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. St Martin’s Bhoy,



    Agree with much of what you say. I know Martin Sime from my days in the organisation you now work for and I’m not surprised he is backing his employee in public. In private I’m sure he will have had something more to say to Mr Downie.

  2. Another interesting article Paul.



    I wish these people asking for the abolition of Catholic schools would either educate us specifically on why this would be good for Scotland or go away and educate themselves.



    Part of their education could be a field trip to Oz where my son goes to one of many Catholic schools. And guess what, the only sectarianism he ever experiences is through watching Scottish football on the telly.



    John Downie – you and your like are the problem, not Catholic schools.

  3. TinyTim says:


    10 February, 2012 at 12:20


    ‘Fraser Forster is a better keeper than Artur Boruc.’



    Artur Boruc at his best was a better keeper than Fraser Forster at his best.



    FF is improving and may surpass AB, but he’s not there yet, and he’s yet to prove himself against top class opposition. And he’s still to agree terms with Celtic, so let’s not be giving him too many ideas.



    I say that as one of the few on here who consistently sang the praises of FF at a time when it was neither popular nor profitable to do so.

  4. Excellent and very important article Paul.



    This issue, bigotry and sectarianism, has little to do with normal civilised human beings.


    It is an issue maintained by hate filled cretins.

  5. Gordon J



    Your views chime with mine. Religion should be kept out of schools.



    However, if it happened in Scotland it would send the wrong message to those who are victim to anti – irish hatred in Scotland whilst encourage those that display it.

  6. tommytwiststommyturns on

    DBBIA – As I said, riveting stuff!



    PF – don’t worry, you will get a chair for each cheek! ;-)



    P67 – is it still possible to buy the “CQ” edition?




  7. philvisreturns at 13:01



    Ha! Very good link.



    I though my posting would flush you out.




  8. Hartsons Comb – Also, it’s worth noting that Gabon is one of the smallest countries in Africa. Indeed, the world.



    Its population is estimated at 1.5 million. In European terms, footballing powerhouses Latvia, Macedonia, and Slovenia have substantially bigger populations.



    Gabon is ranked 91st in world football.



    And Cooshed struggled to get a game.



    Be afraid, Timmy. FACT! (thumbsup)

  9. Although I was brought up as a catholic and was catholic schooled, I really have no time for religion. But I will stand up for it when it comes to ignorant people spouting the usual bs. I remember having an argument with a punter when I worked in the pub about catholic schools. He said why is there different schools? What have you got to hide?


    That’s the level of stupidity that we are dealing with.


    I also asked him how Protestantism began. His reply was because Henry the shagger, sorry 8th wanted a divorce.


    My reply was go and learn about your own religion before you castigate( another new word) anyone else’s.


    A complete Foxtrot Uniform Delta.


    I need to stop reading this page at this time. I’m meant to be studying.

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




    Yes I believe the majority are in and around the Merseyside & Greater Manchester areas.




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




    Do you think FF would be better if he blessed himself?




  12. 67 European Cup Winners on

    ASonOfDan says:


    10 February, 2012 at 12:29



    I live very near to Banstead and have seen them play once or twice – we should be worried by this article because Banstead Athletic are better team than the Huns


    Oh I have now decided to boycott Banstead



    67 ECW

  13. Gordon_J backing Neil Lennon – Isn’t that exactly what Michael Give is trying in England right now with “free schools”?



    Sadly it isn’t, Gordon. (thumbsup)

  14. oglach



    “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.”



    I seem to be getting agreed with violently again.



    For clarity- we are both on the same side. It was Tiny Tim who asserted that FF was better than AB. I am saying, _not yet he isn’t, but he might become so”. I would, however, think it madness not to come to an agreement with Fraser. We have first rights to buy at £2m. Even if Fraser does not want to stay long term, he will be a valuable sellable asset, at over that price, if he continues to improve as he should.



    Fraser was never as bad a keeper as our support felt he was. We got too easily distracted by that mince about 3rd choice at Newcastle, loanee being not good enough, and not being Celtic class ( Celtic class for keepers is not a high bar).

  15. celticinthesun – Your views chime with mine. Religion should be kept out of schools.



    What about the millions of taxpayers who want religion in the schools they’re paying for?



    Will they be given a refund? (thumbsup)

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


    10 February, 2012 at 13:24





    Do you think FF would be better if he blessed himself?’






    But AB would be just as good a keeper if he didn’t.



    There’s a section among the Celtic support who relished AB’s assertiveness when it came to the expression of his faith.



    I was part of it.

  17. celticinthesun – What is your source?



    Look at the statistics for people who attend a religious service at least once a week in the UK.






    Would they get a rebate if secular bigots finally succeeded in chasing Christianity out of the public square? (thumbsup)

  18. And which Scottish catholic school did Artur Boruc attend?



    It’s ridiculous and short-sighted to blame the hatred of something on nothing other than the fact that it exists.



    As a great man once said, if there’s one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s intolerance.

  19. SonsOfErin – As a great man once said, if there’s one thing I can’t tolerate, it’s intolerance.



    And the Dutch. (thumbsup)

  20. Mort says:


    10 February, 2012 at 13:11



    I’ll admit to being one of those who doubted FF was Celtic class. I have eaten a substantial amount of humble pie in the last few months and have publically revised my opinion. Yes he is young and is prone to mistakes; as are all players. But i still believe that on his day Artur was world class and better than any keeper I can remember in a Celtic team. I’m just a wee bit too young to remember Ronnie S. Hopefully FF will put pen to paper and commit himself to us in the summer. We will then see if he is as good a keeper as THG was.

  21. Gordon J



    “but then SFTB would probably call me a militant secularist and atheist. (I object to the militant bit!) ”



    It is only the militant bit that causes me the problem. I have no problems with secularism or atheism as I am secular myself but more agnostic than atheist.



    However, the Dawkins era has produced militant atheism whereby atheism has been proselytizing its position and has become anti-religion more than pro-atheist.



    My view is, that, as an evolved monkey, clinging onto a piece of space debris heading towards oblivion, there is little comfort to be had from imagining myself to be intellectually superior to those who feel they will have an after-life. I certainly do not want to campaign for others to have the same view as myself.

  22. Listen as somebody said on here why is it that our catholic schools has to change,how is it seems to be our fault ,why is that,anyway 3 points to morrow

  23. optimistic little soldier on

    In 2002, in a large insurance institution in Edinburgh’s outskirts, my boss, who’s name is synonymous with those of a Rangers persuasion, once told me, in the place of work, that there are three types of people he hates:



    “Blacks, P00fs and Catholics.”



    I offered that I was neither of the first two, but that I was proud to be the latter. I reported him and absolutely hee-haw came of it, other than a dismissive “We’ll keep a record of it. Now get back to work…”



    In 2005, the same boss, on a works night out was walking with a group of us on a pub treasure hunt. The next pub on the list was Finnegan’s Wake. At the top of his voice he declared that he wasn’t “going into no fenian pub”. So he stayed outside. His boss, a concealled Tim (obviously wasn’t keen to declare his allegiances which perhaps helped him to the position he was in) came out the pub and told my gaffer that he’d see him on Monday morning. Two weeks later my gaffer was a taxi driver.



    They replace him with someone who, openly, told an Indian lady I worked with, who was wearing her sari, that Friday was dress down day, not dress up day.


    On the 12th July, my new boss turned up hungover declaring it to be the most glorious of days. My ‘Jesus Hologram’ mouse mat was confiscated due to it being offensive (kitsch yes, offensive no).



    I quit my job and moved to Ireland. And I have no intention of ever moving back.



    Scotland isn’t progressive or tolerant. It’s a backwater where the bigots have been allowed to fester and breed and gain control. Maybe things have become less obvious since 2005, but it still exists as the topic of Paul67’s article proves. I’m glad I’m shot of it all.




    Incidentally, my first boss is a Jambo. My second boss was a Liverpool fan.

  24. oglach at 13:33



    I agree that there was a time when Artur was indeed world class. Playing for Celtic I fear rather than enhance his game, actually brought him down a level or so due to large periods of inactivity. Keeping concentration when only required to make one or two saves in an entire game is difficult for any goalkeeper and thats why when we are playing other teams, sometimes their goalkeepers can look better. That’s because they are busier and sharpness comes when being called upon regularly.




  25. setting free the bears – However, the Dawkins era has produced militant atheism whereby atheism has been proselytizing its position and has become anti-religion more than pro-atheist.



    Dawkins-style New Atheism is quite funny though.



    He roars like a lion when it comes to Christianity, memorably describing the Pope as a “leering villain in a frock”.



    When it comes to Islam, he squeaks like a mouse.



    Dawkins will courageously insult the sort of nice, non-violent people who collect money for SCIAF or CAFOD or who do the flowers at their local Anglican Church, but he’s not so keen on insulting the sort of people who might hit back.



    Tells you all you need to know about the man and his lack of faith. (thumbsup)

  26. Philvis



    Millions Vs …… Millions more who don’t go to church every Sunday.





    One in ten it says there. Can we have our refund please?



    I will chase Christianity out of schools. Along with scientology, Islam, Thumbsupism and MarvinAndrewism.

  27. these Neanderthals have no idea why catholic schools were brought into being, the church of scotland did not want catholic children tainting their children’s views so they refused to educate , maybe if they had kept their nose out of it we would all have been educated the same, it was their sectarian policies that started and has nurtured it since ,

  28. I can remember Artur and Lee Naylor almost having a square go, they were constantly at each other, blaming each other for errors.



    The small number who attended the last Scottish Cup tie at CP- a 2-1 win v Dundee will remember the howler by Artur, he was by then a shadow of the keeper he was around the time of the 2008 European Championships.



    Fraser Forster’s rapid progress makes him in my eyes potentially one of the best Celtic goalkeepers in my lifetime, and this is from someone who was very underwhelmed by his return this season.


    I will be gutted if we miss out on him.

  29. What school did this guy go to?



    A bigoted binman launched an unprovoked sectarian attack on a Celtic fan in a kebab shop.



    Craig Donald assaulted student Michael Lafferty after watching Scotland play Spain in a Euro 2012 qualifier.



    Donald, who was previously cleared of racially abusing ex-Celtic player Momo Sylla, was drunk after attending a funeral before the match.



    The 37-year-old asked which football teams each of the kebab shop customers supported.



    When Mr Lafferty, 19, said he was a Celtic fan, Donald called him a “tattie picker”, branded him a “Fenian” and said he would “put a bullet in his head.” He then punched the teenager on the face and left the shop to get in a taxi. When he was arrested Donald admitted carrying out the sectarian attack.



    On Friday at Perth Sheriff Court, Donald, a St Johnstone fan who was once convicted of streaking at McDiarmid Park, admitted carrying out an assault aggravated by religious prejudice.



    He also admitted breaching the peace in a religiously prejudiced manner at Perth Kebab House on October 11 last year by shouting, swearing and making sectarian remarks.



    Fiscal depute Nicola Manison said the 37-year-old, from Tulloch Terrace, Perth, had entered the kebab shop shortly after the end of Scotland’s 3-1 defeat to Spain.



    She added: “There had been a football match on and the accused had been watching it in premises nearby. Following the match, at 10pm, he was in the kebab house. He started conversation with several customers, discussing which football teams they supported. The accused was very agitated and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.



    “The accused asked Mr Lafferty, who was not known to him, which team he supported and he replied Celtic. The accused called him a Fenian and said he would put a bullet in his head. The accused then lunged forward and punched the complainer on the face.” Solicitor Paul Ralph, defending, said: “The exact amount he drank is unquantifiable. He was at a funeral that day which is part of the reason for his intoxication.”



    Sheriff Robert McCreadie told the Perth and Kinross Council refuse collector: “You are a man who becomes aggressive and violent under the influence of alcohol. It is unpleasant and unacceptable in today’s society. The threat to put a bullet in someone’s head is a threat which has to be taken seriously. It’s a shocking thing to say.



    “A custodial disposal is now on the cards. You cannot go on behaving like this in a civilised society and keep expecting to get away with it. To say such things to people is disgraceful. You have reached the custodial threshold.”




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