Courts, offensive law and a club for the downtrodden


I’m a bit disappointed RIFC were not in a position to advise their shareholders the results of the votes this morning.  Doing so would not have added 10 minutes to proceedings.  My expectation is that the board would win both votes, giving them a resounding platform this weekend to sell tickets for lower league football.  Perhaps there’s more going on than I thought.

You have to wonder what that expensive legal business in London and Edinburgh yesterday was all about?  Many details of Sports Direct’s deal with Newco are public knowledge, and the void of missing details is filled with pretty stark speculation.  It struck me that counsel for Sports Direct noted the chronology of the new board being appointed, the subsequent leaks and that Newco had not denied they were the source of the leak.  All now on record, in court.  Confidentiality is, of course, a condition of the agreement, which could now be argued is in breach.  That would be a source of regret.  For some.

More on Dave King over the weekend.  He can’t help himself.

You have to admire those who work to expose the absurdity of the Offensive Behaviour Act, designed by the SNP government to “equalise” non criminal offenses with criminal offenses.  Unfortunately, the campaigners are wasting their time, the Act is here to stay, anyone in doubt should read the news this morning that 80% of people surveyed support it.  Ask the average person in the street if they support a law against Offensive Behaviour and they’re hardly likely to say ‘no’.  This type of survey is manipulative nonsense.  Police with guns on the streets and politically motivated laws are a by-product of blind populism.  This is an offensive law and I am horrified.

Robert King is one of the Angola 3, who were incarcerated in solitary confinement in the Louisiana town of that name, and who have become causes célèbres for miscarriage of justice campaigners and prison reformers alike.  King spent 30 years in solitary before having his conviction overturned.  If you don’t know about the Angola 3, go find out.

He pitched up on CNN yesterday dressed in distinctive attire (below).

My relationship with Celtic is different to King’s.  I’m a Celtic fan because that’s the way I was brought up, but I’m pretty sure King’s roots don’t reach back to the Emerald Isle.  Chances are, I’d be a Celtic fan whether we were a club with a social mission or not.  For others, for King, the reasons they wear a shirt on TV, buy a season ticket, or simply share in our joy on occasion, are different.

We are the club of the underdog, a beacon for the downtrodden, a place where they will find a welcome.  No one can plan for this, it either survives over the decades or it doesn’t, so it’s worthwhile telling this part of our story now and again, to set ourselves a core target: Remain the most ethical football club in the world.

To deliver on this you and I need to step forward, this is not a job that can be outsourced to the club, it takes all of us.  You can start here by signing up for the Great Scottish Run for the Foundation.  I know at least 30 runners who read this, sign up before I see you in person!

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  1. Latchford – pfayr might have a better track on this but my impression from various stories is that even the SNP think he’s operating beyond what is reasonable. It’s difficult for the to publicly lambast their own appointment though.



    In general terms it’s always difficult for any organisation to be seen undermining the police, especially the govt.





    There’s a few who would love to have taken it literally when I lived there,especially after we gubbed them yet again. Thankfully.common-sense prevailed. Which had a lot to do wi who my mates were,tbh…





    Dammit,nae luck. I was hoping you’d pour my Dad onto the train on the way back!!!

  4. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on




    You especially must love events that have unfolded at ibrokes over the past 5 years!

  5. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    You bhoys and bhoys from lark hall and some of the small Lanarkshire and west Lothian villages have been through it and it’s great to be laughing at them now

  6. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on




    House is out of control



    Unfortunately McAskill was an ineffective fool of a Justice secretary …House to took advantage of this





    Well,it has kinda spoiled the witty repartee the lads and I once engaged in. They seem unwilling to discuss it much on my infrequent trips home.



    Which kinda suits on the one hand,as we shouldn’t mock the afflicted.



    But on the other hand,sometimes you just can’t help yourself…

  8. Pfayr – I think his days are definitely numbered. The cheating thing that came out during the week is classic smearing.

  9. PFayr,



    SNP and House are perfect for each other on the OBB. House has another KPI to drive Police Scotland crazy with while organised crime in Scotland is a multi billion business. The SNP have a headless chicken deliver the arrest figures of football fans to justify the Bill.



    I wonder if Stephen House even knows anything about organised crime or how to deal with it.



    I would suggest the following KPIs for Mr House



    arrests of football fans versus arrest of organised criminals



    Impact of football fans versus impact of organised crime



    Then he should take a timeout and justify why he is wasting taxpayers money to his political maters the SNP……





    I have to offer my respect to the lads you mentioned,the ones who were stuck there.



    I was in London for most of their nine,and that was bad enough. I would have struggled to cope if I’d been in Kilwinning then.



    I’d have had to give up drinking,ffs!

  11. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on




    Aye and I wonder how yer pals feel about wee Davie ‘douglas fairbanks’ King noo?



    You’ve got that to look forward to the next time you see them ;)





    Aw,hell. I’m not back till October. He’ll be toast by then…



    So I’ll propose a toast to the King over the water,that should f..k them…

  13. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on







    He should also be asked to comment on the poor conviction rate re OB act



    Unfortunately COPFS are incompetent and media driven and beholden to their political masters….an unhappy development

  14. DownForSam




    09:35 on 13 June, 2015




    I can feel Lindsays,the rest off the SMSM and thems Pain & desperation ooooooooooozing out that article


    the last desperate throw of the dice by level5 to try and get some feeling of unity among them,


    Using what comes up when you type “Scotlands shame” into google, add the word Manchester and Welllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.

  15. blantyretim.



    What date is the Aberdour Golf Day.



    Did you notice my wee sarky post about you last night, you know I was only joking. if not I’ll dig it up and re post it..

  16. latchford


    10:42 on


    13 June, 2015





    SNP and House are perfect for each other on the OBB. House has another KPI to drive Police Scotland crazy with while organised crime in Scotland is a multi billion business. The SNP have a headless chicken deliver the arrest figures of football fans to justify the Bill.



    I wonder if Stephen House even knows anything about organised crime or how to deal with it.



    I would suggest the following KPIs for Mr House



    arrests of football fans versus arrest of organised criminals



    Impact of football fans versus impact of organised crime



    Then he should take a timeout and justify why he is wasting taxpayers money to his political maters the SNP……



    From what I can gather, the only interest House has in any crime figures is to what extent they can be massaged to make him personally look good.

  17. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    I noticed, no offence taken sir, I sent fgf a text last night



    Think golf is 24th

  18. ....PFayr supports WeeOscar on

    Big nan



    Sorry I disagree



    The political appointment of a civil servant as Lord Adv is a very unhappy development …





    Don’t put House into a sentence about massaging. There are enough allegations flying around…

  20. OOPs here’s the article



    SNP softens stance on football sectarian laws amid fears young men unnecessarily criminalised


    Published on 13 June 2015




    David Leask and Martin Williams


    FANS who sing offensive songs will face banning orders rather than prosecution after the SNP moved to soften its flagship sectarian football law.



    Scottish Government, courts and prosecution officials have all signalled they want to make more use of civil bans rather than criminal punishments for those who flaunt the controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.



    The lighter-touch approach was announced after an independent report warned that the law, introduced at the end of the 2011-12 season, had put new strains on relations between police and supporters.



    Researchers from the University of Stirling and ScotCen Research also found that some police officers felt the act’s emphasis on singing or offensive displays distracted them from monitoring more violent risk groups.



    The researchers called for a “more nuanced set of responses” to offensive behaviour, including sanctions imposed by clubs, diversionary measures that avoid criminal disposals and short-term football banning orders.



    The latter measure, they suggested, should be “ideally combined with match period sign-on conditions to maximise effectiveness”.



    Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and Community Safety Minister Paul Wheelhouse backed the research during a visit to Sacro, a charity that leads on diversionary tactics. Mr Wheelhouse announced new funding to expand Sacro’s work.



    Mr Mulholland stressed his prosecutors would still seek criminal sanctions against fans where they thought this was merited. But he welcomed alternatives.



    He said: “It is important that all actions taken to tackle offending linked to sectarianism at football matches and elsewhere in our communities are proportionate and effective.”



    Justice insiders underline Mr Mulholland’s use of the word “proportionate”.



    Much of the criticism of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act has been that prosecutions were deemed to be disproportionate.



    Research found this was a widely held view among supporters.



    The academics concluded: “Tensions around the introduction of the act however – and in particular the extent to which certain sections of fans felt over-policed, and subject to disproportionate levels of surveillance, searches and public-order style policing – was considered to have placed a strain on police, club and fan relationships at certain clubs.”



    A spokesman for the Scottish Government said the existing legislation for football banning orders was under review.



    Currently only the police can ask the courts to ban a fan from football. However, there are those who wish to give clubs the power to apply for such bans, civil orders, which, if breached, incur criminal penalties.



    The spokesman added: “With officials at the Scottish Court Service and the Crown Office we are considering whether improvements to procedures could encourage greater use of Football Banning Orders under existing legislation.”



    The research, meanwhile, revealed that the number of crimes recorded under the act had dropped by 24 per cent between 2012/13 and 2013/14.



    Researchers said it was “impossible to determine” whether some, or any of these reductions are attributable directly to the act.



    The period of the act coincides with relegation of Rangers to the lower leagues – and end to Old Firm fixtures, one of which had inspired the legislation in the first place.



    Almost half of all people taken to court last year under the laws designed to stamp out sectarian abuse at football matches were acquitted, figures show.



    There was action taken against 161 people in 2013/14 with not guilty outcomes in 74 cases.



    The study aimed to find ways to make the law work – not judge whether it should continue.



    Online campaign Fans Against Criminalisation said it was “premature” to say if the act would survive. Celtic have called for parts of it to be repealed.



    Historian Sir Tom Devine welcomed moves to soften its implementation but said he still feared young men were being criminalised – and their careers ruined – because they became involved in what they say as historic or traditional chants that were not explicitly sectarian.



    He said: “I don’t know of any country where songs to do with religion or history are criminalised.”



    The new research said that 85 per cent of fans said it is offensive to sing, chant or shout things about people’s religious background or beliefs at football matches. That figure fell to 82 per cent for supporters of Celtic and just 60 per cent for Rangers.

  21. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    HT, did you send a template for the petition to me, have not recieved anything?

  22. blantyretim.



    Just been shopping in M&S this morning decided to make more Burgers, just bought another load of sauces M&S certainly make the best sauces,hope they enhance the flavours of the burgers.

  23. A Ceiler Gonof Rust on

    Best of luck to my wee sis who is performing at the Sydney Opera House tonight with her dance company.



    Wish I could have been there to see it.



    Off to slaff some baws round Letham Grange.








    A proud moment for her,and for her family.



    Some achievement to be performing there. Sydneytim wants a comp.

  25. bobby murdoch’s curled-up winklepickers



    11:05 on 13 June, 2015






    Don’t put House into a sentence about massaging. There are enough allegations flying around…












    09:35 on 13 June, 2015



    First it was the Chelsea fans and now it was all the big bad Polices fault.







    My gaffer was there a right hun, he said early morning he felt it was going pear shape, well before any tv failure.





    Re the Winton in Kilwinning, I recall a bit of slab being thrown at the window and due to it being double glazed it only penetrated the first pane and stuck there… it looked brilliant when passing. I know the perpetrator, I know it is maybe not funny but it was after closing time and on the way back from an evening game, so was closed.





    Three posts there, before the clock strikes 11:20 I will have made three posts to deny you this week…!



    Ayrshire is Green and White



    (Someone will get that..)

  26. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Slaffing the baw now


    You must be getting better



    Good luck to your sis

  27. Aberdour is indeed July 24th. Well 24th/25th actually ;-)



    Another practice game for me this afternoon.

  28. blantyretim is praying for the Knox family on



    Old times and I only go for the swally and we practice enough for that

  29. Micktt



    You know the perpetrator of ‘the slab through the Winton’s windae’ incident?!



    It wisnae that Swindon resident by any chance?!