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Hullo, hullo, we are the bully boys

Posted on January 29, 2016 by

On the rare occasions when this site discusses football, and in particular if we mention the three-year-old Championship club known as “Rangers”, we get complaints on two grounds: one, that football has nothing to do with politics, and two, that we risk alienating supporters of the club who also back independence, of which there are unquestionably a significant number.


The second complaint is one we’ve dealt with in detail here. But the first one is more important. Because whether you’re talking about the original club which died in 2012 and was put into liquidation or the new one currently challenging for promotion to the top division for the first time, “Rangers” is a totem of the Unionist establishment in Scotland, and the way it’s treated by the media tells us at least as much about that establishment and that media as any amount of political journalism.

Today the Herald newspaper group sacked Sunday Herald columnist Angela Haggerty – who’s also the editor of Common Space – after just eight articles.

Haggerty, a Catholic of Irish descent who’s been targeted for years by hundreds if not thousands of abusive and bigoted “Rangers” fans – including one who was imprisoned for six months for threatening her – had tweeted support for a fellow Herald columnist, sports reporter Graham Spiers after the paper published an apology to the club over a column he wrote on 30 December.

The column had included the allegation that a current (unnamed) “Rangers” director was fond of the sectarian song “The Billy Boys”, which rejoices in the lyrics “We’re up to our knees in Fenian blood”, and is sometimes sung by a tiny unrepresentative minority of the club’s support, as seen here at the Scottish League Cup semi-final in February 2015. If you listen really closely you may be able to pick them out.

Haggerty had specifically been commenting on a post by the Rangers Supporters Trust, a belligerent fan group with significant financial resources which had expressed its glee at the Herald’s response to what the RST called “lies” in Spiers’ column – though to the best of anyone’s knowledge the RST was not present at the meeting between Spiers and the unnamed director.


Spiers subsequently published a statement disassociating himself from the apology, saying that “My opinion – as expressed in my column – was based on a truthful account of my meeting with a Rangers director”, and was backed up by former Herald colleague Robbie Dinwoodie, who noted a claim by another belligerent “Rangers” fan group that the apology had been secured via threats to withdraw advertising revenue.

According to Haggerty, “representatives of the Rangers board” threatened to reinstate legal action against the Herald over the Spiers column unless she was sacked for daring to express support for Spiers on her personal Twitter account. Showing the great journalistic integrity for which he’s fast becoming famed, the editor-in-chief of the Herald group, Magnus Llewellin, immediately caved to their demands.

The group alleging the advertising blackmail threat describes itself as “DEFENDING OUR TRADITIONS” and “our people, our culture, our way of life”, concluding on the sectarian exhortation “No Surrender!”

Its Twitter page leaves little doubt as to precisely which people, culture and traditions it’s talking about – the same ones referenced in “The Billy Boys”, and those upheld by the people who regularly abuse and threaten Angela Haggerty with violence, rape and murder, while also constantly demanding her sacking and threatening boycotts of newspapers employing her.


(Scottish journalists stoutly ignore such campaigns, despite thousands of signatures, focusing instead on two or three nationalist loonies boycotting Tunnock’s Teacakes.)

The bigotry, open politicisation and bullying of the “Vanguard Bears”, done in the guise of support for “Rangers” and tacitly tolerated by the club (which allows their banners to be displayed at Ibrox and has never to our knowledge condemned their activities), are the traditions of the Unionist, Protestant, militaristLoyalist establishment. For the Herald to bow so cravenly to their threats tells us about a lot more than football.






“Rangers” – which stridently insists it’s a continuation of the old club, which carried out a strict “No Catholics” signing policy for over 80 years – is the last big institution of those traditions. In flexing its muscle against Angela Haggerty it demonstrates its continued determination to impose its values on wider Scottish society and to silence entirely legitimate criticism and comment with a sledgehammer.

While politics ought to have no place in sport, it’s the height of naivety to pretend that there aren’t those determined to use the latter to political ends. Freedom will always be under attack from thugs and bullies, and Wings Over Scotland supports Angela Haggerty (with whom we disagree on very many things) unreservedly. The Herald and its editor-in-chief are a cowardly disgrace to journalism and decency.


In the interests of news reporting, below is the deleted Graham Spiers column from the Herald in its entirety. (As retrieved from the source code of the cached page here.) “Rangers” are free to sue us over it if they wish.

Spiers on Sport: 30 December 2015

Rangers must uphold progress by resisting return of ‘the old songs’

Rangers FC, in whatever guise you recognise it in the post-2012 period, has made considerable strides to eradicate bigotry around the club.

Whereas as recently as 10 years ago – and it really was excruciating – Ibrox Stadium resounded to sectarian chants, in more recent times the atmosphere has been cleaned up, with erstwhile dodgy songs adored by many Rangers fans being put on the back burner.

It would be totally wrong to ignore this progress at Rangers. I remember the summer of 2006 when Paul Le Guen arrived at the club. Ibrox was mired in “fans issues” and bigotry, and Le Guen was utterly perplexed by it all.

One of the first things the Frenchman had to do was take part in initiatives set up by the club, begging Rangers fans to stop singing these songs.

To a large degree, many of these measures worked. Rangers made significant progress in quelling its bigoted sentiment, and the club made great strides in the years ahead. Ibrox, I believe, in time became a much healthier place in which to watch your football.

The Billy Boys, an anti-Catholic anthem beloved of Ibrox, was put on mute. Indeed, for a number of seasons it seemed to disappear completely, at least at Rangers home games. This, surely, was progress.

But few of us had any illusions about it. More than once I’ve been told that, if you venture onto a Glasgow subway train with travelling Rangers fans, their old anthems can be given quite an airing. The old songs appeared to have survived and thrived, being sung with gusto whenever a more guarded context will allow.

And then there were these occasional public eruptions of it, such as at the infamous 2011 League Cup final at Hampden, when some of the choral stuff exhumed by the Rangers support that day took us back to a pre-Enlightenment period.

It is staggering, in this day and age, to hear stuff about Catholics, Fenians, Taigs, the Pope and the rest emanating from thousands of people. It is as baffling as it is sad.

Now this Rangers FC board – and I am not convinced by their mettle on this issue – faces a fresh test.

At Ibrox this week we heard a further eruption of what might euphemistically be called the “old songs”. It was another example, amid all the progress that Rangers have made, of the cap being blown off, and of some Rangers fans getting back into the party mood in the way they like best.

Social media was very interesting following that Rangers-Hibs game on Monday afternoon. Setting aside some preposterous stuff from the Rangers Supporters Trust, who were in full denial mode, there were a number of Rangers fans openly lamenting the re-emergence of these songs, and condemning them.

I have said this often enough: there is a new generation of Rangers supporter that the club should nurture and cultivate. They want nothing to do with this old obsession with “fenians”. They are modern, decent, football-loving fans who love the game and love their club.

Rangers need to embrace these supporters, and leave to one side those others – including some official fan groups – who said after the Hibs match (I paraphrase): “Well done, lads, terrific stuff, great atmosphere, great to hear the old songs…”

Will this Rangers FC board, as has been required in previous years, step up to the plate? I hope so, though I doubt it.

I write as a journalist who has been banned by Rangers. None of that aspect bothers me. Football clubs sometimes do these daft things. I want nothing but the best for Rangers as they ascend towards the Ladbrokes Premiership. Indeed, I want Rangers challenging for the Premiership title as quickly as their football will allow.

But when Stewart Robertson, the new Rangers managing-director, informed me of my press ban, I would say his demeanour was that of someone somewhat embarrassed by the action being taken.

I do not believe Mr Robertson is anything other than a decent man – but his pitiful reasons for my ban, which included my past criticisms of Rangers over bigotry issues, sounded distinctly unconvincing.

It also doesn’t help right now that at least one member of the current Rangers board thinks that The Billy Boys is a tremendous song. This being the case, the club may well go backwards, not forwards.

On their dreaded songs issue, I hope this Rangers board go forward, not backward. I hope they are pro-active, not passive. I hope they acknowledge a potential threat, and don’t lapse into denial.

But, frankly, I’ll believe it when I see it. Banning writers who write about the issue is an ominous start.

It is now 39 years since Willie Waddell, then the Rangers general-manager, made an on-field public declaration which signalled an end to Rangers FC’s old anti-Catholic policy. I was there that day at Ibrox as a 12-year-old kid, though the fuss then was beyond me.

It remains my belief that, taking that day as a starting point, it will take 50 years for Rangers to fully flush out its bigoted baggage. There are pitfalls along that long road, as we witnessed again this week, but at least the journey is being taken.

There has been real progress made at Rangers in recent years. Mr Robertson and your ilk, please don’t slow it down.

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  1. 29 01 16 14:43

    Spears of sport | Speymouth

  2. 29 01 16 18:43

    Hullo, hullo, we are the bully boys | Speymouth

210 to “Hullo, hullo, we are the bully boys”

  1. Doug Daniel says:

    I cringe so much when fans of The Club Which Currently Plays At Ibrox call anyone whose view they disagree with a bigot. You can tell they have no idea what the word means, but they’ve heard it being used (correctly) against them for so long, that they just think it’s some sort of catch-all term of criticism.

    Anyway, it’s good to see so much support for Angela. I often criticise journos for circling the wagons when another journo gets justified criticism, but there is no justification here. Although it’ll be interesting to see if she receives support from the same journalists who were actively defending the Mail’s disgraceful smears against Philippa Whitford the other day. I note that at least one Herald/Sunday Herald journalist who was actively defending the Mail’s article has so far said nothing about his employers treating Angela this way.

  2. yesindyref2 says:

    As I said on Bella, time the Herald (group) was bought out, with the intention of restoring some integrity.

  3. Alan Mackintosh says:

    If Graham Spiers stands in for John Beattie again next week, maybe he’ll tip his hat to you in the Stuart Cosgrove/ Eamonn O’Neill media roundup segment.

  4. mogabee says:

    Years ago, I did a lot of shifts at the Southern and having no car took to taking the subway to Govan.

    It was not long before I realised the folly of that on match days. The experience was frightening.

    This episode is showing Scotland in a poor light, I hope this is a turning point, but doubt it…

  5. Dcanmore says:

    @Doug Daniel

    Time to call them out I think. Too many cowards in the Scottish ‘press’.

  6. Proud Cybernat says:

    “Hated but Rated”???

    No, pal. Your are NOT “Hated” – you are to be PITIED because it is YOU that is doing all the ‘hating’. And you do not even understand WHY you are so full of hate. Why do you define yourselves by what you HATE rather than by what you LOVE? That you will never understand the distinction is, unfortunately, why the rest of us will have to suffer your bigoted buffoonery for many years to come. So tragic.

    Sabernats one and all.

  7. galamcennalath says:

    In that top image I can make out one possible woman in the crowd (apart from security!) at the top left. No families. What sort of event is this where only men of fighting age turn up?

  8. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Important to underscore that, so far as we know, it was the Herald ‘group’, as noted by Rev above, that did the sacking.

    The Sunday Herald has worked long and hard to develop its own identity, and despite whatever some regulars here may feel about it, there should be no confusion over this when it comes to apportioning blame. Like Rev (on Twitter) I don’t believe this decision would’ve been made by Neil Mackay.

    Unfortunately, some clarification may be required, or the SH will surely suffer – it would be ‘nice’ to see concerted protests from all across the Scottish media establishment at this reprehensible behaviour.

    Or will we see the real ‘Brian Spanner’ being unveiled before that ever happens?


  9. Edward Freeman says:

    I left my home in the West of Scotland decades ago now, and one thing I did NOT regret leaving behind was sectarianism. Do you remember the question “Are you a Protestant or a Catholic”? Get the answer wrong and you could well be in for a beating either way.

    However, the axis of Orange Lodge/Masons/Ulster “Loyalists”/Rangers fans frightened me most, and I was a nice middle-class proddy boy from the suburbs.

    When I came back to Scotland eventually, I was glad to see that there was much less sectarianism about, though a disturbing amount of it seemed to have mutated into racism, xenophobia and reading the Daily Mail.

    Either way, I’m just sorry it isn’t dead yet.

  10. jimnarlene says:

    It’s truly amazing what you can learn, if you click the links.

    The Billy Boys, was written about/by a Glasgow razor gang, whose leader was a member of the British Union of Fascists.

    Time tae gie it a rest eh?

  11. HandandShrimp says:

    I have no interest in the Rangers debacle but Spiers is one of the better sports journalists.

    I would say that I am surprised the Herald let him go but it seems to me that the Herald has gone pretty weird of late. Got so fed up of their SNPbad click bait that I unfollowed them on Facebook.

  12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I would say that I am surprised the Herald let him go”

    I don’t think Spiers has been fired, just apologised for.

  13. David says:

    Imagine Maiden would be interested to find out that their mascot is being used by a bunch of bigots

  14. Training Day says:

    Well said, Rev, to the nub of the matter as usual.

    This new entity is being kept alive for reasons far beyond fitba.

  15. Kenny says:

    I like your attitude, Rev. Two consecutive articles daring horrible people to sue you for telling the truth – it shows some real guts.

    “Rangers” have always had a very dark side, as has the predecessor club. This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.

  16. yesindyref2 says:

    Posted about it on the Rowling thread on the Herald, at 2.57pm. Interesting to see how long the posting lasts.

    “Sad to see Angela Haggerty being sacked. It’s a disgrace. Money talks.”

  17. Bob Mack says:

    This is a difficult one for me. I have family who support Rangers,but they do so in a reserved and dignified manner. My great great grandfather played full back at Rangers many moons ago.

    I no longer follow football at all because of the things you describe Rev. This is the ugly side of bigotry the so called “acceptable” side if you will,which pervades West of Scotland society and beyond.

    As a young man I used to go to games,when I was not playing myself. At every level of the game the same things occurred.What school did you go to etc?.

    I have seen young guys badly injured for supporting the wrong team or wearing the wrong jersey. Some try to tell me that this is all in the past,and I issue them the same challenge.

    I ask them to wear a Celtic top and walk into the Louden Tavern in Duke st Glasgow,and order a pint. The same goes for a Rangers top in Bar 67 in Gallowgate.No speaking,but just stand for 10 minutes.

    To date nobody has taken up the challenge. Wonder why if bigotry is receding?

    You started this column because you felt that standards had fallen at newspapers.How right you were. Integrity has died and been replaced by cowering fear. Advertising revenue replaces scruples.

    The Free Press.Laughable,but at the same time a warning to all. The old saying sums it up nicely “All that is required for bad men to succeed ,is for good men to do nothing”. That happened today and the good men joined forces with the bad.

  18. Andy Ellis says:

    “I don’t think Spiers has been fired, just apologised for.”

    From the comment I saw him make, he apparently feels he’s put semtex under the bridge between him & the Herald; I don’t think he even bothered filing his latest column?

  19. Marie Clark says:

    I am utterly scunnered by the sacking of Angela Haggerty. I did not agree with much of her column, but it was her opinion so that’s okay. But to sack her for expressing support for a fellow journalist is beyond the pale, especially when the Sunday Herald has been leaned on by that abomination of a club who think they can dictate to the whole of Scotland.

    Well, in my opinion, it’s high time these people were stood up to.It’s also high time the Sunday Herald grew a backbone . Magnus Llewellin should be ashamed of himself, in fact I reckon he should resign if he has any decency at all.

    Well Mr Llewellin, I for one will vote with my purse. That’s the last Sunday Herald that I will buy. Gave up on the Herald 2 years ago, but supported the Sunday version as it came out in support of indepence. But no more. Lily livered and totally spineless.

    I wonder what Richard Walker thinks of all this.

  20. Dan Huil says:

    I wonder how many Rangers fans in Scotland are unduly influenced by those Rangers fans who come over from N Ireland? Or vice versa?
    Are Celtic fans from the Republic unduly influencing Celtic fans from Scotland? Or vice versa?
    [I’m sometimes unduly influenced by a Dons fan fae Turra, by the way.]

  21. John Gibson says:

    This is one reason (apart from the absurdity of it all) I’ve no time for team sports, they foster this kind of ‘us and not-us’ mentality – says the Scottish National voter without a whiff of irony!

    That said, I realise that many people enjoy football without falling into this state of mind – well, maybe for ninety minutes or so, but it doesn’t rule their thoughts the rest of the time. Maybe those who attend matches but dislike this behaviour should just NOT attend any match in which Rangers is playing?

    Maybe that’s akin to herding cats, or asking people not to buy overpriced “stuff” like I-phones for three months or so while they comfort themselves watching the price tumble.

    I know, – it isn’t going to happen. Unfortunately.

  22. Proud Cybernat says:

    ‘Herald Heehaw-baws’ – it has a certain ring to it. Another sad day for Scottish journalism. Bullied by the bigots.

  23. Paul says:

    I wonder if the artist/band/management or record label of ‘Iron Maiden’ know that this group with obvious permission from rangers football club are using their ‘tropper’ Eddie design (the skeleton) in the stadium and on their site. I’m sure they wouldn’t be happy having that associated with sectarianism and bigotry especially if it’s shown around the world. Would be quite curious to see what would happen there. Lol

  24. mealer says:

    To many cowards in Scottish football.Deduct points.Force them to play behind closed doors.Thats the way to stamp out this disgusting behaviour.

    Too many cowards in the MSM.

  25. muttley79 says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Neil Mackay says on Twitter that he was not behind the sacking of Angela Haggerty. He says it was Magnus Llewellin.

  26. crisiscult says:

    I’ve got very little time for Rangers or Celtic, and though I hate to admit it, am slightly suspicious of anyone who says they support these clubs (yes, because that makes me a bigot in my own way, I know). I have friends who support both: educated professionals, and even they have a tendency to see the world through specs they bought in their respect club shops, or perhaps were handed down to them by their parents. As a Dundee United supporter I can honestly say that the team I support has no influence on my politics, or the way I view the world, other than perhaps giving me an early insight into how the media works: big up the powerful, ignore or patronise the rest.

  27. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @muttley79 –


    Delighted to hear that.

  28. Johnny says:


    I agree that heavy points deductions would be one way of dealing with it. Slaps on the wrist or miniscule fines just won’t cut it. Got to find an actual disincentive.

  29. Jon D says:

    Re Bob Mack at 3.00pm.

    As one from Edinburgh with no interest in football I have struggled, because of my disinterest, to get a feel for the “sectarian thing”

    Point being, sir, thank you for a wonderfully measured post with regard to your journey.

    Indeed, a sad day.

  30. crisiscult says:

    @Dan Huil

    Not sure if it applies today but there’s a good book on football and its interaction with local or national culture and one chapter looks at the Old Firm Derby (as it was called when both of the clubs were quite old). The impression I got from that, together with my real world experiences, is that Rangers and Celtic are Irish clubs located in Scotland. Later, when Ireland was split, they became more Northern Irish.

    The book is called Football against the enemy and I really recommend it. Great chapter on Dynamo Kyiv 🙂

  31. Dr Ew says:

    Interesting that the last two of your articles have centred on key issues around free expression, and the (threatened) abuse of Scotland’s embarrassing and anachronistic defamation laws. Some of us are lobbying to have these laws changed, taking inspiration from the English PEN-led campaign which brought significant and progressive reforms to the corresponding English laws back in 2012.

    Ironically, it is the Herald newspaper that is spearheading the campaign for the reform of defamation laws in Scotland. To say they have undermined their credibility on this issue is an understatement. Angela Haggerty is an intelligent and brave voice in Scottish politics who has had to endure disgusting and alarming threats from bigots over several years. That the Herald chose to sack her rather than face down those who would silence her is not only shameful but a bad day for free expression in Scotland.

  32. DerekM says:

    While i have not always seen eye to eye with Mr Spiers and on occasion have thought him to be just a little biased towards the football club he loves and supports,i cant blame him for that i am the same with my beloved bairns.

    This however is astonishing i can see no reason why he should get into hot water over this article he wrote,it is quiet clearly an emotional piece from a supporter concerned with the direction the club is travelling,a plea for sanity if you will.

    Unfortunately Mr Spiers seems to have hit the nail on the head with this one and all the orange idiots are proving him correct sanity is still difficult to find at ibrox.

  33. Legerwood says:

    The banning of journalists by football clubs is not confined to Rangers or Celtic unfortunately. Alex Thomson of CH4 news reported on the issue last summer. You can read his blogs on the subject here:

  34. Lenny Hartley says:

    Well that’s the Sunday Herald lost another reader.

  35. ArtyHetty says:

    The Herald, in bowing to pressure to sack A.Haggerty, are perpetuating the divides in sport, which is also about political and religious divide. It is something the establishment love, it keeps the supporters easy to rule over, and makes Scotland appear a divided, dangerous country.

    We don’t need this in Scotland and the Herald should be standing up to anyone that thinks it is ok to bully others and silence people, who are questioning very negative actions.
    The media are of course, at least in part, part of the problem.

  36. Dan Huil says:

    @crisiscult 3;31pm

    Thanks for that.

  37. yesindyref2 says:

    Yup, my comment on the Herald deleted, as was another even making a reference to Angela Haggerty’s article on Sunday – about misogony and bullying from Rangers fans.

    Just googled, the Herald seems to be the only paper NOT carrying the story of Angela Haggerty. Gaurdian carried it 2 days ago? And there’s this:

    “NUJ condemns the Herald for ‘pandering to mob mentality’ for departure of Angela Haggerty and Graham Spiers”

  38. Morag says:

    That’s an excellent, thoughtful article. This entire affair is quite shocking.

  39. Morag says:

    It does make you wonder though. Have these people never heard of the Streisand effect?

  40. stephen says:

    Graham Spier’s has left the Herald.

  41. Fearchar says:

    As any fule know, everyone reasonable in Glasgow wanting to support a big club goes to support the Jags or the Spiders.

    Saturday 30th, 3.00 pm: Partick Thistle v Dundee United, Firhill Stadium.
    (Queen’s Park is playing away v Berwick Rangers.)

  42. heraldnomore says:

    Heraldnomore. ParksofHamiltonnomore. SundayHerald – getting easier to ignore with each passing week.

    Sadly my kids came in from school the other day, homework to do – write a letter to a known personality – both chose, independently of each other, a certain author after watching several film versions of her boy wizard in recent weeks. Face palm.

    Don’t think they’re old enough to read their hero’s twitter activity yet, but perhaps the school should know…

  43. R-type Grunt says:

    Rangers – the fans, the institution – are Scotland’s shame. I know there are Rangers fans who support independence but for the life of me I can’t understand their position. It’s like being a member of the Nazi Party but not being like all the other Nazis. It’s untenable to support independence while at the same time financially supporting one of the last bastions of Unionism. These Indy ‘fans’ need to grow a pair and walk away. It is only a game, after all.

  44. stephen says:

    Am I right in saying that Angela Haggerty wrote a column for National,rather than the Herald ?

  45. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    No. She wrote one for the Sunday Herald. She’s had stuff in The National too.

  46. stephen says:

    @ rev Stuart
    Thanks Stuart for clarification.Boycott of Herald ?in support of journalists?

  47. IvMoz says:

    Celtic & Rangers are poisonous (& not only them, Edinburgh is as as bad). Ban the Union Jack & the Irish tricolour from games. Stop coming out with heritage crap like brother walfrid & bill struth. This is Scotland 2016 not the Ireland of centuries ago. Move on. You’re supposed to be Scottish clubs, be supportive & promote Scotland & Scottish football. If not fuck off & move your bigoted franchises to Ireland. Come on the Dons on Wednesday.

  48. Feil Gype says:

    Regarding the screenshot from the ‘group’ Vangaurd Bears …id be emailing Iron Maidens lawyers to point oot the use of the Iron Maiden mascot Eddie in a biggoted groups banner.

  49. Jack Murphy says:

    yesindyref2 said at 3:42pm:-
    “Just googled, the Herald seems to be the only paper NOT carrying the story of Angela Haggerty. Gaurdian carried it 2 days ago?”

    Here’s the latest from the Guardian:-

    “Two columnists have lost their jobs at the Herald newspapers in Glasgow following complaints from Rangers football club.

    Graham Spiers, an award-winning sports writer, departed after threats of legal action over one of his Herald columns.
    And Angela Haggerty, who supported Spiers on Twitter, was relieved of her Sunday Herald column.”

  50. shugry says:

    Aye weel, that’s my only trip tae the newsagents each week doon the swanny. Jist the National on-line noo.

  51. Hamish McTavish says:

    Does anyone know if the Herald/Sunday Herald has any corporate entertainment allocation in Ibrox?

    That might have been another lever used against AH and GS in terms of threatening the withdrawal of access to those seats and the comfy privileges that go with them.

  52. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s important to point out again, as Angela Haggerty does, that it’s NOT the Sunday Herald that sacked her, it’s Llewellin, the overall Herald Group editor.

  53. James Westland says:

    Need to wash my eyes out with bleach having looked at that VB web site. This bit stood out:

    Applicants are rigorously evaluated and we accept only those that are considered pro-active, thus thousands of applications have been rejected.

    Within the membership we have hundreds of individual Shareholders & Season Ticket holders, and list among others members of established Rangers groups; e.g. NARSA Executive, RTID NI committee, RFFF committee & Rangers Supporters Association, Armed Forces personnel, Police Officers, Politicians, Lawyers & Teachers are among numerous other professional people we have within our ranks.

    “Politicians, Lawyers and Teachers” eh? And all pro-active?

    Wonder who they are?

  54. Patrick says:

    Ah, Stephen, but has he left the building?

  55. Michael Diamond says:

    Artyhetty 3.37 good post, spot on.

  56. ClanDonald says:

    The word of the week is Hubris. First Kevin Hague, then Rowling’s inner circle on twitter and now the Herald senior management.

    These British Nationalists have enjoyed the support of the mighty MSM for so long now that they think they’re untouchable. They believe they can say and do as they like and get away with it.

    They have become arrogant, they believe they can show their true colours and no one will challenge them. This arrogance is led to carelessness, they forget that there is a big world outside their self-congratulatory bubble and people don’t like what they are seeing.

    Kevin Hague thought he could make snide Nazi jokes about Wings and would get pats on the back from all his mates. When it was pointed out that it was Holocaust Memorial Day the joke backfired on him, he was shocked by the backlash, he clearly hadn’t expected it.

    As for Brian Spanner, for years he has got away with spreading his hatred across twitter, cheered on by his followers. Rowling in her arrogance thought she could crush someone who dared to questions her involvement with him. All she has achieved is to highlight that this repulsive being is actually a member of her online inner circle. Shame on her.

    And now the Herald Senior Management, they think they can eliminate anyone who challenges them. It looks like they made a grave error of judgement this time, the backlash is huge and it turns out that their own actions have been far more damaging to them than the opinions of their journalists could ever have been.

    Social media isn’t allowing these people to get away with it any more, their own arrogance has exposed them for what they are: unpleasant, corrupt and just plain mean, too busy cheering each other on to realise how nasty they are. And ordinary people outside their bubble don’t like it.

    Good for Captain Haggerty by the way, she stood up for what she believes in, too many journalists these days just stick to what helps them get on in life. Don’t change, Angela!

  57. Inverclyder says:

    On the other side of the turd it’s just as bad.

    Know of people who had to have it explained to them what they were voting for in the referendum.

    These are the same people that sing at “Sellic Park” spouting rubbish about being under the foot of the “British” establishment / IRA / Hunger Strikes / Potato Famine blah blah blah etc.

    Greatest Supporters in the world?

    These knuckle dragging single brain celled oxygen thieves were too ignorant to understand the basics of a YES vote.

    After explaining things in simple one syllable terms they got the message.

    The blue side of things is a more difficult, if not impossible argument as the worst offenders seem to be incredibly uneducated individuals who fail to see through their Red White and Blue Orange Order Tinted God Save The Queen with her Greatest Empire in the World Flute Band and Sash My Father Wore glasses.

  58. yesindyref2 says:

    Good grief, the things you find out. From Derek Bateman’s blog:

    “Stand by your man. That was always the first response of editors when threats and warnings came in. At the Herald, where I worked from 1973 to 1987, it now seems Bend the Knee is the editor’s motto.”

    That was when it was a fine newspaper, such as it isn’t now.

  59. Jimbo says:

    I like your attitude, Rev. Two consecutive articles daring horrible people to sue you for telling the truth – it shows some real guts.

    It shows integrity!

  60. yesindyref2 says:

    Yes, good for Angela Haggerty. I don’t agree with a lot of what she writes, but I’d defend to the, well, hilt, her right to write it.

  61. Francis Mooney says:

    Rev. If I could pay more then I would. “A totem of the Unionist establishment” is excellent. Don’t forget the SA link. It is huge.

  62. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Feil Gype, thats not Eddie that is “the Trooper”

  63. Stephen Daly says:

    I find myself severely questioning the notion of an independent Scotland if action is not taken NOW to protect a free press from the sectarian, fascist, bigoted, racist hate mob of UNIONIST GANGSTERS, whose twisted little minds reside wholly in the 17th Century.

    These are the same people that in their own are words a clear and present danger against children!!

  64. Bill McLean says:

    I had thought for some time that the Scottish media was bumping along the bottom of the gutter – these last two days has seen them eating and spewing out the shit that pollutes it!

  65. Chris Baxter says:

    Another nail in the coffin for MSM. Everything they touch these days turns sour.

    Tick tock.

  66. macnakamura says:

    “……..and we shall continue to report and comment on the pressing issues of the day without fear or favour. Magnus Llewellin Editor in Chief”
    – See more at:



    ‘Start’ would be welcome.

  67. Iain More says:

    In an ideal world sport can be separated from politics but we don’t live in an ideal world. The London Olympics was nothing more than a poisonous Brit Nat fest.

    The fact that Billions in coin are washing through the IOC, UEFA, FIFA etc guarantees that politics wont be far away either.

    The commercial sponsors of sports have also demonstrated a twa faced attitude. Adidas dropped it sponsorship of the next Olympics over the drugs cheating issue but declined to keep up it sponsorship of footie which is also embroiled in a heavy corruption scandal.

    But back on topic as it appears that the thug elements or in this case not so much the Billy Boys but the Bully Boys have won. Bullying and blackmail appear to tendencies built into the DNA of Brit Nats.

    I don’t or didn’t like Spiers but in this instance I am sympathetic. There were other things in my view that he should have been sacked for years ago but not this.

  68. Johnny says:

    Stephen Daly @ 4:32

    Jim Spence appeared to make such an argument yesterday or the day before and it makes little sense. It’s happening now, with no indy….so how could it be any worse if we were independent?

    Now, whether we’d have people doing any better at stopping it is an entirely different question….

  69. george says:

    morag mentioned the streisand effect. i wonder if llewellin was counting on it? in any case, regardless of whether the herald has been clever or cowardly the rangers board has been idiotic.

    as a rangers supporter: i’m tired of *all* sectarianism, so i can’t and won’t support a club that turns a blind eye.

    as a human being: i’ve nothing against rangers or douglas park, but no person or entity should be allowed to abuse power as they have been. f*** them.

  70. Graham MacLure says:

    Anyone know how to contact the National? My email was bounced back using the email address given in their paper!
    I want clarification from them before cancelling my subscription.

  71. Vestas says:

    Seems to me that The National comes under the same management structure yes?

    If so then I wouldn’t grow too attached to it as frankly there’s no way you can “trust” it given the management structure.

    [dons tinfoil hat] I’m sure you could see the advantage of having the only “Scottish” paper to support indy right under that management thumb for the crucial backstab mmmm?

    On a more mundane level I wouldn’t want to provide funds for the group as its obviously unionist-supporting on all its major publications.

    YMMV of course…

  72. yesindyref2 says:

    53 minutes ago: “Herald & Times Group: A statement”

    “Our titles have a long history of supporting quality journalism and defending free speech and robust comment.”

    “Comments are closed on this article.”

    You couldn’t make it up.

  73. stephen says:

    I remember trying to engage with a workmate ,who was voting NO.He was Celtic supporter,sings all the Irish rebel songs,anti British ,pro Irish republic etc etc .I said to him if you are voting No ,you therefore support the British union,and all that entails.That flew about 30,000 feet over his head.Sometimes I despair,I honestly do.

  74. Valerie says:

    Scottish media title in lack of integrity shocker.

  75. Charlie Noon says:

    Angry and sad in equal measure,ignorant bigoted people keeping my country in the 1970’s,we need to progress as a nation,and treat every person living in Scotland as an like this depresses me.

  76. Grouse Beater says:

    How hard was it to guess advertising is behind the shenanigans?

    The columnist Peter Oborne resigned over the Telegraph’s attempt to protect their HSBC advertising budget.

    It transpired the paper’s owners, Berkley Brother’s, had borrowed many millions from HSBC to prop up their ailing courier service.

    Oborne claimed the owners put pressure on the editor to tone down any criticism of the bank. And indeed mention of the huge money laundering scandal, seen on every other newspaper’s front pages, and top of every TV news, shifted to page 5, in a small column.

    When an institution does that it’s time to dismantle the institution.

  77. F.T.O.F. & the UMSM.

    Well done Rev for having the courage to say what we all know to be true and unmentionable for years by the cowardly fit the ba’ and other authorities

    You should read the online comments on the Hootsmon. It reads like an OF mobile apps facebook from the toilets of the Green Brits of Parkheid and Orange Brits of Ibrox, mainly Ibrox.

  78. Camz says:

    Word is that some Scottish ‘news makers’ will introduce a rigorous application procedure, and among other things, require applicants to have letters after their name.

    BA(Hons), WATP

  79. george says:

    i’ve seen a few people suggesting closed door games, or deducting points.

    i’d suggest deducting points. if people want to pay a small fortune every year to sing offensive songs let them. pretty soon they’ll be watching their team at the bottom of league two, but that’s their choice.

  80. robert graham says:

    oh dear if there was ever a subject guaranteed to divide its this , you should have left it alone , spears was once a great pal of David Murray they fell out ,and ever since spears has had an agenda bordering on the obsessive regarding Rangers ,nothing to do with football a bit strange for a sports reporter,all Rangers supporters are not as portrayed by the gist of some of the comments on here , the same as all Celtic supporters are not like the green brigade at Parkhead , both clubs have their extreme elements to single out just one results in tribal replies as reflected by some of the posts don’t generalise it’s often wrong

  81. Clootie says:

    I’ve commented before that having grown up on the West coast from Ulster stock I rejected this bigotry at an early age.

    Growing up with King Billy on his charger above the fireplace and the Queen facing Phillip on the other walls and the last wall holding the case with my Grandads sash and gauntlets imade me start reading the true history of Ireland. The unionist abuse of Ireland USING the Scots was the execution of tactics honed by the Empire against other nations based on the model of the Roman Empire ( use their own to control them)

    They turned India against itself / Africa ruled by division even Americans faught for the Empire against their family and friends seeking Independence. Scotland should be shaped by those who chose to live here. A future shaped by respect for fellow citizens being key.

    Scotland’s future lies in rejecting this foul part of our history as we did slavery. “Better to face the Sun and keep your shadows behind you”

  82. galamcennalath says:

    I used to buy the Glasgow Herald on my way to work. I bought my last one on the 3rd of May 1979. Their editorial said, “The bold step Britain has to take”, and that was to vote for Thatcher.

    I have just read that piece again, for the first time in over 35 years. It’s on google’s news archive. Astonishing just how wrong the Herald was on it’s appraisal of what the Tories would bring.

    Perhaps this link will work, for anyone interested in this piece of history.

  83. Iain says:

    I heartily agree with the last post.

  84. Petra says:

    Pretty sad state of affairs when a minority of bigots hold such sway over the press in Scotland and have the power to quash Freedom of Speech (as WE know only too well). I say sad because I know many Rangers supporters who absolutely detest bigoted behaviour and will be every bit as annoyed about this as we are. Let’s hope that they demonstrate their abhorrence by complaining to the Rangers Board.

    As to the Sunday Herald I’ll continue to buy it as there are a number of excellent journalists, who support Independence, reporting on there. THEY didn’t take the decision to sack Angela Haggerty and are probably just as horrified and upset as we are about this. Probably even more so as they’ll be concerned that they could be next for the chop if they ‘step out of line.’

    If we stop buying the Sunday Herald we’ll be falling into ‘their’ trap because that’s EXACTLY what they would like to see happen …. shut down one of only two newspapers supporting Independence. Get rid of not only Angela Haggerty but the whole shop. Oh and how they would just love to do that! May even be part of their overall plan?

    Don’t you think we should all e-mail the Rangers Football Club and Magnus Llewellyn rather than stop buying the newspaper? Cut off our nose to spite our face? I’d also imagine that someone will initiate a petition of support for Angela Haggerty, or one against the Rangers Football Club, which would hopefully lead to her being reinstated.

  85. Gary45% says:

    Hark the herald bigots sing.
    Stop buying the Herald, Sunday Herald and the National, you know it makes sense.
    On a day when Rangers get Billy King on loan from Hearts, that will be an excuse to sing a song with those two words in it.

  86. mike cassidy says:

    And these two clubs wonder why the idea of them moving to England is more popular up here than down there.

    Alan Mackintosh 2.40

    It was Graham Stewart – not Speirs -who sat in for John Beattie.

  87. Ian T says:

    Perhaps you’ve rather missed the point?!
    It’s NOTHING to do with bigots holding sway over the Scottish press but EVERYTHING to do with a journalist who has made an allegation that he, for whatever reason, can’t back up!
    What state would our media be in if they could all make unsubstantiated allegations that – may – suit their own agenda?
    A proper journalist gets their scoop by real investigation not bar-room tittle-tattle!

  88. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Mike cassidy, oops my bad, thanks for correction

  89. Broch Landers says:

    And it was only the other day the Rev was lamenting the lack of things happening. The thing is, things are like buses…

  90. heedtracker says:

    What sort of event is this where only men of fighting age turn up?

    Gay nightclubs and Ibrox.

    It really is time for the English FA to step and give this club a place in one of their leagues. What could be more fun than thousands and thousands of union jack draped loyal Brits Saturday visits to England’s fair cities, like Braintree, Kidderminster, Torquay, Cheltenham, Grimsby….

  91. Robert Peffers says:

    @Petra says: 29 January, 2016 at 5:55 pm:

    “Don’t you think we should all e-mail the Rangers Football Club and Magnus Llewellyn rather than stop buying the newspaper?”

    Good luck with that, Petra, but I’ll pass on that.

    “I’d also imagine that someone will initiate a petition of support for Angela Haggerty, or one against the Rangers Football Club, which would hopefully lead to her being reinstated”.

    I’ll pass on that too, Petra, for I believe I could write the response either or both would receive, “NO SURRENDER”. These hard core hate merchants will never change. Their hate is an ingrained, inbred, way of life.

  92. gus1940 says:

    It is suggested that there was a threat to withdraw advertising.

    The next job is to identify and expose said advertisers.

  93. Chitterinlicht says:

    English folk i know vote no because they were terrified of sectarian Scotland.

    Classic establishment divide and rule – get the muppets singing pish abusive songs and hating each other while they live in 3rd world poverty in shit houses with no future and dying before their time and not asking or getting angry about the big important stuff.

    But as long as the Gers or The Tic win at the weekend then life is glorious.

    Load of pish.

    Sick of it.

    Ps good article Stu and sympathy for Spiers and Haggerty

  94. Kirsty says:

    I can’t quite figure out why anyone on this thread is referencing any other football teams in this – this steaming pile of excrement has nothing to do with any other team – it’s all Rangers. It really has nothing to do with football either. This is about a corrupt unionist establishment throwing its weight around, trying to bend others to their will, and another corrupt unionist establishment capitulating at the cost of someone’s job, any pretence of press impartiality and freedom of speech. It’s pretty frightening, shocking stuff and is an utter disgrace.

    So I hope people stop helping to deflect the blame from where it lies by letting this get off track by talking about other teams or supporters instead of the real story in all this, because this is too important. The usual diversionary tactics of, ‘Oh look over there! See? That lot’s just as bad!’ shouldn’t be allowed to work this time. I think most people in Scotland are thoroughly sick of this kind of crap – it’s a total riddy if nothing else. It’s really way past time that we made it clear this sort of thing wasn’t acceptable.

  95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It’s NOTHING to do with bigots holding sway over the Scottish press but EVERYTHING to do with a journalist who has made an allegation that he, for whatever reason, can’t back up!”

    How do you know he can’t back it up? He hasn’t been given the chance to. You don’t have a clue what he can or can’t back up.

  96. Robert Kerr says:


  97. heedtracker says:

    I can’t quite figure out why anyone on this thread is referencing any other football teams in this – this steaming pile of excrement has nothing to do with any other team – it’s all Rangers. It really has nothing to do with football either.

    Kirsty, the owners of Rangers and Celtic have made millions from sectarian shite. BBC loved broadcasting the pitched battles, tragic outcomes of all the violence, all of it feeds into their relentless UKOK “Scotland’s a shit hole run by fools propaganda” and that’s just the start.

    Look at how that idiot Jim Murphy tried to get votes promising to stop Holyrood’s attempts

    Poverty breeds violence, end of.

  98. Effijy says:

    Poor Graham Spiers. He never had a chance if he is trying to put the truth into a UK OK Newspaper.

    With regard to crumbling advertisements, what sort of number are for Independence that will not tolerate the garbage written in the paper, and how many WoS contributors
    with businesses wouldn’t touch it?

    There must be a greater number in the Independence camp.
    I was once a Labour and Rangers supporter but not now.
    The number of herald readers and Rangers fans fall every week, while independence supporters grow by the day.

  99. Macart says:

    Well said Clootie.

  100. Bob Mack says:


    The main one was Parks of Hamilton buses etc.
    Several others associated like Easdale etc.

  101. starlaw says:

    Long past time the SFA took a stand with bigotry, to date they have seemed at ease with it, after many chances they have done sweet FA and I doubt they ever will.

  102. lumilumi says:

    Ian T @ 6.26pm
    It’s NOTHING to do with bigots holding sway over the Scottish press but EVERYTHING to do with a journalist who has made an allegation that he, for whatever reason, can’t back up!
    What state would our media be in if they could all make unsubstantiated allegations that – may – suit their own agenda?
    A proper journalist gets their scoop by real investigation not bar-room tittle-tattle!

    I take it you’re being ironic? Given the state of the “Scottish” mainstream media today.

  103. Conan the Librarian™ says:

    “Any lawyer who told the Herald this was an indefensible case of defamation is a slavering clown.”

    Google ”Donald Findlay”

  104. G. Campbell says:

    Magnus Gardham wanted abusive cybernats sanctioned. I reckon he’ll be the first to show solidarity with Angela and Graham by resigning from his post.

    Magnus Gardham on Radio Scotland’s Shereen, 17.11.2012
    Subject under discussion: the Lord McAlpine twitter row:
    “I sincerely hope that it is a defining moment, actually, because in Scottish politics there is a huge problem with Internet trolls who target journalists who are perceived to be critical of Scottish independence – who hide under a cloak of anonymity and spread bile and hatred and abuse and intimidation, and if a precedent can be set in this case which shows that it’s not acceptable and there are sanctions then I think that will be entirely healthy.”

  105. Hoss Mackintosh says:


    This is what happened when Rangers last played a big game in England…

    They are welcome to them but I do not think they will take them.

    Perhaps Rangers will not want to play in an Indy Scotland – I think that would be a good compromise if they played in the English leagues after Indy.

    We could invite Barcelona to take their place. 🙂

  106. gillie says:

    Loyalists 2 The Herald 0 (2 OGs)

  107. Valerie says:

    Off topic

    Sickening. The JKR thing has gone viral. It came up as trending on FB.

  108. Capella says:

    Magnus LLewellin is having a bad twitter day.

    Even the mild mannered Derek Bateman is angry.

    Perhaps social media have finally overtaken print as the first port of call in a hot topic.

  109. gillie says:

    One important thing we learned today.

    The Herald will sack journalists whilst the Scotsman won’t.

  110. G. Campbell says:


    Freedom of Speech – The Herald Campaign
    Herald View / Wednesday 18 November 2015

    We in the West must not assume that our rights to say what we like are as enshrined as we believe. Take Scotland. Today we publish a letter from our leading writers warning of a threat to our freedom of speech.

    They fear our defamation laws, in the internet era, are having a chilling effect on free speech. We share these concerns and today we launch our “Freedom of Speech” campaign in support.

    Most of us think we have the right to criticise and scrutinise the rich and powerful, without the rich and powerful using the law to silence us but this comes with a big “if”.

    Some journalists admit to thinking twice before exposing wrongdoing, fearing an expensive defamation action even if they were in the right. Those journalists just have to be read in Scotland.

    As writers’ organisation Scottish Pen stresses, this is not just a problem for the media.

    Scientists who criticise corporate interests or quack alternative medicine practitioners worry Scottish courts could be used to gag them; again, that could apply even if they were in England or Wales. Consumer champions who review products or services are at risk; so too are consumers. The time has never been better to expand free speech and protect our rights.

  111. Cadogan Enright says:

    Worth keeping an eye on the BBC to see if they change the content of this report as the night goes on

  112. Ian T says:

    @Rev Stuart @ 7.01pm

    Are you for real?!
    1. He has made an allegation – I assume you agree with that simple fact?
    2. That allegation has been discussed by ‘all parties’ undoubtedly including Speirs – I assume you agree with that simple reported fact also?
    3. Therefore it is far from unreasonable to assume that during those discussions Speirs was given the opportunity to provide proof of his allegation – he clearly can’t otherwise we wouldn’t be having this debate!
    Therefore, I repeat, a journalist investigates and doesn’t rely on ‘tittle-tattle’!

  113. We are watching the death of the corrupt/biased/lying MSM in Scotland,it is not fit for purpose,it is an anachronism,

    `social media` is the light that is shinning into the shadows and murk of MSM,

    good days to be alive brothers and sisters.

  114. JLT says:

    Where does one begin with all of this?

    First apologies for the length of this post (don’t punch me, Stuart). It’s a post that may help folk understand some of the historical context.

    So, first and foremost …let me just say that not all Rangers fans are bigots. It should be openly acknowledged that many will sit quietly if sectarian singing begins. Many do believe in Scottish independence. And many will speak openly of that independence belief, while others stay quiet knowing that to declare such a belief, will only rile the verbal backlash from the more hardened Unionist core, but also out of fear of physical retaliation from that same group.

    I have no doubt, that everyone here, knows someone who supports Rangers, but that we all know at least someone who states his belief in the Orange Order. It is these people who seem to impose an intimidating presence on Scottish society.

    Many years ago, I picked up a book on Scottish history (after my own father told me that ‘nothing happened in Scottish history before 1707’, and expecting that, I was blown away with just how much history actually existed before 1707 in Scotland. From the wars of independence, literally two centuries from 1350 onwards where the Scottish nobility were at each others throats (it is truly epic …Campbell’s, MacDonald’s, Black Douglase’s, Red Douglase’s, Hamilton’s, MacGregor’s …and of course, the House of Stuart). Then we have Knox, the Reformation, Mary Queen of Scots, James VI, the wars with England, the Great Michael, France, Canada …and our doom …Darien).

    But it was what happened in 1688 that not made me question everything about the British State, but also to look at those who claim to be orangemen and realise the sheer ignorance of some of them. I realised then that many of them have not bothered to investigate the facts surrounding William of Orange, his motives, and that what they claim is history, is an extremely distorted view, and that it could only come from the ‘Orange handbook of history’ itself.

    First, a fact …which many Orangemen either don’t know; deny, or just pretend in some other twisted version of it, and that is, that the King James that glorify in his defeat by William of Orange, and whom they believe is solely an Irish Catholic King …is actually the British King known as James II of England and VII of Scotland; grandson of James VI of Scotland and I of England, and who ruled over the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. He was the valid King of these islands …and 100% a Stuart.

    There are 10,000’s of Orangemen who simply do not know what I have mentioned in the last paragraph. And there are others who will blindly refuse to believe it.

    95 words that literally tear their whole Orange world apart.

    But to add more fuel to the fire, and to twist the knife further …another sobering fact for them is that their beloved King William is married to Mary …who is also the daughter of none other than …yep, that King James. This means that William of Orange unseated his father-in-law from the English throne.

    William of Orange was man on the make. He was a Stadtholder in Holland, and at that time, the Dutch were a serious rival seafaring empire to the English one (remember, the Union hasn’t happened yet). To really cut this short, when William was offered the English throne by English Parliamentarians, William took it, but it would have serious implications for 3 out of 4 Kingdoms. Ireland would suffer two years later when a Jacobite army was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Scotland suffered through the failure of the Darien Scheme in the New World, but thanks to William, who told English colonies not to trade with the Scots since William – the great defender of Protestantism, feared upsetting the Catholic nations of France, Spain, Portugal and Italy. So …’our King’ stabbed Scotland in the back (because we had stolen territory from Spain in Central America), financially ruined us, and forced us down the path to Unionism.

    And finally, when William became King of England, he basically ended Dutch imperial ambitions too …simply because William didn’t want his own nation …interfering with the riches being made from the English New World colonies.

    That’s William; usurper, family backstabber, a King who punished Irish Catholics, financially ruined Scotland, and ended Dutch ambitions in the World. All because he wanted money and power. A man on the make.

    That is who Orangemen look up to. And for many …in their sheer ignorance …they have no idea of what sort of King that they sing about, or toast too, let alone the facts that they sing about the defeat of a ‘British’ King.

    And for many Orangemen, that’s what blind ignorance of historical facts can do to you. A twisted version of it that will only blind you to the real truth itself…

  115. John D aka Ecosse-Nkosi says:

    I grew up as a lad in Grangemouth in a family of Mom & Dad and 4 brothers, between us we supported 3 football clubs Aberdeen, Hearts & Rangers, each club having 2 members of the family. None of us have ever had a bigoted bone in our bodies. Sadly recently it seems that Rangers FC has been tarred with a brush that is not representative of all of it’s supporters. That being said it seems that a rather vocal minority is bringing the rest of the club down to their level, gutter scum.

  116. jimnarlene says:

    a splendid summation of history. Apart from one misnomer, it was not “the wars of independence”, we were already independent. They were wars of survival.

    Great post though.

  117. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Good post, Petra.
    Damaging the Sunday Herald is just what our enemies would like us to do.

    As a matter of information one of the strangest and most encouraging things to have happened over the last five years is that most Celtic supporters now support YES. That is what has destroyed the Labour vote.

    Those who used to sing Erin Gu snooker loopy! ae now singing Alba Gu snooker loopy! as well.They have found their natural anti British position which had been denied them by their previous allegiance to the stupid Labour Party in Scotland.

    The Rangers support is the last bastion of unionism (for all the wrong reasons)but not all Rangers supporters are part of this. I know many Rangers supporters who voted YES. When we get the rest of them we win.

  118. Ian T says:

    Lumilumi @ 7.23pm

    I wasn’t being deliberately ironic – but I get your point!

  119. galamcennalath says:

    JLT says:

    “That is who Orangemen look up to.”

    … you are correct, but there is even more to this period in history!

    The great chasm in Europe was between France’s Louis XIV and just about everyone else. William, and the Pope, were on the side opposing Louis. James had backing from Louis.

    This is the bit Orangemen either don’t know, or conveniently ignore – the Pope financed William’s military expedition to Ireland to fight James.

    Where were the English in all this? Well William didn’t completely trust the English army, so they stayed at home.

    This whole period seems to have very little to do with religion and a great deal to do with European power politics and alliances.

  120. Graham MacLure says:

    JLT @ 8:55

    Any of the Lambeg knuckle draggers I have met would have difficulty differentiating between The Lone Ranger and William of Orange. “Baith oan a white hoarse an ‘at but by the way.”
    Let them stew in their own shit and let the rest of us build our own future free from either side of the bigotry and tribalism.
    I see some posting here tonight.

  121. Jake Gittes says:

    One benefit of Independence will be the collapse of Loyalism/Unionism within Scotland.

    Simply put, I am sure some Irishmen/women regretted the establishment of the Free State and Republic ( a tiny minority admittedly ) and longed for re-establishment of the Union. But they accepted political reality post 1923 or moved to the rUK.

  122. Grendel says:

    galamcennalath says:
    29 January, 2016 at 5:45 pm
    I used to buy the Glasgow Herald on my way to work. I bought my last one on the 3rd of May 1979. Their editorial said, “The bold step Britain has to take”, and that was to vote for Thatcher.

    I have just read that piece again, for the first time in over 35 years. It’s on google’s news archive. Astonishing just how wrong the Herald was on it’s appraisal of what the Tories would bring.

    Perhaps this link will work, for anyone interested in this piece of history.

    Notice on page 1 of that paper, a man from Ulster arrested under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. There’s a core within the loyalists who threatened such action if there was a Yes vote. This is the way it has been for years, and will be for years to come.

  123. BLMac says:

    I presume all these enthusiastic Christians pack out the churches every Sunday…

  124. JLT says:

    galamcennalath says:

    JLT says:…

    LOL mate …I had to stop! It was turning into a novel. That was why I mentioned in my ‘wee’ post that ‘To really cut this short’. Sure, there is a lot more to it (James’ mistress giving birth to a baby boy, thus causing Parliament to fear a new set of religious wars in these islands. Also his promotion of Catholics to key positions in his government). It runs deep, but the focus wasn’t really on James’ beliefs or failures, but more on the character of William and of what he did.

    One further aspect of ‘British history’ (which funnily enough you mentioned in your post) revolves around William’s invitation to Britain and in what seems to be a little fact that has more or less airbrushed over by Britnats. Wanting to believe that Britain has never been invaded since 1066. Well, when William was invited over, he roughly brought around 20,000 Dutchmen with him, and they along with William marched on London to seize the throne. Now …to me …that’s an invasion; invited or not! Technically then, the last invasion of these islands was not by the Normans, but a small Dutch army.

    And chances are, since Frederick Schomberg, 1st Duke of Schomberg and an Electorate of the Palatinate fough at the Boyne himself, then it would suggest that Dutch forces were there also.

  125. G. Campbell says:


    The Herald supports the Scottish Pen Campaign against current defamation laws.

    Scottish Pen is part of PEN International.

    Angela Haggerty can bee seen on the first picture on the Scottish Pen landing page. [ ]

    JK Rowling is a member of PEN International.

    PEN America is part of PEN International.

    PEN America has announced it is giving its 2016 PEN/Allen award to the author J.K. Rowling.

    JK Rowling yesterday threatened to sue Natalie McGarry for defamation.

    The Herald has just sacked two of its most respected journalists, Angela Haggerty and Graham Spiers, probably over fears of a defamation case.

    This is Scotland in 2016, ladies and gentlemen.
    – – – – – – – – – – –

    Scots writers including Val McDermid, Ian Rankin and Christopher Brookmyre demand reform of defamation law that ‘threatens freedom of speech’

    Scotland’s most celebrated writers have warned of a threat to their freedom of speech.

    James Kelman, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Chris Brookmyre and Neal Ascherson are among more than 100 authors demanding reform of the country’s antiquated defamation laws.

    In a joint letter organised by freedom of speech organisation Scottish Pen, the writers warn that they – along with campaigners, scientists and journalists – are facing the “chilling” effect of libel action threats.
    – – – – – – – – – – –
    Scottish PEN, founded in 1926, is the Scottish centre of PEN International.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    PEN International

    PEN International is a worldwide association of writers, founded in London in 1921 to promote friendship and intellectual co-operation among writers everywhere. The association has autonomous International PEN centers in over 100 countries.

    Other goals included: to emphasise the role of literature in the development of mutual understanding and world culture; to fight for freedom of expression; and to act as a powerful voice on behalf of writers harassed, imprisoned and sometimes killed for their views.

    PEN members
    J. K. Rowling
    – – – – – – – – – – –

    PEN America to Honor J.K. Rowling, Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch at Annual Literary Gala

    Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling will receive the 2016 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award at PEN America’s annual Literary Gala on May 16 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

    PEN America, the country’s largest writer-driven free expression advocacy organization, presents the award annually to a critically acclaimed author whose work embodies its mission to oppose repression in any form and to champion the best of humanity.

  126. Grendel says:

    Talk of differentiating between the Herald, the Sunday Herald and the National are akin to boycotting Mr Tunnock’s sNAWballs while continuing to happily munch on his caramel wafers or caramel logs.
    Follow the money: it all goes the same way.

    Since Richard Walkers departure there has been a detectable shift in style at the Sunday Herald, and I made the decision to stop buying it late last year. I found myself buying the National, but not really reading it.

    The question has to be asked, is the Sunday Herald and National sales helping prop up the main Unionist thrust of Herald group, and are we being mugs in letting that happen?

  127. Dr Jim says:

    How to win friends and influence people by constantly jabbing and pointing out something which is of no importance except to the recipient of the jibes

    I call that as much bullying as the folk you’re pointing at, both sides of the sectarian loonies are just that and it has sod all to do with football the Numpties who assign the duties of defenders of the their faiths to themselves would argue over the size of the oppositions nose or the colour of each others hair, football is merely the vehicle for Gladiatorial and ritual combat designed for us by our betters

    It keeps us occupied and takes our mind off real problems like poverty and hunger and the masses with not much between their thick ears will for for it

    Television, Big Brother, The Hunger Games, since our betters found out we’d fall for divisional shit they’ve kept making up new games, get some lions kill a few punters , Ooh, lets invent religion they’ll fall for that shit,and they’re still doing it

    Thing is, isn’t it about time we grew up and said,no more ya bastirts, see yer religion, see yer arse

  128. highseastim says:

    Have bought The National since it started up and the Sunday Herald, they’ve had their last ‘shekels’ off of me after this episode!!

  129. Cadogan Enright says:

    @grender 9.49

    I doubt your bona fides

    We have had this discussion here oft before

    Most folk would hold this argument as symptomatic of Yoonie trolling

    I apologise if you are genuine, but would then suggest that you do not have seem to have thought this through

  130. Rock says:

    “Showing the great journalistic integrity for which he’s fast becoming famed, the editor-in-chief of the Herald group, Magnus Llewellin, immediately caved to their demands.”

    “The Herald and its editor-in-chief are a cowardly disgrace to journalism and decency.”

    Isn’t The National part of the same Herald Group?

    No wonder there has never been a W O S style hard hitting article in it and the Rev. Stuart Campbell has never been invited to pen an article for it.

    The National is nothing more than a cash cow for The Herald.

    Why couldn’t its publishers simply make The Herald neutral and unbiased instead of publishing The National?

    To milk gullible independence supporters dry, that is why.

  131. Graham MacLure says:

    highseastim @9:44

    I am of the the same opinion. Central belt sectarianism has no place in the modern world.
    There is in my experience an underlying feeling outside the Central Belt that rule from Westminster would be more acceptable than being ruled by West of Scotland sectarian bigots.
    Witness the split between the Yes and NO.

  132. Brian McHugh says:

    Just watched FMQs from thursday there… Just WOW. Nicola didn’t even break sweat destroying Kezias’ Labour.

    I know… It’s Friday night and I should get out more. 😀

  133. Cadogan Enright says:

    God protect us, Rock back trolling again

    Crawl back under your self please

  134. Grouse Beater says:

    Cadogan: “God protect us”

    More of trolls and snark here:

  135. Grouse Beater says:

    Try this:

  136. Brian McHugh says:

    Cadogan, to be fair, I stopped buying the National for that very reason. I just don’t see a long term future for printed newspapers anyway… Smartphones are in the process of killing newspapers.

    Tick Tock.

  137. Grendel says:

    Cadogan Enright at 9:57

    Not sure how you doubt my bona fides, my record posting on this site speaks for itself.

  138. chic thomson says:

    Can someone enlighten me here, I am genuinely confused. Whilst Rev Stu could, should he feel like it, just brain-fart onto his kbd and it’s published, that’s how new media works. But Spiers’ piece appeared in the paper. Therefore it was submitted, and then edited, subbed, proofed, legalled and all the other processes that go between submission and publication on an newspaper. If it got through all that and was as poisonous as later explained by the editor, then there’s a lot more sackings due at the Herald. Indeed is the editor himself not ultimately responsible for what ‘goes out the door’. Or is it just that Herald group has been reduced to a one man + dog operation through successive cuts?
    Enquiring minds need to know!

  139. Robert Peffers says:

    @gillie says: 29 January, 2016 at 8:14 pm:

    “One important thing we learned today.

    The Herald will sack journalists whilst the Scotsman won’t.”

    That’s only because, If the Scotsman was to make any more journalists redundent, there would be no one left to make the tea or take the mail round.

  140. Colin McAuley says:

    Rangers need to move on otherwise they will die a lingering and destructive death in the full gaze of the media.

    They seem to be trying to hold onto a hard core of sectarian buffoons rather than seek to secure young secular supporters.

    I speak as an ex Hun, frankly ashamed and embaresed I chose to support them as a youth.

    On their return to the premier league, my and others shame and embarrassment will grow.

  141. bookie from hell says:

    just cancelled herald subscription

    have a feeling they will fully switch to tory party for unionist cause Scotland,never mind rangers

  142. Graham MacLure says:

    Cardogan Enright

    God is of the Established Church of Scotland.
    Not being of The Establishment he will not protect you unless you are a Mason, a Rangers Supporter,a Unionist and a member of the O O.

    Chic thomson
    Good point . What happened to collective responsibility?
    It looks as if an advertiser threw the toys out of the pram and sacrificial lambs had to be found. Persuasion featuring prominently in the best West of Scotland traditions saw collateral damage taking the worst of it.

  143. Auld Rock says:

    Personally I’ve no time for football having been put off it growing up in West Central Scotland. We need people like Haggerty and Speirs to highlight these issues but the real responsibility lies with the football authorities and nothing will change until they start deducting points, say 10 for first breach, 20 for second and when they find themselves dropping a division again they might and I emphise ‘might’ start to see some change. This type of action should be applied to any club allowing bigitory in any shape, size or form.

    Auld Rock

  144. Iain Cormack says:

    Is it not about time we put sectarian nonsense behind us. All the sectarian divide is an tool of the British empire, on the divide and rule basis. This was invented by the Roman empire and used to rule over the known world. We are better than that, we need to put such petty crap behind us. Scotland is bigger and better than the role of bigoted msm deciding who is politically correct. We have to move on and put what religion or lack of religion a person is behind us. It does not matter. Scotland will be independent and hopefully not be divided like Northern Ireland. We need to move on. The Scottish people deserve nothing less.

  145. Robert Louis says:

    All of this, rangers, JK, the blatantly biased coverage of the referendum, all of it, is a terrible indictment of not just the so-called ‘Scottish’ media, but of the very nature of the way in which Scotland is ruled from London.

    When you live in a half country like Scotland, where ALL the power, and control of money resides in another country, England. Where all the press regulatory bodies reside in England, from where they are controlled, when the state propagandist broadcaster controlled from England, covers Scottish news and politics as a poorly constructed, and ill-informed afterthought, then THIS, is what you get.

    All of these kinds of nonsense ‘spats’, and a major newspaper editor sacking staff on the whims of a football team, are all symptoms of how unhealthy it is for ANY country, including Scotland, to be run by proxy from another country with different priorities.

    In essence, all of this just exemplifies why Scotland needs to get out of this horrendous, one -sided, undemocratic union with England. Only then can Scotland become a proper country, with a proper media, made in Scotland, for Scotland. When ALL the power is in Scotland, and regulatory bodies in England no longer interfere badly in Scottish events, then, and only then will we cease to see editors who really, really need to grow a pair (and quickly), bowing before third rate football clubs.

  146. Johnny says:

    Agree Iain Cormack.

    Utter nonsense in this day and age that people are going around hating others because of religion. The very antithesis of enlightened thinking.

    It’s embarrassing. Why do *some* people have to be so bloody stupid?

  147. Robert Peffers says:

    @jimnarlene says: 29 January, 2016 at 9:05 pm:

    ” a splendid summation of history. Apart from one misnomer”

    Agreed it was a great post but there are two errors. It actually wasn’t King Billy doing the dirty on the other British countries.

    It was the English Parliament who deposed the King of England/King of Scots and offered the crowns of BOTH, to King Billy & Queen Mary on condition they ceded their sovereign powers to the parliament of England.

    However, as Scotland was still an independent and sovereign country, deposing the King of England could not legally affect the independent Kingdom of Scotland. This was, in 1688, (the start of the Jacobite uprisings), that did not end until after the Battle of Culloden, almost 40 years after the Treaty of Union.

    This whole period of history is a pack of propaganda lies. The Treaty was forced upon Scotland and William Paterson, a London Scot, together with his friend Daniel Defoe were undercover English agents so the Darien Expedition was also an English Parliament engineered plot to force Scotland into union. Remember Paterson had already been prime mover in establishing the Bank of England before getting involved in setting up Darien.

    Furthermore, the English Parliament had colluded with the Dutch to promise a 50% stake in Darien but then both pulled was too late to cancel the scheme. They then decreed the Royal Navy & Royal Soldiers from helping the Scottish expeditioners.

    Not to mention there was an English Fleet anchored of Berwick and English armies at the borders.

  148. Robert Louis says:

    Iain Cormack at 1056pm.

    I agree with every word. Sectarianism in Scotland has long been used by London to drive a wedge through Scottish society.

    Scots need to wise up. It’s 2016, not 1690 FFS.

  149. Graham MacLure says:

    Aye Louis, but who rules the roost after Independence?

    That’s the question that made the difference between 45 and 55.
    Some would see an Edinburgh Parliament as another cheek of the same erse as a Westminster Parliament if the same clique held the same power in Scotland as they do now.
    The divides in Scotland go back to time immemorial,from Gaels to Gauls ,East to West, North to South and more recently sectarianism.
    How do you reconcile them? I wish I knew. But I do know how an outsider feels.

  150. Robert Peffers says:

    @Johnny says: 29 January, 2016 at 11:08 pm:

    Utter nonsense in this day and age that people are going around hating others because of religion. The very antithesis of enlightened thinking.

    ” Why do *some* people have to be so bloody stupid?”

    Please Sir! Please Sir! I know! I Know!

    Is it because they are just too bloody stupid, that they’re too bloody stupid?

  151. Lenny Hartley says:

    Cadogan Enright . agree with you regarding these people who seem to think a paper that costs 60 pence and has a circulation of 13k bankrolls a paper costing over double and circulation over double with a far bigger advertising revenue. If anything the National is bankrolled by the Herald.

    Sound like Trolls to me, I said earlier that I had bought my last Sunday Herald, however as it appears that the SH Editor had nothing to do with the sacking I will continue to purchase, its vitally important that we have a pro indy presence on the shelves.

  152. Aos says:

    Dreadful state of affairs over at Herlandland. No amount of bleating can excuse their behaviour regarding the treatment of Graham and Angela.

    Although when Angela tweeted earlier in the day that the shitstorm was about to hit and needed support, thought she was about to be unmasked as Brian Spanner!

    All I can say is my cancelling of the Herald online subs a couple months ago, must’ve been done with the unconscious foreknowledge of this event. As well as it being a waste of a fiver a fortnight, for a tripe paper.

  153. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    As the editor of the Sunday Herald has already pointed out (no doubt in anger and at serious risk to his job)the Sunday Herald did not sack Angela Haggerty. It is therefore reallt stupid to try to deal with this by stopping buying the Sunday Herald or the National. But entirely sensible to stop buying the Herald.

    The Herald’s circulation is already plummetting under its juvenile editorship while the Sunday Herald, which is becoming the most readable of weekend newspapers (but not an SNP pamphlet), is growing against the widespread trend of falling newspaper sales.

    Any notion that the National is a “cash cow” for the Herald is utterly absurd. It barely covers its costs and relies to a large extent on the contribution from many at very advantageous rates. It also references Wings Over Scotland on a virtually daily basis now. There are many fabulous contribution this week with Jeanne Freeman, Gordon McIntyre-Kemp and Wee Ginger Dug (who does two columns per week) particularly noted.

    The fact is the Herald, once one of world’s most respected newspapers and the world’s oldest, should be saved but this can only be done by the removal of its present editorial and management team.

    Can I suggest a nationwide petition to this effect to Newsquest and to its US owners Gannet

  154. Graham MacLure says:

    Dave McEwan Hill

    Why should I pay money to a company that knuckles under to a Unionist?

  155. Hobbit says:

    It’s been well said. Rugby is a thug’s game played by chaps for the entertainment of gentlemen. Football is the beautiful game played by the lads for the entertainment of …

    I’ve been to Murrayfield for a rugby international, in which I ended up seated with fans of the opposing country (not England). No worries! I would never have tried the same at any football match, even a minor league one.

  156. Big Jock says:

    Embarrassed that this unholy mob represent Scotland at all. They look like Chelsea fans from the 80s. Why do they deny their Gaelic/Celtic heritage and replace it with an invented Anglo Saxon heritage. They are buffoons who deny their own origins. Are we not all Gaels,Celts,Lowlanders,Highlanders,Polish Scots,Irish Scots etc That’s where Scotland was born. Most folk who come to live here celebrate and embrace Scottish culture. They want to pretend Scotland never existed.

    Ironic that I have an Irish name but feel more Scottish than them.

  157. Still Positive. says:

    I cancelled my Herald subscription last year and had my last paper copy on Boxing Day – basically with the death of Ian Bell there was no reason for buying it.

    I had been buying the Herald for more than 30 years up until then.

    I like The National because it is focussing on our national heritage among other things like giving a voice to Patrick Harvie, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, Paul Kavanagh (the Wee Ginger Dug).

    And the crosswords are much better than the Herald.

  158. graeme says:

    It’s like Arkell vs Pressdram never happened. Surely the response of a newspaper to threats like these should be: Fuck off.

  159. Big Jock says:

    Jake 9.24.

    Correct about the Irish protesters to the free state. In Dublin museum there is a picture of them with their Union Flags. Except they are polite ladies with flags nothing more. They were viewed as an odd curiosity by the Irish.

    The ultra Unionists in Scotland circa George Square are an angry uneducated mob of pond life. But they are still a tiny minority who make a lot of noise. Post independence they will disappear in a generation.

  160. liz says:

    The Herald on twitter unbelievably running a story about the guy who posted the tweets between Brian Spanner and JKR having to apologise and remove himself from Twitter.

    Big damage limitation going on as no mention of Spanner.

    Trying to bury this story with blame being moved from Spanner, JKR and NMcG to the messenger

  161. Ian Brotherhood says:

    It might help if everyone involved in this unedifying episode took a few minutes to re-acquaint themselves with some basic facts before making further comment:

  162. Grendel says:

    Lenny Hartley @ 1139pm
    When confronted with an opinion which isn’t entirely on message, cry troll.

    I’m mightily disappointed in the Sunday Herald. I’m YES, broadly supportive of SNP, but not slavishly. I see room for other Yes parties and believe that they should all be given a fair hearing.

    I’m also disturbed at their derogatory coverage of anything Tommy Sheridan. Tommy was one of the most passionate and engaging speakers for Yes, but someone at the Sunday Herald really doesn’t like him. Hatchet job after hatchet job appeared, completely needlesly.

    Having attended the Hope Over Fear event in George Square I was able to see the the difference between what the Herald claimed to have happened and what was published. Their BBC style revision of the number in attendance was just one example.

    In regards to The National, I am supportive of the concept of it, but question the implementation. For tabloid readers, most don’t even realise they are being drip fed propaganda for one side or another. The National is overtly political, and is in fear of becoming the in-house paper of the SNP (and NOT the wider Yes movement). Seeing as its role (as I see it) is to address the balance of pro-union news, I’d ask the question; is it reaching outside the core Yes vote to the don’t knows and maybes? Or are we just speaking to ourselves?

  163. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Contact details for the owners of the Herald

    Newsquest Media Group Ltd
    Registered office:
    Loudwater Mill
    Station Road
    High Wycombe
    HP10 9TY
    Newsquest’s objective is to have market-leading brands disseminating local information in a number of different and simultaneous ways, which reflect the views and aspirations of the communities they serve. Our multi-media brands must be the authoritative source of information that customers can trust; being willing to listen but not afraid to question.
    Newsquest is market-led and technology-driven and with all its products – both print and digital – the company’s aim is always to provide optimum service to customers.

    The US owners of the group
    Gannett Co
    Headquarters. .,
    Inc. 7950 Jones Branch Drive
    22107 703-854-6000

  164. yesindyref2 says:

    @G. Campbell
    Thanks for the info on PEN and the award. I’ve decided for the meanwhile I’ll stick to posting on the Herald, stopping just short of the line to try to minimise chances of deletion, when correcting misleading information. For reassurance, I don’t buy the Herald, and don’t have an online subscription.

  165. yesindyref2 says:

    @Ian Brotherhood, @Dave McEwan Hill
    It should be remembered as well that journalists work within constraints.

  166. ben madigan says:

    totally off topic – You know all about the Scottish cringe.
    Here’s an example of the Italian cringe.
    It won’t make the ladies blush – despite the title!

  167. Mcubanheel says:

    At times I feel sorry for rangers. It seems that this sectarian element have no real interest in the actual football, rather, in their need to be accepted into a group have attached themselves to the sectarian support that uses rangers as the conduit for their intergenerational bigotry (my father wore it as a youth). The gist of my point is football becomes a poor second to their bigoted hatred.

  168. John Crawford says:

    Going by the comments posted, I don’t suppose you will post this.

    Seeing the good Rev is determined to look at this in a political context he must therefore look at the song in question with his political eyes. The song is deemed offensive due to the word “Fenian”, which when viewed in a political sense and in its true modern meaning, is that of one who wishes to enforce republicanism on the UK through violent means, which is perfectly inline with Mr Campbell’s insistence that the Rangers followers are all staunch Unionists, he is of course very wrong, but this is how some such as he will demonise a group of people within a society, the same kind of references were used by Miss Haggerty and her good friend Phill McGillivan in describing the whole Rangers support as a “clan” and “trailer trash”, they always use these terms when talking about Rangers, which is their favourite subject, and reveal their true feelings time after time, they openly support the violent republican movement and yet when one is questioned or chastised for there extremely derogatory comments they go into full victim mode, a pathetic, but extremely common theme.

    If Mr Campbell is determined to look upon this as a political subject, then he must look at this is the proper context, why would a confirmed “Fenian” be offended about being called one, and if the Rangers fans are a political movement, then why are you trying to suppress their right in freedom of speech and singing a song about a violent republicans who wish to wipe them from the face of the earth?

  169. Petra says:

    Let’s all get real here. A study of particular areas of Scotland, such as on the West Coast, highlight that we are a most bigoted, sectarian country … historically … even now? Labour with McConnell as Leader demonstrated this only too well at one point in time (check it / him out). And to make us all feel a little better, or more so NOT, England is one of the most religiously bigoted countries on Earth .. . and created the divide and conquer situation re. Scotland and Northern Ireland. This bigotry can also be seen to extend to and permeate the World in general such as in White, Protestant USA.

    A study of our history shows that latterly Catholicism versus Protestantism was a BIG issue (far too extensive to go into here). The Protestants ‘won’ at the end of the day (such as present Queenie and crew) but there was always the overiding issue that the ‘Catholics’ could overwhelm them (big fear) by doing no more than producing extremely large families by Popery demand.

    I wasn’t around two or three hundred years ago but I’m very well aware of what was going on through studying history; more so on a personal level in the present time.

    Years ago I applied for a brilliant job with an oil company. I was a Protestant who had attended a very prestigious school (without my numerous qualifications / degrees at that time .. OR any relevant experience) and wow within ten minutes of speaking to me the owner of the company offered me the job. He then pointed to two large piles of applications on either side of his desk and with a ‘smug and stinking’ look upon his face he pointed in one direction, said these are from Catholics, job done now and threw them into the bin beside his desk. I was over the moon about getting the job but was horrified with what he did especially as I found out later that numerous Roman Catholic applicants had more experience and qualifications than I had for the job in question. I was very young at this time but never forgot what he did and years later when I worked for an Education Department in Scotland (and was now looking out for) realised that Roman Catholics were being totally excluded from holding promoted posts. This situation thankfully changed over time.

    During that time I studied the ‘Irish’ situation in depth, went onto marrying a Roman Catholic of Irish extraction and had a clear idea of what had taken place.

    Additionally, latterly, I’ve been involved personally through family members socialising with some members of the Rangers ‘hierarchy’.

    Someone on this site has mentioned the term ‘tittle, tattle’ but it’s not tittle, tattle at all FGS (just listen to the songs that are sung at football matches … more so elsewhere … we’re not all daft or deaf). We don’t need Spiers to provide proof of anything at all other than name the Director in question if that’s what it takes to satisfy the unbelievers. And if, when, he does so it will be explosive but not surprising.

    Meanwhile making a positive case for Scotland I would say that many of the troublemakers don’t come from Scotland at all but rather from Northern Ireland (AND relocated here short-term during the Referendum to vote) .. stirring up the suppressed beliefs and feelings of their ‘Scottish relatives’. Also considering, not excluding of course, that these ‘feelings’ are psychologically deeply embedded.

    I also have a feeling that some individuals who visit this site are Northern Irish Unionists in particular those who constantly bleat on about us giving up on the Sunday Herald and The National. That would be a REAL feather in their cap indeed … rubbing their hands in glee and hee-hawing their heads off in their local pub at the ‘daft Independence supporters …. regardless of religion’. Something to REALLY brag about if they got their way. Banging on their drums and blowing away on their flutes. Don’t fall for it.

  170. mealer says:

    Sectarianism at football matches isn’t so much a symptom of a societal problem as a cause if it.Deduct points for sectarian bigotry.Stamp it out at the fitba.Deprive it of that oxygen.If you support a football team,at whatever level,write to the chairman and remind him he has a responsibility to ensure this poison is eradicated from Scottish football and that point deduction is the way to do it.

  171. WP says:

    Where’s the NUJ in all of this?

  172. woosie says:

    “Religion is the opiate of the masses”.

    In reality, religion is a tribalist invention used by many leaders to deflect the attention of the huddled masses (us) from the misuse of power by the elite. Divide and rule. I’ve always suspected that MI5 are involved in the orange odour to keep things brewing.

    I was brought up a Rangers fan, and sympathies were just about surviving until Ally McCoist and Walter Smith publicly urged us to vote no. That was when I finally realized that anyone whose politics can be decided by people who kick a ball about wasn’t really like me at all.

    I’m still baffled by Rangers fans who sing uk anthems, wear england shirts, etc, when the ruk won’t even let them in their football league.

    We should all bring about the end of sectarianism by supporting our local team.

  173. Sandy says:

    Keep religion out of football.
    To these so-called Rangers fans, just to let you know, the English Church, & especially their High Church, is only a stones throw off the Roman Catholic church, thanks to Henry V111.
    Anne had to get married in Scotland. God knows where German Charlie got remarried after the removal of his first wife.

  174. Stoker says:

    A malignant growth which needs to be removed from Scottish society.

    All it takes for evil to flourish is for good folk to do nothing.

  175. Stoker says:

    If you really want to know just how ingrained this evil is within our society take a few minutes to read this twist in the tale and you’ll just begin to scratch the surface.

  176. donald says:

    Sandy @ 5.29 – fair point, but the chances of these morons knowing the nuances and differences between specific Christian churches / entities is zero. These people are not Christians – something tells me Mr J Christ did not advocate being up to your knees in the blood of your fellow man. Unchristian scum, all of them.

  177. Didyeaye says:

    I consider myself a supporter of Rangers but have not attended games for many years for various reasons. My wife’s side of the family are Catholic & I simply cannot b somewhere where such people are vilified and abused on a weekly basis. I also believe in Indy, again this puts me in a tiny minority of the clubs supporters. I have long known and despaired at the ignorant, hate filled core of the support but it still manages to shock. I recently supported Angela H and G Spiers on Twitter following their sackings, whilst identifying myself as a Rangers supporter. The instant torrent of abuse that came my way opened even my not naieve eyes to the sheer level of hatred which still exists and the mob mentality it generates. I support the team at Rangers and want to see them do well but like mr Spiers I will watch the actions of the new board with interest on this issue as I fear the little progress made over the years will soon disappear. When Rangers reemergence from their financial issues they had a real chance to reinvent themselves and be rid of these idiots- however that chance gas been lost and I for one will continue to stay away as I feel the club and many of its supporters still live in a mentality and worldview I find not just incompatible with my own but downright despicable.

  178. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “which is perfectly inline with Mr Campbell’s insistence that the Rangers followers are all staunch Unionists”

    That’s a spectacular piece of stupidity when talking about an article where, in the VERY FIRST PARAGRAPH, I take the time to point out that a significant percentage of “Rangers” fans are pro-independence, linking to a newspaper reporting a poll that this site commissioned on the subject.

    As for their “freedom of speech”, this site’s view on the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act have been extensively documented.

  179. Gullane No 4 says:

    This ancient nonsense will only stop when the League deduct points for any sectarian action by any club.

    I doubt if that will happen in my lifetime.

    In the meantime parents will look to other sports for their children to follow.

  180. Derick fae Yell says:

    Most of us don’t know an Orangeman, actually. I’m 54 years old. Obviously didn’t meet any in Shetland (although we have our own sub-species of fake viking, fake history British nationalist.

    I’ve been working in central Scotland for 20 years. Not met an Orangeman yet. Did see an Orange march away in the distance once though. Noisy lot.

  181. sinky says:

    Great article on Iceland’s economic recovery by Hugh McDonald in The National this morning. These kind of articles never appear in the rest of MSM or on TV.

    Well done Gordon Reid winning in Melbourne and scond Scot Jamie Murray on court later this morning.

    And still Scottish cringe sports editors refer to them as Brits

  182. heraldnomore says:

    aye Sinky, but Konta was English, though in what grounds escapes me completely – that’ll be the BBC for you

  183. schrodingers cat says:

    JLT says:

    So, first and foremost …let me just say that not all Rangers fans are bigots. It should be openly acknowledged that many will sit quietly if sectarian singing begins.

    ok, I openly acknowledged, I can hear one or two rangers fans not singing in the above video. at the point where the bigots sing about fenian blood, their silence is almost drowning out those bigots…..

  184. schrodingers cat says:

    I consider myself a supporter of Rangers …….

    why? there are many people, teams etc in this world worthy of support, moral, financial or other, but rangers issue with sectarianism excludes them from the list of those worthy.

    eg, I recently supported a boxer, who then came out with some ridiculous misogynist rant…result…I no longer support him

  185. carjamtic says:


    A poisonous environment that fuels hatred and diviision, the world over (but in particular Scotland).

    Run by rich business types,to promote whatever their particular agenda is……but the bottom line is money and power.

    If the clubs were run,owned by the fans,for the fans,it would help,but not eliminate the problems that exist,moral/ethical/sporting decisions would perhaps take priority over other non football matters.

    These last two posts by the Rev. Have been excellent,I have empathy for those who have wronged by the two incidents,but they should not let it define them,they are better than that.

    Lunatics taking over the asylum has been quoted recently……they are not deranged they know exactly what they are doing,as a society we cannot turn away from thiis.

    ‘Some people say football is a matter of life and death,I don’t like that attitude,I can assure them it is much more serious than that’.

    Big Kudos for these last two posts and comments to WoS.

  186. galamcennalath says:

    Article after article on WoS. There is no getting away from the simple truth – Unionist is nasty, it attracts nasty aggressive people. Twisted and ugly in its every manifestation.

    It is a Scottish and Northern Irish phenonimem, there are no Unionists in London where they aren’t interesting in Union. In that respect it has shaky foundations. Perhaps that explains why Union supporters are always so defensive and prepared for a fight.

    When you are out leafleting, you can see than coming – a permanent scowl on their faces ready to snap and bite.

  187. Alison Rollo says:

    Stopped buying the Sunday herald a few months ago – since the change of editor it got pretty Lilly livered over independence. The actual Herald is just another MSM Unionist rag!!

  188. Conan the Librarian™ says:

    When will we ever know the real identity of the vile ex ‘News of the World’ journalist Euan McColm?

  189. Eddie Lavery says:

    A very good piece, with many interesting comments. I do have concerns though that many people are drawing Celtic into this issue. It has nothing to do with Celtic. The inaccurate and lazy stereotype of “one lot are as bad as the other” provides a smokescreen for the real perpetrators of unacceptable behaviour and bile to hide behind.

  190. crisiscult says:

    reading some of the posts here about the history of Ireland and Irish immigration to Scotland makes for a very interesting comparison with the large scale immigration in more recent times. From personal connection too it’s interesting; my own grandfather was not Catholic from what later became Northern Ireland though he died when my mum was little as did her grandmother who was Jewish of forgotten origin; my wife is from Eastern Europe, and 80% of my Scottish born family are emigrants. Anyway, I wondered if anyone knows of studies/polls on attitudes to immigration today and whether there’s any relationship with a person’s background. My hypothesis would be that racism, xenophobia, and bigotry are not more closely linked to ‘natives’ c/f first, second, or third generation immigrants. Anecdotally from my eastern European connections I think there’s a lot of anti eastern European attitude that comes from people here who, if they thought a bit about it, would remember their own immigrant and emigrant past.

    On a more general level, tribalism seems pretty evident in every country I’ve lived in, but some political or economic conditions make it more marked e.g. if you think Northern Ireland is bad, read up on Lebanon. People in Scotland have a habit of just comparing ourselves with England, where the Catholic/Protestant frame of tribalism is less apparent, but ‘ethnicity’ tribalism is more apparent e.g. in Northern England in places like Oldham.

  191. Dan Huil says:

    Our national game?! Whar’s ma gowf clubs?

  192. Alasdair MacGregor says:

    I don’t understand how any decent Scot could allow themselves to be associated with such an odious institution as ‘Rangers’. The ‘culture’ and ‘history’ is one of shameful bigotry and sectarianism – something the new Rangers (Sevco) had to the opportunity to completely dissociate itself from but instead chose to embrace.

    It’s not good enough to say ‘it’s only a minority of supporters’. Anyone who goes to games or lives in the west of Scotland will have experienced many times the bigotry that is on display from ‘Rangers fans’ wherever they go. I’ve seen it many times myself.

    One of many examples I’ve witnessed was in a pub in Highlands where visiting Rangers fans from Glasgow went through the whole sectarian songbook. When my brother gave them a look of disgust he was accused of being a ‘fenian’ and physically threatened. Shortly afterwards two unsuspecting French tourists walked into the bar – the women was wearing a green dress. She was greeted with a tirade of sectarian abuse. The staff were far too intimidated to intervene. The Herald editor will know the feeling. Welcome to Scotland.

    ‘Ordinary’ Rangers fans will have witnessed this behaviour many times. Yet they continue to support a club which does nothing to disassociate itself from this culture of sectarianism and bigotry (orange tops anyone?).

    So what is the excuse if the ‘ordinary’ Rangers fan? You know your club ‘history’ is vile. You know many of your fellow supporters are unreconstructed bigots. You know your club is run by criminals and charlatans. You know your club cheats. You know your club tacitly allows sectarianism to flourish.

    If you continue to support Rangers and you know all this what does that say about you?

  193. Ken MacColl says:

    Waiting patiently, with barely disguised expectation, for accurate and incisive reportage of this media stushie on the ever reliable BBC Scotland, after which their correspondents will then go on to discuss in detail the Scottish Daily Mail’s courageous revelations this week about Dr Philippa Whitford’s, MP for Central Ayrshire, and her selfish, greedy decision to assist in surgical relief at Crosshouse Hospital over Christmas

  194. Truth says:

    All I can say is you better do the business this weekend Falkirk.

    Spiers is a thoroughly decent man. Haggarty I don’t know at all, well I haven’t been reading Scottish papers for years, but I abhor her treatment.

    Brilliant article Stu, and we’re all behind you if the loonies sue.

  195. John Crawford says:

    “As for their “freedom of speech”, this site’s view on the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act have been extensively documented.”

    Please answer then why you are so keen to support someone who takes offence when no is offered?

    Spiers was sacked for undermining his editor’s positon, despite being told by the papers lawyers he commented on the issue from a personal point of view and a completely unprofessional act knowing he would be sacked.
    Angela Haggerty has a background supporting violent Irish republicanism and also undermined her employers position by stating publicly the Spiers lies were true, she left her employer with no option.

    Now please answer the following posted previously…….

    If Mr Campbell is determined to look upon this as a political subject, then he must look at this is the proper context, why would a confirmed “Fenian” be offended about being called one, and if the Rangers fans are a political movement, then why are you trying to suppress their right in freedom of speech and singing a song about a violent republicans who wish to wipe them from the face of the earth?

  196. Not Exactly Keen To Be Targeted says:

    Hello, to those run the Wings Over Scotland website: I have grave reservations about an article recently published on the website, entitled “Hullo, hullo, we are the bully boys””

    As a Rangers supporter and a Scottish independence supporter, articles like this place me in a curious position. On the one hand, I support Wings Over Scotland, enjoy the articles and generally agree with the thrust of the arguments. I’m also aware of the strong Unionist support amongst a large section of Rangers fans (although that’s a much bigger discussion that I don’t want to get into here). But when Wings put out articles like this that attack Rangers fans, I have to admit that it puts me on the defensive because I think that he is attacking me. Whether the man behind this site likes it or not, Yes-voting Rangers fans are still Rangers fans and that is a core of our being that we’re not going to give up. It becomes difficult for us to separate ourselves from extremist groups when even Wings won’t do it. Normally, I would let this go. Never roll in the dirt with a pig, and so on. But I’ve had enough of anti-Rangers articles with no dissenting voice. This time, I’m doing something about it. I am not a seasoned writer, professional or amateur, but I will attempt to explain my issues with this.

    Firstly, Rev. Stuart Campbell repeatedly refers to Rangers as a new club. Really, what does this even mean? Campbell acknowledges that it’s the same fans, in the same stadium, with the same history and the same traditions. The fact that the holding business entity has a different entry in companies house is meaningless. It’s meaningless because Campbell obviously thinks that this is the same club – hence his animosity to them and his need to bring up the old (unwritten) policy of not signing Catholic players. It’s ancient history, not relevant to Rangers today and the only reason to bring it up is because he thinks that it is the same club.

    But why even bring it up at all? By now it’s clearly a point of minutiae. The only reason people mention it is to wind up Rangers supporters, and it seems to be why Campbell mentions it here. Why is this relevant? It implies a level of bitterness on Campbell’s part and it sets the tone for the article: this guy hates Rangers, hates Rangers fans and that informs what he’s writing about here. You might be of the opinion that there are good reasons for hating Rangers, but it’s presence here calls into question the rationality behind what is said in the article.

    Moving on, the article calls Rangers a “totem of the Unionist establishment”. I found this baffling. The actual totem of the Unionist establishment, the BBC, has run Rangers over day after day over the last four years. Ever since Rangers went into administration, there has been nothing but negativity from them towards Rangers. On night pundit programs on the radio, Cosgrove, Spiers, etc., have laid into Rangers night after night after night – with virtually no voice supporting Ranges, except the occasional appearance by the Sons of Struth founder. This is by design – isolate and ignore the dissenting voice so that what the BBC allows to be broadcast appears to be the consensus view, with the occasional exception to create plausible deniability. This is a trick that I’m sure we all recognise from the referendum campaign. Rangers are establishment in Scottish football today? It’s demonstrably false.

    Now we get to the nitty-gritty: that Rangers pushed for Herald newspaper to sack two journalists and a group of Rangers supporters sent one of those journalists a number of aggressive tweets. Let’s talk about Graham Spiers first. This engages the point that Rangers hold sway, not just in Scottish football, but in Scottish society as well. I recall the article in question: Spiers had written that an un-named Rangers director had said that “The Billy Boys” is a tremendous song. And that’s it. One line, no context given. Was the Rangers director referring to the original, as written by Billy Fullerton? Or the re-written, Rangers-specific version with the replacement lyrics “We’ll give anything to see out team/At Ibrox or away/For we are/The Glasgow Rangers Boys”? Like many, does he like the tune but wishes the extreme fans would leave out the part about fenian blood? With no context given by Spiers, we just don’t know. I can’t help but wonder if Spiers, stumped for an article, heard something that could be misconstrued as a bit naughty, took it out of context and built a juicy by-line around it. No wonder Rangers demanded a retraction and threatened legal action. The response of the Herald paper is their business, but clearly implies that they considered their previous position legally indefensible.

    On to the abusive tweets directed at the second journalist, Angela Hegarty. And this is where things get interesting. Campbell says that, over the years, Hegarty has been targeted by “hundreds, if not thousands” of Rangers fans. I have to say, as a Rangers fan, I had never heard of her until you mentioned her here. Furthermore, that statement is given with a hyper-link behind it, implying that the page that is linked to substantiates that statement. But the article linked to (“I am a victim of anti-Irish racism”) doesn’t say anything of the sort. It doesn’t say that she received hundreds or even thousands of abusive tweets from hundreds or even thousands of twitter accounts. The closest Hegarty gets to putting a number on it is with phrases like “a stream of tweets” and “a group of people”. So, in-fact, the hyper-linked article beneath the “hundreds, if not thousands” statement on Wings is not substantiated. It appears so at first: the casual reader might not bother clicking on the link but would be reassured that the link is there and thus take the statement at face value.

    This is significant on two fronts. Firstly, the numbers involved are important – “hundreds, if not thousands” of Rangers fans moves this story from talking about a handful of looney-bins to a sizeable, significant portion of Rangers fans. Secondly, the tactic employed here – that is to say, a contentious argument that is not substantiated and relies on readers not prodding too deeply – is the same tactic that the mainstream media uses when they make their “SNP baaaad” headlines. That it’s used here puts me on my guard and makes me question the rest of what is said in the article.

    The next part of the article drolly implies that the singing of “The Billy Boys” is sung, not by a tiny minority (as claimed by Rangers and most of its fans) but actually by a sizeable portion of the crowd. This is illustrated by the Youtube video. Fair enough, you might think – cut and dried. But, again, if you examine it more closely it all falls apart. Firstly, the video is filmed right next (or in the midst) of the section of the Rangers support who are singing it. So of course it’s loud and audible. It’s not been filmed from elsewhere in the stadium where it might sound quieter and more indistinct. Secondly, we don’t know who filmed it. It’s from within the Rangers crowd. Perhaps it was Stuart Campbell himself. But perhaps it was a real Rangers fan, just as concerned about sectarian singing. Thirdly, the song gets louder at the chorus “Hello! Hello” and gets quieter in the verse, implying that less people sang the lines about “Fenian Blood” or “Surrender of you’ll die”. Fourthly, the video clearly shows many people in that crowd not joining in the song at all. The fact that the song is being sung in this form at all isn’t great, but the video is open to so much interpretation – interpretation wholly lacking in this piece. So if that video was supposed to show a united Ibrox rabidly singing hate songs, it fell flat on its face.

    That’s important, because this article tries to argue that it’s the mainstream and not the fringe of Rangers fans who sing these songs, send these tweets, and so forth. Again, a casual reader might see the implied statement that a large number of Rangers fans sing “The Billy Boys”, see the presence of the Youtube video, might even watch the Youtube video, but probably won’t run over it with the fine tooth comb that I have. It’s the same main stream media tactic that I’ve seen used against the SNP – throw out a headline or contentious statement and hope that enough people read it, believe it and don’t look too deeply into it. I’ve grown wary of it because of it’s use by the Unionist press – so I’m dismayed to see the same tactic employed in this article.

    Campbell then starts on the Rangers Supporters Trust, calling them “belligerent”. That word is again hyper-linked to a web page that presumably explains why he’s called the RST “belligerent”. What is that web page? A BBC article explaining that the RST attempted (and failed in) a legal bid to prevent Mike Ashley using Ibrox as security for a loan. Belligerent you say? Doesn’t sound like it. What else could Stuart Campbell view as belligerent in the BBC article that he’s linked to? Protesting outside Ibrox? Winning a vote at the general meeting? Encouraging fans to buy shares? At this point I have to ask Rev. Stuart Campbell – what on earth are you talking about?

    Still not content, Campbell pulls a fringe supporters group out of the hat and uses the old “well, they haven’t condemned them” trick to infer that Rangers in fact support this fringe group. He then says that the Herald bowed to threats from this fringe group, when in fact they did nothing of the sort. The fringe group appealed for a boycott of the newspaper – which is a perfectly legitimate, non-violent protest tactic. You might find the Vanguard Bears distasteful, as I do. But that’s not the point – whether you consider the boycott legitimate or not depends on perspective. To call it a threat against the newspaper is unnecessarily emotive. Even if were to accept that Vanguard Bears’ call for a boycott constituted a threat, It is not reasonable to say that the Herald published a retraction and ultimately sacked those two journalists because of that. They did so because of potential legal action from Rangers and the withdrawal of advertising revenue by Parks Motor Group – entirely incidental to any action by Vanguard Bears (their petition on gathered slightly more than two thousand signatures). But the article has already conflated the Vanguard Bears with Rangers itself, implying that where one goes the other follows. This is is same tactic that the main stream media use when they lump in fringe lunatics with the SNP.

    Do you see what you’ve done here, Rev. Stuart Campbell? Whenever I see the main stream media pull these stunts when they talk about the SNP, it convinces me that they have an axe to grind, are biased and are deliberately not giving the full picture. Why would you use the same tactics, unless you also lack any objective perspective when talking about Rangers, thus causing you to fall into the same pattern? It took me minutes to read this article, but hours to formulate this response. It reminds me of how I feel about “SNP baaad” articles – minutes to read, but hours to research and de-construct. I really don’t want to have to start doing that with Wings Over Scotland.

    Rev. Stuart Campbell seems to want Yes-voting Rangers fans to choose between supporting Scottish independence and supporting their club. I’ll tell you right now that isn’t going to happen. Articles like this are devisive and push people like me away. It seems counter-productive.

  197. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    NEKTBT: Since you’ve made a reasoned case you deserve a reasoned response.

    “But when Wings put out articles like this that attack Rangers fans”

    SOME “Rangers” fans. Right in the first paragraph I acknowledge that they’re by no means all Unionist Loyalist knuckle-draggers.

    “Firstly, Rev. Stuart Campbell repeatedly refers to Rangers as a new club. Really, what does this even mean?”

    It means what it says. The current “Rangers” is a new club admitted to the bottom tier of the now-defunct Scottish Football League in 2012. It was admitted as a new club with no voting rights, having been denied admission to the SPL in a vote which the old Rangers participated in. Both the old and new clubs existed at the same time.

    Frankly, any sane argument ends there. Clearly they CAN’T be the same if they existed separately at the same time, so let’s save ourselves a thousand words of going through all the other blindingly obvious reasons.

    You’re perfectly correct that you and others can choose to THINK of them as the same club, and nobody can stop you. But it’s a delusion. Nobody can stop you believing in the Tooth Fairy either, but don’t expect grown-ups to accept her existence just because you keep shouting that she’s real.

    “the old (unwritten) policy of not signing Catholic players. It’s ancient history, not relevant to Rangers today and the only reason to bring it up is because he thinks that it is the same club”

    No, it’s relevant because given the opportunity to start with a clean slate, dump all the old baggage of bigotry and be the new club it is, New Rangers chose to insist that it WAS still that same old sectarian institution. Why? Who was it pandering to by doing so? We all know the answer to that.

    “this guy hates Rangers, hates Rangers fans”

    Some of my best friends etc.

    “The actual totem of the Unionist establishment, the BBC, has run Rangers over day after day over the last four years. Ever since Rangers went into administration, there has been nothing but negativity from them towards Rangers.”

    I think what you mean is that the BBC has on occasion actually told the truth, and then immediately been besieged by howling hordes demanding that it bow to their resurrection fantasy.

    “I can’t help but wonder if Spiers, stumped for an article, heard something that could be misconstrued as a bit naughty, took it out of context and built a juicy by-line around it.”

    That is quite a piece of straw-clutching. Spiers’ article is full from the first paragraph to the last of praise for the strides the old Rangers (and to a lesser extent the new one) made in reducing sectarianism. He was a Rangers fan for years. What’s his motivation? He buried that line three-quarters of the way down the article and never mentioned it again. If he was punting for shock value it’d have been the headline.

    “Hegarty has been targeted by “hundreds, if not thousands” of Rangers fans”

    Oh fuck off. If you doubt that claim you can verify it yourself in 30 seconds with a Twitter search.

    “Firstly, the video is filmed right next (or in the midst) of the section of the Rangers support who are singing it. So of course it’s loud and audible.”

    This is getting embarrassing. I can tell the difference between three people singing who just happen to be near me and 5000 people singing and visibly gesticulating in time with the singing. And so can you.

    “The fact that the song is being sung in this form at all isn’t great, but the video is open to so much interpretation”

    No it isn’t. It’s thousands of fans singing a banned sectarian song that they all know is banned, and that they all know the reasons for banning. Oh, and I took the extract from the original longer clip, which has this text in the info panel:

    “The Gers coming out at Hamdump to play the Bheast followed by a rousing rendition of OUR ANTHEM. Huuulllooo! Huuulllooo!!!”

    So don’t be giving me any pish about it being recorded by some concerned anti-sectarian citizen.

    “Campbell then starts on the Rangers Supporters Trust, calling them “belligerent”.”

    Do you really want me to start posting evidence in support of that allegation? Can you save me some time and just spend 10 minutes scanning their nasty Twitter feed?

    “It is not reasonable to say that the Herald published a retraction and ultimately sacked those two journalists because of that. They did so because of potential legal action from Rangers and the withdrawal of advertising revenue by Parks Motor Group”

    I at no point suggested the VBs were behind any threat. I said they were the source of the claim that Parks threatened to pull ads unless Haggerty was sacked.

    “Rev. Stuart Campbell seems to want Yes-voting Rangers fans to choose between supporting Scottish independence and supporting their club.”

    Again – the very first paragraph notes that a significant proportion of the support is pro-indy. I haven’t told anyone to choose. You’re the one choosing to identify with scum like the VBs, by taking attacks on them to be attacks on you. They aren’t. But as I’ve said before – if you go to BNP meetings just because they have a good raffle, even though you disagree with their politics, don’t act all surprised and take a massive huff when people think you’re the same as them.

  198. I think the NEKTBT post is from a decent person still transitioning towards mature views and trying to make sense of what the football club he supports actually represents.

    Defending the sectarian songs means he has quite a way to go but I wish him a speedy journey towards a conclusion and hope that will mean taking a brave stance against the sickness in his club. It’s either that or he must accept he is part of the problem.

  199. Croompenstein says:

    why would a confirmed “Fenian” be offended about being called one, and if the Rangers fans are a political movement, then why are you trying to suppress their right in freedom of speech and singing a song about a violent republicans who wish to wipe them from the face of the earth?

    Utter pish, you know and I know that the vast majority of under educated folk that sing about Fenian blood are talking about Catholics, Irish or Celtic fans. Don’t try and fucking conflate the bawbags that sing this pish with politically educated people.

  200. Davros says:

    The point is the Tribute Club’s fans are full of bigots.
    Though far from exclusively. As their Indepence lobby approves.

    Soon however, the club will be potentially stepping up their old habits of bribing and cheating.
    Never mind Scottish independence, a subject close to my heart, isn’t it about time these practices were outlawed, with the assistance of the Police & UEFA, If necessary.

  201. Tolster says:

    I really wish people would stop trying to drag my football team, Glasgow Celtic, into this issue.

    This has absolutely nothing to do with Celtic.

  202. Andy-B says:

    Rangers or as it’s better known NewCo have a very distasteful following of aggressive unionists. I might add that not all Rangers supporters portray those qualities.

    The Herald’s dispicable action of sacking Angela Haggerty to appease aggressive unionist NewCo supporters speaks volumes about their standards, or lack off them.

  203. Clydebuilt says:

    My supermarket was sold out of Sunday heralds, have the Bears been “ordered” to go out and buy it, now that it’s been kicked into line.

    The Old Firm = Divide & Conquer.

  204. sensibledave says:

    I haven’t commented for a while, but given that the subject is the footy, I thought I would share.

    It is astonishing to me, that in 2016, issues like this exist.

    In England, almost every club still has its share of loony supporters who believe that violence towards opposition fans is acceptable/appropriate – and then a slightly larger group that believe that anything sung is “good” if it winds up the opposition players/fans.

    I would observe that the reasons that a distasteful song may be sung is not because the “fans” singing it either believe or support the sentiments – but simply because of the “devilment”, the disrespect and the “wind-up” element that the ditty may display/achieve.

    In the same way that racist and homophobic chants have been pretty much stamped out within grounds (certainly in England, because CCTV is used to identify offenders with immediate ejection or/subsequent identification and banning) why isn’t the same approach used in Scotland to address this similar issue in Scotland? The policy may not change mindsets or alter society – but it stops this type of thing being openly displayed inside a stadium – which is a good thing.

  205. Grendel says:

    Tolster @ 1048/310116

    Please don’t start the “them” malarkey. There’s as much bile and bitterness in the Celtic support.

    Two cheeks of the same arse and all that.

  206. Bob Mack says:

    Wow, things flare up this morning regarding Rangers.

    I was born and brought up in a religiously divided family. My father had been ejected from his family home for daring to marry a Catholic.A nice middle class home at that with two professional parents. He lived in a men’s lodging house in Glasgow,before finding work and a permanent home. It was 10 years before his parents spoke to him again, and mainly through my birth.

    My mother’s family were heavily involved in the Catholic religion and we’re just as bad.

    Both sides tried to get me to see the error of my parents ways,though I never did tell that to my mum and dad. The latent hatred was not hard to miss. Throughout the 1950’s I would go to old firm games with relatives ,and be on one side or the other.
    The hatred in the stadium was palpable,but never erupted into violence. The advent of the 1960’s changed all that, and pitched battles took place after these games.

    I never took part in the singing out of respect for my parents,but my friends and relatives all did. Hatred for 90 minutes,then we would all meet up the next day for a game of 30 a side at the local pitches.

    The clubs rely on this sectarian element for income,and that is a basic fact. We have people from Inverness and beyond ( Ireland and N Ireland)supporting the Old Firm. Why? It is far from being their local team.

    There are many many good Rangers supporters,but there is an element that encourage many to follow a sectarian path. In Celtic there is the Green Brigade, whilst Rangers have unsavoury elements like Kombat 18 who leave from a pub in the East End of Glasgow to go to games.

    Both sets of supporters create their own problems for their clubs and then get outraged if they are criticised.

    At best I could claim the aggression is contained for 90 minutes,but we will never move forward till we realise that the events of hundreds of years ago have no bearing on today. Support your club,but do it for the right reasons.

  207. NotInMyName says:

    I’m surprised you’ve waded into this murky pool Reverend.

    But I’d be very careful before supporting someone like Angela Haggerty.

    Have you even tried to read “Downfall” by the odious McGhoilabhain which Haggerty is proud to have edited? If a unionist wrote a book about the independence campaign or its supporters and used the same sort of dehumanising language there would be an outrage.

    Instead, because of the media influence of the likes of Haggerty, McGhoilabhain and Roy Greenslade at the Guardian, the outrage is directed at those who criticise it and The Sun for refusing to serialise it – after someone in their London office had actually read it.
    With all that in mind, my tuppence worth is that by tackling the issue of Graham Speirs in this manner you’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. You’ve added nothing to the debate other than your opinion that Rangers is now a new club. A bit snide and completely unnecessary and I’ll explain why I’m so disappointed in you.

    I’m a Rangers supporter and a Yes voter. For what it’s worth, most of my Rangers supporting friends and family also voted Yes. Interestingly (and anecdotally of course) most of the Celtic fans I count as friends and family voted No!

    I can understand your dislike of the Vanguard Bears and their ilk. Believe you me, the VB’s and other self-professed “supporters” groups take pelters from the rest of the Rangers support. There is no one group that speaks for all Rangers fans and the Vanguard Bears less than most. Precisely because their ethos and behaviour is repellent to the likes of me to the point I despair. But I can no more stop the VB’s from going about their business than I can the BNP (for example).

    And this piece by you merely entrenches their position and makes them immune to dialogue with the likes of me.

    I’m all for freedom of the press but the press (Article 10 ECHR and the protection of sources not withstanding) is subject to the same rules and regulations as everyone else. If Speirs had written an article criticising Rangers fans singing the Billy Boys, no one would have made an issue. Instead he had to make an allegation that can be strongly inferred to imply that a director of the club, one of its guiding minds, was a bigot. He also effectively accuses the board of not doing enough in this regard – yet ALL CLUBS recently voted against strict liability, which is the only measure that will put an end to this.

    Now The Herald took legal advice on his article. Levy McRae are no mugs and their advice appears to be “you better apologise as you don’t have a leg to stand on”.

    Speirs then refuses to go along with this; whether that’s because he has a genuine sense of “I know what I heard “outrage or something else up his sleeve, perhaps the knowledge that the Rangers board won’t sue him as it’s not worth it (the Herald has after all apologised, vicarious liability and all that) then you may know better than me.

    Unless you were at that meeting or have the minutes, then you don’t know any more than I do what really motivated Magnus Llewellin.

    He claims there was no outside pressure, other than the complaint made by Rangers which he had no choice but to uphold. He even goes so far as to say in reply to The Drum that advertising revenues had no bearing on his decision and that The Herald will continue to report without fear or favour.

    Is he lying?

    What I don’t get – and what I’d like you to answer for me is this.

    Why did Angela Haggerty get involved?

    Now you know what I’m getting at here. Why just Haggerty?

    Why no other reporter, editor, whatever at the Herald? She’s being allowed to dress this up as some sort of principled stand against corporate influence despite what Llewellin has publicly stated, but if editing Downfall isn’t enough of a clue, then look up her twitter history.

    And when you see that, you’ll understand why ordinary Rangers supporters like me, who voted Yes, who aren’t bigots, who’ve never sung the Billy Boys are so disappointed in you.

    I don’t think you’ve been objective in this matter. I think you’ve used this episode – where as far as we know, the clear legal advice was that Speirs was in the wrong – to simply have a pop at the club and the section of the support that voted No and in doing so, you’ve smokescreened other bigots and hung the likes of me out to dry.

  208. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Unless you were at that meeting or have the minutes, then you don’t know any more than I do what really motivated Magnus Llewellin.

    He claims there was no outside pressure, other than the complaint made by Rangers which he had no choice but to uphold. He even goes so far as to say in reply to The Drum that advertising revenues had no bearing on his decision and that The Herald will continue to report without fear or favour.

    Is he lying?”

    If I thought he was – if – I couldn’t say so under Scottish defamation law. Because the onus of proof is on the person accused of defamation and obviously it’s impossible to prove what’s in someone’s mind.

    What Spiers said was that one “Rangers” director thought TBB was a “tremendous song”. That is not defamatory, and if the Herald’s lawyers told them otherwise they’re fucking idiots. The director isn’t named, nor are his reasons for (allegedly) saying that. He might just think it’s a catchy tune. He might admire the way it’s suited to being a football chant. Liking a song does not in and of itself make a person a sectarian bigot.

    Spiers can’t prove that he said that (unless he recorded the interview), but the prosecution still has to prove that (a) it’s defamatory, that (b) someone has been identified as the source, and that (c) they’ve been lowered in the estimation of right-thinking members of the public. Unless “Rangers” name the person themselves, that’s more or less impossible.

    You can’t hold the entire “Rangers” board responsible for what one member of it thinks, and therefore you can’t defame them just by saying they work with a guy who likes a song. We’ve all had workmates with dodgy opinions – if someone says “The bloke who works at the same company as you likes Nazi uniforms, like Lemmy out of Motorhead”, have YOU been defamed?

    I don’t know why Angela Haggerty made the comments she did on Twitter, because I’m not her. But if you asked me to guess I’d say that she felt she was entitled to express a public opinion on a matter of interest to her, like anyone else is.

    I’m well aware of her Twitter history, thanks. I’ve had some extremely heated arguments with her, including on the subject of Irish republicanism. The difference is that I haven’t tried to get her sacked because she has a different opinion to me on something I feel strongly about, because I’m not a shitey wee pissdrip coward like the people who did.

    I’ve no idea why Yes-supporting “Rangers” fans are getting their pants in such a bunch about this. As far as the club’s status goes I said nothing I haven’t said a hundred times before. The hounding of Spiers and Haggerty, and the Herald’s meek compliance with it, is a disgrace to Scotland, and anyone who defends it is more than welcome to fuck off.

  209. NotInMyName says:

    Thanks for your reply, I appreciate you taking the time.

    In response I’d say this.

    You have conflated two different issues here. I’ve got no axe to grind with Graham Spiers (did I spell that incorrectly before? If so, I apologise I wasn’t taking the piss or anything like that!) and while I have no liking or respect for Angela Haggerty I condemn the abuse they have to put up with. Both parties have redress to the law and in Haggerty’s case she has done so.

    However this online hounding had nothing to do with Spiers leaving (sacked? resigned? walked away?) The Herald. Rangers released a statement that they issued no legal threats, they merely queried the veracity of the article that’s caused all this brouhaha.

    Of course it’s potentially defamatory to infer that a Rangers director thought a sectarian song was a “tremendous song”. Sectarian songs (at a football ground anyway) are now illegal under the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) act 2012. Could you imagine the reaction if it was true?

    My understanding of Scot’s Law is that given the Rangers board is such a small group, EVERY director could bring a case against The Herald / Spiers under the principle that in the absence of any other evidence, other than Spiers’ word (which wouldn’t be enough) each pursuer could show that the defamatory material can be reasonably understood to refer to them – even if they are not named specifically!

    The defender in the case would then have to prove that it was actually Director A and that he did make the statement. Good luck with that one.

    The Herald took legal advice on this and as I said, Levy McRae are no mugs. In the absence of any other info, we have no choice but to take their advice to Magnus Llewellin at face value. That’s the nub of the issue. Not the VB’s, not online abuse etc etc.

    And the reason why Yes supporting Rangers fans (note the lack of ” ” around Rangers) are bothered by your article?

    We took a lot of stick from the PUL brigade during the independence campaign but at least we are on the inside, trying to change attitudes. And we are, I can assure you because there’s a good chance Independence II will happen. The likes of the VB’s give not a fuck what you think. But at least we were able to point out all the shit about the BBC, reporting bias etc.

    And now you’ve gone and made the rest of us look like cunts by blindly supporting Spiers and Haggerty on this one.

  210. Billy Boil says:

    Glad in my heart that I no longer live in that backward world of knuckle dragging bigots. Never in all my life in Australia, except when the “royal an’troo tae ra’ red white
    an bloo” cabal, raised their neanderthal heads in civilized company.

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