Yes, you read that headline right.
Last night, shortly after my article on how Civic Scotland generally ignores the elephant in the room – which is Sevco’s total failure to get a grip on the behaviour of its fans – James Dornan MSP chucked Twitter, after an entire day of abuse including what read to me very much like a threat against his person. My article of earlier hadn’t mentioned Dornan at all, but I had fully intended to praise him in a separate piece once this weekend was over.
Dornan did the right thing; he brought the issue to the attention of Police Scotland and made it clear that the eyes of at least some of the political class were on this.
I cannot thank him enough for that. I wish dozens of other parliamentarians in Holyrood and Westminster had done the same. Not everyone has his courage, I suppose.
Nevertheless, he’s had it with the social media platform after a day of bile being thrown at him. Dave Scott of Nil By Mouth has urged him to stay and fight the good fight … Scott wants to take a look in the mirror before encouraging others up and out of the trenches. I specifically mentioned Nil By Mouth in both of the articles I wrote about that leaflet. What’s their own response to it been? Aside from a single retweet of a newspaper article on it, it’s been zero.
That said, I agree with him here. James Dornan must stay on Twitter and take these Peepul on. Scotland has too many bottle merchants as it is when it comes to this lot. Not that this is what Dornan has done; he’s made it clear that this isn’t bottling out as much as it is that he’s just sick and tired of it. But that too is worrisome.
The tabloids took up the story. The ones which won’t point a finger at the club itself and ask what they intend to do about it. The Sun runs the proper story, that after a day of the most awful abuse and sectarian bile Dornan is calling it quits.
The Record takes another route. In their article they blame both sets of fans, Sevco’s and ours, in a bottom-feeder dig which shows them up and their agenda with it.
Dornan has had issues with Celtic fans online before. That’s a simple fact. He is, after all, a member of the party which brought us The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. I daresay he got more than a little abuse over the course. But believe it or not, he’s been a far more frequent target of the Sevco hate brigade. In 2016 they went after him for tweeting support for the Palestinian flag protest at the Hapoel game. In 2017 he got it for selecting Phil in the Football Blogging Awards. Free speech bothers these people. The irony is that I’m defending it in the context of a parliamentarian who voted to pass a law that restricted it.
But all that is by-the-by. None of the back and forth Dornan has had with our fans saw him threaten to abandon social media entirely, so I am moved to wonder if the comments directed at him were all that bad before now.
They are definitely not on the same level as yesterday.
The Daily Record has once again trawled the swamp.
This is a very specific issue, relating to one club and its supporters. That element of it, they’ve completely ignored. Their paper didn’t even do an article on the leaflet itself. Yet as per usual they’ve sought moral equivalence where it does not exist and dragged us into it, or tried to.
You can also follow us on Twitter at @The_Celtic_Blog