The baton carriers

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

(Sun Tzu –  The Art of War)

Those who have followed both the reporting and coverage of the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding Rangers use of EBT’s could probably hazard a fairly good guess guess as to who the enemy is. It would be inaccurate to say, “they broke cover” as many entering the fray would be filed under the category of “the usual suspects”. Perhaps my favourite observation at the time came from not within our support, but from the Head of Sport at the Herald, Stuart Weir who reflected via Twitter

“Still folk out there who’ve only watched Kavanagh QC (while evidently downing bottles of QC sherry) arguing with real QC’s

Pass the popcorn”

Stewart would probably have required an extra-large bag if the dogged stance of Tom English was anything to go by. The latter’s debate with QC and Tax Specialist Joylon Maugham was the twitter equivalent of “death by a thousand tweets” as the assertions of English were ceremoniously and clinically lanced as if the BBC reporter’s line of reasoning was little more than a septic boil.

Of course, that didn’t stop BBC Scotland running with the erroneous and inaccurate “unlawful” accusation in their news bulletins. And its at this point I would respectfully suggest our enemy recognition becomes somewhat clouded. Who approved the inclusion and creation of the word “unlawful” and who, with editorial responsibility deemed it appropriate and accurate?

It is refreshing that this inaccuracy will not go without challenge, and Club 1872 have already intimated that this will be subject of a complaint. I suspect those of us who have previously trodden this path could predict the pattern – rejection and escalation, rinse and repeat until it is eventually deferred to Ofcom for a ruling.  (From 3 April 2017, Ofcom replaced the BBC Trust as first regulator) When it does arrive on their doorstep I hope Ofcom reflect that it is not the first complaint from Rangers supporters regarding the accuracy of the organisation’s output north of the border.

It didn’t require tax experts and QC’s however to punch fairly large holes in BBC Scotland’s adopted stance. Frankie from Gersnet skewered BBC Scotland’s Chris McGlaughin to the point the latter was unable to form a reply to some probing questions. However, as with Tom English , Frankie  makes a critical observation in response to Joylon Maugham.

“What you may not realise Jo, is that BBC Scotland’s default position on Rangers has to be maximum negative. Tom merely carrying that baton.”

Might I respectfully suggest that there is a very large ball about to land in the court of Ofcom. Merely adjudicating on the matter is not sufficient, not given the previous failings of the organisation as alluded to earlier. The role of the unnamed, unseen baton carriers needs to be examined thoroughly, including systems and processes which allowed inaccurate and erroneous broadcasting to once again pass as acceptable, accurate and impartial.

Sometimes adjudication like a medical diagnosis is not sufficient, merely identifying a septic boil is not enough – it requires to be lanced and cleansed.