There’s an interesting article in The Guardian’s Long Read section on the phenomenon of “denialism.”
The article draws a clear distinction between it and simple denial; the latter is about running away from unpalatable truths you don’t want to face.
Denialism is about recreating reality itself, to challenge accepted facts with a version of your own.
The writer frames denialism as a moral choice, and pits those who live in its bubble as being antithetical with the rest of society. He invokes, amongst his examples, the Holocaust deniers and those who do not support the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.
He asserts that the walls of denialism are breaking down, but that this is not something we should be pleased about but something that we should dread instead.
How long, he wonders, until the Holocaust deniers no longer feel they need their alternative history, and openly embrace the killing of 6 million Jews? How long before the climate change deniers don’t bother to question the evidence but instead acknowledge the price we’ll have to pay for a heating planet and start to sell it as one worth paying for our modern standard of living?
A world like that, his article suggests, would be even worse than this one.
But some of us are living in that world right now and we have been for years. We saw the greatest act of cheating in the history of sport right here in Scotland and whilst there’s a certain level of denial attached to it and those who question the reality of what it meant and what the effects of it were, there’s a much larger number who simply do not hide the facts of it and never have.
They are perfectly happy to admit what they did and what it meant, and they are content to have it on the record. They cheated, they got caught, but they got away with it too and so don’t feel any need to be humble or even pretend contrition.
Nobody at Ibrox is sorry for what happened over there; they are sorry that there were consequences but those were the consequences of spending money they didn’t have and ending up bankrupt as a result.
They never suffered for the hiding of documents, the non-registration of players, the way they paid for their successes in those years with the proceeds of a tax fraud.
Any other club that had been liquidated and who’s fragments were put together as a NewCo would have been made to start at the bottom, as new clubs do. But there would have been no continuation of history and the old records would have been amended to reflect the cheating.
What Rangers did was bad enough, but Rangers was allowed to keep the titles. Then, to add insult to injury, the NewCo was allowed to fraudulently claim the history.
Every twist in this sordid tale has brought further a further insult. Every branch in the road took us down the path towards another scandal. The game in this country is rotten on the inside as a result of what happened in 2012. It will never be free of the taint; indeed the corruption will spread and the proof of that surely stands out a mile, with the criminal regime currently at Ibrox.
Last night we found out that the regulators at HRMC at turning the screw and going after those inside and outside Ibrox who financially benefitted from the EBT arrangements. Rangers was liquidated, in part because of its ownership of these schemes and those who got money from them are facing imminent repayment or ruin … the debts are being paid off in full.
Except the ones that matter most to football fans; the tainted titles, the tolerance of cheating, the way Scottish football is able to “move on” as if these were minor matters instead of some of the greatest acts of sporting fraud in history.
And this is about more than just the denialism of Sevco fans. This is justice denied for every single one of us. It is an indelible stain on the whole game and those who are content to leave it there are quite possibly a bigger problem than the cheating itself.