A culture of hatred

I believe what Lord Turnbull said to Muirhead and McKenzie when he sentenced them is worth exploring.

He said “I cannot fathom what was in your minds.”

Now that the two Rangers supporters have been sent to prison for five years it is, perhaps, an appropriate time to look at the belief system that authorised their hate.

Neil Francis Lennon ticks all the boxes for the sub culture that socialised McKenzie and Muirhead.

Irish Catholics occupy a central place in the world view of the Rangers sub culture that nurtured Muirhead and McKenzie.

These two men undoubtedly acted in accordance with their culture.

Indeed people rarely act at variance with their world view.

The Celtic manager is an Irish Catholic from the north of Ireland and he has a street fighter’s response to those who would try and push him to the back of the bus.

Also the late Paul McBride QC, almost certainly destined to be a High Court judge, was in a position that Catholics with Irish names just shouldn’t have according to the bomber’s world view.

Trish Godman’s “crime” was to wear a Celtic top to the Scottish parliament as a joke.

That was enough to make her a target.

This Mississippi burning belief system of many who follow the Ibrox club must now be seen for what it is-a serious social problem in modern Scotland.

This is not “sectarianism” nor is it a case of “one side is as bad as the other”.

This is anti-Catholic hatred and anti-Irish racism that is validated by following a football club.

For them being a Rangers supporter is a crucial part of harbouring a xenophobic fixation on a religious and ethnic minority.

Supporting Rangers was a vehicle for this.

Their hatred of Lennon was not some example of sporting rivalry taken too far.

Rather it is at the core of their belief system.

In their world view Neil Francis Lennon should know his place.

The problem for Muirhead and McKenzie is that Neil DOES know his place.

It is to be heard, to be acknowledged, to have his culture respected and to be afforded the same rights in modern Scotland as anyone else.

Mr Jackson QC for Muirhead in his mitigation speech pointed out that out that no-one was injured by his client.   However, he did accept that there was intent to injure but argues the devices were ‘non-viable’ and the on lower end of seriousness.

Therefore all that prevented a tragedy was their lack of technical competence.

By the time these two Rangers supporters emerge from prison I hope that they are rehabilitated and cured of their hatred of Irish Catholics.

I also hope that when they are freed they are re-integrated into a society where there is zero tolerance for their racist world view.

The Scotland of many cultures has much work to do in a very short time.

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