Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Former Labour councillor attacks Strathclyde Police over Celtic complaint saying they went behind Celtic’s back, haven’t IQ’s dropped a lot recently
This is a cracker and another example of ignorance.
Michael Kelly was a former Labour Councillor at Glasgow City Council, and also a former director at Celtic Football Club, the Labour Party ‘social club’ in the East End of Glasgow.
He is unhappy.
His unhappiness centres round the claim that police force had gone “behind Celtic’s back” when they notified European football bodies of alleged pro-IRA chants at a recent football match.
At this point you have to stop reading this post and keep re–reading the above paragraph again and again.
The idea that the Police should seek Celtic’s permission before forwarding a complaint is bizarre in the extreme.
He has claimed on STV’s Scotland Tonight that the chants were examples of “political expression”.
Fuck off with that shite.
For that to even wash, which it doesn't, Sein Fein would have to be standing in Scotland in elections.
And he went further that singing pro-IRA chants was not a criminal offence and said:
“I defend their right to sing them”.
Maybe he thinks that there is a human right to sing sectarian songs, would the defence be ‘grandfather’ rights?
Mr. Kelly has also attacked the Scottish government’s plan to bring in legislation to tackle sectarianism in football describing it as an attack on free speech.
It isn’t an attack on free speech because there isn’t a human right to be sectarian; however I don’t agree with the legalisation myself because it is not the way I would tackle this problem.
And I think that a jury would be reluctant to convict using this new law as it stands.
A football matches there is a peculiar mentality among the supporters, it revokes around basically calling other team’s supporters, cunts, bastards and scumbags.
You could argue this a ‘healthy’ expression of pent up anger and a stop value for society letting people blow off steam by being malicious.
Much in the same way that SNP MSP Staff member and wife of Glasgow List MSP Humza Yousaf, Gail Lythgoe let her anger get the better of her when she defamed a Labour MP Ian Davidson by saying that he had a ‘history of bullying’.
She later stated she regretted her disgusting behaviour.
People should learn that education is the only way to deal with this problem, we can never stop sectarianism in much the same way we cannot stop any other crime.
Kelly’s point that:
“people have the right to be offensive if they want to be”.
That is bollocks and isn’t a human right either, we allow free speech as a human right but part of the deal is that people must exercise judgment.
If they don’t exercise judgment then they leave themselves open to due process of law.
In being sectarian, people are making a pro active choice to break the law of the land, and therefore should pay the penalty.
You could argue that inside a football stadium people should be allowed to vent to get things off their chest and for some, its part of the enjoyment of attending the game.
It remains a public order matter and judgment by the Police; however Police should also exercise judgment because of the issue of crowd safety of others.
The way to tackle sectarianism is to close Glasgow Rangers and Glasgow Celtic completely, although such a remedy is incredibly harsh because it penalises ordinary fans who just want to enjoy the game and the atmosphere, part of which is throwing abuse about the place to needle the opposition.
A football game of the old firm could be summed as two sets of fans calling each other bastards for 90 minutes, a period of 45 minutes followed a break to get food, drink and use the bathroom, followed by another 45 minutes of calling the opposition bastards before going home all happy.
That is football in the West of Scotland as it relates to Celtic and Rangers.
And no law is going to change that, even involuntary knee jerk legalisation.
Michael Kelly hasn’t a case.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University