The problem with making a living out of using words is that everything you say is out there waiting for someone to dig up and use against you. If those of us who do it spent our time worrying about that we would never be able to write without fear.
Still, there are things that you should take a deep breath before you commit to the public record. I have written reflexively and emotionally, in anger or frustration or fear, and I know how easy it is to say something that you later will come to regret.
Graeme Souness is one of those people who has, for years, talked the worst sort of nonsense without ever worrying who he might offend or how big a fool he might one day look.
But when he called out Celtic fans recently as the “unacceptable face of Scottish football” because a section of our support dared to express their dislike of the monarchy you knew that it was a matter of time, and not a long time either, before those stupid words came back on him.
Within a week Kyle Lafferty had reminded Scottish football and the world what it’s unacceptable face really looks like. The bile that poured out of the Ibrox stands at the weekend was another timely recap.
I always suspected the best was yet to come.
Last night, Liverpool fans sang about the Tories and railed against the monarchy.
For the most part, they despise Souness anyway in spite of the many years he’s spent crawling to them apologising for talking to a hated newspaper whilst manager there.
Nothing he says is going to win them back now. But he will not be too critical of them either.
For all that, he should be put on the spot for it anyway.
The next time he appears on that loud-mouth radio talk show which he now haunts like a malevolent spirit someone should ask him straight up, and I hope they do; if Celtic and their fans are the unacceptable face of Scottish football because of their anti-Royalist stance, are Liverpool fans the unacceptable face of football in England?
And if he can’t answer that, there’s another.
“Or, Graeme, are you not just yourself a hateful, spiteful, bigoted man who saw a chance to take a swing a club you detest and could not resist it?”
It would be interesting to hear the answer he gave.