One of the things that bothers me most about the EBT era, apart from the number of people who tell us we should “just let it go” is that I know too much of the history. I know what was going on peripheral to the financial disaster that hit Rangers and Scottish football in 2012.
I knew what was happening in the wider world, and how the pieces fit together.
In 2008, the banking crisis hit the UK like a sledgehammer. At the height of it, Gordon Brown and his government nationalised a bunch of UK banking institutions. One of the biggest was HBOS, otherwise known as Halifax Bank of Scotland.
They had been Murray’s bankers, and Rangers’, for years.
They were the bank that almost closed us for a paltry £7 million. They allowed Murray’s club to run up debts which, at one point, were ten times larger than that. And they did so at a time when they knew Murray’s entire corporate structure was built on debt. Debt owed to them.
Bank of Scotland was loaning a lot of money to people who didn’t have it to pay back.
When Lloyds bought the bank, in a deal done in days, brokered by Gordon Brown himself, they had no idea what they were taking on. They had no idea about a hole in the balance sheet courtesy of a guy called Cummings and another called Masterton.
The hole was so big that Lloyds – the old Black Horse, one of the safest institutions in the Square Mile – had to go to the government for help. They were nationalised. Every bit of Murray’s debt, everything Cummings and Masterton had wrought, ended up being swallowed up by the public purse.
The tax payer ate the whole pill.
See, it’s not enough that Rangers cheated in the end, that they used a tax fraud to avoid paying their dues, that we basically got screwed by a company that was ripping off the public purse … that wasn’t even the half of it. All those years of Murray lording it over us, of “every fiver”, of their nine in a row, the suffering of that period … we paid for it all.
We might as well have taken our cash down to the nearest S&M club and spent it on some real suffering.
We might even have enjoyed some of it.
Every time I hear someone tell me to move on, I wonder “do you they just not know what I do?
Do they just not care?”
And when broadcast journalists, those of the national broadcaster, are telling me that we should forgive and forget and actually twisting what I know to be the truth to let off the people responsible, then I want to break things.
It’s adding insult to injury.
Because we’re paying for that too.
As if we haven’t already paid enough, we have to listen to the likes of Kenny McIntyre and Tom English and Chick Young and Darryl Broadfoot tell us Rangers were the real victims … and all the while it’s us who are writing the cheques for them to do so.
What’s worse is when they roll out guys like Alex Rae and Steve Thompson – EBT recipients both, tax fraudsters who ought never to have got jobs with the broadcaster because of it – to tell us how paranoid we are. It’s a bit like being mugged and calling the police only for you to you find that when the cops show up that one of them is the guy who did it.
Kenny McIntyre does a show on there now. It is so slanted and pro-Sevco it has driven people who usually listen to the radio into the arms of Clyde instead. Can you think of anything worse than having to seek refuge in the wit and wisdom of Derek Johnstone?
McIntyre has made his show into a pro-Sevco vehicle by allowing people like Ian McCall to get away with slagging another club’s player and their valuation of him. Tell me this; do you believe Neil Lennon would have been allowed to go on that show and tell Dundee that their valuation of alleged Celtic target Jack Hendry was ridiculous?
Do you believe the media, as a whole, would have let Lennon away with that?
The BBC is supposed to be neutral and objective.
They are neither.
Take Celtic’s call for an SFA inquiry; one of the guys they frequently have on the show now is Darryl Broadfoot, a notorious Sevconite and the former press officer for the Association. He now runs a PR firm, one that doubtless has an SFA contract or one connected to it.
Anyone who expects Broadfoot to suddenly say that the SFA have been concealing stuff and that they should launch an investigation into their own behaviour is insane. In having him on there, the BBC is actively colluding in the worst sort of cover-up.
Some fear that a recent interview with Vince Lunny was setting up the next scam; the SFA dropping the investigation raised by the Resolution 12 guys. Whether it was or not, don’t rely on the BBC pushing on that door too hard. Broadfoot and his ilk are courting them – or being courted by them – for a reason, and that reasons is not to our benefit.
McIntyre is a dreadful anchor. Even when he’s attempting to be “balanced” he forgets the crucial thing; impartial and balanced are two different things. Impartiality is focussed on the facts, and on holding people to account. The problem with those who push a so-called “balanced” agenda is that they give the same weight of opinion to someone spouting half-witted nonsense as to the person on the other side who is in full possession of the truth.
This is what the BBC has become now, an organisation that puts serious people on the same panel as cartoon goons like Nigel Farage and then wonders aloud how the lunatic fringe were able to drive the debate over Brexit.
I remember when the tax case verdict first went against HMRC.
The BBC could have done a proper show on that, a real examination of the issues. Instead they got sports writers who knew the sum total of nil about corporate law into the studio and sat them beside the smirking clown Chris Graham, who offered not one moment of actual insight.
Standards have slipped even further since then. Jim Spence left, probably because he could no longer stomach the craven cowardice that has swamped the place. His own insights, which are highlighted on Twitter and elsewhere, are often brilliant and sharp; he is a loss to the broadcast profession, as it has few genuine leading lights left in Scotland.
One of the few is Mark Daly, who I retain enormous respect for in spite of his ridiculous piece on Dermott Desmond. A guy with his skill-set should be doing real news. He has too much to offer in the field of investigative journalism to be kicking his heels on such nonsense.
BBC Scotland’s problem is that it has reduced itself to pandering. Pandering to the whims of the powerful. Its sport department has been neutered and lobotomised. It is dreadful to listen to them discuss fluff when there are serious issues to examine.
But what comes across most clearly these days is the way they’ve allowed themselves to be used. Used by the governing bodies to conceal inconvenient truths and deprive fans real information about what’s happening in the game, and used by one club to the detriment of all others.
Hey, I know all about Sevco’s ability to generate news.
If they were run better, more professionally, I would need to write more boring pieces about team selections and transfer rumours.
But I am not spoon fed by these Peepul. I don’t get told what to write or how I should write it. I would be offended if someone presented me with a press release and asked me to regurgitate it and I don’t know why so-called media professionals aren’t.
The BBC has become a joke, and as we fund it I guess the joke is on us, and the only way to beat it is to ignore it, to reduce their listening figures to a level consummate with their professionalism. Which is to say next to nothing.