That's the thing; if something is deemed to be acceptable then it doesn't matter what anyone else says about it. Back in the 1970s just about everyone used to go on about 'Pakis' and 'Darkies' and nobody batted an eyelid. We all knew it was offensive; just like that wee girl in my class, we would never say it directly to, or in front of, a black person. This was especially the case in my street, where there was a black guy a few years older than me, who won cups and medals for boxing and would beat the shit out of anyone using offensive terms anywhere near him! It wasn't until I went to university that I learned that using such terms was offensive and wrong, full stop.
Society has moved on a lot since then but there are still plenty of racists about. They tend to keep quiet, though, since they know that their views are no longer acceptable. Every now and again, however, something happens that allows them to voice their racism, albeit couched in other terms. If anyone challenges them then they start shouting about 'free speech' and 'PC gone mad' and, quite often, they'll even try to put the blame onto the ones that they're verbally abusing.
In the past few decades our bigots have had plenty of opportunities to give voice to their filthy thoughts. The PIRA bombing campaign gave them an excuse for voicing their anti-Irish feelings, while child abuse by the Catholic clergy and terrorist attacks by Islamic fundamentalists have brought them crawling out to vent their spleens, pretending that they are reacting to these circumstances, when the truth is that they are just prejudiced, bigoted individuals.
All these filthy creeps are coming to the fore more and more, hiding behind the apparent respectability of Nigel Farage and UKIP. The way things are going in England is a major reason why I voted for Scottish independence; the UK is becoming a scary place. Witness the mass support for Jeremy Clarkson, a disgusting, xenophobic bigot. He's been getting away with his vile behaviour for years and now they're all making excuses for him punching somebody because there wasn't a hot meal waiting for him when he finally decided to leave the pub. No doubt they'd all feel the same if a man staggers home and treats his wife the same way!
Everybody in Scotland, especially our media, likes to pretend that racism is not as big a problem here as it is in England, even though the evidence suggests otherwise. Anti-Irish bigotry has been ignored and tacitly tolerated for years in Scotland, even allowing those that attempt murder to escape relatively unpunished. The old 'as bad as each other' lie is trotted out to make it look like some kind of tribal thing, when it actually isn't. Now we're seeing the results of this toleration; a bigot is a bigot and he usually hates anyone that is even slightly different from himself.
Chris Graham has never been questioned on his anti-Catholicism and anti-Irishness so, obviously, he was going to consider himself immune from whatever bigotry he wanted to peddle. Now he's been caught out in anti-Muslim prejudice and hatred and is, quite rightly, being condemned. The apology he gives, however, means nothing. He's demonstrated his prejudices for years, not least with Ze List, so it's a bit disingenuous to make out as if this has been a one-off, uncharacteristic blip. Along with him, we should be condemning the tolerance of his, and others', bigotry, which, ultimately, has led to him thinking it okay to post his filthy tweet.
But now, we've got something that's going to throw everything into focus. The current furore about Jeremy Clarkson is the exact opposite of the Listy Graham situation. The tolerance shown towards Graham's anti-Irish bigotry led to him overreaching himself in his targets of hatred. Clarkson, on the other hand, has been allowed to get away with constant xenophobic and racist comments, as well as misogynistic and homophobic utterances and fascistic demands for striking workers to be shot. Now he has physically assaulted someone, while calling the man a 'lazy, Irish cunt'! Now the shit's going to hit the fan.
The kind of anti-Irish prejudice that is allowed in Scotland hasn't been part of the culture in England for a long time now. That's going to make Clarkson's tirade all the more shocking. Nigel Farage might go on about keeping jobs for 'British-born' workers but probably nobody in England would imagine that to mean excluding Irish people. It's only in Scotland that the Irish and their descendants are viewed as somehow 'different'.
The BBC has come under fire recently over the Jimmy Savile business and the suspicion that there were others involved. They can't afford to be seen to be supporting a violent racist, no matter how many petitions they receive. After all, some of their most popular presenters are Irish. How are Terry Wogan, Graham Norton and others going to react if Clarkson gets away with this? I would imagine that his racist insult is going to be as much a factor in the condemnation of Clarkson as his violent assault. This, of course, is going to put the Scottish media in a bit of a quandary.
At the moment the likes of the Daily Record are doing their best to ignore all the blatantly anti-Scottish rhetoric currently evident in the English press. It won't be long, however, before they are forced to address the issue or appear to be nothing more than lickspittles within the Union. Now they are going to be faced with the prospect of racist bigotry against the Irish being condemned in the UK media. It's going to be difficult for them to report on one and ignore the other. They'll try their best but it's going to be nearly impossible. And once that particular cat is out of the bag they're going to have to face up to a few home truths.
It's amazing how twisted our society has become that it's going to take an English, right-wing, racist bigot to highlight the prejudice and bigotry that has been allowed to fester in Scotland for centuries!
And now it's emerged that the guy organising the masons and apprentice boys to do some work for free at Ibrox is another racist bigot. Apparently his Facebook page, now deleted of course, was full of references to killing Muslims. Shock! Horror! Not! How long is it going to be before somebody in our media admits that any club playing out of Ibrox is always going to be a focus for this type of scum? Our papers are quick to condemn tweets about killing Neil Lennon and the like but they always talk as if it's an isolated incident; it's not. The old club and the new club both stand for everything that's sordid in our society and until that's recognised and dealt with we're constantly going to read about Chris Grahams, Allan Woodses and Ayrshire letter-bombers.
"Of course, this character, Oisin Tymon, obviously brought it on himself. Irish accents have no place at the BBC."