The initial response from the Fitba Fourth estate to Channel 4 News’ ground breaking piece on the Ibrox klan was depressingly predictable.
Some hacks were saying on twitter that if 32 journalists had been threatened then they would know about it.
This was in response to the Paul Holleran’s assertion on the Channel 4 report that he had been contacted by that number of union members since December complaining that they had been threatened.
I know Paul Holleran and I am also aware of that growing list of journalists in Scotland threatened by the Ibrox klan.
That this figure was being questioned by members of the Scottish hack pack was very dispiriting.
Subsequently, huge thanks must go to Graham Spiers for writing a brave piece today on what he has endured for over a decade.
Whatever criticisms people may have of Graham’s views on the game we all love, no one should doubt his basic decency.
As a committed Christian he called out the Rangers support for their bigoted anti-Catholic chanting when it wasn’t fashionable to do so.
He was the first mainstream journalist in Scotland to use the verboten term “anti-Irish racism” on radio when discussing the Rangers mob.
Moreover, he also pointed out that the guy on the throne of the Murray empire had no clothes when such an observation was definitely bad for your professional health as a sports writer.
Yet he persisted.
Today he came to the defence of Alex Thomson and Channel 4 News.
The ITN folks stand accused of telling the truth about the Edmiston Drive chaps.
Graham shared his own experiences for the first time on the subject of being intimidated by Rangers fans.
They echo the experiences of Garry Allan QC.
Equipped with a “faux protestant culture” the Ibrox klan is a serious social problem that modern Scotland needs to deal with.
They have a sense of entitlement that leads them to believe that they can bully and intimidate anyone who irks them or their tragically fragile belief system.
Until these fine fellows feel the full force of the state upon them then they will continue to toddle along believing that they truly are “The People”.
What they believe informs how they behave.
Their sense of entitlement propels their actions.
The recent victory over the Sun serialisation of Downfall has only exacerbated the situation.
In the following week after the Sun caved into them the klan came very close to forcing the main book retailers to cancel orders for the book.
It would have been a huge victory for a racist mob and a serious wound would have been inflicted on Scottish society.
Initially my publisher shielded me from just how close it came to being sold only on Amazon.
For those of you who have bought the book in Scotland in the old fashioned way out of a shop, well that almost never happened…
This is an authoritarian mob who considers freedom of thought is thinking only as they do.
They tell Orwellian lies about people through the anonymity of social media and target the families of those they consider to be their enemies.
Yet they continue to do so in Scotland with relative impunity.
When I spoke at the “ChangeIn” Scotland conference in Ullapool last year on the subject of being Second Generation Irish in modern Scotland I asked my audience, a mixed bunch of Scottish nationalists , Labour people and politically non-aligned, “what kind of Scotland do you want?”
How the criminality of the Ibrox klan is dealt with in the coming months will go a long way to answering that question.
I hope it is a Scotland where people like Turnbull Hutton and Graham Spiers are among the authoritative voices in the national game rather than the online underclass klan who would wish to silence them.
On Rangers message boards Graham is smeared as “the discredited journalist”.
Perhaps in the eyes of that “rogue angry underclass” he is.
However, the good folk in Scotland will view that he has undoubtedly done the state some service.
No more of that.