The supporters of the Bill, the SNP and the Police (oh and Pat Nevin), have seen a growing opposition to it over the past few weeks. All major opposition parties are against the Bill. Representatives of football supporter trusts spoke in unanimity against the Bill when presenting views to the Justice Committee. Academics weighed in with their opposition with sound evidence as to the bills many flaws. All this has left the SNP in a position where they want to press ahead with legislation but have no real mandate or positive feedback to do so.
So the latest attacks on the Green Brigade appear to be an attempt by the Bill’s supporters to claim that legislation is needed as regards football because the problem exists within the Green Brigade. This effectively places the Green Brigade as mere pawns in a game of police power grabbing and political justifying.
Of course the truth is lost in this demonising process as many supporters instantly recognise the Green Brigade as the originating group of a new wave of celebratory songs and chants in support of Celtic.
So on any average matchday the GB will be belting out songs for 90 minutes like Just Can’t Get Enough and Let’s all do the Huddle. The Green Brigade have also gone out of their way to introduce individual songs for players in times of celebration and also when things may not be going so well for an individual (OK, we await the Danny Majstorovic one but you get the drift). Then we have the renditions of Lonesome Boatmen, Discoland and a few other continental style tunes and chants.
These songs of support for the team and the players have cascaded into the rest of the stadium so that an atmosphere has been built up again at games. The Green Brigade acting as capo for the rest of the stadium for ‘Come on you Bhoys in Green’ is a spectacle that any neutral observer would be impressed with. In reeling off this catalogue of songs and chants, not to mention the traditionalCeltic songs, it really undermines the notion that the Green Brigade are a sinister group intent on belting out songs of hate. In fact the accusation is total nonsense.
But that defamation of the Green Brigade doesn’t matter to the likes of Paul McBride and the police who insist on filming the Green Brigade’s every move at games. Their agenda is a clear one which is about trying to persuade the wider public that because of the likes of the Green Brigade and their songs of hate the proposed legislation is a must.
Personally, I hope the Green Brigade survive this unprecedented onslaught from the powers that are determined to drive through bad legislation and that they continue to sing the songs of celebration and support for Celtic Football Club. This is what many ordinary supporters who go to games will see in the Green Brigade rather than the lies written about them in the national media.