“It means anyone who wasn’t there has no idea of the scale. Phone and periscope clips are there for all to see but they’re a microcosm, and judgment without the big picture is flawed.”
(Gordon Waddell, 29.05.2016)
Mr Waddell is of the opinion that the subsequent Rangers statements following the Cup Final have damaged our credibility even more than Hibs Chairman Rod Petrie’s car crash interview post-match. Perhaps Mr Waddell would do well to heed his own advice and look at not only the bigger picture but also the environment in which it was issued.
The Rangers statement was issued of course after the Petrie interview which itself drew so much condemnation from the press as it sought to down play, even question some of the events which had unfolded. It also followed the Off the Ball programme where Stuart Cosgrove had provided a masterclass in not downplaying but actually subduing all debate and discussion regarding the post-match shame.
It followed the First Minister’s tweet congratulating Hibs but offering neither mention nor condemnation of the ugly scenes of the aftermath. And of course it also followed the initial assessment by Tom English, who of course falls into Mr Waddell’s aforementioned category of “anyone who wasn’t there”.
The backdrop to the Rangers statement was a silence from our politicians, not only a downplaying but a forced closure on discussion on it from our national broadcaster and in addition a skewed focus of events from journalists who were not even present.
It is interesting that subsequent to the Rangers statement the First Minister has seen fit to comment and condemn the events post the Cup Final, Stuart Cosgrove has issued a public apology on air for his conduct and Tom English has altered his initial view of events having actually studied the evidence in more depth.
Let’s for a moment imagine a different scenario on Saturday 21st May, 2016. That a group of Rangers supporters had stormed the Hampden press box and goaded, incited, attacked, spat on and verbally abused journalists who were only doing their job. And a Rangers director subsequently dismissed such behaviour as merely “over exuberance”. That Rangers then sought to minimise all discussion or debate on the subject.
Can you imagine what the subsequent NUJ statement would have consisted of in both tone and content ?
Sometimes Mr Waddell you have to walk about in other people’s shoes to truly understand where they are coming from, in order to genuinely see that bigger picture.