Telling the truth about the Ibrox klan

When I started writing about the Rangers scandal I realised that the Glasgow media were part of the problem.

They were too close to those at the top of the marble staircase and too easily cowed by the Ibrox mob.

The Sun serialisation debacle showed that the klan can wield  power  in Glasgow.

I know that the mainstream media outside of the city, indeed furth of Scotland would be required to break the media silence.

That is why I welcomed the involvement of Alex and his Channel 4 colleagues back in March.

All of the people in Scotland who want to live in a decent society (which is almost all of the country’s population) owe a great debt of gratitude to Alex Thomson and his colleagues on Channel 4 News.

The man himself has covered 22 wars and isn’t frightened by what Glasgow has to offer in terms of threats and intimidation.

Moreover, he saw how the local hack pack had wilfully ignored the Rangers story for, in part, precisely the same reasons that he explores in his piece tonight.

That is why he saw the value of those outside  the Scottish mainstream, including myself that had been willing to tell the story of the Rangers scandal.

As has already been trailed Gary Allan QC will say tonight that a “criminal underclass” exists around the Ibrox club.

Graham Spiers first used the term “white underclass” to describe this element of the Rangers supports in the aftermath of the rioting in Manchester in May 2008.

This was before I had written a word on the club as a journalist.

However, it is an apt term for a group of people, self-selecting, who do not wish to abide by the norms of civilised society.

It is for another day why they find Ibrox to be such a warm house where their hatreds are incubated, but it seems to be the case.

What will be screened tonight by Channel 4 news will not feature an outside broadcast from Baghdad or Mogadishu.

All of those interviewed are resident in Scotland.

Therefore, this piece would have been within the production budgets of the Scottish broadcast organisations.

However, the local media remain under the toxic influence of the klan so it had to be compiled by people travelling up from London.

The criminality of the klan is now a UK story.

How quintessentially British!

The Scottish print sector, especially the tabloids, chases the Ibrox demographic.

Working to tight margins editors fear a boycott of their title, or simply a general fall off in sales.

The klan knows that intimidating journalists does often bring real tangible results for them.

Apparently their belief system is so fragile that they cannot abide anything in the papers that is at variance with that world view.

Subsequently, I have long since given up on the local media tackling this issue in any concerted or meaningful way.

That this is allowed to happen in the major city of a mature democracy is a permanent embarrassment and an occasional disgrace.

The decent people in Scotland owe a debt of gratitude to the people at Channel 4 news and the brave people who went on camera to denounce the klan.

Good journalism draws a line in the sand and that is what Alex Thomson has done on this issue.

In the coming days what side of that line you find yourself on will tell you a lot about what kind of Scotland you want.

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