I have spent a fascinating morning in lovely company dandering around old Lisbon.
My gracious guides, one Portuguese and one Spanish, reminded me of the dark history of the city.
I have been visiting Rossio Square for years, but I’ve never had someone impart local knowledge to me.
500 years ago it was execution central for those lovely guys in the Inquisition.
The victims of that Kafkaesque performance art were sentenced in Sao Domingo Church and marched out to the square.
Often the victims were Jewish.
In the 20th century some atheist type burned the church to the ground and in restoring the roof it was felt appropriate to leave the fire damage as a memorial to many who died by fire in the square.
The Iberian Inquisition caused the best and brightest to leave the Portugal and Spain forever.
This part of Europe lost so many of their intellectuals thanks to this religious insanity.
When the great earthquake of 1755 destroyed the city only Cais do Sodre was spared.
Ironically this was Lisbon’s notorious Red Light area.
The hero of the hour, the Marquis do Pombal decided it was time for the Jesuits and their religious buddies to GTF.
It was the start of modern Portugal.
It reminded me that these are the good old day in Europe.
People have rights here and the freedom to be themselves.
I was here at the web summit wearing the NUJ jersey.
A free press is essential to a functioning democracy.
I noticed in the stenography press that Monsieur Joey is now a bad guy.
He signed a contract and he honoured it.
Then his employers wanted rid of him for mainly financial reasons.
Thankfully he was well-represented.
I noticed that ,as he is now an ex-Sevco player, he can be described as a “violent ex-offender”.
That is a description that would never have been attached to him if he had been bossing the midfield for the Engine Room Subsidiary.
If there is an intrepid stenographer out there who wasn’t to experience journalism then I have a free tip:
Contact the Scottish Football association and the FA in England.
Ask them if they were contacted by representatives of Mr Barton?
Ask both associations if they have guaranteed Joey’s pay off?
Ask the FA if there is a mechanism in place for them to contact the SFA in the event of non-payment?
Ask the SFA will they move against any monies owing to TRFC in that event and hold them for then French-speaking midfielder?
There, you have a story there.
Not Off The Radar pish, but a real story.
Now you go and stand it up.
I’m going for lunch with my hosts now and we will discuss how to make May 25th next year a bit special in the amazing city.
My companions run a tour guiding business and the owner is a footie fanatic.
He gets it,the whole Celtic connection to Lisbon, and he wants to put something on for Hooped pilgrims next year.