Date: 14th March 2018 at 4:14pm
Written by:

Today, on social media, a barrage of self-pity from Sevconia.

Remember when they used to boast that “no-one likes us, we don’t care”?

They still sing it. They still claim it. But boy oh boy they don’t half moan about it.

It seems to me now that they care very much and I think they should because impartial observers look at them and see an institution which is mired in sectarianism and wallowing in hate.

And they want that perception to change.

You would if you were in their shoes, because it’s toxic.

It strangles your appeal in the crib. It wrecks your chance of getting serious inward investment because it limits your marketability to something less appealing than The Daily Mail. The consequences are long-term. They might be fatal.

In their quest for an answer to this dilemma you can always trust The Peepul to ask the wrong questions. To them, this is about how we’ve got friends in high places, people who see their role in life as to keep their club down. And of course, when you start with that premise the answers you get are going to be skewed as a result.

Boy oh boy, they aren’t half.

Their solution? Take over the country. Get in place their own people,. People, presumably, who would enact the kind of sectarian laws they want to see. Who would ban free expression except if it was about killing Catholics. Who would outlaw religious education except that which swears allegiance to an inbred family of Hanoverian origins and the church that was formed so a king could get the divorce he wanted.

The country was taken from them, they say. Funny that, with that same family still sitting in its many palaces. With a Tory government propped up by the worst dregs of humanity, and who can often be found rummaging around in the basement of anti-Irish hate.

Or perhaps they mean the SNP, who passed a law outlawing Irish songs. Or Scottish society as a whole, which voted the last time I checked for staying in the union, with the consequences which are now apparent to us all; said Tory/DUP government; Brexit and soon to be a hard border between the north and south of Ireland.

They talk about persecution. About the SNP-Nazi state.

At the weekend just past, I was sitting with my mates watching the Sevco game and when the Conservative MP linesman stuck up his flag and insisted Simunovic be sent off, one of the group I was in said something about him being a very good, very reasonable, parliamentarian. And I quipped that Hitler was also nice to his dog. Cue much laughter and my being slagged for the silliest possible analogy, which I realised myself the moment the words came out.

And it was a joke, of course.

When these Peepul talk about the SNP-Nazi state, you do not get the impression that they are kidding. Here’s the thing;

If you can parade down public streets wearing black, hooded, faces disguised, when you can make the old Roman salute whilst marching behind a sectarian banner with a guy in a green shirt having his head kicked in stencilled on it … my guess is that you’re living in a country with more respect for your freedom of speech than is perhaps good for it.

That march was illegal. The sentiments behind it were criminal. In a fascist state you don’t need to have broken the law to be arrested. Here, in the so-called SNP-Nazi Scotland you don’t get arrested even when you do. Maybe it’s me who’s missing something here.

These are the same people who are allowed to parade their naked sectarianism through public streets every single summer, in one of the few cities in Europe where it’s not politically convenient to even have a famine memorial. If this country was taken from them then the people who took it did a bloody good job of hiding that fact from the rest of us.

Their illegal march barely featured in the media. A handful of our parliamentarians spoke up against it; predictably those people are being subjected to torrents of abuse. In a country where we dare not ask referees to declare their allegiances for fear of how it makes us look, these people are being ostracised if they’ve ever set foot in Celtic Park. Their social media profiles are being scanned for what they tweeted, retweeted, liked or didn’t.

And this is what we’ve come to expect from the dregs of the far-right in this country, who hover on the margins of Sevco like flies on a fresh shite. Perhaps they would avoid the kind of scrutiny some have given them this past week if they didn’t go so out of the way to advertise and celebrate their own bitterness and hate, and their own demented views.

One of their websites today talked about viewing bigotry “in context”, as if in mitigation for some of their own worst elements. I do view it in context. The eejits in the Asda were guilty of expressing vicious hateful sentiments and should have been jailed. The clowns in the BA lounge racially abused a guy minding his own business and should have been jailed. The Union Bears, looking more like something from an ISIS video than they appear to recognise, marched behind a banner celebrating violence, singing and chanting sectarianism after advertising it on a flier carrying an anti-Irish racial slur. They should all have been jailed.

If context is king these people are all from the same cesspit.

I’m very sorry that the Sinclair incident appeared in the papers with their club’s name next to it, just as I am sorry the Asda one appeared in the papers next to ours. I want the people responsible for those incidents to suffer the full consequences of them, just as I want to read about how the organisers of Sunday’s illegal march were all subjected to the full force of the law, if in fact it turns out that they are.

The difference is that I’m serious when I talk about wanting this stuff eradicated in our society whereas the bitching and wailing and the content of some of their editorials reveals that they aren’t interested in that at all. They want Irishness and expressions of it eradicated. They want the freedom to pour even more of their bigotry out. They want a license to hate as they please, when they please and who they please because that is their default position … and this is their country, after all.

Except that it isn’t, not anymore.

We might not have voted for independence. Our political class might not have the balls to keep their marches off our streets. The SNP might be more interested in tokenism and punishing football fans than with tackling the real problem. But I am comforted in the knowledge that much of Scotland is appalled by every single one of these stories. I am comforted in knowing those who don’t lazily accept the “both sides of the same coin” bullshit can tell the difference.

Scottish society wants no part in any of this. Most people want it rubbed out, and I know that some of them will moralise until the cows come home about removing politics from the sport entirely, but that’s nonsense and it’s not what we’re talking about here.

Politics and the sport go hand in hand. They want to eradicate all political expression except that which is sanctioned by the chattering classes … and that is fascism and I’ll be damned if I want to live in a country which allows it.

Sectarianism is a different animal, and if they’re too lazy or thick to work that difference out or if they lack the guts to fight on the basis of it then they are probably the wrong people to be tackling it in the first place.

But I do know that ordinary people want it shut down. Most find all forms of bigotry to be reprehensible, and I know – I know – my club does not perpetuate it. Like every other organisation, it has a handful of followers who do. But a handful is not what you find when you look at Ibrox and you hear the bile that pours from its stands.

And I know that some of them are realising what should have been obvious to them before; that it does them more harm than good. That nobody wants to stand next to such naked hate unless they are the sort of people moved to take part in it, and that’s not the rest of us, that’s not the country I live in, a country that wishes they’d find somewhere else to pollute.

They are destroying their own club.

This isn’t a conspiracy against them. When people speak out against this it’s because what they so frequently express is rancid. It is vile. It belongs in another century. If they can’t see that, if they won’t see it, then hell mend them because it’s killing them and not slowly. The world is passing these people by.

It’s change or die, it’s as simple as that.

Ditch the baggage … or let it drag you down.

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