As I travel through life I am increasingly dismayed at the power of myth in human communities and their need to create legends from virtually zero evidence.
People seem to need myth.
Especially groups of people.
It appears to be the glue that holds them together through an agreed feel good narrative.
If the discernible verifiable reality doesn’t fit the myth then the reality is ignored.
In recognising that I am already admitting defeat as a rationalist, as a follower of David Hulme.
What I am sure of is that this trade of mine should deal in reality and not in a shoe horned version of the facts bent out of shape to fit a preconceived narrative.
The reportage of yesterday’s commemoration for the 66 people who died in an unsafe stadium 40 years ago could be Exhibit “A” in any trial of myth versus reality.
Almost everyone said that the silent tribute for the 66 people that died in the Ibrox disaster was impeccably and completely respected.
Ibrox for one minute and twenty seconds was a very very silent place.
This wasn’t in the preferred script for many in the press box.
There was barley disguised glee in the Scottish tabloids in the run up to the match that the Celtic fans would bring shame and disgrace on themselves and on Celtic.
Rather than show respect to the memory of 66 people and their still grieving families today what some of the press pack wanted was a “Celtic Boo Bhoys shame!” headline.
They didn’t get that anymore than they got the “Walter triumphs hapless Lennon!” headlines where Lennon’s nationality would be juxtaposed with observations about his naiveté and his inability to organise his team against the “wily old fox”.
No the Celtic fans behaved, Lennon got his tactics right and the Celtic players excelled.
Therefore the hoped for headlines had to be binned till the next time that a minute’s silence can be used as a booby trap in the PR war against Celtic.
Because the reality didn’t fit the bill a myth had to be created.
“Coughgate” was born in a disturbed imagination and planted in the stagnant soil of a Rangers message board.
Today it appeared in the column of a major daily newspaper in Scotland.
Myths tend not to be ossified, but instead develop and morph as the situation demands.
Now the “orchestrated coughing” of Celtic fans yesterday in the Broomloan stand has become the “fact” that they were coughing as a code to ape the dying gasps of the crushed people in 1971.
I’m truly saddened for anyone that would think that this is possible.
That there is ZERO evidence for this actually lends weight to the myth.
It will now be an article of faith in the Rangers tribe. They will believe because they want to believe, because it tells them that they are intrinsically better than “that other lot.”
I cannot think of a more heinous insult to the memories of those 66 people than this.
They should be sick with shame, but of course they won’t.
Those that consider it sport to kick policemen to the ground in Manchester or urinate on war memorials in Barcelona are beyond reach on any level that appeals to human decency.
Yesterday the Celtic fans did themselves and their club proud. Had they not I would have been quick to respond. If you doubt me read me on this site following on from Remembrance Sunday at Falkirk in 2009.
No, the silent tribute was beautifully observed by all in the stadium irrespective of their club allegiance. To expect that over 50,000 people can stand silently in a Glasgow day in January and there is not someone coughing of sneezing is nonsense.
Moreover how could anyone know that the coughing, which is an involuntary human activity, was confined to the Broomloan stand?
I had thought that the Sun might have learned a lesson since Hillsborough and Liverpool about printing such offensive rubbish in the wake of a football disaster.
Leckie’s hearing was highly selective. Hearing things that weren’t there and then failing to notice that which was booming out only four minutes into the match.
Thousands of Rangers fans were in full voice singing the “Famine Song”.
Singing this song is an illegal act in Scotland, established in Case Law by Lord Justice Carloway in June 2009 in the High Court of Justiciary.
Once more it goes largely unreported , the perpetrators act with impunity and the club is not held to account by the SPL.
So the following is just for you Bill.
The “Famine song” is illegal, coughing is not.