Interview with James MacMillan

An interview with James MacMillan, world renowned Scottish composer, on the controversy regarding Hugh Dallas’ email.

An interview with James MacMillan, world renowned Scottish composer, on the controversy regarding Hugh Dallas’ email.

When you saw the “joke” about His Holiness the Pope being a danger to children what was your initial reaction?

One expects this kind of tastelessness and unpleasant anti-Catholic bile on Orange/Rangers fan websites. One does not expect it from officialdom. It is crass, bigoted and inflammatory. People in positions of authority and prestige can send positive messages or they can send negative messages to wider society. Dallas has simply encouraged bigotry.

What did you think when you knew that this “joke” had been sent by someone in Mr.Dallas’ position on the day of the Pope’s visit.

Celtic fans have become used to accusations of paranoia. Sometimes they have grown to believe them! However, this kind of behaviour from someone at the heart of Scottish footballing officialdom simply points to a truth we have been aware of for many years – that the poison of prejudice is deep within the official football culture in Scotland. It has not been extracted or cured. It is suppurating away as toxically as ever. How can Celtic and its fans ever feel at ease with this bias?

What do you think Mr.Dallas’ employers, the SFA, should do now?

Perhaps it will take the objectivity of an outsider, free from the taint of anti- Irish racism, anti-Catholicism and the anti-Celtic mindset to sort this out once and for all. A great deal of responsibility now lies on Mr Regan’s shoulders.

Do you think that Hugh Dallas should be sacked for sending this email?

SFA Chief Executive Stewart Regan has issued a statement confirming an investigation into the allegation made against Hugh Dallas. The Scottish Football Association has said they have begun investigating reports of e-mail misuse and will deal with the matter internally. If this was any other body which required public respect, and the offender was found guilty, he would be sacked, I’m sure. Therefore if the SFA, after investigating Dallas’ behaviour, were to find that he had brought dishonour to the Association, they should sack him.