Walking Away from North Britain

Illustration by Daniel Seex

Illustration by Daniel Seex

When Rangers went into administration in February I wrote here that “a bastion of North Britain is terminally ill”.

The mainstream media, especially the obedient hacks on the sports desk in Glasgow said that everything was fine and that a CVA would be agreed.

Nothing to see here move along.

I demurred.

Even before the ink was still wet on the court the papers putting the club into administration I was writing about the impending liquidation of the Ibrox club.

The day the CVA was rejected by HMRC was the day that Rangers effectively died.

The ventilator was switched off, but the formalities of the death certificate had yet to be written and sent to the authorities.

However there was a corpse on the bed.

I can’t say that I shed a tear for their passing and I was happy to share that fact with readers who are not from these islands.

Vavel is an online Spanish football magazine.

I very much doubt that the people of Barcelona or Pamplona would be grieving about the death of Rangers.

The demise of the Ibrox club will, in hindsight, be viewed as a watershed moment for Scottish sports journalism.

Openly derided as “internet bampots” the reporting of the end of days at Ibrox has been about bloggers.

The winning of the Orwell Prize by the Rangers Tax Case blog the high point in how new media has led this story from the start.

Now the entrails of the dead club are forensically examined by Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News.

His regular forays into the undergrowth of Planet Fitba.

Despite being threatened by a journalist in Glasgow (a matter he reported to the police) he has continued to work the story.

Rangers football club stiffed the British taxpayer alone for over £90 million and almost certainly, because of that tax scam, fielded ineligible players.

It is possibly one of the biggest sporting scandals in European football in a generation.

It is without equal in Scotland.

Veteran sports journalist Archie MacPherson recently referred to the entire fiasco as “historically overwhelming.”

I concur.

Scottish football will never ever be the same again after the death of Rangers (1872-2012).

However I believe that there will be a greatest cultural benefit derived from the absence of his toxic “brand” in Scotland.

Match day at Rangers’ home ground can be a strange admixture of Last Night at the Proms and a BNP rally.

The Irish Catholic is the bête noire of their bigoted imaginations Edwardian imaginations.

“Timmy” is the pantomime baddy for those who occupied the cheap seats at Ibrox.

On the road, if anything, the crowd was worse in their anti-Irish racism and hatred of Catholics.

Rangers have provided a gathering point and a source of affirmation for Anti-Irish racism and hatred of Catholics for over a century.

The unwritten emotional contract with the fans meant that they knew they would never see a Republic of Ireland player in the first team.

They people in charge of Rangers delivered on that one.

From the point when the Football Association of Ireland were recognised as a separate entity by FIFA as the international team for the 26 county state not one single player representing the Republic turned out for the Rangers first team.

In the last 25 years every other senior club in Britain managed to find and play in their first team either a full or under 21 Republic of Ireland international.

Somehow Rangers’ scouts didn’t spot a single senior player from the Republic of Ireland good enough for the Ibrox club.

That’s quite an achievement!

Of course it isn’t just the idea of a free Ireland that appalls the chaps down Edmiston Drive way.

In the 1990s when David Murray was at the helm at Rangers  there were regular newspapers adverts funded by Murray and featuring Uncle Walter at election time asking…err… The People to refrain from voting for parties that wanted to break up the United Kingdom.

As Scotland moves towards make the most important decision in her history since 1707 the absence of the Ibrox Britishness Rallies could be significant.

When I was an organiser for the SNP in the east end of Glasgow in the 1980s I saw then that the  toxic Britishness of the Rangers fans would be something that a confident Alba would have to face down some day.

I wrote a piece in the  then Glasgow Herald that  argued that  “clan Ibrox  was Scotland’s Trojan horse” and that the empire loyalism of scores of thousands of Scots making common cause with Loyalists in the North East of Ireland was an obstacle to Scottish independence.

Basically until Britishness was taken on in a culture war then Scots would remain happy with this early 18th century Anschluss.

I had grown up in a culturally Irish household that saw the predatory expansionism of the London state as a historical problem.

Therefore I could spot the false consciousness issue quite clearly.

The death of that football club could have positive unforeseen consequences for those who wish to advance Scotland’s claim of right.

A project this Irishman has always supported.

The timing of their demise could be crucial for the Scottish project.

Comments (56)

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  1. indicatdiari says:

    Good piece Phil, I hope that Scotland will reach their independence. I get your point although there’s some Rangers fans who support Scottish independence… Catalonia will achieve its freedom after Scotland gets out of the UK:)


    1. Kev says:

      It’s attitudes like yours Scots Citizen that allowed Rangers to get away with their disgusting behaviour for over a century while so called nuetrals were able to avoid the issue by pretending to yourselves and others that it was both clubs to blame. If it hadn’t been for this ongoing moral cowardice by huge swathes of the population, Rangers would have been taken to task decades ago, as it is we had to wait for their own greed and arrogance to consume them. And in spite of the tidal wave of evidence of Ranger’s misbehaviour, small minds like yours still cling to that pathetic notion. Sad.

  2. Scots Citizen says:

    The fact is all that is laid at Rangers door here can EQUALLY be laid at Celtic’s (with the exception of the tax avoidance/financial cluster-f#ckup).

    Both clubs are two sides of the same coin. The best thing for the new Scotland, for our society to grow in the right direction as an independent nation, would be to be RID of them BOTH. Perhaps replacing them with a men’s Glasgow City FC.

    1. Peter says:

      Utter nonsense. Tell me when Celtic rioted in a European (or even a British) city? When do you hear sectarian songs at Celtic Park? When has Celtic ever been prevented from signing a player due to his religion?

      Oh and by the way, the “tax avoidance/financial cluster-f#ckup” is a pretty big difference too.

      Celtic and Rangers never were, and now, never shall be “two sides to the same coin”!

      1. Scots Citizen says:

        What’s “utter nonesense” is burying heads in the sand, the continued denial of Old Firm supporters of the bile and hate they peddle with psuedo-superiority over each other. Celtic supporters don’t riot in cities, they just do it on planes. They sing songs like “Roamin’ in the Gloaming” or all the provo songs. Gleefully glorifying the 9/11 attacks and other murders of innocent people. Equal amount of bile and hate as their Old Firm bedfellows. All the work by community groups to eradicate this cancer from Scots society will not work as long as the apologists claim it to be “historical” or “political” or “patriotic”, giving each new generation the Old Firm Labotomy. Two sides of the same coin they are indeed, hate sounds the same, it makes o difference what colour their scarf or jersey. Wrong is Wrong, No Matter Who Says It.

      2. Peter says:

        No, still utter nonsense although I will agree that the singing of pro-provisional IRA songs is wrong (others have a different opinion on that, I however think it should stop).

        Glorifying 9/11? If I’m picking you up correctly, that was one guy, who the whole of the Celtic support have rightly stated is a disgrace, just as the support did with the one guy who racially abused El Hadji Diouf last year, just as we booed those who jeered during the minutes silence for the victims of the Madrid bombings. By the way, don’t mention the ruining of countless minutes’ silences, I don’t agree with that either, but those who do it are allowed to protest.

        Celtic fans riot on planes? That was very much disputed at the time, you can let me know if any criminal charges were brought in that case.

        I do not claim anything historical, political or patriotic, I claim that what you say is misinformed. Don’t bring Celtic into it, the article was about Rangers’ wrongdoing, you really should stick to commenting on that.

      3. i bet it was celtic fans who blew up the pubs,coaches and shopping centres.killing innocent people including children….never going to be needed,wanted,liked or allowed into english football..why dont they join the irish leagues.

      4. Peter says:

        Shaun, I was taking offence at Celtic and Rangers fans being grouped together when all the crap regarding Scottish football over the summer has been due to one club. And it wasn’t Celtic.

        The team that the scum who blew up up the pubs in Birmingham in the 70s supported is irrelevant as far as I’m concerned, much like your argument Shaun.

      5. tell me when rangers fans blew up pubs in england….

      6. Peter Campbell says:

        Still just as irrelevant Shaun.

  3. gerry31 says:

    Thought provoking article.  

    I’m bemused by confusion between justifiable revision at Rangers and pro independence for Scotland.

    True the former proclaim their particular brand of Britisness in a manner suited to their extremist views which is consistent with BNP and others in the far right in England.

    It’s easy to be disgusted with that.

    Thing is though they are a peculiar lot, logically incoherent and it’s unfathomable for them to be used as a basis for Scottish Independence. I can understand why it’s used, appealing to the lowest common denominator of emotions , but its just not that simple.

    In many respects Catholics enjoy more freedoms and less harrassment in England, which is an inconvenient truth.

    For example the only country where catholic schools are at issue seems to be here and the UK government did not destroy hate crime stats for fear of showing a real unresolved problem. Alex Salmond did though!

    Independence from an SNP point of view would have The Queen as a head of state, would have sterling as currency, have economic power held with Bank of England and many other contrived compromises. All in an effort to catch votes in a dogfight of idealism over reality with secondary thought to practicalities.

    Alex Salmond is a sly operator, it’s one of his endearing features, which is why he doesn’t do answering Q’s (except when it relates to ‘140 years of proud traditions’ and hy we can’t do without them). 

    I am a republican and at first glance a republican should always vote independence. But this isn’t so simple.

    Accepting  a Monarchy from the get go is not a republican stance and neither is voting with a party who support ‘traditions’ we are diametrically opposed to. 

    The SNP cower from the hoardes rather than lead and direct. They praised racist and sectarian singing at last years cup final because to be honest and show leadership and integrity would be a vote loser. Even after their error was pointed out they said nothing.

    You see demographic’s are king in Alex’s kingdom. 

    He doesn’t do standing up to bully’s. 

    It’s perverse I know, but those of a timmite persuasion are better protected in Britian than in Scotland. 

    Better protected personally, socially and economically.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      So you’re a British Republican?

      The vote for independence is about sovereign – do you think the people of Scotland should be sovereign? Do you?

      1. gerry31 says:

        Alex Salmond thinks the Queen should be! Is that who you are voting with? Do you agree with him?
        Or with Kenny MacAskill, Justice Secretary & partial to abhorrent discrimatory singing?

        Odd bedfellows…

      2. bellacaledonia says:

        No, I want a Scottish Republic. That’s not what this vote is about though. We’re repealing 1707 (Union of Parliaments) not 1603 (Union of Crowns).

        The longer the list of things you or I might want is added to the Yes vote the less likely it is to happen.

        The vote for independence is about sovereign – do you think the people of Scotland should be sovereign? Do you?

        1. gerry31 says:

          In a Democratic election I’m happy for the people to decide, ensuring possession of the facts. I’ll answer directly though & hopefully you will afford me same courtesy?

          No, not under Alex Salmond or SNP. I understand your point regarding the list possibly beng shorter, but if the choice entailed his stewardship I’d prefer to be a British Republican.

          The economic issues are predominant too. Sterling is our only viable currency and would be controlled by B of E. Splendid would that isolation be-not.

          I’m surprised at those who know better conflating this complex arguement in Celtic v Rangers terms or using anti Rangers sentiment & imploring shortbread box or tricolour idealism. This isn’t Ireland, it isn’t 1916. It’s a different world.

          So you would vote to be ruled by an English monarch? Do you not feel conflicted supporting a Party sympathetic to anti Catholic/Irish sentiment for sake if votes? Do you trust Alex Salmond to do the right thing? Are you happy to be at the economic heel of the B of E?

          I’m sure you’ll know Sir Thomas More’s reposte to William Roper better than I. A Yes vote would be cutting down trees beating a path to the devil, but leaving us unprotected when the devil turns against us.

          The only same & thinking vote is unfortunately NO!

          1. bellacaledonia says:

            Good luck waiting for a British Republic, I think that will come about when the rest of Britain agrees to scrap Trident ie never.

            On your three questions:
            1) So you would vote to be ruled by an English monarch?
            > No, I’d vote to have sovereignty over my country, then campaign for a republic, you’ll be in eternal waiting for yours.

            2) Do you not feel conflicted supporting a Party sympathetic to anti Catholic/Irish sentiment for sake if votes?
            > I don’t even know what this means and given Labours shameless courting of the Orange Lodge I think this is meaningless. Do you mean the anti-sectarianism bill?

            3) Do you trust Alex Salmond to do the right thing? Are you happy to be at the economic heel of the B of E?
            > Largely, yes. No, I’m not happy about that and I think the whole finance & currency question has a long way to go to be resolved.

          2. gerry31 says:

            I’m genuinely surprised you don’t understand my second point. I accept could have put it better. Time constraints and limited review capability typing on a phone doesn’t help.

            With SNP government led by Alex Salmond we saw years of racist, sectarian abuse against one man, due to his ethnicity & occupation, with minimal if any intervention. The accepted national mantra was ‘he brings it in himself’. Alex Salmond didn’t have the courage to insist upon action but quickly found it after Rangers had shamed themselves at Celtic Park with the hoardes baying for Lennon’s head!

            Before the Offensive Behaviour……Threatening Communications Act, Strathclyde Police were perfectly able to chap a young laddies door to warn him against his (legal) joking post about a ‘Bin Laden’ party but were unable or unwilling to intervene against years of obvious hate crime via the internet. 

            If I might say it smacks if whatabouttery to indict Labour Councils in Glasgow for allowing more Orange walks than in Belfast. & Derry combined. I agree their actions are reprehensible. I’m not a constrained party political animal.

            But since you’ve raised it, where is the Scottish Governments response or proposed legislation to curtail them? It is after all within their remit to do so.

            Salmond is a dangerous populist. He doesn’t have the mettle to lead and hides when the going gets tough. He simply can’t  be trusted.

            Scotland as a nation is much more bitter than the rest of the United Kingdom. The problem is here and we need a leader who can deal with it, not pander to it.

            I’m not unsympathetic towards an independent Scotland, but it’s the wrong road now taking all matters into account.

            It’s something of a euphemism to say economic, fiscal and currency issues have a long way to go before being resolved. Sounds like a Salmondism to me, I won’t hold my breath on getting an answer anytime soon! 

            I’m certainly more cynical than you of the B of E acting in an independent Scotland’s best interest if conflicted by its own. Maybe I should be more trusting.

            You have done fabulous and brave work regarding Rangers finances. With every respect can I say that it’s best to keep these issues separate. 

            They are completely different and to be fair you were speaking from a position of considerable strength acting with the advantage of having the facts of the situation to hand, when few others had.

            Finally during the devolution debates it really irked me to have ‘Shoccer  Sean Connery’ living in Shpain telling me what I should do & how I should vote. When  I recently heard you speak you were introduced as living in your home in  Donegal for some 26 years. I’m sure you’re a better man than Sean, after all no true man changes his football team.  But there is a pinch living elsewhere and canvassing for a particular vote or idealism here.

            It’s a bit like criticising a family member, ok if you do it, but not too clever if someone else does!

      3. TJ Hooper says:

        Don’t see why you need to over-complicate things in terms of ideology…. a yes vote is a vote to have future decisions of this nature decided in Scotland. Its not a vote for how Scotland will be forever more.

    2. Iain MacGA says:

      “I’m not unsympathetic towards an independent Scotland, but it’s the wrong road now taking all matters into account.”

      Sounds like a labourism to me.

      “Salmond is a dangerous populist. He doesn’t have the mettle to lead and hides when the going gets tough. He simply can’t be trusted.”

      Care to provide some supporting evidence on this one?

      “Scotland as a nation is much more bitter than the rest of the United Kingdom.”

      Same for this one. In fact I think I shall go further and say that your Scotland must be a very different Scotland to the one I have grown up in.

      I am with TJ Hooper, this vote basically boils down to a choice about self determination. Do we do it ourselves or do we let others basically do it for us. I too am a Republican but this sits second in the priority list.

    3. Auchtertool says:

      You miss the point completely Your’e too busy ranting and raving about Salmond and the SNP. The referendum is not about them. It’s about regaining self-determination for Scotland., regaining the ability to choose a government, and not have it chosen by someone else 9/10 as we are now

      The SNP are just the bus that takes us to a referendum, Salmond is the overweight bus driver. If he stops driving, someone else will.

      I don’t care who delivers an independence referendum, frankly. I’m not a massive fan of Salmond, but then I’m not a massive fan of any politician to be honest. I am a fan of having the right to democratically elect them in my own country, though. Some thing I am unable to do right now.

      If you believe in independence, but have decided to vote No,because you don’t like Salmond, is a wee bit daft. There will be a general election in Scotland soon after a Yes vote. Who knows what party will be in power?

      It’s doesn’t matter in a way, the real point is that a majority of Scots elected them.

      1. gerry31 says:

        I totally agree about Salmond. & the dearth of leadership talent in Scotland at this time.

        My distrust runs so deep I trust the Queen of England much more than the proposed ‘King’ of Scotland!

        1. Dave McEwan Hill says:

          What mind numbing nonsense!

      2. Dave McEwan Hill says:

        Well said.
        Except I have to say, like Alex Salmond or not, any one who thinks we would be where we are without Alex Salmond is a bit off the mark. To retain positive ratings after the months of absolutely vicious, continuous and dishonest attacks from him in every organ of our media is amazing. What mere mortal would be able to put up with what he is subjected to?

      3. Auchtertool says:

        gerry31 – Well done for missing the point completely once again.

        Your comments are an exercise in meaningless banality

        Hey ho. No point in discussing further. Bye!

  4. madjockmcmad says:

    I see the Guardian are running a piece on the Rangers newco looking to buy Bury as an entree into the English Football League. Bury’s stance suggests they have been approached, thought about the offer and rejected it:

    “Whilst investment into Bury Football Club is always welcome, any offer of investment will only be viewed at taking the club forward in its only one guise possible -based in the town of Bury, and as Bury Football Club.”

    I understand the Daily Mirror is running a similar story.

    Clearly the ‘New Bears’ master plan is playing the likes of Stevenage, Yeovil Town and the rest of the teams in what is, in effect, the English third division is a better way forward than remaining in the Scottish League.

    ‘Aye Ready’ to rip off whoever they can …. Truly the Rangers way.

  5. Barontorc says:

    Scotland must be a country which respects the right of its populous to have particular views but which shapes its democratic conformance with the wishes of the majority of its people.

    Any and all who live and work in an independent Scotland, republican or otherwise, should be able to live and hopefully do so contentedly. To be prescriptive is to put shackles on those who may have other views. This cannot be democratic if indeed it is not the wish of the majority?

    It’s all about the people of Scotland, so join up for democracy, espouse your arguments, put it to the people and honour their decision, establish a corruption free media, permit true public information, set-up a political structure which seeks the proper representation of the people, protect and develop these ideals and then and only then make your judgements on how to best run this country in this troubled world.

    If that optimal step forward is first to retain QE(1), Sterling, NATO, EEC and whatever else makes this country develop, then that’s what we need to do – stepping forward into the future thereafter, is open for the best that can come.

    I know I’m talking to the converted – but it can be nothing less than vote YES first!

  6. Absolutely in agreement, Barontorc, and with Bella above.
    One step at a time.
    First it is independence, then we address Nato etc.
    And of course we get shot of the Windsor parasites.

    1. Dave Garvie says:

      Well said Dave McEwan Hill. I’m also a catholic Celtic fan (also, coincidentally, with Armagh roots) and have never in my 33 years of SNP membership been asked what my religion is.

      I simply cannot fathom what gerry31 is on about. He must be in a real spin with the wee frees now opposing independence because of the danger of an independent Scotland becoming a catholic country!

      The day that we can leave all this small-minded guff behind will be a great day.

    2. totally agree with you regarding the scots parasites in windsor…send them back to scotland i say….along with the incompetent anti english politicians….blair..brown..darling..des brown..reid..cameron…

  7. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    As a brought up Catholic, Catholic teacher and lifelong Celtic supporters (with family in Armagh)may I vehemently disassociate myself from the poisonous and halfwiited comments of gerry31. It is a wonder he can stand up so heavy must be the chip on his shoulder.
    He obviously swallows the bile spread round the communities of Scotland by Labour as it struggles in the last chance political saloon.
    They cling onto their power base in their diminishing Scottish hearllands by making the impressionable in the Catholic community nervous about what the rest of Scotland might do to them.
    Nothing actually.

    I will shed no tears over Rangers which has been the fulcrum for Scottish bigotry all the 70 years of my life.

    1. gerry31 says:

      Dave, let see you back up your insults with evidence contradicting what I’ve said about AS. Oh & no whatabouttery please, just facts.

      Thanks in advance.

      1. Dave McEwan Hill says:

        Have no idea what you are talking about re Alex Salmond.
        It took real courage to wear those trews.
        Your posts are illogical. I actually don’t care what anybody’s religion is and I ignore bigots.
        Historically Scotland has been guilty of institutionalised bigotry against an immigrant Catholic community (most of whom arrived while Ireland was part of the UK) to a pretty severe degree particularly in the first half of the 20th century. This had historical and political roots as much as deeply religious ones.
        The Labour Party came very strongly to the protection of a beleagured but substantial Catholic minority particularly in West Central Scotland and the affection of the Catholic community for Labour which was born then has persisted.
        The Labour Party, under pressure and loosing its grip on central Scotland, is now taking advantage of that and abusing it.
        I could fill a book with the dangerous and divisive lies the Labour Party has told over the years about the SNP. I did much of my politics in Lanarkshire. There are people operating in Labour who have no mind whatsover of the damge they to our future do or the dangers when, for electoral advantage, they encourage the impressionable among the Catholic population to believe that the SNP has a relationship of any sort with the sectararian division in Scotland. The SNP didn’t even exist when this was at its zenith and I have to also point out that over most of Scotland this issue doesn’t even register.

        Elements of Labour in defence of their fading power are in fact abusing the Catholic population of Scotland and pulling some of them up a dark cul de sac of lack of confidence in the coutry in which they live and will continue to live.
        Those in that community worth their salt don’t succumb to this sort of intimidation and, like most of today’s intelligent and ambitious Catholic Scots,they know what community they live in and where their interests lie and they pull their weight with the rest of us.

        Whether Scotland is a monarchy or a republic is at this point an irrelevance. It makes not a jot of difference to food on the table of even the poorest family and is a matter an independent Scotland will no doubt deal with in due course

        1. gerry31 says:

          Thanks for that Dave, you got there in the end, kind of at least but fair attempt.

          And I agree with you on the economics, it’s about jobs, it’s about food in the table.

          Are you with Phil that we’ll sort these troublesome issues out later. It’s a thorny issue after all, especially for te SNP.

          Do we stuck with Sterling? Bank of England? What controls do we have over currency? What would our relationship be with the EC?

          Atre you with Phil, is it too complex, so best ignored for now?

          Or do you have alternatives? Alex isn’t exactly forthcoming and neither are you or Irish Phil?

          Sadly Phil is beginning to look like The Wizard if Oz, more than a little bit exposed when the curtain is pulled back!

          Too many knee jerk reactions to ‘republicism’ and little care about the real life practicalities.

          I’ll say it one last time.

          This is not Ireland & it’s not 1916.

  8. Hugh says:

    Question: How many Republic of Ireland players wanted or would want to play for Rangers……?

    As a Rangers fan I am deeply disapointed by this tainted article, most of my friends are catholic and support Celtic and I visit Ireland regularly and I have many Irish friends and have never heard such drivel from them as from you in all my life. There are nuggets on both sides of the fence my friend, have a look in the mirror and reflect on the bile you have just spouted. Your hatred of Rangers and what you wrongly believe all Rangers supporters to be only saddens me and I hope you recover from this obviously disabilitating affliction.

    I supported a united Ireland and I support an Independent Scotland………am I a typical Rangers supporter?……….yes!

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      We’ve asked Rangers fans (friends) to contribute to this site. Watch this space. There’s lots of decent fans out there, badly let down by corrupt businessmen and a shockingly badly run club.

    2. i want a united ireland and a independent scotland……………..but please stop going on about how british rangers are and deserving to jump into english football ahead of more deserving english football teams……its a little bit hypocritical you know……

  9. ballybough says:

    Phil, were just at the beginning of the independence debate and I think its time to make it clear that its up to the people who live in scotland to decide the outcome of the referendum and to seek to influence other voters.for people who are happy to live in another country good luck to them,but leave the influencing of the debate to the people who have to live with the consequences.

  10. pedro says:

    so true

  11. Tocasaid says:

    Let’s hope Celtic are next to go.

    The Old Firm together have been poison for the Scottish game – and not only because of the hatred and imagined identities that they have brought to the fore. As to some Rangers’ fans being ‘anti-Irish’ – I’m not sure if that’s the case. Many Gers’ fans hail from the Six Counties which I believe to be part or ‘Ireland’. Self-hatred then?

    Unfortunatley for those of us who are Scots – whatever the amount of Irish blood in our veins – some of the most pre-eminent Brits in the Brit establisment today are Catholics, some of them no doubt of ‘culturally Irish’ origins like Phil himself. Oh, the irony.

    Saor Alba.

  12. douglas clark says:

    What might be interesting is that it appears to be fan power from the supporters of other clubs that will, probably, relegate newco to SFL3, or see them fold completely.

    Actually achieving something like that, against the power of the blazers and the media may, at the very least, make people more aware of how one-sided the terms of the independence debate has been. Because the similarities between the two debates are quite striking.

    It seems to me that a successful outcome to the omnishambles will raise peoples confidence that doing what is right as often as not means disagreement with self appointed guardians of the status quo. If you win once against that monolith, what’s to say you won’t do it again?

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      Indeed, up until now “fan power” has seemed utterly impotent, as “the suits” knew fine that they could just weather any storms of protests, because football fans are the worst for making empty threats, and will keep turning up no matter how much you shaft them.

      But this is a watershed moment. For once, clubs could see that the fans weren’t joking. So they’ve had to capitulate, and the problem for the clubs is that fans can now see that they truly can change things if they apply enough pressure. If the fans want, we can finally force a clean up of Scottish football

      This fan power should be an example to the rest of Scottish society. The establishment is NOT invincible. We CAN shape society in the way we want it.

      This can only be good for independence, as independence is, by its very definition, anti-establishment. With the referendum, Scotland can finally rid itself of the British ruling classes, and events like this will hopefully show those who in their heart of hearts want Scotland to be a nation again, but have been indoctrinated to believe it is incapable of doing so, that we CAN do this.

      Every time someone like Alistair Darling says “Scotland needs the security of the UK”, people will think “aye, that’s what folk said about Rangers…”

      1. Tocasaid says:

        Gerry – you don’t like people telling you how to vote? Well, go and live somewhere that isn’t a democracy. I’d always thought that politicians urging you to vote for them was a necessary part of the democratic process. Btw, I’m voting ‘Yes’ to independence, not a ‘yes’ to Alex Salmond.

        1. gerry31 says:

          Tocasaid, deary me!

          I’ve already said I’m happy for democratic process to come to its conclusion.

          Good on you for voting yes. Entirely your prerogative as its mine not too.

          This forum doesnt like opposing.

          If you had read what I’d said, I’m irked by someone living somewhere else, telling others how to vote & what to think.

          Connery irks me. Living in Marbaela as he does. Phil makes great emphasis on being Irish, same applies.

          Your logic is beyond baffling, sadly common for small minded nationalists.

          I don’t agree with you and I have my own opinion so perhaps I should go….where?

          Nationalists like yourself are dangerous types!

          I’m embarrassed for you!

  13. gerry31 says:

    Dave, just for the record I could not give two hoots what if any religious beliefs you have. It’s meaningless.

    I do care about the protection of minority groups and I am passionate about fairness and democratic process. Indeed religion is often & sadly the antithesis of these values.

    Alex Salmond has shown again today that he does not the courage to stand up for minorities. He is a moral coward and not to be trusted. I have given plenty of examples of this but there are many more.

    Sadly your small mind has fallen foul of itself by making silly parochial assumptions. 

    I think and speak for myself. The wee frees are as irrelevant to my thought process as any religious body & I  take exception to non dom’s preaching to others, claiming oracle status on the back of the demise of a football club and telling me how to vote in the country I choose to live in! 

  14. douglas clark says:


    I get it that you don’t like AS. But that really isn’t the issue. Reducing the independence referendum to a referendum on AS is just another unionist trick. I rather hope that you have simply been duped by that rather than merely being part of the ‘Stronger Together’ propoganda machine.

    If you are genuinely interested in the issues you claim to see as paramount – “the protection of minority groups and ….passionate about fairness and democratic process” – then the decision, for you, ought to be about whether these things are more likely to be deliverable in an independent Scotland or not…..

    I rather think they will be.

    Scotland will not be a one-party state. But , on major issues, I do want the people to be paramount. This is not a view that anyone who is supportive of the status quo wants to consider. Because they are thurled to having a comfortable career in telling you what’s best for you. It’s a ridiculous conceit, but one that the UK has promulgated very successfully. There is little or no evidence to suggest that they are even very good at it. The inequality of outcomes between the South East of England and the rest of this nation is utterly stark. We have the opportunity to do something about it and we should take it.

    I look forward to seeing – in advance of the referendum – some clarity on the constitutional aspects of independence. What, for instance, would be the mechanism that establishes whether an issue should be subject to a referendum or not? It is that, and that alone, that determines whether we, as an electorate, will get the opportunity to decide on things like the Monarchy, the currency, etc.

  15. vronsky says:

    “I look forward to seeing – in advance of the referendum – some clarity on the constitutional aspects of independence. What, for instance, would be the mechanism that establishes whether an issue should be subject to a referendum or not?”

    Quite so. Bella promised a discussion on a constitution for an independent Scotland and it is that sort of document which would define the process for (among many other things ) calling a referendum. In its absence why can’t we draw up something like the Chartists’ list of six basic reforms? It would also help the Yes campaign, as the Noers would be placed in the position of appearing to oppose those reforms.

    In general, parliament should not have the power to trade sovereignty in exchange for some other claimed advantage, meaning that immediately or soon after independence there should be referendums on the monarchy, the EU and NATO. Vote Yes to independence to win the chance to vote no, no and no soon afterwards!

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      We promised – we deliver, kicking off this Thursday: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/3697413062

  16. douglas clark says:


    I will look forward to Bella running that debate.

    Contrary to your good self, I may vote no, yes, no. But what is interesting is that we’d both have an opportunity to influence these decisions!

  17. BobbyApdes says:

    I strongly suggest it would be wise to leave football/religion out the Scottish Nationalism debate. No good will come of this.

    I can smell the bitterness in this article

    1. gerry31 says:

      Bobby, I think you might be right.

      Independence is a debate we need to have, I’m surprised and disappointed that Phil has opened it appealing to the republican element of the Celtic support, in the basis that he was right about rangers situation therefore must be right on independence.

      Sorry but that is flawed logic at best and shows extremely poor judgement.

      It was always going to result in a skewed debate and it has.

  18. BobbyApdes says:

    Gerry, wholeheartedly agree. Pointing out the apparent irony in the demise of Rangers FC coinciding with a referendum on Scottish independence is bar-stool politics at best, for me.

    I thought we were doing incredibly well in Scotland in having a reasoned debate in furthering nationalism based on grounds of economics and a will for self determination. I didn’t realise it had anything whatsoever to do with football or religion – I suggest it doesn’t.

    The above article, and it’s previous sister article are essentially polemics against Rangers and their fans…. That’s fine, and there’s surely a lot to criticise – anyone who lives in Glasgow as I do, and daren’t take the subway on a matchday knows this, but I suggest doing so on some kind of football website.

    Sorry but there is something immature and puerile about this article.

  19. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I have rarely read such pish as I read in the posts here from Gerry31.
    It’s a wonder he can walk and see so big is the chip on his shoulder.
    I wouldn’t dignify much of the rubbish with comment.

    1. gerry31 says:

      You just have Dave. Only took since June. Are you only let loose during school holidays?
      Must be tough.

  20. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Ho Ho Ho.
    And I refer to the comments in June which pointed out how infantile were your comments then. They still stand

    1. gerry31 says:

      Dave we’re past Easter not Christmas. Hibernation must be tough. Have a nice one when it comes though.

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