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.

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  1. tommytwiststommyturns on

    DBBIA – when I was in 5th year at secondary school, one of teachers made us listen to some of ole de Chardin’s musings….riveting stuff !!!




  2. pabloh_AKA_NEIL LENNON on




    It is incredible that he uses a football example for his argument, never mind a point that highlights the rangers supports intolerance of RC’s. There is only one sectarian club in Scotland and his point highlights this. Catholic schooling is his get out clause, a laughable judgement. I’ve seen statistics that show there to be a higher percentage of catholic schools in England – I’m not so sure anyone in England would blame catholic schools for century old sectarian problem at a football club. Only in Scotland would some nugget come out with this.



    Anyway. Top of the league. Flying. Treble is on. Jelly and ice cream please.

  3. Neil Lennon’s 100th game in charge tomorrow and a ‘music day’ at Celtic park as well.



    C’mon Celtic, make it a Great Day and give us 3 points.




  4. Tiny Tim



    “Fraser Forster is a better keeper than Artur Boruc.”




    Good to see you back on here. Now, as someone who has defended Fraser through his first season with us, I am going to take issue with that statement.



    Artur was a force of nature. An extrovert bear (Grizzly not Teddy) of a goalie who was up there with Scmeichel in being intimidating on a 1:1 basis with opposing forwards. His reactions were super-natural. He was an experienced international and confident in his own abilities.



    Midway through his spell with us, I think he became both bored and distracted. he stopped working hard on his game and the howlers started to emerge.



    Fraser Forster is a highly promising young keeper, just about to enter his prime years. He is uncapped and he has weaknesses still in his game. His temperament, for me, suits Celtic in the SPL because he is unflappable and has steely concentration. He has made fewer howlers in a Celtic jersey than Artur but he has not excelled or dominated as much. Artur was superior in dealing with crossed balls, commanding his defenders and in general kicking duties. Fraser has better concentration and is showing good reflexes but is much more of a safety-first keeper.



    I hope that in 2 years time, Fraser will justify your statement, but, for the moment, Fraser is not as good as Artur and Lenny’s Young Lions, despite our delight in them, are not yet ready to be compared with the Quality Street Gang, far less the Lisbon Lions.



    Achievements first. Accolades to follow.

  5. ASonOfDan, that’s the question. Can you believe this from one of “our” peepul?



    Steinreignedsupreme, the solution lies in the home.



    Folly Folly, cheers.



    Palacio67, same price. We’ve scrapped the cover plus postage price and made it the one price.



    Lennon n Mc….Mjallby, thanks.



    SFTB, that would be a start.



    pabloh, absolutely incredible.

  6. Paul – excellent work once again.



    I saw the association article this morning and was appalled at the musings of this clown.



    As you know, I work for a body that helps fund charities and voluntary sector organisations, SCVO being one of them, albeit I am based in England. SCVO are in receipt of a grant from the body I work for, a substantial grant. I am in the process of contacting our Scottish office to make sure they are aware of the views of this bigot. Our body has very clear views on the use of websites etc. when in receipt of funding and this may well turn out to be a breach of one of our terms and conditions.



    It may be that downie himself is not directly in receipt of any funding from the body I work for but, irrespective of that, if a group’s website is being used as a vehicle for such discriminatory behaviour, please rest assured that I shall do all I can to make sure that this is treated extremely seriously by my Scottish colleagues.



    P.S. Has the article been removed from the blog as the most recent one I can find is dated 3rd Feb?

  7. The Honest Mistake loves being first on

    weeminger 10 February, 2012 at 12:45:


    Replace priests with ministers, chapels with churches catholic schools with acadamies and the problem of sectarianism goes away with the catholics. Simple!!!

  8. Paul67



    Don’t know if you got my post regarding this yesterday but my purchase


    of issue 6 is showing on my PayPal account as a purchase of issue 5.



    Any idea what the issues are?




  9. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    TTTT – when ole Dick Byrne announced he was setting some of ole de Chardin’s musings to music it was one of the great nights in the oooooooooooooooooolllllllllle Burns Howff.



    You could have cut the atmosphere with a pain rustique when the ole Embrocation lurched into ‘Concerto for Noosphere and Vocoder’.



    Even hardened Howffwits such as myself were moved to seek the neaest exit.

  10. setting free the bears says:


    10 February, 2012 at 12:48


    Tiny Tim



    “Fraser Forster is a better keeper than Artur Boruc.”





    What’s that! Blasphemy sir – FF has a long long way to go before he can be compared to THG. Let us see if the big guy is still with us come next season. Rumours are that he is still undecided about staying with Celtic. I hope he is still a Celt next season and if so we can start to make comparisions with THG.

  11. Must admit to be underwhelmed at on going religous debates.



    I was much more concerned to read that Daniel Cousins had signed for Rangers. I missed a heart beat reading they had captured such a superstar – didnt see that one coming. I suspect that has squashed our hopes of the treble then.

  12. well done Paul for focusing on this lunatic


    My considered opinion is that Catholic schools exist to root out the bigots – they cannot help themselves.


    As one who experienced both denominational and ‘non-denominational’ schooling, I must say that the kids who greeted me at my arrival at the latter pull the rug from under this idiot’s views – despite their non-denom education, they still found it necessary to borrow their fathers’ sashes to wear to school that day.


    Yes indeed, the “separate schooling fuels sectarianism” argument always has its roots in the hidden real argument – “if there were no catholics there would be no sectarianism.”

  13. As I understand it this article was posted as a personal statement from John Downie rather than one of SCVO policy.



    But surely someone with such a prominent role in a national organisation – one who deals with Public Affairs indeed – should have had more sense that to post something like this.



    My views on religion and schools probably don’t chime with the majority of posters. I would separate the two entirely – but then SFTB would probably call me a militant secularist and atheist. (I object to the militant bit!)

  14. Moonbeams WD. Kano 1000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. on

    Since we are on the subject again someone might want to email the SCVO with this



    There are a total of 2722 schools currently in Scotland that are state funded.



    Of these 2722 schools 389 are single faith schools.



    That is 14.29%



    Of the 389 schools 3 are Scottish Episcopal Schools and 1 is Jewish.



    Therefor 14.14% of all state funded schools in Scotland are Catholic.





    Let’s compare that with England.



    (assuming my calcs are correct)



    There are around 20,098 state funded schools in England.



    6826 of these state funded schools are single faith based.



    That is 35.2% of state funded schools in England that are faith schools.



    There are 2012 Catholic state funded schools in England.



    That is around 10% of English state funded schools that are Catholic.





    So there you have it.



    Catholic schooling is obviously the cause of sectarianism and bigotry in Scotland. (that’s sarcasm BTW – just in case)



    and let them know that the true reason for sectarianism in Scotland might be due to this



    250 Orange lodges in England.



    182 Orange lodges in Scotland.



    England’s Population Approx. 51M


    Scotland Population approx 5.2M



    For every 204,000 people of living in England there is an Orange Lodge.



    For every 28,020 people living in Scotland there is an orange lodge.



    Interesting statistics.




  15. southbhoy at 12:54



    You should get an email soon to say when it will be sent out. I think everybody who bought it yesterday or day before will have done for issue 5 but I’m sure Paul has communicated this with the publishers who will send out the correct issue.



    It was probably just the paypal page hadn’t been updated.




  16. Palacio67, there was a problem with the paypal code. Now resolved.



    St Martin’s Bhoy, thank you. Article is linked above.



    southbhoy, yes, don’t worry, you’re getting issue 6. Thank you for your support.



    malceye, yes, good point.

  17. Mr Downie,



    Here’s a list of faith schools in England.



    4716 Church of England


    2108 RC


    32 Jewish


    4 Muslim


    2 Sikh


    1 Greek Orthodox



    Sectarian problem?



    Go figure?




  18. stephenpollock – Have they signed Cooshed?



    I must admit, I wasn’t particularly worried by him when he was a Rangers player five years ago, apart from his propensity to inflict head injuries on opposing defenders.



    I would be surprised if he is a better player now, at the age of 35.



    Last I heard on the matter was his agent Willie McKay complaining that Craig Whyte has no money and doesn’t own a private jet.



    I wonder if they will swoop to re-sign Charlie Miller. (thumbsup)

  19. You have to wonder about the culture of the SCVO that Downie feels it appropriate to make those type of statements in his official capacity.

  20. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon says:


    10 February, 2012 at 13:01



    Gordon my understanding is the same as yours but he ought not to be using the SCVO website to spout this guff. A website that will be at least part-funded by many who post here. Opinion is one thing and I too believe we should separate two things entirely. Namely Downie’s views and the SCVO website.



    Sadly it would appear that Mr Sime, the head of SCVO seems to disagree. He is entitled to this view but he is also entirely wrong.

  21. Can anyone confirm there will be no media access to rangers today to help them prepare for their HUGE Title decider against bottom of the League Dunfermline tomorrow.



    No kidding by the way, what I have been told.




  22. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon – My views on religion and schools probably don’t chime with the majority of posters. I would separate the two entirely – but then SFTB would probably call me a militant secularist and atheist. (I object to the militant bit!)



    I have a better idea Gordon.



    Instead of your dismal secularist state-imposed monoculture, get the government out of the education business entirely. They’re rank rotten at it.



    Every child deserves a private education.



    Let a thousand flowers bloom as different groups of parents, religious communities, private companies, philanthropists, charities, homeschoolers, hippies, idealists, traditionalists, classicists, modernists, and whatnots throw off the yoke of government central planning and find their own solutions for educating children. (thumbsup)

  23. I live in Australia. All Catholic education in Australia is funded by parents. Fees are not cheap and they are not tax deductible.



    In the little department where I presently work I am not the only Scotsman, there are a few. All of the Scotsmen send their children to Catholic schools, as do many others with whom I work. We are a team of about fourteen. I am the only Catholic amongst them.



    It costs a lot to put your kids through Catholic education here, why do non-Catholics do it? Best ask them, but the answer I most often get is that that the schools are better and the discipline is bedrock.


    Being Friday, I finished work early today and since my other half works late I stop off at the shopping centre and get what is needed.



    In Australia, or at least in the part I live in, school uniforms are compulsory. You must wear the schools colours. If you don’t, then you are sent home. My kids’ school colours are green and white at the moment. When they move up to the big school, then depending on which they go to, their school colours will be either maroon and white, or blue and white. Who cares?



    I walked into the shopping centre about three this afternoon, all the different schools’ children, of all denominations and none, seemed to congregate around the donut stall. Dozens of kids, dozens upon dozens of kids and mums and dads too. They sat at whatever tables they could get and the school uniforms were a riot of vying colours; A seven school kaleidoscope, and religion a yonder. The colours mean nothing to the kids as do the beliefs behind them; schools out and that is all that matters, the weekend begins right here, right now, and the only bone of contention appears to be who can eat the most donuts and how quickly.



    In fifteen years of living in Australia I have yet to hear one single complaint against Catholic schools, or Catholics.I have yet to hear one sectarian utterance and here I know a lot of huns and keep their company often.



    I love going into that shopping centre on a Friday afternoon and seeing people (families) being ordinary people (families) with ordinary people (families) regardless of which school they go to. And in Australia nobody, in general, really gives a tosh which school you go to. Ever.



    Did I mention that two of my mates that I work with are Scottish immigrants and do not profess the Catholic faith and support Rangers yet send their kids to Catholic schools.




  24. tommytwiststommyturns on

    MWD – A wee follow up to that helpful post of yours….it would be interesting to know the geographical locations of those English lodges compared to historical instances of sectarianism in England.


    My dosh would be on Merseyside!




  25. Dontbrattbakkinanger on

    ‘For Teilhard, the noosphere emerges through and is constituted by the interaction of human minds. The noosphere has grown in step with the organization of the human mass in relation to itself as it populates the earth. As mankind organizes itself in more complex social networks, the higher the noosphere will grow in awareness. This concept is an extension of Teilhard’s Law of Complexity/Consciousness, the law describing the nature of evolution in the universe. Teilhard argued the noosphere is growing towards an even greater integration and unification, culminating in the Omega Point, which he saw as the goal of history. The goal of history, then, is an apex of thought/consciousness.’



    lifted from Wiki/EWLM/EWTB



    So unlikely to be any space in the ole Noosphere for the Newco.

  26. oglach at 12:58



    I agree with SFTB.



    Fraser took a lot of stick from many posters but there were those who were willing to see what he had to offer and to not continually compare him with Boruc who had been our best keeper in a generation.



    Yes he was raw and young but his stats are better than anything Boruc achieved for us and there is also a case to suggest Boruc had a better defence in front of him that Fraser does.



    I don’t think Fraser is as good as Artur yet but he has the natural ability and a wonderful knack for not giving up lost causes by scrambling to keep balls from going completely over the line.



    He has and will make mistakes but there isn’t a goalkeeper in the history of football who has had a blemish free career or if there is, I have yet to hear of him.



    I was delighted when he signed on and will be even happier when he puts pen to paper keeping him here for the next few years. I doubt there is much in it between him and his Newcastle teammate, Tim Krul and he is touted as a £15m player.



    If we can keep Fraser, he’ll be worth easily that amount.




  27. Moonbeams WD. Kano 1000 \o/ Supporting Neil Lennon 100%. says:


    10 February, 2012 at 13:02


    Since we are on the subject again someone might want to email the SCVO with this



    There are a total of 2722 schools currently in Scotland that are state funded.



    Of these 2722 schools 389 are single faith schools.



    That is 14.29%



    Of the 389 schools 3 are Scottish Episcopal Schools and 1 is Jewish.



    Therefor 14.14% of all state funded schools in Scotland are Catholic.





    Let’s compare that with England.



    (assuming my calcs are correct)



    There are around 20,098 state funded schools in England.



    6826 of these state funded schools are single faith based.



    That is 35.2% of state funded schools in England that are faith schools.








    You could have stopped it right there.



    If Faith schools are the cause of sectarian behaviour then we must include all Faith schools in our reckoning.



    Unless they only have an issue with one particular faith having their own schools ::innocent whistle::

  28. Please forgive this re-posting from the last thread:




    Yesterday, in regards to his desire that Daniel Cousin return to Rangers, McCoist told the press: “I would hope Daniel would be able to hit the ground running if he signed. He’s obviously match fit, having played with Gabon all the way to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations.”



    This got me wondering: Exactly how did Cousin do at the ACoN?



    Gabon, one of the host nations of the tournament (thus, essentially playing its matches as home games) won all three of its group matches before losing out in the quarterfinals to Mali on penalties.



    Cousin wasn’t even in the starting eleven of Gabon’s first two group matches. In the first, he came on as a substitute in the 83rd minute; in the second, he came on as a substitute in the 46th minute. Cousin started the third match and played the whole game, but in the quarter-final match, while he started the game, he was the first Gabonese player substituted, coming off in the 69th minute which meant he wasn’t on the field for either the 30 minutes of extra time or the penalty shoot-out (which Gabon lost 5-4).



    So, of the approximately 390 minutes of football that Gabon played at the tournament, Cousin only played about 211 minutes—a little over half.



    The Gabonese, of course, are hardly world beaters; their team is ranked #91 in FIFA’s world rankings. I dare any CQNer to name a single other player in the Gabonese squad—or, for that matter, any other player who has ever pulled on the Gabonese jersey. (If you can, congratulations, you are a bona fide football nutter!)



    The fact that Rangers are flogging Cousin as their savior—and that Rangers fans are lapping it up (as evidenced by the fact that many of the most-read Rangers-related stories on NewsNow yesterday concerned Cousin)—shows how utterly desperate they are. I know there are already a million bits of evidence to show their level of desperation, but let me just add that their savior is a 35-year-old who is not even a first choice player for the 91st ranked national team and whose most recent activity at the club level was playing for a Gabonese outfit that’s never even won the Gabonese league. Call it bit of evidence #1,000,001.



    What’s even better: though Rangers want him badly, Cousin will ultimately end up signing elsewhere as Rangers won’t be able to match his wage request!



    But now, according to Cousin’s agent:



    “Daniel wants it, Ally McCoist wants it, so we’ve all had to do our bit to push this deal over the line.”



    “The lad is happy to come back but they have offered him 25 per cent of the last contract he was on at Rangers and that is £5,000 a week.”



    “That is a lot less than he stood to make at Birmingham but money was not the key issue.”



    “Daniel can get himself £20,000 a week at Birmingham but Rangers on his CV for a last contract sounded quite good to him.”



    Yes, earning one-fourth of the wages one is capable of earning always sounds good….



    Cousin and Rangers, a match made in a deluded heaven….

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