There was an interesting footnote to the article covering the Ruth Davidson homophobic abuse on Twitter earlier this week when in a subsequent interview Ms Davidson intimated:
“A significant proportion of the abuse I receive is homophobic, and I make a point of calling out a selection of such tweets every few weeks. It’s not OK. People don’t have to just sit there and take it. You are allowed to challenge it.”
It would not only be refreshing, but considerably re-assuring to many bears, if the new regime at Ibrox were to adopt a similar strategy in tackling those hacks who see our club, not so much as a “succulent lamb” but more of a sacrificial lamb in terms of reporting. Sadly, as has become the norm these days, there are a number of instances our board could utilise to fire warning shots across the bow and lay down a significant marker for the future.
It would be completely remiss of me to call the Chris Graham debacle anything but a witch hunt. Motivated by a desire for personal revenge, the full weight of BBC Scotland’s publicly funded media machine was utilised to satisfy one journalist’s petted lip in respect of Chris Graham, as James Cook extracted eye for an eye type vengeance. A gloating Gerry McCulloch revealed the true nature of the driving force behind this story.
I may not be a mathematician but I can work out this simple equation – take a tweet which has been in the public domain for several months attracting zero interest then add the author of that tweet taking a position on the Rangers board, multiply it by a BBC Scotland reporter harbouring a personal grudge with a public broadcasting organisation at his immediate disposal, and you arrive at your answer.
The only question I have left is will this kind of behaviour be on James Cook’s CV when he applies for that “American gig” he covets so much? (Yes James, you would be surprised at just what some of us know).
Then we have the Daily Record’s Mark McGivern running with a negative Ranger’s story, whilst unbeknown to him, it was all part of a ruse to expose how certain newspapers are prepared to run stories damaging to the club, without even checking the veracity of the allegations they are making.
Not only is this a hook, line and sinker moment in term of amusement, it also underlines the need which exists to challenge not only press lies, but to expose the motivation behind such conduct.
In Scottish legal terms, “conduct after the crime” is often used in circumstantial cases to infer the guilt of an accused. I wonder if the Scotsman’s Kenny Farquarhson decision to delete this tweet qualifies as such conduct after the crime.
Not only is it an outrageous allegation, it is of course completely false. Anyone who has heard the Dundee United fans singing about the Derry Boys of the Dundee support will know just how ridiculous Farquarhson’s slur is on our support.
While Rangers fan groups, bloggers and individual supporters will continue to highlight and challenge untruthful and damaging articles in respect of the club, we will never be able to carry the authority of a rebuke from within the club itself.
There is nothing dignified whatsoever in a silence which allows our club to be the target of the lazy, the malicious or the vengeful elements of our press. And whilst we appreciate the new regime has pressing matters to deal with, we will not wait forever for that shot across the bows of the press.
“That is the story of the Rangers. They have had good times and bad times, critical times and times of exultation. No club with the same modest origin can claim so distinguished a record of achievement. They were not born in the lap of luxury. They have been the architects of their own fortune, and, simply because of that, they have become equipped with the moral resistive force to grapple with adversity, which is better than being coddled in the cradle and whining when the wind blows cold. May all who look upon the old club with a friendly eye stand prepared, by precept and example, to protect its interests and its good name.”