Over the last few weeks and months – in case it wasn’t blatantly obvious – the Ibrox fan base has become increasingly bitter and militant in its efforts to strangle any version of free speech or comment with which it disagrees. This is fascistic in origin.
It has always amazed me that the left are the ones accused of waging culture wars; it’s my experience that this has always been, first and foremost, the province of the right wing. Right wing political views are now rife across Sevconia. This is undeniable.
They attack journalists. They attack politicians. Now they are attacking a “Celtic band”, Charlie And The Bhoys, and Livingston FC for allowing that band to stage a night in one of their facilities, a night that has since been cancelled.
There are two aspects to this which make it interesting to me.
The first is that it’s a blatant piece of cancel culture, Sevco social media venting its spleen at yet another target which offends their delicate sensibilities. It’s none of their business what gets booked for a private function, and that’s what this is regardless of the nonsense that some – including one idiot Ibrox blogger – seem to think.
Livingston FC was nothing to do with it. The company which booked it has their own private suite at that ground and uses it for whatever they think will sell tickets; it’s a commercial decision and nothing more. The backlash against it – utilising “fears” that it could be a “sectarian event” – is a manufactured controversy since only those who bought tickets would have been at it … so whatever songs were sung there wouldn’t have offended anybody.
There’s no case for doing this on any grounds other than that a certain section of the Sevco support is clearly insistent on suffocating any free expression with which they disagree.
The second point is that their entire argument is fundamentally dishonest and that it takes a staggering hypocrisy even to make the case they’re scrambling to put together.
If they cared about sectarianism they’d clean up their own songbook. Who in their support complains about Sash Bashes, which is their equivalent of such a night, and those are evenings with seriously sectarian connotations rather than political ones, which is the only argument you can make against a band that plays Irish Republican songs.
I repeat a challenge I’ve laid down many times; tell me the Republican song which preaches the exceptional nature of Catholicism over other faiths. Tell me the Irish Republican song sung frequently at Celtic Park which “glories murder.”
The charge of “sectarianism” doesn’t stand up to real scrutiny.
Songs about the IRA are songs about the Irish struggle for independence and unification. It might not be to everyone’s taste, it might not be a cause with which the majority of people agree, but I have political, social and cultural objections to the Tory Party.
I have never suggested that it be outlawed.
As to the idea that IRA songs “celebrate violence,” well guess what? All nationhood is built on death and violence. Why do you think some people call the Union flag the Butchers Apron? Think this island’s current political settlement was arrived at over brandy and cigars?
No Surrender, a song so beloved by their fans, is a war song. The line about “if you go to Dublin we will follow on” in an actual Rangers fan song, isn’t about losing your shirt on a stag party weekend. These are explicit references to the self-same Irish war of independence, only from the other side of the battle lines. Only someone completely thick is unable to grasp that.
Why do they think we don’t particularly care about those songs? They are cultural songs; they aren’t sectarian anthems of hatred. We can grasp the difference.
They do happen to embrace a culture based on religious warfare though.
I mean, what exactly do they think they are “celebrating” when they march every July? A tea party? No, actually it was a battle which left 2500 people dead and the Boyne wasn’t even the original celebration; that was The Battle Of Aughrim at which 7000 died.
Americans, by the way, support their own war of independence in July. Maybe we should outlaw the Star Spangled Banner, which is about the Battle of Baltimore.
Just for the record, I’ve not thought that Republican songs belonged at Celtic Park for years. If you want to celebrate the Irish war of independence there are bars and bands that cater to that and there are loads of places you can go if you want a proper IRA sing-song.
I would just rather, as personal preference, that it wasn’t done at Parkhead.
Some of the add-ons, such as the James McGrory one, I have no issue saying are crass and toe-curlingly embarrassing; Celtic most certainly did not “give us” the IRA, and I wish to God people would stop with the cretinous suggestion that they did. It shows a moronic grasp of history for starters; ours and that of the Republican movement itself.
I think that this whole thing is a phony controversy rooted in bigotry. That’s the bigotry of those who are making a big deal about it.
Their desire to hit out at every target within their range is so strong now that they don’t care how little sense there is in what they are doing, and that they think they’ve claimed a victory here – over who or what, I couldn’t actually tell you – reveals how narrow minded and stupid they actually are. Because in a culture war I have no doubt which side has the most grievous sins. I have no doubt which is the narrower minded and bigoted side of the debate.
It’s not our side in bed with the boot-boys of racism and anti-immigrant hatred, not our side dreaming up conspiracy theories about their “culture” being purged. It’s not our side which is up to our knees in blood or dipped in the waters of Trumpian denial of reality.
It is incredible to me how much time in any given day that these Peepul spend on nursing and unleashing their various hatreds. This was nothing more than a raw exercise in intimidation, reeking of double standards and their own epic brand of hypocrisy.