Celtic Diary Wednesday September 18: Media Narrative Stokes Bigotry
Tom wood, who was once the deputy chief constable in the Lothian and Borders region, has been given a platform in the once respected Times of London, to gently stoke the fires of anti catholicism in Scotland.
As one would expect, his claims were picked up, without condemnation, throughout the Scottish mainstream media.
With Glasgow city council banning marches last weekend, which also enabked the “two sides of the same coin ” narrative to be trotted out, the former police high heid yin spoke out…
Well, with the marches banned he was probably bored.
“It’s a disturbing sight, Scottish police officers drawn up in full public order kit, flame-proof overalls, long shields, helmets and visors – not to mention dogs, horses and a helicopter. It’s the last thing we want to see and the last place our police men and women want to be.
Not quite as disturbing a sight as grown men in bowler hats and sashes spouting their songs of hate, but unlike Wood, we can view that from the outside. As for the police, of course it’s the last place they want to be. Well, maybe not the last place, but they would rather wear their other uniform while they’re there…
Am I jumping to conclusions ? Perhaps even tarring them all with the same brush. Perhaps..but bear with me.
“As we enter a new age of extremes, it’s a sight we have become used to on our television news but it’s usually happening in Hong Kong or Paris not the streets of Glasgow.
He understands that the “new age of extremes ” includes vurilent anti-Irish and racism, doesn’t he ? Although in Scotland, it’s toned down to an extent and it’s called sectarianism, which is a much more user friendly term than racism or bigotry.
“It was the latest tedious eruption of Scotland’s shame, our endemic, chronic problem of sectarian hatred so deeply ingrained in our country or at least the west of our Central Belt.
He is the former Lothain and Borders number two cop…although it appears he’s never been to Tynecastle.
“Much has been made of the need for new laws to deal with sectarian marches and we may well need to strengthen the regulation of these events.
Er, racism is illegal. As is bigotry, incitement, and most forms of violence.
“But one thing is clear, while sectarian parades should be limited, it’s plain stupid to ban marches, it breeds grievance and encourages illegal assemblies that are more difficult to police. It’s always best to know who, where and when.”
Mostly from him, it seems…it must have ruined his day out.
“We also need to look at the roots of the problem and question what divides us. And if we do that then we simply cannot escape questioning our system of religiously segregated education.
A cunningly worded request to combat bigotry by closing down catholic schools, and by definition, removing catholics from the equation.
“I have no doubt that the provision for separate Roman Catholic education was a good idea 100 years ago, but is it acceptable that in the 21st century, we emphasise differences by separating five-year-old children based on their parents’ religion?
“emphasise differences “…the only ones who take any notice of any differences are those who do not encourage , er, differences.
And pray tell, Mr Wood, what are those differences ? What is it you can see that no one else can, no right thinking man, that is ?
“Most advanced Western societies have, as a matter of policy, adopted strictly secular education systems – are they all wrong?
Most advanced western societies have no problem with a diversified education system, but then again, most advanced western societies don’t permit open marches of groups or organsiations bound together with a hatred of a particular section of society.
And they certainly don’t give them a public platform to justify their intolerance.
I listened to your show this evening on Radio 4. I’d like to know why you claimed that your “favourite fact ” about Tommy Gemmell of Celtic is that he’s a protestant.