When hope defeats fear

In life there is a constant battle between fear and hope.

To experience that dichotomy is to be human.

Currently there are all manner of important chaps in Britain attempting to frighten Scottish people into obedience.

It is with good cause that the Better Together campaign has been dubbed Project Fear.

The basic reasoning is that if you frighten the Jocks with all sorts of dire consequences from being independent they will vote no and remain within the control of the old Etonians Westminster.

In the summer of 2012, the people who run the national game warned of dire consequences if there wasn’t a Rangers, any Rangers, in the top flight of Scottish football.

It was the SFA’s version of Project Fear.

Scare the natives enough and they’ll do your bidding.

Well, that didn’t happen.

The No To NewCo clans gathered and then Turnbull Hutton told the big boys at Hampden to do one.

The man from Raith Rovers could definitely smell shite.

The leaders of the national game didn’t get their way and the new club started in the bottom tier.

When season 2012/13 started Hugh Keevins on Radio Clyde pleaded: “What have we done?”

Then the unthinkable happened.


The dire consequences turned out to be a chimera.

The beast of Armageddon, as Stuart Cosgrove famously observed on the Scottish Football Monitor, shat it.

Now, the establishment narrative has altered and the party line is that everyone misses dear old Rangers and can’t wait for their glorious return.

Some people undoubtedly do miss Rangers and they are perfectly entitled to that point of view.

The 276 creditors stiffed by Rangers in 2012 have millions of reasons for missing them.

Those creditors include the Ambulance Service.

However, the ambulance crews along with their colleagues in Accident & Emergency units have excellent reasons for punching the air that the Glasgow derby matches exited the stage two years ago for at least three seasons.

I’m with them on that one.

Since the liquidation of Rangers there has been no cup clash between the senior teams of Celtic and Sevco.

Some within the green half of the city seem to be exhibiting all the signs of cognitive dissonance.

The conversation has been had in Seán Ógs in Gaoth Dobhair and the Sands Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

I have sampled the Gaeltacht ambience of the former on matchdays and I believe that the latter has a rather exclusive lunch club for discerning Celts although they are often joined by ex-pat Dons.

The reasoning among some Celtic supporters amounts to ‘glad they’re gone, but would love to see the Hoops hammer them again!’

Firstly, let’s get some accuracy on the table: Rangers can’t come back.

Despite what the mainstream media spin and the football authorities remain silent about, the liquidation event was the death of the club founded in 1872 and incorporated in 1899.

In a BBC Scotland submission to their own watchdog body, their QC stated that:

“A football club, once incorporated, is indistinguishable in Scots law from its corporate identity.”

To the dismay of many senior folk in Pacific Quay, the BBC Trust found against the Beeb after complaints about their new club terminology.

Now the ‘we’re all missing Rangers’ narrative is being belted out by the mainstream with the same hysterical certitude that the ‘Armageddon’ scenario was in the summer of 2012.

The official wisdom is that ‘demoting Rangers’ into the bottom tier of Scottish football was a terrible error.

Again, let’s deal in the facts.

Rangers weren’t demoted to anywhere. The new club started in the bottom tier of Scottish football.

There were more worthy clubs deserving of admittance, but the commercial importance of the Ibrox brand trumped basic fairness and decency.

What has unfolded since Sevco Scotland Limited took to the field against Brechin City in the Ramsdens Challenge Cup at Glebe Park in 2012 has been something a Greek tragedy for the Ibrox faithful.

So go tell the Spartans!

Apparently, the top flight is bereft of Rangers and we are all the worse for it.

Furthermore, it seems if you do not miss Rangers then you must be motivated by hatred – according to veteran sports journalist Hugh Keevins anyway, who declared so on Clyde 1 Superscoreboard recently.

The mainstream media have recently been wheeling out ex-Celtic players to parrot the narrative that Celtic are in urgent need of their deceased arch rivals, but the many voices that aren’t heard are those of the people thankful every single weekend that the toxic fixture has disappeared.

The hacks in Glasgow have never saw fit to canvass the opinion of the hard worked staff at Accident & Emergency units.

I suspect that since the Old Firm derby matches finished in the summer of 2012 their shifts have become a bit more manageable.

Despite being warned about an extinction level event by the people on the sixth floor at Hampden, the top flight of Scottish football has managed very well without Rangers.

Hearts was always a standalone problem because of the Romanov situation.

Moreover, the Jambos have behaved in an exemplary fashion this season.

They’ve taken their medicine, and yes they will be relegated, but they’ll be back.

Moreover, they have their history and their dignity intact as do Dunfermline so huge respect is also due to the Pars.

Kilmarnock have just reached a deal with the bank and are now on a firm financial footing.

Aberdeen are, once more, a power in the land and can sell 40,000 tickets for a cup final.

When the tribute act eventually arrives in the top flight for the first time their fans will find a Fitba world that is changed, changed utterly since the days of Rangers.

Even with the normal quota of Honest Mistakes they will find it difficult to compete to a level that pleased their Herrenvolk customer base.

Celtic as a club have gone about their business quietly and without bombast.

It is not the fault of anyone at Celtic that Rangers self-destructed in 2012.

Overall, the diplomatic relations between fans in the top flight of Scottish football is as convivial as sporting rivalry should allow.

There has been a worrying development this season among a small minority of Aberdeen fans who have flirted with the klan’s songbook at Celtic Park.

However, I was heartened that other Dons fans took these cretins to task about it.

Of course, there is also the tiny minority of seat-breaking ‘supporters’ who shamed Celtic at Fir Park last year.

Throwing a smoke bomb in the general direction of your goalkeeper is, apparently, really getting behind the team.

Overall though I have enjoyed going to domestic matches these past two seasons.

On Champions League nights Celtic Park crackles with atmosphere and the next European campaign can’t arrive quickly enough for me.

As a journalist, the Sevco story continues to engage me, largely because the chaps in my trade in Glasgow are still averting their gaze as they did with Rangers.

My publisher wanted a Sevco sequel from me late last year and we discussed it last summer.

I assured him that such a book was highly premature and that the nightmare on Edmiston drive would get hilariously calamitous in the year ahead.

It has.

Mr Publisher is currently basking the glory of a resurgent Aberdeen and I’m feeling rather vindicated that I called it right on the Sevco shambles having many more chapters before we could approach a sequel to Downfall.

As a football supporter I am delighted that Celtic doesn’t have to venture near the legendary Albion Car Park on league business until season 2015/2016 at the earliest.

So my motivations, Mr Keevins, are fairly understandable human ones.

I prefer to avoid people who think that a Famine is funny.

The last time those supporters were in the final of the League Cup they gave full voice to their anti-Irish racism.

Hampden in 2011 was the last major outing for the Genocide Choir from Ibrox.

The Famine song, ruled illegal and racist by the highest court in Scotland in 2009, was clearly heard.

The top flight of Scottish football is currently without the services of the klan and that suits me fine thank you very much.

That racist sub-culture, which exists beside the many decent folk who attend Ibrox, still seems to be extant.

My sympathies are with the supporters and staff in the lower leagues of Scottish football, but for now I love the absence of The People and the toxic belief system that was inflicted upon the good folk of Berwick  last year.

I recently had the same conversation with a journalist buddy of mine whose heart is forever in Tannadice and he rejoices at the current absence of The People from the top flight.

In my hardly scientific poll I have found that among Arabs, Celts and Dons there is a split view, in that they’re glad they’re gone, but they want to beat the tribute act on the field of play.

Hence the cognitive dissonance.

I am, quelle surprise, rather single minded on the issue.

I’m glad that Rangers (1872-2012) are no more and I would rather avoid Sevco if at all possible.

Planet Fitba still has its own Project Fear and, sadly, it is ongoing.

Journalists are routinely intimidated when they mention the legal realities of liquidation and book shop staff have been abused in Glasgow for stocking Downfall.

A title that offended the poor dears of the Genocide Choir.

The No To NewCo people didn’t buckle and the so called ‘diddy clubs’ refused to be bullied in 2012.

In the end it was about fairness.

When you find yourself on the side of fear opposing the side of hope then that’s a clue that you’re in the wrong.

Two years ago ordinary people across Scottish football refused to be frightened and hoped that the game could be run for everyone.

That is why they said no to the NewCo in the SPL and rejected the SFA’s plan B of Sevco in the First Division.

In the summer of 2012 hope defeated fear and the good guys won.

That just might happen again this year and the Scottish people who vote for self-respect and responsibility could one day tell their grandchildren that there used to be a club called Rangers and a place called Britain.

Neither of them were great, but they thought that they were….

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