Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Celtic supporter and Catholic QC Paul McBride warns of increased bigotry if Scotland splits from UK, sheer tripe uttered to promote Neil Lennon book
Paul McBride is a QC, one of Scotland's most high-profile lawyers.
He is also a TV pundit on occasion, appearing on Newsnight Scotland and other programmes giving his views on a range of topics.
His latest view is that sectarianism could "blossom" in an independent Scotland without outside influences from the rest of the UK.
That is complete and utter vacuous nonsense.
Paul McBride, QC, belief is that independence could lead to "very serious consequences" for Catholics in Scotland.
This post isn’t easy to write because of the nature of his statement, it is one of those opinions that someone blurts out that makes you turn your head.
He also thinks that the Catholic community could have "legitimate concerns" about the SNP's flagship policy.
In an independent Scotland, people will have the same rights under law that they enjoy at present.
Another point is that the SNP Code of Conduct ensures that members sign up to supporting equality in civic life.
McBride’s comments were trotted out during an interview with former MP George Galloway.
Galloway stood on the Glasgow Holyrood list and bombed.
Anyway, McBride’s views have been ridiculed by a Labour MSP who described them as "cack-handed".
Labour MSP Michael McMahon, a Catholic who opposes independence to the hilt, said Mr McBride's comments were "not very well thought out".
"I believe that in the past, there was a genuine concern in the Catholic community about independence. About 15 or 20 years ago, you could have understood or identified with this, but I don't believe you can say that now."
He went on:
"If it is an attempt to appeal to Scottish Catholics not to vote for independence, then it's a very cack-handed strategy and is not very well thought out at all. As a Catholic, my fears about independence are not in this regard but are more about how Scotland would be weaker economically, socially and politically under independence."
This seems a rather pathetic attempt to persuade Catholic voters to reject independence in the forthcoming referendum promised by the SNP or a rather crude PR stunt to promote George Galloway’s book, Open Season: The Neil Lennon Story.
The Neil Lennon Story chronicles the campaign waged against the football manager last season when he was the victim of death threats and letter bombs.
McBride compared death threats towards Neil Lennon to terrorist actions and internet child paedophilia.
Paul McBride also received similar threats, since 2010, McBride has represented Celtic F.C. on a number of legal and disciplinary matters.
People may think that his association to Celtic FC rather than his religion made him a target.
So, what is McBride saying?
In the book, Mr McBride says:
"I think there are legitimate concerns on the part of Scotland's Catholic community that if Scotland were ever to become independent, and these prejudices remained as deep and wide as they evidently are, it could result in very serious consequences when it comes to social cohesion and related matters. We must not delude ourselves that this isn't the most serious social issue in the country today. If we do, if we continue to treat it with the collective myopia it has been traditionally treated with, we will only succeed in failing future generations."
Given the incidents all happened under the unionist watch, his argument is sheer tripe.
In fact, people could use it as an argument the other way for independence.
Getting in on the act, Patrick Reilly, formerly professor of English literature at the human rights abusing Glasgow University said:
"I know that some people feel safer being part of the UK, as they feel that England is more tolerant towards them than an independent Scotland might be”.
Riots in England and no riots in Scotland.
“I can see why some people would take the view that Scotland would be more divided under independence, as some people might be concerned that the discrimination that used to exist against Catholics over jobs and housing could return."
Maybe Reilly isn’t aware of human rights and various equality laws that have passed to prevent such discrimination.
The book, Open Season: The Neil Lennon Story will be available for sale at some point; I would therefore suggest if you are desperate for nasty fiction about an independent Scotland, hang on and wait till it goes in the 50p bargain bucket section at your local supermarket.
Or you could take the view that this type of sheer trash isn’t worthy of your spending a penny on it.
Paul McBride QC is reported going to be representing former Downing Street press chief Andy Coulson in the ongoing investigation into phone hacking. Previously he represented Gail Sheridan against the Crown over allegations that appeared in the News of the World under Coulson’s editorship regarding her husband Tommy Sheridan.
And also in the past, McBride made a high-profile defection from the Scottish Labour Party to the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
From a party dying on its knees, he went to one already dead.
In April 2011, McBride branded the SFA "the laughing stock of world football", and "not merely dysfunctional and dishonest, but biased". This statement came after an SFA disciplinary hearing involving three members of Rangers staff. McBride later apologised for the remarks after the SFA had threatened legal action and had made a formal complaint to the Faculty of Advocates.
Can’t say he is someone that I have any time for, the Labour MSP Michael McMahon was right, "not very well thought out".
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University