Tag Archives: Orwell Prize

“Playing the Man and Not the Ball” – The Sun, Rangers and Downfall by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain

In which I consider the nature of ad hominem “arguments”, rather than reasoned debate, and the allegedly shifting views of a major Scottish organisation on free speech. Why did the Sun decide not to serialise the upcoming book by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain? What if anything will the Sun do about receiving “the kind of disgusting abuse that sadly infects some of Scottish football’s blogs and forums”? Finally, are the Offensive Behaviour and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act and the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act still in force, or have they been secretly repealed?


An ad hominem is an attempt to negate the truth of a claim by pointing out a negative characteristic or unrelated belief of the person supporting it. There are various varieties of ad hominem argument, including the circumstantial, the tu quoque and the argument of guilt by association. Continue reading


Filed under Books, Criminal Law, Football, Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill, Press, Rangers, The Sun

An Appreciation of the Rangers Tax Case Blog

On 27th March 2011, events of major importance happened all around the world.

The Syrian government deployed the army to the country’s main port to help bring the national unrest to an end – that hasn’t worked.

The Libyan government under Colonel Gaddafi was claiming that it was in charge of the country despite the efforts of the Libyan rebels to capture Sirte – that definitely didn’t work.

Scotland lost 2-0 to Brazil – ah well.

The UK census took place – you could have counted on that.

David Cameron was complaining about demonstrations in London the previous day – plus ca change.

Rangers FC was on the way to winning another SPL title – plus ca change parte deux.

David Murray was negotiating to sell his team to the Motherwell born billionaire, Craig Whyte – we all know how that turned out, thanks to the next entry.

And a new blog appeared on the internet…

Yes, it was then that the Rangers Tax Case Blog first saw the light of day. Continue reading


Filed under Blogging, New Media, Press, RangersTaxCase.com

Well Done to the Orwell Prize-Winning RTC!

I am delighted to see that rangerstaxcase.com has won the Orwell Prize for blogging!

The full story can be read here.

The judges commented:-

“The 2012 Blog Prize showed that not only could blogs comment on current events, they could drive stories forward.

“Rangers Tax-Case takes what might be a dry topic – the tax affairs of a sports team – and shows how a striving for transitory success has severely distorted sporting, legal and ethical boundaries.

“Displaying focused contempt for those who evade difficult truths, and beating almost every Scottish football journalist to the real story – Rangers Tax-Case shows how expertise and incisive writing can expose the hypocrisies the powerful use to protect themselves from the consequences of their actions.

It is a worthy winner which not only proves that independent blogging is as healthy as it ever was, but also offers a mirror in which our times are reflected.’

I have added the emphases.

This shows that the story is beyond the west of Scotland bubble – national recognition is entirely deserved.

And not just RTC, but Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, Paul Brennan, Alex Thomson and Mark Daly, not to mention many wise commenters and posters on websites, including those who make their contributions here…every one of you deserves credit for showing that big news stories can still get out, even if there is a deliberate or uncoscious wish to keep them under wraps.

Tonight maybe marks a watershed, or even a Wattereus, where the recognittion given to RTC combined with the BBC programme might ensure that sporting intergrity and values triumph over mere money.

There is a lot to write about, and I will get some thoughts up soon. Other pressing matters need my attention first, but I will make sure I post some thoughts…



Posted by Paul McConville


Filed under BBC, Blogging, Rangers