Guess Who the Rangers Board is After Now and Why It’s Wrong to Gag Chris Graham

Tonight has brought some interesting news which has caused consternation and weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst the Rangers faithful.

It is not clear yet if the two stories which have come out on Twitter tonight are connected – or if the issues are separate.

Almost simultaneously the BBC’s Chris McLaughlin and famous Rangers supporter, and star of screen and the internet Chris Graham tweeted the following.

Mr McLaughlin is regularly on the ball with his scoops from Ibrox, despite the BBC being “banned”. Tonight he tweeted that Rangers had referred comments against a director to the police. The comments were from a website which he later stated was Follow Follow (a popular gathering place on the internet for post-modern humour and witty discussion about football)

Chris Graham also chipped in. He revealed to the world that “the dysfunctional Rangers Board” was “threatening to sue” him. His response? “I’ll see them in court.”

Can this be the same matter?

Well, possibly not.

The police do not deal with civil matters. In fact, if the police have the chance to classify something as a “civil matter” to get the complainer out of the police station, they will take every opportunity to do so.

A threat to sue on the other hand would come by way of a letter or email from the excellent form of solicitors engaged by Rangers.

Following upon Mr Leggat having to remove a post from his blog last week, this seems to suggest that the Board at Ibrox is taking up the fight although, much to the chagrin of Rangers supporters (or at least those on Twitter and the Internet) the targets seem to be Rangers supporters!

Considering how vocal Rangers fans are about silencing critics of their team (or “Rangers haters” as they are known down the Copland Road) it might seem ironic that the legal big guns are turned on those who love the club.

Now, regular readers will know that Mr Graham was instrumental in bringing my media career to an end before it even started by his telling the BBC he would not appear on a radio broadcast I had been asked to join. Some might think that I would be delighted at this latest occurrence. Schadenfreude is a normal human emotion (though I keep mixing that up with Schweinsteiger).

But, as someone who has already been on the receiving end of a letter from Rangers lawyers (received at 10.30 pm telling me to remove material from the blog by midnight), I must say that there is something unsavoury about efforts by big companies to gag people who are wanting to comment on the company’s affairs.

In my case it was an allegation that commenting on the terms of the supposed presentation to prospective institutional investors in the run up to the IPO was a breach of confidentiality and allegedly “market abuse”. In fact the letter included the remarkable threat that, if the IPO failed to raise the sums looked for, then Rangers would sue me for their losses! Whilst that was very gratifying in terms of my perceived influence, it was rather heavy-handed (especially as the document I was reporting on came from that excellent and secret source Mr Google).

It is ironic that websites and message boards can be a haven for some of the most vile and threatening abuse. Anyone who has put their head over the parapet of the Rangers saga in recent years will have experienced this. Almost all have been prepared to put up with it – working on the basis that there is so much of it that trying to stop it is like emptying the Clyde with a thimble. If it goes over the score though people do react and I can commend Mr Dingwall of Follow Follow for removing threads referring to me when I have drawn to his attention comments which go far, far over the score.

I have detailed knowledge of two people who made reports to Strathclyde Police, as it then was, about abusive and threatening online comments about them. Neither obtained satisfaction. One was told that he had to print all of the material off as the police could not look at it online. In the other case the police denied having received any complaint at all – until the fax receipt proving the 22 pages had reached their office was found, at which time the story immediately became one that the matter had been investigated and found not to have involved a breach of the criminal law.

But when genuine critics are being threatened with action for speaking their minds…

One other ironic feature is that reaction against the Board for this alleged action – whilst, when it was known that I had been subject of an “injunction” (which I was not – because injunctions do not exist in Scotland and no court action was ever raised) there was rejoicing and some commenters were delighted with the prospect of me ending up in Barlinnie.

It might seem hypocritical for folk to welcome gagging of one’s enemies but to condemn such action against one’s friends.

But that should not distract from the premise that Rangers could be seen as doing something which, on a larger and more notorious scale, McDonald’s did in the so-called McLibel case – with the result that the longest libel trial in English legal history ensued and the burger company’s reputation was seriously damaged.

It is fair to say that the various owners of Rangers over recent years, and those looking to be owners, have experienced allegations of all sorts of misbehaviour, some (such as many of the posts on this blog based on research, analysis and public statements) whilst others elsewhere are based on rumour, innuendo and wild unfounded speculation.

But, despite that, the move to threating and taking legal action against critics does seem to be based on economic factors, rather than anything else.

It strikes me that the Rangers Board is over-reacting – having seen off the “Rebels” at least for now – they are now striking at their own.

As readers of this blog know, I am not keen on censoring free speech – so although it might surprise some readers – I stand firmly on the side of Chris Graham here. Let him say his piece and let it be defeated by debate, if the Board can do so. Gagging people rarely works. Even when views are unpalatable, it is better to hear them and let people make their own judgements rather than create martyrs whose opinions become hidden. If someone is talking rubbish, let us hear that, so we can judge for ourselves.

Now, all we need is to see if those on the Rangers side who are being gagged appreciate that they have looked to do the same to others.

Posted by Paul McConville

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23 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Free Speech, Rangers

23 responses to “Guess Who the Rangers Board is After Now and Why It’s Wrong to Gag Chris Graham

  1. I demand justice for the Sevco1. Support @ChrisGraham76 and the right to freedom of speech and expression

  2. Cheap Suit Charlie

    I hope the same goes for Steerpike on here.
    Argue the case if you think he’s wrong (pointless, he’s never wrong). Ridicule if you find him ridiculous (preferred option). If you can’t tolerate him, simply scroll on by (An excellent fall back plan).
    No need to censor him, even though he is a malignant little shit. 🙂

    • Ian4300

      The problem with Steerpike is that he takes ANY response as a go ahead signal.

      Look at when he is at his worst.

      He makes a controversial statement & gets replies, I am as guilty as anyone else in doing it.

      This opens the door to a blitz of posts all off the topic of the blog.

      If there was a call for a vote, I would vote IGNORE, No Reply No Tu/Td.

      Any response gives him oxygen…. Ignore him.

  3. JP

    Paul, I would second your support for the ‘threatened’ gag of Mr Graham to be removed, unconditionally.

    If at all, Chris, or any of his cohorts for that matter, should say something that crosses the divide between the reasonable expectation of his liberty to hold and distribute his opinions, even if only to be so vehemently opposed to, or so critical of an organisation that he cares for and the altogether more sinister making of threats or incitement of others to do anything illegal…then the police as you state should provide the correct form of redress in that regard…gagging Chris through civil means however, would serve only spoil everyone’s ‘enjoyment’ of this entirely senseless affair.

    Chris Graham, on the other hand may lap up the attention afforded to him by his newly discovered sense of martyrdom.

    Karma…what a bitch!!

  4. Dhougal

    The fuse is lit ,the big bang should be just after the bank balance is revealed,then it’s grab all you can and leggat(no connection to the ”famous” blogger…….don’t want sued !)They should have listened ……to the Bhoys

  5. Monti

    Another bowl please!
    I JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH!
    😀
    LET’S ALL LAUGH AT SEVCO!

  6. Jimmybee

    Let the people sing

  7. Ed Paisley

    If the Easdales are behind this, I will lay odds this isn’t the first time those boys have gagged (and blindfolded) a business rival. The bus/taxi business isn’t for shrinking violets – in that world Chic Charnley would be a softie.

  8. Ed Paisley

    Yes we all have an interest in defending freedom of speech. Even though I remember Chris Graham shouting down Graham Spiers on BBC Radio when he stated the prevailing opinion that this Rangers is a new club.

  9. Graham won’t be “seeing” anybody in court. This is the same guy that bottled it from the tranny.
    Ring Ringgggg
    “Errrr! Sorry M’Lud. Naebdy telt me there wid be people here that knew whit they were talking aboot. A Canny come”

  10. Monti

    Goodnight Folks! HH!

  11. ecojon

    Charlotte at it again on Twitter. Can someone take a screen grab. Suggesting that Charles hasn’t done walking away and asking Ally to back Mather. Interesting.wonder how long it will stay up before someone takes action to have it removed
    ======================================================
    What an absolute rat’s nest of serpents that are currently infesting Ibrox – extermination is too good for them!

    • Winston Smith

      People seem surprised that Green is still apparently pulling strings. They’d be even more surprised to see who was pulling Green’s strings..

      That said, Charlotte is a completely unreliable source and people should stop listening to her theatrics.

      Just a matter of time before someone presses the button on this.

    • The silver fhox

      What do you mean currently infesting Ibrox Ecojon?
      There have been serpents there for as many years as I can remember.

  12. Interesting comparison with the worlds biggest burger franchise & their dip in popularity after pursuing a libel case. I would suggest,, as I think the blog also hints at that, the reformed club no longer care about how they are perceived, & this is as much about settling scores as it is about limiting economic damage.
    Sevco worrying about popularity is comparable to North Korea conducting a hearts & minds campaign, & lets face it, North Korea are definitely more popular.

  13. Raymilland

    CG is still pulling the strings; and Chucky is having his revenge for the ‘warm welcome’ he received when he first arrived in Glasgow to ‘save’ the rangers.

    We have now reached the stage were Green feels he must justify the imminent wind up of the club; by reminding the world just how better off Scotland would be without the Raging Gers. CG would no longer ingratiate by rants against the perceived enemy of the club, he would now instead have the rangers board turn against their own.

    This ‘civil unrest’ shall bring matters to an ugly conclusion, when closure of the club will be ‘simply the best’ solution.

    By now you should know everything you say
    Can and will be used against you some day
    I got the microphone so don’t go too far
    Cause I’m gonna tell the whole world how you really are

    I don’t even care how you’re gonna feel
    Cause I’ve already tried to give you something real
    So go ahead and get mad never talk to me again
    I don’t even care cause I got my

    Revenge
    Revenge
    Revenge
    Got my revenge

    One night you’re begging me to stay
    The next night you push me away
    I don’t need you’re promising to give it up
    Is too late cause now I’m giving up

    Revenge
    Revenge
    Got my revenge

    By now you should know everything you say
    Can and will be used against you some day
    I got the microphone so don’t go too far
    Cause I’m gonna tell the whole world how you really are

    So go ahead and get mad never talk to me again
    I don’t even care cause I got my

    Revenge
    Revenge
    Got my revenge

    Revenge
    Revenge
    Revenge
    Got my revenge

    Revenge
    Revenge

  14. hector

    Good god go for a kip and a civil war breaks out in Mordor and Charlotte starts an e mail dump.Had a short dash through the enemy camp and not a lot of reaction yet.Sons of Struth on facebook are surprisingly coherent and are going ahead with a leaflet campaign at Ibrox and as they had a meeting on Friday night are likely to be the group mentioned in the statement from greyskull.Sos facebook page is a surprisingly pleasant place to visit with no bile or ranting and a lot of fans trying to do something for their club.There was even a sense of humour with one post “Right troops hands up who threatened a spiv?”my favourite.A sense of humour is sadly lacking at sevco these days and as they all turn on each other it is going to get bloody.I wonder if armed forces day is a cunning plan to have the army handy in case there is an attempted coup.

  15. portpower

    Why don`t they just lick his lips and stick him to the windae?

    sevco

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