The Celtic fans offered up an impeccable silence for Remembrance Day today, as we have for the last few years.
I wrote a piece on this last night, as most people are aware.
I hoped that people would pay their respects or simply keep quiet and find something to do for sixty seconds. It’s not a stretch to expect it, but I am ever aware of a hard-core in our support who seem to think Celtic is a vehicle for an ideology every bit as unyielding at that from some at Ibrox.
And before any of these armchair radicals start their nonsense tonight, I’m literally not paying you any heed at all.
It’s not The Green Brigade I’m referring to either before anybody starts.
Those guys might have very strong views on the poppy, and on British militarism and the imperial state, but that’s the point; they have a far more sophisticated understanding of the world than the sort of folk who think shouting “IRA” during Beautiful Sunday makes you a revolutionary.
I knew the guys who were at the game would behave.
But as per usual – it happens every year now, steadily without fail – there are Peepul out there who want to spread disinformation about what happened at our match. In our silence, they perceive some kind of threat and so they have to lie about it.
And this has been a stellar week for them in terms of lying about Celtic.
Some of them are old hands at this.
This year, as last year, as the year before that and the one before that, there was no singing, no chanting, not even the odd cough, which makes it a bloody good job that I wasn’t there as I’ve been coughing solidly for two weeks. Those with good memories will recall, vividly, the year our fans were accused of that absolutely wild charge; the holding of a “coughing protest” because, in November, it’s unheard of for people in Scotland to have the flu.
But this is the level of the people we’re dealing with here, people who view of Celtic as a club and the support as a whole as warped and evil and something Other.
And this is why I view the Ibrox spectacle today as a little perverse; the self-congratulation that is rampant in their support tonight because they put on an uber-staunch show of respect is pretty revealing in what it represents about how they think about this time of year.
The handful of them who get it and do care have been completely, utterly, overshadowed by those who see this as a point scoring exercise, some sort of contest in which they will forever be “better” than we are. It’s a game in which we don’t want any part, but that matters not one bit to them as they go all-out to win it anyway.
It’s the only thing they’ll beat us at.
We might now be the only club in Britain that refuses to put the politicised, militaristic poppy on our shirts; we will not be the last to take that decision though. Even Manchester United, who long refused, have it on their jersey today.
Sevco fans think this proves that we are a club out of step with the rest; in fact, we’re more sophisticated than those who do it because they feel social pressure to. Our support is different. It understands exactly what that symbol has become and knows that no multi-national, multi-ethnic club should have agreed to wear it.
This is not enough for the haters out there. Our club has taken a decision on that one and is perfectly willing to accept the criticism and controversy that goes with it. Because no-one will shift us from that position it is no longer a weapon they can use against us.
Oh they can bitch and moan about it, but nobody really cares enough and so nobody is listening.
But this idea that our fans booed … well you can see the attraction in that, can’t you?
It’s a dog whistle to the whole country, and beyond, an effort to smear us. And it’s just as pathetic as everything else they’ve attempted in a similar vein. The BBC reports total silence. Sky showed total silence. The media is united in agreeing there was total silence.
So those who want to spread that lie, who looks stupid? Who looks crazy in the eyes of the world?
What kind of support would boast about its own show of “respect” and then lie about their rivals? A demented one. One that sees the day more about this vicious crowing, this one-upsmanship, than with any semblance of remembrance.
Shame on everyone who would use such an event to score cheap points, but of course, these Peepul had any shame they wouldn’t do it in the first place.
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