Guest Post By JP – On Football, Bigotry and the Way Ahead

I herald from a rather notorious area of religious divide, an area which even by your west of Scotland standards is something of an odd and antiquated village, rooted in a by-gone age of bitterness and resentment.

I like, JohnBhoy, had, still do and will continue to engage in constructive relations with dear friends who are considered by others within this small and closed society, as different to me, as more of ‘their own kind’ and as being more acceptable and less offensive…I am sadly, somewhat of a tarnish upon this towns self promoting image.

I abhor bigotry, I am saddened by it’s on-going presence within our society and I am ashamed by the inability of two sets of ‘supposed’ football fans to act out their rivalry in a more genuine show of mutual respect, with more humour and less hate and with an overarching ethos of healthy competitiveness and less of bitter resentment.

I must therefore congratulate JohnBhoy and the many other decent individuals, who have over the years attempted to step back from the raging inferno fuelled by bigotry and to offer something of an olive branch, a hand of friendship and a far more wholesome, pacifistic platform.

In reference to these altogether more decent minded people, I am drawn to include the touching attendance of many bus loads of Rangers supporters, who paid homage to the late Tommy Burns, at Celtic Park whilst en route to their various home destinations after the clubs trip to the UEFA Cup final in Manchester back in May of 2008.

In terms of these rival fans, the list of decent minded individuals and their actions are too long forgotten, often only fleetingly acknowledged before the grudge and desperate resentment levels restore the skewed sense of parity in our odd and socially divided nation.

That being said, while I genuinely hope to see the violence and the vitriol be wholly eradicated from our footballing rivalry and social psyche…I believe that much of the groundwork has long been ignored by consecutive governments, local councils, boardrooms at both Rangers and Celtic and by voices of social reason.

Sadly I think it will continue to be ignored because the appetite to remedy the ills of our society is not yet great enough to consume the realisation of how dreadfully ill our society has traditionally been.

It is an absolute necessity that both Orange and Hibernian Orders are targeted for strict regulation or better still are disbanded. The mass followings of their walks are but breathtakingly ignorant and bigoted fools and who don Rangers or Celtic tops and spout forth their bile and intolerance of other religious sects, all the while using the occasions as an excuse to act in a disorderly manner and to consume too much alcohol.

The continuation of religiously intolerant organisations is fuelled by senses of rebellion, of fear, of insecurity and of faux pride cultural identity and of a complete misunderstanding of true religious values. These organisations act to be only tools of deep division.

The walks are in essence the breeding ground of the manic and the lunacy of our religious divide and so the governments must act if they ever wish to truly rid society of this religious aggravation…how can songs sung at an organised and restricted entry football match be criminalised, yet played by a flute band to an unlimited audience of drunken football shirt wearing ignoramuses on the public highway be perfectly legal.

Perhaps the football clubs, if they’re truly taking the issue of sectarianism seriously could start with loud and proud exclamations of disgust for the perceived alignment of the institution to such occasions, to such organisations and to any such individual who engages in acts of intolerance or disorderly behaviour based on prejudice of any kind.

For me, ‘while you wear your teams shirt, you represent the club and are deemed to be an upholder of its values’, whether as a player or a supporter. Simple!

Without these ‘apparently’ religious zealot producing organisations, albeit many of the converts have yet to enter a church or a chapel and to engage in religious worship of any prescribed manner, then we may begin to tackle the root cause of the issues which turn footballing rivalry into something altogether more sinister.

In a purely footballing sense, it is equally imperative that Rangers must to must insist on proving their absolute contrition and show the first signs of a willingness to engage in mutual gestures of good will, after all they have acted as a club, like the footballing equivalent of Somali pirates.

They must be willing to face an acceptance of the brutish intimidations of old, the morally reprehensible sectarian signing policy and the sense of entitlement that fuelled a large section of society to buy into an exceptional unhealthy superiority complex and of past behaviours not compatible with real sporting ethos.

That is not to say that Rangers and its fans are the only ones who have a modicum of contrition to express, no Celtic, its fans and many other clubs and their fans must indeed participate in some soul searching and acknowledge the mistakes of the past.

I personally, am dismayed by the lack of internal governance shown by Celtic fans, whenever we are in the wrong, be that for possession of flares and of smoke bombs, IRA chanting or in making ill-advised banners of political reference, of our own religious intolerance or our own acts of minor disorder, a minority drown out the silent majority who abhor such actions and who acknowledge the potential harm to the reputation of our club.

Furthermore, after all of the regrettable actions of the people who run football in this country, be that at club or at association level, a period of massive systematic cleansing and purging is desperately required if the fairness and credibility of our game is to be restored.

In specific reference to Rangers, I believe they are, as corporate regulation, insolvency law and common-sense would point them out to be an entirely new organisation, a new club.

I would however accept that in its fans mind, they will always be Rangers, The Rangers and that emotional connection would remain.

Unfortunately as Charles Green, Ally McCoist, Craig Mather and countless others have already displayed, to play to that connection means to over-emphasise the altogether more unhealthy minds amongst the support.

Let us not forget that Charles Green impersonated a blood thirsty bigot, only after realising that his new business model was doomed to even sooner failure had he not pandered to the lowest common denominator.

The sooner everyone gets serious about olive branches and ridding society of its sectarian vermin, the better.

Unfortunately the cure is like many other medicines, it may be rather hard for certain people to swallow and there will be unpleasant side effects .

I have developed my own system for navigating the sectarian sickness that inflicts our nation but clearly my avoidance of the conflict zones and my silence on airing personal opinion is contributing nothing to the cleansing process, so there you have it; absolute contrition from all sides, a cleansing procedure within society to eradicate us of religiously divisive organisations and a rewritten moral and ethical code of practice for sporting organisations and then the fans can attempt to exchange respectful handshakes, otherwise we are just wasting our time and efforts on token gestures of self-righteousness.

Posted by JP

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313 Comments

Filed under Celtic, Football, Guest Posts, Rangers

313 responses to “Guest Post By JP – On Football, Bigotry and the Way Ahead

  1. lordmac

    i don’t think Paul was to happy yesterday after parting with the £16 pound gate money to find him self not able to see his team through the thick smoke thrown from the rangers support totally shocked by this they should be find heavily and remaing games played behind closed doors

    • willy wonka

      Aye Lordy – let’s TOTALLY bankrupt Scottish football. You know, yon league that’s swimming in lucre ?
      Lol.

  2. cam

    If i was a Rovers fan i would pay £20 not to be able to see them,,,they were awful,,they made us look half decent.

  3. lordmac

    pat Nevin should be rangers next signing he should be used as the new teams song sheet adviser, with 99.9 percent of the rangers fans agreeing with his stance on outlawed songs there should be no trouble
    from them, he also comes with a glowing reference from the BBC

  4. lordmac

    what i do find strange is the only 2 teams that gave the SFA support over rangers gate being stranraer, and Albion rovers and it now looks if there loyalty is being rewarded by having there games moved to bigger
    premises courtesy from the SFA. just a mater of interest who are the
    directors of stranraer

  5. Raymilland

    Dr House could not find a cure for Scottish football.

    A lead lined coffin is necessary to contain the contamination.

    PRESS THE FECKIN BUTTON!

    Adieu

  6. Fra

    Repent toxic entity and ye shall be accepted into the kingdom of Scottish football.

    Settle the debt of thee creditors and purgatory awaits ye for cleansing

    Cast out the infidels amid ye who spread vileness and bile.

    Dispel vanity for vanity is the stain on ones soul

    Bow your head in shame and kneel before the chosen club.

    For your penance sing ‘The Soldiers Song’ 7 times and head for Johnny’s in the Gallowgate to be anointed on the upper arm with a four leaved clover

    Then and only then, shall ye be accepted into the kingdom of paradise

  7. Ed Paisley

    Are Rangers a Masonic club? No.
    Are Rangers an Orange Club? No.
    Do Rangers have an overwhelming following amongst the members of the Orange Order? Yes.
    Is there a significant crossover membership between the Masons and the Orange Order? Yes (says the Grand Lodge).
    Is Lord Nimmo Smith a Mason? Yes.
    Was his illogical and perverse decision on the registration of players (without disclosing their full contractual remuneration) influenced by his membership of the Masons? Mibbees
    Does a bear shit in the woods? Mibbees
    Is Ibrox stadium contaminated with short blue asbestos fibres that might contaminate Ally’s half time pies? I hope so.

  8. Ed Paisley

    I stumbled on a post in a Rangers forum last night. I didn’t access it – it came up on the Google results page.
    Anyway it was another viscious diatribe aimed at Mr Graham Spiers in which, amongst sundry other insults, the author of the comment described Mr Spiers as a “Self-hating proddy”.
    That’s a cracker – it reminded me of that website which lists all the people of Jewish heritage who have criticised aspects of Israeli govt policy under the heading of Self-Hating Jews. You know – Noam Chomsky, Norman Finkelstein (current bete noir) etc It also gives a little distorted and hateful biography of each of them. Very nice.
    So Traynor – get onto that list of Self-Hating Proddies starting with Graham Spiers – you can start with Leggo’s list of the “enemy within”.

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