“When the God’s wish to punish us, they answer our prayers.” – Oscar Wilde.
I spend more of my time than I should listening to the discourse on the right these days.
It fascinates me endlessly, and in particular over in the US where the gun-nuts and the militia loonies are praying for Trump to complete his political comeback.
These people regard themselves as the last keepers of the American flame.
Maybe they haven’t listened to this guy, or maybe they aren’t as patriotic as they think they are, because I have listened to him and there is no graver threat to the Constitution that they claim to hold dear than he is.
No greater threat to free speech, free assembly, the freedom to worship, the freedom from unlawful search and seizure.
He respects the freedom to bear arms, but whilst President he wanted to put armed troops on the streets to kill protestors, and use federal law enforcement authorities to hunt down his political enemies. He wanted to throw journalists into jail.
I listen to these people and I think to myself, “be careful what you wish for.”
Because if you allow one autocrat through the doors of the Oval Office you’ve fundamentally changed the country forever, and although Trump has been there before that was then and this is now. A man who tried to ferment a coup to hang onto power would abuse it like never before if the electorate willingly handed it back to him.
I had to laugh yesterday, uproariously, as Humza Yousef was elected First Minister of Scotland. He would have been my choice had I been eligible to vote in the election for leader, but as I’m not a party political activist anymore, and never have been a member of the SNP, it was ultimately for their members to make that call.
What amused me was Ibrox’s reaction.
Not that of the club, although I am sure that they are far from happy about it.
No, I mean the fans, so like the right wing lovers of Trump who believe that they are defending the Constitution by denying Democrats the White House. The Ibrox illiterati always believed that Sturgeon hated them and leaned our way.
I happen to know she was one of the people in Scotland who was least interested in the game, and would happily have never heard another word about it. The idea that she harboured some deep dislike of their club was as stupid as it was ridiculous.
Yet The Peepul despised her, and I never understood their reasons for that. They celebrated her decision to leave as if their club had won a critical fixture. And throughout the last month I’ve been waiting patiently for the other shoe to drop.
Yesterday it did. With the clang of a hammer coming down on an anvil.
Now, the First Minister is a dyed in the wool football man. One who has criticised their club and its fans openly on social media and in front of the cameras, not to mention from the ministerial chairs in the Parliament itself.
And he’s a Celtic fan.
Not a theoretical one – the references to Sturgeon being a Celtic fan were not hypothetical but fictional – but an actual one, a self-confessed one. Her constituency included Ibrox, so she was ever careful not to upset the neighbours. He’s in Pollock, and I daresay he does not have the same concerns on that score.
Let’s be clear here; we have one director on our board whose hatred of the SNP borders on the pathological, as is the case with most Labour members of his generation. Still, I do wish Brian Wilson would remember that he represents us now and is no longer on their Scottish team. Good relations with the government of the day would not go amiss.
Still having a self-confessed Celtic man in that job will certainly not hurt. I daresay most of our directors know the guy from long acquaintance and have the utmost respect for him, and know that he only wants good things for us.
The idea that this is a government that instinctively wishes us ill was always a stretch. Now it’s unthinkable.
Expect a far greater level of engagement between this government and football, and watch carefully how it manifests itself. If this guy gets together with the clubs – and he will want to – in order to root out certain issues in the stands I think that there will be changes nobody expects, least of all those who won’t obey the law.
But it also might – just might – be the moment this country gets real about tackling the bigoted dirge that flows out of certain stands, most notably the ones across town. He has no reason to turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to that.
I daresay that there are few high profile political figures in Scotland who are less tolerant of that kind of behaviour than he is, and he’s proved it time and again.
I can see why Celtic might see an upside in having such a man in office. Certainly, he will not go out of his way to harm our club and that’s important to note. Our board has no reason to be concerned, and indeed many reasons to feel optimistic.
But any enthusiasm we feel about this change will certainly not be felt across the city. In fact, I can tell you that the general mood over there is pretty dire in relation to his being elected.
It was their worst nightmare writ large and if you think they were vocal on the “issues” they saw Glasgow City Council having with them, that’s nothing on how they will be, at the first opportunity, about the guy who weighed in so publicly on the George Square disorder and the video allegedly of their team belting out a sectarian song.
Their new head of media, Alasdair Morrison, is a former Labour MSP and he is active on Twitter where his feed pours out a screed of anti-SNP bile, and he clearly has no love of Humza Yousef and has made that abundantly clear in the last 48 hours.
Indeed, one of his “selling points” to the Peepul was when they informed the media, upon hiring him, that he had “assisted the club” in an unofficial capacity in their “battles” with Glasgow City Council’s SNP leadership and the Scottish Government headed by Nicola Sturgeon. He markets himself as an arch unionist and they have no issue with that.
Throw into the mix Yousaf being a self-confessed Celtic supporter and, ladies and gentlemen, you can see how crazy this must be driving them inside the walls, and when this outcome was blindingly obvious it’s a measure of how dumb they are to have missed it.
So things are perfectly poised for some future flashpoint.
We don’t know where it will come from yet or how it will manifest itself, but we know that it will.
We know it will happen because these Peepul will scrutinise every move made in their vicinity and the first time they see something they don’t like the screaming will begin in earnest.
In the depths of their forums it has already begun.
Ibrox fans got what they wanted.
Whether they want what they are going to get … well they are already regretting the outcome.