After a brief hiatus, I am back at the blogging again. Apart from penning some thoughts on Hearts and the apparent imminent departure of Mr Romanov from the Scottish football scene, I had been engaged in preparation for, and attending at, the Sheriff Court with my gown on my back again.
I mentioned this briefly on Twitter (can readers imagine my pain in having to compress thoughts into 140 characters?) and was hugely gratified by the kind words and congratulations offered to me.
I would not be back “in the saddle” without having had huge help and support and I am immensely grateful to friends, family and wider acquaintances for their backing.
After the blogging I have done over the last 20 months or so, rattling off a 17 page and 6,000 word submission on the implications of the Tenements (Scotland) Act seemed a breeze. And we got the result we wanted.
But, to reassure anyone who is worried about it (although that number would be very small) I will still be blogging for as long as I find interesting things to write about.
On that basis I have a piece regarding Press Complaints Commission related matters under construction, and, when I finish it, and if it reads as I hope it will, it should provoke some discussion.
A couple of people too have asked for a comment on the present issue between, on one hand, the Green Brigade, and on the other Celtic Football Club and Strathclyde Police. I’m not sure I could do a better analysis than that done already by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, but I am sure I can write a far longer one! There are interesting aspects of the issue regarding matters such as police powers, free speech and contractual rights on entering private property, coupled with those of liability for an organisation for what its acolytes do, where this puts the organisation outwith the rules.
So that, ideally, will be on its way too.
But, and now I get to the point of this piece, I wanted to raise a simple question and, I hope, someone can give me a simple answer.
It is this.
I see that I am castigated as a “Rangers hater” who “spouts bile”. (I wonder if that should be “spits” bile – anyway…)
Bill McMurdo even asked me in a blog if that was the case, and bizarrely said that he would have more respect if I admitted that I was.
I understand that an internet mob, with the electronic equivalent of burning torches and pitchforks, descended on the BBC last week to protest about me, as a “Rangers hater” being given “the oxygen of publicity”. I will write a lengthy piece of drivel detailed response to an analysis of various comments about that including a cheery piece by Chris Graham on the Rangers Standard.
But, and I return to my simple question.
Can anyone show me a single thing I have written which is evidence for me being a “Rangers hater”?
Can anyone direct me to a post (and as people repeatedly point out, there are a lot of them) where I have “spouted bile”?
Sorry, that is two questions …
Is it simply the case that anyone who is perceived as ever expressing a negative opinion about Rangers, in any capacity, is automatically classed as a “Rangers hater” by the loyal support?
Three questions (insert your own Spanish Inquisition joke here).
Does, for example, Mr Leggat, the famed and provocative blogger, fall into the category of a “Rangers hater” for calling Mr Green, in his early involvement, a “snake oil salesman”?
Does the Rangers fan who supposedly criticised the personal behaviour of the Chairman, Malcolm Murray, fall into that category?
What if someone alleged that Mr Green’s personal behaviour fell, in some way, short of the standard expected at Ibrox (not that I am suggesting in any way that it does)? Would such a person be a “Rangers hater”?
I suspect that the answer I am likely to get, if any, would be that it is “obvious” that I am what I am. After all, based on no evidence whatsoever, that I am aware of, I was described as a “rhabid papish, Rangers-hating Protestant-hating, British-hating fenian bastard” by a person purporting to be a Rangers fan.
It is obvious, and perhaps I am simply answering my own question here, that some people have a world view into which the introduction of “evidence” is only a nuisance and a distraction. Indeed some of the commenters on Mr McMurdo’s blog, and he himself, cast doubt on my sincerity when I said I did not “hate” Rangers. Short of getting a tattoo of Charles Green, John Grieg, Jock Wallace and Moses McNeil, I am not sure what I can do to prove that I am not! (For the avoidance of doubt, I am not getting a tattoo. The last one I got, which says “Peter Lawwell is God” hurt too much.)
So, I am a Rangers hater, as is Graham Spiers, Stuart Cosgrove, Jim Spence, the Daily Record, BBC Scotland, Billy Dodds, James Traynor (now rescinded), Tom English, Keith Jackson etc etc etc simply because we are.
In the same way, Rangers still exists as the same football club as it always has been, simply because it does. (I called this the Tinkerbell effect before.)
When a term of abuse (because I know it is not a term of endearment) is used with the scattergun approach with which the phrase “Rangers hater” is dispensed, then it loses its impact.
Maybe the simple answer is, in the spirit of “if you are not with us, you are against us” or “no one likes us, we don’t care”, that anyone who is not a member of the 500 million strong worldwide Rangers support (©Charles Green) is automatically a “Rangers hater”. Maybe it is simply the same as the way in which the Jewish faith classifies the population of the world into Jews and Gentiles, the latter being everyone who is not Jewish.
But, to conclude, as I have some submissions to finish on the doctrine of quantum meruit, if someone can show me where I have demonstrated that I am a “Rangers hater” or where I have “spouted bile” then I will entertain the person who does so to a cup of tea and a scone at the St Patrick’s Church Hall in Coatbridge one morning. One can’t say fairer than that!
Posted by Paul “rhabid papish, Rangers-hating Protestant-hating, British-hating fenian” McConville