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This Weekend, The Roots Of Celtic Are More Important Than Ever.

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On a weekend when the streets of the city I call home will be filled with the dregs of Orangeism, Loyalism and Unionism, when the stench of their bigotry will be flooding the nostrils of every citizen of this country who is sick and tired of this tasteless Halloween display, I think it is to talk a little about why I’m so proud of where we’re from.

As I will write later on, the grotesque “spectacle” of the parades will be a prelude to another event tomorrow; Ibrox’s flag-day, put off several times now and which will bear no resemblance to any title party anyone in Scotland has ever seen.

The chances are very high that it will lead to some impromptu gathering in the city centre, with the fresh possibility of what others would call shame and disgrace.

They appear impervious to those things though, and even seem to take a perverse pleasure in them.

I could not imagine our taking pride in disgracing themselves and their club.

Seville remains a point of pride for us because 80,000 Celtic travelled there without a single arrest. Its direct counterpoint was the shame of Manchester, when the OldCo’s fans rioted in the streets in some of the worst scenes ever seen after a European final.

When I look at the two clubs right now the differences are starker than they ever were between us and the first Ibrox side.

I look at the whole development of the current operation over there and it’s more insular and backward and poisonous than Rangers ever was.

I look at where we’re from, and what our background is.

Our club was founded for Glasgow’s Irish community.

We could have remained insular.

A lot of organisations formed out of adversity do exactly that. We could have built walls, and no-one at the time would have held it against us.

But right from the start, we reached out. We were a home for anyone.

We remain that sort of club today. We have kept our charitable ethos, and we pride ourselves on our Irish heritage but we have never let it entirely define or limit us. We are, as the saying goes, “a club open to all.”

Everything about us is welcoming.

There is no equivalent, in our community, of what this city will see on its streets over the course of this weekend.

We don’t need it. We’ve never needed it.

Our culture is not built on the supremacy of one over another.

These ideas are poisonous.

For us to embrace that … it’s an alien concept, it is something that makes no sense to us at all.

Celtic is not about that stuff.

This weekend, when the dark side of Scottish society is on full display, tied inexorably and dreadfully to the club across the city, I will remember that this is what is killing them.

That they are connected to a dying creed and even as that becomes ever more obvious to the rest of the world they cannot pull themselves free.

This is why we endure, why we’ll be here when the third or fourth Ibrox operation is struggling to claw its way up from the gutter.

All this hatred, it must be exhausting for them.

Life is so much less stressful when you’re more interesting in making friends than enemies.

That’s the difference. That’s who we are.

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9 comments

  • Seamus Campbell says:

    James, is there anything in comments I’ve saw posted previously alluding to any disciplinary matters against “rangers” having to go before CAS?
    This under terms “agreed” under the 5 way agreement.
    The way the club are carrying on without seemingly ever taken to task would appear to support this.

  • Marie says:

    Great article and so true. Well done.

  • Peter cassidy says:

    Left Glasgow over 50 years ago but well remember the bigot and racists walks god they are still in the 1600 most of them don’t even know what they are walking for just a good day to get pi$$ed and sing there bigot songs Scotland is such a backward country letting this bigotry and hatred continue the snp government should be ashamed letting these people corrupt the streets of Scotland.

  • REBELLIOUS says:

    Pleasant read James, thanks. It now seems that the only option is for the Scottish government to TELL the sfa (AND the polis too) to their job and prosecute sevco for their many transgressions, that’s including the ones they’ll make tomorrow after their match.
    The Scottish polis are of no use either because great majority of them ARE huns.
    Nothing will change until that klub is seen by all to be toeing the line, most importantly, All of their fans HAVE to see they’re klub being held accountable.
    Until then, this continues ad nauseam.

  • Joseph Mcaleer says:

    Well said James. The shame of Glasgow. And a spineless political elite plus mealy mouthed Police Chief. As someone who lives in Aberdeen it looks so embarrassing for the Glasgow area.

  • Neil says:

    It’s truly sickening this still occurs. Imagine a similar organisation and it’s membership rules this…Tossers “The Order sees itself as defending Protestant civil and religious liberties, whilst critics accuse it of being sectarian, triumphalist,[9][10][11][12] and supremacist.[12][13][14][15] As a strict Protestant society, it does not accept non-Protestants as members unless they convert and adhere to the principles of Orangeism, nor does it accept Protestants married to Catholics.[” Really ?! And we all know it goes much deeper/further… and yet Glasgow council always approves marches but chapels????.. it’s gaining the backlash but sooooo far to go … I often wonder about the majority … They suggest apposed to bigotry but give a bind eye to this type

  • Neil says:

    I’ll give u all a memory… My parents… Mum Irish from Mayo… Dad Scottish from Maryhill. Long story short. My dad’s lot ended up Wyinford estate and Somersrson one in the high rises… No that it matters but I hated our visits. My dad Thistle man (Jesus geography should dictate) all his other 4 aiiblings Huns … anyway we weren’t much liked but tolerated ? my worst day … Aunty died I went for our family for the funeral. Got off Queen St … Was a bit uncertain bus wise due to one way system mid 80s .. asked a evening times vendor which stop to Maryhill.. and quote ” excuse me sir I wonder if you could tell me where I get (I swear it was the 62 but 30 years I can’t be sure) the bus to Maryhill ?? His reply “you must be a pape our lot would never be so polite ,???????? as the Specials sang .. nothing never change

  • Michael Murray says:

    Excellent article showing what bile and hatred can do in society. The world that they inhabit is disappearing thankfully. Freedom of religion and speech is important but freedom of the mind is more so. Some day this culture will disappear and the world will be a better place. ???

  • Pat says:

    Pat says Well done to talk about this
    I pray for the day when this sort of thing fizzels out to nothing. I feel for future generations , growing up with these outdated traditions from the past, so sad.

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