Scotland’s other shame.

Yesterday was a good point to take stock on the state of the Fourth estate in Scotland.

A guy based in London who couldn’t find his way from Sauchiehall street to Argyle street without  using Google maps laid out the reality of Rangersgate for a the whole of the UK on Channel 4 last night.

In the short period since Alex Thomson has started investigating Scotland’s establishment club he has revealed that he has been physically threatened by one Glasgow based journalist.

On the day two men who attacked him were convicted Neil Lennon put out a Tweet that was more of a plea than an outburst.

 “there seems to be no balance in the Scottish media when it comes to us”

(2:23 PM – 30 Mar 2012 Neil Lennon ‏ @OfficialNeil).

His assertion, in my opinion, is simply unanswerable.

Although he was referring to the club he could have been talking just about his own situation.

Unlike his old Gaffer Martin O’Neill Celtic’s current manager doesn’t speak for an eternity in ornate phrases.

Lennon’s way of talking fits perfectly into the world of 140 characters.

As a player he experienced the Daily Record’s “Thugs and thieves” escapade.

The sustained racist and sectarian abuse he endured rarely made it past a sub editor on a major title in those days.

On one of the rare occasions that his manager Martin O’Neil decided to do some straight talking about the subject he made sure it was in the presence of foreign journalists.

At a pre match press conference for a European game he made references to the racist and sectarian abuse that his captain had to endure on a regular basis in Scotland.

As we say in Ireland O’Neill was “waiting in the long grass” when O’Neill lobbed in that grenade about the treatment Lennon regularly received in domestic matches.

Neil, in my opinion, was badly let down by his employers during his time as a player.

The club should have made this racist abuse a major issue for both the SPL and the SFA, but they didn’t.

I believe that this “back of the bus” acceptance by Celtic was partly down to the non-reaction of large sections of the media in Scotland towards the victimisation of Lennon and McGeady.

The same media who shrugged at the sustained racist abuse of Celtic’s Irish players also looked the other way when Rangersgate was handed to them on a plate two years ago.

The day after the News of the World splash in May 2010 the Scottish hacks knew about the jaw dropping arithmetic of the “Big Tax Case” and that should have seen a flurry of activity on Sports desks across the country.

Instead they fell into line.

Now the term “succulent lamb” is known across the UK media village as a term of disdain for Scotland’s other shame.

I allow myself a small smile of satisfaction.

Leave a Reply