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Scotland’s War on Clothes: Be Careful What You Wear

28 March 2013

28 March 2013

Welcome to Scotland, a land where freedoms of expression and other liberties are treated so seriously that the police and prosecuting authorities would never dream of monitoring and judging the clothes you wear.

If that sounds like fantasy it’s because, alas, it is. Yes, this is now a country in which wearing the “wrong” kind of t-shirt will land you in court and, as likely as not, result in you being convicted of a breach of the peace. For real.

I draw your attention toa recent case at the High Court of Justiciary and the opinion delivered by Lord Carloway (a man who, it might be noted in passing, thinks the need for corroboration is a quaint and medieval relic that has no place in a modern justice system).

Last August Kevin Maguire was convicted of a breach of the peace. His crime? Attending a match between Celtic and Rangers while wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the slogans INLA and FUCK YOUR POPPY REMEMBER DERRY. Not the most elegant garment, you may think, and a sentiment that you may find depressingly tedious. But so what? A liberal polity would not consider this anything that should require police intervention. Alas we inhabit no such polity.

The police officers testified that, in the volatile atmosphere of a Rangers and Celtic match and its aftermath, it was likely that the insignia of this organisation would be regarded as offensive and inflammatory by Rangers fans, and that there was the potential for this to provoke disorder and disturbance. The Celtic fans, although cordoned off from the opposing support in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, would merge with the Rangers fans a few hundred yards down Edmiston Drive. The officers also considered that there was a potential for the reference to the INLA to provoke Celtic supporters too. They would not appreciate their football club being associated with such an organisation. The police thought that any reasonable person would consider the slogan relative to the poppy to be offensive and upsetting, likely to be inflammatory and to provoke disorder. This would apply particularly in relation to any members of the public attending the match who had served in the Armed Forces or had family or friends in the Forces.

Accordingly the Sheriff found Mr Maguire guilty of a breach of the peace and imposed a Football Banning Order for a period of two years. (Incidentally, I see no reason why the feelings of members of the Armed Forces should be privileged in this fashion.)

It is true that Mr Maguire had a number of previous convictions for breaches of the peace, including one “aggravated by religious prejudice” at an Orange Order march.  But so what? The game is rigged. Consider this:

[T]he test of whether a breach of the peace has been committed is well-known and settled. It is, in terms of Smith Donnelly 2002 JC 65, whether the conduct is severe enough to cause alarm to ordinary people and to threaten serious disturbance to the community. It is conduct which presents as genuinely alarming and disturbing in its context to any reasonable person.

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Does a silly t-shirt – even one that might be thought witlessly provocative – rise to that level? Surely not. Is it “genuinely alarming and disturbing” in the context of a football match at which declarations of tribal identity, mutual loathing and much else besides are the norm rather than the exception? And, what’s more, a context in which there are actually very few “reasonable” people present. Again, I would suggest not. Indeed I’d go further, if a t-shirt of this kind can be considered a provocation liable to cause trouble then can’t the same be said of a Celtic or Rangers replica jersey? The difference is surely only of degree, not kind.

But it is also important to note that the game is rigged against the individual. That is:

If there is no evidence of actual alarm then, in terms of Jones Carnegie 2004 JC 136 (at para [2]), the conduct requires to be “flagrant”.

Lord Carloway’s opinion makes no reference to any actual alarm being caused. And so poor Mr Maguire is convicted on the grounds that there could have been alarm even though there was not.

It matters not a jot that a reasonable person might consider Mr Maguire an unsavoury individual. He retains, surely, the right to express his political opinions even if other people might find them objectionable. Well, not in Scotland he doesn’t:

The actions of the appellant in wearing this top were not part of a legitimate protest […] The court does not consider that the appellant’s right to freedom of expression was in any way be affected by his arrest and subsequent conviction. Even if the appellant does wish to engage in genuine protests, either in relation to Remembrance Day, the events of “Bloody Sunday” or about the proscription of the INLA, he has plenty of suitable opportunities in which to do so without intentionally provoking serious disturbance, including violence, in the community.

Got that? Being arrested and convicted for sporting a political slogan on a t-shirt does not “in any way” affect your speech rights. Lord Carloway says so and thus it must be true. And if a mere t-shirt provokes the police to action then one wonders what remaining “suitable opportunities” there are for “genuine” political protests? I would not, for instance, recommend that Mr Maguire make any comment on Facebook since the online expression of opinions many people might find distasteful may also result in prosecution.

I have written about the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act before (most recently here) and it is appalling for many reasons. But, as this case makes clear, it is also redundant. The state’s authorities are perfectly capable of concocting cases against football supporters without recourse to this latest illiberal piece of legislation.

Truly, these things shame Scotland far more thoroughly than does the sectarianism these measures are supposedly designed to thwart.

UPDATE: Lallands Peat Worrier is just as outraged as I am. Quite right too.

 

 


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Show comments
  • terregles2

    At least our police and government did not give us Paris Brown

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Iain-Hill/100000917822376 Iain Hill

    If police were genuinely concerned, why not just send him home?

  • Quercy

    Would it not have been smarter to move the twit into the stands reserved for Rangers fans and let nature take its course?

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Nothing new here. An English girl was was prosecuted and now has a criminal record for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Bollocks to Blair”. This occurred while the great man was in office.

  • Jambo25

    It is perfectly possible that Maguire could have been arrested and charged under various pre-existing laws, in both England and Scotland, for either Breach of the Peace or Offensive Behaviour.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

      He was. The case was nothing to do with the Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act.

      • Jambo25

        That’s the same then as the synthetic indignation over the Green Brigaders being lifted, in Glasgow, a fortnight ago. Hugh Henry and Michael MacMahon did their usual attack on Salmond and MacAskill over the anti-sectarian law of last year.They were, of course, lifted under a general public order law passed by the previous Lab/Lib coalition in 2006, not the anti-sectarian law. Both MacMahon and Henry voted for the 2006 law and Henry was actually Deputy Justice Minister in the SG in 2006. Hypocrisy, much.

  • MichtyMe

    Twas ever thus. The judiciary decided long ago that “there is no limit to the kind of conduct which may give rise to a charge of Breach of the Peace”
    Picking your nose in public could be conduct liable to result in a Breach of the Peace and get you lifted.

  • Jupiter

    It would save everyone a lot of trouble if Celtic & New Rangers were abolished

  • Matthew Whitehouse

    May be you, Alex Massie don’t realise how something like that can kick-off a very ugly altercation later on. A simple T-shirt no doubt, but unnecessary and yes, not only provocative but intentionally so… I think it blindingly obvious to “reasonable” people present what his intentions were. Police got it right on this one!
    Some people will do anything for a scrap!

  • terregles2

    We can expect more of this from the frantic Unionists. They are in a blind panic over the rise in popularity of Independence. Talk about clutching at straws. It’s only a silly t – shirt so lets devote time and energy discussing it.

    Most people in Scotland are more concerned about the damage being inflicted on their country from a Westminster government that they did not vote for. Let Mr Massie ponder over the t-shirt and the rest of us will worry about the poor and the sick being bullied by the vile Westminster maladministration while the same administration rewards the bankers and the rich tax dodgers. We will worry about having Trident missiles again forced onto our country and we will worry about our troops in Afghanistan and any other possible future British invasions.

    When Scotland is Independent if the people of Scotland feel that the t-shirt legislation is wrong then quite simply they will vote for the political party who will change that legislation. The difference will be that we have control over our own government something that we can never have while we are part of the union.

    Unionists have nothing to offer on the benefits of the union so will continue to push the myth that with Independence Scotland will be a one party state. Maybe they have not noticed but that is what we have been living under as part of the union since 1997.

    • Matthew Whitehouse

      Within a year of Scottish independence – No more free prescriptions, No more free Education

      • terregles2

        We don’t get free education or prescriptions or free anything else. We pay for it from our income tax and from the wealth our country produces.
        Scottish governments after independence will continue to spend the money properly giving priority to the well being of its citizens.
        We wont be like the morally bankrupt Westminster tories squandering billions on replacing Trident. Squandering billions on invading Iraq and Afghanistan and giving the rich tax breaks. We also would not have let the bankers walk away unpunished.Nor would they waste millions a year on the parasites in the House of Lords.

        • Eddie

          No, you’ll all be skipping round a tartan toadstool of happiness like little gay pixies eating free icecream and living in the best of all possible worlds.
          You are beyond satire, son.
          Do you seriously think Scotland of any SNP leader is morally superior to England or its leaders?
          English taxpayers are squandering billions to pay for the care of old Scottish people and Scottish students, when the English elderly and students suffer. If you had any morality, you would be handing those vulnerable people some money back, surely?
          Westminster did not go to war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Britain did. It’s called democracy, numpty nuts.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Spammo-Twatbury/100002426967566 Spammo Twatbury

            Keep it up, Ed. Clearly you want Scotland independent and so do we, so carry on like that and you’ll be helping us out no end. In fact, any chance you could ramp it up a touch?

            • terregles2

              It has been suggested that wee eddie has been planted by the YES campaign

            • Eddie

              You Scots Nats remind me of Islamists – the same glazed look in the eyes; the same pipe dreams. ‘If only’ they say, ‘if only the whole world could be Muslim under a caliphate, then it would be a perfect world, with no war, or pain or suffering; and everyone would be happy and rich all the time, with no work and no taxes and utopia would be here’.
              And that sort of Quixotic and Panglossian piffle is just as dangerous spoken by Jihadists or Scottish Nationalists – and the bigotry and hatred runs like a raging river under your pretty words too.
              If the Scottish people are not intelligent enough to reject the sort if Independce promoted by nationalists like you, then they deserve to live in the poverty-stricken ravaged hellhole your policies will so surely create.

          • Jambo25

            I think the SNP ;leadership are morally superior to the shower of so and sos leading the UK parties at Westmister. I don’t claim any moral superiority for the Scots a a whole

            • Eddie

              Morally superior? How?
              Didn’t they free the man convicted for Lockerbie? Aren’t many soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq Scottish?
              Also, if one is a big major country then one has to take difficult major decisions. One cannot compare the role of somewhere like Belgium or Denmark to one of Europe’s major powers; ditto with Scotland.
              The habit of Scots Nationalists is to claim all good British things as their own, and lay the blame for all difficult or unsuccessful things on England. It won’t wash, pal – espeically as Scottish people are in my experience way more racist, sexist, homophobic, religiosity-infected, sectarian, illiberal and bigoted than the more sophisticated and modern English (my Scots friends always say this).
              Funnily enough, I know quite a few Africans and Asians who were around at the time of the British empire (which Scotland piggybacked on). They say the Scots soliders were always the worst – in Asia, and Africa (Kenya etc), with violence and abuse; their memories of Englishman were rather fond, but the Scots, they say, were animals.

    • Alex Massie

      Quite right. This is a unionist conspiracy to discredit Scots law, Scottish judges, Scottish polis, Scottish politicians and everything else that is in any way Scotch. Congratulations for unmasking me and my ulterior agenda…

      • Eddie

        Another thing Scottish Nationalists have in common with Islamists: seeing faces in the clouds, deviants in the shadows and conspiracy theories everywhere.

      • terregles2

        You did not need to be unmasked your agenda has always been glaringly obvious.

      • Jambo25

        Sorry Mr. Massie but this is silly. You know as well as I do that Maguire was lifted, charged and found guilty under a perfectly normal public order provision. leaving aside the specific message on the t shirt, He would have been arrested, charged and found guilty in virtually any European jurisdiction for doing something like that. His crime wasn’t being offensive but acting in such a way as to occasion a Breach of the Peace.

        Now I presume you know the History of McCrae’s Battalion and the significance to Hearts. In fact I know you do as you wrote a rather good article for the Observer, on this topic, back in 2005. What would you advise the police to do if Maguire or a group of Maguires turned up at an away match at Tynecastle round about Remembrance Sunday? A large section of Celtic supporters did something like that a couple of years ago which ushered in an unusually poisonous and troublesome period at matches between the 2 clubs.

    • Redneck

      Terregles2

      Sorry but in my opinion you’re being a little disingenious: the “anti-sectarian” think tank and subsequent legislation is an example of the sort of anti-democratic measure that has been pushed by Mr Salmond et al.

      I acknowledge he may have been trying to portray himself as being “forceful” or perhaps trying to manipulate a proportion of the electorate but this type of legislation, which tries to crush freedom of speech / expression, is an anathema to me.

      Were we to end up Independent, then we’d see all sorts of shackles put on our ability to disagree with the Nazis of the SNP. I suspect pro-UK voters would be compromised.
      As many others here have stated, we already have a very well established number of laws that could be used without compromising freedom of speech.

      • terregles2

        How do you know who will be governing Scotland after independence? There will be a choice of at least six parties to vote for after Independence. Why are you saying it will be SNP?

        How do you know what people will vote for in an independent Scotland? How do you know they will not vote Scottish Labour or Green or Conservative or Libdem or any of the other parties who may stand for election.

        Many people including myself will be voting YES in 2014 but I have never voted SNP nor do I intend to after Independence. Salmond’s attempts to stamp out sectarianism may or may not be good legislation but what many people acknowledge whether they support him or not is that at last there is a Scottish politician who is attempting to make Scotland a better country.

        There is evil anti-semitic chanting that goes on in some London fooball grounds I hope that some legislation will be passed to try and stop that.

        I am not an SNP voter but to refer to members of their party as “Nazis” is truly disgraceful. They are a democratically elected party with not one shred of evidence anywhere ever of being in any way racist.

        Although you say you live in Scotland you seem remarkably out of touch with the Scottish political scene. Perhaps to help keep you up to speed you should view
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp5WFLjl3fk

        • Redneck

          Terregles2

          “Salmond’s attempts to stamp out sectarianism may or may not be good legislation but what many people acknowledge whether they support him or not is that at last there is a Scottish politician who is attempting to make Scotland a better country.”

          Your comment above is where we fundamentally differ: I don’t think, just because a politician decides he “wants to make a country better”, that they have the right to impose their definition with anti-free speech legislation. The inevitable question arises: whose definition of better do you apply? Who is the arbiter of “good taste”?
          I accept that things will be said at times that I detest but one has to accept that if one wishes to keep the right to free speech then, that is the price to pay. I genuinely believe that politicians who try and crush freedom of expression are Nazis hence the term was justified.

          On your other point, I suspect you & I merely are in different Political Scenes: I don’t recognise your version with never an anti-English sentiment expressed.
          There are a very large number of Scots who are terrified at the thought of Independence and the prospect of a benefits-supported, public service majority workforce being magically funded by North Sea Oil revenues.
          I tried to discuss your vision of what an Independent Scotland would be like previously but you declined. I still don’t think it’s a viable option and have yet to hear a vision of what will happen to a whole raft of issues: currency, border control, immigration, supporting a majority public-service workforce, what will Scotland’s contribution to the UK-debt be, the inordinate number of MSPs & quangos etc.

          • terregles2

            Do you mean like the girl who was arrested for wearing the Bollocks to Blair t-shirt in the Midlands?

            Salmond is a democratically elected leader the only UK leader to be in power with a majority vote.

            Your term Nazis was completely unjustified. Your use of that word devalues its’ true meaning. Thankfully the UK has never been governed by Nazis and pray God it never will be.

            You say a large number of Scots are terrified of Independence if what you say is true it will not happen because the majority will vote NO to independence. A large number of Scots are also terrified of government from the incompetent government of WeStminster and they are the ones who will be voting YES..

            You assert that an Independent Scotland will be a benefit supported public service majority workforce.

            Your arrogance is breathtaking. Once again I ask how do you know what the majority of Scots will vote for in an Independent country?

            You do not know what policies will appeal to them after independence

            Scotland’s contibution to the national debt will be fair. We will pay the proportion of it that is ours. You seem to imply that all the UK money is England’s money. Ken Clarke made the same faux pas on his recent visit to Scotland. He hastily corrected himself and called it British money. The rest of the UK put in more than their fair share to the Westminster pot.

            • Redneck

              Terregles2

              A few points raised, I’ll try and respond in order.
              1. The t-shirt girl in Midlands: equally wrong-headed move but does not mitigate the anti-sectarian legislation being implemented by the Scottish powers.
              2. If not Nazis, then what term would you use for a Government trying to control free-speech? Please be aware, I am equally critical of Tory support for Leveson.
              3. I am not asserting that Scotland will become a “benefits supported public service majority workforce”, I am saying it already is and I’ve seen no suggestion that Independence will improve that.
              4. “Your arrogance is breathtaking. Once again I ask how do you know what the majority of Scots will vote for in an Independent country?”. I am disappointed to see you resorting to this type of abuse: I am trying to discuss issues with you in a civil manner.
              5. I am not clear why you state that you think I am implying all the UK’s money is England’s money. I think all assets and debts belong to the whole UK. My question to you is how would these be distributed?

              • terregles2

                You say Scotland is a benefits supported public services majority workforce. Don’t seem to be doing too well under the Union do we?. Think that is why many people think we would be better with Independence.
                The present Westminster government are really dreadfully incompetent. Losing the triple credit rating etc.
                Fact is almost every country in the world governs itself it is silly to suggest that the Scottish nation could not do the same.
                In 2014 everyone living in Scotland will choose for themsleves which is a really democratic decision that we all welcome.
                If it is a majority YES vote then Scotland shall pay its proportion of the national debt then go on to govern itself and spend the money it raises on what it chooses as a priority. If we are unhappy with what the Scottish government does then like every other democratic country we will vote for another Scottish party that we think will please us more.
                People who do not want Scottish Independence will vote NO in 2014 those who want Independence will vote YES. It means English people will have the government it wants and Scottish people will have the same.
                There really is not anything else to debate

      • Jambo25

        However, Maguire was lifted for ‘Breach of the Peace’.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=874710365 Andy Hume

    By the way, I’m loving the idea that wearing a T-shirt with the legend “INLA” on it puts you at risk from fellow Celtic fans.

  • last_brit_standing

    I’m very surprised the cops took action over offensive statements by Irish republicans. Usually censorship is reserved for unionists only, to the effect that they are not even allowed to fly their flag. I would also suggest that in future, ALL clothing bearing foul language be banned from the public domain on threat of confiscation.

  • http://www.facebook.com/arthur.potts.16 Arthur Potts

    Surely the most appropriate police response would be to make the witless pillock take off the offending T-shirt and let him shiver bare-chested through the game

    • Donafugata

      Au contraire.

      Mr. McGuire should have been allowed to continue wearing the garment and then been hurled into the midst of the Rangers supporters.

      • Eddie

        Can’t we force them all to wear pink instead and hold hands like the gay little pixies they so surely are underneath? Ridiculous? Well, less so than the SNP’s policies, for sure.
        Remember, in bigoted racist sexist sectarian Scotland, homosexuality was only legalised in 1980 and most Scottish cities are decades behind England in terms of equality; the macho drunken sexist racist culture of Scotland, with its hateful sectarianism, is still there – the smokescreen of English-hating tries to hide it, but it is still there.
        To the English, the idea that if you live in one part of a city you have to paint yourself green, and in another blue, is like something you might see in a Disney cartoon.
        Sectarianism can only explode if Scotland ever becomes self-governing, with small fish finding themselves made bigger by a shrunken pond.

        • Jambo25

          Might I remind you of the delightful riots you had not long ago Eddie? How many dead? How many injured? How much cost in money terms? They didn’t happen in Scotland, did they? Might I also remind you of the delightful scamps who mass murdered Italian footie supporters in the Heysel? They weren’t Scottish, Eddie, where they? What nationality were the darlings who had to be kettled in the centre of Bedford after the Italians beat England in the last European Nations Championship? They weren’t Scottish , were they, Eddie?

          • terregles2

            It is a mistake to anwer eddie . Best to ignore his mad rants.
            He has been posting the most outrageous racist abuse on the other immigration blogs. He abuse of immigrants to England is really shocking. He is a ball of hatred and bile. Best not keep him wound up. I think there may be mental health issues here.

            • Eddie

              Typical SNP liar. Spreading false rumours just shows how desperate you and your Scots Nats desperados are. You know, people often accuse others of being what they are – ie mental, in your case. Just like your closet gay cardinal. Sad, really.
              As it happened, I am the son of an immigrant. I am opposed to mass immigratuon not despite this, but because of it.
              You – a provincial Scottish bigot who’s probably never seen a black or brown face in real life, wouldn’t understand.
              But I am glad you love immigrants so much – including the English immigrants to Scotland. I may well move to Shetland myself and join the independence movement – after all, the oil really belongs to them, not Scots blaggers hundreds of miles away.

              • terregles2

                How do you know I am not black?

                • Eddie

                  How do you know I’m not black?

                • terregles2

                  You called me a provincial Scottish bigot who has probably never seen a black or a brown face in real life. I just wondered how you knew I am not looking at a black face when I look in a mirror.

                • Eddie

                  I just wondered how you knew I am not looking at a black face when I look in a mirror.
                  Read this week’s Radio Times on the anti-Englishness inspired by the fabricated history that was Braveheart. Then you may realise what an utter racist you are.

                • terregles2

                  You have called me a provincial Scottish bigot who has never seen a black or brown face in real life.
                  I then asked you how do you know I do not see a black face when I look in the mirror.
                  You have not answered my question. I will have a look at the Radio Times after you do answer my question.

              • shaunthebrummie

                eddie…the jocks are to be hated and removed from england,as a punishment for what the scots in power have done to england….open door immigration,human rights act,illegal wars,denying things the celts get for free and which we subsidise in those places…..cameron is another anti english jock and should be driven from england.and any politician that uses his dead child for a photo oppurtunity or for pr reasons is scum…….hate them with every fibre in my body…forget 1966,and the world cup….flodden is the best thing ever…chop..chop..chop….

          • Eddie

            No, they happened in England, in our diverse ethnic cities, and most rioters were black. They then spread to chavvy white northen cities. If Scotland had large black populations, then you too would have had riots.
            Are you seriously arguing that the Scottish are a more peacable race than the English?
            Best joke I’ve heard this year, mate!
            You Scots nats are such saddos – forever raiding the past to try and prove how awful the English are (like 19th century racists displaying skulls to prove other races’ inferiority).
            You are just a bigot. That’s all. The problem is, you think being a bigot and a racist makes you enlightened and liberal. Oh dear…

            • Jambo25

              Actually Eddie, the vast majority of rioters and looters in North West England were lily-white. I note you haven’t acknowledged my other points. The killers at Heysel were English: weren’t they Eddie? The bean heads who wanted to have a pop at businesses with Italian names, in Bedford, after the last Italy v England match, were English: weren’t they Eddie.

              When my son lived in Manchester his car insurance was 2 to 3 times what it would be in Edinburgh and much higher than it would be in ‘violent, crime ridden’ Glasgow. The same was true of domestic property insurance. Why is that Eddie?

              • Eddie

                Yes, and you Dumbo Jambo cannot read. This is what I said: ‘They then spread to chavvy white northen cities.’ Obviously don’t teach you to read very well at Scottish schools – or perhaps just to read things that you agree with. All makes sense now…
                Black youngsters started rioting in London. The police did nothing. So whites joined in oop north.
                If Scotland had had large black populations, then it too would have had rioting. Perhaps London can export its muggers, so you can see what vibrance diversity brings eh? Maybe London can also send back all the many Scottish drunks who hang around her parks too eh?
                Heysel? Well, they were Scousers. As violent as Celtic and Rangers fans, they used to be.
                Shall we name the boy who was murdered because he had an English accent by some Scots Nats Braveheart fan 15 years ago then?
                Look at the demographics of northern English cities and you will have your answer to your insurance question, son.

                • Jambo25

                  Actually, I remember that case well Eddie. It took place in the Currie/Balerno area. That’s just over the hill from where I live. Unfortunately, the media spun the tragic death of a young man for political purposes. As far as I can remember, contrary to the press spin , the young man who died was actually born in Scotland and his killer was born in England. The crime had nothing to do with nationality but was part of an on-going feud between groups of teenage boys in adjoining suburbs.

                  You now seem to have got yourself into a rather odd position ,Eddie, where your definition of acceptable ‘English’ doesn’t take in Blacks and other immigrants, chavs, Scousers etc. Any other English who aren’t really English in your view? How about the Mancs? After all there must be a reason why insurance against criminal activity is so much higher in Manchester than it is in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

                • Eddie

                  ‘As far as I can remember, contrary to the press spin , the young man who died was actually born in Scotland and his killer was born in England.’
                  Unbelievable! The young man was murdered because he had an English accent by a Scottish thug fired up by the historical fabrication and anti-English racism of a mediocre movie called Braveheart as well as the rabid racist rantings of nationalists like you.
                  I think he was born in Scotland and certainly had a Scottish father. Those with English accents have to watch out for racist attacks in Scotland, as all students know.
                  His blood is on your hands.

                • Jambo25

                  Strangely enough Eddie, I was at a wedding last year where the principals and their families all originated from South Asia but all considered themselves Scottish. Most spoke with Scottish accents. The music varied from pop to Bhangra to Scottish country dance music.Sometimes on politics programmes, up here, you’ll see Anas Sarwar(Labour) take on Humza Yousaf (One of the risng stars of the SNP). Know what Eddie: they’re both Scottish.

                • Redneck

                  Jambo25

                  If you truly think that, then I fear for the brave “Independent Scotland”.

                • Eddie

                  Maybe all English immigrants should black up then and start speaking with Welsh-istani accents? Then you’ll love ’em.

                  You have very few ethnic minorities in Scotland compared to England too. That’s why you did not have riots in 2011.
                  What makes Scots Nationalists seem desperate and rather deranged is the obsessive anti-Englishness racism they spout, the craving for the moral high ground (as though British decisions on anything in Parliament had nothing whatsoever to do with Scotland, whose MPs sit there), and the constant referencing of ancient history. As mad as the Northern Irish really.
                  One thing that is truly great about England is its lack of overt religiosity. That is healthy and admirable – although recently immigrants have reasserted religiosity south of the border, backed by leftwing politically correct mulitculti ethno-philiacs.

                • terregles2

                  Just think how wonderful England will be after 2014. You have so much to look forward to when you shake of these dreadful Scottish parasites. Life will be so good for you.

              • shaunthebrummie

                can we talk about the terrorist lovers and pub bomber worshippers…those lovely people that only bombed english cities and left scotland alone for fear of hurting their followers and cash donators…and as for the bile coloured team joining english football is laughable in its absurdity……..imagine the bile green team in a city where the hero’s of the bile green teams hero’s had murdered innocent men,women and children…the fans of the team in that city might get a bit upset and punish the bile green teams supporters….

                • Jambo25

                  Not being a Celtic supporter, I couldn’t give a toss what they do.

        • http://www.facebook.com/andy.hutton.52 Andy Hutton

          You sound a bit bigoted yourself.

          • terregles2

            You should read his comments on the blog Europe should shut the door on immigration.

            Beyond bigoted really dreadful. Nuremberg rally material.

            • Eddie

              Oh so now I am Hitler. Brilliant!
              Listen to yourself, petal! I think Scotland is safe – with people like you on the pro-independence side, the UK is safe.

              • Guest

                Seems odd that you despise Scotland so much and yet want it to remain part of the Union.

                • Eddie

                  Who said I despise Scotland? I merely point out cant and hypocrisy and lies when I see them.
                  So anyone who hates pompous English-hating SNP whingers hates Scotland, do they? Sort of proves my point: Salmond is Scotland; Scotland is Salmond; Heil! Heil! Heil!

                • terregles2

                  Many people who are voting for Independence are not SNP voters. There are over four political parties in Scotland campaigning for a YES vote.
                  Why is wanting to be governed from Edinburgh rather than London described as hating the English. Anti English government is not anti English people. There are English people campaigning here for a YES vote. Does an independent Norway mean they hate Swedish people. No it does not. It means they want to govern themselves no more no less.

                • Eddie

                  Your analogy with Sweden and Norway is just as dumb as everything else you spout.
                  But hey, why can’t Shetland be independent then?
                  Scotland and England and Wales are on one island: Britain. Shetland is not – and the oil on their coast is theirs, surely? Not Scottish at all – but Shetlander oil.

                • terregles2

                  You should perhaps listen before you unleash your usual abuse. I did not compare Scotland with Norway or Sweden. I made the point that Norway was governed by Sweden up until 1905. When Norway voted for Independence it did not mean that Norway hated Swedish people it meant that they wanted to govern themselves no more no less.

                  Attempts by people like yourself to accuse people who live in Scotland who wish independence of hating English people have no substance.

                  Regarding Shetland if Shetland want independence then they should start the process to become independent. I would wish them luck. As they are at present part of Scotland they should start the independence process as quickly as possible.

                  Otherwise Westminster might move the English maritime border up to Shetland as Tony Blair did in 1999 when he moved the English border up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie. 6000 square miles of what was previously Scottish maritime territory are now English territory.
                  Unlike you I would wish Shetland well whatever the future holds for them. I do not abuse and insult people because of where they were born. I like Shetlanders, English, Irish, Welsh, Frence, Germans, Asians, Africans etc. There is more that unites us as people than divides us.
                  Unlike yourself I would wish any country well that wishes to be independent and that would include England.

                • shaunthebrummie

                  well get all your parasitical bretheren back from england……prick

                • terregles2

                  Think that you meant Brethren.

        • eric45

          “.. homosexuality was only legalised in 1980 and most Scottish cities are decades behind England in terms of equality..” – Is that supposed to be a pejorative sentence, you have flattered us on our enlightened, common sense ways.

          • Eddie

            Legalised in England first, but loads more went on in Scotland, especially in that big gay club, the Catholic church…

  • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

    A bit of pompous, self-righteous whining that could just as easily have been on the topic of “elfinsafety” or the rights of Cockney barrow-boys to sell their goods in medieval measures as enshrined in the Magna Tapestry or something.

    Sectarianism is a social blight every bit as corrosive as racism or sexism or any of the other bigotries to which the unthinking fall prey. Such things are not combated by turning a blind eye to them. Society is not changed by drawing a discreet tarpaulin over its more embarrassing elements. Ignorance is mother and father of intolerance and prejudice. Enlightenment is the goal. Education is the method. But awareness is the crucial prerequisite.

    The cancers of racism and sexism might never have been addressed if they had not first been highlighted. I’ve no doubt that there were those who sought to trivialise such things and claim that their manifestations in the workplace and elsewhere were “just the way things are”. It took campaigners marching with placards to raise awareness of what was going on. It took writers prepared to expose the unpleasantness rather than brush it under the carpet. It took people prepared to point rather than look away.

    Only when the flaws and their consequences were laid bare before the public did social attitudes start to change. Quite why anyone would think that the aberration of mindless sectarianism might be an exception is hard to fathom.

    • last_brit_standing

      ” the rights of Cockney barrow-boys to sell their goods in medieval measures as enshrined in the Magna Tapestry or something”

      I didn’t have to read any more of your piece to form an opinion on you. Nobody who shows so little respect for the first statement of rights of citizens this country had can be given any credence. It obviously doesn’t affect you to have the right to do certain things. But once one lot of rights have been taken away, who’s to say they won’t come for something that’s a bit closer to your heart?

      • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

        I see they’ve already taken your sense of humour. The bastards!

        • last_brit_standing

          If calling it the Magna Tapestry is your idea of humour, I can recommend you switch off your computer and get out more.

          • terregles2

            He is probably more au fait with the Declaration of Arbroath as many of us are.

      • terregles2

        Don’t think it was his country in 1215 or 1225 or indeed 1297.

        • last_brit_standing

          No? The Magna Carta also dealt with justice for the King of Scots, who had previously had the King of England as his feudal overlord. It is part of Scotland’s history as well as England’s.

          • terregles2

            Magna Carta never applied in Scots law and some still argue that it is an Angevin charter rather than an English one. The point I was making was that perhaps more people in Scotland are familiar with the Declaration of Arbroath than the Magna Carta.

          • Jambo25

            No it’s not.

    • http://twitter.com/cath426 Cath Ferguson

      Not really hard to fathom at all. It’s a stick to beat the despised SNP with. And if that stick beats the rest of us in Scotland down at the same time, all the better for those that enjoy doing that.

    • Kevin Kinsella

      That all sounds quite logical Peter, but the problem is that Scottish society defines pretty much anything related to Irish politics as being ‘sectarian’. We have a culture where, rather than tackle actual sectarianism, or develop a proper understanding of the issues, people are happy to term everything – whether green or blue, catholic or protestant, republican or unionist – to be ‘sectarian’, when very often, it is simply not the case. It’s a very lazy approach.

      This guy’s T-shirt was certainly crass and probably demonstrates he is a bit of an eejit (INLA :shakeshead:), so I won’t attempt any great defence of him in this instance; however, being an Irish republican does not equate to being sectarian. Being opposed to the way the poppy (and remembrance in general) has been used as a political tool, does not equate to being sectarian, and being opposed to the British Army’s behaviour in Ireland does not equate to being sectarian either.

      If we have people threatening or being offensive towards people on the grounds of their race, religion, sexuality or ethnicity, then by all means arrest them for breach of the peace, but if we have people wearing political slogans that might provoke a violent reaction from people who might oppose tthem, well… how about we just arrest anyone who reacts in a violent manner, or who actually causes a breach of the peace over the issue?

      I’d say the same if it was a Rangers fan convicted for wearing a pro-British Army/Loyalist T-shirt: this example surely has to be worrying for anyone with half a brain and a passing interest in free speech?

      • Jambo25

        OK, I’ll give you an example Kevin. What do you do in the following case? It’s known that one of the proudest traditions of Hearts Football club is McCrae’s Battalion of the Royal Scots when the entire first team and many of the supporters, in company with players and supporters of other clubs joined the 18th Battalion. Hundreds were killed at the Somme. One who survived was Paddy Crossan whose bar was famous,in Edinburgh, for years after. Check the name, by the way. Paddy wasn’t exactly a Proddy.

        Now a couple of years ago the lovable scamps who supported Celtic decided they didn’t like Poppy Day (Prompted by the darlings in the Green Brigade.). Fair enough but they didn’t have to go out of their way to be deliberately insulting and provocative at Tynecastle. They arrived a few minutes before the game, unfurled their Irish tricolours and Palestinian flags (Presumably they hate Jews as well as Proddies.) and began to sing and chant. The usual “Ooh, ah, up the Ra” ,BOTOB, Sean South etc. They then added a new one for the benefit of the home support. “You can stick your eff… poppies up your a.,e” sung to the tune of “She’ll be coming round the mountain when she comes”. As is usual, at Tynecastle, there was a large contingent of disabled and elderly frail ex-sevicemen in for the game.

        Those weren’t people exercising their right to make political points. Most of those eejits have difficulty wiping their own behinds, let alone exercising any political judgement. This was simply a mob trying to provoke trouble at an away match. Now drop the lovely Mr. Maguire, or worse, a collectivity of Maguires into this kind of atmosphere and what do you think is going to happen? Maguire was rightfully lifted, charged and found guilty under a perfectly normal public order law. Given the context and possible consequences, the Maguires of this world would be lifted, charged and found guilty in virtually any European jurisdiction.

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