“Scotland might surprise you”

“Scotland might surprise you” –  according to the Scottish Tourist Board promotional advert. It would certainly surprise you, had you flown into any of our country’s airports and been greeted by the billboard which welcomed visitors with the claim  “Scotland – probably the best small country in the world”

Because any visitor would be more than surprised at the manifestation of hatred towards one of Scotland’s oldest and most respected institutions – Rangers Football Club. Furthermore temporary guests to our shores would be even more surprised to learn that this outward pouring of hatred, venom, poison and bile, often from behind the safety of a keyboard, was neither condemned nor challenged by Scotland “moral guardians of society” – the press.

But the surprises will just keep on coming for our visitors. They will learn of the journalist who saw fit to support Scotland’s Hate Crime Bill


and yet, surprisingly,  described the festering festival of hatred conducted by a hate-filled mob against Rangers FC as follows : “A voracious, voluble, impassioned type of democracy has won the day.” Scotland may surprise you with her shameless levels of hypocrisy.

And such visitors would be right to ask what kind of “democracy” is Scotland where football authorities usurp the fundamental presumption of innocence, who seek to impose draconian and excessive punishments on the untried, and who ignore the rulings of Scotland’s courts to inflict unlawful transfer embargos on the aforementioned Rangers FC. Small wonder then that “Scotland might surprise you”

And they would be surprised by the lack of contrition shown by those who declared the innocent “guilty” before trial, yet were subsequently vindicated of the allegations against them. They would be even more surprised that the guilty have gone unpunished, remain in their respective posts and still weave their web of chaos with regard to our national game.

But they wont be surprised that the hate filled mob reneged on their promises to sell out Saturdays or support their own clubs. For this was never about devotion but hatred motivated by petty jealousy and bigotry, among other things. Scotland’s visitors will be further surprised to learn the only tale of devotion was that shown by the supporters of Rangers FC, despite their club being castigated to the lowest tier of Scottish football.

Perhaps what would surprise them most however, is that this country, so capable of such unbridled and unchallenged hatred, and which is more than willing to turn a blind eye to injustice against her own, has aspirations of self-governance.

It would not surprise me if our departing visitors were to commit an act of graffiti on that billboard as they leave our shores…

“Scotland – probably the best small-minded country in the world”