A train journey into Scotland’s dark past

I love train journeys, but I’m glad I wasn’t on this one.

The unfortunate passengers were exposed to a diseased belief system that used to be the mainstay of Scottish culture.

A police spokesperson said:

“The first suspect is white with ginger hair and was wearing a blue Puffa-style jacket and a blue Rangers scarf.”

Almost a century ago the Church and Nation Committee of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland reported on a worrying social problem.

They were concerned about folk like me dear reader.

In 1923 these staunch men met in dignified conclave on the Mound to discuss “the Menace of the Irish Race to our Scottish Nationality”.

The authors of the report made it quite clear, on the second page in fact, that they had no issues with Scottish Catholics, from the Highlands as they were of the same race.

Yes, they used the “R” word.

It was the Irish that concerned them.

Apparently, my lot brought nothing positive to the Scottish table.

Only disease, drunkenness and crime.

As late as 1953 the same Christian body referred to the Irish in Scotland as an “alien race”.

I’ve found that individuals don’t change much, but generations do, and that can impact upon organisations over time.

Therefore, it was heartening that as the new millennium dawned, the Church of Scotland offered a formal apology for the 1923 report.

Rev Alan McDonald, the convener of the Kirk’s church and nation committee in 2002, said:

“We have to face up to the ugly side of Scotland today.”

That ugliness was on the train at Glasgow Queen Street.

However, these ARE the good old days in Scotland.

What was mainstream in Fair Caledonia a century ago is now only found in a dysfunctional subculture that stinks of educational underachievement and social failure.

You will know them by their noise.

Sadly, the Sevco match day experience still provides a safe space for the ethos of that 1923 Church and Nation Committee report.

Consequently, an echo of that old belief system can still be heard in 21st century Scotland.

Fortunately, it is a death rattle, but we must push hard for its final extinction.

Therefore, I think it would be a good idea if the board of the Holding Company Vehicle were to unequivocally state, in plain language, that songs like ‘The Billy Boys’ and ‘The Famine Song’ were not welcome at Sevco matches.

Moreover, they must do that with unambiguous regularity until the Penny Arcade drops for The People.

Those days are gone, and the casual racism that their grandfather’s indulged in is no longer acceptable in modern Scotland.

When incidents like this appear in the media silence from the Sevco High Command sends the wrong message.

Unequivocal condemnation must be their default setting when The People give vent to their hatreds while in Sevco colours.

If the Blue Room chaps were to do that, then they just might actually make some friends on the journey.

Unlike the Churchillian chaps on that train at Queen Street.

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