Know thy enemy

The sirens started to sound at the first of several references to Rangers supporters as “the Ibrox klan”. The author makes no attempt to disguise his hatred for Rangers, stating at one stage “please let this football club die”. And yet he yearns to be taken seriously as a journalist, repeatedly complaining that no-one from the mainstream media ever calls him. As the tale unravels, Mac Giolla Bhain starts to disappear up his own rear, declaring: “I am aware of my own contribution and I rather like the guy I see in the shaving mirror every morning.” These are two classic mistakes: believing you are the story, and wanting a story to be true. When it’s not.

Scotsman Book Review – Best Scottish Sports Reads 2012.

Like many others, I have no intention of entering the online battles which seems to afflict us at times as a support, however our status as despairing and passive observers should not prevent us from challenging some of the collateral damage which occurs from time to time during such exchanges. With considerable reticence, no small measure of reluctance and a considerable tinge of disappointment, I find I have to avert my focus from our club’s real enemies, to a thought process which requires challenging.

Today’s RSL article “For the avoidance of doubt” has been the subject of considerable discussion and conjecture, in fact not only the article itself but also the comments section. Yet it’s a train of thought from the original article itself which I would respectfully suggest should give all of us considerable cause for concern.

Bill McMurdo writes:

I personally have no issue with Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. He is what he is. If it wasn’t him, it would be somebody else. He has his job to do attacking Rangers and we have our job to do defending the club. The best way to deal with Phil is to ignore him. Even where he gets facts right, it is his “add-on” that is designed to poison. Even where he gets facts right, it is his “add-on” that is designed to poison. This is demonstrably seen in the King/Ashley meeting.

Funnily enough Bill we know what he is – he, by his own admission hates our club and wants it to die, and the opening quotation in this chapter, written by someone outside the Rangers community, demonstrates this. What I didn’t realise is however that “He has a job to do attacking Rangers and we have our job to do defending the club.” He has a job to do? One could be forgiven for thinking we were describing something here akin to gainful employment. Furthermore I don’t think it’s the job of Rangers supporters to be constantly defending the club from unwarranted, unjustified attacks from those who hate her. Hating our club and wanting it to die is not an “add on”.

What should concerns us most about the above paragraph however is that it gives an almost sense of normality, perhaps even legitimacy, to Mac Giolla Bhain’s constant attacks upon our club. There is not only a playing down of Mac Giolla Bhain’s history and conduct over the years, but an almost frightening rationalising of it as normal behaviour which is part of a wider bonafide job remit.

Nothing could be further from the truth and we should never, ever lose sight of that. For our club’s sake.