I have never hidden my admiration for Peter Gabriel. Genesis during his tenure in the band were one of the most innovative progressive rock bands of their time. They became a bland chart-chasing band after his departure. It was an odious sell-out. Gabriel as a solo artist did not shirk when he tackled the serious issues: Apartheid (Biko), Vivisection (Shock The Monkey) and Unemployment (Don’t Give Up).
His body of work includes Jeux Sans Frontières. Some of his lyrics are instructive:
William builds a bonfire, Eugene plays with it
It’s a knockout
If looks could kill, they probably will
In games without frontiers-war without tears
Dressing up in costumes, playing silly games
Hiding out in tree-tops shouting out rude names
Fellow Gabriel fans will note that I substituted Adolf with William and Enrico with Eugene. Referring to one of the celebrants of Protestant Ascendancy as Adolf is akin to drawing comparisons to the ‘Up To Our Knees in Fenian Blood‘ male voice choir with a klan. The patron saint of blogging, Phil Macgiollabhain, was recently taken to task on the SFM for his use of this particular term. The underlying message from some eloquent commentators was that he was a part of the Sectarian problem; not its solution. He left the site in a fit of pique.
It’s not the first time that Mr. Macgiollabhain has been taken to task on his more strident perspectives. When some of his oeuvre was sent to the individuals behind ‘Show Racism The Red Card’ they moved quickly to distance themselves from the Donegal based blogger. His work includes ‘The Incubator’ which I have reproduced in full:
Professor Struth had waited a long time for this day.
“They laughed at me in the institute. Laughed at me. AT ME!!!!!”
Now it was time and soon the world would know their folly in underestimating his genius.
He had, ahem, acquired the sperm of a criminally insane murderer doing a life sentence.
His decision to use a ten thousand pound gorilla as mother was inspired.
Struth was convinced that these two were close enough to breed and he was correct.
Once impregnated it just sat in the corner and didn’t say much, but he was always aware of its presence.
He was betrayed by a colleague and the ethics council had rescinded his licence to work in the field of genetics.
And they said he was mad!
However, it wouldn’t have worked without the new type of incubator.
That was the key in all of this.
It was a cultural womb.
That was his breakthrough discovery.
Dodgy DNA just wasn’t going to make what he imagined.
The carefully selected genetics weren’t enough to fashion this creature.
The music of Ulster flute bands was piped into the sealed unit.
He knew this could cause hearing damage, but it wasn’t in his plan that this creature would do much listening anyway.
Contained within this artificial womb he would nurture his baby Billy Boy.
Struth pumped in a unique food supply comprised of cheap lager and liquidised burgers.
Growth would be rapid due to the infusion of more steroids than in the Loyalist wings at Long Kesh.
It was important that no intellectual distraction or moral dilemma be allowed to contaminate the controlled environment.
The creature would come ready made with a series of responses that would appear inexplicable to ordinary humans.
The thing was shown images of Catholics Schools, Priests, Celtic, but most of all NEIL LENNON!
Each time an electric shock would be administered.
Concepts like tolerance, pluralism, and a benevolent curiosity in other people and other cultures would be anathema to this creation.
He knew his creature would be perfect.
This one was a prototype, but it could be programmed to hate any ethnic minority they just had to change the toxic mix in the incubator.
Soon he would have a modern production facility capable of churning out thousands of them.
Once cloned his beast could be exported to any regime that wanted to inflict chaos on a neighbour.
This was a truly horrible weapons system.
Sending several thousands of these hybrids into a city would paralyse it for days.
Suddenly and without warning policemen would be attacked for no discernible reason and normal riot control methods wouldn’t work.
Rubber bullets would simply be lost in the rolls of blubber.
The creature had been designed to have wrists so fat that they would be too thick for a regulation police handcuffs.
Even police dogs would contract diseases if they got their teeth into them.
The creature was also a platform for chemical warfare.
It had urine that was so toxic that when deployed in public places, like war memorials, it could spoil an entire city.
Struth had a contact in the Spanish interior ministry who wanted to stage a riot control exercise and use the system in Barcelona.
The professor was convinced that when it came to asymmetrical warfare his creature would have no equal.
The illiterate, drunken, urinating brain dead rioter would define urban combat in the 21st century.
In the age of the smart bomb his creature would now allow a commander to deploy weapons grade stupidity onto the modern battle space.
The thing had a microchip inserted into the back of its thick neck.
This meant that a rudimentary message could be sent at the same time to thousands of them
The communication could not be complex, but basic information could be processed.
This allowed many of them to be deployed using simple commands from one person of only average intelligence.
It was perfect!
The Hybrid Unique Networked System would make Struth famous.
Once this creature would be seen in action then the contracts and the orders would roll in.
It was now time, because if he left it in there any longer then the creature would be too big to get out of the incubator.
Using a block and tackle on the roof he pulled on the rope.
The plastic womb was tipped over, the bin bags were split open and sludge ran out all over the garage floor.
The huge creature was revealed to the world and it rolled out and rolled and rolled.
It was only stopped by the garage wall and it started to stumble to its feet.
Agility and grace was not part of the design specification of Struth’s creature.
The huge hulking abomination then stumbled towards the professor.
It opened its large mouth and the smell hit the scientist like a slap.
Struth stared and trembled slightly in awe of what he had created.
Finally it spoke:
“We are the people!”
Shock The Monkey comes to mind. A pedant could argue that the use of a number of exclamation marks does not add emphasis but other than this obvious flaw no-one could argue that it’s not well written.
Many of us have met a close relative to Professor Struth’s creation. Some of their ilk wish to assassinate your humble correspondent. That being said one would not add it as an appendix to one’s resume if one was applying for a position with an inclusive pluralistic charity such as Show Racism The Red Card.
I probably should not cut anyone any slack who described your most humble blogging servant as ‘Heroically in exile.’ There is nothing heroic about saving my parents lives. However in the interests of balance I should point out his work with Amnesty International apropos depression and his own struggles with this ailment. It was courageous. His detractors of whom there are many use his ailment against him. They dismiss him as ‘Ill Phil.’
Mr. Macgiollabhain and I concur on more topics than he would probably care to admit. There are those that suggest we work together for the greater good; that we pool resources to rail against Sectarianism. He was brought up not far from where I was raised. We have both borne first hand witness to the bigotry that has been inextricably woven into the cultural fabric of The West of Scotland.
It has been my long-held conviction that the bigotry at Ibrox, which I refer to as The Sectarian Speakeasy, is so ubiquitous that it’s now an intrinsic part of the match-day experience:
“Here’s your macaroon, spearmint chewing gum and Protestest Ascendancy.”
Those of a WATP mindset were once described as 90 minute bigots by one of their apologists; none other than ‘Papal Smoke Gets In Your Eyes‘ Donald Findlay. However the bigots who assailed Scott Sinclair at Glasgow Airport’s BA Lounge were not engaging in extra time. These individuals, many of whom are from the DUP, fly in for an opportunity to denigrate the Irish n****** ( tip of my hat to PMGB who coined the term) in the south of their divided island and those whose antecedents fled to the West Of Scotland as their very lives depended on it.
Ibrox is a citadel of Hatred. Sectarianism is its common currency.
When Rangers imploded in a financial cesspool of their own making, Charles Green fashioned their distressed assets into a new club and set out on a journey. Forty thousand individuals turned out as Rangers Lite played against teams followed by one man and a one-eyed dog. Were they attracted by the football or the opportunity to chant vile anti Irish/ Catholic epithets? I could make a compelling case for the latter.
So what if anything is being done about it? A piece by Chris McLaughlin of BBC Scotland – whom is banned at Ibrox for reporting the truth – cuts to the bone of the problem:
Scottish Football accused of sweeping sectarianism under carpet.
Celtic and Rangers fans have been accused of sectarianism in the past
Scottish football is not doing enough to tackle sectarianism, according to some of those employed by the league to help identify it.
A number of current and former match delegates have told BBC Scotland of their dismay at reporting the problem only for no action to be taken.
“It was so frustrating,” said one.
“And I know that some of the delegates who are still working today are absolutely appalled that nothing has changed.”
The former delegate continued: “It seems like the Scottish Professional Football League is content to sweep the issue under the carpet.”
The SPFL says it condemns any incidents of unacceptable behaviour and works closely with the police and government in a bid to tackle the issue.
The complaints come as the Scottish Parliament prepares to repeal legislation set up to fight what was once described by a sitting First Minister as Scotland’s secret shame.
The SPFL employs delegates to help enforce league rules during matches and identifying sectarian singing is part of that brief.
But, under the current rules, if clubs can prove they have taken all reasonable steps to prevent such behaviour, they will escape any sanctions.
“We had numerous meetings with the police, who told us which songs to look out for, but it was pointless because when we reported them, nothing was ever done,” said the former match delegate.
BBC Scotland has also learned that delegates have reported at least four clubs to league bosses this season alone for fans singing offensive or sectarian songs.
MSP James Dornan has been a vocal supporter of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, which is expected to be repealed after a final debate in Holyrood.
He believes football’s governing bodies need to be held to account properly if things are going to change.
“I would like to say I’m shocked by this, but I’m not in the slightest,” he said. “The footballing authorities have proven that they are not willing to take it on.”
‘This is Scottish football’s dirty secret’
The Scottish Government has asked for the SPFL’s figures relating to sectarianism to be made public, but so far the league body has resisted.
“Secrecy is the way that they run their business,” said Dornan.
“I’ve seen them in action in committees in parliament and they seem to think we have no right to question them and they believe secrecy is the way to hold power.
“This is Scottish football’s dirty secret and it’s time Scottish football stepped up to the plate.”
A report last year suggested 81% of Scottish fans believed sectarianism is an issue for the game
In 2007, league bosses said they were getting tough on the issue and announced a sliding scale of sanctions, including financial penalties, point deductions or even closure of stadia.
Those sanctions are no longer in play and clubs have always resisted a European model of strict liability.
Under those rules, clubs are held accountable for all unacceptable conduct within their own stadium.
BBC Scotland asked the SPFL to answer specific questions regarding sectarianism and offensive behaviour, including a request for figures relating to this season.
The governing body declined but released a statement saying: “In January 2017, SPFL clubs voted to approve updated guidance that encourages clubs to develop proactive programmes and make progress towards raising awareness of the prevention and, where present, the elimination of unacceptable conduct in stadia in which matches take place.
“At the start of this season, following agreement with the Scottish Government, we started to collate and share information with both the Scottish Government and Police Scotland regarding incidents of unacceptable conduct at SPFL matches at regular intervals throughout the season.
“The SPFL condemns any incident of unacceptable conduct and our collaboration with the Scottish Government and Police Scotland demonstrates the SPFL’s ongoing efforts to work with key stakeholders and help Scottish football address effectively any instances of unacceptable conduct at SPFL matches identified and reported by SPFL match delegates and Police Scotland.”
Neil Doncaster, who has climbed the SFA’s greasy pole from his former position on the Professional Game Board to the corrupt cabal of eight who are entrusted with policing the game, does not need an MBa to know that the Ibrox brand of bigotry sells. Where else can you wade in Fenian blood and refer to Celtic supporters as ‘paedophile cunts‘ and get away with it? You cannot get away with it several miles away at Glasgow Airport so why is Ibrox immune?
Doncaster has always been an apologist for Continuation. His new appointment at the SFA, who bend over backwards to promote a strong Rangers (in any guise) is a marriage made in Five Way Heaven.
McLaughlin is sufficiently cute to include Celtic in his article, but apart from some idiot hanging an effigy in the Jock Stein Stand and some distasteful banners in the section of Celtic Park which formerly played host to The Green Brigade, incidents are few and far between. The occasional flashes of sectarian rhetoric are more often than not retaliatory. The allocation of a safe standing area dedicated to The Green Brigade was a smart move by the Celtic Board. When The Green Brigade step out of line, as they did with a green flare display at the last home game of another winning season, the board banned them and closed down their safe standing area for two home games.
This pro-active action will never be emulated at Ibrox. The recidivism is so widespread, the bigotry so deeply inculcated, that one would have to close the entire ground.
‘The War without tears’ at Ibrox is an easy sell for Doncaster. The blue pound currency of hatred is legal tender at the SFA and SPFL.