The BBC leapt into surrealism on Saturday when they included Gregory Campbell on their guestlist for the Sportsound programme. The DUP East Londonderry MP is not noted for his common sense approach to life, nor his love of catholicism, Ireland or Darwins theory of evolution.
He has tabled an early day motion at Westminster, surprisingly not to do with the governments handling of the global pandemic, or anything else that may be deemed a sensible use of parliamentary time, but to ensure…
“That this House notes the decision by the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) regarding how the current Scottish Football season should be concluded due to games being called off; is concerned that having asked clubs to vote on a way forward to help resolve major financial issues, a number of clubs indicated their opposition to proposals, there then followed a series of conflicting responses, club votes cast and then declared not cast, reports of pressurised communications, bullying and offers of financial inducements, all of which have led to a serious loss of confidence in those charged with governing Scottish Football; and calls for a fully impartial and independent investigation to be carried out immediately into the actions and correspondence carried out by senior SPFL officials who oversaw the process.”
Campbell previously tabled motions such as;
That this House notes the persistent calls for an inquiry into claims that young boys were abused at Celtic Boys Club over a number of years; acknowledges that several men have been convicted for sex offences while working at the Boys Club; and supports the calls made in recent weeks for Celtic FC to follow clubs such as Manchester City and agree that an inquiry would be a suitable if long overdue attempt to bring some form of closure to survivors.
Two Mps signed that one, Campbell and Jim Shannon, both DUP
and this one,
That this House notes the passing of the evangelist Billy Graham; acknowledges the transformation in the lives of many, including people here in the UK, as he preached to millions through his early crusades as he repeatedly declared Bible truths; and expresses sympathy to the Graham family in their loss.
Thirteen MPs signed that one, all DUP..
And , showing his level of tolerance to opposing views…
That this House notes repeated political comments on social media regarding left wing protests and the call for a second referendum by well-known and highly paid football presenter Gary Lineker; acknowledges that BBC guidelines restrict other presenters from making politicised comments; and calls upon the BBC to review its position in order to attempt a restoration of public confidence in how presenters earning millions from the public purse can be seen to act impartially.
Six MPs signed that one, including Jo Swinson, former Liberal Democrat leader who also lived in her own little world.
Of course, it’s a coincidence that the PR at Ibrox is now the remit of DUP councillor David Graham, and that the former kingmakers of British politics are noted allies of “rangers “, and one wonders why the BBC wanted to be associated with a party that still thinks the world was created by an invisible hand a few thousand years ago, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.
Everyone has a right to believe in any form of faith they want to, but surely flexibility of thought is required as perhaps new meanings of ancient text come to light.
Not in the DUP.
They think the rest of us are kidding about dinosaurs, despite a very successful series of documentaries by Steven Spielberg.
Campbell and his party have absolutely no sense of self awareness, as another of his motions shows…
That this House notes the increasing number of people who have become victims of scam fraudsters; commends the range of helpful and valuable tools and websites such as Take Five and Friends against Scams where basic assistance and training is available for those who wish to help family, friends or neighbours whom they feel are vulnerable to such approaches; and urges people to be extremely vigilant when dealing with such parasites.
So, why did he suddenly pop up an BBC sportsound ?
One can only wonder where the connection is between Campbell, Graham at Ibrox and BBC Scotland…
After the interview caused a bit of a storm on social media, the BBC cut Campbells interview from the podcast edition, claiming;
“…… due to time constraints with the duration of the podcast and as far as moving the story forward, we decided to use other contributors in the podcast.”
However, they did…
“…. thank Mr Campbell for taking part in the live discussion on Sportsound to explain his reasons for raising the issue in Parliament.
All of which is bollocks, of course, and if you recall a previous diary where mention was made of tittle tattle surrounding a deal with someone at Ibrox and someone at BBC Scotland then the somewhat bizarre decision to involve the DUP man and his somewhat offensive viewpoints re catholicism and frequent statements about taking up arms to defend the union kind of strengthens that particular tale.
There is a crisis at Ibrox, and with the Fat Controller no longer calling the shots via his connections, the new man over there is using his phone book, and it’s clear that there is a move to invoke the lowest common denominator .
Well, that doesn’t take much to work out.
Apart from being pretty much anti everything that is accepted by anyone else in society, there is little heritage or culture for the Ibrox faithful to actually identify with.
Even the connections to Ulster protestantism can be traced to a bail out by Harland and Wolff, who included a clause that forbid the employ of catholics at the club as a term of the loan. (Tangled up in Blue by Stephen O’Donnell explains this in greater detail, told you it was worth a read )
In fact, everything they stand for is actually about being opposed to everything we stand for. Their own microcosmic “protestantism “, for want of a better word.
As the then Celtic chairman John Reid explained at the 2008 AGM, when asked why he spoke out about the Famine Song, another pleasant little ditty from the hordes about sending immigrants home now that a devastating famine, one of many caused worldwide by the old British empire and it’s desire to make a pound or two from it’s colonies.
You’ll note, of course, that club tends to sing a lot about the Empire, it’s queen and it’s union between England, the heart of imperialism, and Scotland, which joined up for its share of the spoils in an act of union, which turned into an annexation. The union of course, was necessary as colonialisation of the northern neighbour would have brought open warfare onto Englands green and pleasant lands….and that simply wouldn’t do.
Anyway, I digress.
When asked about the Famine song, Reid said…
I spoke out about it because this is a pretty vile song and I don’t think that any reasonable person who has read the words of this song can see it as anything other than a pretty vicious, racist song.
It combines racism and sectarianism and goes beyond a lot of other things that we have seen in the past. That’s one of the reasons why I spoke out and I also come from Irish and Scottish descent myself, so that’s the main reason.
BUT THERE IS A BIGGER AND WIDER REASON AS WELL AND THAT IS THE NATURE OF THIS CLUB
We are proud of the fact that we have Scottish origins and Irish heritage and we are never going to deny that. We will defend that and that is not a cause for shame, it’s a cause for recognition and celebration.
Indeed our very name ‘Celtic’ is about the unity of the Scottish and Irish people. It stands against those who would divide, discriminate and oppose those two entities. And because we start from that basis of the unity of peoples then we have always been open and inclusive as a club.
That’s why traditionally we have never discriminated. That’s why our board, our shareholders, our footballers and our footballing heroes come from all sorts of different backgrounds, religions, ethnic groups and do so internationally.
That’s why I said last year that whatever differences we have when we come into this club we leave them at the door because we believe truly, in a Scotland that is one bit of many cultures and is way beyond now being Scots and Irish.
Reid is defining what it means to be Celtic, and although we all knew that anyway, our identity is largely explained within those words.
We know who we are, where we’re from, and what we represent.
However, it’s a different story over at Ibrox, where the eight year old club has been forced to adopt the identity of a previous incarnation, which was destroyed by greed and a form of white protestant superiority.
There is no identity, and by involving the Democratic Unionist Party, it seems they are either trying to rebuild one or simply appeal to the core support which is famed for its desire to be knee deep in fenian blood whilst herding immigrants onto a ferry at Stranraer.
In times of crisis, such as when Fergus McCann saved Celtic from doing what would later become known as a “Rangers ” , our support had an identity to rally around.
One of the reasons Rangers did a Rangers is that their identity is based on hatred, on the refusal to allow societal integration leading to new ideas and new communities, working together to get the best of both worlds, instead choosing to build walls to protect themselves from what they would cal an infection.
Fast forward to the current SPFL -Ibrox argument, where the Ibrox Aryans are being told they cannot have it all their own way , and the mentality is evdient again.
But it’s a mentality, and not a culture of identity, it’s a means to an end which involves placing those associated with the new Ibrox incarnation back into the establisment of Scottish society that was part of the original club.
We can even see a correlation between the new club and the refusal to admit that it’s a new club with the somewhat inexplicable view that the new people who came to Scotland from Ireland and made it their home can never integrate and become part of Scottish society.
That traditionalism, which close to any identity the club will ever have, denies any form of evolution in thinking, in acting and in society itself.
Which probably explains why the BBC involved the DUP.
The empire is finished.
Someone should tell these people and let those of us who want to play football again get on with it.
The alarm that is spreading through Ibrox and reaching out to the media is largely down to the simple fact that no one will save them this time. Their accounts noted that a £10m injection was needed to end this season in one piece, and that was before the Covid 19 , and with world markets in disarray, even the venture capitalists won;t touch them now.
They’ll wait until the fire sale of land and assets , gievn that the whole lot only cost £5m last time round, they can expect to pick it up for almost nothing this time.
Scottish football doesn’t need Rangers, “rangers ” or whatever else emerges from the ashes this time.
But in order to have something to hate, “rangers ” , and a section of their support, small but influential, need Scottish football, and with every statement that is put out from there that becomes more and more apparent, and whilst we would all welcome a second Glasgow club of a similar size to the old Rangers, we could do without the baggage that embarrasses everyone.
They need us. They need everyone else as well.
They only differ from natural parasites in that they will kill the host before they die…which doesn’t happen in the natural world. The parasite needs the host.
We need to get rid of that which is draining and poisoning not only football, but on a wider scale, society itself.
And yet, it could be so different.
There are thousands upon thousands of Rangers supporters out there who love their club, and would like to see the eradication of the old school mentality, but their voices are drowned out by the extremists who have refused to evolve, refused to accept change and a refusal to see that their culture isn’t a culture, it’s a set of supremist policitical ideals dressed up as a culture, and marketed as a defence against progressive development.
But it’s up to them to save their club, not only from financial disaster, but from those who use it to pursue their own agenda.
We would all applaud that, but for some it wouldn’t be Rangers, a bizarre defence considering the club they follow now isn’t either.
And thats it in a nutshell, your club is your club.
We have an identity to cling to.
They haven’t, and so anyone who comes along and shouts We Are The People, or announces an infection of Rangersitis is lauded as a hero, and one of them.
Let’s face it, they don’t even know what one of them is, and until they do they’ll be passed around like a piss pot at party between vultures who will peck at the carcass until there’s nothing left worth taking…
With football on hold, there is a chance to start anew in a way that is beneficial to all clubs, but someone needs to point out to “rangers ” that they need a league to play in, and if they don’t accept the rules of that league, then they will soon find out that we can all get along perfectly well without them, as long, of course, as we structure the game in a way that works for everyone..which is an argument for another day.
But we’d all rather they woke up and took their club back, but they would find that easier if they knew what it stood for…
By the way, until midnight tonight , you can put an idea or two out there yourself to move Scottish football forward, by filling in this survey from the Fans Assocciaton…
Lets look forward, and not back.
No one ever got anywhere looking through the rear view mirror.
Unless, of course, you want to go backwards.