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The fruits of apartheid 118

Posted on November 18, 2019 by

A new study reported at the weekend has found disturbing levels of sectarian beliefs among pupils at Scotland’s 357 Catholic schools. But there was an interesting twist – sectarianism was higher among the pupils who WEREN’T practicing Catholics.

Whatever could be the explanation?

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To James Kelly MSP, our congratulations 572

Posted on April 02, 2019 by

So there was a football match at the weekend.

At least three people were stabbed, one very seriously, in violent incidents the likes of which haven’t been seen around Scottish football for years.

But it was probably just a random, unforseeable one-off, right?

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The ugly game 324

Posted on March 12, 2019 by

Tonight sees what’s likely to be a highly-charged Scottish Cup quarter-final replay at Ibrox Stadium. Defeat will effectively end the losing side’s season, and games between the participants, Aberdeen and Rangers International, have tended to be fierce affairs ever since the latter club was formed in controversial circumstances in 2012, with this season’s clashes already having seen numerous red cards.

(Mainly for the home team’s temperamental striker Alfredo Morelos.)

Football authorities will be hoping for a minimum of flashpoints on the field which might lead to repeats of shocking recent scenes of abuse and violence from spectators, which have prompted the nation’s media to wring its hands in theatrical angst and demand that something be done.

The public’s view on the subject, meanwhile, has remained absolutely consistent.

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How you make a lie 191

Posted on July 02, 2018 by

Yesterday we reported on the Sunday Herald’s bizarre and blatant reversal of the plain facts about OBFA prosecutions in its front-page lead. But it wasn’t the only paper pulling that trick this weekend.

The Sunday Times ran a major piece on results from a poll it conducted at the same time as our most recent one, spinning the outcome as voters rejecting the SNP’s plan to boost the Scottish economy via more immigration.

But as so many stories in the press do, the article simply disintegrated before readers’ eyes almost immediately after the headline.

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Black-Is-White World 111

Posted on July 01, 2018 by

One of the uglier facets of opposition to the hugely-popular but now-repealed Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act was the 100% uniform stance against it in the Scottish press. Despite the Act being backed by a large majority of voters across every demographic and political divide, not one print or broadcast journalist ever stood up for the public.

The reason, of course, is that bigots (and lurid stories about them) are a large part of what keeps the Scottish media’s life support machine functioning, and so the media panders cynically to the extremist sections of the Celtic and “Rangers” support who still buy papers for the latest transfer gossip and soft-soap interviews with ex-players.

And so it is with a remarkably mad front-page lead in today’s Sunday Herald.

The paper reports that “over half” – 44 out of 86 – outstanding OBFA charges have been “converted” into other types of offences and are still being prosecuted by the independent Crown Office, claiming without explanation that this is “an embarrassing move for the SNP Government”.

But it rather seems like the opposite is true.

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Anatomy of an embarrassment 186

Posted on May 31, 2018 by

And no, we don’t even mean the FOUR spelling mistakes in this 42-word tweet.

We mean the bit that we’ve highlighted above in blue. Because what Scottish Labour’s lowest-watt bulb was gloating about earlier today was that Lord Bracadale concluded there’d been no gap created in the law by the Kelly-driven abolition of the OBFA.

And that’s… well, that’s not quite what Lord Bracadale said.

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Being silenced is golden 80

Posted on May 31, 2018 by

The findings of Lord Bracadale’s report into hate-crime law in Scotland were published today (tl;dr version: OBFA’s coming back), and we couldn’t help observing them in the context of an interesting Guardian article on the alt/far right yesterday.

Because we’ve discovered something slightly odd about the subject.

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A historic breakthrough 579

Posted on March 12, 2018 by

We could all do with some cheering up at the moment, so it’s with great pleasure that we can announce fantastic news for Scotland – the ancient plague of sectarianism has finally been defeated once and for all!

At least, we assume it MUST have been, because this week the Scottish Parliament is set to give its final assent – thanks to Labour, the Tories, the Liberal Democrats and the all-important Scottish Greens – to abolishing the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act, against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the Scottish population.

And as we can plainly observe from events yesterday, they would only be doing that if sectarianism was no longer a problem and it was safe to send out an encouraging message to the bigots that their worldview is now acceptable in Scotland again.

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While we’re talking about bigots 147

Posted on January 28, 2018 by

Which we were yesterday, we couldn’t help noticing this:

And that reminded us that we still had some more poll results to reveal.

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Heroes of the working class 164

Posted on January 27, 2018 by

We’re a bit annoyed about this, because we were going to give the Absolute Fanny Of The Week award to Anas Sarwar every week as a joke, but now it seems we can’t.

So that’s a professional journalist who’s studied the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act, or OBFA, so intently and diligently that he keeps calling it “OBAF” instead. But that’s not the stupidest of it.

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The law that nobody wants 263

Posted on January 03, 2018 by

On a number of previous occasions we’ve highlighted the weird discrepancy between the undivided loathing of the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act in the Scottish media and the Act’s overwhelming popularity with the Scottish public.

You will struggle to ever hear a voice anywhere in the media in favour of it, yet there has never been a law in the history of the Holyrood parliament that is as universally backed by the electorate as the OBFA. Support for it crosses party lines, unites men and women, the old and the young, the rich and the poor, Yes voters and No voters, Celtic fans and “Rangers” fans, football lovers and football haters, and pretty much any other groups you can think of.

Despite their own voters wanting to retain it, however, the combined opposition parties may well succeed in having the Act repealed this year, for reasons of their own that we can’t begin to rationally explain.

Meanwhile, every party at Holyrood – this time including the SNP – looks as though they may be preparing to come together and implement the LEAST-wanted legislation (in terms of public opinion) that the Parliament will have ever seen.

But which legislation are we talking about?

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The Victim 452

Posted on July 16, 2017 by

Deep in the summer news desert, the papers today are struggling for material again. The Sunday Herald has a shock-horror front-page exposé about some photos from an Orange Lodge party that turn out to be from 2010 and 2013, while the Scottish Mail On Sunday reaches all the way back to 1940 to fill a couple of pages.

But the Sunday Mail’s timing is even weirder.

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