Rangers & Republicanism V Celtic &Unionism

Those of you that follow me on twitter are aware of my avatar the Rangers crest with a Yes badge.

This has brought me to the attention of the hardcore Rangers zealots,and the hardcore Rangers haters alike.

One lot telling me I cannot possibly be a Rangers fan and advocate an Independent Scottish Republic.

The other lot telling me I cannot possibly be an Independinista and support the famous Glasgow Rangers.

Both of course are equally wrong, I am indeed a Socialist ,Republican ,SNP voting Bluenose.

I could write an entire blog to support these claims,however suffice to say I am in my 60s now and I went to my first game in the late 50s when the likes of George Young ,and George Niven starred for the Rangers.

I have followed them ever since at home ,away and in Europe more importantly they are firmly in my heart.

I have afflicted my son with the same team, as he has done with my darling grandson,it’s what you do.

We are also both part time footsoldiers of The Tartan Army and have had some of our most enjoyable football,and son and dad memories watching Scotland .

Indeed over 150 Rangers players have been capped by our nation .

It was almost a given if you Captained Rangers ,you were almost certain to Captain the National team

It saddens me greatly that nowadays so many Rangers fans openly loathe ,and do not support our National team.

These are the same “fans” that go on about the traditions of the club it’s history etc.

However it now suits the agenda of the hardcore to hate all things Scottish .

Rather stupid when our club is in fact Scottish,all of the trophies and titles won have been Scottish ones with exception of CWC.

That too of course was won courtesy of winning the Scottish Cup the previous May.

A section of the Rangers fans claim to be the most British of British fans,the most Unionist of British football clubs.

Actually that does not stand up to scrutiny ,indeed Rangers are not even the most British Unionist club in Glasgow.

To the best of my knowledge no UK MP ,let alone a Cabinet Minister has ever been on the Rangers board,or been Chairman.

Across the city the so called anti British Union team of Glasgow Celtic have indeed had a British Cabinet Minister Both as a board member and Chairman of Celtic FC ,step forward

The Rt. Hon Dr John Reid.

We also have Ex Labour MP Brian Wilson as a non Exec Director of Celtic PLC.

Nor can I find any trace of a Deputy Governor of the very British ,Bank of England that was ever a member of Rangers Board ,or indeed Chairman.

Again across the city Mr Brian Quinn CBE ex Chairman of Celtic FC also appointed as Dep Gov of the Bank of England in 1995.

He served as Celtic Chairman for 7 years and preceded the aforementioned Dr Reid.

Going through Chairmen of Glasgow Rangers one cannot even find a lowly British Knight of the Realm that held office in this quintessentially British Club,the exception being Sir Mint ,pains me to even refer to him.

However back in the East end of the city ,step forward Lord Ian Livingston or Baron Parkhead to give him his real title,not just any old Lord , a Conservative & Unionist Peer no less,appointed to Celtic Board in 2007.

Prior to the purging of Scottish Labour MPs in the 2015 General,Election it was said that no other club in all of The UK boasted so many British MPs of a Saturday sitting their stand than Celtic FC.

Indeed at Celtic Park on match days it is no surprise to see Knights of the Realm like Sir Billy Connelly ,or Sir Rod Stewart cheering on that “anti Establishment ,anti British club” more affectionately known as Glasgow Celtic.

Perhaps vendors of Union Flags are at the wrong ground on Saturdays

Meanwhile over at Ibrox I can think of no such British luvvies or Knights that ever appear at Ibrox to cheer on the team.

So it seems from the evidence that the very British ,Glasgow Rangers are in fact not the bastion of British Unionism nor even the Establishment club, not even in Glasgow.

It maybe goes some way to explain why RFC was made the test case by HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) on the EBT issue (again another blog all on its own no comments regarding that thanks)

Even when you investigate the oft held belief that the majority of Rangers fans are anti SNP/Indy ,or that almost all Celtic fans support SNP/ Indy the reality is completely different.

Here is the results of a Commissioned Poll carried out by Panelbase on behalf of WOS.

Panelbase are one of the foremost polling companies in UK and are governed by all the regulations you would expect from a premier polling company.

The questions asked were which team do you support and how would you vote in an Indy Referendum.

The results shocked many , 37% of Rangers fans said they would vote for an Independent Scotland.

More surprisingly to many ,29% of Celtic fans declared they support the British Union.

Almost 1/3 of Celtic fans support a Union that views them as second class citizens.

I understand but totally disagree with RFC Fans that vote for the British Union.

I can though,understand fully why they vote Unionist ergo WATP,meaning of course non Presbyterians are NOT the people.

However I just cannot understand any RC supporter of CFC that backs the religious apartheid of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.

To Celtic fans the next time The Green Brigade or one of those zealot bloggers with three made up Irish names tries to tell you that all Celtic fans are really Irish Republicans that want a United Ireland and an end to British rule you can actually inform them of the reality.

To the Rangers fans that think everyone in the ground hates Scotland,the SNP ,Independence, and that we all love the Butcher’s Apron , vile sectarian songs remember this ,almost 4 out of every 10 fans sitting around you do not agree with you.

Indeed just like Scotland as a whole there are likely more SNP Voters sitting in the Ibrox stands than any other Political Party.

I will end this by giving a solution to the problem of Sectarianism in Scotland .

The 29% of British Celtic fans and the hard core Britnats in Rangers fan base can I suggest

you both switch your allegiance to Carlisle Utd FC just over the border.

That way RFC Fans can be in their spiritual home in that dear green place and the Plastic Paddies that vote for the British Union can look west from the Carlisle stands on a clear day and maybe see Eire.

Everyone in Scotland is a winner and then possibly no need for the OBFA.

46 thoughts on “Rangers & Republicanism V Celtic &Unionism

  • Stuck in an airport terminal after the tail end of hurricane Irma just wanting home but reminded of the continued fight against the onslaught from the MSM this was a good read enjoyable as it shone a light in the dark stands of Parkhead and Ibrox that there are sensible like minded in amongst the loonies.
    Ps Dundee United fan seen them win the league as a boy of 10 and the highs and lows since. Loved scottish football pre Souness era it all seemed more equal and competitive maybe rose tinted specs.
    Was Labour but continued failed promises after elections made me realise Westminster will never view us equally.
    Anyway brilliantly put and very informative

    • I congratulate you on your piece. Well said. I for one cannot understand any so called Celtic fan supporting a free and United Ireland yet not support Scottish freedom. I smell a rat in this pile. I can only guess it’s comes down to intelligence. Im from Irish/Scots, I support a united Ireland and an independent Scotland. The only thing I will say is any abuse I’ve had from Scottish people are unionists, some Ranger fans but never Celtic fans. Is that because Celtic fans that are unionists stay hidden? I would seriously like to hear their reasons for being unionists. It’s a subject that deserves to be brought out in the open.

      • I could not agree more with these sentiments. It is a mystery that has perplexed me for decades as I have had more than my fair share of Celtic supporters agreeing that the union must be kept in tact. This on supporters buses, in bars adjacent to the ground, in the ground, CSC. Even my own brother in law, who moved to Glasgow from Mayo, would rather see us kept shackled. It’s true, that Celtic supporters are a family, but only within the context/confines of a Scottish football world. There is, I feel, quite a sizeable majority of those fans that are astoundingly ignorant when it comes to Scottish political discourse. Avid Sun & Record readers that really don’t give a tuppeny fuck what happens to their country as long as the Celtic play every week.

  • A great blog pal, greatly enjoyed, would be nice if there were enough resources to give a copy of this to each and every supporter at Ibrox & Celtic park on match days.

    All the best.

    Bill Tohill.

  • I was in Orihuella watching football in a Sports bar.Manchester United Chelsea and Celtic games The bar is awash with Chelsea and Man U shirts.Wish I had remembered to bring my Rangers cap.
    All my Yes T shirts are kaput. I need more Yes / SNP /Rangers kit
    Please everyone buy and wear abroad.
    PS waiting to see what the Rangers / sports direct divorce produces.
    Great piece Barrhead Boy.Dont let them grind you down.
    George Young
    Not his son but my dad liked him.

  • My first real memory of being a Rangers fan was a conversation with my uncle when I was about five years old. He asked me what team I supported and I said Rangers. I don’t know why. Maybe I liked the colours, or the name, or maybe it was the only team whose name I knew. I was five years old. It could have been Dundee, or Hibs or Queen of the South. Everyone has their own story, their own path to their club, and none are more relevant than anyone else’s. My uncle replied that they were rubbish and I said they weren’t so my first conversation about football was an argument and not a lot has changed over the years.
    It was not until many years later that I learned from a friend about all the other things that go along with Rangers. When I was told about the Battle of the Boyne, I though he meant the Battle of Aboyne, because that seemed to be more relevant. If we want to choose a piece of history to justify our allegiances, in football or anything else, we have a massive choice within Scotland without having to go to Derry’s walls. When I heard the singing of the British national anthem at Ibrox, I thought they were singing “God save our gracious team”, because I didn’t really see the relevance of the queen to what John Greig was doing. I had difficulty seeing past the fact that the previous week I was booing the same anthem at a Scotland game. (Back in the days when you were allowed to do that.)
    If I want to find a historical basis upon which I can assume loyalty to the crown, I only have to look at my name. The Rosses didn’t fight for Bonnie Prince Charlie. They predominantly fought against the Jacobites for the crown. I can find the historical basis but I can’t find the modern relevance.
    I wonder about those young clansmen who fought out of loyalty to their own beliefs, or loyalty to their own clan or their own clan chief, or maybe because they did not have a choice. I wonder what their decision would have been had they been given an insight into their future. They were stripped of their colours – same as everyone else. Their customs, their music, their culture, their way of life was proscribed – same as everyone else’s. And only a few short years later, the ultimate betrayal, their children and grandchildren were ordered from the lands that their forbears had lived, loved and died on for hundreds of years, by the same clan chiefs that they had fought alongside on those ancient battlefields. Same as everyone else. Had they known their future would their loyalty have been as freely given?
    Bring those same clansmen forward to the present day and show them the broken lives, the broken dreams of our modern day conflicts. In our name, by our hand. Would they say there was more honour or justification there or in the carnage and bloodshed that was Culloden or Killiecrankie or Sherrifmuir?
    So as we go forward to independence, what does our future hold? If we want battles we will not be disappointed. There will be battles. There will be fights, there will be arguments, there will be fallings out. As Scots it’s kind of what we do. We have fought on both sides of other people’s civil wars. Paid and unpaid. There will be mistakes. That is guaranteed. Probably the only thing that can be guaranteed. There will be problems. But they will be our mistakes, our problems, and our solutions.
    I cannot see me changing my team. And if you think you can wind me up about Sevco, new team, old company, whatever, help yourself. I really don’t care. That decision that I made when I was five years old will stand, however it was made. But it will not dictate my future. I will not make my decision based on my favourite football team. I will not make my decision based on what side I might have been on, in battles that have already been fought, long since been won and lost. We can study and perhaps learn from our history. But we don’t have to build our future based on our interpretation of who was right and who was wrong hundreds of years ago. I will make my decision for my future, for the future of my family, my friends and my community. My decision will not be based around what is, after all, just a kids’ game. It will be for all the children of Scotland.

  • Excellent – thank you – but you should really be a SinMurren supporter! I have taken some verses and put them in quote / meme form and posted them in 12 facebook Indy sites along with the link.

  • Excellent analytical observation, Sir.
    It is the way of the Iron Heel Oligarchy; set comman man(sic) against common man, while the Lords Earls Barons and the Wealthy sit atop the dung heap ‘lording it’ over the Hoi Polloi.
    Your observation about Celtic is of course spot on.
    There is nothing about the traditional Catholic Church that is Socialist, Republican or remotely egalitarian.
    Reid and Wilson and Desmond are neo liberal capitalists, who would laugh at the notion that Celtic FC would support Scottish Independence.
    Indeed, Reid and Wilson are rabid opponents of Scotland the nation. To them we are a Northern Region of England.
    Let’s not forget that Irish Bishops stood on the harbour at Howth blessing Irish Troops setting off to fight for Franco in the ’30’s.
    Not for nothing are their hierarchy referred to as ‘Lords’ as in ‘my Lord Bishop’, just like the Anglican variety which get automatic perches in the HoL Down There in the Mother Country.
    RFC have form too, but perhaps not as blatant as the Sellick Hierarchy.
    The Masons, the Orange Order, Combat 18, and so on. As you observe it would take another blog to describe the injustices of bigotry and sectarianism of the 20th Century.
    For example, it is only in the last quarter of a century that a Cathlolic could get work in journalism, publishing, or the mainstream legal profession Up Here.
    We are where we are.
    Scotland must exercise its democratic right and leave the Union.
    I refuse to let foreign politicians bar me from travel, work, and settling in Europe, because there are more of them than there are of us.
    Davidson Mundell, and the risible new ‘Lord’ Ian Duncan actually believe that they have the power to ride roughshod over the democratic will of the citizens of Scotland and drag us kicking and screaming out of the EU.
    I’ll stop now.
    Set worker against worker, and stand back and watch while they beat each other into submission.
    Palestine, Cyprus, India, Ireland.
    The Brits have form.

    • Thank you for your kind comments and extremely interesting insight,perhaps you need to write a blog and get a few things off of your chest.
      I have found the last couple of days quite therape.

      • Your comments have gone a long way to exposing the myth that Rangers must be Unionists, Celtic must be Republican Independentistas. Reading your comments is therapy enough for many of us, barrheadboy, believe you me.
        Dark clouds are gathering over these islands.
        The bloody fools are actually going for No Deal Brexit.
        They must be stopped.

    • It is more than half a century since I became a card carrying NUJ member. There were many Catholic employees in the print industry in Scotland then, as now.

      • Ach, brunoboy, ‘in the print industry’.
        ‘In journalism’, ‘editing’, not so many, in fact, none.
        Scotland 1967 was a bitter wee place. To suggest otherwise in tantamount to Holocaust denial.
        We have moved on from tired old ‘some of my best friends are Catholics’ diffusers.
        barrheadboy’s excellent piece goes a long way to rubbishing this Kafflix Prodistans divide.
        It no longer exists in the eyes of probably over 5 million Scots citizens.
        There is a hard core of perhaps 70-80 thousands along the Clyde Valley who have nothing of significance in their lives other than hating their neighbours.
        ‘In the print industry’ indeed, brunoboy.

  • This made me feel a bit more hopeful, I come from a mixed Celtic (hates SNP coz they hate Catholics) and Rangers yes and no voters. I just cannot get my head around not putting Scotland first.

    • Definitely. The irony of a desire for Irish unity and repugnance towards Scottish independence doesn’t escape me. Channel that positivity together and we’ll win. And, it’s us, not ‘them’.

  • Great article. Thank you.
    I too am a blue nose into his 60’s and passionate about my football team and the dream on an independent Scotland.
    Your article will be printed out, (if that’s OK?) and shown or quoted from by me to others.
    We need to inform, as the MSM will not.
    Thanks once again.

  • Like Gordon Ross, I don’t really know exactly when I started supporting Rangers, but it was probably when I was about five or six. Certainly it was before the age of criminal responsibility, even here in Scotland. I have not the faintest idea of why I picked the Light Blues. In fact, I used to be quite proud that I hadn’t consciously chosen them, being so young, since that made me feel that at least I wasn’t a glory-hunter, only interested in them because they were winning. (Of course, now I realise I was probably aware of them because of their fame at winning. But what can you do, I’m as much a victim of subliminal influences now as I was when I was five.)

    Like many other Rangers supporters I went through the adolescent identification with all things Orange that is still a blight on our society. Sometimes the need to belong, to feel part of something, is dangerously strong. And some otherwise perfectly marvellous people just never grow out of this over-identification with a set of religious-political events that should have no relevance to a 21st century football club.

    Thankfully, I think I just grew up.

    It doesn’t mean I can pretend to support another team now. It doesn’t mean I have to be proud of the intimidating antics of large parts of my team’s support. Or think that financial shenanigans that put players on the park who we otherwise simply couldn’t afford is anything other than cheating.

    Some people treat the way they support their club, as Bill Shankly might, as a matter more important than life and death. I’m more inclined to Jimmy Reid’s point that it’s the sign of an inadequate society that leaves people with only football as their main source of identification and belonging. It’s not fair on football (it’s only a game) and it has led us up the emotional cul-de-sac where innocent supporters of other teams can be stabbed and killed because of the football top they wear.

    We are better than this.

    As a Yes voter in 2014 I simply don’t accept that which football team you support has anything to do with your politics, beyond some very thin, playground-level obsessions which are best left behind. That a liking for Parlane means you must be automatically disobliging about Parnell. That making the Nazi salute in George Square is anything other than daft laddies and lassies just trying to get up the nose of the people they’ve been encouraged to hate, by people who should know better. Granted, society’s attitudes often change at the pace of the slowest and most ill-informed member of any group. So it may take some time to change the hearts and minds of fans ignorant even of the fact that Pope Alexander VIII reacted to King Billy’s victory at the battle of the Boyne by lighting bonfires of celebration, because they were allies against Louis XIV. Or to help them see that the Tory party playing in the Orange card (yet again) is something they should suspect, not support.

    Perhaps I’m an incurable contrarian, but I’m incredibly cheered by the thought, implicit in this research, that grown men and women can support causes which the stereotypes say are taboo, beyond the Pale. My friends at English Scots for Yes will be no doubt be equally encouraged. 37% of Rangers supporters being Yessers is a very good start. It does rather mean that, even if you voted No to Scottish self-determination last time round, there is a very good chance the guy sitting on your left or on your right in the Copland Road stand voted Yes.

    Apparently, we are the people too.

    • Well said, Mr Fraser.
      260,000 of our children live below politically engineered poverty level, 500,000 of our citizens in penury and poverty while the Blue Tories impose another 2 billion in cuts to public services in Scotland, and we are wasting time talking about two football teams.
      How much does it cost to visit Ibrox or Parkhead for a game these days? £30, £40, £50? I genuinely don’t know.
      I’d venture that it’s more than the weekly Personal Allowance UCS for a single parent.
      Our Puclic Services ar3e being systematically destroyed by Blue REd and Yellow WM neo conservatives, and we are now on the brink of losing our devolved powers.
      What will it take? Your next door neighbour, a European by birth, but working here, marrying here, bringing up a family here, but deported by Homeland Security because of Hard Brexit England, before you wake up to the reality of Neo Fascist England Empire 2?
      The Union is dead.
      Scotland is not.

  • Glasgow being home to Yes city highlights not all Celtic and Rangers fans are against Scottish Independence, the cities that lost the referendum were Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

    Now that Scotland is being forced out the EU, these cities will be key to winning the next referendum.

    • John Rangers and Celtic have such a large following it is not confined to Glasgow and surrounding areas it is global .indeed in many if not most other towns there are more OF Fans than the local team

  • Rangers didnt win the CWC after winning the Scottish Cup the previous season. Celtic beat you but as we were in the middle of 9 in a row and were in the European Cup you went into CWC by default

  • I think this is a great article and I fully accept that there are many “good” Rangers fans who do not fit the stereotype. I have a question that I would like to ask of those fans. I can assure you that I ask this truly with a view to understanding and not to put down you views.

    I am a season ticket holder at Aberdeen and I’m subjected to Rangers* bile twice per season. The songs that are sung completely turn my stomach. I have to ask how “good” Rangers fans can listen to this every week being delivered by “your own” As much as I love my team I think I would struggle to attend if I had this every week.

    * For those of you thinking “of course he only picks on Rangers, what about Celtic, they are just as bad” I single out Rangers because the Celtic songs that I might object to are simply so indistinct that I do not recognise what is being sung. I’m sure if I knew the words being sung I would object just as strongly. (That’s not an invitation for people to tell me the words!)


    • I won’t get into whataboutery it achieves nothing.

      Other clubs need to sort out their own undesirables.
      I can only speak for myself and say that a great many of the Rangers fans like myself dislike the add ons to songs as well as some of the specific songs.
      More and more are speaking out in Fans forums it cannot be denied this is met by a lot of resistance from the hardcore zealots.
      Though slowly but surely more and more these people are being marginalized and hopefully one day they will be eradicated from the support .
      Can I just say if I was in Aberdeen/ Aberdeenshire my stomach would be turned a lot more knowing that Tories took all the Westminster seats and council.
      These are the hardcore ones you should really be worrying about.
      It is Tories and their British Labour allies that encourage and condone the religious intolerance .

      • Thanks for your reply, Can I just point out that not every Westminster seat in Aberdeen is tory. My own seat has a very good SNP MP. The SNP also gained several council seats and are the largest group in the council, although they are not in control due to a Labour/Tory/Independent pact from hell.

        My stomach doesn’t turn as you suggest as I don’t tend to associate with the tories. As I suggested in my post I wouldn’t choose to stand with them every week. Finally, they also don’t tend to sing about it.

  • Excellent read; I am a passionate Celtic supporter, an SNP activist, a Nationalist through and through, English by birth and to top it all a Veteran. I was once blinkered or you could say conditioned to think all things British, times have changed and moved on, so have I.

  • Excellent read, i like Andy above have been a Celtic fan all my life also a veteran and SNP supporter and long for the day this country of ours will have its independence, i also think you will put a few noses out of joint on both sides, but then no one said it would be easy.

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