When I first registered on Follow Follow the Blessed Martin was in charge and for the most part angst rather than triumphalism was the order of the day. Great fun was to be had observing their raging against the light, but even those days when things had gone badly for the green and white brigade brought an anger, a howling rage which was rooted in the depths of their sectarianism and a hatred for all things Celtic.
They don’t even do victory with any degree of grace – dignity – don’t make me laugh.
Down the years I used that awful place as a sounding board, a means of measuring the mental state of their core support. People have argued with me that there are many decent fans of the Ibrox club and of this I am well aware, but if you wish to test the temperature of their root stock, then Follow Follow and Rangers Media are the best places to gather your data.
When folk such as journalists, directors of other clubs or even government ministers pontificate about their traditions and their culture, my immediate feeling is that they have no knowledge of places such as these or of lunatics like Leggat and his awful ravings. If they did then there would be no way of arguing for their survival for any reason other than economics.
Before yesterday I posted once – in truth I was aware that I was an intruder – and it was in response to a question about the whereabouts of Riquelme after his departure from Villareal. As is often the case with the inhabitants of this asylum they have aspirations far beyond their station, and they saw him as a replacement for Bazza after his first move away.
My contribution yesterday was to ask a question on a thread about their tax misdemeanours. They were chatting amongst themselves as to the level of stupidity that was a feature of our own community as to our understanding about the nature of tax law. The difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion was explored in detail with reference to the EBT issue and it was announced with great clarity that EBT’s were entirely legal and would carry no punishment – so there Timmy – GIRUY.
I could not help myself, and felt obliged to ask the question; ‘and the £9m was what exactly?’
When next I tried to log on I received a message, no doubt from Grand Master Suck, himself telling me that I was banned for infraction of the rules. Date the ban will be lifted – never.
I looked at the conditions of registering for that dark place and read that ‘supporters of other teams were welcome providing they remain civil’. I ask you dear reader, what constitutes civility on a web-site such as this if my gentle intrusion into their private grief was deemed uncivil.
The most surprising thing from our own viewpoint, indeed from any sane perspective, has to be how such an intolerant place is given a national profile, with Dark Mingwall not only getting air time on T.V. and radio but actually being allowed to take part in the discussions on the sectarianism bill as it went through the Parliament.
I spoke the other day with a friend who is a priest and a good Tim, and he was really quite adamant that any New Rangers club emerging from this mess should be required, in a sense, to do penance for their sins of the past. In some way, a truth and reconciliation experience must be a pre-requisite for re-entry into the world of Scottish football.
This man has gone the extra mile to break down the barriers which exist between the two communities in the town in which he lives, but he was aware that deep down in the psyche of the Rangers as they are presently constituted, their lurks an intolerance for anything other than their own world view, that some sort of catharsis must take place if Scotland and Scottish Football is to emerge from this experience in a better state than we entered it.
At any rate my visits to the underworld are now at an end. In truth this can only be a good thing – looking too closely at the Uruk Hai and their ravings must eventually infect one’s own sense of what should be a sporting rivalry, but is in reality a cultural battlefield.