a favour and take off your colours lest you embarrass the rest of us.
You are no longer welcome here, and to paraphrase a song which you’ll doubtless hear on your journey towards the bottom, “why don’t you go home?”
There’s a corner of Ibrox which will have you, and frankly it’s where you and all your fellow travellers belong.