George Square (twice), Scottish Cup Final v Hibs, Manchester, Pamplona and so on. The aftermath ALWAYS has a common theme: Deflection and denial, and silence.
‘Not real Rangers fans’, inadequate policing, the failed large-screen TV in Manchester, Chelsea fans, a small minority, blame the SNP, doctored video, Catholic Schools, Scott Brown celebrating, Craig Whyte, HMRC. It’s always someone else.
An online search will reveal a list of those to blame – the so-called enemies of Rangers – interestingly, the outgoing Celtic CEO features prominently on that list.
Who propagates this stuff? Always Rangers, an endless stream of x-players who are conveniently employed throughout the media, the media itself, thousands on social media (rarely do Rangers fans criticise) and there is a silence from many, including the hierarchy of the Conservative party. Specifically, our national broadcaster, and tabloids like the Daily Record, stand accused by Celtic supporters of sanitising their reporting. Common language is ‘old firm fans’, ‘as bad as each other’, and the obvious omission of ‘anti-Catholic’ or ‘anti-Irish’. Equivalence is a tactic too – remember the Morelos racism interview on Sky Sports, the bomb supposedly placed under the same players’ car, the Rangers bus set on fire – Celtic fans blamed, when it was a rival bus company. Regardless, equivalence achieved, narrative established.
Over decades, where has this left us. Nowhere, at best. But there is argument that the repeated denial and deflection has emboldened Rangers Supporters. Online, the growing anti-Catholic rhetoric sores, racism is rife, and their hatred gets justified.
So when bullets are posted, firebombs thrown and people attacked, don’t be surprised. Instead, when you deflect, deny or stay silent when you know the truth, be assured that you have played your part.