A major influence in the USA at the moment is the Libertarian/Objectivist movement, which, in turn, is influenced by the writings of Ayn Rand. Among the mad beliefs of this mob is that racism is wrong when it is practised by the state but fine when it's individuals, or companies, involved. Everyone is entitled to the 'freedom' to behave as they like and if they don't want black people working for their company then that's their right. If the state objects then it's the state that's being racist, legislating for the benefit of one group against another. Rather scarily, the Republican Party is more and more espousing these insane ideas, through organisations like the Tea Party.
Even more scarily, these ridiculous ideas are also having an influence on this side of the Atlantic. Unionist politicians in Northern Ireland, for example, are known to be in contact with their fundamentalist Christian counterparts in America. That's why Ayn Rand's crazy philosophy is raising its ugly head in Ulster. It's no coincidence that the DUP is campaigning for businesses to be allowed to discriminate against homosexuals, while claiming that it's the state that's at fault for trying to impose unfair laws on people. If this sort of thing is allowed then how far will they be allowed to go? Blacks, Muslims, Catholics; businesses could refuse to have anything to do with any of them with impunity. Freedom, eh?
I'm sure Phil would condemn this nonsense outright, as would others in the media; but what about those in the media that espoused it? Would Phil support them, or, at least, their 'freedom' to be allowed to stir up hatred? And if journalists are to be allowed this freedom then surely the world of art should be allowed it too? It wasn't that long ago that Phil was demanding that plans be stopped for a TV comedy set during the Great Famine in Ireland. I thought he was all for freedom of expression? The fact is that you can't have it both ways. Freedom of expression should be secondary to the right of people to live their lives freely and unmolested; if you want to call that 'censorship' then so be it.
One particularly rabid follower of Ayn Rand is a woman called Pamela Geller, who is never out of the media in the US, spouting hatred for Muslims, Arabs and anybody that says a wrong word about Israel. She has successfully lobbied for plans for mosques to be abandoned and actually condones violent attacks on Muslims. She runs a blog, 'Atlas Shrugged' (named after an Ayn Rand novel), which is a by-word for bigotry and extremism. Her latest wheeze, in the cause of freedom of speech of course, was to organise a Muhammad cartoon-drawing competition in Texas. That it resulted in gunfire is hardly surprising and was probably what Geller and her cronies wanted in the first place. Surely Phil doesn't support the rights of these lunatics?
Speaking of 'freedom of the press', Phil also talks of Twitter attacks on journalists and condemns it utterly. But how else are folk supposed to react to disgusting articles like the one in the Sunday Post about the supposed state aid to Celtic? This rubbish has already been shown to be untrue and the European Commission threw it out last year. The story has only been kept alive through bigotry and hatred, with the connivance of DUP politicians. Surely such lies deserve to be attacked? I'm not talking about Sevcoite death threats or suchlike, but it's incumbent upon all of us to stand up for the truth.
And now there's another pile of shite, this time in the National, which I found out about over on Bampots Utd. Martin Hannan is demanding that the SFA declare Honest Dave a 'fit and proper person' to stop Celtic dominating the game in Scotland. "It is surely not healthy for a single club to be so dominant," Hannan opines. Really? I don't remember anyone saying that during the 1990s when only one club had the money and resources to dominate. Celtic, meanwhile, were rebuilding under Fergus McCann. Even after we found out that Rangers cheated during those years there's still nobody claiming that the club's dominance was 'not healthy'. Funny, that.
According to Hannan, all manners of crooks and scoundrels have been allowed to run clubs in Scotland, including, of course, Craig Whyte. No 'fit and proper test' was used then, he tells us. Hannan obviously has the memory of a goldfish, or he's being disingenuous. Remember the abuse all the bloggers got for pointing out the truth about Whyte? Remember the gang of thugs gathering outside BBC Scotland because they had the nerve to question Whyte's credentials? Remember the death threats and threats of violence directed at Alex Thomson, even by so-called journalists? Just imagine what would have happened if the SFA hadn't allowed Whyte to take over at Rangers. And yet, The Peeppul, and Hannan it seems, try to lay the blame squarely at the SFA's door.
Hannan even lies, with breathtaking effrontery, saying that King "settled his tax debts in South Africa some time ago". No he didn't. He was found guilty of 41 counts of tax fraud and had to pay up to avoid being thrown in the chokey. The man's a crook and a convicted criminal and anyone that says otherwise is a liar. As for the "oodles" of millions that Hannan claims King has, why hasn't he already ploughed some of them in? Paying off Ashley is the least he could do.
The reason for this pathetic, arse-licking article is plain: it's a desperate attempt to get some of The Peeppul onside. Many of them are torn down the middle, wanting to vote SNP but afraid that being a Raynjurz Supportah means that you should be supporting the Union. Hannan's piece is obviously trying to tell them, "Look! We're on your side as well. We want the Real Raynjurz Men to win. We want Rangers (sic) back (sic) in the Premiership." This is more the kind of thing that Jim Murphy would do and I, for one, don't like it. I don't like to see anyone crawling on their hands and knees, tongue sticking out, aiming for the rectum. Stop it now!
Staying with the General Election, I see the Daily Record has resurrected the old 'Cybernat' shite in desperation. Anyone that frequents Twitter will know that more than a few SNP campaigners have been harassed and even beaten up on our streets. The media, however, don't want to know. JK Rowling is bleating about online abuse, as is somebody called Mark Millar, who apparently writes comics that I've never heard of. As happened during the independence referendum, only one group of people is condemned for this abuse, even though SNP supporters are not alone in indulging in it. That is, of course, if it is actually SNP supporters that are doing it!
And now we've got the big story about Jim Murphy and Eddie Izzard being 'attacked' by 'vicious cybernats'. As far as I've seen there was a bit of shouting and jostling and nobody was hurt, which lends credence to the claims emerging that the whole thing was a put-up job. It certainly wouldn't be the first time such underhand tactics were used. There are historians that believe Gladstone was never serious about Home Rule for Ireland; it was simply a ruse to keep all the disparate factions behind him. He promised to deal with all the different agendas as soon as Home Rule went through, which, it is claimed, he knew would never happen. It was a way of staying in power.
In the early 1990s there was a TV series by Alan Bleasdale, called GBH. If you've never seen it, it's well worth watching. It was a bit close to the truth and got the Establishment all in a flutter. When TV awards were being handed out, GBH was ignored, even though the majority of those on the jury claimed to have voted for it. I think it's on YouTube and More4 if you want to watch it. It's a real eye-opener and I don't mind admitting that it was a major influence on my book, 'Torrent'. Anybody that believes our political system is all above-board is seriously naïve and deluded. Google 'Tower Hamlets' and see the kinds of things the Labour Party has got up to in the past.
There's another book about political chicanery, albeit in a local council election, that's worth a look. In it there's a boy that hacks into other people's websites so he can write things and folk will believe it's the owner of the website that's saying them. That sounds familiar, eh? The book's called 'The Casual Vacancy' and you can probably get it in the library. The author? Her name is JK Rowling.
And while everyone is congratulating Kate Middleton on the birth of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, perhaps the father could go out and get a job to support his family instead of sponging off the tax payer! My daughter was ranting and raving about this yesterday. At least she's consistent!
PFA SCOTLAND MANAGER OF THE YEAR
Achievements this season:
Team finished third in the Premiership
Team cheated its way into Scottish Cup final.