Monday, 10 August 2015


I wonder if anybody else remembers season 1998-1999. Sooperally and Ian Durrant had left Rangers and Kilmarnock 'swooped' and signed them up. I distinctly remember one match in particular that this pair played in. It was at Rugby Park against Rangers and both McCoist and Durrant spent most of the game making a pig's ear of every pass, every tackle and every shot at goal. This was especially true of McCoist, who had made such a goal-scoring impact at Kilmarnock that he had been recalled to the Scotland squad. That day, however, he couldn't do anything right. All of his shots at goal were howlers, going nowhere near and on a few occasions he did something that he normally never did: he passed instead of shooting. Eventually the disgusted Killie manager replaced him; but it was too late.

That was my first direct evidence that the stories about ex-Rangers players not trying against their old team were, in fact, true. More evidence appeared on Friday when Steven Thompson deliberately fired a penalty kick way over the crossbar. It looked more like an attempt at a conversion in rugby rather than a shot at goal. It was an utterly shameful occurrence and I hope Thompson is severely reprimanded for it. He's supposed to be the St. Mirren captain, for God's sake!

And so the hype goes on, with Sevco set to win every trophy going. It has to be asked, however: if they're that great, why do they need to cheat? And cheating it is; what else can you call the way they unsettled Hibs and one of the players of the old team deliberately missing an easy chance against them? Not that you'll hear anything negative in our media.

It looks like all opposition is to be crushed, with journalists being banned for saying the least thing. Chris McLaughlin, for example, only mentioned three arrests for sectarian singing and all hell broke loose. 'It was the prominence given to it,' moaned The Peeppul, even though it was hardly the main story on the BBC website. But nobody is supposed to mention The Peeppul's songs without bringing Celtic into it. Halloween Houston had the gall to say on Sportsound, "We just want to be treated like everybody else." In that case, get your rancid new club the fuck out of our league and work your way into it like every other team has to!

That Sportsound programme was a joke, with none of the presenters properly prepared. Tom English couldn't say why Jim Spence had been banned by Dundee Utd, even though it was obvious that Houston would bring this up. There was also the point when Houston brought up the death threats aimed at Scott Allan. The response should have been, "A fucking Hun preaching about death threats? That's a laugh! And what about your group beating up an old man at Ibrox? And you going about frightening the weans with a fizzog that belongs in a Hammer film?" But, no. It seems that, despite their much-publicised boycott of Ibrox, the BBC lot are still munching on that lamb.

And still on that Sportsound programme, why the hell was Stuart McCall on it? He contributed bugger all, except to make a wee, snide comment when they finally got around to mentioning that there were European games coming up during the week. All McCall had to say on the matter was, "Good luck to Aberdeen!" No 'Good luck to both our teams,' eh? And, of course, our agnivores weren't entirely happy when Celtic got through. They couldn't wait to quote the Qarabag players, accusing Celtic of fouling and diving and even blaming their own pitch! Yes, it was a nil-nil draw but when Rangers used to get games like that in Europe it was called 'grinding out a result'. With Celtic it was reported as nothing but a crashing bore. We've even had Gordon Waddell telling us that Qarabag aren't up to much; again, diminishing Celtic's achievement. What was that about 'being treated like everybody else'?

Meanwhile, away from football, our media showed their hypocrisy in other ways. Remember all the furore about Cecil the lion? Not that I'm on the side of that American dentist; he deserves all the shit he's getting. But then we had the hilarious tale about a video on YouTube with a guy giving a seagull a chip covered in extra-hot sauce. The brute had to rush off to gulp down water and probably has permanent damage to its throat and gizzard, if it's still alive. But does this evil bastard get castigated? Not a chance! Oh, wait! He's an ex-serviceman; a 'hero'. Well, that makes a difference, doesn't it? Maybe next time he'll post a video of himself doing the same to a child and we can all get a bigger laugh!

And now we've got the ridiculous story of Spain 'violating UK sovereignty' by going into the waters around Gibraltar. This wasn't the Spanish equivalent of Galtieri sending an invasion force. It was Spanish police chasing drug smugglers! How dare those greasy Dagoes harass British entrepreneurs like that! It's always the same; our media is forever greeting about drugs but when a foreign country dares to arrest British smugglers it's a different story entirely. We're meant to shed tears for the smugglers as they face life imprisonment or even death. I suppose it doesn't fit with the accepted narrative of evil, black foreigners poisoning our youngsters.

Kezia Dugdale is back in the Record, trying to blame the Scottish Government for the fact that children from poorer backgrounds don't do as well at school. So what did Dugdale's party do when it was in power? It changed the curriculum again, forcing teachers to re-learn everything instead of getting on with the job. It's well known that you can change the curriculum all you like, employ the best teachers, throw money at the schools etc. but it won't make a blind bit of difference. It's all about ambition and aspiration, which has completely vanished from poor areas.

Both the children and their parents see education as a waste of time and it's hard to argue with them. Not everyone can go on to university or the like so what does an education get them? Employers won't pay a living wage, employees are given short-term contracts so they're not entitled to protection and working tax credits are being done away with. The Tory Government is determined to withdraw from European laws that protect employees while they harass folk on sickness benefits to take any crappy, low-paid job that's going. And what, pray, is Dugdale's party doing about this? Not a fucking thing. They're all sitting on their hands, abstaining from voting and see the SNP as the enemy instead of forming some kind of alliance against the Tories. So don't lecture us about education, Ms Dugdale, since your own party is doing all it can to ensure that many pupils and parents are right in seeing it as a waste of time. Oh, and by the way, which party was it that saddled councils with hundred-year mortgages on schools built by the private sector?

Finally, R.I.P. to the great George Cole. As Alastair Sim's protégé he appeared in many classic wartime and post-war comedies, like the St. Trinian films. He could also do serious drama, which you can see if you watch 'The Last Lonely Man' on YouTube. He is probably best-known, and most fondly remembered, though, as Arthur Daley in 'Minder', which was like an older version of his Flash Harry spiv character in St. Trinian's. His passing also leaves something of a quandary. When somebody finally gets round to making a movie of the Rangers/Sevco saga, who the hell can they get now to play the part of Charles Green?

P.S. The reason why I've disappeared for a short while is that I've been trying to get to grips with this Windows 10. Easier to use my arse! The new internet browser, Edge, is certainly faster but is only any use for reading things. I've had to revert to Explorer in order to write this. I see that updates are downloading so, hopefully, there's some improvement to this piece of crap.

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