Let’s talk today about Orwellian truth, and the greatest truth that he ever espoused; that “freedom is the freedom to say that 2 plus 2 is four, and if that is granted all else follows.”
He wrote that at a time when the facts when under constant attack, in a manner summed up best by Herman Goering when he said of Hitler, “If the Führer wants it, two and two makes five.”
We live in strange times, times when a serial liar squats in Downing Street even as the majority of his backbench MP’s want him gone. As Peter Oborne brilliantly put it, “He has never needed a noble justification for lying. He lies habitually, with impunity, and without conscience.”
When the Prime Minister is such a character, it’s little wonder that standards of public discourse are in sharp decline, and that the media is not trusted either.
Last week, someone sent me a news report about UEFA “honouring” the Ibrox club on their “150th Anniversary.” This, I was told, was the proof that the continuity of the club is a fact, and that there is no longer any debate over what happened in 2012.
It was a nice effort to rewrite history. But it didn’t move the needle for me one millimetre. See, I have the advantage of having been alive in 2012 and possessed of a good memory. I have the additional advantages of a background in political activism and holding a degree in media and communications. So I know a whitewashing when I see it.
Above all, I recognise the basic principles according to Winston Smith, Orwell’s great protagonist, the hero of 1984, who spoke those words that I opened the piece with. He also said that “sanity is not statistical”: in other words, even if every other person in the world believes that 2 plus 2 makes 5 the truth doesn’t change nor the result of that equation. You are not insane for continuing to believe in reality. If others insist on denying that, they have the problem.
Many times, people have tried to convince me that black is white and that the sky is not blue and that 2 plus 2 make 5 over the course of the last ten years. Whether it’s journalists wanting to try and defend their own gutless stance on this or if it’s SFA officials trying to explain it away or Ibrox fans clinging desperately to their fiction, I’ve never wavered once.
As far as I’m concerned there is no more debate over the fate of Rangers than there is over the existence of gravity. The Flat Earthers can continue to push their nonsense, but it will forever remain exactly that. I don’t care if I’m in a minority of one (and I’m not because most people deal perfectly well with reality); Rangers went out of business in 2012.
To me, the truth of it is self-evident when you look at how the Survival Lie supports itself. For years now I’ve been at great pains to point out that this game doesn’t just live with one colossal untruth but two of them; the other is called the Victim Lie.
To me, the Victim Lie is the more important of the two. To truly understand the Survival Lie you must acknowledge the one that grew out of it, because it’s in understanding that and calling it what it is that you see clearly the great flaw at the centre of the issue.
Let’s strip it right down to the fundamentals.
They claim that their club survived the events of that summer.
Yet the evidence which is arrayed against that view is mind-boggling, and it has nothing to do with stuff in the papers or the obituaries or the comments of ex-Rangers players. Look at the bigger picture.
There was, for a while, a phantom Club 12 in Scottish football. There was the SFA license issue. There was the European football requirement for three years of accounts before they were eligible to compete in continental competitions. There was the loss of the Scottish Cup seeding. There is the little acknowledged fact that Rangers voted on whether to allow the NewCo into the Premier League. Both versions of the club signed the Five Way Agreement.
Every single bit of that evidence leads to only one conclusion; that the club called Rangers went out of business and a new one started life in the bottom tier.
So how do its adherents account for their survival? If they didn’t die, then how does any of that other evidence make a blind bit of sense? Why were they denied entry to the league in which they already had membership? How did they lose the SFA license which they already held, or the Scottish Cup seeding that was theirs by right?
In order to make the pieces all fit, the Survival Lie had to be supported by another; the Victim Lie, which states that all of that happened as the result of a colossal and far-reaching conspiracy, which sought to shatter their club and even kill it … but from which they somehow clawed their way to survival and started to climb through the divisions.
This is the theory. This is what underpins the idea of their continued existence. The Great Anti-Rangers Conspiracy … what this blog calls the great Unseen Hand.
Not only is that theory manifestly preposterous, but it is highly dangerous. It has led to an increasingly militant, aggressive, paranoid Ibrox support … and it has become so pervasive that it seems to me that some of the directors at Ibrox actually believe in it themselves, and act accordingly in their dealings with the governing bodies and everyone else.
I know why the SFA endorses it; they think they have to. Because for too long this game has been framed around a rivalry between two clubs, and everyone involved lacks the imagination to break that cycle and forge something anew. They are also scared shitless of a backlash from the Ibrox support, as evidenced in Regan’s “civil unrest” remarks.
UEFA follows the lead of the domestic governing bodies.
That’s a fact. They will recognise whatever the SFA does. They don’t see it as their business to interfere, although they have made it clear, in the Traverso letter, that they do consider the Ibrox club a new sporting entity.
That they are capable of talking out of both sides of their mouth on this issue should hardly come as a surprise to a living soul; UEFA is one of the most fundamentally corrupt institutions on the planet, and if that’s the Ibrox support’s final fig-leaf then more fool them.
None of it answers a single question about how the club could have survived the grave without the existence of the grand conspiracy that almost put them there. But what do we know about the Ibrox mind-set, above all other things? Their propensity for drama. Their love of a good courtroom. Their thirst for the cut and thrust of battle.
Say the conspiracy existed and say the goal of it was to kill the club. By what mechanism could any of those actions have been justified?
There were no grounds whatsoever for expelling Rangers from the top flight, far less removing their SFA membership and forcing them to start at the bottom. The cost to the club, in purely financial terms, was not in the millions but the tens of millions in lost revenues, broadcasting, advertising and sponsorship, European income and the player sales which would have been possible had the conspiracy not allowed most of them to leave for free.
So why didn’t they fight? Why didn’t they take the whole thing to the Court of Arbitration for Sport?
Green threatened to hold up the kick-off to the season over a single provision in the Five Way Agreement … why would he, or anyone else involved with Rangers, have permitted the annihilation of the club’s commercial potential and standing when there were numerous legal avenues which could have been pursued instead?
Let’s take it further; why haven’t they pursued compensation claims and court proceedings against the governing bodies since? Their argument is that the game acted corruptly.
The Victim Lie can bring you to no other conclusion. So why hasn’t this board, of Real Rangers Men, acted to seek redress? Wouldn’t it have been the first thing King did?
Nobody loves a scrap in a courtroom more than him, so why hasn’t the issue been taken forward?
These Peepul treat us like mugs when they play this card.
Their club died, and not only do they know it but they know they did nothing to save it, which is to their eternal disgrace.
No wonder they want to deny reality … but not matter how much they do I want to remind them that we know the truth, and as long two plus two makes four we’ll continue telling it.
Think you know your CVA’s from your EBT’s? Take the Ibrox liquidation quiz below!