A few years back I watched an episode of the BBC TV series "Who do you think you are?" The program takes a celebrity on a journey through his or her past tracing their family history, indicating the events that led to and supported their existence. In this particular episode, David Tennant, the Scottish actor who was playing Doctor Who at the time, was taken to his grandparent’s home in Northern Ireland. David’s grandfather was an Orangeman, and as part of the program he was presented by his grandfather’s sash by his second cousin. By the look on his face it was clear to see his displeasure, and later Tennant is quoted as saying:
“When Harry handed me my grandfather's orange sash, I felt that I had been handed a turd. To me, the Orange Order represents everything that is obnoxious in society. I have always associated Orangemen with right wing racism and sectarianism".
Also by his own admission Tennant is a hand wringing, Guardian reading liberal. Tennant is not alone, his like can be found scattered across the chattering classes in Scotland. They are aloof to their history; they take for granted the sacrifices made by others but reap the benefits of their forebears who fought for civil and religious liberty. Their rights and freedoms have been handed to them on a plate now they pour scorn on those whose integrity; ethics, determination and steadfastness placed them in such a privileged position.
It has long been the want of a Presbyterian to question, but those born of the presbytery now don’t bother with questioning, they actually pontificate, they tell people they are wrong, well because…. they’re right. They are aloof to their arrogance.
Football is all about rivalries. It is a working class game and reflects the social and economic conditions of its surroundings. History, tradition, rivalry and comradeship are the things, which bind the sport together. It is the people’s game and was borne of the people. There are songs sung which are meant to ridicule, rile, embarrass and hurt the opposition; it is the nature of the crowd. Some people understand this, others don’t. It appears that there are some fuelled by social media and their own egos that seek to tell Rangers supporters what they can and cannot sing, what they deem acceptable. One even suggested that supporters could be in trouble for what they think! Now I firmly believe these people are entitled to their opinion, in fact their right to their opinion is enshrined in the very rights and liberties that others provided them, those others they now treat like the turd Tennant thought he had been handed.
A recent blogger has suggested that there is no place in today’s society for singing No Pope of Rome, his reasoning, Catholics have played for Rangers and they may be upset. Really? All the misery, abuse and crimes committed by the Roman Catholic Church on its own members, and people are going to be upset by a song, a song sung at a football match, a song sung, as the majority of songs sung at football matches are, to upset, ridicule and goad the opposition.
With all the turmoil surrounding Rangers in recent years, we have bloggers who choose to target the very people who are the lifeblood of the club and appease those who would happily see it dead. I truly despair. The handbags and the glad rags that your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy you.