If you believe some sections of the mainstream media, yesterday was a bad day for “football fans”.
It was “football fans” who were rioting in London, throwing stuff at the police, causing fear and dismay amongst the populace.
I heard this on Sky, on the BBC and I read it in more papers than I care to count. The truth, of course, is a little bit different.
The “misunderstanding” – and that’s not what it was, of course – comes from the fact that some of those involved yesterday represent themselves under the cover of the Beautiful Game.
They call themselves the Football Lads Alliance.
It’s interesting to note that this, in some ways, is exactly what it says on the tin; it’s a grouping of guys from all over the UK who have come together from various clubs to work in a common goal. They purport to be working class men who are dismayed at the political and social direction of the country; this is why they have a certain appeal for a lot of supporters from various clubs, especially south of the border. They have only made limited headway in Scotland.
Except at two clubs; Sevco and Hearts.
England is where their power-base is though, and a lot of them are well known to certain people down there and the reason for that is fairly obvious; this is a grouping of guys who are involved in the football casual’s networks. It’s a collective of all those nutjobs, yobs and knuckle draggers who follow their national team all over the world and leave wreckage behind them wherever they go. The “ten German bombers” brigade. The “no surrender to the IRA” lot.
That these people are involved with the far-right is no great shock.
England’s lunatic element have always had been one brain-cell short of truly understanding their own history.
They take a perverse pride in the land they call home, in their “two World Wars and one World Cup” … but actually they hanker after the very sort of country that their fathers and grandfathers roundly defeated in the second of those wars.
These confused eejits have no problem mocking Germany for losing that conflict and yet they still hold a deranged fascination, and affection, for the warped ideology which was comprehensively defeated and the moustached loser who kicked it all off.
The far-right in England are a confused and deluded bunch. Watching them, yesterday, making Nazi salutes in front of the statue of Churchill was like seeing Orwell’s doublethink realised in all its ghastly glory. How do you hold two such conflicting ideas in your head at the same time, and not have one cancel out the other? It is warped.
The same sort of Peepul are massed in George Square as I write this.
Only in Scotland, many in the media don’t call them “football fans” but use the term “Loyalists” instead.
You’ll read a lot of that in the Scottish papers tomorrow.
There’s a reason for that, of course; many of them do Follow Follow football in this city but our media does its level best to spare their club this kind of embarrassment.
The club itself probably doesn’t care.
But let’s be blunt; those are Sevco fans gathered in George Square today.
Their forums have been promoting this “counter demonstration” all week long.
It’s just that nobody in the press up here is going to say that, or track this thing to its source.
Police Scotland – who for reasons passing understanding have allowed these Peepul to gather – have actually labelled it “football related violence” without going into too much detail … but then, they don’t have to, except for the metropolitan London audience who might not be fully aware of exactly what we’re talking about here.
The media has a responsibility to nail this one … I hope they take it seriously.
I’m doing a piece on Sevco’s links with the far-right, how the club actively promotes that and how that translates into the club’s general bigotry; I expect to publish it today or maybe tomorrow. It’s as if these Peepul were determined to load me up with as much evidence as possible that theirs is a football club suffering from a disease who’s roots go deep.
In truth, I don’t want these vermin associated with the game.
These people are gutter rats, and should have no place in society far less used to slander those of us who are football fans and who have no truck with hatred and bigotry or those who promote them.
If only a certain club up here didn’t turn a blind eye, and if only the media up here did more to expose the links between the fan forums of said club and the disgraceful scenes we’re seeing today in this city. Our society would still have to endure them, but our sport could be rid of these Peepul if those running Sevco faced up to it, or if the media forced them to.
And you know what? If their football club told them they were no longer welcome I am betting that the whole sub-culture which produces them would be dealt a serious blow … and that might eventually rid society of them altogether.
As Scottish football goes through the current crisis it is important to keep up with developments and the key issues. We are determined to do so, and to keep you informed as well. Please subscribe to the blog.