Neil Lennon and two high profile Celtic supporters have received bombs which the police suggest had the potential to kill or seriously injure the intended victims.
Voltaire famously said with regards to the Scottish Enlightenment “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.” We are a nation that produced some of the worlds most enduring and enlightened legal and educational systems. Economist Adam Smith single-handedly revolutionised the economic outlook for centuries and philosopher David Hume is widely considered to be one of the most profound philosophers to ever put pen to paper.
Yet somehow we still live in a country where sectarianism is rife and people can get killed for being the wrong religion or supporting the wrong soccer team. We do not have a racism problem here, we are notably more left-wing and liberal than our British counterparts yet we have a problem that people outside of Scotland and Northern Ireland probably couldn’t get their heads around.
Should we be shocked at the attack on Neil Lennon? Of course, yet somehow we are not. I am not going to suggest that everyone who sings offensive songs at football games want to kill Catholics or Protestants, but when we have football stadia which are breeding grounds for sectarian singing and songs which call for the deaths of people like Neil Lennon can we really be surprised that someone or some group of people have taken it too literally and too seriously and gone far too far?
Thankfully most Rangers and Celtic fans I know condemn any of these actions, posted bellow are songs I’ve heard at Pittodrie over the last few years. Listening to them and reading them, can we really be that shocked that the sectarian problem we have in Scotland can and does lead to the deaths of innocent people?
From Rangers Fans:
Hang Neil Lennon,
Hang Him High,
(How Fucking High?)
So I Can See The Bastard Die
From Celtic Fans:
I Hope You Die in your sleep Nacho Novo,
I Hope You Die in your sleep I pray,
IHope You Die in your sleep Nacho Novo,
With a Bullet from the I.R.A
Of course if we listen to the party line these sorts of songs are only sung by 90 minute bigots. There is not a real sectarian problem here eh? Just a bit of fun singing at a football ground. I do not want to blame what has happened with regards to the letter bombs on bigots shouting stupid offensive songs at football grounds, and I doubt the vast majority of them would actually want to see Nacho Novo or Neil Lennon killed, but with songs like that being sung regularly and a multitude of threats and now a bomb sent to Neil Lennon and other high profile Celtic supporters it does make one wonder whether we are taking the sectarian element of the Old Firm seriously enough.
Just a short entry documenting my complete disillusionment with the student protests and occupations. In my time assisting the occupation in Edinburgh I was struck with a number of aspects which I reacted to quite negatively. At the time I felt very strongly (as I still do, for the record) that the raise in tuition fees in England and Wales was inherently unfair, unjust and unnecessary. This commitment clouded my impartiality.
Tomorrow I intend to write a coherent and complete post about the more negative and unsavoury aspects of the protests, but tonight I am just going to link you to this video taken by someone who was in the Glasgow occupation a couple of days ago. All I will say is the attitudes and ironies present in this video where commonplace with my experiences, though fortunately I did not witness the violence enacted upon the taker of the video, who, despite the claims of the people in the video, was not acting illegally at all. It seems the law students decided not to join in this one.