Yesterday I was accused on Twitter of being a coward who hid behind the anonymity of the internet. My accuser was someone whose Twitter name was Murdo McLeod – although I suspect from our dialogue he was not the Murdo McLeod who is the Hero of St. Anthony’s new book.
I learned that his allegiance in football terms is to the Dark Side –although observing the launch of Jim Traynor’s new PR firm, that could well apply to our former hooped hero these days.
What prompted this accusation was my musing on seeing a fellow senior citizen at the gym, resplendent in the garb of the team from the South Side of the city. I reflected that while working out, the thought crossed my mind as to whether or not this man actually believed that RFC had truly resurrected in an unchanged state after the liquidation experience.
As an afterthought I suggested that had our own club gone through everything which they had, I did not believe that I was capable of the collective delusion which pervades all things around Ibrox.
A feature of my Twitter experience is that, in part, I still think I am commenting on threads as in Kerrydale St. I realize that I take part in discussions on politics as well as sport, but given that most of those who follow me are normally fans of Celtic Football Club I often forget that there is a wider audience. Consequently while I am careful never to be abusive – apart from the odd comment about Jim Murphy – my views on Scottish Football are targeted at a particular audience in the same way that these articles in Celtic Underground are, in most cases, preaching to the choir.
When Murdo McLeod joined the discussion by asking why I simply did not ask the follow follower in question about his views on their alleged resurrection as opposed to a new birth, I conceded that while I thought of it my experiences with fans of that club led to conclude that it wasn’t worth the hassle.
It was at this point he accused me of cowardice – suggesting that I was incapable of talking to a ‘Rangers’ fan and that I was, more or less, a moral coward hiding behind the face of Lachie Mor – which is of course not my real name.
I tried initially to explain that from my experience on Twitter the default position of such fans who crossed my path was one of abuse and in consideration really could not be bothered with it in the real world. I also made the point that those that I encounter as I go out and about do not wish to discuss it at all.
At this juncture I was obliged to leave as my grand-daughter was skating in Dumfries synchro-skating team. I noticed later on that he had continued to discuss our ‘obsession’ with Erramacaroonbar in my absence
I apologized for leaving the discussion and left it at that, but overnight I have pondered his accusation and would offer some thoughts as to why I did not speak to the guy in the gym.
Over a number of years I was subjected to an ongoing series of abusive sectarian letters from a supporter of that club whenever Celtic were down. This was so serious that the police were involved. They were unable to trace the person responsible but I have not heard a word since they were liquidated.
I was also twice subjected to obscene abuse along with the parish priest outside the church by passing fans of that club.
Throughout the 9-in-a-row years, and up to 2012 whenever they had success, both at work and in my leisure time at the golf club and elsewhere, I endured endless ‘banter’ about the mighty Gers from their fans of my acquaintance.
Since those momentous days of summer 2012 – silence – not a cheep. Any attempt to even discuss such matters is a waste of time. All those ‘Rangers till I die’ folk have melted away like snow off a dyke.
I have watched with disbelief as every assistance was offered to that party despite every broken rule and all the evidence of cheating and corruption on a grand scale. Even Law Lords have been complicit in spreading the lie that RFC and its successor were innocent victims – a narrative which appears to have been swallowed whole by a significant majority of that community. The part played by the Football Authorities and the media in this drama is nothing short of scandalous.
If we are obsessed, this obsession is coloured by a concern for truth and justice, concepts which appear to have played no part in the continuing saga.
My sense is that those who still follow follow have swallowed the revised, standard version and for many of them an almost permanent state of rage colours their views on the topic.
When I have tried to discuss this with some of their internet defenders the response has in the main been:
- Hands over ears don’t want to hear an alternative version
- Abuse – more often than not obscene.
Murdo McLeod in his ruminations with Erramacaroonbar came over as reasonable and thoughtful. As he pointed out rage was not part of his persona, but as he stated he followed a team called Rangers, which played out Ibrox in blue strips therefore from his viewpoint, they were Rangers.
The limitations of Twitter really prohibit a debate on the rights and wrongs of the whole administration/liquidation saga and how they were allowed to bend so many rules and regulations governing such matters, right down to the illegality of continuing to trade under a name of a company/club which no longer exists.
Even if it did, I doubt whether anyone who accepts the fiction will ever be persuaded otherwise. This was partly in my mind when I chose not to engage with my fellow sufferer on the torture machines yesterday.
Whether it was cowardice or simply discretion is a matter of opinion – not knowing the man from Adam was a key factor. He might have been like Murdo McLeod or he might have been like others of my acquaintance whose hatred of all things Celtic has gone beyond extreme since 2012 – I simply didn’t think it was worth the candle.
Lachie can be found on twitter @LachieMor1