I have been following the debate between Glasgow City Council and the executives at Sevco with no more than a passing interest, although it is highly revealing. It is also tiresome. You get sick of this, of the wailing and whining out of that club and although the concept of the Unseen Hand has given us many wonderful laughs, it’s also a scar on the face of Scotland.
The debate over the Fanzone, and the way the council blocked it, was covered in an article here a month or so ago; the issue was clear then and it is perfectly clear now. Sevco wanted to do their fan zone on land that is owned by someone else, and the organisation which had responsibility for that land didn’t want them on it without some very specific guarantees.
But as per usual, that wasn’t deemed an acceptable answer, because their club has a sense of entitlement which is breath-taking, and before long first the club’s fans – and then the club itself – tried to turn it into something else; they tried to turn it into proof of a conspiracy against them.
It has resulted in a serious falling out between Ibrox and the City Chambers.
And all of this would be their own business except they dragged us into their nonsense, by opening up a debate about how we were able to organise a fan-zone last season and are now prattling on about our intention to buy some derelict land around the ground to put a permanent one in place.
This is completely ludicrous, of course, and it’s dangerous.
One SNP councillor has been singled out over this because he is a Celtic fan; this stinks, in the same way the attacks on Murdoch McLennan did.
These people seem to be saying that if you are a Celtic fan you cannot be trusted, that you cannot do your job impartially, which is a scandalous idea.
I wonder if Stewart Robertson subjects everyone he’s involved with to the Celtic Supporter Test; does he vet his plumber? His doctor? His car mechanic? His bank manager? Are all these people to be regarded as suspect if they have season tickets at Parkhead or tweeted Leigh Griffiths or liked something by Olivier Ntcham? There are sites over there which are publishing every football related tweet a Glasgow City Council official has sent which relates to our club in any way, shape or form; this is not paranoia as much as a trial by social media.
And what’s the crime these people are accused of?
Nothing more than being supporters of our club. If that’s now to be considered a bar from holding public office or, indeed, office in the SFA or the SPFL or any of a dozen other agencies which have some responsibility, however minor, for running football, lest you be subjected to the fury of a hate-mob … well I may be crazy, but isn’t that really insidious? Isn’t that something that Civic Scotland should be concerned about?
For years now this idea has been allowed to grow. Its roots are in the Survival and Victim lies, but it is bigger than any of them. That a lot of people in their support actually do believe that some Celtic-minded cabal is controlling numerous governmental, financial and regulatory agencies and steering them towards hurting their club is not in the slightest doubt. It is moon-howling crazy, but it is a fact nonetheless, and it’s an endless source of laughs.
That the club itself appears mired in the same paranoid fantasy is a different story altogether, and one that’s not even remotely funny. If they are willing to utilise social media to whip up anger and promote such an idea – as appears to be the case in this instance – is so dangerous and irresponsible it takes your breath away.
The things that have happened to that club are not the fault of Celtic or Celtic supporters. I don’t care how many tweets they dig up or social media profiles they raid for “proof” that this conspiracy exists. It is a lunatic idea, and one with sinister undertones which have remained unspoken and unacknowledged for a long time, but have gone public here in a big way.
And we should see that as an opportunity, on a societal level.
The Victim Lie in particular has been allowed to spread and pollinate for too damned long. It has become a serious risk to the wellbeing of Scottish society and it’s way past time that it was seized and pulled out by the roots before it gets somebody seriously hurt or worse.