"All things are wearisome, more than one can say." - Ecclesiastes 1:8

Friday, May 16, 2008

Apologies to Manchester

Since I wasn't there, I would be inclined to defer to the greater knowledge that Jamie K has on the subject of the disgraceful behaviour of Rangers' fans in Manchester this week. But he is one primary source amongst many and after a brief survey of these, I'm more inclined to think he's been a little over-generous in his assessment:
"I don’t think the City Council can plead technical failure here. If you’re going to invite tens of thousands of Glaswegians down to Manchester on a promise of all day drinking and the big match televised live, then technical failure is not an option."
But it is - because technical failure is always a possibility. According to the Scotsman, the response to this was to pelt police officers with beer bottles.

I was going to post a couple of video clips but they are too disgusting. I'm angry and bitterly ashamed of the behaviour of my tribe here. (Your tribe: you don't choose it - it chooses you. Don't let any journalist/blogger/professional Scotsman wanker tell you otherwise. As if it was something akin to a Guardian reader deciding between the Lib Dems, the Greens, or electing to stick with Labour after all.)

Without being there, I think a couple of excuses/qualifications that are being made for the behaviour of the fans can be dismissed immediately. For example:

They're not 'real fans'.

Gimme a fucking break. We've got a whole lot of people who took time off work or bunked off school to travel to Manchester without tickets to watch the game on a big fucking telly when they could have had the same thing going on for them if they'd went to Hampden instead. This is the behaviour of a 'fan' in the original sense, surely?

The police were heavy-handed.

Again, I wasn't there so I consult primary sources. In none of the clips available is there any record of the police using tear gas, plastic bullets, water-cannon, shit like that. Not nearly heavy-handed enough, in other words.

They were in a minority.

Of course they're in a minority. They're always in a minority. Like the minority that can turn Sauchiehall Street into a battle-zone on the odd Friday night. The problem isn't that they represent the majority - it's that the the majority through the various representative institutions available to us do fuck all about them. For example:
"Asked why police had not enforced bylaws prohibiting drinking in public, [Ms Curran] said it was impractical and could have sparked dangerous exchanges, as there were 200,000 people and the force had only 8,000 officers."
With all due respect to Ms Curran, it's entirely practical. Glasgow has a by-law preventing the consumption of alcohol in public places too. And drinking at football matches has been banned for years. These rioting pricks knew the script - they should have been made to follow it.

I fucking hate neds. Sick of them. Everyone in Glasgow is - everyone that isn't one themselves, that is. The comments you can read under the various YouTube clips of this illustrate the scale of the stupidity problem we've got going on here. Idiots trying to pretend this is exclusively Rangers' problem. As if the city police cells are only going to be filled with protestants tonight. As if it wasn't Glasgow's problem, Scotland's problem, Britain's problem. As if it wasn't the case that there probably isn't another city in Europe that would allow its streets to be taken over by drunken fuckwits in the way we do in this country, in the way we do in Glasgow.

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