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Common sense

Brian Taylor | 11:15 UK time, Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Like "Tsar", the word "summit" is somewhat overused in the field of public policy.

And it is probably inappropriate with regard to today's talks concerning the aftermath of the latest Old Firm fixture.

Even when it is used in the context of meetings between heads of state and/or government, it can tend to increase expectations beyond what is reasonable.

One can presume that, like most summits, the main participants will already have drafted proposals which can form the basis of conclusions and dispel any curmudgeonly suggestions that the event is/was a waste of time.

Because such suggestions are already being made - not least by those who have participated in Old Firm encounters in the past. What, they argue, has it got to do with politicians?

There was a rather splendid radio pundit of old who used to demand of callers: "Were you at the match?"

Comparable challenges may be made to politicians today. What do you know? Back off. Keep out.

Public order

While maintaining a sense of perspective - somewhat lacking to date - it is to be hoped that our politicians respond firmly.

Ask yourselves a few questions. Is this just about football? No. It is also about policing and public order.

Very definitely within the realm of public policy. That is, politics.

Remember too that today's meeting was suggested not by the politicians but by the police.

Yes, social disorder is far more widely grounded in Scottish society.

It is not remotely the sole preserve of football, far less the Old Firm.

However, it still may be reasonable to examine, rationally and calmly, whether the Old Firm fixtures and their attendant passions contribute to disorder and whether that can be remedied.

Potential hazard

Why get at the Old Firm? Why not other clubs? Because the Glasgow pair have by far the largest support and, consequently, pose the largest potential hazard to public order.

Because, further, a section of their support is motivated, at least in part, by what the charitable would call tradition and the critical would call bigotry.

Yes, that is a wider problem in Scottish society.

Yes, Scotland must consider wider steps to eradicate said problem. Yes, it is not confined to these two clubs.

But, as above, it still may be reasonable to examine, rationally and calmly, whether, with support, more can be done beyond the current praiseworthy efforts to challenge the potential links between support for the Old Firm and sectarianism.

No more, no less. No summit, just common sense.

Comments

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  • 1. At 12:10pm on 08 Mar 2011, gedguy2 wrote:

    The problem of bigotry in Scottish football [it isn't just confined to Glasgow] is the lack of political will to do anything about it. The politically motivated bigots, on both sides,tend to vote for their own political party. The Catholics tend to vote Labour and the Orange Lodge Conservative and Unionist. Therefore you are hardly going to hear the leaders of those parties saying anything about banning them from the party if found to be a bigot. It is not in the interests of those parties to alienate a large section of their politically motivated base.
    We all know this and we also know that this is never going to stop until we can alienate the bigots and then deal with them.

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  • 2. At 12:12pm on 08 Mar 2011, Ecksfreelunch wrote:

    The events of last week already seem ancient history. Even the FM's spokesman has suggested that the focus of the meeting this afternoon is to ensure the Co-operative cup final goes off smoothly. Jack McConnell to be fair did try and encourage some shift in attitudes towards the underlying problem of sectarianism. Nobody can suggest other than the current Scottish government saw little merit in continuing with the project and allowed it to fall by the wayside.
    Sectarianism remains a blight on the Scottish character and football teams and officials have shown little enthusiasm for movements in the right direction.
    As for the behaviour of both clubs employees last week, well the press releases from both clubs seemed to reflect the antics in another stadium.

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  • 3. At 12:27pm on 08 Mar 2011, X_Sticks wrote:

    More football Brian? Whatever happened to the political blog? I was very dissapointed that almost none of us got a chance to comment on the last "hidden" blog "What now for Devolution?". Was this an attempt to keep us all quiet on the subject? It would seem much more important to Scotland than any football bust-up. So, no chance to comment on Devolution, no chance to comment on the disasterous Scotland Bill, but you'll let us have our say on religious bigotry in Glaswegian football. Says it all about the standards of those who run this blog. Keep the independentists quiet; is that the policy on the run up to the Scottish elections? You are all so transparent.

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  • 4. At 12:33pm on 08 Mar 2011, Anagach wrote:


    Welcome back Brian, long time no see.

    In fact a lot has happened over the last week, even some politics.

    I hear there was a party conference or some such.

    But no, I see you leap to the real scottish news - that being football.

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  • 5. At 12:34pm on 08 Mar 2011, Saltire Won wrote:

    In the interests of perspective, Brian:
    remember also that a football is basically a bag of wind, punted up and down a field by 22 'grown men'.

    Slainte!

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  • 6. At 12:46pm on 08 Mar 2011, kintail wrote:

    The problem with the last Old Firm meeting was obvious - a complete lack of discipline by Rangers players towards authority - namely the referee. Hit the players responsible - Whittaker, Bougherra, and Diouf, with REAL fines and lengthy bans, whilst also dealing with lennon and McCoist. Failing that penalise both teams by deducting points and c if that learns them - I bet it will. meanwhile everyone obfucates things by talking about bigotry etc etc whilst the answer was rank, bad, sportmanship from Rangers on this occasion.

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  • 7. At 12:55pm on 08 Mar 2011, PeeJay wrote:

    I think the issue here is much less about football and even public order. It's about a culture that accepts the bigotry and sectarianism that pervades the followers of both sides of the Old Firm. It's about a section of society that values getting drunk, watching footy and shouting abuse above family time and society. The cost of football matches alone illustrates this. How many of those attending the matches week-in and week-out are also struggling to put food on the table?
    We live in a society where a football match, regardless of which teams are playing, is regarded less as a social occasion and more as an opportunity to have a drink.
    Nights out are regarded as opportunities to have a drink.
    Weekends are opportunities to have a drink.
    5 o'clock is an opportunity to have a drink.
    A lunch hour is an opportunity to have a drink...
    ...Do you see a pattern here?

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  • 8. At 1:11pm on 08 Mar 2011, PeeJay wrote:

    @#6: kintail

    I think you're missing the point. The behaviour on the field at an Old Firm needs to be exemplary because of the simmering powderkeg of 60,000 people (only some whom, to be fair, are actually the idiots) surrounding them. Bad behaviour on the field sparks worse behaviour in the stands due to the underlying sectarianism and level of general drunkenness among those, at home and at the ground, that are incapable of any form of self control or self analysis - for reasons that probably escape them more than anyone else.
    As a dyed in the wool Celtic fan and committed Scot, I fail to see that the fault was all that of Rangers players. It's also this willful blinkeredness that means the problems are never addressed. For me the problems are clear:
    1. Inbred societal sectarianism on both sides of a divide that shouldn't even exist.
    2. An alcohol-fuelled culture, incapable of having any occasion without a bar being included.
    3. A complete lack of aspiration and inspiration among a section of the people of Scotland.
    4. A lack of any real prospects for said group of people.

    So, nothing trivial then...

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  • 9. At 1:19pm on 08 Mar 2011, visionable wrote:

    As a Scottish exile of over 30years, the main reason I left was due to bigotry. I was brought up on one side and had many friends on the other side, but the bigotry was just fed down through the generations. Bigotry may not be confined to football but unless people are earnest in removing it - disband both Celtic and Rangers football clubs would be a good start - then my few return visits to Scotland will remain few. It saddens me to see that this blot remains systemic in Scotland and as a result there are plenty more civilised places to live.
    An ex-supporter.

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  • 10. At 1:23pm on 08 Mar 2011, minuend wrote:

    Quote, Brian Taylor, "Ask yourselves a few questions. Is this just about football? No. It is also about policing and public order. Very definitely within the realm of public policy. That is, politics. Remember too that today's meeting was suggested not by the politicians but by the police. Yes, social disorder is far more widely grounded in Scottish society. It is not remotely the sole preserve of football, far less the Old Firm."

    Spot on Brian, spot on!

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  • 11. At 1:40pm on 08 Mar 2011, fasteagle100 wrote:

    You really have to laugh at the comments of that "Well known Radio Scotland Pundit" who came out with a comment of something like "Whits it got to do with the pretendy we parliament anyway"

    You never saw anyone level that kind of comment at McConnell...Did you?
    If it was in jest... Not well timed and points to the conduct of that particular DJ, should be given his jotters
    If it wasn't in jest... DJ should be given his jotters for blatant politicking

    And currently on Lunchtime in Jockland. the whole story basically dissing the politicians for getting involved. I think the words used by Bird were something like making a big deal of it!!

    You cant make this stuff up.
    Off to find somewhere else to live, cant stand being around folk who just want to shoot themselves in the foot

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  • 12. At 1:55pm on 08 Mar 2011, dazzlingpuddock wrote:

    Bigotry is not a Scottish problem, it is a problem in the west of the central belt with idiots from both sides infecting other areas of Scotland to a much lesser degree.

    This latest incident has been blown out of all proportion by the central-belt-centric media and is really nothing but a storm in a tea cup.

    If half of our biggest city is going to be upset and angry after a match and a large number of them have been drinking then it is only human nature that there is going to arrests and trouble.

    There is very little trouble inside the grounds these days and i do not think that bigotry has anything to do with the increase in domestic assaults after an old firm match.

    Drunk and angry is not a great combination for societal harmony

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  • 13. At 1:56pm on 08 Mar 2011, Graham wrote:

    Will we see Salmond say that he is closing all catholic schools? Surely this, state sponsored, religious division is what first introduces sectarianism to children at a very early age. There can be no denial of this and simply blaming Rangers, Celtic or alcohol for everything is just blaming symtoms rather than the cause.

    This debate is only happening because the politicians, haggis bashers and Labour see a way to blame the last "old firm" game problems on Rangers and their fans. It suits them and their anti-British policies. Why did they wait until this game?

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  • 14. At 2:00pm on 08 Mar 2011, Don wrote:

    In football managers are supposed to lead by example, but Neil Lennon does the opposite. He fuels situations, just like he did as a player. All the issues over the last few games, he was behind them with his touchline behavior and antics, he is the complete opposite of Martin O'Neil, who was a gentleman and a good manager.
    the police and authorities should look to Celtic and Neil Lennon for the problem and deal with them

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  • 15. At 2:09pm on 08 Mar 2011, kintail wrote:

    8# I am not missing the point. If Rangers players HAD behaved properly would any of what subsequently occurred have happened ?????????? Forget bigotry, drink, chanting, thats always happened in these games and is an unfortunate part of the West of Scotland. It does NOT get away from the central point - behave as u r meant to on a football pitch, and NONE of what followed would have happened.

    The rest is a West of Scotland disease which can be tackled in many ways, and should have been before now, but as the Old Firm run Scottish football it was not, and will not be, despite heaps of wonderful words and platitudes.

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  • 16. At 2:15pm on 08 Mar 2011, salmondella wrote:

    It strikes me as rather odd that the Police are highlighting this fixture when the fallout is not in anyway near as bad as it once was. And as for politicians becoming involved well that is truely bewildering. It also strikes me as very odd that the Police are publically through the media giving credibility to bogus claims of racism when it is clear that the complainants were not anywhere close to the dugout area. Why do the police have to inflame a situation that they say is already out of hand? Why not just give a no comment? Particularly when they know all too well that there is a concerted and sinister plot against this man that has put the wellbeing of him and his family in grave danger.

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  • 17. At 2:19pm on 08 Mar 2011, minuend wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 18. At 2:43pm on 08 Mar 2011, RIEPER wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 19. At 2:44pm on 08 Mar 2011, The_Concept_Of_Mind wrote:

    It’s easy to call for a Summit (not to say tempting to call from one) but very hard to make it the place where real causes are exposed and addressed; every administration (thus far) has singularly failed to go beyond the traditional tut – tutting, head – shaking and woe – are – we forehead – furrowing that is the preferred look for the mentally inactive …

    Do you think it’s possible that someone, somewhere might one day drum up enough gumption to say ‘enough; we can and will no longer tolerate the dreadful impacts this bizarre religion and alcohol fuelled hate – frenzy is having on our society’, for which read hundreds of abused women ??? …

    Genetic inevitability aside for the moment, there are things that can be done to mitigate those impacts – at least temporarily (which is better than not at all); but that’s all this Summit will try to address, not the root causes (a political hot – potato that’s indigestible for all bar those with the strongest stomachs …) …

    We must get a grip; stop paying attention to those middle – aged, delusional dream - peddlers mired in Middle Ages thinking; simply tell them ‘enough; your unhinged belief in mystical nonsense can no longer serve as a basis for the moral guidance of our children – instead we are going to educate them properly …’ … Admittedly this may follow the Law of Unintended Consequences and make those children better adjusted socially and more able to compete in the Modern World, whatever that is …

    To start (and finish), take all forms of religious influence out of the Education System; abolish ‘Faith Schools’ (or, we call them here, Catholic Schools); force children whose parents have been exposed to different confessional alignments to sit, talk, play and work together from the earliest age; remove the divisive, corrosive, no – longer relevant pustulent sore …

    Look at the Domestic Abuse statistics (about which I posted years ago a numerical analysis that should shock even the staunchest believer); fuelled by alcohol and other drugs, the nasty, brutish (but sadly not short enough) lives of the wife – beaters, children – terrifiers, home – wreckers and community – wasters are a heady cocktail of violence and addiction linked to the consequences of unarticulated, near - ancient splits in the Roman Catholic Church, which few could explain, even if they wanted to …

    Luther’s vain dross has much to answer for; unintentionally triggering the most destructive war Europe has ever seen his real legacy is a divisive bitterness that permeates the minds of the weak – minded (I would have said ‘souls’ but that’s simply to fall into the trap) …

    What will this Summit achieve ??? … Precisely nothing; the Great and the Good will consume lots of coffee and Gypsy Creams (if they’re still made), there will be calls to Action, lists of points in a well – bound Report that sound meaningful, worthy, important and relevant, and much agreement that the Summit has considered the many contributory factors to this multi – faceted problem … But the statistics will not budge one jot, for this estimable crew will have failed again to face up to reality; that there is a hard core of offenders (actual and uncaught) that are causing mayhem in homes, communities and society (if it exists) who can only be controlled, not changed - perhaps for generations … This is tough (and not discussed in polite society summits) but biologically inevitable …

    Ms Bowditch, in her ever pun – rich column employed every ploy imaginable without once spotting the pachyderm in the enclosed space; the enforced segregation of our children from an early age based upon specious, spurious and sententious sentiments - but you too Brian have missed an open goal here – what, exactly, is your point in this piece ??? … Your conclusion, in the penultimate paragraph, is full of conditionals (‘may’, ‘whether’ etc.); the links are undeniable, it’s what has (ultimately) caused them that needs to be addressed, not (just) their proximate effects …

    Licensing laws, games held in camera blah blah blah … When will we waken up and smell the Bovril ??? … This is treating the symptoms, glossing over the real issues, passing the buck (fast), sloping the shoulders and political grandstanding of the lowest order …

    But as in all areas of policy - making this goes right back to the fundamentals; what type of society is it that we want ??? … A clear, simple answer to that question (however reached) will help to avoid the distractions, waffling and indecisiveness that hamstrings our legislators … Without it we are, literally, clueless; policy making becomes impossible and debate by definition uninformed …

    Let’s disentangle the linguistic flummery that bedevils the subject by obfuscating the biological/anthropological truth; we don’t like ‘others’, the different, the outsiders; they are a threat to our way of life, our identity, us … At the root of all isms is, inevitably, our evolutionary biology; racism, nationalism, sectarianism, bigotry (ism) - these are all, in essence, the same … Fear of the unknown, the dark, the stranger; these primal fears drive very powerful, basic emotions and instincts … And the everyday manifestation of such emotions and instincts, when uncurbed by reason and strong social pressures, is (you guessed it, in ascending order) anger, hostility, abuse, violence (when inhibitions are sufficiently loosened through alcohol etc.) – which get re – enforced and multiply when like – minded individuals find a common cause and gather around it … The psychology of crowd behaviour is a richly - mined seam, but I bet it’s not on the Agenda at today’s Summit …

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  • 20. At 3:05pm on 08 Mar 2011, DM wrote:

    So what should the politicians and police do about it. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Each old firm team has to play their next home old firm league game behind closed doors so they know they will lose money if it happens again - no TV or radio coverage allowed either. Only the result can be reported.
    2. All Irish Tricolors and Union Jacks to be banned from the grounds forever. These teams may have an Irish or British heritage but they play in the SCOTTISH Premier League, so only Saltires can be flown in the ground or on top of stands.
    3. Any sectarian chanting inside the grounds results in a loss of 3 points for both sides and that will continue until it stops.
    4. All orange marches and green marches (wrong term obviously) to be banned forever in Scotland.

    I bet the politicians do none of this because many have no principals these days and will probably lose too many votes.

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  • 21. At 3:12pm on 08 Mar 2011, kintail wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 22. At 3:19pm on 08 Mar 2011, paul Hunter wrote:

    Just like the up and coming Royal wedding (Oh the thought) the BBC is now using football as a smokescreen to cover the real issues important to the Scotish people. What's next Brian, the hair loss problem of the Mongilian dung sap eating beatle...?

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  • 23. At 3:31pm on 08 Mar 2011, Chad Hogan wrote:

    @Graham

    I am a Rangers supporter whose own children attend on eof the schools you would have shut down. I have selected that school after careful consideration and consider it to be the best for my children and their eduction. Bigotry is not taught in schools, it is taught at home. Faith schools exist everywhere else but only in this country do the minority faith schools come under the kind of scrutiny and lazy comments that they are to blame for someone elses own prejudices.

    Here is a novel idea, if separate schooling is to blame for bigotry and societies ills, then why not close all non faith schools and have everyone attend a faith school? that way everyone will be taught about religion and how to respect it, not be suspicious of it! In my eldest childs class there are 25 pupils and only 11 of them are of the RC faith.

    Football and religion are simple targets and easy bedfellows, I would suggest that it is a lack of religion and respect for others beliefs that is at the core of sectarianism in our society. That is not the fault of any schooling it is the fault of the ill educated who are allowed to procreate and pass on their ill conceived prejudices to their issue.

    Lets get back to football and a multi cultural society which includes all, not finger pointing and petty point scoring. Bigotry begins and ends in the home. If I was a church leader of any of the many faiths in Scotland, I would be perplexed at the accusations blaming them for separatism. I attend the local Church of scotland and myself and the minister dicuss these issues and he is most upset at these poor excuses for entrenched prejudice being laid at the door of religion.

    It is only a game

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  • 24. At 3:42pm on 08 Mar 2011, Jay Thomas wrote:

    There has been much debate and discussion in the wake of the dramatic events at the recent old firm game. The scottish government have waded in as well. Some perspective is needed.

    However, compared to the League 2 game Macclesfield V Wycombe, Lennon, McCoist, Diouf and co were made to look like UN Peacekeepers. The game at Moss Rose finished with a fight involving 21 players and a steward.

    Incredibly, the match was referee James Adcock’s debut in a Football League contest. You can watch the melee herE at http://jaythomas1983.wordpress.com/2011/03/07/this-makes-the-old-firm-look-tame/

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  • 25. At 3:56pm on 08 Mar 2011, Paul McDonald wrote:

    The whole issue has nothing to do with football and everything to do with Scots' relationship with alcohol and tribal affiliation.

    The irony of course, is that the opposition parties at Holyrood provide a better example of the harmful effects of tribalism and alcohol than any football game (minimum pricing, anyone?).

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  • 26. At 4:02pm on 08 Mar 2011, Paul McDonald wrote:

    #13, "Will we see Salmond say that he is closing all catholic schools? Surely this, state sponsored, religious division is what first introduces sectarianism to children at a very early age."

    Very good point!

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  • 27. At 4:08pm on 08 Mar 2011, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #20 DM
    "I bet the politicians do none of this because many have no principals these days and will probably lose too many votes."

    All the representatives of the London-based parties also have London-based principals. It's principles they lack.

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  • 28. At 4:22pm on 08 Mar 2011, djmac7 wrote:

    Brian,

    Along with other posters I wish to protest about your hidden post of a few days ago and would just ask has BBC Scotland adopted George Orwell's '1984' as their modus operandi??

    To the matter at hand, there is really a very simple solution - smack the OF hard, hard, hard in the revenue line and only then will they change!!

    The Scottish Government, through the police, need to assert their authority in this matter, and have McCoist and Lennon fined no less than 3 months wages for their antics at the infamous game. Then the clubs involved should be fined £1 million each for defaming the name of Scotland.

    All monies raised to go to help these poor families (mostly women) who were victims of domestic violence as a result of any OF game.

    On top of that, OF games for the nest year to be subject to a maximum attendance of 20,000. Beyond that number, no persons trying to attend that game to be controlled by police and individually subject to an immediate £500 fine, to go to the same cause above.

    Those ST holders who lose out in the draw to get one of the 20,000 restricted tickets, to get a commensurate discount in their next ST prices and the clubs to also pay that amount into the same fund as above.

    It's only by castrating the club's cash flow that the OF will eventually see any sense.

    In addition, the Scottish Government to ban the presence of flute bands in and around Ibrox park on match days.

    And Neil Lennon to be paid off and allowed to demit his position as he has become the centre of so much hatred and bitterness (and in any event is completely incompetent to be a MANAGER of Celtic FC!!) He may well be excellent in recruiting players and in game strategy but he is a howling disaster representing Celtic FC!!

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  • 29. At 4:38pm on 08 Mar 2011, djmac7 wrote:

    RE 25 Paul Macd,

    What utter garbage.

    The participants in this shame were collectively NOT under the influence of alcohol!!

    Whittaker, Diouf, Bougherra, McCoist and Lennon, would be stone cold sober at the game, from where all our national disgrace was manifested!!

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  • 30. At 4:42pm on 08 Mar 2011, stevenmoore wrote:

    As a Celtic fan were do you start to fix this so called social problem , i have experienced this matter while in the Army and in the work place ... this is not just in Scotland or N Ireland ... this is going on world wide in bars in the U.S.A and where ever else these so called Celtic / Rangers fans that are infected by this so called Scotland's secret shame, want to express there veil shameful behaver .... but there are two many games , playing each other 4 or six games in a matter of months is crazy but The media make a fortune of the backs of the two clubs from selling news papers to adverts for the next game ...... so were do we stop .. will it take the death of a player or a club official , it will be to late. At the end of the day its a sport no more no less ... but is it , people die after such games ... we have all saw it on the news , football colours tied to fencing in some housing estate all over Scotland ... there is nothing that can be done that hasn't been done already... but for both clubs to be joined as one ... GLASGOW CITY FOOTBALL CLUB ...or for the clubs to be banned from Scottish football ....with out CELTIC there would not be a RANGERS and with out RANGERS there would not be a CELTIC. but are they worth the death or injury of a human i think not .... Scotland hangs its head in shame once again ..... i feel sick of it all , its time for action of the pitch but to many depend on the old firm for a living they are to big to stop they have to many fans who eat breath and sleep in there colours for this to stop ........well i just wish for some one to change this before its to late.. to many loved one's are no longer here because of the green or blue of a football strip .. time for zero tolerance .. on the pitch and off ...

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  • 31. At 4:47pm on 08 Mar 2011, Alba2014 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 4:51pm on 08 Mar 2011, Saintsfool wrote:

    Regardless of the rights and wrongs, if I'm to believe the BBC reports on the reasons for this funding it confirms in the eyes of the Scottish political parties that the Old Firm are bigots (no other club or representatives attended as far as the reports go).

    So these resources are being provided to sort out the Old Firm's problems. This has got to be their last chance. Surely in the 21st century we can't have any more political wringing of hands.

    Because of the Old Firm we're going to have to get these messages (no racism, no sectarianism) shoved down our throats yet again and most of us are not involved.

    I'll believe the 'corner has been turned' when the songs that these clubs still sing get stopped because significant arrests are made.

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  • 33. At 5:04pm on 08 Mar 2011, Wansanshoo wrote:

    A Child’s Right to Choose

    At the end of October 2011 there will be a national conference ,"A Child’s right to choose" which will raise public awareness of the need to meet the wishes of the growing number of secular parents who wish their children to be educated free from indoctrination in any religion.



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  • 34. At 5:12pm on 08 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    I am a Rangers supporter whose own children attend on eof the schools you would have shut down. I have selected that school after careful consideration and consider it to be the best for my children and their eduction. Bigotry is not taught in schools, it is taught at home. Faith schools exist everywhere else but only in this country do the minority faith schools come under the kind of scrutiny and lazy comments that they are to blame for someone elses own prejudices.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Very well said and its time someone countered this lazy and neaderthal 'blame the victims' type of response.

    There is no evidence whatsoever that Catholics schools promote or maintain sectarianism in Scotland. In fact all the evidence points to it in being promoted, maintained and even celebrated in the home. But a Catholic school on your CV (and your name) used to be the excuse for not getting a job.

    Scotland has tolerated its own particular brand of anti Irish and Catholic prejeudice for far too long. 'Scotland's shame'.

    Just about Glasgow? The fact there are football clubs called 'Hibernain' and Dundee Harp (now United) should give you a clue that it was not always so.

    Just the reaction of crass working class people who don't know any better? All the academic evidence shows that the upper and middle-classes classes were all up to their necks in it as well.

    Was it really only in the 1960's that labour markets started to open up for Scots of Irish Catholic descent in this country? Shameful. And largely thanks to foreign (American) employers not the locals. There is of course a clear divide according to Tom Devine, Scotland's foremost historian in the present day: Catholics over 55 years experienced rigid and segregated labour markets, Catholics under 55 years have experienced ever diminshing barriers.

    Most sectarianism today is attitudinal. OF game? To believe the stats you'd think 4 OF games a season only means 4 nights of domestic abuse for women a season! Cam I suggest that the reasons for domestic abuse are more complex than the result of an OF match!

    No doubt some of the resident nat-pack will come on denying (again and again!) there is or ever has been a problem in their tartan wonderland.

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  • 35. At 5:16pm on 08 Mar 2011, Magaloof wrote:

    When I was living in Lothian a University Lecturer's son walking through Glasgow city centre with a Celtic shirt on underneath his jacket had his throat slit in broad daylight. The attack was so violent he was nearly decapitated. As Graham Greene said, "Hate is a failure of the imagination." And this from the country that gave us the television and the telephone. If they were allowed to join the English Premiership then it might not be so parochial but who wants them in London or Manchester (again) ? No-one.

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  • 36. At 5:25pm on 08 Mar 2011, Often-Amazed wrote:

    Living here in Scotland I can say without doubt this is NOT just about football... and sadly past attempts to deal with sectarianism, religious and racial hatred have amounted to nothing.

    It's all been lip-service... because as some other posters have already highlighted, the politicians do not want to risk votes by putting their heads above the parapet and telling it like it is. Similarly, even the media dare not challenge it in a way which is anything more than forgettable commentary.

    The recent old firm match is just one of many examples... Some are more shocking still:

    1 - In November 2010 Celtic and Aberdeen played at Celtic Park around the time of Remembrance Sunday. A large banner was displayed by HUNDREDS of Celtic supporters which read "Your deeds would shame all the devils in Hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No bloodstained poppy on our Hoops". Also the two minutes of silence was loudly disrupted by Sectarian chants. Sadly, NO politician in Scotland condemned this behaviour, in fact NO ONE mentioned it! ...not even the media made much of it.

    2 - A few years ago there was a Scottish-government-backed campaign called "One Scotland", the idea being to promote harmony across all the people of Scotland, no matter their colour, race or creed. It culminated with a live debate on television with an audience representing the many facets of Scottish society. The debate was healthy and promising... but then a young lady explained that she was at a loss as to what she should do as she was from mixed-parentage and... English. At which point the vast majority of the audience heckled her and even the leading female journalist who was the chairperson said "don't even go there" ...instantly killing any debate on prejudice towards the English. One Scotland? ...really?

    Scotland has a problem of prejudice whether it be religious or racial - but nothing will change until Scotland accepts there IS a problem in the first place.

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  • 37. At 5:38pm on 08 Mar 2011, morenish wrote:

    why did news 24 cut off Alex Salmond at the end of the live feed from the summit?
    was it the usual BBC news thing:"if nobody died then it's not worth mentioning"

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  • 38. At 5:45pm on 08 Mar 2011, Morrissey Smiff wrote:

    Give Celtic and Rangers 6 months to formulate a plan to create a single Glasgow team. Meanwhile ask Celtic to remove Reid, Lennon and Brown (as captain). There has been nothing but trouble since Reid was appointed.

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  • 39. At 6:06pm on 08 Mar 2011, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Faith Schools.


    I too don't believe faith schools promote sectarianism or bigotry, however, we cannot deny that separatism is not healthy for five year old friends in the name of pseudoscience.

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  • 40. At 6:07pm on 08 Mar 2011, AMJHAJ wrote:

    Brian, first your curious 'memory lane' article, then the even curiouser hidden blog on the Scotland Bill, now this.

    Ok, so there the Old Firm summit perhaps (but only perhaps) merited an article, but strange that many other things have passed you by. You know, various stories on Labour expenses, Labour refusal to sign up to the fuel escalator, etc etc. These would seem to fit more with your remit ...

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  • 41. At 6:10pm on 08 Mar 2011, sandy80 wrote:

    So the Scottish Government has to throw £500,000 at tackling sectarianism in Scotland. While the intention may be good, I believe this will ultimately show few, if not no credible results.

    If the Politicians and Police in this country are really serious about eliminating (the west of) Scotland's Catholic - Protestant "divide", then they should be doing everything in their powers to stop allowing the outdated the Orange marches, which are a continuous breeding ground for intolerance and Anti-Catholic venom. These marches being considered acceptable in this day and age is despicable. Similarly Hibernian marches should also be banned. Although they operate on a far smaller scale but there can be no real justification for their presence as they too promote a form of division.

    Banning these marches would have the effect of giving those who would be involved, less of an outlet to spout their outdated bile and given time it would all but die out. Not only would this help to reduce sectarian behaviour in our society, but the public purse would look a lot fatter given the savings made by not spending fortunes each year in policing the marches.

    Sure, there would be calls saying "this is a breach of our human rights" but surely on this occasion this must be a right that must be breached in order to pull Scotland from the dark ages. Is it not a breach of the human rights of the rest of society, who need to pick up the pieces - abuse, violence and intolerance, not to mention the vast costs which surround it

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  • 42. At 6:13pm on 08 Mar 2011, Ronaldo wrote:

    During last week's Big Debate 04.03.2011 one of the guest an MSP Margo McDonald seemed to condone the abuse received from a section of the support and others connected with the opposing team saying and i quote 'he deserves it' this was said off mike and you then asked her to repeat what she had said as you hadn't quite heard her and she responded 'he deserves it'.
    I was rather taken aback and indeed complained to the BBC but i have not had a response, will anything be mentioned prior to Fridays show in a way of an appology or not?

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  • 43. At 6:20pm on 08 Mar 2011, rossjfindlay wrote:

    Let's be clear, Glasgow is chaos on the day of an Old Firm game, and the true Policing cost is masked by the majority of the unpleasantness taking place well away from the ground, the Old Firm pick the Pockets of Glasgow Council tax payers in this respect. The BBC in early reports trailed today as "a summit on the future of the scottish game". Well it isn't, the rest of us are trying to get on with enjoying a game without reference to UK / Irish politics or UK / Irish / Dutch politics of the late 17th century.

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  • 44. At 6:23pm on 08 Mar 2011, unionjock wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 45. At 6:31pm on 08 Mar 2011, jockster wrote:

    Football? Drink? Sectarianism?

    The football is only a game and anybody who has ever taken part in any sport who wishes to be best will know that you have to be passionate about winning and the game/sport itself, and Yes, this will quite often result in emotional outbursts, as it does in every sport.

    Drink - is and of itself not a problem - allowing people who are under the influence of drink into these situations is lighting the fuse. Simply do not allow any anybody in to these games who is in anyway suspected of being under any influence at all.

    Sectarianism - THIS IS THE PROBLEM! It doesn't matter who says who is to blame - in Scotland this is a 2 sided problem that far outweighs any problems with racism, sexism etc.

    BAN all marches regardless of creed, ban everything connected with sectarianism inclusive of National flags, allow nothing other than club colours in to the stadiums and that included not allowing scarves etc. which are inclusive of sectarian symbols etc.
    BAN all traders who sell this vile sectarian merchandise and then charge these people with instigating trouble.

    We need to do our best to separate Football and Bigotry and, in my opinion, the best way to do this is for the entire country of real football supporters to get behind the government, police, clubs etc. in showing these people we won't stand for it any more.

    People calling for punishments of the clubs etc. generally fall into the category of belonging to one side of this divide and the hatred that is often posted is a vile reminder of how narrow minded some people can actually be.

    instead of doing everything to blame the sport - lets use it as a stepping stone to show these bigots that they are not welcome in our society!

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  • 46. At 6:35pm on 08 Mar 2011, jockster wrote:

    I hope that once the police have investigated these complaints about racism that there will be action taken - either against the suggested perpetrator or against those of wasting police time.

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  • 47. At 6:37pm on 08 Mar 2011, Strange_UBoat wrote:

    Post 36

    A large banner was displayed by HUNDREDS of Celtic supporters which read "Your deeds would shame all the devils in Hell. Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan. No bloodstained poppy on our Hoops". Also the two minutes of silence was loudly disrupted by Sectarian chants. Sadly, NO politician in Scotland condemned this behaviour, in fact NO ONE mentioned it! ...not even the media made much of it.
    ==================================================================

    Just as I'm sure the explicit anti-Catholic chants at Ibrox sit uncomfortably with many Rangers supporters, the Irish Republican songs sit uncomfortably with many Celtic supporters. The reference you make is to the song of 'James Connelly' (born in Scotland of Irish parents) and executed by the British Army in 1916 for taking part in a nationalist rebellion (involving republicans from both the main religions) against British rule.

    Now while the former is explicitly sectarian in its target, is protest about the role of Britain in Ireland, a sectarian comment? Surely if people were protesting about the role of the British in Ireland it would be because of the sectarian divide and rule policy that we inflicted on Ireland.

    I myself would like to see an end to both of the above forms of song. They have had their time and place but there are differences as you can see. And while you can be arrested for chanting songs on the former, singing about James Connelly caries no sanction and nor should it, otherwise those who sang the 'Flower of Scotland' would be on a sticky wicket!

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  • 48. At 6:38pm on 08 Mar 2011, Education not indoctrination wrote:

    Politicians (including Alec Salmond) say they want to end sectarianism. Well let's see THEM set an example. Because at present they CHOOSE to spend hundreds of £millions of taxpayers' money on sectarian schools - schools that do not welcome non-Catholics. (See the Charter for Scottish Catholic Schools, which makes clear that only those supporting the Catholic ethos (which includes actively discriminating against non-Catholics in senior teaching posts and discriminating against all homosexuals) are welcome.) Funding religious schools is a CHOICE, there is no law that says such schools must exist.

    I won't believe politicians are serious about tackling sectarianism until they tackle such institutional sectarianism. The biggest step forward we can take is to make all state schools non-religious and non-discriminatory. (Unbelievably in this day and age, religious worship is still compulsory, even though 90% of adults are not actively religious.) That way we can set an example, that people of different religions can mix and that following (or purorting to follow) a religion does NOT give someone the right to discriminate.

    If we don't do that we are giving it the green light, saying 'do as I say, not as I do'. And who is going to pay any attention to that?

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  • 49. At 6:39pm on 08 Mar 2011, Paul McDonald wrote:

    #29, djmac7

    I may be wrong, but I don't think the First Minister and the Police plan on discussing the red cards, the referees performance, or whether Charlie Mulgrew makes a better centre back than a full back.

    The "summit" will surely be more interested in the many arrests, the spike in domestic violence that follow Old Firm games, the spikes in hospital admissions, and the social diviseness of the fixture.

    I think you'll find that most of those Old Firm "fans" subsequently found in police cells, hospital beds or failed marriages were likely to have been heavily influenced by both alcohol and social tribalism. So again, this has nothing to do with football.

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  • 50. At 6:40pm on 08 Mar 2011, JTomlin wrote:

    27. Barbazenzero
    ""I bet the politicians do none of this because many have no principals these days and will probably lose too many votes."

    All the representatives of the London-based parties also have London-based principals. It's principles they lack.
    "

    Oh, good one!

    On the topic, continued sectarianism is shameful where ever it occurs in the world. Enough blood has been shed over the centuries over this. It's difficult to know how to stop it, but stop, it must.

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  • 51. At 6:42pm on 08 Mar 2011, peteraberdeenshire wrote:

    Switched on the van this morning and the radio was at radio Scotland, just heard the line "the scottish government failed.." No big surprise it's the default line from the BBC in Scotland, turns out though it's about minimum pricing in Northern Ireland. Now the SNP government may have failed to get this through here but as most people are aware this was due to the unionist parties voting it down.
    Then later dyring call Kaye and the debate about the royals a caller asked if the royals were preferable to Alex Salmond as president, and Kaye being a BBC presenter could barely contain her sneering reply. It's not always what is said, it is often how it is said that reveals mch about the person.

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  • 52. At 6:42pm on 08 Mar 2011, unionjock wrote:

    I have to say I think todays meeting and action plan seem a waste of time. By the looks of the posting on this blog I appear to be right. This started as a football issue and now rightly moved into the broader bigger problem of Glasgow the sectarian divide.
    Its interesting reading all the various points of view but let me say I believe 1000% the problem is solvable but the solution is challenging. ALL forms of religious schools need to be removed. I can here several of the people who posted above moaning and groaning but this is the problem.
    I was born and bread in Glasgow and still today vividly remember my mother explaining that my best pal (at the age of 5!) had all of a sudden become different from me and had to go to a different school. I though at the time this was silly like a 5 year old would but now I know its the source of a cultural cancer. I'm not saying its all the problem but its were so much of it starts. I know this because even today as a proud Scot who has lived happily in England for the last 22 years, when ever I meet a fellow Scot and I hear the name the very first thing I thing of is ...is he one of us. Yes even a sensible, educated, professional business man with 3 kids that is still the first though I have. You see I was taught this and other characteristic just like my times tables. So as much as I am able to rationalise thought it still occurs, just like 5+5 makes 10.
    The situation will never ever change until people change this sectarian school system. You can rationalise it however you like but that is in my opinion the biggest part of the solution that needs to be put in place.
    Sorry if you don't like it but that identifies you as part of the problem in my mind.
    I travel the world and love being a Scot abroad but this is a major black mark against us the world over.

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  • 53. At 6:44pm on 08 Mar 2011, Strange_UBoat wrote:

    Post 41

    Agreed on the marches but there are no Hibernain marches in Scotland anymore are there? Not heard of a one in years now.

    A quick look at the Orange Marches in Glasgow would tell you:

    - the city has more per year than anywhere else in the world - including places such as Belfast and Derry. Astonishing and gobsmacking by any measure.

    - they overwhelm any other type of protest and march. They account for over 75% of all marches in Glasgow.

    What does the Orange Order stand for and promote? Anti-Catholicism. Dress it up any way you like these people are a blight on us all.

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  • 54. At 7:06pm on 08 Mar 2011, djmac7 wrote:

    #29, djmac7

    I may be wrong, but I don't think the First Minister and the Police plan on discussing the red cards, the referees performance, or whether Charlie Mulgrew makes a better centre back than a full back.

    The "summit" will surely be more interested in the many arrests, the spike in domestic violence that follow Old Firm games, the spikes in hospital admissions, and the social diviseness of the fixture.

    I think you'll find that most of those Old Firm "fans" subsequently found in police cells, hospital beds or failed marriages were likely to have been heavily influenced by both alcohol and social tribalism. So again, this has nothing to do with football.


    You can set all your own straw dogs of your choosing, but they do nothing to change the fundamental issue, which is, that without the violence on and off the field but within the park, especially that led by prime officials of the two clubs, the raison d'etre for violence outwith the cauldron of violence would diminish remarkably!!

    The two clubs are at the centre of this outrage against decent behaviour in our society and they have both failed appallingly in trying to rectify the matter.

    They will only wisen up when they are absolutely hammered in their own revenue lines!!

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  • 55. At 7:15pm on 08 Mar 2011, paul Hunter wrote:

    There's is a huge divide in Scotland, it's called Catholic schools and non Catholic schools...ALL OR CHILDREN NO MATTER WHAT RELIGION SHOULD BE AT THE SAME SCHOOLS! Problem solved.There is no other way.

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  • 56. At 7:19pm on 08 Mar 2011, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 57. At 7:22pm on 08 Mar 2011, Patch Bruce wrote:

    the "Glasgow problem" will never go away the place is too full of people who put a stupid game ahead of the real issues affecting their country...... but of course Scotland is not their country is it. It seems both sides of the divide have more in common with other parts of these Isle's than Scotland. I can see how the Blue side vote labour through their love of all things English waving their union flags and singing about the queen. But the other side were put down terribly by the "British Union" in their own country, so why do they all vote for the Unionist Labour in this country perpetuating the parliament that treated them so badly...... strange,.... maybe its just a Glasgow thing

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  • 58. At 7:23pm on 08 Mar 2011, Sheneval wrote:

    14. At 2:00pm on 08 Mar 2011, Don wrote:
    "In football managers are supposed to lead by example, but Neil Lennon does the opposite. the police and authorities should look to Celtic and Neil Lennon for the problem and deal with them"

    I am no great admirer of Neil Lennon but in all fairness I have to say that he did not start the problems in this game - his confrontation with Diouf followed the latter's attempt to block a Celtic official who was attempting to reach an injured Celtic player.

    In 60 years of watching football I have never before seen anyone acting like this. Had the referee taken immediate action Lennon's intervention would not have been necessary.

    Whitaker committed two fouls and was sent off - happens in many games. A number of other Players committed fouls resulting in bookings - happens in many other games.

    Bougherra lost the plot when he was being sent off - a pity as he is an excellent player and right at the start of the game had apologised for a foul on Celtic's left back - an apology that was accepted. Had the rest of the game been played in that spirit the mayhem would not have occurred.

    At the end of the game Lennon approached McCoist with a smile and an embrace only to meet with a rebuff - being Lennon he re-acted to same in his usual hotheaded fashion - I have for many years admired Ally McCoist but he started this confontation.

    Celtic players kept their cool - 2 Rangers players did not - neither of these players has anything to do with the religious stupidity that is part of the Old Firm games.

    I worked with many Rangers and Celtic supporters over the years and I doubt if any Politician can come up with a solution to this problem.

    Automatic banning of any supporter who infringes a code of conduct from Ibrox and Parkhead would transfer the problem from the ground onto the streets or the homes of these individuals so they would have to be isolated. As this would infinge their human rights I see no solution.

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  • 59. At 7:25pm on 08 Mar 2011, Strange_UBoat wrote:

    Loved the point about the OF clubs engaging in greater efforts against alcohol abuse.

    And this from the same parliamentary parties that cannot agree how to tackle Scotland's drinking shame!

    Now how do we expect them to tackle it.

    Post 48

    I don't believe there is any evidence that shows faith schools promote sectarianism is there? Catholic schools exist across the world and although a minority in many places no sectarian issues arise. I think the question you should address is why people in Scotland are particularly hostile to them. Some are secularists but many are just the other shade of bigot. Britain wanted the support of the Catholic Church (and got it) in WW1 and Catholic schools were the price that was paid.

    Since pupils in faith schools have been shown to outperform their secular mainstrem counterparts in deprived areas and beyond (see Professor Linsday Patterson's review in the early years of the Parliament), who in their right mind would wield the axe on a successful model apart from an ideological or bigotted desperado?

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  • 60. At 7:29pm on 08 Mar 2011, Strange_UBoat wrote:

    ALL OR CHILDREN NO MATTER WHAT RELIGION SHOULD BE AT THE SAME SCHOOLS!
    -----------------------------------------------

    That would have to be one big school to accommodate them all?

    Is differentschoolsism a problem?

    Kids in Rangers tope play football with their mates in Celtic tops. You see it all the time. The culture of the home is the main part of the problem. Kids are probably safer at whatever school they go to!

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  • 61. At 7:34pm on 08 Mar 2011, Strange_UBoat wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 7:42pm on 08 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 7:43pm on 08 Mar 2011, andrew craik wrote:

    I am really cheesed off that this goes under the headings of "Scottish Society" or a "Scottish" problem It is certainly not part of my society or that of Scotland.
    It is firmly rooted in the West of Scotland and has been exported to other large areas of population
    It, sectarianism is not found in all parts of Scotland.
    If one was born in parts of Sutherland or the Borders then you would only be aware of the problems when you move to Glasgow or other parts of the West.
    I am also sick to the molars being told
    "there are riots in Liverpool Birmingham", the morons on the Radio could have added "Libya,parts of Africa the Moon and Mars, and yet the Politicians are not dragged in".The Morons are in denial that the riots on the Moon are not between Moon Religious Maniacs 1 and Moon Religious Maniacs 2.
    I hope that a new sect of Moon Religious Maniacs 3 does not decide to move in or the riots will have to be done on a home and away basis.
    Get a life and grow up.

    I have now turned off my Radio because I have never heard so much Guff repeated over and over again by the so called Experts and Pundits

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  • 64. At 7:56pm on 08 Mar 2011, were doomed wrote:

    Just reading the many comments the only conclusion I can come up with is, I am ashamed to call myself Scottish, God forbid Scotland should ever get independance, we can't even have civilised game of football never mind run a country!

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  • 65. At 8:03pm on 08 Mar 2011, Spacemuppet75 wrote:

    This tired old line about Catholic schools holds no water whatsoever, I went to a Catholic primary school in the East End of Glasgow, I went to school from 9am until 3pm Monday to Friday from the age of 4 until 11 and do you know something, the fact that I went to a different school from my friends didn't stop us playing together football for hours on end after school and at the weekends, nor did it stop me falling in love with and then marrying a girl who went to a different school, nor does it stop me attending a Church of Scotland every so often when my daughter is involved with the Girls brigade and do you know why, because I was brought up to show tolerance for the beliefs of others regardless of race, religion, colour or creed, it's a pity not all sections of Scottish society can claim as much!!!!

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  • 66. At 8:09pm on 08 Mar 2011, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #50 JRMacClure
    "On the topic, continued sectarianism is shameful where ever it occurs in the world. Enough blood has been shed over the centuries over this. It's difficult to know how to stop it, but stop, it must."

    Agreed. I can certainly offer no solutions, although it was a positive that both the FM and Aunty Bella were on the news channels today with neither attempting to make political capital over it. Perhaps dour Iain hasn't been able to get through to Mr Ed yet to know what he's supposed to say.

    It's certainly a topic that should be covered on Tonight's Newsnicht, but it isn't really about Scottish Politics. All in all, I agree with others in thinking this is a waste of an increasingly rare opportunity in that field, both for Brian and us.

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  • 67. At 8:24pm on 08 Mar 2011, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 68. At 8:27pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    Hello Scotland

    Speaking of sectarianism, what name is spinspamspun7 posting under these days???

    P.S. I heard from a good source, that McCoist only wanted to know Lennon's new post code!!!

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  • 69. At 8:51pm on 08 Mar 2011, thickasaplank wrote:

    The problem starts at 5yrs of age when a child who are completely innocent get sent to a seperate school from the child next door.
    How did they integrate coloureds in America they bussed coloureds into white areas.

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  • 70. At 8:55pm on 08 Mar 2011, Kev6267 wrote:

    The problem is not with Celtic or Rangers its the culture (more so in the west side of scotland & Edinburgh can be as Bad) Its up to the Scottish Parliment to sort the didvide in the West coast . Make all schools mixed you can still have religious education no mater what faith they are. Certian areas where street kerbs , lamp posts are red, white & blue well ban it ban the orange walks etc if they want to have awalk & play there flutes well let them walk round Ibrox, Finaly as for domestic violence there is somthing far wrong with the society that some bampot goes home & beats up his wife or member of family thats not Celtic or Rangers fault it upto the courts ,police & MSP to sort out . One finaly note its a bvit much of the SNP to have a go at the Old Firm about Violence etc & they released A MASS MURDERER , EXPENESES ETC Sort your own house first then you can go onto other matters in the country Kev From Aberdeen also a Celtic Supporter

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  • 71. At 8:56pm on 08 Mar 2011, junkers wrote:

    Having been brought up in the west of Scotland I feel that the problems at the Old Firm games are more a symptom of the disease than the cause. Until the segregation of schooling is ended I honestly believe there will always be bigotry and violence. If you defuse the Old Firm games then the problem could explode in a far worse fashion.
    I remember as a child growing up in a small community on the edge of Glasgow, children from the different religions being bused out to segregated schools. As a child you felt the other religion, as they did not trust and despised you. This underlying feeling of mistrust is a breeding ground for bigotry. It seemed like a form apartheid
    It has not changed. There are recent examples of Catholic footballers choosing to play at a young, almost school age for Ireland because they have an Irish grandparent. Fair enough it is a free country, but it is again a symptom of the disease. They have never been given the opportunity to get to know and build bonds or allegiances with children from other side. This also increases the mistrust from the other side. .
    Though, I have given the above example, of Catholics choosing Ireland over Scotland. Both sides are to blame. However, only the Catholic Church can end this source of mistrust and bigotry caused by segregated schools, so moving the West of Scotland into a new enlightened age.

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  • 72. At 8:57pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    Hello again

    I'm reading over these posts. Oh my God, such bigotry!!!

    48. Education not indoctrination
    "The biggest step forward we can take is to make all state schools non-religious and non-discriminatory"

    How about the UK government end the practice of disqualifying Catholics from heading the government??? Maybe they could separate Church and State, so that Catholics could be head of state???

    Catholic schools in N'Ireland's and England figure high in league tables. In England, they are hard to get into; such is the demand. I do hope you have evidence and research to back up all those claims you make???

    Perhaps it's attitudes like yours that cause the division???


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  • 73. At 8:59pm on 08 Mar 2011, Paul McDonald wrote:

    #54, "You can set all your own straw dogs of your choosing, but they do nothing to change the fundamental issue, which is, that without the violence on and off the field but within the park, especially that led by prime officials of the two clubs, the raison d'etre for violence outwith the cauldron of violence would diminish remarkably!!"

    Nonesense. Even the most mundane Old Firm game, ending in a 0-0 draw without incident, still sees increases in domestic violence, sectarian abuse, post-match violence etc. Clearly, the actions of the players can incite a reaction in the stands but that's not unique to Football or the Old Firm.

    The Old Firm are divided along cultural, political and religious lines, (although not has much as they used to be) and it's this tribal rivalry that exists in many parts of society in the West of Scotland that should be the focus of peoples attention, not the actions of Diouf, Lennon, or others on the park.

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  • 74. At 9:11pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 75. At 9:24pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:



    I'll try again minus the poem!!!

    With fans like these, who needs enemies???

    Scotland's shame!!!

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  • 76. At 9:30pm on 08 Mar 2011, barry ferguson wrote:

    Everyone knows our institutionalised sectarian apartheid education system is the root cause of religious bigotry in Scotland. What else can you expect when you separate children at the age of five into an us versus them situation ? For those who think otherwise and quote faith schools operating in England or anywhere else, the same separateness and division is being now witnessed in the north of England between Asian and white schools and into the wider community. Would we tolerate schools based on skin colour ? If not, well why do so on alleged religious belief ?

    It is madness and its about time Alex Salmond and every other cowardly Scottish politician stopped chasing the bigot vote who wish apartheid education to continue. Maybe, just maybe, we might finally address the issue if politicians develop a backbone.

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  • 77. At 9:40pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    76. barry ferguson
    "Everyone knows our institutionalised sectarian apartheid education system is the root cause of religious bigotry in Scotland"

    You can obviously back up these claims. Can you show a direct correlation between faith schools and sectarianism in Scotland and England???

    In my opinion it's the Orange Order and Rangers fans. But, like you, I have no evidence!!!

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  • 78. At 9:41pm on 08 Mar 2011, lovescotland wrote:

    I have read many of the above comments and all I hear is lots of hysteria, anger, and soul searching. Please calm down everyone!

    The problem that we are all talking about is pretty much contained in one part of Scotland and is caused by maybe a few hundred people. I believe at the heart of all the violence and mayhem that erupts at these matches is a lack of self respect in people. This is a social problem which needs tackled and I believe part of the problem is the fact that Scotland is a pseudo-country, a country in waiting. Independence and plentiful good jobs would help people regain their self respect.

    As for the Scotland I know and love, I find it a beautiful, colourful, interesting country with many lovely people in it. BBC Scotland has a very narrow viewpoint, it does not encourage us to feel good about ourselves, it does not emphasise the positive except in trivial matters. Therefore, BBC Scotland does not resonate with many people, but unfortunately there is not much alternative yet.

    Roll on a Free Scotland and a complete change of attitudes from our Scottish Broadcasting Company. Let's focus on the many, many good and exciting things that are happening in Scotland and don't let the bad things get out of proportion. Yes we have to think about the problems and tackle them, but let's not forget all the positive things about this beautiful little country of ours.

    The potential for change and improvement to this country and our lives is immense. Let's focus on the positive and make things even better.

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  • 79. At 9:45pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    76. barry ferguson
    "Asian and white schools"

    Such an ill-informed and outright racist statement. They are not Asian and white schools. They are Muslim faith and state schools!!!

    It would appear that education and tolerance is required from parents. Bigotry starts at home; Bigotry breeds barbarism!!!


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  • 80. At 10:12pm on 08 Mar 2011, Spacemuppet75 wrote:

    76. At 9:30pm on 08 Mar 2011, barry ferguson wrote:
    What else can you expect when you separate children at the age of five into an us versus them situation ?

    I certainly have never been forced into adopting an us versus them situation, maybe you should stop transposing your own upbringing onto others, you might learn that the outside world isn't as bad as your parents led you to believe!!!!

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  • 81. At 10:12pm on 08 Mar 2011, junkers wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 82. At 10:17pm on 08 Mar 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    There's a lot more to life than football!

    Dramatically reduce the amount of football on television and make it obligatory for both BBC Scotland and STV to give more coverage to other sports.

    For example there are 8 or 9 half day Scottish Motor Racing Club meetings at Knockhill between April and October. Why not televise those and why not cover the motorbike races there as well. What about Shinty and other sports?

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  • 83. At 10:21pm on 08 Mar 2011, gazelledz wrote:

    Something is definitely wrong when teams, particularly the primary 11 players of each, are blamed for what civilians (aka fans) do in the stadium during or after the match; and worse, when the lines between players (& coaches/managers) and fans are blurred so that everything is not only blown out of proportion but is known to the world-or at least the world which cares about the game called football. Even worse, a group of officials from various sects of governing or policing bodies call a 'summit' which is not for puporse to solve what may well be 'sectarion' problems, but for calling the two teams on the carpet and blaming them for waht fans may or may not have done. That is totally wrongheaded and totally irresponsible. If there is a problem within the society, then deal with the societal problem in appropriate ways through whatever channels-political or oter-that are in place to handle such problems. However, if there is a problem within the game of football. either between player and player, manager and assistant manager, or player and referee, that should be resolved by the teams, appropriate officials and their associations. (And by the way, where were representatives from the fans at the so-called (incorrectly I might add) 'summit' today?) Footballers play the game of football, and most will tell a reporter or even a fan that the game is the importance, not politics, not religion and not skin tone.

    I cannot comment on the behaviour of the fans at the last match as I was not present, but I do know that there is a long (perhaps too long) history of fan misbehaviour both at the games and after the games have ended at Old Firm Clashes, some much worse than what appears to have happened last week. So why is it a huge international issue now, where it has not been in the past?

    As for the match of last week, the game was not really worse or better than past matches between the two teams involved, and certainly not worse than games in other leagues or other venues. One team has a manager set to be banned from six matches, which doesn't make one enamored of him and no doubt would prejudice any positive feelings for him or his team. The other team has a well-known hot-head, who was this way long before he joined the present team, and who has a past incident with the team who's manager seems to be just as fiery as he is. Somne people, just like some ingredients, like oil and water, don't mix, and the reasonable understand that one never should introduce a spark to a combustible material.

    One might question just how it is that team C was only awarded 3 yellow cards while team R got the balnce of the total thirteen doled out to them. (In point of fact, other teams in other places have received more than 10 yellow cards in a match, so this is not a (negative) record).

    One might also wonder why a referee, who has given three red cards to players of only one team, singles-along eith the Association-out only two of them for perhaps more punishment, particularly when one is obviously a person of color and the other not, but who has dark olive skin and has origins from the same continent that the first player does.

    And then there is the incident between the manager of team C and the assistant manager of team R....

    But the bottom line is, at least for the players, the match is finished and they are concentrating on the next match which they will be playing in.


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  • 84. At 10:22pm on 08 Mar 2011, ForteanJo wrote:

    #77 - Can you show a direct correlation between faith schools and sectarianism in Scotland and England??? In my opinion it's the Orange Order and Rangers fans. But, like you, I have no evidence!!!


    Since we're throwing accusations around like there's no tomorrow, and because this is a political blog, can I stick my oar in and assert that the most sectarian parts of the country (both north and south of the border) could very well be those that are the strongholds of a party that favour a rose as their emblem? And after asserting as much, can I ask whether that's just co-incidental?

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  • 85. At 10:23pm on 08 Mar 2011, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Common Sense.



    Humanist Society of Scotland:

    "Young people have the right to learn freely, to interpret things for themselves, to analyse, to investigate and to reach their own conclusions.

    Most parents want these rights for their child, yet the school system makes it necessary for parents to ‘opt out’ of religious observance or teaching in order to exercise these rights. This can obviously make children, as well as parents, feel awkward or ostracised.

    We would prefer that no particular belief system were presented as the norm. In any case, such a stance makes no sense in today’s diverse society."

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  • 86. At 10:27pm on 08 Mar 2011, paul Hunter wrote:

    78.
    HERE HERE!!

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  • 87. At 10:32pm on 08 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    #57

    Too many crass assumptions Bruce. Far too many.

    #65

    Well said. Its astonishing how quickly debates on this issue turn in the direction of schools. You can practically set your watch by it. I've never been in a sectarian school and I doubt anyone here ever has.

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  • 88. At 10:32pm on 08 Mar 2011, NorthernSole wrote:

    8. PeeJay

    I am a died in the wool Rangers fan and I agree with a lot of what you say.

    the problem is deep seated and goes way beyond football. essentially there are two communities in the west of Scotland who don't integrate like the rest of the country. thankfully I live in a part of Scotland that is not blighted by this.

    However the way forward requires real courage by our political leaders. The shameful scenes of politicking in the parliament last week completely ignored the real issues. We need to find ways of better integrating communities, teach tolerance and understanding on both sides.

    Both teams have made reasonable attempts to improve, but two football teams cannot deal with generations of politicians ignoring the issue because they don't want to lose votes in either community.

    I would start by recognising the continual decline in church attendance across Scotland and the obvious diminishing role that the church plays in the everyday lives of Scots.

    It must surely follow that the church should then have less influence in areas like education and in politics generally. Personally I would ban religious services in all state funded schools, and remove funding from any school that does not comply. Religion is something that children can get outside the classroom, the overwhelming number of Scots are not religious, the state needs to recognise this.

    Perhaps we can then get to the point the rest of the country is at where communities are not defined by religion. Perhaps in a generation or two folks in Glasgow can go to the pub, watch an Old Firm match together and enjoy the occasion. We do in the North of Scotland, it is a pleasant experience.

    This requires political courage, I am not holding my breath.

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  • 89. At 10:40pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    84. ForteanJo
    "Since we're throwing accusations around"

    Your opinion, like my opinion, does not show correlation. Without fact, we are both guilty of opinionated hearsay. Just like Barry Ferguson's many anti-Catholic posts. I did admit that it was my opinion and not fact!!!

    Can you do the same???


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  • 90. At 10:41pm on 08 Mar 2011, NorthernSole wrote:

    58. Sheneval

    A wee bit of green tinted spectacles. i have seen many Celtic Managers and captainis in my time and respected the vast majority who understood the responsibility of leading a club of this stature.

    However Lennon and Brown are by far the worst I have ever seen. They have no idea how to handle the office they hold and are a disgrace to the club. They set an abysmal example to young people. Had Lennon's behaviour been moderated earlier in the season this would never have boiled over.

    However this needs to kept in perspective. It is a game of football, after all. Far worse things happen during and after other sporting events in the UK and beyond.

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  • 91. At 10:48pm on 08 Mar 2011, X_Sticks wrote:

    Speaking of Scotland's shame:
    Margaret Jaconelli loses 2014 Games eviction case. So much for a fair and just society, when a family can be bulldozed aside for "progress" and ripped off by the state into the bargain, while property developers made hundreds of thousands from property speculation in the same area.
    It might be worth investigating what links some of the property developers might have with certain political parties. Oh, but I forgot. We don't do investigative journalism in Scotland any more, only propaganda.

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  • 92. At 10:55pm on 08 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    #53
    What does the Orange Order stand for and promote? Anti-Catholicism. Dress it up any way you like these people are a blight on us all.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    You might find that Catholic schools get a mention in promoting sectarianism before the Orange Order!

    Ironic really.

    So Glasgow really is the Orange Parade UK City of choice every year.

    Wonder how many lodges, marches there are across Scotland and where? They must exist in chunks of Ayrshire, Glasgow, Stirling (and shire), certainly West Lothian (really couldn't leave that part out!), Edinburgh.

    Is Scotland the Orange Parade UK Country of choice?

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  • 93. At 10:56pm on 08 Mar 2011, Often-Amazed wrote:

    This idea that the problem is a "West Scotland" problem is a misnomer... I've lived and worked across many areas of Scotland and regrettably witnessed the same prejudices across the country.

    East, West, North, South... Anti-Catholic, anti-Protestant, anti-English, ...there are many examples of prejudice.

    And to suggest it's a "West problem" is yet another example of a divide in Scotland. Blame the West, blame the East, ...and so it goes on.

    Someone with the power to change things needs to take the blinkers off, both from their own eyes and those of the unwittingly divided and prejudice Joe Public.

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  • 94. At 10:56pm on 08 Mar 2011, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    84

    Nice point.
    The first thing I was hit with when I went to help at Glasgow North East by-election was "SNP. You're the b*starts that's going to do away wi' oor Catholic schools. Labour telt us."

    I laughed out loud when I hear "Lord" McConnell pontificating about sectarianism when I know exactly the games Labour plays in Glasgow and Lanarkshire.

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  • 95. At 11:10pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:



    Back to my original question: What name is spinspamspun7 posting under these days???


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  • 96. At 11:22pm on 08 Mar 2011, highlandarab wrote:

    #34. At 5:12pm on 08 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:
    "Just about Glasgow? The fact there are football clubs called 'Hibernain' and Dundee Harp (now United) should give you a clue that it was not always so."

    Sorry, but the team called Dundee Harp are still called Dundee Harp. They play at the same park as St Josephs and are both junior teams (or they used to play there but with the knocking down of Beechwood in Dundee maybe they have relocated).

    The team that is now Dundee United was formed in 1909 as Dundee Hibernian and was for the unemployed people in the Lochee area of Dundee. It was run as an Irish organisation for the local community in the Lochee area and only played Irish nationals at the start. In 1927 (?ish) they changed to Dundee United to open their playing staff to all members of the community although this had already happened before this date, but NEVER EVER EVER have they been sectarian in any way whatsoever. Just think of the irony of the sectarian originally catholic based team playing in tangerine (similar to orange?). Did that not give you some clue? - surely?.

    Can't speak for any of the other teams but Dundee United would more likely find their fans being more inclined to the Scandanavian way of thinking (after the nany Sacndanavian players brought over initially by Jerry Kerr but also more recent ones) or the Palastinian way of thinking, thanks to Dundee's strong links and city twinning with Hebron.

    As for some of the other posts about faith schools. Time they were closed completely. Religion is not suitable for education and should be the parents responsibility or the churches and done at home. Only academic studies for life skills should be done in school.

    If there is a serious need to run faith schools then it should be run completely and utterly at the expense of the faiths involved with absolutely no public funding whatsoever.

    They may not teach sectarianism (I couldn't possibly tell as I wasn't at one) but i know a few teachers who were employed in these schools and were denied promotion because they 'kicked with the wrong foot' as it were, in keeping with the footie theme of the blog.

    I wonder why people of other faiths or no faith should be expected to pay for faith schools that they don't agree with through their taxes. Would catholic schools (which is the main faith school in Scotland) or their clientelle be willing to pay their taxes to keep other faiths schools going - how about a tax levy for the Free Church Schools for starters. How much are they willing to put forward?

    As for the old firm stushie. They need to be hit where it hurts and that would be financially. Stop showing their games on TV. Every away game by an old firm team is live on air netting them about £80000 each game. It means that the old firm supporter from Glasgow can see every single game in the season without leaving the city boundries. If that £80000 was available to the Dundee Uniteds, St Johnstones, Motherwells, etc, it would allow them to strengthen their own teams and make more of a challenge. Not seeing wee Neil in his macho ginger moments (and yes I'm one too) would be a blessing in disguise. Alternatively, don't accept them into next years competiton or don't enter them for next years European competition. It has to hurt to be effective. A big bobby going in to the changing rooms and telling them to behave is unlikely to have much effect. Are two of the main trouble makers from the Rangers team likely to be there next year anyway (will Douf get an extension to his contract and is Baggearah not eyeing up a move to a big league further south?) so even banning them from the competion is unlikely to be much of a threat.

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  • 97. At 11:30pm on 08 Mar 2011, reincarnation wrote:

    On the other hand Barca beat Arsenal, so everything in fitba isn't bad1

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  • 98. At 11:31pm on 08 Mar 2011, barry ferguson wrote:

    Its sad that the debate has decended into the predictable sectarian abyss with mythical claims of endemic anti-Catholicism stalking the land on a daily basis, Orange flute bands on the Ibrox pitch every other week, and even more embarrassing nonsense. One can only presume that those who wish to uphold the " right " to separate children into different schools on the basis of alleged religious belief would naturally have a lot in common with those who would do likewise regarding childrens skin colour. 1950's Alabama USA or apartheid South Africa would have been proud of you. Oh, and when are Strathclyde Police going to address the anti-British racism and their celebration of sectarian IRA death squads which is synonymous with Celtic supporters ? Or even Alex Salmond himself who stays silent when Celtic supporters regularly mock the deaths of Scottish soldiers serving in Afghanistan. I think the Scottish nation needs answers.

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  • 99. At 11:39pm on 08 Mar 2011, Imagine Reason wrote:

    Thank you so very much for acknowledging that religion is a problem in the Old Firm rivalry. Your fellow BBC Scottish football columnist doesn't think so, but I think he is influenced by his faith.

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  • 100. At 11:45pm on 08 Mar 2011, barry ferguson wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 101. At 11:46pm on 08 Mar 2011, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I have two earlier posts removed for no reason I can think of.

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  • 102. At 11:51pm on 08 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    96. highlandarab
    "Time they were closed completely"

    Would you also agree that the Church of England and the English monarch/British state should be separate? Sectarian ceiling policies by the British government and its monarch also lead to division and exclusion in society. That is a fact!!!


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  • 103. At 00:18am on 09 Mar 2011, Spacemuppet75 wrote:

    98
    Oh, and when are Strathclyde Police going to address the anti-British racism and their celebration of sectarian IRA death squads which is synonymous with Celtic supporters ?

    Tell you what, acknowledge your own club has a major problem with sectarianism and set about ridding the Ibrox stands of vile hatred and then you might have the right to come on here and pontificate about the evil in the world, until then you have zero credibility so grow up!!!!

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  • 104. At 00:18am on 09 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    98. barry ferguson
    "those who wish to uphold the " right " to separate children"

    Do you also agree that it is wrong to have Church and state exclude people on the basis of religion? You agree that schools should not exclude on the grounds of religion; should the British state end the policy of excluding Catholics from high office? It does make sense given your argument!!!

    Perhaps you would also agree the the Orange Order should end its policy of Protestant only membership? That would also make sense given your argument!!!

    You see, exclusion goes both ways. I guess your primary socialisation does not allow you to open both your eyes and look around you!!!

    When are Strathclyde Police going to address the anti-Irish racism and the celebration of sectarian UVF/UDA/UDR/RUC death squads which is synonymous with Rangers supporters? What about Rangers supporters who regularly mock the deaths of Irish people oppressed and starved by British policies during an Gorta Mór. I think the Scottish nation needs answers don't you???


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  • 105. At 00:20am on 09 Mar 2011, paul Hunter wrote:

    Great thread in splitting Scotland before the election...nice one BBC. I hope most Scots see through this, it's been going on long enough.
    Free Scotland!

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  • 106. At 00:22am on 09 Mar 2011, highlandarab wrote:

    #102. DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    "Would you also agree that the Church of England and the English monarch/British state should be separate?"


    Yes. Why should a church from outwith my countries boundaries have any say on what I do in my life? I have no problem in Scotland with the churches (all of them rather than nominated ones) advising government. They are as valid for advice as the business sector and education sector etc for raising awareness and adding to the debate but should have no legalisation powers.

    The position with the Church of England and the English/British monarch if confined to England is up to them. It is no business of mine what they want to do in their own country. They are as much interest to me as any other foreign country is.

    My own feelings are along the same lines as one of the 'jokes' on Mock the Week, - it kind of goes 'there are five main world religions on earth. When you die and meet your religious leader in heaven at least four of them are holding a card which says bluff.' The 5:1 odds are too high for me. I'd rather not gamble.

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  • 107. At 00:25am on 09 Mar 2011, ady wrote:

    Bigotry is an integral part of Scottish society.
    Scotland, especially west Scotland, is the centre of the Orange Walk universe.
    Orange walks are always well supported, lots of local people come out to cheer and clap an orange order walk.
    When Ian Paisley retired he didn't retire to a place in Northern Ireland, oh no-no-no. He moved to Scotland to spend his twilight years near Ibrox stadium.

    These old firm games are simply an event where things boil over as the underlying sectarian fissures within Scottish society blow off some steam.

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  • 108. At 01:05am on 09 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    106. highlandarab
    "It is no business of mine what they want to do in their own country"

    I agree. If only we could separate Ireland and Scotland from England. The only thing the Act of Union has done for both Ireland and Scotland, is to redirect the wealth of the people to England!!!

    I didn't realise that, unlike the Church of England, the Church of Scotland does not have to take orders from Parliament. Following the Church of Scotland Act of 1921, the Church was given freedom from interference in spiritual matters. Why can't the same be done in England???

    No head of state should have such a place in religious orders. Indeed one religious order in particular. That goes for all shades of the Christian faith. Religion should be a choice and not forced upon people. That is why people who choose to send their children to faith schools should have a choice either way.

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  • 109. At 01:08am on 09 Mar 2011, barry ferguson wrote:

    # 104

    Aaah, the other hoary old myth of RC's being banned from The Throne means its solely on anti-Catholic grounds. You do know that certain Protestant denominations also cannot be Monarch due to its symbiotic relationship with the CoE ? Your Monarchy argument is as silly as why can't a Buddhist be Pope. That must be anti-Buddhist discrimination by The Vatican, right ?

    Why would a RC wish to join the Protestant Orange Order anyway if they disgree with its basic tenets and beliefs ? You're also confusing any supposed anti-Irish racism in Scotland with rightful opposition to support for Irish terrorism, which any normal person would subscribe to. Irish people are very welcome in Scotland, and very nice they are too. Why would Rangers fans mock the Irish Famine, as many of their own descendents also suffered during that terrible time. I think you may be getting confused again with another satirical song sung by many fans from a few years ago.

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  • 110. At 01:21am on 09 Mar 2011, ady wrote:

    Ian Paisley buys Ibrox Parish Church.
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/ian-paisley-s-blueprint-for-ibrox-1.809547

    If the Scottish judiciary want to try people for sectarian bigotry in Scotland then they'd better fly in some Jewish folk from Israel to sit on those juries.
    The locals definitely aint going to be fair and balanced, Scotland is hillbilly country as far as religion is concerned.

    You don't even need to be remotely interested in religion to see it after a few years.
    The main force which has kept a lid on this problem is English rule, an independent Scotland would be a religious powderkeg.

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  • 111. At 01:34am on 09 Mar 2011, akava77 wrote:

    Some ideas that unfortunately might have to be tried in the short term and / or long term on a temporary or permanent basis, given how drastic the situation now seems to be.

    1 - Ending religiously segregated schools of any description.

    This could either be done on a totally secular, or totally religious basis. Either have no religious faiths involved in schools at all, or ensure that all faiths in the community have an equal place in all schools. Catholic schools do not inherently create bigotry, but having catholic and non catholic schools does create unnecessary division in society that begins right from early childhood.

    There is no segregation of school pupils along religious lines here in NE Scotland, and surprisingly enough incidents of sectarianism and bigotry and very few and far between, if not totally non-existant.

    2 - Outright banning of all sectarian marches, whichever side they are on.

    This may be controversial but would show that by introducing these measures Scotland means business and is no longer prepared to put up with open displays of bigotry. No Orange marches, no Republican marches, no ifs, no buts!

    Tied into this would be the banning and confiscation of all sectarian related merchandise, like that which can be found in some dodgy market stalls.

    3 - If Rangers and Celtic want to be Scottish clubs, playing in the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup, then we should have banning of Union Jacks and Irish Tricolours in and around the stadiums.

    We are in Scotland, which is (putting all political discussion aside) as far as football is concerned, an individual nation. Only the Saltire needs to be displayed at football matches. We don't need the Union Jack at any football match in Scotland. If England or an English club are playing here then display an England flag by all means, and the Irish Tricolour should only be displayed if Scotland are hosting the Republic of Ireland or a Scottish Club are playing an Irish one.

    4 - Banning of alcohol sponsorship of sporting teams / events in Scotland.

    5 - Playing games at a ridiculously early hour eg. 10.30am meaning that people have no chance to get drunk before the games.

    6 - Closure of pubs in Glasgow and surrounding areas on the day / weekend of Old Firm matches, and if necessary curfews. Banning of alcohol on all forms of transport to matches, including police inspections of supporters buses prior to departure.

    7 - Playing matches behind closed doors.

    8 - Ban on live TV / radio coverage of matches involving the Old Firm. Only the result to be reported afterwards. People might actually start supporting their local football teams instead.

    Forcing the media to tone down its sometimes hysterical football coverage, especially where the Old Firm are involved.

    9 - Docking the teams points / disqualification from cup tournaments / withdrawing from European competitions and imposing heavy fines (millions of pounds) if their players / staff / fans are guilty of violent conduct.

    10 - Make Celtic play some matches in a blue change strip and Rangers play some matches in a green change strip. They are only colours after all.

    11 - If all else fails disband both clubs and force them to form a Glasgow Utd club.

    Before jumping over the suggestions above, I do admit some of them seem pretty draconian, and in an ideal world none of them would be necessary. I make no apology if some of these might make for a very sterile atmosphere at Celtic / Rangers matches. But it has reached the point where, if these 2clubs between themselves cannot (or will not) come to a position where they and their fans can behave responsibly then they need to have such measures put in place until they can.

    The rest of Scottish football and Scottish society always has to suffer the consequences of the Old Firm, and I really have to say I find one side equally as bad as the other.

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  • 112. At 01:37am on 09 Mar 2011, Attila The Cat wrote:

    I was in Benidorm recently, and saw a few Scottish bars proudly proclaiming their allegiance to one club or the other, and equally proudly displaying slogans perpetuating their bigoted bile. It's bad enough that that sort of poisonous nonsense hasn't been buried in the bogs where it belongs. It's even worse when it gets dredged up at football matches, but when the morons from both sides go exporting it to other countries it has gone beyond lunacy and out the other side. For all the talk about ridding the game of that crap, nothing's been done, and it won't be until the SFA grow a pair and ban both clubs until they can control their so-caled fans.

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  • 113. At 01:43am on 09 Mar 2011, ady wrote:

    Mr Salmond should be aware that he may get us tims voting for him on local issues, I particularly like his stance on the council tax, labour are just too greedy- too hungry for our money.
    However in an independence vote situation us minions of the pope, including those of us who couldn't give two hoots about religion(ie. me) would turn out en-masse to register a no vote purely on the basis of ensuring our own personal survival.

    Better the devil you know(English rule) than the devil you don't.

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  • 114. At 04:45am on 09 Mar 2011, Glen Haig wrote:

    Religion in schools needs to be sorted out. I went to a non-denominational high school where it was assumed that every pupil was a budding protestant christian. Our religious education classes were taught by devout christians in a sort of "this is how other faiths do it, but obviously it's wrong and we are right" sort of fashion. If that sort of thing doesn't foster division and tribalism, i don't know what does. Perhaps a secular state eduction system where all children are taught together regardless of the religious beliefs of their parents would be better?

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  • 115. At 06:17am on 09 Mar 2011, Wansanshoo wrote:

    108. At 01:05am on 09 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:


    “Religion should be a choice and not forced upon people. That is why people who choose to send their children to faith schools should have a choice either way.”
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Choice…..?What choice does a five year old have when asked to follow the supernatural or burn in Hell for his sins?

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  • 116. At 06:21am on 09 Mar 2011, gedguy2 wrote:

    Why do we have religious bigotry in this [UK] country; because it is state sponsored. One of the reasons that bigotry is not a crime in the UK is because the royal family and the government itself would fall foul of this law. So why are those [anti-Catholic] laws in place? Never mind the history bit which gives you the reasons why these laws have come about let's concentrate on what is happening now.
    What are the Orange Lodge all about? Fundamentally they are protesting/protecting the UK's right to be a protestant country. I suspect that they have a hatred of the Catholics because they don't want to be ruled from Rome. I was born a Catholic [which is why I am now an atheist] and I don't want to be ruled by Rome either, but, then again, I don't want to be ruled by London either [but that's politics]. Even in their own country the Church of England is becoming a minority religion due to the amount of Polish people who have settled in our country. Could this be why the Archbishop of Canterbury has made nice noises about the Papal visit in the past but this is due to the fear that the Church of England has over the amount of clergy who are switching horses and joining the Roman Catholic Church because of their dislike of women clergy [sex discrimination anyone?].
    The way to negate the bigotry in the Orange Lodge is to agree with them that none of us wish to be ruled by Rome be they supporters of any religions. I'm sure if more Catholics came out and agreed with the 'Lodge' on this matter then I am sure that the reason for their existence will wane in time.
    To the Catholics I would say that you may have the same sort of feelings as the Orange Lodge. Do you want to be ruled from Jerusalem? Do you want to be ruled by Mecca? Etcetera. The answer is no because the thought of Jews, Buddhists, Shintoists or Muslims running this country would be an anathema to us yet you allow the 'Lodge' the 'excuse' to be in existence. Let us not forget that the largest land owner in the world is the RC Church, one of the largest investors in business in the world is the RC Church. Like all established religions it is more of a corporate business than a religious movement.
    To the Orange Lodge; grow up! Your puerile attitude to your fellow man is, just because he has a slightly different Christian service than the one that you hold to, causing unrest and disquiet in this country of ours. I have met plenty of Catholics in my time and I have never met one who wants Rome to rule our country; live with it.
    As to the other posters who have recommended withdrawing state funds for sectarian schools; I agree with them. A child is a child first; not a Protestant, Catholic, Muslim or Jew. If their parents want their children to be educated out-with the state system then let them pay for that.

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  • 117. At 06:26am on 09 Mar 2011, Crookson wrote:

    Unfortunately no matter how hard the government,police and both clubs try to resolve this problem,it will always be part of our society, I experience religious bigotry every day,the only hope is that as responsible parents we encourage our children to look beyond the green and blue tinted glasses

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  • 118. At 07:37am on 09 Mar 2011, soosider wrote:

    It is perhaps of note that this is one of the busiest BWB blogs in some time, now that tells us something, I am just not completely sure what. Does it indicate that "football" and in particular the "old firm" have too central a role in Scotland, strange how when discussing one the matter of "sectarianism" and "bigotry" cannot be separated from them.
    These matters are a multi tentacled thing, to my mind the "old firm" allow a platform for this sort of bile, they may now protest their innocence but they have allowed and indeed encouraged this for generations. Listening to the news on the matter I was especially struck by one of the spokesmen saying that what else could the clubs do, in effect trying to wash their hands of it. I tell you what they can do, they can use their CCTV cameras to identify those signing bigoted songs and ban them, given that both grounds are almost exclusively season ticket holders this is not such a hard task, will they do it? no they will twist and turn but end up doing nothing.

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  • 119. At 08:04am on 09 Mar 2011, Wansanshoo wrote:

    Christoper Hitchens wrote:

    “There are four irreducible objections to religious faith: that it wholly misrepresents the origins of man and the cosmos, that because of this original error it manages to combine the maximum of servility with the maximum of solipsism, that it is both the result and the cause of dangerous sexual repression, and that it is ultimately grounded on wish-thinking.”



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  • 120. At 08:50am on 09 Mar 2011, bingowings87 wrote:

    How disappointing to hear the OF clubs get away with "its not our problem but we'll do whatever we can to help". There are 40 other senior clubs in Scotland and by & large they (players officials & fans) can conduct themselves in a way that does not devastate the societies they are a part of.

    I really feel for those people scarred for life after an OF game, the many partners who take a leathering when the "wrong" team loses. Make no mistake this IS an OF problem, they provide (and in my opinion encourage)an environment where bigotry & intolerance can thrive, they must not be let off the hook. I fear this is no more than a talking shop and once the dust has settled, it will be business as usual.

    If any other business operating in Scotland caused such violent collateral damage to society, would they not be shut down??? What is so special about the Old Firm????

    I would also like to add that as a non-Catholic I am very happy to have my children attend a Catholic High School. Why? For no other reason than it is a good school. Schools should not take the blame for the values handed down to the kids by their parents.

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  • 121. At 08:53am on 09 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    #109
    Irish people are very welcome in Scotland, and very nice they are too. Why would Rangers fans mock the Irish Famine, as many of their own descendents also suffered during that terrible time. I think you may be getting confused again with another satirical song sung by many fans from a few years ago.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Really Barry, lets look at what you sing. Its called the Famine Song and can be searched on the net. You can hear it regularly at games involving your club.


    "T often wonder where they would have been
    If we hadn't have taken them in
    Fed them and washed them
    Thousands in Glasgow alone
    From Ireland they came
    Brought us nothing but trouble and shame
    Well the famine is over
    Why don't they go home?"

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    What lovely people Barry. How can you defend this as you did in your last post? Presumably you might want to sing the same to people in the next African famine in places like Ethiopia or Sudan.

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  • 122. At 09:23am on 09 Mar 2011, ady wrote:

    Bigotry is a tribal survival issue, it's built into our genes.

    While this particular issue is a Scottish one the corridors of power in England are no different, they simply have different criteria.

    Try and spot a coloured person in the hallowed halls of Westminster, they are virtually non existent within the Tory Labour and Liberal party.
    Westminster passes lots of laws on race equality but Westminster itself is over 99% white folks.
    Cabinets are even more cringingly biased and if you take a peek at the background of the current cabinet over 90% come from Oxford or Cambridge.
    Our own politicians preach multiculturalism and practice blatant tribalism.

    Humans are hard wired for tribalism, it's a system which has worked for millions of years and all the political pontificating or race laws in the world won't make a jot of difference.

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  • 123. At 09:29am on 09 Mar 2011, Spacemuppet75 wrote:

    121
    What lovely people Barry. How can you defend this as you did in your last post?

    Oh dear Rob, I'm surprised you missed his point, it's only satirical so that makes it all right apparently!!!!

    The likes of the poster Barry are what's really wrong with the society we live in and the bigots in particular, they genuinly don't believe they are in the wrong with their bigotry and I don't limit this to Rangers fans either, I'm a Celtic fan and I cringe when my fellow fans say we don't sing sectarian songs then next minute belt out a song which contains the lyric "sad orange b" like I said in an earlier post both sides should get their own house in order before attempting to take the moral high ground, however I certainly won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen!!!

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  • 124. At 09:40am on 09 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    #123

    Agreed. I should have asked which part was satirical!

    And you are also right to say that both sides need to get their own house in order along the lines suggested by #118

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  • 125. At 09:41am on 09 Mar 2011, barry ferguson wrote:

    # 124 Rob 04

    The Famine Song, purporting to mock the Irish Famine, like the Hitler Diaries, was a media created myth and was never heard at any Rangers games, unless you can prove otherwise. ? There was, however, a two line satirical chant mocking those Celtic supporters with no Irish ancestry whatsoever yet who bizarrely constantly weep for " ould Ireland ". That this football banter so struck a nerve with these identity-crisen individuals said more about their failure to recognise satire than anything else. Like most Scots, we are baffled that if certain Celtic supporters hate Scotland so much, as they obviously do when they openly celebrate the deaths of Scottish soldiers in Afghanistan or desecrate Remembrance Sunday, why would they wish to live in Scotland ? No-one is asking the Irish to leave Scotland or would ever dream of doing so.

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  • 126. At 10:08am on 09 Mar 2011, Longandtall wrote:

    This IS a Glasgow problem its not a Scotland problem - but it is costing everyone in Scotland a lot of money. It presents a terrible image of Scotland damaging our economy its even bad business for the Old Firm - what sponsor would want their brand to be associated with bigotry ignorance and yobbery. I resent the government spending £500k of taxpayers money this cash should come from the clubs their fans and their players.

    This has to come to a stop right now fine the clubs deduct points and make them play behind closed doors - hard working people are sick to death of this.

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  • 127. At 10:33am on 09 Mar 2011, paul Hunter wrote:

    I don't see the BBC closing this topic down anytime soon...divide and conquer. And just like lemminmgs we're throwing ourselves off the cliff.
    WAKE UP PEOPLE OF SCOTLAND!

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  • 128. At 10:35am on 09 Mar 2011, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    When I was involved in an election in the Motherwell South constituency in 1986 "somebody " (ie another political party)had told a section of the population that the SNP had a policy to repatriate those of Irish descent to Ireland and that SNP policy was to stop Child Allowance after the second child.
    Can you guess who made this stuff up?

    I have no idea why two previous posts of mine are still under wraps. Probably because they are true.

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  • 129. At 10:39am on 09 Mar 2011, Dave McEwan Hill wrote:

    I assume, as this issue tends to divide us and undermine our self confidence by showing us at our worst, it has been allowed to run, unlike all the other recent topics on BWB which were nipped off as soon as a degree of anti-unionist unanimity became apparent.

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  • 130. At 10:40am on 09 Mar 2011, X_Sticks wrote:

    I despair of a Scotland where so many come out of the woodwork when the discussion is about football and sectarianism. Where are all you lot while westminster is trying (quite successfully) to stitch Scotland up politically?
    We have the extremely damaging Scotland Bill being imposed on us by the unionist westminster parties and few seem to care, but just the merest mention of rangers or celtic and the masses suddenly sit up, take notice, and participate. If you all cared as much about Scotland as about your football teams then you'd be out on the streets protesting about the emasculation of our Parliament. You are a sad lot, and maybe not worth the effort.
    NO TO THE SCOTLAND BILL

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  • 131. At 10:42am on 09 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    It didn't just strike a nerve among 'identity crisen' individuals (whoever they are) Barry that is just nonsense. The song is officially recognised by the authorities as 'racist' and people have been arrested for singing it Barry. Its not satirical. It wasn't media-inspired. No one believes that and no one in the media made it up. There is no conspiracy.

    Racism is still racism irrespective of whether people find it satirical or not. Are football fans generally that sophisticated that they a piece of satire in there to make it more intrinsically interesting?

    Who is 'we' in 'we are baffled'?

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  • 132. At 11:01am on 09 Mar 2011, Graham wrote:

    I find it difficult to understand why the media, Scottish politicians and certain posters here think that the national flag of Great Britain and Northern Ireland should be banned from Rangers games. This is the flag of our country. There are many saltires in the crowd at Ibrox but I do not see any at Parkhead only Palestinian, Basque and Irish tricolours.

    If anyone from outside the west coast wants to know if a "minority" of the Celtic support consider themselves Irish then let them go to certain well known Celtic bars in Glasgow during international football nights. See which game is on the TV, it will not be Scotland.

    I am not asking them to consider themselves British, as everyone knows that the potato famine was caused by "British" imperialists, but we can atleast expect them to consider themselves Scottish.

    Incidentally we also had a potato famine in the North of Scotland but we don't write morbid, dreadful songs about it.

    Are we now going to see another influx of our "friends" from "the old country" now that their "Celtic Tiger" economy has collapsed? Are we going to have to listen to more dirges about leaving Ireland for the Great Satan or even worse UK?

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  • 133. At 11:06am on 09 Mar 2011, bingowings87 wrote:

    #129 sneckedagain,

    Maybe its because unlike most of the other blogs, there is a diversity of opinion on this one that makes it more interesting and more people willing to speak up.

    But don't worry, you'll all get your chance to give the Union a good kicking soon ......

    #130 X sticks,

    You have a point, but all it shows is that outside the Nationalist bubble, most people don't give 2 hoots about the Constitutional future. Just because they don't attach the same fervour to it that you have doesn't make them a "sad lot".

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  • 134. At 11:30am on 09 Mar 2011, AyeRightNaw wrote:

    I'm a bit sick of this - especially after watching those three holy wullies on Newsnight. The police, particularly through Les Gray, are exploiting this whole episode in order to promote their campaign against cuts to their budgets. This is all about money, isn't it always?

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  • 135. At 11:37am on 09 Mar 2011, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #132 Graham
    "I find it difficult to understand why the media, Scottish politicians and certain posters here think that the national flag of Great Britain and Northern Ireland should be banned from Rangers games. This is the flag of our country."

    Whatever the union flag is, it is not a national flag.

    It began as a suggestion by James VI & I shortly after the union of the crowns, and was staunchly disavowed by both his national parliaments for the best part of a century, as a knavish attempt to combine two national flags, increasing to three after the formal annexation of Ireland. Use of the word country is always problematic within the UK, but arguably technically correct if by country you mean "member state of the UN".

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  • 136. At 11:40am on 09 Mar 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:


    There has to be a connection with the fact that Glasgow is a predominantly Labour supporting area. As #8 PeeJay says it's an area that suffers from:

    2. An alcohol-fuelled culture, incapable of having any occasion without a bar being included.
    3. A complete lack of aspiration and inspiration among a section of the people of Scotland.
    4. A lack of any real prospects for said group of people.

    These are all the inevitable consequences of 13 years of Labour rule at Westminster and of course a Labour led local govt setup.

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  • 137. At 11:44am on 09 Mar 2011, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #133 bingowings87
    "You have a point, but all it shows is that outside the Nationalist bubble, most people don't give 2 hoots about the Constitutional future."

    You have a point, but all it shows is how ill-served the people of Scotland are by the main-stream media in failing so direly to inform people about the Constitutional future Westminster has in store for them.

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  • 138. At 11:49am on 09 Mar 2011, Diabloandco wrote:

    Just another stick with which to beat Scots and Scotland.
    Lovely report Beeb going back to 1966 ( not even a mention of the world cup) just look at these awful Scots supporters.
    Now ,I notice from various teeny ,weeny reports that certain English fans have out and ouit street wars before ,during and after matches , but we don't cover that do we?
    I watched the " incident" on the news and believe the response to be well out of proportion to the event.
    Personally not a fan of the beautiful game , give me individual sport any day,then I can cheer on any and every nationality when they do their best.
    More motorcycling would be magic , more tennis ,more horse racing ,more running and jumping - anything but this saturation of cretinous FOOTBALL.

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  • 139. At 11:59am on 09 Mar 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #137

    Not just the Constitutional future but the economic one as well.

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  • 140. At 12:00pm on 09 Mar 2011, pabroon74 wrote:

    Wow!

    Just think, if this level of critical analyis was applied to things like, say, the Scotland Bill; it would get chucked out faster an old firm game flaring up.

    Also, on this topic, there are some really, really long posts which I admit I didn't read, does it not say something about our priorities?

    And finally, for any one reading from outside Scotland (and I suppose within too.) There is far more to Scotland than 22 men dressed in green and blue kicking a football about, we have scenery, whisky, other sport and all sorts of other things like castles and good pubs (sans big screen TV's showing football) decent food and very many friendly people not otherwised engaged in sectarian confrontational discourse.

    This whole debate is NOT representative of the Greater Scotland, but hey; Strathclyde Police have got their cash and the media have got a hysterical story to screech about for the next few days.

    Call me cynical but it seems to me that the main aim here, possibly instigated by Strathclyde Police is readily demonstrated by 'Ady's' comment (post number 113): "Better the devil you know(English rule) than the devil you don't."

    Quite sad and not overly brave and given a provably union-favouring press has helped bring you to that conclusion; its also deliciously ironic.



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  • 141. At 12:17pm on 09 Mar 2011, ady wrote:

    As far as "laws" banning sectarianism are concerned:

    All this will do is drive the problem underground, sectarianism is an endemic issue built into the fabric of Scotland.
    Will the banning of sectarianism include no more Orange Walks and no more Catholic Schools? I think not.

    Sectarianism is certainly tolerable within the framework of the UK.

    An Independent Scotland is simply too scary a prospect for 20% of the population.
    There's still far too much hate anger and contempt to even consider taking this risk, a vote for independence would be a gamble into the unknown with your entire family and your future life riding on an outcome based entirely on the religion you were born into.

    ...alternatively you could stick with the status quo.

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  • 142. At 12:25pm on 09 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    #136

    But he never mentioned Glasgow though. Only you did!

    I would agree with his point that there is rarely an occasion in Scotland you attend without a bar being included. Politicians must know this better than most. Alcohol abuse is Scotland-wide and the figures on early mortality and related violence are shocking. As a nation you'll know that we lead the way in Western Europe in this 'shame' and have done for quite some time.

    Funny how various parties can suddenly and quite magically agree on how tackle something at a football match but not on how to control consumption of this drug.

    If you had also said that they should have given minimum pricing a go (with the added caveat on tackling alcohol sales at Supermarkets) I would also have agreed with you on that.

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  • 143. At 12:26pm on 09 Mar 2011, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #139 Wee-Scamp
    "Not just the Constitutional future but the economic one as well."

    Fair comment, but with attention spans seemingly lower than usual on this thread I didn't want to complicate my response.

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  • 144. At 12:52pm on 09 Mar 2011, ady wrote:

    The only example of die-hard Protestants being given free rein to rule over a large Catholic minority is Northern Ireland, not exactly the poster child for a utopia of future social harmony.

    Sorry Alex. History and reality have conspired against you on this one.

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  • 145. At 12:58pm on 09 Mar 2011, pabroon74 wrote:

    141. At 12:17pm on 09 Mar 2011, ady wrote:

    I agree with your first two paragraphs but not with your final three. Why would what little sectarianism there is (its not even endemic in the country) be intolerable outside the union? The idea that sectarianism is an argument against independance is daft, its hardly even pertinent and if it was, we'd deal with it at a local level. Unless of course you think we need a non-representative, geographically remote parliament deciding whats best for us? I can't quite understand why would be better.

    The status quo to which you refer is deeply, deeply unfair on Scotland, its hard to believe anyone with an ounce of common sense can't see that. I don't even want independance per se, I support it because its the only way Scotland and the people who live within its borders will ever get an equitable share of its own resources.

    Including football fans & players of all flavours.

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  • 146. At 12:58pm on 09 Mar 2011, bingowings87 wrote:

    #137 # 143 Barbazenzero,

    Congratulations, you've managed the 3 home bankers out of the Nationalist Book of Excuses;

    - it's all nasty Westminsters fault
    - the wicked Unionist media are deceiving the people
    - who by the way are too thick to understand anyway

    Why not use some of that money that the nice Mr Souter is going to give you, to get your message across? I'd bet my mortgage that the SNP campaign will be the best funded of the lot come election time.

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  • 147. At 1:05pm on 09 Mar 2011, Graeme Wilson wrote:

    I can't understand why a summit has been called. If I behave in a disorderly way, the FM will not invite me to a summit, the Police will arrest me and so it should be with the fans, players and management of Celtic and Rangers FC. The law should be enforced, around the ground, inside the ground and on the pitch. The law should not stop at the turnstile or the touchline. Already they are making excuses, and saying that they behaved badly because of "provocation" from the other lot. They need to grow up,accept responsibility for their actions, and face the consequences when they do not. Their behaviour has been a disgrace to the nation.

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  • 148. At 1:20pm on 09 Mar 2011, Wee-Scamp wrote:

    #146

    It's not the Nationalist Book of Excuses. The SNP don't need any excuses. What you're describing are facts and it's good that you recognise them as such even though you do it in a Graylike sneering manner which is of course mandatory for those that don't actually have an alternative acceptable and logical argument.

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  • 149. At 1:24pm on 09 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    115. Wansanshoo
    "Choice…..?What choice does a five year old have when asked to follow the supernatural or burn in Hell for his sins?"

    What if a five year old decided that it wanted to go on the street and earn some money. Through prostitution let's say. Is that a choice a five year old should make? No it is not. It is up to the parent of a child to decide the choices of their child, until the child becomes mature enough to make it's own decisions. That's a silly argument!!!


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  • 150. At 1:34pm on 09 Mar 2011, Barbazenzero wrote:

    #146 bingowings87
    "Congratulations, you've managed the 3 home bankers out of the Nationalist Book of Excuses;

    - it's all nasty Westminsters fault
    - the wicked Unionist media are deceiving the people
    - who by the way are too thick to understand anyway
    "

    And congratulations yourself for proving my point about low attention spans. If you'd read many of my posts you'd know that I am an old, un-merged, Liberal home ruler, not to be confused with Clegg's L-Ds who have transmogrified themselves into Chamberlain-like apostates from Liberalism.

    Although I am most unlikely ever to become a card-carrying member of the SNP, I would plead guilty to being a fellow-traveller.

    I in no sense regard the Scottish public as "too thick to understand", but I do comprehend that many have little time for politics and have low attention spans in relation to it. It is in that respect that I think they are ill-served by the MSM in failing to draw the attention of the public to the many flaws [or, to say the least, controversies] in the Calman minus being pushed though in the Scotland Bill.

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  • 151. At 1:35pm on 09 Mar 2011, reincarnation wrote:

    144. ady
    "The only example of die-hard Protestants being given free rein to rule over a large Catholic minority is Northern Ireland"

    Your knowledge of History is woefully deficient. There are many examples of exactly that since the Reformation. Equally there are many examples of die-hard Catholics being given free reign to rule over a large Protestant minority.

    Equally there are many examples in human societies of other groups based on imagined "differences" such as race, class, language or, indeed, sectarian divisions within other religions, dominating not just minorities but majorities of the population.

    All of which is very interesting, but has absolutely nothing to do with modern Scottish society.

    In the 2005 census of church attendance, a total of 215,000 Catholics attending church, compared with 228,700 attending the various Presbyterian churches.

    Less than 10% of Scots attend any church. While the majority of Scots do have a vague affiliation to a church based on family tradition, there is absolutely no evidence in any political grouping in Scotland of any "die-hard" Protestant group having dominance.

    Your wish to remain politically united with the one part of the UK that is dominated by a Protestant sect, to the extent that its leaders are automatically part of the UK legislature suggests that your knowledge of politics may be similar to your knowledge of history.

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  • 152. At 1:38pm on 09 Mar 2011, reincarnation wrote:

    149. DisgustedinDERRY
    "What if a five year old decided that it wanted to go on the street and earn some money. Through prostitution let's say. Is that a choice a five year old should make? "

    Councillor O'Rourke might even agree with you. He'd suggest that the age of 9 is much more appropriate.

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  • 153. At 1:51pm on 09 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 154. At 2:04pm on 09 Mar 2011, pedrokelly wrote:

    Post 13 before the first mention of Catholic schools!!

    We are told it is a west of Scotland problem, we are told that it is the fault of Catholic schools, yet are there no Catholic schools in places such as Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness?

    Racism exists in this country, yet white/black/Asian kids have been attending the same schools for years. Therefore if sending all kids to the same schools will get rid of sectarianism, why has it not worked ridding the country of racism. Could it be that it has nothing to do with the schools, more to do with the home?

    So it would seem if it isn't the fault of the Northern Irish Catholic manager of Celtic, Neil Lennon, it is all the fault of Catholic schools.

    The truth is for many in this country, including some contributers on here, it will always be the fault of all us uppity Catholics, wanting things such as jobs and education. As they sing why don't we just all go home!

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  • 155. At 2:17pm on 09 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    109. barry ferguson
    "Aaah, the other hoary old myth of RC's being banned from The Throne"

    The exclusion of any person, or group of people, based on religion, skin colour, or even gender is wrong. The 'symbiotic' relationship creates division; just like you argue that separate faith schools create division. You are playing dodge the question and playing it badly!!!

    No head of state should have such a place in religious orders. Indeed one religious order in particular. That goes for all shades of the Christian faith. Religion should be a choice and not forced upon people. That is why people who choose to send their children to faith schools should have a choice either way!!!

    " That must be anti-Buddhist discrimination by The Vatican, right ?...Why would a RC wish to join the Protestant Orange Order"

    So silly. Why would a Buddhist want to be Pope if that's the case? Why would a non Catholic want to go to a Catholic school? Why would a non Muslim want to go to a Muslim school? You are turning your own argument on its ass!!!

    " You're also confusing any supposed anti-Irish racism in Scotland with rightful opposition to support for Irish terrorism, which any normal person would subscribe to"

    And when Celtic fans don't want a poppy on a Celtic shirt, it is because of British army collusion and terrorism in Ireland and beyond. Any normal person would subscribe to that would they not???


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  • 156. At 2:20pm on 09 Mar 2011, Graham wrote:

    154. At 2:04pm on 09 Mar 2011, pedrokelly wrote:
    Post 13 before the first mention of Catholic schools!!

    We are told it is a west of Scotland problem, we are told that it is the fault of Catholic schools, yet are there no Catholic schools in places such as Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness?

    Racism exists in this country, yet white/black/Asian kids have been attending the same schools for years. Therefore if sending all kids to the same schools will get rid of sectarianism, why has it not worked ridding the country of racism. Could it be that it has nothing to do with the schools, more to do with the home?

    So it would seem if it isn't the fault of the Northern Irish Catholic manager of Celtic, Neil Lennon, it is all the fault of Catholic schools.

    The truth is for many in this country, including some contributers on here, it will always be the fault of all us uppity Catholics, wanting things such as jobs and education. As they sing why don't we just all go home!

    -----------------------

    Slight difference Pedro is that the north probably have our own indegenous catholics and not Irish catholics or catholics that wish they were Irish.

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  • 157. At 2:22pm on 09 Mar 2011, Wansanshoo wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 158. At 2:34pm on 09 Mar 2011, DisgustedinDERRY wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 159. At 2:47pm on 09 Mar 2011, Rob04 wrote:

    #156

    Slight difference Pedro is that the north probably have our own indegenous catholics and not Irish catholics or catholics that wish they were Irish.
    ----------------

    Are some more welcome in Scotland than others?

    What is an indigenous Catholic?

    Are you a member of some identity militia?

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  • 160. At 2:55pm on 09 Mar 2011, reincarnation wrote:

    158. DisgustedinDERRY
    "I'm sure if children go to a state school, the same Christian teachings are taught, by someone of a Christian faith???"

    In Scotland, both Catholic and non-denominational schools are state schools. The 1918 Act was a particularly sensible solution in the context of the time, when schools (as with most institutions in society) were instruments used to prosyletise the Catholic population.

    Other than in the Catholic sector, there is no requirement that RE teachers be Christians. Indeed I know of a number of atheists/agnostics, as well as a Hindu who teach RE.

    Within the non-denominational sector, Christian beliefs are taught, but so are the beliefs of other faiths. There is a significant problem, however, with the religious assemblies that the Tories required. By and large, these are Presbyterian services.

    Research that I did in a very deprived West of Scotland authority with a long history of religious division, showed that the choice of Primary school was frequently made on the basis of geography or school reputation. The majority of parents, while having a vague concept of religion, were quite happy for their children to go to any school, regardless of what particular type of religious ethos was involved.

    Many posting on here are in retirement, and memories may be based on schooling as it might have been in the 60s and 70s.

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