As you may have noticed, the diary didn’t appear over the weekend. Thats because I took a wee sojourn north of the border, to meet up with a few people and have a blether.
You know, in many respects, those of you who live in and around Glasgow are very lucky. a few of us had a wander around the city centre, and its been a while since I’ve done that, and it really is a wonderful place. I’d forgotten just how wonderful.
The buildings are magnificent, the streets clean and tidy, the people helpful, and the pubs-lets face it, thats why we were there-warm and welcoming.
And the area around it ?
I drove home on Sunday morning through a delightful cascade of greens, golds and browns as summer turns to autumn around Loch Lomond.
Scotland has a lot going for it. you should appreciate it and protect it.
Theres a lot wrong with it as well, which is one of the reasons I was up there.
The Resolution 12 issue, despite threats , intimidation and all sorts of underhand skullduggery isn’t going to go away. The hassle from the dark forces is tedious now, and their desperation beginning to show.
Over the last few days, we have Scotzine, the popular Scottish football website, close down after the intimidation and threats got too much for the guy who runs it and his family.
After all, its just a hobby, and when protests to her majesty’s finest are ignored, there really doesn’t seem to be any point in carrying on. There is a time when even the most dedicated will ask themselves if its all worth it ?
That’s for the individual to decide, and no criticism should be offered of anyone who decides they prefer the quiet life. All we can say is thanks for the work they’ve done, and wish them all the best.
I heard many tales of intimidation and abuse over the weekend, and could only shake my head in disbelief, yet I still believe every word of it.
In England and Wales today, and not a moment too soon, its now an offence to publish personal details of someone else online. Its also an offence to bully someone else on line, and prosecutions, according to Radio 4 this morning, will now be considered.
Thats if the police decide to investigate, something that clearly isn’t going on in Scotland.
Sooner or later, something will have to give.
But in the meantime, theres a few conclusions to be drawn from my wee trip, and a few questions to be asked. A five hour drive home gives you plenty of time to think.
First, and foremost, its easier now to understand why some in the media are reluctant to discuss Resolution 12, the issues it raises, and the conclusions that can be drawn from it.
There can be little doubt there is an organised campaign of intimidation to keep it out of the news.
In understanding their reluctance, however, we must make a distinction that to understand it cannot be the same as accepting it.
Thats why we have an independent press.
To report on such matters, to expose those involved in wrong doing, and to look behind the events for a possible motive.
Their job, which they have been trained for, and which they have acknowledged, with all the responsibilities that comes with it, is to investigate all the allegations of abuse, all the threats and all the intimidation.
By leaving themselves open to the same intimidation, they have , from editors all the way down to the office intern, let themselves and their readers down.
They’ve let them down very badly indeed.
For most of us, the abuse has been coming from supporters of a club that went into liquidation, and was replaced by another entity, using the same premises and trademarks as the previous one.
For some reason, these peepil have embarked on their own wee crusade against those they deem as “haters ” or “bigots ” for reasons unclear.
This is the bit I don’t quite get.
The new club, which has the unquestioning backing of those they set out to appeal to, is encouraging this mentality. Statement follows statement every time they encounter a perceived sleight on their good name, which is in itself debatable, and whilst the statements are written as though by a five year old, their supporters lap them up, and they escape serious comment by anyone in the media, either spoken or written.
But why ?
We understand that they need that support, or rather the money from that support to survive. Thats how any football club survives.
Surely the correct way to promote any business is to do just that.
Encouraging a siege mentality, building a wall away from supposed aggressors is only ever going to be a temporary fix. Sooner or later, the media will find out why they are choosing to deflect attention away from the very business they are supposed to be building, in favour of merely trying to run down all of its competitiors.
It doesn’t work in the real world, especially when you have a product which is inferior to your rivals, and it isn’t going to work in the narrower confines of Scottish football.
But my point is this…
Why so much fuss, and why so much fear among the media, of what is merely a football club ? A new football club at that .
Why does it matter, especially after the last four years, if they live or die ?
Why would their support, and the PR behind them, actively encourage the kind of behaviour that doesn’t happen in the grown up world outwith the Scottish borders ?
And why isn’t someone doing something about it ?
Recently, the Offshore Game website published a report on corruption in Scottish football, which was largely ignored by the media.
Other institutions are taking an interest, but as yet, no one is looking below the surface of a campaign which is , to any society which claims to be civilised, beginning to look like some piss poor airport novel which will , despite its lack of a believable plot and lack of character development, soon be turned into a largely forgettable holly wood movie starring an actor who specialises in forgettable movies with a leading lady who can smile convincingly.
This is what I can’t figure out.
All this crap, all this intimidation is supposed to be over someone not wanting the world to know that “Rangers” 2012 is not the same as Rangers 1872.
We all know it isn’t, and to be honest, if some people prefer to believe that it is, then thats fine.
It’s their money, they can spend it on what they want.
Resolution 12, of course, isn’t about that.
It never was, and it never will be.
Its about malpractice at the SFA.
Yet again, the media , although that may be changing, have failed miserably to even entertain the fact that there may have been a few dodgy deals , a few underhand incidents or a few funny handshakes where things were approved that shouldn’t have been , or ignored that should have been questioned.
Based on the evidence I’ve seen, the powers that be have a few questions to answer.
Based on articles like that in the Offshore Game, the powers that be have a few questions to answer.
No-one is asking them , though.
Everyone everywhere knew the old Rangers were in trouble. It appears those at the SFA were aware that their spending was spiralling out of control, and that one or two things they did were against the rules.
Yet no-one is investigating.
Theres been a few stories here and there, but nothing like a prolonged and intensive inquiry as to their behaviour, not just in 2011/12, but in the years before that.
Yet this is only a football authority.
Surely not worth a campaign of threats and intimidation like we have seen in the last few years.
Some journalists, who continue to ask questions, combined with some “bloggers ” , have carried on the fight, despite all attempts to discredit or intimidate them.
The abuse, and I’ve had some of thatis distasteful but its only words, can be wearisome, and no doubt these guys, who carry on regardless, will have asked themselves if it really is worth it.
The abuse , of course, hides the real issue.
This is one huge campaign of deflection.
Its working in that we don’t even know who they are trying to protect.
What is scaring them so much that they have to resort to ridiculous levels of behaviour that really belong in the playground, except when you’re an adult, its much more serious.
It a reaction brought on by fear.
But what are they afraid of ?
It can’t be over a football club.
That doesn’t make sense. Deep down the supporters of any club at ibrox are just that. supporters. If they think its the same club, nothing you or I can say will change their mindset, and after all, its their money, so why should we care ?
Yeah, theres the whole truth thing, but we know what happened, they know what happened, and the media know what happened.
But its their money, let them spend it how they wish.
After all, we know the truth, and theres no point in trying to convince them otherwise, and realistically, apart from the comic value, it doesn’t especially serve any purpose.
Supporters of a football club may feel the need to lash out from time to time when they are reminded its not the same club, but eventually everyone will get tired of that and find something else to argue about.
The intimidation and threats are not about this. It doesn’t make any sense.
Some however, would like us to think that.
After all, if we are arguing amongst ourselves, then we won’t have time to investigate their wrongdoings, and that suits the SFA right down to the ground.
So , again, there doesn’t seem to be any real reason for them to be behind it. Sure they are benefitting from being out of the spotlight, but their policy , when confronted by uncomfortable questions, is just to ignore it and hope it goes away.
It doesn’t make sense.
Those of you who are aware of the work done by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post back in the seventies, will know that with diligent work, they eventually brought down the then president, Richard Nixon, who had been a naughty boy and was rightly exposed.
They, too, suffered threats and intimidation, but kept going. And finally got a result.
They had inside help, the mysterious-even to this day-informer known only as Deep Throat, who told them to “follow the money “.
Maybe thats where the story is.
Money does things to people. Greed leads to greed which leads to the misplacing of morals.
We know that the original Ibrox club spent more money that they earned. Anyone in business knows that will only lead to one result, that you will cease to trade.
How much money you lose is down to how much you can get your hands on.
At some point , though, even the most egotistical and stubborn businessman will realise that things can’t go on. Sooner , rather than later, the fun stops and everyone has to get off the ride.
Is this where we should be looking for the real reason for the threats ?
Does the web spread further than the world of football ? Are htere more caught up in it than we may think ?
Is this why there is a campaign of intimidation running through a whole country ?
A country so wonderful to look at on the surface, her cities and her countryside ? Her breathtaking shorelines and lochs ?
On the surface, Scotland is one of the best countires in the world.
Yet scratch at that surface, and an obnoxious odour is released, and no one is trying to find out the cause.
No one seems to want to know, and nobody is asking why.
Seriously, what the fuck is scaring the media so much that they cling to ridiculous excuses about legalities and avoid the subject as though their eyes would burn up should they even look at the story ?
What are they afraid of ?
Who are they afraid of ?
Why should they feel that they have to ignore a story, which demands investigation, a story which demands political attention and even public inquiries ?
Just how deep does this one go ?
The deflection is clear, the provocation of arguments away from the issue can only serve one purpose. to keep the eyes and the thoughts of the public elsewhere.
Isn’t it about time someone tried to find out what this really is all about ?