Fascism and a fearful Fourth Estate

I was happy to give a quote to Mike Small of Bella Caledonia for this piece on the rise of the far right.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers here that I consider the Fitba Fourth Estate to be a fairly timid bunch.

That is especially true when the story is apropos Ibrox.

There are numerous reasons for this.

There is the fear that their press accreditation will be withdrawn from the stadium that John Brown played for.

The other is that some of these titans of journalism are emotionally committed to the cause of unsurpassed dignity, tax evasion, and imperfectly registered players.

However, another reason is simply their fear of the klan.

A note on terminology:

That’s ‘klan’ with a lower case ‘k.’

I outlined the reasons for using this term at some length in ‘Minority Reporter.’

However, here is the shortened version:

If you get together with your buddies to lovingly remember a member of the Ku Klux Klan (all upper case) and tell an ethnic minority to “go home” then the nomenclature is apposite.

Clear enough?

Sadly, a  portion of the Ibrox home crowd is drawn from the Billy Fullerton strata of society.

It had been hoped in both Britain and the USA that such supremacist views were increasingly the preserve of a failed underclass.

Or in the Stateside lexicon ‘Trailer Trash’.

Now President-Elect Trump has appointed Steve Bannon, a noted White Supremacist as one of his advisers.

Racism and xenophobia are mainstream now and not just in the USA.

The spike in hate crimes against foreigners in the UK in the aftermath of the Brexit vote reminded me of the England that my Mayo father experienced in the 1950s.

The signs were unequivocal:

‘No Blacks, no dogs, no Irish.’

Now in England, it seems to be, in the main, Polish people who are the targets of this xenophobic hatred.

Apparently ,these British patriots have never heard of 303 Squadron in the Battle of Britain.

It is the role of the Fourth Estate, especially in times like these, to be the moral compass of society.

To inform, to campaign, to clarify and, crucially, to remind.

Instead in Perfidious Alba, we can get this invertebrate apologia for a fascist sing-along at Ibrox.

That is why the Fifth Estate publications like Bella Caledonia are so valuable in Scotland.

Not all of the mainstream has been found wanting in calling out the klan.

Back in 2012 Channel 4 News told the truth about the fascist underclass that clings to the Ibrox match day experience.

Of course, Tomo isn’t Scottish, and he and his Channel 4 crew visited Fair Caledonia to see clearly what the hacks in Glasgow wouldn’t mention.

That a fascist mob connected to Ibrox were intimidating scores of journalists and anyone else who irked them.

The strategy of most journalists working the Ibrox beat is to slope the shoulders and send out the classic signs of submission.

One BBC journalist said this year to an ex-colleague that the chaps at Pacific Quay were “walking on eggshells” regarding the situation at Ibrox.

It would be wrong to think that this typifies all journalists in Scotland because it doesn’t.

Across the planet, brave, principled men and women put their lives on the line to hold the powerful to account.

Many of them pay the ultimate price for their fidelity to the journalistic task.

In 2013 at the world congress of the International Federation of Journalists we had a quiet procession through the streets of Dublin from Dublin Castle past City Hall.

We were all carrying a single carnation.

Each follower represented a journalist killed in the line of duty since the previous World Congress of the IFJ.

Here is my report in An Phoblacht.

In the aftermath of the RIFC AGM there does not appear to have been a presser.

Moreover, this doesn’t seem to have been raised as an issue.

The overall reportage was obedient and on message.

Prima facie in the global order of things it isn’t a huge story.

This is only a four-year-old football club and its shambolic parent company is headed up by a convicted criminal.

Small scale stuff, a bit like Sevco.

However, when you lift the rock at Edmiston Drive, you find journalists following orders from the powerful and a clientele singing approvingly about a fascist street gang from the 1920s.

In my journalistic duty to remind I will point out that the Fascist leaders of the 1930s all used football to bolster their popularity among the masses.

In the age of celebrity, it shouldn’t surprise us that a demagogue like Trump emerged from the ersatz world of Reality TV.

If the far right in Scotland produces a leader with the charismatic minerals to gather a following, I would not be shocked to find him wearing a Sevco top covered in Poppies.

For the avoidance of doubt, if any aspirant Fascist in Scotland wanted a ready-made following then they know where to find them.

Oh, and one other thing.

Don’t expect to read about any of this in the Daily Radar.

After all, they’re only following orders…

Discover Phil’s dramatic play Rebellion