“I wish for you all, each of you, to have your own motive for indignation. This is precious. When something outrages you as I was outraged by Nazism, then people become militant, strong, and involved.” (Stephane Hessel)
Much has been made of the comments at the Celtic AGM, particularly the jibes by an SFA board member, who, in his dual role, also officiates over certain matters at Celtic FC. If such comments were seen as an attempt to play to the gallery, Chairman Ian Bankier’s comment that there was “a tremendous romance attached to the club” were perhaps an attempt to detract from a far greater romantic screenplay which is developing over the other side of the city.
For this developing screenplay has all the ingredients to be a box office sell out, and in fact, already has sold out time and time again. Furthermore its ability to capture the imagination and attention of those beyond these shores shows no sign of abating. It can neither be stopped nor controlled because it’s driving force, the Rangers support, will forever be beyond the reach and control of even multi-roled individuals with alarming, and questionable influence. Its a loyalty which cannot be bought, is not and will not be offered for sale, no matter the offer on the table.
It has the twists of trickery, the depravity of deceit, the unedifying behaviour of the unscrupulous. Unbridled hatred is there for all to see as well Machiavellian plots which would do The Prince justice. Intransigence, incompetence and intent to injure, to destroy an institution are laid bare before all. These factors should set the scene for what would be an overwhelming victory, an annihilation, an extermination.
That no such victory was forthcoming is testament to the screenplay’s heroes. Normal men and women whose love for their football club laid to waste the plotters and their schemes. She may have been kicked countless times when she was down, but time and time again the blue legions would pick her up and brace themselves for the next onslaught. Rangers may have been down, battered and bruised, but most certainly not out. And so the march onwards continues. Relentless.
When people speak of the romance of Scottish football they think of the institution which would not die – because her fans would not let it be so. They filled stadiums, broke world records, were the cause of games being postponed. You want romance Mr Bankier ? Look no further than Ibrox.
Forget “defiance” or even vengeance. The bad news for all the cowards who swung the boot whilst we were down is that it is something much worse than either defiance or vengeance.
It will pursue the plotters, the schemers, and the incompetent. The level of hatred and lack of mercy displayed by many, I can assure you, will be duly reciprocated. And then some. Agencies and individuals cannot hide forever behind anonymity, excuses of “whistleblowing” and “sporting integrity”.
In the near future a criminal enquiry will reach it’s conclusion and the long arm of the law will finally get to grips with some of the plotters. The time for Government Agencies hiding behind the excuse of “ongoing criminal enquiries” will be over. If some of them think that Police Scotland are the extent of their worries, then they would be well advised to think again. The failings are already within the public domain and no amount of retrospective action will remedy them.
All we are really waiting for is to see the extent and the scope of the Police Scotland enquiry. We will be reviewing such an enquiry through eyes filled with righteous indignation – and only the full extent of the application of the law will satisfy.
Rangers are indeed coming, on a tidal wind of righteous indignation, perhaps many in Scotland would do well to brace themselves.