The Fifth Estate

As far as I can ascertain, Bella Caledonia, is an on-line journal that promotes Scottish independence. The leaked ‘Top Secret’ document, that was written by John Swinney for the SNP hierarchy, lifted the lid on the economic case behind independence. It was obvious that the capital flight would have led to the demise of the financial services sectors in Edinburgh and Glasgow with the permanent loss of up to 200,000 jobs. Oil, which Mr Swinney proposed would offset this PAYE, NI and Corporation Tax deficit, was pegged at north of $113 per barrel. It’s now less than $30. North Sea Oil and Gas are not booming, they are in decline. The proposed Expro activity of a shelf west of The Shetlands is no longer commercially viable. With a deficit of £7b and less individuals to tax, the end result would have been a catastrophe. Those who voted for independence were primarily drawn from the sinecures of public service. Scotland would have had to go cap in hand to The World Bank to educate our children. Very few things leave a more bitter taste in my mouth than the bully boys of the SNP. Their stupidity took my breath away.

James Doleman has been published on Bella Caledonia. His tweets from courts in London and Edinburgh have kept readers of this site abreast of developments. I commend those who crowd funded Mr Doleman. His politics and the football team he supports are of no relevance to me. He is one of the finest journalists we have in Scotland. He is independent. He does not have to bend to the will of the current incumbents of the Rangers boardroom.

Miss Haggerty was sacked less than a week after penning a column about the abuse she has experienced as a journalist, much of which has come from fans of Rangers Football Club following her work editing a book about the financial collapse at Ibrox. In that column, she detailed how groups connected to Rangers had tried to get her sacked from positions she has held since editing Downfall. One of her persecutors was imprisoned for six months.

Within days of Miss Haggerty’s aricle being published in The Sunday Herald, she was fired. She was also informed that she was prohibited from writing for any Newsquest title. This edict precludes Miss Haggerty from being commissioned by, or working for, 300 titles in the UK. Newsquest is the third largest UK publisher of regional and national newspapers.


Her tweet of solidarity with Graham Spiers, who was under a deluge of on-line abuse, was a response to a colleague in her trade being subjected to the hatred that she has experienced first hand. Magnus Llewellin informed her by telephone of his rationale for her dismissal. He stated that “representatives of Rangers Football Club” had brought her tweets to the attention of the Herald. The paper was under so much legal pressure that he felt he had no option but to let her go. He also informed her that Neil MacKay, editor of the Sunday Herald, had fought her corner to stop it happening, but in the end he was overruled. Mr Llewellin is the editor-in-chief of a group of titles getting set to make yet another round of editorial cuts amid an increasingly difficult financial environment for newspapers.


Who were these representatives of Rangers Football Club? We are aware that one of them is a director at the club. Is it possible that Je Suis Graham, the notorious Islamaphobe, ‘redeemed’ himself with a successful petition to The Herald Group after his spectacular failure at The Belfast Telegraph? This would not surprise readers of this site. In The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie, the two ‘angels’ that were reputed to be envoys of God to Muhammad, are cast as venal stowaways on a British Airways flight to Heathrow Airport. The offence is obvious. The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr is a quote attributed to Muhammad. There is nothing sacred about the ink at The Herald Group.


Mr Llewellin’s decision was significant. The notion that the Herald can provide coverage “without fear or favour” has been called into question. The Herald threw two journalists under the bus and that decision will have consequences both in terms of reader trust and what vested interests now think they may be able to get away with.


Will anyone read the copy of Jack, Lindsay and Williams and accept it as objective reportage, or will their journalism be dismissed as a sop to the vested interests of Rangers Football Club? Chris Union Jack will not be affected by Mr Llewellin’s decision. He is effectively running a Rangers fanzine at The Evening Times. Most fanzines include editorials that question the ambition of the board at the club they follow. Mr Jack’s fanzine does not ask questions. He slavishly reproduces the positive spin of Je Suis Graham and Level 5. We expect more of the same from Mr Jack. He is a shoe-in for the ‘Hans Christian Andersen’ award for pro King copy


However Mr Lindsay and Mr Williams consider themselves as serious journalists, despite the “Engine-room Subsidiary” gaffe of the latter. Will either criticize the dearth of signings by Mark Warburton, and his failure to buy Allan, Diagouraga and O’Halloran? Or will they rhapsodise on the loan signing of King, whose last minute goal effectively secured automatic promotion for Rangers? I anticipate the latter.


Those who criticize the ruling junta at Rangers will be gagged more effectively than Ashley’s interdicts. We have now reverted to the era where James Traynor sent his copy to SDM and Craig Whyte for approval. We can but hope that Bella Caledonia, one of the standard bearers of the fifth estate, continues to flourish as Mr Llewellin expedites the demise of the fourth estate.



59 thoughts on “The Fifth Estate”

  1. I see that since the petition disappeared for a while the link I supply takes the visitor to a page that no longer has a “Sign Petition” option.
    I have created a ticket with and will let everyone know as soon as I have an answer.
    Strangely though it seems signature are still being added.

  2. Vision for today, the Warbs feet on desk enjoying a glass of Red Wine, from South Africa of course, mulling over a very successful Transfer Window for The Rangers. He has achieved all that was expected from his Chairman, selling some of his super star players for mega bucks as required in the last Company Accounts to help balance the books, getting in 2 or 3 quality players to set up the drive towards Europe next season, job well done.
    The Chairman flew in especially to thank him for his sterling efforts and to tell him that his £500,000 bonus on being promoted to the top league had been ring fenced with his legal fees so not to worry about the stories of dire financial problems being aired on those offence Blogs, all is well after all The Rangers financial position is the envy of all other top world football clubs.

  3. OK, I have worked out the answer as to why people do not see the “Sign Petition” option on the change,org link.
    If the computer that is being used has already been used to sign the petition then the option is removed. Obviously a cookie has been left to prevent multiple votes by the same person.
    Having tried the links on a number of virtual machines I find that ever one allows me to sign on the first attempt.

    1. JJ,
      I’m sure as Rangers men the result today at Hampden park would bring some light chuckles, but thought indiscipline at the end should have been red card. Celebrations by R County were obviously……..well maybe different rules applied by officiating team. It’s only banter.

      1. I thought Ross County’s victory was well deserved. I also thought that the referee had a good game. The correct decision to send off Ambrose was a game changer. I rarely watch CFC but if Ambrose is regarded as good enough to play for them, they must be a very poor team. Given that he is suspended for the game at Aberdeen, it might work to CFC’s advantage, but I expect the home side to prevail on that showing.

  4. John

    Found this quote attributed to Oscar Wilde

    “In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.”

  5. Mm a mixed bag this post can’t disagree about the oil prices as for the banks don’t believe they would have bailed out and anyway why would you want an economy based on just financial services surely we need to get a more diverse economy with manufacturing having a place in it instead of just buying and selling commodities which caused the last crash as for the rest I take from that that the newspaper business is doomed and the future is online sites and blogs

  6. “In the last quarter century, at least 2,297 journalists and media staff have been killed for doing nothing more than trying to inform the world on war, revolution, crime and corruption. And killers continue to act with impunity, the International Federation of Journalists announced in a new report.”

    How poignant compared to the Herald’s recent actions.

  7. JJ, I notice you assume promottion is in the bag after beating Falkirk. Certainly agree in footballing terms – but are you ruling out an administration event? The obvious candidate is a vindictive Ashley via Rangers Retail – just for a laugh.

  8. JJ

    I have never been a petitioner or boycotter, so will not be signing or joining up to the petition that seems to merit lots of inches here now. Some things fly over my head, some things do not interest me and some things I just don’t get, it doesn’t mean I don’t care, I care very much about a lot of things and in many different ways. Not sure if I agree with a lot that’s said here at times, things sometimes get attached to ‘the Rangers problem’ that have no direct bearing on events past or present, guilt by association is a very dangerous thing and can compound and cloud even the simplest of issues…..blockades, boycotts and the like rarely work. Actions are the only things that work, so if people feel so compelled they should vote with their arses, hard currency is the only thing that counts in todays world, so if you feel offended by things…..stay away, keep you money and let your clubs know why you are now withholding your season ticket money. Anyone can hide behind an invisible petition, no one can hide from an empty seat…

    Having not followed events or really understanding much of what has gone on around certain journalists, some I have always respected and some I would never even pass the time of day with, but again that’s all a matter of taste and where they make their mark in life. Now I am not kicking anyone here but the BBC reporter in question has a history of, highlighting and using his position to highlight things that are only highlighted for one reason, to cause controversy and to spotlight me, myself and I and to discredit someone….and that dates back to pre Whyte days. In Scotland you can never hide where your allegiances lie when it comes to Glasgow and football, there is no chance. So while it may not be wrong for the BBC to send a reporter to cover things at Ibrox, perhaps their choices around who may have been better, or at least mixed them around. Tthere was a lot of bad news going around Ibrox at certain times, there still is i guess, but the last thing anyone wanted to see was someone gloating while emphasising with snide little digs and comments based on their own slant, sorry that’s not journalism, that’s abusing your power and role, journalists report, they are not there to gloat or cause controversy through their ideals….so I have no real issues with him being asked not to attend any Ibrox press engagements, the BBC have lots more jurno’s they could send….but that’s another matter.

    Haggerty, I know nothing about and really don’t want to. I have never read her, or her fellow bloggers pieces as they are of no interest to me what so ever. Call it blinkered, call it anything you want, but from what I remember reading about her work on various blogs, there was always an undercurrent in her writing that appealed only to audiences out with my sphere….so again, I can’t and wont be roped into defending her when I really don’t understand or want to understand what she writes about, whatever she writes will not be on my reading list for the foreseeable future.

    Graham Spiers is another matter completely. Mr Spiers has been a very reputable and respected reporter on all things football for more years than the other two put together. He has always reported in a very neutral and fair manner, yes he was a Rangers fan, but I can never remember that getting in his way or blinding his judgement while doing his job….REPORTING. You see Graham Spiers is a real reporter, not agenda driven or driven by hatred or prejudice. This is what reporting is all about, telling the story how it is, not how you want it to be or what may sell papers best. I have always respected what he has said and respected his opinions on things, not because he was a Rangers fan, god he was better at criticising Rangers than anyone, but his criticisms always had merit and substance, which is why I am a bit bemused about what has blown up the past few days. I find it hard to understand that such a measured man would put his name to something if he didn’t have proof or something to substantiate it. What I also find difficult to take in is that the Herald, after taking legal advice, found themselves in the position they are in. We, and many in here, stand by the law and the rights of people….but only when it seems to suit our agenda’s or interests. I have said, and many have agreed with me that the law of the land has done us NO favours and seems to me to be a bit unjust, especially allowing certain people into certain positions at our club, so should we assume that the law was going to be a bit unfair toward the journalists in question also? That doesn’t sound great for the law of the land does it, or, as some have said, is there simply a furore here because it involves Rangers? Someone is right. Is it the editors of the Herald and their lawyers? Is it the journalists? Or is it the law of the land? They cant all be right and they sure as hell cant all be wrong.

    On the SNP and their…..’pie in the sky politics’, I agree with you JJ 100%. I have never seen or heard so much spin and lies emanate from people in power in all my life. The SNP are to politics as the boards of Rangers are to football clubs. I remember their predictions when the Indie Ref was announced and I remember well their pledges and promises and I remember well how they told lies all the way through. On the Oil issues you mention, I remember well how their disgusting tactics and their republican ideologies almost destroyed Scotland. In the early debates they were praising honourable and honest Scots supporting them, none of them actually living in the UK if I remember correctly, and our super successful businessmen and women. There then came a point when two individuals, Michelle Mone and Sir Ian Wood came out and told the truth, not what they were spinning. Sir Ian Wood, who has forgotten more about North Sea Oil than anyone else in the country, if not the world, had the audacity to say,” wait, hold on, I never actually said that and I don’t think this or that will happen and if it does then this will have to happen first”. The republican’s response was to try and ridicule and make one of our most successful businessmen look foolish with their republican tactics of sweep and deflect….they never ever did actually answer questions about the economy in any way shape or form….they only gave out powder puff, pie in the sky statements.

    Who has been proved right on that one then? Let me see, Sir Ian Wood said oil was slowly in decline and even at best we could never hope to achieve the targets they said we would be hitting and he also predicted a drop in oil prices, while hi predictions were not as low as it is now, a significant reduction on the countries economy, which was based on oil prices of $116 per barrel. Where would Scotland be today if the referendum had gone the other way? Who would be funding the £500m investment promised by the UK Gov in the NE of Scotland to help until things pick up again? There would be huge tax rises required and there would be mass exodus of companies and workforce at such moves…..the brazen SNP are not so cocky at present are they? Considering they have already been given greater fiscal policy last year, isn’t it a bit strange they are not using it after all the hullabaloo to get these? There are very few things to be eternally grateful for at present but the defeat of the republican SNP in the Referendum stands high…..people should not forget their promises and when times are not really great, like now, they should be asking them questions and demanding answers…..Scotland is and always will be a very proud nation, and that very proud nation is doing very well as part of a 4 country alliance called the UK.

    GSTQ….now and always.

    1. Thank you Gordo for your excellent point by point response. Graham Spiers is an excellent journalist. Miss Haggerty is not in the same league, but as she was quick to offer her insights I gave her more prominence in this article than she probably deserves. The SNP remind me of King. Lie after lie in the hope of taking power. We dodged a bullet with the SNP but King’s lies prevailed at Ibrox. The good news is that I identified three games that would define our season. We won the first of these yesterday as I correctly predicted. I calculated that four points from the nine on offer would be enough to clinch the automatic promotion place on goal difference, or should Hibs not beat Falkirk, the three points yesterday will be enough.

      1. Miss Haggerty is not in the same ‘league’ as Mr Spiers, is that a fact? Or just your opinion? Metaphorically Mr Speirs couldn’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag. So you gave her “more prominence than she probably deserved”, so the threats to rape and to kill her from Scotlands underbelly and the fact a RIFC supporter received a prison sentence because of his harassment and bigoted beliefs, just like you and your buddy are showing right here and now. Wow just wow. So it’s Miss Haggertys fault that she dared choose journalism as a career option, when ‘WE’ all know that there is ‘NO’ career in the Scottish press when you are a Catholic Celtic supporter. As for politics, me and my family jumped on our bikes in 1983 to the south coast, it could have been Jupiter given the comparisons between there and Scotland. Politics is best left to the ‘young’ were you still believe you can make a difference, because when you become a ‘man’ and realize there are ulterior motives working against bringing peace on Earth, your faith in humanity is gone forever. As for ‘lobbyists’ they should be sent to Siberia. I for one can say, not one of my taxed pounds has ever been spent on killing innocent Muslims and I sleep easy in the knowledge of that. All the best.

      2. Take a step back and consider which of these two journalists will be most missed at The Herald. Will it be Miss Haggerty with her one article, or Graham Spiers who has won the Sports Journalist of The Year award on four occasions? I am on record as stating that Miss Haggerty has been treated appallingly for the ‘heinous’ crime of editing a book. If you missed this then I suggest you have developed selective myopia. Are you sure you’re not confusing Joan of Arc with Miss Haggerty, or are they interchangeable in your addled perspective?

      3. Thanks JJ

        I agree about our positon and the crucial league games that will define our fate this season. Falkirk are a decent side and by all accounts should have came away from Ibrox with at least a point. Football sometimes isn’t fair and you really do have to nail your chances when they come along.

        While I agree, we should win the league, it may well be a rather tighter affair than it needs to be. If we get a couple of long term injuries and a suspension or two we are so thin on quality that it won’t be a forgone conclusion that we do go on and win the league. This season is even MORE critical for Rangers to get automatic promotion and to show we are moving forward and will be competitive next season. The lack of any players coming in the door is a worry, its a very big worry as on past performances we seem to simply stumble and stutter over the line. God forbid, if we don’t get promotion automatically, what will our CCC come out with and who will be blamed!!!!

        The lack of both finances to buy and the inability to attract players is a bit worrying, not too many years ago if a player wasn’t valued at 7 figures he wasn’t up to much….we are now delighted with ex fisherman and journeymen who are struggling at their parent clubs or loaners. But our ever upbeat legend of a pundit is always up to speed with things…so his latest piece in the ‘Star Wars Gazette’ (ET) is thus …. “The idea that Mark Warburton might quit Rangers in the summer if he isn’t given more money to spend is nonsense,” the former Scotland international wrote in The Glasgow Evening Times.

        “I have never heard as much tosh in all my life. Mark knows fine well what his job is at Rangers and what the budgets are that the board have set out.”

        There you go JJ….you heard it hear first, DJ likes the cut of Warbs jib and knows everything there is to know about what they were promised versus what has been delivered to them

        I never knew the result today until I read one of the guys remarks earlier. Coming from up that way myself, I am absolutely delighted for Ross County today. They are a model club with a fantastic chairman at the helm, working and running on tight budgets but living within their means. Even when they were in the Highland League they were always a fantastically run club who had a great youth system and some top notch coaches, so a huge well done to them along with Hibs who showed US the way to play against Premier League opposition yesterday. Not that long ago we were humbled and humiliated by the Perth men, so well done to Alan Stubbs men for proving that there really isn’t the massive difference in class between average Prem and top of the Champ teams. It will be a fantastic occasion for both sides and although delighted for them both, I am really sad that despite all the money wasted over the last few years, we didn’t even come close to achieving it. My glass will be full and I will watch the final with slightly dark blue tinted spex.


  9. JJ… a thoroughly commendable broadside at the tragic machinations of a once credible and widely read Glasgow Herald.
    However, based on the Income tax returns I have submitted on behalf of clients this last week, I thought that I had the blagging rights to the ‘Hans Christian Andersen’ tag…at least my efforts were creative, and certainly not malicious or devious as experienced at Herald Towers…

  10. Magnificent boost for Scottish football as Ross County make the final with a tremendous display. Hope for the Scottish game yet.

  11. I was brought up with The Glasgow Herald and stuck with its truncated successor even while living in P&J country (another great paper that has gone to the dogs, but that’s another story)
    I observed the decline in quality of the Herald but this full, and final (?), loss of integrity has left me heartbroken.
    I wonder what the late Arnold Kemp would make of his former paper’s demise.

  12. Delighted for Ross County today. I always am when the underdog wins. Before this game started, I had a sneaking suspicion that a Celtic player would get sent off due to the amount of space
    Hampden affords and their defence – with or without Ambrose – always seems very poor. Deila is not a good manager so County always had a great chance.

    Admittedly, I genuinely believed that Gordon would be sent off again. On the whole, I thought the referee was poor, let’s face it, they all are pretty abysmal.

    May I just add that Hampden’s pitch is as much of a national embarrassment as the SFA. What else would we expect?

    Spiers and Heggarty? Thought about it quite a lot over the past few days. Spiers has been unjustly treated. Heggarty, I honestly believe given her stance and previous article on Rangers’ ‘fans’, had no option but to back him. That, however, does not make her sacking correct. Make no mistake, I view JJ as a true supporter not those who Heggarty attacks and, indeed, attacked her.

    A very sad time for the Scottish press as it pursues its final flushes down the toilet, where it belongs. Harsh maybe, but I’ reflecting on ‘Jackass & Union Jackass’ and those butt-wiping rags they represent.

    Thanks again to Ross County – Armageddon averted for another year!

    I am now in something of a quandary – who to support in the final? Although a division below, can Hibs be considered underdogs? I mean, their budget must override any claim to be so?

    Thoughts JJ?

    1. If the Hampden surface is as poor as it was today, I would favour the more physical Ross County, who are accustomed to playing in mud. A better surface would suit Hibs, who are a better footballing side. As for CFC, a defence of Lustig, Boyata, Tierney and Ambrose must be the worst in the Premiership. I can see Aberdeen taking 4 off them. Gordon and Griffiths have papered over the cracks. There is a distinct possibility they will win nothing this season. I would sack Delia for selecting Ambrose.

      1. LoL, ‘your at it’, no other team in Scotland could afford them, including your own. May I ‘posit’ that you have never actually played Football?

      2. No you may not. I was an S form signing at 13. I have forgotten more about playing football than you will ever know. If you consider Ambrose, Boyata, Tierney and Lustig as competent, then why were your team the laughing stock of Europe this season?

      3. I would be delighted if Celtic won nothing this year. I have to admit that I’m not overly fond of Aberdeen either but I love it when Celtic and Rangers get their just desserts. If only Ross County or Inverness could do it some day that would be priceless! Perhaps Dundee?

        Think I’ve just made up my mind for the Final – County it is!

      4. JJ’s point relating to Lustig, Boyata, Ambrose & Tierney is more than justified in my opinion, Schoosh – whether you like it or not.

        I watch a lot of games – in fact most Scottish games on TV. I watch lower league matches on a weekly basis, week in week out.

        Boyata & Ambrose inclusion within the ‘Scottish Champions’ set up is indefensible. The former cannot pass a ball properly out of defence and the latter is worth a goal a game – at least – to the opposition. Maybe two if we talk about Europe. Add in his unerring ability to be sent off and …

        Tierney is – 18 or 19 years old? – yet, he is virtually their man of the match every game he plays? That speaks for itself. No comment required. No youngster at that age should be able to command a position within such a team. Experience is everything.

        I must admit that, in footballing terms, I believed that Lustig was a super footballer. In fact he was! Sadly, due to injury, or whatever else (Deila?), he is finished. His confidence is shot. No pleasure in saying so, I assure you.

        Deila is incompetent. End of story. Celtic have got exactly what Celtic deserve. Ironically, end of story AGAIN …

  13. The Herald and their executives have battened down the hatches.

    Nothing on the scandal about the two sacked journalists will appear in print.

    Their former colleagues are working under threat of immediate dismissal for expressing an opinion.

    Welcome to Scotland 2016. Be very careful of having an opinion that someone else does not agree with.

    It could cost you your job.

    The Herald and Evening Times are to be commended for their support of the current Ibrox regime. It’s refreshing to have an organisation so fearless that in standing up for their principles of free speech that they are prepared to commit financial and moral suicide.

    Two emails now awaiting a response from Mr McBain………he must be a very busy man trying to save his own neck as his error of judgement is called into question by his employer’s.

    1. Every member of staff is concerned about their future as their circulation plummets. I can envisage the Sunday Herald being closed down as it never has been relevant and is even less so now.

  14. schoosh71

    “the threats to rape and to kill her from Scotlands underbelly and the fact a RIFC supporter received a prison sentence because of his harassment and bigoted beliefs, just like you and your buddy are showing right here and now.”

    So you think I am a bigot and condone such things….and that JJ and myself are in some way the same as those who perpetrated such things? Tarring everyone with the same brush is bigoted ….having an opinion or lack of opinion is called freedom of speech….something we very kindly get on this site.

    I resent your comments and I actually think you have contributed more to any divide in that one post than anyone else who contributes here. I will not condone or support someone I know nothing about and will not criticise anyone for having an opinion….but I will not stand by and let you blatantly suggest I support such actions and their perpetrators….. I am NOT a bigot, I am a fan, I am NOT a thug, I have an opinion….perhaps you should re read your post and do Herald or take the other option……


    1. Alfie,
      I agree with JJ. His assessment on yesterdays semi final v R County accurate. I would respectfully add that CFC are in a situation where the £ shop manager and indeed some players are only performing to their limited ability and that is not of an exceptionaly high standard. Truth be told, teams in SPFL would struggle over a season in the English Conference league. Incidentally I did play football albeit English fourth division as it was at that time.

    2. Broad brush approach in evidence in this discussion ,I’m afraid . Celtic ‘s first choice centre half,right back and ,currently, reserve left back are all proven,successful internationalists.Their current first choice left back is ,undoubtedly , a future Scottish internationalist..all things being equal . The defensive unit is so bad that ,even allowing for the impact of injuries prohibiting the consistent selection the manager would favour , they have lost less goals than their competitors in the league. The,admitted ,poor European performances have been learned from and another internationalist has just been signed. A one of cup game can always be a great leveller.I would dispute the legitamcay of the sending off…as I would the penalty awarded to Celtic.I regret being forced to bring a defence of my club to this once exceptional forum, but needs must, when so obviously biased observations precede me.

      1. I will call it as I see it. The inescapable fact is that is that CFC are incapable of defending against set pieces. Boyata is not a member of the Belgium squad. Ambrose is not a member of The Nigerian squad and has never represented his country in The African Nations Cup.

  15. There looks to be a lot more heat than light in many of the comments on this particular thread.

    Delia’s faith in Ambrose is inexplicable and there are other weak links in that team but they don’t merit complete dismissal. Tierney is an excellent young player – I’m sure if he was at Ibrox he’d be all over the papers as being worth £20m etc. What age was Derek Johnstone when he broke into the first team? Or Alan Hutton?

    But I suppose a Celtic defeat is the perfect tonic to soften the impact of a transfer window which has been little short of humiliating for the rangers.

    1. IN response to my earlier point you mention Boyata ..I’m not sure why .Ambrose represented his country when they won the Africa Cup of Nations..being selected for the team of the tournament. I also believe he was a playing member of the 2014 World Cup squad as well as the most recent squad for a qualifier in November 2015 ?

  16. Hi JJ – you rightly condemn the Herald for bowing to bully tactics when RFC director(s) threaten to pull their advertising revenue, yet you seem to accept that Scotland was right to have taken account of the threat that the financial services sector would withdraw from Scotland in the event of a Yes vote. Is there a risk of double standards?

    1. It was not a threat. It was a reality. 90% of the capital in Scottish pension funds is held by English policy holders. As part of the UK, there is no concern as to where they are located. In a foreign country that uses a devalued Scottish pound or Euro, there is concern. It was not Project Fear, it was Project Reality. The SNP were forecasting £7.9b in oil taxation revenue next year. The reality is £100m. A £15b deficit, year after year, would have decimated Scotland, which is exactly what the SNP Marxists wanted. The middle class was their enemy. The frenzied foul-mouthed lowest common denominator of Scottish society voted for them. Which of course is not your concern as you are a plastic SNP supporter based in Australia. Of all the deluded Marxists, my favourites are the expats who loved the idea of a social experiment that would not have any impact on them whatsoever.

      1. JJ,
        Some things we don’t agree on, that’s a way of life, but your reply to Salted Popcorn comment, I emphatically agree with. We would all have been in a pitiful situation today if Mr Salmonds childhood fantasy had prevailed.

  17. JJ, I have supported you through thick and thin. I have admired every post you have made. I have, and still to this day and beyond, shall worry about you (in your personal and mental well being).

    I worry about repercussions for you personally.

    Your failure to afford me a right of reply relating to Gordo concerns me, greatly.

    Are you afraid of debate relating to his ’embarrassing’ GSTQ reference?

    A personal e-mail will remain ‘personal’. I doubt you would ever believe that but it makes me wonder why ‘Gordo’ frightens you.

    If. I do not receive an explanation I shall, with deep regret and a massive amount of sorrow, never read another word you write.

    Okay to set yourself up as judge and jury but if you fail to tackle all issues then you are no better than a Herald apologist. I don’t believe, for a second, that you are.

    Irrespective of a reply, or not, I wish you and Gordo well. His references to GSTQ – now and always – show no loyalty. It stinks of supremacist and blind loyalty, the worst of all.

    1. I find your attitude surprising. As you are aware, this site was created with help from the RSL. Have a look at their site and you will find a portrait of the Queen. Visit any Rangers supporters club in the world and I guarantee that you will find a portrait of the Queen. There is nothing supremacist about GSTQ. You seem to be confusing this with WATP which I would not approve on this site. I’m not scared of anyone. There are people whose contributions I value, and others less so. I look forward to Gordo’s comments. If you want to walk away, do so. God Save The Queen will still be here when you’re gone.

  18. I see RST have released a statement decrying the allegation made by Mr Spiers, they say on the one hand that it is lies, ‘yet’ on the other hand, they say that this conversation took place 5 months ago. So we can all agree, thanks to the RST that the conversation took place, now it’s just down to the veracity of Mr Spiers claims and with ‘the balance of probabilities’ I say… Well everybody can make their own mind up. Who needs enemies when you’ve got friend like the RST. Only my opinion.

  19. I left Scotland for Fleet Street in 1981 with a hop, a skip, and a jump to be leaving all that dank, dreary weather and two-way bigotfilth behind.
    My glidepath took me to Switzerland in 1984, and I retired there very comfortably in 2001 at the age of 53.
    One would be forgiven for imagining that distance, the passage of time, and the affluent environment of the ultra neutral Canton et République de Genève would have detoxed the poison I had subconsciously ingested in my youth.
    Not a chance.
    All those demons have re-emerged over the past four or five years.
    Phil’s blog and book have had a lot to do with this, and your site’s spectacular entry has cemented the re-acceptance of my tribal origins.
    I am one of the thousands of relatively aged Celtic supporters who suffered the slings and arrows of the outrageous establishment ‘paranoia’ jibe down through the years.
    Your work is showing the world that the reach of the establishment cabal is much wider and deeper than anyone ever imagined.
    I choose “brave” as your main identifier.

  20. Defence worst in Premierhip? Surely having the least amount of goals conceded of any team in the league would suggest otherwise

    1. This is a reflection of the fact that, for all the criticism received this season, Celtic tend to dominate most games in Scotland hence less time spent defending. A good thing too as Boyata is one of the worst players to grace the position since the days of Mark McNally and Brian O’Neil. He can run fast but looks like he’d struggle to trap the ball if it was made of concrete. Ambrose’s deficiencies are well documented. Lustig is just experiencing a dip in form and Tierney shows promise.

      Celtic seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that any old cast-off from Man City or AN Other EPL top six club will be good enough as witnessed by the link with Patrick Roberts. This ignores the fact that clubs like Man City, Chelsea etc. hoover up dozens of young players each year, most of which haver have any hope of establishing themselves in the first team, simply to ensure they have first option on the odd diamond that may be unearthed. Most are distinctly average. Management seem intent on becoming the Man City B team.

  21. First-time poster, long-time reader.

    I’ll start by going slightly off at a tangent!

    I’ve long been puzzled by the willingness of fans of Rangers to tolerate and make excuses for the current board. When King took over he himself said that it may be necessary to “over-invest” in the playing squad this season to prepare for a “title challenge” the next (no laughing at the back). Thus far there has been minimal investment in the playing squad – small fees were paid out in the summer for players when the season ticket money rolled in – followed closely by a string of, potentially costly, court appearances starring the aforementioned chairman. Unless something dramatic happens in the next 12 hours or so that lack of investment appears destined to continue, at least into the close season. That’s 2 out of 3 transfer windows with minimal investment in the playing squad. With those facts to hand you would expect closer scrutiny to fall on the incumbent board from fans and media alike – King uttered those words, nobody quoted him out of context. The party line from the ostrich loyal appears however to be that the manager is the one calling the shots on transfers and he is more than happy with the squad at his disposal. Of course the current squad is more than capable of gaining promotion and should do so at a canter automatically and not via a messy playoff, however, there is (I believe) a large difference between cuffing the likes of Dumbarton every week and challenging Celtic, Aberdeen and potentially Hearts at the sharp end of the Premiership. Ah but The Magic Hat is an honourable man and he says money is available so that’s the end of it. Has anyone ever asked the question as to whether perhaps His Royal Glibness might be fibbing to the manager to cover for his impecunious state? If this was the current state of affairs at my own club I guarantee the majority of fans would rightly be asking serious questions of the board, just what is it with fans of Rangers?

    Anyway, I digress. Hailing from the north-east as I do, in all my life I have never regarded the Herald as an objective newspaper, at least in regard to its’ football coverage – a clue was in the original name of the title! What the events of the last few days have done is put into sharp relief the extent to which the editorial board of the paper are prepared to bend over to please their paymasters in Govan. It is a craven act of cowardice in the face of equally deplorable intimidation. What gives any club the right to demand that journalists be removed from their posts when reporting their opinions – opinions they are employed to give at that? We are supposed to live in a free society with freedom of the press being a central tenet of that. Vladimir Putin could take lessons from the denizens of Edmiston Drive on how to bully and intimate the press.

    I am growing weary of the whole Rangers saga. New club or old club? Title stripping for cheating or turn the other cheek and put it behind us for the good of the game? Fit and Proper? And now this. Two admirable journalists have been removed from their positions because some people who are affiliated to a football club don’t like what they have to say. Whether you agree with them or not, they have every right to have their say in a free society! It’s all rather unedifying when you consider we were told that Rangers would “sup their medicine” and come back to the top table having made many friends in the lower divisions on the way. When they do inevitably return they will not be welcomed back by many – we certainly have not missed them. Furthermore, I fear when they do return the actual football matches will be a sideshow set against a backdrop of poison, retribution and loathing. We have never had much regard for Rangers where I come from, old or new. This new incarnation is beginning to make the Souness years seem like a Disney movie in comparison.

  22. JJ

    For once there are questions actually being asked by none other than Gary Ralston in our favourite Red Top

    “Billy King makes instant impact at Ibrox but time is running out on Dave King’s January transfer policy”

    ….is the headline and he does pose some things and make people think….but you just need to look at the comments to see what even he, writing in the Red Top is up against…..below is the very first one …….some are blind and others are simply ******


    “Why pay wages and sign fees for players we do not need The current squad is strong enough to win the Championship.
    Warburton can strengthen during the close season and Rangers will have saved a fortune in unnecessary expendtiture during a close season where no income comes in.

    The press attack Rangers for over-spending, then attack Rangers for being prudent.

    The vast majority of Rangers fans are delighted with, our team, our manager, our board, and our progress.


    1. I find the assertion that any organ of the press “attacks” Rangers for anything utterly incredible, yet sadly predictable as there are so many who are so blinkered.

  23. So because u signed s forms at 13, you think you know all about the game? So arrogant. This creeps into your posts every now and then.

    You say you don’t watch celtic yet based on 1 game where Ambrose does an Ambrose, you write off a full celtic back line you claim to have barely watched. Michael Lustig is a tremendous player. If he was less injury prone he’s a superstar and young Tierney is still just that, young and learning. As is Boyata.

    And they’re the strongest back line in the country (even allowing for Ambrose), not the worst.

    Careful of sounding spiteful JJ.

    P’s. .. if you’d like to compare cvs re levels played in the game, you know where I am

  24. Gordo

    A lot of the content in your posts is political and I’ll shall just leave it there, in your post. Comment is not worthwhile on these threads.
    Where I must take issue is your “look the other way” attitude displayed here. This is something that history time and time again shows is a dangerous stance to take. Ignoring the bigger picture of how it affects our society and just looking at the issues that you have with your own club. I think much of the trouble that you have seen, and still are seeing, comes from that very attitude.
    Picking and choosing when to react depending on your selfish wishes encourages others to pass by on the other side of the road when it is you asking for help.

  25. On the SNP, we would all be totally shafted forever right now if we had voted for their insanity.

    Oil was $120 a barrel and they did a forecast confidently on $113. They were advised a nation’s future cannot be planned on oil price. We got down to $27 last week. We were in £7billion deficit as an independent Scotland at $120 a barrel, I posit that today that is closer to $15billion per annum. What do the profligate Councils not get about that?

    65,000 oil workers and dependent jobs are now gone. No tax or NI from them now, they are now on benefits and a burden on remaining taxpayers. 45 independent oil operating companies have gone bust.

    Why is Salmond, Sturgeon and SWINNEY still there when it has all been unmasked as armaggedon lies? When will Scots wake up? They are proven Shysters just like the Shyster Board.

    The leaked Top Secret dossier shows that lucrative banking and financial services in Scotland is a heavily dependent subsidiary of London, which only exists because of London. It cannot be done better without London.

    These figures put an end to independence forever. Forget it. Banking and Financial services will always flight South. That will never change. So independence through this leak is never economically possible. SNP won’t tell voters that knowledge. But there’s no surprise! Twenty big banks and finance houses openly stated they were fleeing south before the referendum.

    Forget about manufacturing. Asians do it better and cheaper. We can’t compete. Banking and financial services, services instead of products and high tech, medical tech is where it’s at.

    The 45% were lunatic foolish people. Thank God we defeated their mad will.

    1. Good God, where to start ? Don’t think I’ll bother. Like those who want something to be true like the continuation believers, if you think independence has gone away because of your seriously uneducated views you are the “lunatic”
      (£1.62 Trillion debt and rising by £5000 per second)suggests no unionist should be dictating economics to anyone.

  26. Taking a theme from Mock The Week.

    Here’s an advert that you are not likely to see in the press anytime soon.

    Glasgow Herald

    Due to recent unforseen circumstances the pre eminent quality newspaper in Scotland has vacancies for two experienced sports journalists.

    In the first instance written applications should be made to:

    Je Suis Graham/ Level 5
    c/o Rangers Football Club
    Edmiston Drive

    As a large volume of applications is expected only those chosen for interview will be contacted within the next 2 weeks.

  27. I was trying to avoid the politics but this is getting silly.

    “The 45% were lunatic foolish people”

    Hey, but the ones that are backing GASL and making threats on Twitter are unionists.

    Perhaps we need your definition of “lunatic”


    “On the SNP, we would all be totally shafted forever right now if we had voted for their insanity.”

    I take you are referring to the plummeting oil price.

    Well for starters had the Yes faction won we would, at this time, still be two or three years from independence and I suggest that you should perhaps wait and see what the oil price is then.
    In fact the low oil price would have skewed the parting settlement in favour of Scotland in negotiations that would have been taking place right now.

    1. Reiver,
      Go rustle some borders livestock.

      Still trying the spiv independence economics on oil price is futile.

      Yes it could go up, but thereafter down again. When we’re notionally independent and £15billion in deficit.

      Scotland requires an economic stand alone model with zero oil factored in to even contemplate independence.

      You conveniently avoided the biggie -flight of banks and finance houses south. How are u gonna spiv talk that to your agenda? When are you going to wake up to independence utter and complete ruination?

      Your SNP Party has clearly leaked this intelligence to mute calls from people like you to keep pushing for independence.

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Bella Caledonia was SNP funded.

      SNP is no longer contemplating independence.
      1. Scots don’t want it. It’s politically unsound. The 45 has dwindled to 25.
      2. Regardless of oil price, ever, due to business flight, Scotland would collapse economically.

  28. Surely Effe Ambrose was calculatedly doing his job as last man? Typical last man bring him down, hoping it wouldn’t be given as a penalty, cause it was looking like a goal.
    He took one for the team.
    The Ross County player was in behind Celtics defence.

    1. Newsroom,
      The Ross County player was in behind Celtics defence simply because typical last man, as you say, was slow in thought and was caught out on wrong side of player resulting in contact and PENALTY. He didn’t take one for the team, he blundered badly as he has done so often. I don’t understand CFC supporters so blinded by the inadequacies of their team. My honest opinion with all respect.

      1. Ambrose didn’t blunder with the contact. It was calculated and deliberate. He took him out.

        He attempted to disguise it as an accident. The Ref saw through it and went straight for red.

        I agree the fault was letting the Ross County guy into the goal scoring position, behind defence, in the first place.

        However, fans must realise it wasn’t a big clumsy daft blunder take down. It was a defender deliberate action. There’s an important perception issue there for fans.

  29. “Lunatic, foolish people” … “lowest common denominator” …

    Having voted “Yes”, I am a little surprised at these descriptions of myself. I guess they could be accurate – in which case thank you for gieing us the giftie – but I hadn’t expected to find them on what I took to be a football blog.

    Meanwhile, parts of the TRFC support have a point. Why buy players you don’t need when you’re in a pretty good position already? Few doubt the cashflow problems at Ibrox, so it would seem to make sense to avoid needless spending.

    The summer window is a different matter, obviously, and I imagine season ticket money will provide a couple of signings of medium quality to placate the fans. Expect a big name at the end of his career. The first season in the top league will be used to consolidate, and not get relegated. This should be within their capabilities.

    Despite the scantily-concealed gleeful wish for the dissolution of this current Rangers by TSFM and the like, it simply won’t happen. To the outside observer, Rangers will increase in strength over the next couple of years. Balanced on a tissue-thin network of chancers’ gambles in the background, perhaps, and the odd establishment helping hand or blind eye – but what does that matter?

    There is very little that the man in the street can do about it. A general boycott of fitba will not work – too many of us lowest common denominator types read the tabloids, and believe the propaganda to be the truth. Not enough are interested, or care to look further than that.

  30. Ambrose was in the Nigerian team which won the African Nations Cup in 2013. Not only that, he was named in the team of the tournament. Go figure.

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