Justice did not prevail and the league title did not find it’s way home to Paradise. As Lennon said though “This is not the end, this is only the beginning”.  Next year I really believe we will add the league to the Scottish Cup. We’ve never been too good at bothering much with the League Cup and I reckon that is anybody’s up for grabs. You never know though, the treble would really get it right round them. That would be good.

Despite the disappointment of being cheated out of the treble this year, I and many other, Celtic fans will be walking around with satisfied looks on our mugs. Finishing the season on a high by winning the Cup returned a bit of pride to Celtic fans. Absolutely no disrespect to Motherwell, they came and had a go and made a good account of themselves. They will have a good season next year but I’d like to know where all the Motherwell fans appeared from? They struggle to get 2000 at fir park and yet managed to get nearly 10 times that at Hampden. Another thing, these new ‘Well fans will have to find their voices if they hope to give their team any encouragement. I only heard them sing three songs the entire match despite that wee short guy they have for a manager dancing around trying to encourage them to get behind the team. I can’t blame them though.  I was talking to one Motherwell fan who was there right up at the back of the Motherwell end and he said he actually felt the stadium bouncing when the Celtic fans where “doing the huddle”… He said even he felt intimidated by the sheer volume and atmosphere coming at them from the Celtic end. It wasn’t a threat of violence or anything remotely like that but simply the atmosphere created by the Celtic supporters. I want to see that next season more and more against all the teams in the SPL. No team in the SPL deserves any less respect. They are all capable of beating us on their day and it is up to us, as Celtic supporters, to make sure that clubs no longer relish the chance to come and have a go at Celtic Park or even at their own grounds. Opposition fans and players alike have to  be overawed when they play Celtic, not just because of the Celtic team, but because of the atmosphere created by Celtic supporters. I remember when it was intimidating and almost always worth at least a goal start. Or the clichéd 12th man.

So next season, let’s get behind the team. If Celtic want to besmirch the team’s top with a pro war political symbol again, let them. Just walk out in protest or if attending an away fixture, simply don’t go in and watch the game on the telly in the pub. Do it quietly and with dignity and then around 2-3 weeks later, near St Andrews day, have a Saltire day, where we bring in our Saltires and wave them around like Nicola Sturgeon on heat. (Sorry Nicola, sexist comment and uncalled for, but we have had to endure Anti-Irish racism from since before the plantations.

You see the Huns are right when they say that immigration from Ireland, especially the North, didn’t start and end with An Gorta Mor or the Great hunger. It started with the Plantations started by James the 6th of Scotland when the two crowns joined under his Kingship. Some Scots King he turned out. Traitorous bastard relinquished his right to the throne as soon as he moved his court to London. He renounced his nationality, his religion and his self-respect. Sorry, I digress.

In Glasgow, around this time there was actually more Anti Catholic organisations than there were Catholics. That’s why in 1745 during the Jacobite rising the Jacobite rebels or rather the rightful Scots Army under the rightful king, got no truck in Glasgow. Prince Charlie was too catholic for their liking. Maybe they were right but replacing the Roman pope with a London pope was no answer but they done it. Except for the Presbyterians who went along with it just for pragmatic reasons. Of Course when taxation of the entire population through church tithes by the London pope or established church, no matter what church you did or did not belong to, this caused a bit of a schism in the church in Scotland and kicked of a revolution in Ireland led by the great protestant United Irishmen in the North of Ireland. They had three main aims, a kind of quickly drawn up manifesto;

  1. That the weight of English influence in the Government of this country is so great as to require a cordial union among all the people of Ireland, to maintain that balance which is essential to the preservation of our liberties and the extension of our commerce
  2. That the sole constitutional mode by which this influence can be opposed is by a complete and radical reform of the people in Parliament
  3. That no reform is just which does not include Irishmen of every religious persuasion.

These three aspirations are as true to Republicanism today as they have always been since the fathers of republicanism at that first meeting, who became known as the United Irishmen, drew them up. The men that were at that first Republican meeting were all protestant, two were Anglican and the rest were Presbyterian. They were Wolfe Tone, Thomas Russell, (who were the two Anglicans) William Sinclair, Henry Joy McCracken, Samuel Neilson, Henry Haslett, Gilbert McIlveen, William Simms, Robert Simms, Thomas McCabe and Thomas Pearce. These brave men supported the Catholic Committee and Lobbied for Catholic emancipation and to repeal the Penal laws. But most of all, what really united them with Catholic and Dissenter were the tithe laws. Their Ultimate aim as is the aim of modern republicanism is to secularise the state and replace Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter with the name Irishmen. To separate religion from politics. The Brits saw this and sought to mint a coin of sectarianism to divide Protestant from Catholic and Dissenter from them both. This was in fact a racially motivated ploy. To bring in Scots and give them the best land and in doping so, kick the indigenous catholic and non protestant off the best farmland that were found in the northern Counties.  They had tried with the Elizabethan Pale but they could not go further than Dublin county itself with impunity. Divide and Conquer was the order of the day and has continued without much break ever since. There were valiant attempts  at organising the workers on a class based union but they suffered defeat because of the racist policies of the British government. Scots Protestants were  given control which they freely accepted. Why wouldn’t they? Self interest is a good enough persuader. The Irony was that the protestant movement was an attractive one until it became infected with bigotry. The idea of democracy and freedom of worship as one pleased, directly with God however one pleased was appealing to socialists. The Irony is that if they had not been driven by greed and a lust for power, they may have converted many Catholics freely to their ideas.  But their brutality in land-grabbing from the indigenous Irish and denying their own Celtic heritage put paid to any assimilation and working class unity there might have been.

So there we have it. Ignore the sectarian red herring and see it for what it is. Racism.