Home truly IS where the heart is.
After a long oul haul I was back on home turf last night.
I stopped off with BTF in Dublin and had the craic with him. I also consumed a mind altering substance called “sleep”.
It’s good to be home.
It is an atavistic exercise to try and tell someone where you think they should belong just to suit your pre ordered agenda.
You cannot impose a cultural identity any more than you can excise an ethnicity.
This is my island.
That seems to irk some folks.
I rather suggest it is they who have the problem.
When I first landed in Philly the lad standing next to me at the bar in Fadó told me that he had first seen the light of day in Aberdeen.
His dad had worked in the oil industry.
He wore a wrist band in the colours of Colombia.
It is the land of his parents and it is his land too according to him.
I wondered if this lad had been a star footballer and he had decided to play football for Colombia would he have been booed by the Scots. Then I thought that this probably would not happen as that racist delight is reserved for the Irish in the Scotland of many cultures. Of course what happened to McGeady is called “sectarianism. The Irish aspect doesn’t even get mentioned and that’s part of the racism.
Today there is a discussion in the Scottish parliament based around Scottish Irish relations.
The “S” word will be freely mentioned.
Yet “anti-Irish racism” is a term that remains verboten in the Holyrood lexicon.
While I was in the USA it would appear that clutch of clairvoyant literary critics were hard at work stating that they did not like my book on Rangers.
I have been, I my time, a reviews editor of a weekly paper here in Ireland.
Unfortunately I wasn’t equipped with the same special powers that these chaps have.
I had actually to read a book and then form an opinion of its merits as a piece of work.
Of course these book worms don’t need to read “Downfall”. They know that it is by me and it is about the demise of their beloved football club so it has to be bad.
These bibliophiles were further riled to learn that Alex Thomson of Channel 4 News had agreed to write the foreword.
I find it almost sweet that these keyboard hitmen thought that they could dissuade an award winning war correspondent from a course of action that he had freely entered into.
The descent into liquidation may have caught the extended Bear family by surprise, but it came as no shock to me.
Had they been able to read this blog and pretend it was written by someone else then perhaps the warning signs may have been heeded.
With the publication of the book I consider my attempts to educate the Ibrox klan to be over.
Now they queue in the rain to fund Sevco.
So be it.
They remain an evidence resistant sub-culture, easy to fool and uncomprehendingly loyal to the nearest available male authority figure in brown brogues.
For those who have a schadenfreude based interest in the further humiliation of the Ibrox klan then the Sevco saga is just starting and it will not disappoint.
When I started writing about the financial problems at Rangers in January 2009 I was disbelieved and derided.
I think I am allowed a small smile.
Now that I am back home there are other projects to focus on.
Having stood at the famine memorial in Philadelphia I am further convinced that the absence of such a commemorative sculpture in Glasgow is no longer defensible.
Although I was an ocean away from my island I was among my own.
I know that there is a warm hearth in Pennsylvania, it isn’t my own fireside, but the Irish welcome is genuine.
People there are encouraged to have pride in their Irish ethnicity.
This would not be the case had they remained a British colony.
I think it had something to do with fiscal policy.
The American colonists decided to Expel British Taxes (EBT).
I am happy to be home,but I think I know where I’ll be next Patrick’s day…