George Galloway slams Justice Minister MacAskill for failing to condemn Famine Song at Hampden!

Controversial politician George Galloway has rounded on Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill for praising the crowd at yesterday’s CIS Insurance Cup Final at Hampden and failing to mention the incessant discriminatory chanting of the Rangers fans.

Galloway, who is standing for election to Hollyrood in Glasgow in May said:

“I suppose a man like Kenny MacAskill, who has been nicked by the police at a football match for allegedly being drunk and disorderly, finds nothing untoward about fans singing racist and sectarian songs at the game. For most of us it’s a continuing and shaming embarrassment to the country. The Famine Song, just one of the hate anthems which assaulted us from the TV, has been ruled as racist by an eminent judge. The police, who praised the fans and the comparatively low number of arrests, clearly stood back and allowed the sectarian and racist abuse. Is that now police policy? To ignore the law? And does Mr MacAskill endorse this or, indeed, did he give guidance to the Strathclyde police in their policy of non-interference.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said:

“We must unite as a society to combat all forms of bigotry and sectarianism – not divide – and that is exactly what we are doing in Scotland. We support the police in taking action to clamp down on all unacceptable behaviour – at the ground and outside the ground – and there have, for example, been arrests and football banning orders imposed for this particular totally unacceptable song.  Such conduct will not be tolerated. Strathclyde Police, the clubs, football authorities and government all take our responsibilities very seriously – the recent summit facilitated by Ministers was requested by Strathclyde Police precisely because they see at first hand many of the wider social problems in relation to Old Firm matches.”

Danny Boyle, Project Manager of the Harps Community Project speaking in a personal capacity said:

“Although the minister MacAskill was correct in that it was a good spectacle on the field it has not gone unnoticed in the Irish community that, once more, anti-Irish racism has been allowed to be flaunted inside a Scottish soccer stadium with impunity. The Famine Song is racist and we are sick of hearing it. No other ethnic group in Scotland is subjected to this level of racist abuse.”