I recently posted on Charles Green and bigotry but having just watched him on STV lunchtime news repeating his ‘agenda’ comment I am left stunned at the dangerous game he is playing and have revised my post in view of the growing seriousness of his stance in relation to Scottish football and the wider public.
If the SFA don’t take the strongest of action then the Scottish Government must immediately step-in to deal with this lunacy before we actually do end up with civil disorder.
Green stood outside Ibrox as supporters queued for match tickets and played and worked them like a Barra-Boy. (Btw as an ex-stallholder I am in a position to judge.)
Get them laughing and you can sell them crap and they laughed as he declared: ‘I’m going to get fined every week I suppose or I’ll get banned’.
He also launched a broadside against the SFA clearly referring to the bigotry charge he faces and defiantly claimed: ‘I think there is an agenda. For ever that lot are against us I’m not leaving because there’s no one has spoken for this club for three or four years’.
What a spectacle for the Boss and owner of a Football Club that used to believe it was one of the World Greats – I am only glad I’m not a Rangers fan or I would shrivel with shame. The man obviously has no idea of what the ‘Rangers Way’ actually means.
So what is he up to? Is it really all about selling tickets? Or, is it because his financial Master Plan is about to crash and he is challenging the SFA to bring him down so he can walk-away and blame everyone but himself.
The SFA must use its most severe of sanctions if he is found guilty of the charges facing him otherwise he will drag Scottish Football back into the Dark Ages as far as Bigotry is concerned. He may not know how dangerous a game he is playing but every Scot and the SFA do and he must be stopped NOW!
I am stunned by his antics and don’t think I have ever seen anyone who more perfectly ticks the fail box on the Fit & Proper Person test – This man cannot be allowed to continue to have a connection with Scottish Football.
Returning to his previous bigotry blast, Green raises an interesting question about his state of knowledge when claiming “bigotry” was behind Rangers being denied entry to the SPL. The SFA have already acted and brought a charge against the Rangers owner of bringing football into disrepute.
Green has publicly countered that he didn’t use “bigotry” in a religious sense, claiming: “The use of the word bigot, if you look in the dictionary from the French word bigoterie, is about people who have opposing views or aren’t prepared to listen.
“It’s only in Scotland it’s referred to in a religious sense. I wasn’t speaking in a religious sense.”
Had Green stuck to the ordinary meaning of ‘bigotry’ recognised throughout the English-speaking world and proven his case to the SFA then others could face legal action, SFA disciplinary measures and permanent ejection from football. Instead he preferred to create his own Scottish ‘cocktail’ which may turn out to be far too heady a brew for him to handle.
In my last post I treated the subject too lightly having a laugh at the ‘daft’ Englishman who didn’t know the Queen’s English and thereby I failed to fully recognise and forgot for a moment both the dreadful stain of Bigotry on our country and its potential for terrible violence and civil disturbance.
I fell into a trap of concentrating on Green’s claims about the meaning of bigotry. As a watcher of Green’s multitudinous vague and conflicting remarks I should have known better but the fog has now lifted.
Simple questions the SFA should ask Mr Green:
“When did you become aware of the special meaning of ‘bigotry’ in Scotland as defined by you?” If it’s before his ‘bigotry’ claim then he is condemned from his own mouth as he should never have used the word never mind at a football match and on a National TV interview.
If Green states he wasn’t aware of his ‘Scottish’ meaning of bigotry until after making the remark then his understanding of ‘bigotry’ when he made the remark must be that of a normal Englishman.
The English Collins Dictionary defines ‘Bigot’ as:
“A person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp. on religion, politics, or race.” Synonyms are: “Dogmatist, fanatic, persecutor, sectarian, zealot.”
Interestingly while Green was travelling back from Brechin, Rangers posters – who knew what a dangerous gaffe he had made on TV – were already advancing the ‘Old French Defence’ – being themselves somewhat skilled in the art of Grand Master chess and also bigoterie.
OK, so now the SFA has an Englishman before it – albeit one with a long history of top level football and who might possibly have heard of the Old Firm Derby and who has been ensconced in Ibrox for months – but doesn’t know what ‘bigotry’ means to your average Scot or Rangers supporter. Porcine Aviation comes to mind but for the moment let’s accept Mr Green’s position.
I have searched a large number of respected British and American dictionaries and they all broadly echo the Collins definition and no mention is made of a separate Scottish meaning.
Being fair to Mr Green, I have examined ‘The Dictionary of the Scots Language’ comprising the two major historical Scots language dictionaries online and found absolutely nothing pointing to a special Scottish meaning of ‘Bigotry’.
I did find an article from the Press and Journal 1999: “Most people outside the central belt of Scotland just don’t understand why wee Craig Brown’s alleged warbling of a few bars of a well-known Orange song down a lady friend’s phone has set the tabloids raging for his resignation or sacking and led to the appellation ‘bigot’ being bestowed on him.”
At first reading it appears to bolster Mr Green’s case but as most Scots would know the Aberdeen-based P&J newspaper is just having a ‘go’ at the central belt and reassuring its readers that bigotry could never raise its ugly head in the more douce greenery of Aberdeenshire.
There is also the point that the vast majority of the Scottish population lives in the Central Belt and I am reminded of the P&J front page headline announcing the sinking of the Titanic which read: Aberdeen Man Drowns.
I then had a brainwave and wondered if our Gaelic cousins could throw any light on the Green Defence and I turned to the online English-Scottish Gaelic dictionary where ‘bigot’ translates as ‘dalm-bheachdaiche’.
The definitions of ‘dalm-bheachdaiche’ are interesting:
1) One obstinately or intolerantly devoted to their own opinions and prejudices.
2) One strongly partial to one’s own group, religion, race, or politics and intolerant of those who differ.
3) One strongly loyal to one’s own social group, and irrationally intolerant or disdainful of others.
4) A narrow minded person obstinately and unreasonably wedded to a particular belief or creed
So perhaps Green has the glimmer of a defence in the Gaelic and all he needs to do is produce a Gaelic Loyal member as a witness. Or maybe not, as it is an English-Gaelic Dictionary and the definitions come therefore from the English.
To me it is neither here nor there what ‘bigoterie’ means in modern or Old French as Green’s use of ‘bigotry’ was in modern English albeit with an erroneous claim for a specialist Scottish meaning for which I can’t find a shred of evidence.
But for completeness let’s look at the etymological aspects of ‘bigotry’ – always remembering etymology doesn’t necessarily define a word’s current usage but attempts to explain its origins from hundreds and sometimes thousands of years ago and how the word and its meaning can alter over time.
The Online Etymology Dictionary (OED) is a good starting point and seems to be where Rangers posters started and finished their research by establishing the French Connection. Let’s see if we can take things a bit nearer the present day.
The OED states: Bigotry: from French bigoterie “sanctimoniousness,” from bigot (see bigot).
Sadly Rangers posters seemed satisfied with this etymological fragment and didn’t hit the ‘dictionary’ button to discover the modern meaning of ‘bigotry’ viz:
1) Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.
The ‘What is Bigotry?’ link states: “The extreme hatred of one group resulting from severe prejudicial attitudes. There have been many examples throughout history of this anti social behaviour.”
I don’t know if it’s a relief or not – probably not – to see that it isn’t a peculiarly Scottish phenomenon as claimed by Mr Green.
However, back to the OED and its ‘dictionary’ button reveals that in this day and age ‘bigot’ means: “A person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion.”
The etymology of ‘bigot’ suggests a connection to the Visigoth tribe who vanquished the Huns back in the mists of time although this is now regarded as doubtful. ‘Bigot’ apparently comes from 12th Century Old French and was typically used as a term of abuse for Normans with some French etymology sources claiming they frequently used the oath ‘By God’ although others contest this connection.
Charlie might be on flaky ground, of course, for when God enters religion is seldom far behind. The Normans (North Men) originally Vikings from Scandinavia used their tried and trusted tactics of harrying coastlines and river valleys even besieging Paris by sailing up the Seine in 885AD.
In 911AD Viking chieftain Rollo was defeated at the Battle of Chartres and in the ensuing Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte he pledged feudal allegiance to French King ‘Charles The Simple’ and became titular head of the Principality of Normandy.
You might well ask what this piece of Old French history has to do with Charlie’s SFA case. Well, in the absence of any better explanations, I believe the Catholic French use of the derogatory term ‘Bigot’ towards the Viking Normans was possibly based on the fact that they were rampaging Pagan invaders. If correct, it means the term has a negative religious connotation at its very root although over time the meaning was lost as the now Catholic Vikings intermarried with locals.
This assimilation could explain why the meaning was lost as Normans still existed but they weren’t Viking Pagan Normans they were French Catholic Normans.
Getting nearer to the modern era 1598 saw the first English mention of ‘Bigot’ meaning ‘sanctimonious person, religious hypocrite’ and then ‘Bigotry’ from the French ‘Bigoterie’ meaning ‘sanctimoniousness’ following in the 1670s .
There appears little direct evidence for this Channel hop but a link can be argued between the French Wars of Religion (1562 and 1598) which saw the rise of the Protestant Hugenots in France that by the end of the 17th Century saw 200,000 of them fleeing France to escape religious persecution from the majority Catholic French population.
Tens of thousands settled in England and Wales and this could explain how ‘bigotry’ entered the English language which is fatal for Charlie’s attempt to dumb-down its actual meaning which is, as we all know, brutal intolerance towards religion and whose dangerous tentacles spread to race, politics and other issues.
Hopefully one day we might overcome all these challenges and the word will cease to have a meaning and completely disappear from the English language.
Perhaps the SFA are ‘Big’ enough to take that critical first step towards ensuring that Scotland’s Sporting Integrity remains a shield capable of resisting and defeating bigotry!
If they find Mr Green guilty as charged and chicken-out of an appropriate punishment then they really will be judged as not fit for purpose by just about every sane and decent football supporter in Scotland including a lot from Rangers, who have to be careful about issues such as this as we all know, but are desperate for leadership on this issue.
Posted by Ecojon