I am going to write various essay's on the state that Scotland is in today, and where we should go with our beautiful nation.
“Up to our knees in fenian blood surrender or you'll die !”
“Ooh, ahh, up the RA! Ooh ahh up the RA!”
These are familiar bigoted songs heard often in stadiums throughout Scotland. The sectarian roots in Glasgow are held firmly in place by the rich soil that is the misinformed, ignorant and bigoted sections of the Old Firm loyal. Sectarianism in Glasgow is shown in political and religious divides on either side of the Old Firm. Rangers' fans consist of many unionist, loyalist and protestant viewpoints. Celtic fans often carry anti-royal and pro-Catholic opinions. In recent times the hatred from each team's fan group has been escalating to dizzying heights, with the attacks on Neil Lennon and sectarian behaviour in Glasgow leading to a rise in violence, domestic abuse and even murder. Both sides of the schism really do show their hatred towards each other in disgraceful ways, but it wasn’t always like this.
In the early history of Rangers there was no protestant outlook in the club, it was nothing but a typical Scottish football team. In the first two decades of the Old Firm each side actually looked upon the other favourably. They even had a close relationship! In an old Glasgow newspaper article it states:
No clubs were ever greater friends. This is still seen today in their collective name. The Old Firm. The two clubs would work together to exploit the rest of Scotland, often snatching players from weaker teams.
Celtic had a religious bias as they were founded as a charity for the poor Irish immigrants in Glasgow that fell victim to famine. However a threat lingered when the immigration took place from Ireland. About one tenth of these were Ulster born Protestants. After more than Fifteen years of prosperity, pressure rose for a club to take on the sporting patrons of the catholic community, and because of the amount of Protestants near Rangers' ground, Ibrox, and the protestant community took to supporting Rangers. They became the sporting champions of the protestant people. Over time this soiled their friendship and sparked the sectarianism that still burns bright today.
Huge fights raged in the streets between the street gangs, 'Billy Boys' and 'Timalloys.' Riots were carried out in the streets every day for weeks. So the sectarian tensions that go back before the seventeenth century, ironically aggravated by Scottish migration to Ulster were then decanted to Ulster. So this left two teams with a common history, but vital differences,
“Ooh ahh. Up the RA! Ooh ahh up the R.A!" Some Celtic fans are supporters of the I.R.A which is what the song is about.
The song supports the Irish Republican Army. The groups of the I.R.A: are extremely anti-royalist and anti-unionist, as the original I.R.A fought in the Irish war of independence in 1918. Now there are many terrorist groups with I.R.A in the name, but have not acted in a drastic way in recent times. The Real I.R.A is one group that has had movement in recent times, they call themselves the Real I.R.A, but this is only because they where against the ceasefire in 2001. They are smaller and less mainstream than the Provisional I.R.A. The Provisional I.R.A is a paramilitary guerrilla warfare group, under the northern Irish political party Sinn Fein. The Real I.R.A is the most extremist of these groups, but all I.R.A groups aim (or aimed) toward a united Ireland.
Rangers' large protestant community took to supporting the Ulster Volunteer FORCE AND the Ulster Defence Association. This was mostly because of their loyalist community, but also the Irish catholic community in Glasgow supporting the I.R.A. The U.V.F and U.D.A were founded in the 1970's. As soon as they were known to the public they stated that their main objective was to utterly destroy all branches of the I.R.A
The U.V.F and U.D.A are widely regarded to be a terrorist group, but many would disagree. Many Rangers fans or royalists and loyalists would disagree with their 'terrorist' label, but it all depends on opinion. However since the beginning the U.D.A and U.V.F have killed much more civilians than all forms of the I.R.A. Four hundred and twelve civilian deaths were caused by the U.V.F, that's eighty five percent of their kills. Some of these were strategic assassinations, but most were orchestrated attacks on strong republican communities in Northern Ireland.
Almost all of the U.D.A attacks were acts of outright murder, most attacks ended in civilian deaths and casualties. The most notable attacks were the Grey steel and Milltown massacres. These murders (along with most others) were carried out in the Irish county of Ulster. The I.R.A, U.V.F, and U.D.A (along with the many supporting groups) were all founded in Ulster. Many battles were thought in there. The county has a wide diversity of opinions towards Irish independence from the United Kingdom.
Rangers' fans conversion to royalists can be seen in a few ways. When Rangers were started in 1872, the players wore a plain light blue shirt, giving them the nickname 'the light blues.' Though after forty-eight years their supporter’s opinions grew towards where they are now. Then in 1912 they officially changed the colour to royal blue in support of their royalist fans. Then in 1994 they changed their motto from 'Aye ready' the old Scots version meaning always ready, to simply 'ready' to eliminate there most profound Scottish route.
Celtic followers are not in favour of royalty in comparison to the other side of the Old Firm. Many Rangers supporters are. This is partly caused by the Irish immigration, and protestant Scots frame of mind.
The glorified British propaganda can be seen in newspapers, television and schools to this day. After all Britain have always been the masters of propaganda. In the U.K and many British Commonwealth countries there is certain media 'regulations.' This means that British media are not allowed to publish favourable media about the I.R.A. The only report or program on the I.R.A through British media would be about terrorist attacks by the Real I.R.A, not the Provisional I.R.A who tend to use less harsh military tactics. This leads to general ignorance throughout Britain about the I.R.A, but the British media will hide the atrocities committed by the British army in 70's and 80's Northern Ireland. At that time people in Northern Ireland were protesting regularly for Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland, but the British parliament took away their right to peaceful protest. So when they did protest, peacefully, the British army was instructed to fire on the crowds. However the crowds weren’t silenced in acquiesce. The I.R.A came incredibly close to killing Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet with a bomb attack in Brighton in October 1984, it killed five security personnel. Another notable attack was the 1991 mortar strikes on Downing Street, one mortar bomb came within fifteen feet of killing UK Prime Minister John Major.
Another example of the propaganda used by the British government is the use of supposedly 'non-denominational' schools. These schools have a default religious bias. In non-denominational schools protestant ministers are employed to preach to children from the age of four. This means that from a very young age children are taught to believe they are protestant, even if they don't what the word means. So a slightly older child with no interest in football, the monarchy or politics, is defaulted to supporting Rangers.
Some examples of propaganda are the use of governmental posters with 'The Empire where the sun never sets' on them. Much more recent propaganda is the use of the song 'God save the queen' as Britain's national anthem, along with the secondary anthem 'Rule Britannia.' The propaganda is for the strength of the UK, as it has always influenced its constituent country's even when they weren't part of the UK. (Between the treaty of Berwick and when Scotland lost its independence to join the empire of Great Britain, English monarchy and aristocracy often called Scotland Northern Britain. They even referred to Glasgow as New York! Naming it after the city of York before the U.S.A was established.) The propaganda is to almost brainwash the people of Britain that the royal family are brilliant, that you should be protestant, that you are British. All of these things are strongly partnered with Rangers F.C, as they fly the union jack proudly at Biro, and hoist a picture of the queen in their dressing room.
Many young Scottish children are involuntarily raised into supporting Celtic or Rangers before they can make their mind up on their own. Young Celtic fans are brainwashed into being false Catholics and supporters of the I.R.A and Irish republicanism. Young Rangers fans are raised into being loyalist, royalist and a kind of pretend Protestantism. Both of these groups of brainwashed supporters are seen everywhere in Scotland.
There has been a cycle of bigotry in Scotland for the last century. The influence on children has never been larger, and will continue to grow. It is caused by powerful input from parents, supporters, media and even the influence of non-denominational schools. All the problems highlighted culminate in an evil, ignorant and bigoted Glasgow, and they radiate throughout our country. Though the cause is not just the teams, it is the zealous view of the world by the undereducated inhabitants of our country, they are misinformed and brainwashed. The Old Firm is Scotland's pride to supporters, but they shouldn't support unless they truly understand what they are supporting, and that is the true cause for our country's sectarianism...