It was Abraham Lincoln who said “He has a right to criticise who has a heart to help.”
Aristotle is reputed to have once said that “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
Ralph Wando Emerson said “Whatever you do, you need courage and whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong.”
And Mark Twain said, “If you have no will to change it you have no right to criticise it.”
I agree with all of them. All my life, I’ve seen people who wanted to make changes sniped at from the side-lines by pitiful cowards who never had the guts to take anything on themselves. The world is full of issues to protest on. I am with the protesters.
Each of us has a duty, I think, to try to make better the world in which they live, even in a little way, even in a way that might not rock the wider universe but which echoes through their corner of society. We can’t all shoot for revolutionary changes, but we should all try to make things a little bit better for our fellow human beings, a little bit fairer, a little more just.
For some of us, that has meant working around issues to do with Celtic. There are people who have made this club the central hub of their lives, and their charitable work and work for the betterment of others has some connection to this club.
The Green Brigade and their foodbanks. The Kano Foundation and those kids. The Celtic Charities Fund. The Walfrid Wells. The Thai Tims. Others campaigned for the Living Wage for our workers. For women’s sanitary products to be free in the bathrooms. There are the homeless sleep-overs at Celtic Park and many other things like it.
I could go on and on and on but you get the drift.
Others, without even realising they were doing it, helped to establish us as one of the best away supports in Europe, by making friends, by acting responsibly, by behaving as ambassadors for Celtic everywhere they went.
Others worked hard to build that reputation, self-policing their own little corner of Celtic Park and the away day experience.
We honour all of these people. We respect all of those people. We would never dream of attacking or demeaning them or playing down their contribution to society and to the good name of Celtic as a whole. Nor should we. Their efforts are only to be commended.
Why is it, then, that others get no respect whatsoever from some amongst our number? Does the fair running, and good governance, of the game not matter to them?
You know, I have no problem with that, if that’s their thinking.
Those who want to push the Survival Lie, those who don’t think the “Sevco” debate is worth having, those who can’t bring themselves to care how our rivals are financed or whether the refs are bent or the SFA is fair minded and transparent … you are perfectly entitled to hold those views.
Be happy to operate in an environment toxified by lies and by corruption, and pretend to yourself that you are watching a clean game. If that helps you sleep at night or lets you worm your way into the outer limits of the “mainstream” media where the pollution level is critical, or a step closer to regular tea and biscuits around the board’s table, pretending to be a voice of the fans instead of a stooge for the directors, hey, grab what you can from the rubble.
But some folk do care. Some folk are committed to seeing Scottish football governance change, and they don’t want thanks, and if even your respect is too much to ask then so be it; if you want to live in shit, that’s up to you.
Where some people get pissed off – where I’m increasingly becoming very pissed off indeed – is when some folks, like Auldheid, get stick because they are willing to work a shovel and have put in the hard hours trying to clean up the mess.
Resolution 12 is not some fringe concern, and it’s not about Whatabouttery and it’s not about scoring points against Ibrox.
Anyone who thinks that it is any of those things hasn’t been paying attention, and I don’t even mind that people don’t pay attention; it’s them trying to pass themselves off as knowledgeable and informed when they’ve made a virtue out of being neither that I dislike.
I don’t mind that people are content to be ignorant, but I do mind when those same folk think they have the right to pontificate on a subject that they very clearly and obviously known nothing about.
If you don’t understand what the objective was, and is, you ought not to be calling it a waste of time.
If you are embarrassed by the focus on it, I’d suggest that you might have spent too long at the back of the bus and gotten so used to being pissed on that you’ll go along with the fiction that it’s rain.
Resolution 12 targets the SFA. It always has.
It is not some obsession by a handful of sad-cases. Serious people have put serious time and effort and even their own money into getting to the bottom of this. It is about the open and honest – with the emphasis on honest – application of the rules.
It is about how Scottish football is run, and if you are a Celtic fan who doesn’t care about that you have no right to bring up bent refs or EBT’s ever again.
These guys are heroes. These guys took on the job the club didn’t want to – indeed, the club told them that if they wanted to look into it that they should bring whatever evidence they found back, and then when those guys did that they ignored it completely.
These are the handful of guys who are still fighting a massively important battle, long after others have walked out of the combat zone and they don’t mind marching into the guns of the enemy … but they are increasingly worrying about being shot in the back, by those who are supposed to be their friends, and I don’t think that’s right or fair and I’m angry about it.
I know what these guys put into this and what some of them are still putting into it and I know they are doing it for us. They are doing it for the good of our club and for the good of the game. They deserve the highest praise, not sniping from the gutters.