Running towards the sound of gunfire.
My old Chairman at the Scottish Premier League, an ex Sir Humphrey type mandarin at Whitehall, called Lex Gold, told me so many things of value. I was young, and he’d seen it all, at the highest level:
Never run towards the sound of gunfire, young man.
Not when you saw the glee of the attackers, under that flag, in Israel, in Iran, in various European capitals, celebrating what was nothing short of massacre and evil. Those were the bodies of innocent people, dragged around like cows in an abattoir.
And we are flying those same flags on the same day, justifying it?
This Sunday Column is not about identifying the good and bad guys in the Holy land. That’s impossible.
It’s about politics and sport.
Sorkin, via Bartlett, explains all this very well:
Absolutes always come with body counts.
is like a house in a street, where every single neighbour has taken a blood oath to burn the house down and kill all inside.
If that was your house, your family, you’d feel entitled to go to any means to defend your family.
Your debate would throw in the obvious never-dying anti-semiticism and the Holocaust.
has had its rightful lands taken away from it, and its people are now forced to live in an open air prison,
where they are given the minimum food and energy, like goldfish. It’s hell on earth.
Zealots and tribes never like any of this balance
in their angry certainty.
Banners displayed in a section of Celtic Park prior to Saturday’s game do not represent the views of Celtic Football Club and we disassociate ourselves from them. We condemn the display of such messages at Celtic Park. Celtic is a football club and not a political organisation. One of our core values from inception is to be open to all regardless of race, colour, politics or creed. That is why the Club has always made clear that political messages and banners are not welcome at Celtic Park, or any match involving Celtic. At a time of loss and suffering for many, it is entirely inappropriate for any group of individuals to use Celtic Park as a vehicle for such messages. We call on all supporters, regardless of their personal views, to unite in backing our players and the club while respecting the rights and beliefs of others; particularly those whose lives are affected by violence and hatred.
This did not go down well with that section of the fan base known as the Green Brigade.
We all know this story.
Every weekend, in Glasgow, the Troubles were replicated at Celtic and Rangers, amid the chants of Fuck the Pope, and Up the Ra. At Saturday night parties, often the guy with the guitar would eventually slip into the “rebel songs” about taking back the 6 Counties, re-uniting Ireland, getting rid of the “occupiers”. All this was a very big part of my generation’s Glasgow Upbringing.
Most of us however weren’t zealots. Weren’t into the “revolution”. Especially when the bombs went off.
Dolores O’Riordan, the lead singer said she was not taking sides (exactly like this article) and the song expressed disgust at atrocities committed in the name of Ireland “by some prick, some airhead, who thought he was making a point.”
My thoughts exactly this week
seeing those Palestine flags in Glasgow.
The Green Brigade is now so out of control to be considered by me as an obvious Fifth Column inside the club itself.
One beacon of hope.
In all this sectarian context, there was always one shining light for me in this tragedy. One beacon of hope.
The peace in Ulster is fragile. Nutters still exist.
We go into very troubled waters.
As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.
Nothing good comes from hate.
Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.
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