There’s a couple of things that have been in the news since I last sat down at the keys, and there seems to be a link, not an obvious one at first, between the two.
Maybe a tenuous link at best, but one that is perhaps an indication of the society we are living in.
First, the Scottish courts have deemed that the use of the word “hun” to describe a supporter of Rangers, is now deemed to be sectarian and is consequently illegal.
From the Sun...
SENIOR sheriffs have ruled using the word “hun” to describe Rangers supporters is a form of sectarian abuse.
His trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court heard he shouted and swore, flailed his arms and called two officers “hun c***s”.
He was fined £500 and made the subject of a football banning order for 12 months.
His legal team argued the use of the word “hun” did not contain a religious aspect nor disclose malice and ill-will towards a religious group.
They said a “hun” was a member of a warlike nomadic people from Central Asia who invaded and ravaged Europe in the fourth and fifth centuries.
Sheriff Principal Aisha Anwar, sitting with Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle and Sheriff Brian Mohan, rejected Di Pinto’s appeal and ruled that the word is an offensive sectarian term directed at members of the Protestant faith who are thought to be Rangers supporters.
Sheriff Principal Anwar said: “The historic sectarian tensions within Glasgow and particularly between supporters of Rangers FC and Celtic FC are well understood in Scotland.
For a learned officer to use the convenient term “sectarian ” should set off warning bells.
“It is also well understood that supporters of Rangers FC are perceived to be predominantly of the Protestant faith and that supporters of Celtic FC are perceived to be predominantly of the Catholic faith.
I would also question who “understood ” this, as it shows a remarkable lack of knowledge, certainly in this century, about the make up of both clubs. this view is more commonly held by people who know little about either, but what they have read from usually quite a long way away.
“The fact that the word ‘hun’ is used as a derogatory term to describe supporters of Rangers FC, who are perceived to be predominantly of the Protestant faith, is, in our view, a matter of judicial knowledge.
In our view. Which is somewhat narrow, and I’m not quite sure what they mean by ” judicial knowledge “, as they appear to confusing it with “in our view ”
“There are many theories and much speculation as to the origins of the term ‘hun’.
“It is variously claimed as a reference to nomadic people who invaded the Roman Empire in the fourth and fifth centuries, as a derogatory name for German soldiers or as a colloquial reference to a savage.
Their judicial knowledge on the meaning of the word “origins ” seems equally limited. The Roman Empirical period was quite a few years before the two world wars, and therefore probably the origin. Also, with the nomadic leader being known as Attila the Hun, you’d think he owned the copyright.
“We do not accept that in a footballing context those using the term are doing so by any genuine reference to its historic usage.
In April 1961, during a visit to Woverhampton , Rangers fans were described as “coming across the border like a band of marauding huns. “
A clear indication that the panel either chose to ignore the evidence, or refused to see why the term had been adopted. If they wanted to see further evidence of this “hun ” behaviour, there are several European cities that would offer their own opinions, and perhaps make the same comparison themselves, based entirely on their own experiences.
“Whatever the historical origins of the word, in its modern usage well informed persons in the west of Scotland recognise that when used in a footballing context, the word has now been adopted as an abusive sectarian term used to cause offence to those of the Protestant faith, not simply as a reference to a supporter of Rangers FC.
In this, they may have a point. Usually when a legal ruling is made we tend to go with the headline, or the sensationalist aspect of the story, and not the detail.
Had the defendant simply called the officers cunts, then this matter would not have arisen.
There was nothing to suggest they were Rangers supporters, so the defence surrounding whether or not it was a slur on a Rangers fan is irrelevant.
He called someone a hun…and in that context it is reasonable to suggest that the insult had little to do with which team the officer supported, he was using it as a term to describe what he thought was the background of the person, and since it’s unlikely the officer spent his weekends invading Rome, he’s not going to win.
“It is, in that respect, no different to the use of the term ‘fenian’ as a form of sectarian abuse to describe Celtic supporters who are perceived to be predominantly of the Roman Catholic faith.
At this point, police offocers all over Scotland winced, possibly because there is one location where the use of the term fenian is routinely chanted and sang and can only be described as a sectarian slur.
Ibrox, on match day.
Presumably this new ruling means around 50,000 arrests at their next home game.
After all, the rule of law must be upheld.
I would suggest that a quick email to the head of Police Scotland if you happen to hear it during a televised game would help to draw attention to the offences, so that they can be quickly and effectively dealt with.
Otherwise one could be led to think that our legal system has taken an oath of hypocrisy….
You know what I really think ?
The police officer concerned was probably a Celtic fan, and that’s why he got pissed off with being called a hun.
Which would annoy you more…being called a fenian bastard, or a hun cunt ?
Clue: I’ve got a t shirt that has Fenian Bastard written on it.
The whole issue has to be taken in context.
The use of both terms can be endearing, as when we call each other fenian bastards, but it boils down to one thing.
It’s a word, and a word is only offensive if you want to be offended.
Whilst we are talking about hypocrisy, we move onto the second major…and far more serious….news story of the week.
A recent incursion into Israel by Hamas has resulted in an uncertain number of deaths amng the Israeli population.
Whether or not it’s one or one thousand, it’s still murder, and therefore cannot be condoned under any circumstances.
The reaction of Israel, as Hamas must have surely been aware, is to embark on the complete destruction of Palestine and all those who live there.
In this, they appear to have the support of most western governments, Ireland and Scotland being honourable exceptions.
Offfft well said son pic.twitter.com/jQrl6pyy8K
— GOVAN EMERALD CSC (@GOVANEMERALDCSC) October 10, 2023
Satire, often a weapon against governments, should bite. And this from Tadgh Hickey rips your arm off while explaining the hypocrisy around the situation..
Ukraine V Palestine pic.twitter.com/8MTqt2tuEt
— Tadhg (@TadhgHickey) October 11, 2023
The Palestinian cause is one which most Celtic fans are in support of, there’s no disagreeing with that.
When UEFA fined the club after a section of the support waved the Palestinian flag at a match against an Israeli side, the support raised enough to pay the fine and donate a substantial amount to Aid charities.
Then waved some more Palestinain flags, an event warmly applauded around the world.
The Green Brigade held up a banner which supported the Palestinians at the last home game…which prompted a statement from the board.
“Banners displayed in a section of Celtic Park prior to Saturday’s game do not represent the views of Celtic Football Club and we disassociate ourselves from them. We condemn the display of such messages at Celtic Park.
“Celtic is a football club and not a political organisation. One of our core values from inception is to be open to all regardless of race, colour, politics or creed. That is why the Club has always made clear that political messages and banners are not welcome at Celtic Park, or any match involving Celtic. At a time of loss and suffering for many, it is entirely inappropriate for any group of individuals to use Celtic Park as a vehicle for such messages.
“We call on all supporters, regardless of their personal views, to unite in backing our players and the Club while respecting the rights and beliefs of others; particularly those whose lives are affected by violence and hatred.”
So no support for Palestine, then ?
On a bigger scale, Bob Kelly must be applauded for his stance in the European Cup 1968/69 where due to the Soviet invasion in Czechoslovakia he made a stand against playing against Eastern European sides after Celtic had been paired with the Hungarian club Ferencvaros at the height of the Cold War. Bob Kelly led the protests that led to others following his brave stance and threatening a boycott.
Chairman Bob Kelly insisted Celtic could not possibly travel to Eastern Europe in such sensitive political times. As a result the European Cup had to be re-drawn keeping clubs from Eastern and Western Europe apart. Celtic got St-Etienne instead. In return, FC Levski (Sofia), Ferencvarosi, Dinamo Kiev and Ruch Chorzow withdrew; clubs from Czechoslovakia, Romania and Yugoslavia remained in the competition.
Notably, it is said Bob Kelly’s own hopes of getting a knighthood were boosted by the fact he threatened to withdraw Celtic from the European Cup because they were drawn against Ferencvaros of Hungary. He was deserving of the title for this stance and it’s something we should respect in this instance.
“No man has done more for the club [Celtic] in every way than Sir Robert Kelly”.
There’s a thought.
Why don;t we take the lead and demand Israeli clubs are banned from European competition ?
Like Russian ones are ?
Oh…there’s that oath of hypocrisy again.