So the media has its lurid headlines about Celtic fans being stabbed.
The assailants used penknives, so thankfully those who were attacked will not be badly hurt, but the press got what it wanted. Over the next day or so the blame game will start. We know that because they had established the narrative with their scandalous coverage last week.
The Celtic fans can blame The Green Brigade. That will be the tenor of it.
And of course, that will be rubbish. Lazio’s scum don’t need an excuse to go marauding against rival fans. They would have had a go anyway. I still say that as long as fans follow the club’s advice and the police are on their game that the vast majority of our lads will be perfectly safe and go on to enjoy one of the finest cities in all the world.
But the press will be thrilled that they’ve already got something to write about.
Their coverage is already salivating over the incidents which have been reported. Today, though, I feel less angry at them than I thought I would, although when the finger pointing starts I am going to point my own at people like Keith Jackson who pushed the anti-Celtic fan narrative.
For now, let’s talk about the people who carried out last night’s attacks.
Now, I enjoy history. Let me tell you something about fascists.
They don’t make them like they used to.
If you’ve ever read up on the young Adolf Hitler, you’ll know that he loved nothing more than a hostile audience.
He’d stand in Munich’s beer halls castigating Communists when he knew the room was half full of them. During the Putsch he was right up front, arm in arm, with his followers as they marched down a street towards soldiers pointing their guns.
Mussolini personally led “the March on Rome.” He, too, was a front line kind of guy.
If you watched more recent footage, of Trump’s storm troopers in Charleston, you’ll have seen neo-fascist scum walking openly carrying their torches, putting their hate front and centre. There were furious protesters there, but they did it openly anyway.
Britain’s own far-right scumbags often march without bothering to hide their identities.
I detest these people; it hardly needs saying.
But I have a wary respect for their commitment to the cause even if I think they all crawled out of a gutter.
These people aren’t just talking to hear the sound of their own voices, they believe every word that comes out of their ignorant mouths.
People like that are truly dangerous and worth keeping an eye on.
Would you feel comfortable wearing Celtic colours in Rome today?
But last night’s attacks on Celtic fans were carried out by masked neds wielding blades. To me that suggests less that these folk are motivated by ideology than plain old male testosterone gone bad and mad. Guys carrying penknives and covering their faces?
Not exactly revolutionaries, are they? Low-education trash spouting right wing political slogans they barely understand more like.
Not very impressive. Intimidating, perhaps, but not exactly the kind of people who are going to bring down governments and change the world. Run of the mill football hooligans if you ask me. You can find people just like them all over Scotland on a Saturday night.
I hope our boys out there keep their heads and don’t get into it with these people.
Let the local authorities handle them.
But let’s not pretend they are anything more than ignorant, cowardly thugs. To call them fascists is to ascribe to them some thought process and the convictions of someone who’s thought stuff through, at least to the limits of their intellect.
All these people are about is the limited notoriety of a place in their local hall of fame, the kind that gets you slapped on the back by your equally neddish mates in the pub.
The notoriety of being known amongst a handful of fellow goons of no other accomplishments.
Fascists? Don’t make me laugh.
For all the media has hyped these people all week long, we’ve seen their type before.
Let’s not turn them into more than they are; these are only tough guys until they can’t hide behind their masks any longer.
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