It should be a matter of great personal pride to the football fans, manty of them Celtic fans, who campaigned against the Offensive Behaviour at Football’ Bill from the outset, and then against the Act, faced off against the Scottish Government at Holyrood yesterday and won.
Their satisfaction will be shared by James Kelly MSP, who raised the Bill in Parliament, which yesterday brought down the Act. Well done to him and his colleagues.
This nonsense was never about ending sectarianism, neither the SNP Government, nor the police, have moved an inch towards this goal since Alex Salmond first raised the subject.
Sectarianism in football grounds was given life in 2011 by then Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, who sat through 90 minutes of The Billy Boys at Hampden, before congratulating fans on their performance. The Billy Boys returned to stadiums that day and since then, we have lived through an SNP endorsed open season.
The Act was a familiar mix of populist rhetoric and right wing police action so common with those who put identity politics before people.
After their defeat, the Government acknowledged they would recognise will of Parliament, despite ignoring the same will when an earlier vote on the Act was passed. Nicola Sturgeon did everything in her power to prevent this defeat.
Salmond has moved on to his spiritual home-broadcaster, where proto-right wing nationalists get to claim credentials of the left without challenge. Today we have a government and police force which have been made accountable to the law and the democratic will. The need for vigilance against extreme right wing policies continues.
Well done again to all those who campaigned so successfully.