Political expressions at Scottish football matches.

Last Saturday in Perth national pride was expressed at a football match and no laws were broken.St. Johnstone fans sang Flower of Scotland; the visiting Rangers fans sang Rule Britannia and God Save The Queen.

Madjid Bougherra (a French born Algerian) wore a wrist band in the colours of his ancestral homeland.

The national pride people have in Algeria, Scotland and the United Kingdom were safely and legally expressed at McDiarmid Park.

Similarly there should be no problems in Celtic fans and their legitimate expressions of Irish pride.

However they must first be willing to listen and learn.

I am indebted to the good folk at Celebrate Identity Challenge Intolerance for bringing my attention to this excellent report they published last year.

http://www.cici.org.uk/SummaryofEqualityandDiversitytrainingCelticFootballClubsupporters.htm

Note the list of Irish ballads that are, from an equality perspective, completely acceptable.

For example the war of independence ballad “The Boys of the Old Brigade” is on that list. However that is without the Provisional IRA endorsement.

After the Queen’s visit to Ireland this song has, in effect, Royal approval and this has been tacitly acknowledged in the Scottish media.

http://news.scotsman.com/northernireland/Queen-makes-history-on-first.6770112.jp

If Celtic fans act now they will have some agency in what transpires.

If they remain in denial and cling to their sense of entitlement then they risk losing much more.