When I was young, one of my favourite stories was The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
It remains one of my favourite stories to this day.
When I was a kid I liked it because it had wolves in it, which I still love, and that at the end one came and ate the sheep.
(And, I always hoped, the little boy and his dad as well.)
Now that I’m older I appreciate the moral of the story just as much.
Last night, after the game was long done, and I was sitting working away on some stuff, I stuck on the BBC podcast to see what they were saying about the game and the likely fallout from it.
One of the people in the studio was Tom English.
The more I listened to him, the more I was reminded of The Boy Who Cried Wolf.
The thing is, I agreed with almost everything English was saying, but as I sat listening to him I couldn’t help but think of what a snivelling hypocrite he is, and how anti-Celtic he is in his outlook.
The fact I agreed with him didn’t change the total contempt I felt for the words coming out of his mouth.
In one very real sense, Lennon was correct at his presser the other day; we are held to a higher standard here in Scotland.
We’re certainly held to a very different one.
But he was wrong to make this into a gigantic conspiracy involving all and sundry.
There is no question that bitter hacks like English do subject us to treatment other clubs don’t get.
English attacked Lennon relentlessly last night.
For the unprofessionalism of his comments.
English scoffed at his “conspiracy theories”.
He refused to acknowledge that Lennon might be right about a single thing he said.
It was Michael Stewart who pointed out that Lennon has raised some good, and valid, points such as when he criticised the Scottish players’ dressing room celebrations. He didn’t agree with all of it, and he agreed that Lennon was blowing smoke and should never have done it … but Stewart was willing to give our manager enough credit for hitting the mark once or twice.
Stewart is just such a fair, and balanced, reporter.
I was laughing listening to English.
I spent the entire summer listening to English giving oxygen to an Ibrox conspiracy theory.
He didn’t accuse anyone at Ibrox of unprofessionalism when they were throwing allegations around like confetti.
He echoed those allegations.
Even when they revealed their dodgy dossier and other clubs were contemptuous of it, he gushed over how “interesting” it was and how many questions it raised.
Yeah, it certainly did that.
I remember asking myself “How mental are these Peepul?” and “Do they really think there’s anything in here worth all this squealing they’ve been doing?”
I am guessing they weren’t the sort of questions English had in mind though.
On top of that, it didn’t matter at all how much the SFA and the SPFL explained themselves over the Dundee vote and the process to end the season either. English would have none of it.
He backed Ibrox all the way.
He still believes they had a case to this day.
I don’t remember English ever once criticising Gerrard, regardless of how much baloney the Ibrox boss was talking either.
One of his first acts on the job was to push a conspiracy theory about how the SFA had always had it in for the club … where was English on that one?
When Gerrard was repeating the club’s idiotic mantra about not only wanting the season complete but how they would only regard it valid if it took place in front of full crowds, English was as silent as a crypt, yet there he was last night as if he had suddenly found his civic heart, slating Celtic in the most venomous language for taking risks and not caring about the public.
All well and good, except he’s never uttered a word about the single most egregious act committed by any club in the course of this crisis so far; that’s the one where Ibrox’s coaching team put a team out for a friendly when they didn’t have up to date test results.
The moral of the Boy Who Cried Wolf is that liars won’t be believed even when they tell the truth.
The moral of The Hypocritical Journalist is that no-one ought to take them seriously even when they are right, because they are impossibly inconsistent, even biased.
Make your own mind up which English is; all I know is that I found him hilarious.