Hey Readers There are times in this life when you see posts on Facebook, tweets on Twitter, or articles in The Daily Mail and you begin to wonder if the person concerned is actually living in the same world as the sane members of the human race. Earlier this week had one of those moments as I viewed a post on my Facebook timeline which was so stupid it was truly breathtaking.
The post came in the form of a petition from change.org . Now before I proceed I have to say that I have no problem with the site itself and have signed a number of petitions from them myself on topics from supporting Scotland’s independence , lowering the voting age to 16 I have also supported LGBT equality and voiced my opposition to fracking and cuts in disability benefit by putting my name on a petition . So as you can see petitions when used wisely can be a force for good.
There is however a flip side to online petitions which is that they can give to deluded self important fools who have far too high an opinion of themselves which no-one who has ever been connected to reality is even remotely likely to share.
Such was the case when I saw a petition demanding the resignation of Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for the crime of congratulating Hibernian Football Club for their victory in the Scottish Cup Final over the petitioner’s team Rangers and taking the trophy back to Leith for the first time in more than a century. By any standards this is an achievement worthy of recognition from the premier politician in the country and Nicola Sturgeon was only doing her civic duty by giving the players and staff of Hibernian the credit they deserve for it.
Unfortunately this is Scotland 2016 and bigots don’t recognise fair play preferring to wallow in hate filled self pity and blame everyone else for the simple fact there team weren’t good enough to win on the day. Also to deliberately lie and say that the First Minister didn’t condemn the violence which occurred in the aftermath of the game shows the deliberate see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil policy the most feral of this club’s support have always had towards any view they don’t like. Believe me when it comes to wearing their union jack blinkers with regards to their own club and the contempt they just can’t disguise towards all other clubs and their supporters and indeed anyone who doesn’t share their ridiculous right wing views, these extremists have no equals.
Make no mistake Rangers have always been a club with an agenda (though a substantial minority of their more erudite fans choose not follow it). Now however subtle or obvious that agenda may be it certainty does exist. and it is the maintainance of the union of the United Kingdom at all costs even if that results in the abject misery of many of their more working class supporters. Now I have no problem with genuine unionists who want to keep the union because they believe wrongly in my opinion that Scotland will be a better country inside the UK than out of it. I do however have a problem and a major problem with people whose only reason for wanting to be British is to keep Scotland White, Anglo Saxon, (which it has never actually been), and Protestant and wish to do this by promoting this exclusionary view of our supposedly shared nation and that what so many supporters of this club actively seek to do. It is therefore no great surprise that Rangers have a significant following in the unionist enclaves of working class Ulster
It is perhaps due to this last fact that i believe it is reasonably fair to say that this is a club who are famous for a sectarian song book the shortened version of which would comfortably stretch from Bridgeton in Glasgow to Bridgeton Barbados, that there a strong sense of social and cultural conservatism amongst their supporters and that the idea of liberal minded reasoning with those who oppose them has never been one of their strongest suits. Indeed such is their capacity for hatred of those they see as other that they have even managed to turn the Tina Turner song Simply The Best in to anti Catholic diatribe so much so in fact that a song which was pop classic its day is now reviled by half of Glasgow. It should also be stated that for most of its history this ‘football institution ‘ avoided signing any players of Roman Catholic faith. The fact that this form of blatant employment discrimination was allowed to continue unchallenged by Scotland’s unionist political classes speaks volumes for the lack of fairness of the so-called united kingdom we are told we are privileged to live in.
The arrogance of the hard-line unionist supporters has to be seen to be believed and the fact they are allowed to spout vicious, and vindictive anti Irish insults without ever facing the charge of racism is my view a wrong that needs corrected. We are or at lest to my knowledge living in a century where every other country outside Scotland and the manufactured six county state which calls itself Northern Ireland but is in reality the partitioned province of occupied Ulster would see Catholics and Protestants as fellow Christians. The fact that some people make a choice to ignore this reality is to me at least abhorrent and it is attitudes like those of the unthinking and unhinged amongst the Rangers fans which cause shame and embarrassment not only to my country but to the intelligent supporters amongst their number who don’t subscribe to this narrow minded view of Scotland and their fellow country folk and believe me there are a lot more of them than the diehards would like to admit.
The problem for Rangers however is in my view a very real one, which is that it is these supporters are by far the most vocal they have and therefore they cannot distance themselves from them even if they want to. On the flip side of that however if they are in any way seen to endorse this ludicrous petition they could be accused of having a blatant contempt for democracy. Whether this is true or not it is certainly a charge which can be levied at them.
This argument is though contentious is nonetheless valid. It is also powerful especially given their shall we say previous form on trying to dictate to the Scotland international team which of their players would be available to play for our country and when. This to me and many other Scots is nothing less than bullying and a form of direct intimidation to try to illustrate that their club is bigger than our country. It isn’t and it never will be but it is this kind of deluded mentality and culture of entitlement which has led to this trumped up petition demanding that the democratically elected First Minister of Scotland should resign. Now I hate to inform them but they can stick their opinions where the sun don’t shine. Our First Minister will not be bullied by the actions of extremists and will remain in her job in which she will always do what is right for our country. Believe me Nicola Sturgeon has work to do to make Scotland the best country we can be and she won’t be distracted from that job just because a few sore losers can’t take their team
I make this statement because as a church of Scotland adherent I am sick and tired of the more reactionary supporters of Rangers football club trying to hijack the faith I was brought up in. It is insult to all liberal minded church going presbyterians to even to dare to claim as the vocal but extremist wing of this support does with a potent mix of boldness and stupidity that you can’t be a real protestant unless you support Rangers the orange order and the unionist cause. This is not way to advance a fairer more inclusive Scotland and it certainly isn’t the way to get people back in to the pews quite the reverse if truth be told, indeed I would go as far as to the it is way to drive the liberals the church so badly needs in to the waiting arms of the Roman Catholic church which is, in this current climate, seen to be a bit more active on the social justice agenda of fairness and equality. It is with in this mind, that I call on the leadership of the Church of Scotland to distance themselves from this club with its hard-line unionist support to serve as a reminder to the wider population the church of Scotland is neither Rangers or Better Together at prayer.
I make this call to protect the people of Scotland from the pathetic angry rantings of self deluded fools who use a football club as a mask to hide their bigotry. You see whether these people like it or not three weeks ago Scotland voted in our parliamentary elections to elect a new Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon was elected to lead that Government as the SNP
despite unionist delusions were swept back to power receiving over a million votes the largest total of any political party since the current reconvened Scottish parliament came in to being even with Donald Dewar at the helm in the first election in 1999 Labour still couldn’t achieve this feat and as we all know Dewar was practically a saint if you believe the grovelling sycophants in certain sections of the unionist media. However what Dewar who rather pompously claimed that devolution was the settled will of the people of Scotland failed to do was exactly what the the Nicola Sturgeon led SNP managed to do and the more hard-line unionist you are the more that must be hurting. You see whilst there are many decent unionists who contribute greatly towards what Gerry Hassan would call civic Scotland there are a very significant number who support the union for reasons which have nothing to do with Scotland or the economic , social , and cultural benefits it may bring and everything to do with Glasgow Rangers orange walks and what they see as keeping Ulster British.
These people are in my opinion
an insult to football, Scotland and democracy and need to get over themselves and fast . Yes I know the more unbalanced unionists will start to scream that the SNP are a minority government and on a purely technical point they may be right. This however is only a technical point and I believe that securing a third term in government on an increased share of the constituency vote and an even greater majority of constituency seats where only the top up list system saved the unionist parties from complete oblivion demonstrates that Billy Boys and Bully Boys are running out of options and Nicola was Scotland’s choice to play a better game. Now hard as it may be for them to admit it, the day will come sooner rather than later when they will have to move on and face the fact that the unionist cause is a lost cause.
You see the uncomfortable truth for all of us who are involved in politics is that people can sign all the petitions we like, but they will ultimately be ignored unless the government want to listen and somehow I can’t see anyone in authority taking notice of a group of football fans in a huff. Now it doesn’t matter to me whether or not Rangers most loyal unionist supporters can face it , the union is in injury time and the game will soon be over. It is time for them to realise as the final whistle blows that you’ll never build a future in by living in the past.
Love And Best Wishes