What in God’s name kind of statement was that which The Green Brigade released yesterday? It is the kind of rhetoric we can all do without.
Their call for every fan to take a tri-colour to the game as we “go to war under the flag of Ireland” is one of the most overblown pieces of ludicrous hyperbole I have ever heard from these guys.
And I wonder sometimes if these guys ever stop to think about the perception it creates not only of them but of our wider support. There is no way in Hell that we should be endorsing a sentiment like that, as rhetorical as I’m certain it was.
If a Sevco supporter’s organisation had asked their fans to bring Union Jacks and said that they would “go to war” at the weekend flying it, I’d be calling them raving maniacs unmoored from reality.
I get that it’s Easter Sunday, but this is a game of football, not a re-enactment of the Rising.
This is a cup semi-final, being played in Scotland, in the year 2022.
This is not Ireland. This is not 1916. Whilst some tiny number of people might long for war and violence and the resumption of hostilities, the war they are talking about has been over for near on 25 years.
The people of Ireland aren’t remotely interested in resuming it and especially when most folk are horrified by the very real war happening in Europe right now.
And it does not look like fun. For anyone.
If a tiny handful of people really do lust for the thrill of battle, the Ukrainians would be happy to have them.
Hell, when you consider that the Russians are drafting in mercenary forces from around the globe they’d be happy to have them as well.
I suspect they would find real combat, on either side, somewhat less thrilling than they imagine.
Repeatedly on this site it has been pointed out that the Celtic fan’s objection to the Old Firm tag started, years before Rangers fell into ruin, on the premise that we are not like them, that we do not indulge in hatred for its own sake, that we do not fetishize militarism and war … and you know what? This ticks more than a few of the old, tired, worn boxes.
I cannot believe some of the stupid stuff that our supporters do from time to time, like the resurrection of songs like the sectarian Roamin’ In The Gloamin’ which this blog has written about before, and grotesqueries like the hanging effigies which outraged thousands of Celtic fans when they were displayed at Celtic Park some years ago.
The Green Brigade are not some band of out of control supporters … this perception does exists in some sections of our fan-base.
If you are one of the people who thinks they are a menace we’re not going to agree.
If you are one of the people who thinks they can do no wrong then we’re definitely not going to agree.
If you are one of the keyboard warriors who wants to get arsey with me over this, get a grip of yourself and consider your attitude. It’s hunnic behaviour, and I have no trouble calling it that.
There is an aggressive militancy on both sides of the Glasgow derby right now which I think is dangerous not only to both clubs but to wider society, and I would very much like to see it stamped out.
More people don’t want to see parts of Glasgow turned into 1980’s Belfast.
I struggle to comprehend the thinking of those who do.
What a lot of fans are uncomfortable with here is the sentiment and the language of war.
War is not a word that should be used loosly or thrown around with carefree abandon.
As far as I’m concerned it has no business being used here … it is inflammatory and dangerous and exactly what allows outsiders to continue to push this “two heads of the same coin” shite which none of us has any time for.
It also creates the false impression that our club is Irish first … and it never has been,
We’re a Scottish club which has Irish roots, not an Irish club which happens to play in Scotland.
There are those who are going to say this is much ado about nothing.
But I don’t think the use of the expression “this weekend we go to war” is appropriate in the context of a game of football. The other side doesn’t need an excuse to indulge its own militaristic tendencies and all this does is encourage them to believe that all of us are spoiling for a fight. If it’s fighting that interests you, keep it the hell away from our club.
On top of that, I was always to the way of thinking that the commemoration of the Easter Rising was a celebration of heroic sacrifice and a nation’s will to be free … not the glorification of war for its own sake.
If some people have failed to comprehend that, then more fool them.
I rather suspect most Irish people have seen and heard enough of war and want nothing further to do with it.
This kind of talk doesn’t impress them one bit.