Look, before I start this piece I’m not here to comment on the hammer and sickle.
I’ve had a long and complicated relationship with that symbol as a socialist. But I’m not a communist and I’ve never been a communist, and that’s what the symbol ultimately represents. And yesterday a group of our fans, and I don’t know how big that group is and I don’t care, decided to put stickers or whatever they were in various parts of Livingston’s stadium.
A Twitter feed promoted this with a little politico-speak which included campaigning for peace.
In a perfect world, maybe.
But just so we all understand each other, I find that word somewhat suspect when Russia is still bombing Ukrainian cities … I’m not getting into a political discussion here, but anyone who wants to justify Russia’s illegal invasion and the subsequent missile strikes on civilian areas can piss off and do it out of my earshot.
Thing is, that’s not what those lads did yesterday or what they were doing. They don’t care about perception, although ignorant people could very easily perceive those stickers as representing some kind of support for the Russian regime. But they aren’t, and as someone who goes way back with this stuff I can say that for a fact and know I’m standing on solid ground.
For openers, Putin isn’t a communist and he never has been.
He worked for the KGB which regarded itself as “the sword and shield of the party”, and said party was the Communist Party, but most of its officials couldn’t have cared less about the ideology and were only interested in naked power.
Putin has done nothing to “restore” Russia to communism; quite the opposite in fact, because one of the ways he keeps power is to let the oligarchs do their thing.
That’s just one part of what makes the thread on this on an Ibrox fan forum so hilarious. It is so politically and historically incoherent and barmy. It is so ignorant. It is so loaded down with conspiracy theories, myths and even outright fantasy that it would make your jaw drop. I read it this morning in incredulity. The stuff these Peepul believe …
Headline “Celtic Communism” there’s the first mistake. The whole thread over and over again talks about this as if communism was the ideology of the whole club instead of a tiny group of fans. Look at our board and try and imagine the sort of people who think Dermot Desmond and Peter Lawwell are communists. I am sitting here laughing just thinking about that.
And with the very first post we’re off to the races. “Disgusting from them again. Every single away game. Why haven’t the SFA taken action against them for their Putin supporting antics?”
I have to say, as starts go it’s a beauty. If the SFA wanted to have a go at clubs for the ideology of the fanbase, or even a section of the fanbase, I can suggest others they might start with first, and I’d be basing that on fact and not a completely wrong-headed, pig-ignorant view like one equating Putin with communism, as that guy has done here.
Years ago, when I ran a site that did TV and game reviews, I wrote a piece on the excellent, but grim, survival film The Grey that started thus; “The Grey opens with a guy sitting in the snow with a rifle, thinking about using it to blow his own head off. The mood of the film goes downhill from there.”
That’s what this thread does.
It starts on a note of surrealism … and spirals further into the Land of Make Believe as it goes on. The second post says that we displaced residents to build the new Celtic Park, complete nonsense as any person knows but symbolic of the lurch into unreality which the entire thread takes over the course of three hilarious pages.
One poster labels the IRA as communist; in fact, what we know today as The Provisionals split off from the Official IRA in no small part because they didn’t believe that an overt political ideology was either necessary or desirable when the focus needed to be first on fighting and winning the war.
In fact, Cathal Goulding, the chief of staff of the IRA until the 1969 split, had wanted the IRA to join a “national liberation campaign” in partnership with other left-wing groups … he maintained until 1972, when he quit the leadership of the Official IRA, that all the armed struggle achieved was to divide the working class. Seán Mac Stíofáin disagreed.
Another poster thinks the IRA were pro-Nazi. This is one of the biggest myths of them all; the IRA’s policy was “Britain’s misfortune is Ireland’s opportunity” but that’s not the same thing.
It’s not even an example of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Ireland never joined the war against the Nazis but that doesn’t mean the Irish government supported them either.
The same guy claims the Vatican helped Nazi war criminals escape. This is another complete misunderstanding of history. The Vatican and The International Red Cross did, in fact, help Nazi leaders get out of Germany after the war … but they didn’t do it deliberately.
They were assisting millions of people who had been displaced by the war, and in that chaos some Nazis were able to use the enormous backlog to slip through the net.
You know who did help Nazi war criminals escape? The British and American governments; that’s a known historical fact. Some of them ended up working in industry. Guys like Werner Von Braun were used to craft the early ICBMs based on his work with the V1 and V2 rockets. Nazi intelligence officials were used in the fight against Communism – haha! Communism! – in Easter Europe.
Somehow these people have managed to equate the hammer and sickle with the Nazis now … which is quite a stretch and would be a great achievement of intellectual dexterity if there was in fact a shred of intellect behind any of the rot which this guy was talking.
The claim that we “forced a Jewish director off the board” is a barefaced lie. Ian Livingston was on the Celtic board until he voluntarily stepped down, and Celtic fans opposition to him was based on the fact that as a Tory peer he voted in favour of several austerity policies which increased poverty, including child poverty, right on the doorstep of Celtic Park.
The number of them who refer to these guys as “fascists” is unreal. Communists are not fascists. The two are diametric opposites. They couldn’t be more wrong if they were wearing their Hugh Keevins masks for the day whilst they write this stuff.
“The ultimate irony being they support a club that claims to be “rich” at every opportunity but then refuses to pay a living wage to any of its non-playing staff while at the same time paying fat cat directors millions every year. Celtic are the very definition of capitalism yet the left-wing yahoo moral crusaders don’t seem to have much of a problem with it,” wrote one, in apparent ignorance of the fact that many of us do have big problems with it and that several Celtic fan groups campaigned aggressively against the club’s policies on the living wage.
As I said, we’re not a club run by communists. That’s pretty well understood. Also, I’m fairly sure that we do pay the living wage now. I certainly know that no Celtic director gets “millions every year.” That’s a complete fabrication from the nutjob who wrote that.
This one made me chuckle. “All communist groups during the Cold War supported the IRA which was trying to steal British land, ergo fascism. Castro has opened monuments in Cuba to IRA suicide squads.”
Haha oh there is so much wrong in that handful of words that it’s difficult to know where to begin.
But let’s have a go.
The “communist groups” he’s referring to were groups like ETA, the PLO and The Red Brigades. ETA were far-left “revolutionary socialists” not communists. The PLO are an Islamic organisation. The Red Brigades were a Marxist-Leninist revolutionary organisation which sought to create a left-wing Italian state. ETA and the PLO were, of course, fighting what they regarded as wars of liberation, which of course is why they drew support from and offered support to the IRA. This has nothing to do with communism; of the three only The Red Brigades even vaguely leaned in that direction.
And by the way, the Red Brigades had a lot of political enemies on the Italian left.
Know how their biggest enemies were? The Italian Communist Party.
The idea that the IRA was “trying to steal British land” will be news to even the most ignorant scholar, and is such an inversion of the facts that you wonder if this isn’t someone at the wind up.
And IRA suicide squads? That’s definitely a new one.
It is true, however, to say that Castro had a soft spot for the Republican movement.
I’m just surprised that this clown didn’t mention, because he doesn’t know, that one of the best and most on-the-nose tributes to Bobby Sands was in Tehran where their government named a street after him … said street being the one the British Embassy sits on. I’ve always found that very amusing to recall.
It’s also a stretch – and a pretty big one – to tie The Vatican and communism together.
That’s a pair that literally do not meet on the road.
This is another highlight of the thread;
“They think of WW2, and because they want to be seen as the good guys, they have to associate themselves to whatever the opposite of the Nazis was, so that would be the reds. They’re too thick to realise that Britain fought the Nazis too. They’re able to reconcile the most ridiculous beliefs, such is their hypocrisy and stupidity.”
What World War 2 has to do with this I don’t actually know … but I was sort of vaguely aware that we fought the Nazis during that one … it’s why free speech means a lot to me.
It’s why I personally wish Remembrance Day was still a thing for “remembering” and not the glorification of war, with all the poppy fascism (there’s a use of the word, in context) … and why if I saw a Celtic fan making a Nazi salute, I’d nut him instead of trying to rationalise the gesture.
It wasn’t our fans who briefly turned that into “a thing.” That was their supporters.
“Shall we tell the anti-fascists about the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact,” one of them asks. I honestly wish that he would, so we could find out what he knows about it, which I’m betting isn’t much at all.
But for the record, again, the Soviets signed that agreement in part because it gave them the opportunity to take a chunk of Poland without risking a war with the west, it also gave them some security (or so they thought) against future German aggression … a secret provision also gave them free reign to take over states like Latvia and Lithuania. In short, they signed it out of complete self-interest. Hitler did it for the same reason, and never intended to keep to it.
So if this muppet is trying to suggest some convergence between the ideologies he’s dead wrong. The pact was signed by two men who had their own territorial ambitions and selfish ends, and they both signed it knowing they couldn’t trust the other party.
Another guy says they support communism because they don’t have jobs. Someone else thinks they do have jobs, as the upper crust of society is now completely filled with Celtic minded people. (The Great Conspiracy of the Unseen Fenian Hand puts the old Communist plans for a global revolution firmly in the shade; we got here first haha.)
“Ironic that they hate monarchy. Only the British monarch though,” one wit says about our alleged love for the Vatican.
Ironic that he doesn’t know that the Vatican is not a monarchy because power is passed down via elections, and that’s just one of the ways in which it differs. Amazing too that he’s largely unaware of the role the Vatican played in propping up the British throne … the Battle of The Boyne was only one example of the Papal State picking the winners.
This is a post. I’ve not touched it, I’m simply presenting it as it’s written.
“A theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs. That worked well then not Technically everyone was equal but some were more equal than others Putin is a robbing bastard the truth will come out and he will have had his pockets full of hard working saps money for decades he’s from a long line of scumbags bleeding his country dry no different to the west they don’t hide it hear as for the wankers in the pig bin nought a few hundred bars of carbolic soap good social soap to wash away grim.”
I have no idea what much of that means but it was a good laughing trying to work it out.
I love his assertion that “the truth will come out” about Putin; that cat is well and truly out of the bag, I think. He sounds like one of those nutjobs on the “other” thread I mention here sometimes talking about “cover ups” and stuff “swept under the carpet” and which the media won’t mention in spite of … yeah, lots of media coverage, changes to the law, criminal prosecutions and a court case which even has its own podcast. That has to be the worst cover up in history.
This is another lunatic’s take on it all.
“Always wondered about the Vatican’s and Japanese flags flying side by side at the Piggery. The Japanese for ’emperor’ translates into English as something like ‘heavenly sovereign’. But is that not the Pope’s gig? Given Thais’ prominent sense of nationalism, and veneration of the monarchy, it would be interesting to see what resulted from attempts to teach the Thai Tims some of their songs which express opposition to the country of one’s birth and its head of state.”
A little Wikipedia can be a dangerous thing …
“If you were Hitler, you’d be a bit pissed off that you get all the shite but Stalin who killed millions more gets off relatively lightly in comparison,” another writes. If I was Hitler, I’d be … too dead to worry about what press I’m getting.
He’s probably missed the tens of thousands of scholarly works written on the horrors of the Stalin regime. Best not to tell him about this, he’ll be charging to the library to fill himself with knowledge, I’m sure.
“The only thing they actually all agree upon is their hatred of the Orange Order, Protestants, anything British and The Rangers. but sadly, never get called out. They have placemen in all the organisations that were formed to stop their behaviour,” one eejit writes before going on to talk about anti-sectarianism charities filled with “Celtic placemen” and a media with bulging carpets (see what I mean?) and finally an apparent suggestion that our police should be smashing through the doors of several Merchant City and Gallowgate pubs and rounding up the Green Brigade.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds like something that would happen under fascism.
There have been a lot of madcap threads on those sites down through the years, but this has to be one of my favourites, so filled with ignorance and craziness that I have trouble believing what it was that I just read.
All sparked by a small number of our fans with stickers, and whilst I think that these armchair revolutionaries should leave their toys at home this is a spectacular meltdown from the Ibrox illterati and one that was in many ways a pleasure to go through.
For obvious reasons I’m not having comments on this one.