So according to some in the media Ibrox fans are “outraged” and the club is “shocked” at the appearance of a flag at yesterday’s game bearing the Deaths Head symbol of the SS.
Nazi iconography and the Ibrox support are no strangers to one another.
But on Armed Forces Day, their much-heralded tribute to the troops, yeah that might not go down so well with the folk they want to impress. And nor should it.
I have not one bit, not one iota, of sympathy for either the fans who were offended or the club which is desperately trying to clean up the PR mess. To be immersed in that club is to be close to this stuff all the time.
To be part of it is to be on nodding acquaintance, at the very least, with intolerance, bigotry and hatred.
Once you’re there, it’s all just a matter of degrees.
That’s all it is between lustily singing about being up to your knees in fenian blood and applauding the massacre of the Jews. Ethnic cleansing and genocide are two forks in the same road, and it’s one that no decent person would ever want to go down.
That club cannot pretend that it abhors those who chose one path over another, or that choosing the lesser of those two evils makes them better people than they are.
That club tolerates disgusting singing and chanting every other week. It panders to the gutter elements. It markets to them. So any claim that it has moral high ground to clamber onto is a joke.
As to fan anger; the thread on one particular forum was deleted, so their outrage has to be implied because it certainly isn’t obvious. Their other main forum mustered up a whole one and a half pages of discussion on it, so whereas I’m sure some fans are pretty angry over it nobody else really wants to talk about it, which suggests indifference at best.
When their club was sanctioned for Nazi salutes in the stands, they didn’t deplore the gesture, they tried to rebrand it. How many of them have been shamed over the years by their social media posts? By their disgusting songs?
These people have no fig leaf to hide behind, none, and my only surprise here is that more of them don’t have the courage of their convictions, and just call it as they see it. They have more support in Scottish society than they’re probably aware, and I would prefer if it these people were out front rather than working in darkness.
Have some balls. Look around you at the world.
Trump doesn’t care and neither do his supporters; he’s proved how far you can extend the Overton Window, all the way back to 1932 and the Beer Hall Putsch if need be.
Over here we have the likes of Suella Braverman and her own undisguised racism and bigotry, so maybe you should just fly whatever you like.
The free speech advocates will love it. Andrew Tate will tweet about any efforts to silence you. You might even get a nod from Russell Brand; he’s far enough into the fantasy world up his own arse to arrive at antisemitism if he isn’t there already.
The media too should spare us any moralising or fake outrage.
Their position is just nauseating.
If a section of the Ibrox fan-base is out to lunch, if they’ve lost their collective minds, that’s in no small part because the media has tolerated all their bigotry and hatred for years … and that might not even be the least of it.
I wrote earlier about the butterfly effect; you tell me what long term damage has been done and might yet come of the media’s endorsement of the Victim Lie. Not the Survival Lie, which is bad enough, but the more toxic one, the one that claims Scottish football did something terrible to the Ibrox fans back in 2012, and fuelled much of their current anger and paranoia.
It sent them chasing conspiracy theories and craziness.
It led to some of them engaging in the self-same fully fledged retreat from reality which you see across the far-right here, in America and across the world.
At the bottom of that rabbit hole is all manner of perverse ideology, and the media has played a full and active role in pushing a large section of the Ibrox support into that morass, as some of us have been warning for a decade now.
Look how many of them have used the Victim Lie as the basis for their hatred of their own country for God’s sake, and feeling themselves outcasts in it. That’s standard stuff amidst far-right ideas, and it’s why I highlight the Victim Lie over and over again and expose it for what it is. It is not just poisonous to Scottish football, it’s dangerous to society.
I think it’s telling that the hacks are more upset about a logo on a flag than they are about songs killing Catholics at every match … as far as I’m concerned, they are cowards and hypocrites whose own priorities and ethics are badly out of whack.
That flag is abhorrent, absolutely beyond the pale.
That symbol is vile and evil and should not be seen anywhere in this country.
Am I surprised to see it at Ibrox? Not even a little bit and in spite of the anger radiating from a handful of people on one forum and from a few newspaper titles the people who brought that to Ibrox felt confident that they could put it up and that nobody would crack a light. They regard those stands as their “safe space”.
And so there it was, and the reaction online is at most a “meh” type one rather than the roaring condemnation you would hope for.
Hope for, yes, but I didn’t expect it.
The club probably won’t even issue a statement, all the better so they don’t draw attention to the issue.
Louis Brandeis was right; sunlight is the best disinfectant.
But that club long ago learned to live with its own stink.