I was at primary school during the 1979 devolution referendum. It’s fair to say many in the Celtic community were suspicious of the SNP due to the hostile attitudes some of the party leadership had to the Irish diaspora in their midst.
Fresh blood brought change to the SNP in the 1980s, there were even overtures to Irish nationalism. Alex Salmond cemented these changes, broadened the appeal of the party towards new and multi-generation immigrants, and asserted the SNP’s multi-faith credentials. He also became close friends with disgraced Cardinal O’Brien (which is no reflection on Mr Salmond).
At the height of his political powers Salmond appears to have overreached. Something would be done about men shouting at football games. From now on only certain flavours of nationalism would be favoured, acceptable, perhaps even legal. MSP Christine Graham let the Scottish Parliament know, the problem was that Celtic fans were not acting illegally, so the law had to change.
The Axe the Act candidate in today’s Glasgow City Council, Govan, by-election, Thomas Rannachan has brought the consequences of Salmond’s largess to his door. The SNP are defending the seat but one year out from the battle Salmond really needs to win, his shoddy attack on football fans is set to undermine him. As an independent Rannachan may not win, but he has put the First Minister on the back foot.
George Ryan’s funeral will take place at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Glasgow, at 10:00 on Monday. All are welcome.
Sean’s book’s here, fill your boots:[calameo code=00039017122aafd9859a6 lang=en page=126 hidelinks=1 width=100% height=500]