One of the best political dramas ever made is A Very British Coup, based on the book by the MP Chris Mullen.
Telling the tale of how a left-wing Labour government is undermined by the security services, the Americans and even some “enemies within”, it starts with a former Sheffield steel worker turned wily politician, Harry Perkins, winning the General Election.
A critical moment comes early, when one of his cabinet, Tom Newsome, is caught out having an extramarital affair. Newsome is flying high, on the back of a recent success. He is one of the governments genuine stars.
The Security Service provides the media with an extra tit-bit; an IRA connection to the woman, which, of course, is overblown nonsense.
Nevertheless, Newsome appears, chastened, before the new Prime Minister who asks him bluntly about the affair and the “security risk.” Having established that no security risk existed or exists, he believes he’s saved his job.
Perkins looks straight at him and tells him, “Clear out your desk, Tom.”
Later, in Parliament, his rivals watch in astonishment, and horror, as Perkins proves he’s a serious player by deftly handling his first sacking by telling the House, “Tom Newsome behaved like a damned fool, and I won’t have any damned fools in my cabinet.”
There’s a lesson there in how Celtic’s new boss should handle his first scandal on the job.
Rumours about Leigh Griffiths, which had Ibrox’s creepy, deranged fan-base in raptures all day long yesterday, have now coalesced into something that’s a lot more serious.
I said last night that until the media wrote about it there was no story, and now they have.
All the basic facts are known, and whether Griffiths has committed a crime or not are an affair for the police and the CPS, a prospect so ghastly, and horrendous, that all at Celtic must be appalled and enraged.
At the very least though, Leigh Griffiths has been “a damned fool” and considering the other occasions in which he’s proved that he can’t be trusted, that should be that.
When the club conducts its internal investigation into this matter there can only be one result.
Celtic must immediately invalidate his one-year deal, for bringing the club into disrepute, and send him packing.
He simply cannot survive this to wear our jersey again.
Leigh Griffiths is done.
No sooner has the manager handed him a career-saving opportunity but this story breaks.
Griffiths has offered us the definitive proof that he is a bad headline waiting to happen.
He is a negative force.
There is no point in crossing your fingers and hoping for the best.
When you accept that, you’re relying on hoping that he’s going to score goals between disasters and that’s as good as it’s going to get.
We have enough things to worry about.
Let this clown be someone else’s problem.
There are folk who will try to mount arguments in his defence; what we’re facing here is a full-on battle with the media, and in the PR arena, over someone who’s simply not worth the effort or the negative headlines.
Besides, what argument can there be?
Did she look older than she is?
I have no idea and I don’t care.
Was he suckered?
Well, let’s face it he’s not the brain of Britain is he?
It wouldn’t be difficult to do.
Because this guy has no impulse control at all, and there’s no point in pretending that he can change.
It’s the manifest stupidity of this – and the selfishness – which is difficult to credit.
Griffiths is not only a professional footballer, but he’s just signed a one-year extension with our club although many people have major doubts. As a result of that he’s in the news more than he’s been in it for a long time, with the whole of Scottish football paying attention to him again, and under that spotlight he’s chosen to behave like this.
Those who’ve noticed that Celtic seems like a happy place once more have been praying for a fresh storm to break.
He’s handed them it on a silver platter with a bow on it.
Get shot of him, Celtic, at once.
There are enough reasons for tearing his deal to pieces without us having to worry about the other connotations of this.
This guy is now guaranteed to sew division and negative headlines at a time when this club has more important things to focus on. Even at his best there were times when you wondered if this guy was worth the nonsense that swirls around him.
Griffiths is simply not important enough to fight this battle over.
Let’s have no sympathy either; he did this to himself.
He has behaved appallingly here, he has disgraced the jersey, he has embarrassed the new manager and the CEO and his actions are a betrayal of every supporter who lent him backing.
After this, he’s done.
He should never – must never – pull on the Celtic jersey again.