SCVO’s messy rant about Boruc, “our” Weiss and Catholic schools


My attention was drawn to the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) blog yesterday, also covered by Joe O’Rourke on the Association site.  SCVO Director of Pubic Affairs, John Downie, writes about the “proposed bill on sectarianism” but seems to get muddled in his role as a director of SCVO and using SCVO resources to speak as a Rangers fan; in this instance blaming Catholic schools for sectarianism.  How ironic.

Downie writes:

“We’ve previously seen Rangers fans outraged by Celtic goalie Artur Boric crossing himself during games but less bothered – obviously – by about our own players (like Vladimir Weiss last season) doing the same thing.”

“Our own players”!  Is SCVO some closed shop where they talk about Artur Boruc as a “Celtic goalie” and Vladimi Weiss as one of our “own”?

So far, so disturbing, but Downie then uses the article to ride to the rescue with:

“The solution:

Personally, as someone who grew up in the East End of Glasgow and lives in the west of Scotland, I agree with some of what Conservative MSP John Lamont says.  In my opinion one key causes of sectarianism is Scotland continuing to have separate denominational and non-denominational schools.”

So, if only we didn’t have Catholic schools, players like Artur Boruc and “our” Vladimir Weiss would be able to cross themselves free of harassment.  Bizarrely, Downie’s article is subtitled “treating the symptoms not the causes”.  I don’t think he was trying to suggest it’s best to treat the symptoms.

The cause of intolerance is not differences in ethnic, religious or sexuality, it is ignorant bigots.  It is ludicrous to suggest tackling intolerance by assimilating people into some mono-culture.  It’s downright dangerous to blame a minority for intolerance of, and by, them, a sentiment that will only fan the flames of hatred.

The European Examiner reports that various politicians have called for Mr Downie’s removal but SCVO chief exec, Martin Sime, apparently sees nothing wrong in SCVO running a blog discussing one of “our” Rangers players and the “Celtic goalie”, while simultaneously blaming educationally successful faith schools for sectarianism.  SCVO has offered a metaphorical No Surrender to resignation calls.

A brief comment for those who don’t live in Scotland….  Attitudes like this once prevailed but are harder to find these days.  We are a modern, progressive, society, for the most part.

If you would like to read CQN Magazine online (for free), click here.

You can download a pdf of the magazine using the button at the top of the page, second from the right.  Click on the link below to order a hard copy of the magazine.

Ship to:

You can support the online edition by making a discretionary donation here.

Click Here for Comments >

About Author

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 47

  1. The Spirit of Arthur Lee on

    One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock,


    Five, six, seven o’clock, eight o’clock, rock,


    Nine, ten, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock, rock,


    We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight.





    Four members of my family went to the POTY Dance last year-brilliant night-and my sister has been left in charge of this year’s arrangements.



    My Dad has been nagging for a few weeks to get the tickets booked,and she finally got round to it this morning.






    Now,in order to avoid one of those relationship-damaging murder suicide pacts when my Dad finds out,does anyone have two or three spares for the night?



    Big ask,I know,but rest asured,you won’t have to put up with my company,just that of my sister(s) and my Dad. Much nicer people….



    If there is anyone out there who can help,please let me know through these pages,or contact Lorna via The Samaritans,who will no doubt have her on speed-dial by now!



    Otherwise I’ll just have to console myself with a larger share of the spoils when the will gets read out….




  3. JMS1888 wishes he was Neil Lennon on



    From last thread – It’s only wrong if your car windaes are shut!!

  4. Afternoon bhoys,




    The Kano Foundation



The Kano Foundation End of season fundraising dance will be held in the Kerrydale Suite at Celtic Park on sat 28th April. Tickets will be priced at £25 per head this will include a 3 course meal. Entertainment will be from Britiains no1 Michael Buble tribute act and a disco to finish off the night. We will be holding our usual raffle (prize donations welcome) and for the first time we have a fantastic auction prize. We hope to have a few special guests as well. look out for details of how you can purchase tickets on line. We hope you will join us for what will be a great evening.


    If you’re interested , please email



    Current list is (possibles in italics)



    Stephen Black +1




    CRC +1


    TTTT + 1






    Mouldy67 +1








    Bjmac +9


    DBBIA + 1


    Jobo Baldie+9






    Greenlion2 +9

  5. Paul67



    There are hundreds of Catholic schools in England. Why is England not rampant with Sectarianism?



    One Nation, unless you are Catholic/Irish…




  6. Mr Downie seems to be hurting. Another dinosaur he doesn’t realise that there are plenty of children attending Catholic schools who are not of the Catholic faith. Like everyone else they are taught about love, respect, family etc Not narrow minded bigotry that seems to define the camp continually ignoring the real problems.



    How they hate Big Artur!

  7. Make of it what you will…………




    CelticResearch The Administration story is just Timmy chatter obviously. Can’t have any solid base as the Admin event wouldn’t leak would it?

  8. Craig Whyte to Scotland On Sunday, 5th February :



    “There was several million that had to be repaid from an old ticket arrangement from the previous board.”



    Murray Group spokesman, 10th February:



    “We can confirm that, at the time of the takeover, there was no debt owed by the club to Ticketus.”

  9. Well spotted, Paul.



    I posted on this tnagentially related piece yesterday afternoon, but I think it is worth dropping in here again, during the CQN rush-hour …






    February 6, 2012, (see for full article).



    Conservatism is linked to low intelligence; but the real idiots are the progressives letting it win.



    Self-deprecating, too liberal for their own good, today’s progressives stand back and watch,


    hands over their mouths, as the social vivisectionists of the right slice up a living society to see


    if its component parts can survive in isolation. Tied up in knots of reticence and self-doubt,


    they will not shout stop. Doing so requires an act of interruption, of presumption, for which


    they no longer possess a vocabulary.



    Perhaps it is in the same spirit of liberal constipation that, with the exception of Charlie Brooker,


    we have been too polite to mention the study published last month in the journal Psychological Science,


    which revealed that people with conservative beliefs are likely to be of low intelligence. Paradoxically


    it was the Daily Mail which brought it to the attention of British readers last week(3). It feels crude,


    illiberal to point out that the other side is, on average, more stupid than our own. But this, the study


    suggests, is not unfounded generalisation but empirical fact.



    It is by no means the first such paper. There is plenty of research showing that low general intelligence


    in childhood predicts greater prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality in adulthood.


    Open-mindedness, flexibility, trust in other people: all these require certain cognitive abilities.


    Understanding and accepting others – particularly “different” others – requires an enhanced capacity


    for abstract thinking.



    But, drawing on a sample size of several thousand, correcting for both education and socioeconomic


    status, the new study looks embarrassingly robust. Importantly, it shows that prejudice tends not to


    arise directly from low intelligence, but from the conservative ideologies to which people of low intelligence


    are drawn. Conservative ideology is the “critical pathway” from low intelligence to racism. Those with low


    cognitive abilities are attracted to “right-wing ideologies that promote coherence and order” and “emphasize


    the maintenance of the status quo”. Even for someone not yet renowned for liberal reticence, this feels hard to write.



    This is not to suggest that all conservatives are stupid. There are some very clever people in government,


    advising politicians, running thinktanks, writing for newspapers, who have acquired power and influence by


    promoting rightwing ideologies.




  10. Paul67


    Is the cost of the mag jumped up £2.50 since issue 5.


    Jeez better get back to work and earn a bigger crust.




  11. Lennon n Mc....Mjallby on

    Excellent article Paul,one which shows instirutionalised anti Catholic bigotry is still there,to point out tackling intolerance by ridding society of the victims is very simple yet sobering,the adults among us know that inbreeding causes defects.

  12. The plot thickens, Whyte using Ticketus money to pay off his other investors?



    BANSTEAD Athletic could be set to form an unlikely alliance with Scottish Premier League giants Glasgow Rangers, according to manager Dave Tidy.



    Reports in the Scottish press this week suggested Rangers have been looking for a base in the south of England to set up an academy.



    And, with Banstead Athletic’s plans for a new synthetic pitch, combined with a few important connections between the clubs, Merland Rise is on their radar.



    Athletic boss Tidy is over the moon at the potential Rangers partnership.



    “It has been one of those things that has been talked about for a bit but now it all seems to be falling into place,” the Banstead boss explained. “Aiden Earley, who was involved with Epsom Eagles, then came on to our board when they joined us, was part of the consortium that has bought Glasgow Rangers. And the talk is that we are going to be their base in the south of England.



    From rangers media 01/04/2011



    Posted 01 April 2011 – 10:36 AM



    I have no doubt this may cause some controversy especially on April Fools day but a good mate of mine who works for SDM told me lat night that Donald Muir had left the building as they say.



    As well as this piece of information he tells me that the deal that Craig Whyte is negotiating involves him splitting the costs tom buy our club on a 50/50 basis with a long-standing business associate called Aidan Early from Surrey. The “deal” is they buy Rangers together and share ownership on a sliding scale agreement until Whyte has effectively total ownership of the club. As Whyte will be the ultimate owner he will be the one who is putting up the transfer kitty for the manager whoever that may be.



    AIDAN EARLEY, who was a bankrupt at the age of 22, and has a less-than-sparkling track record when it comes to making money for investors.



    In days gone by, Porsche-driving Earley was not a great success story. An investment company he set up not long after leaving school collapsed with debts of more than £3m. Earley himself was declared bankrupt in 1989 with debts of £1m. The bankruptcy was automatically discharged in 1992, allowing Earley to become a company director again. In the intervening period,his business record has been far from sensational — a number of his companies were unsuccessful and were wound up.

  13. Looks like the Celtic juggernaut is hurting everyone.


    They are attacking us from all angles. It will only get worse as the season goes on and the goals keep going in.


    I have a problem with no religion. Why do they hate RC’s so much?




  14. RogueLeader says:


    10 February, 2012 at 12:24


    Craig Whyte to Scotland On Sunday, 5th February :



    “There was several million that had to be repaid from an old ticket arrangement from the previous board.”



    Murray Group spokesman, 10th February:



    “We can confirm that, at the time of the takeover, there was no debt owed by the club to Ticketus.”



    My mother , god rest her soul, would have referred to what’s going on here as “shenanigans”



    Here in Geneva , once referred to as the “Protestant Rome” (there’s even a statue of John Knox in the park) there are many Catholic schools. Sectarianism is unheard of.

  15. Having lived in several countries where entry to Catholic schools was something that was prized – failure to get a place surprisingly did not lead to intolerance or sectarianism – I have a pretty simple solution.



    Remove State schools in Scotland. Attendance at Catholic schools becomes mandatory.



    I’ll take my tongue out of my cheek but the saddest part is the above is the closest we will get to a proper solution to what seems to me to be a Scotland-only problem.

  16. Paul67



    I can agree wholeheartedly with the argument but not with the proposed solution.



    Mr. Downie has outlined a spurious argument with little merit that needs to be countered.



    But, just as with that numpty DJ on Real Radio and the Journo on The Herald, calls for people to resign or be sacked are a bit too modernistic pseudo-solutions for me. I would first want to play the ball and not the man.



    If the DJ and the Journo accept that they were wrong and apologise, and i seem to recollect that the DJ did, then we should forgive and forget, having won the argument. Calling for Mr. Downie to resign seems precipitate. Maybe the man does good work generally and he is misguided on this matter. He should be brought to task for this issue only.



    SCVO should be prepared to acknowledge that he made insufficient distinction between his personal views and the views of the organisation in that muddled article. He should apologise for that but he is entitled to hold the views he holds, however misguided they are. The SCVO house magazine should then be even-handed in allowing those of us who are critics of the Downie position to produce a counter-article of equal length and prominence which would be able to undo some of the damage caused by being more persuasive and coherent and fair.



    The danger with calls for sacking and resignation is that it becomes too easy to put us into a box marked “vindictive” and to sustain the view that those with strong religious beliefs are zealots who are intolerant of oppositional views.



    As a lapsed Catholic, the rise in militant atheism/secularism worries me. The pat acceptance of the “separate schools” argument offends me only by the facile nature of its precepts, not by its existence alone.



    We must be prepared to counter lazy views with strong, robust argument. We should fix the problem rather than fix the blame.

  17. I wonder does he get the irony of blaming seperate education as a cause of bigotry and intolerance when the ONLY way to tackle intolerance, racism, bigotry et al is by education!!!



    It doesn’t mean you should be denied a choice of the school your child is educated in either,


    it does mean that education as to why those attitudes held by people like Joh Downie are so wrong is the only way to tackle sectarianism, bigotry and racism.



    As surely part of being educated means you have a right to your own identity, beliefs and culture also that you can learn to respect those of other people too aswell as their right to their own identity and culture

  18. Sixteen roads to Golgotha on

    John Downie & the rest of that contemptable club – You are like ice on a desert plain.

  19. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 on

    Letter on page 60 of today’s Record highlighting CQN’s efforts in raising money for Reamonn’s appeal,some bhoy might be able to do the linky thing.

  20. Can someone please enlighten me as to why it’s always catholic schools that get it but never the fine bastion of religious and racial tolerance that is the orange order who seem to be able to spout their vitriol( using new words) whenever possible.

  21. !!Bada Bing!! Kano 1000 says:


    10 February, 2012 at 12:36


    Letter on page 60 of today’s Record highlighting CQN’s efforts in raising money for Reamonn’s appeal,some bhoy might be able to do the linky thing.





    I’d rather someone C&P’d the letter than have hundreds of clicks on their website.

  22. Even if John Downie was right (which of course he isn’t) to make such a personal post on an organisational basis is just insane. I would expect any Catholic organisations to withdraw support for the work of the SCVO until such time as this is retracted by the organisation and an apology from John Downie or his removal.

  23. I think I’m watching The Life of Brian tonight:



    Boring Prophet: There shall in that time be rumors of things going astray, erm, and there shall be a great confusion as to where things really are, and nobody will really know where lieth those little things with the sort of tassled end, that has an emblem attached. At that time, a friend shall lose his friend’s investment, and the young shall not know where lieth the things possessed by their fathers that their fathers wore only just the night before, about eight o’clock.



    Cheer up, Craig. You know what they say: some things in life are bad. They can really make you mad. Other things just make you swear and curse. When you’re chewing on life’s gristle, don’t grumble; give a whistle, and this’ll help things turn out for the best. And… always look on the bright side of life…

  24. Anyhoo, enough about bitter bams, raging cause rangers are gubbed.



    Butcher in the local press fairly talking up his team and their capability of causing an upset tomorrow.



    They will be fired up, we should be as well and our superior ability should prevail.







    Kind of sums it up for a lot of us. Assetmanager is an ex-altar boy btw so no offence intended. I believe that as long as Catholics want to send their children to Catholic schools they should be free to do so. I also happen to have come to the conclusion that religion is not for children

  26. Noisy troublesome taigs –blame Catholic schools!!!! – Noisy troublsome Orange order types – blame Catholic Schools.


    Nice to know it is all our fault.

  27. hendrix67 says:


    10 February, 2012 at 12:38



    I’d also like to be enlightened as to why so many ‘non-denominational’ schools have such close ties to their local CoS. We used to get fortnightly (or maybe even weekly) visits from the minister.

  1. Pages:
  2. 1
  3. 2
  4. 3
  5. 4
  6. 5
  7. 6
  8. 7
  9. ...
  10. 47