Stirring The Soup

master.national_newspapers_montageAaah the Scottish media and the Sevco supporters.

They are amongst the biggest sodding hypocrites in Scotland.

Today The Daily Record and a large section of the Sevco support are howling anger and spewing venom after Scott Allan handed in a transfer request and got the predictable stick for it on certain social media platforms.

Before I begin with the article proper, I am going to do something that few others ever bother to do.

I am going to defend Facebook, Twitter and the rest.

A lot of people – hacks mostly – say that social media is an open sewer.

I always find myself laughing when I hear that because there are a number of newspapers in this country which have, on occasion, trawled the sewer themselves.

The Daily Mail does it frequently.

By that I mean every single day.

Some of the people at The Sun just can’t help doing it.

And The Daily Record … well, Hell … what to say?

How about “Thugs and Thieves” for openers?

How about employing Jim Traynor for all those years?

How about comparing the Celtic CEO to Saddam Hussein?

Oh yes … and sending a hearse to Celtic Park.

I’m not even going to bother going into their politics coverage, and stuff like The Pledge, which was one of the most obvious forays into the decorative bog roll business that I’ve ever seen.

Social media bothers these people for just one reason.

Social media gives everyone a voice.


Not everyone is coherent.

Not everyone is rational.

Not everyone is sane.

Social media platforms don’t discriminate. They give those folk the same soapbox as your average tabloid journalist, and all those celebrities who are always vying for the public’s consideration.

I love hearing them wail, them in particular, when the people whose attention they are courting suddenly give it to them. Acting like big weans, spitting the dummy out of the pram because of a wee bit of stick … some of them should take a look at my inbox of an evening.

A national newspaper still employs that deplorable, walking haemorrhoid Kate Hopkins, so forgive me for not being terribly interested in fake piety from the press.

I am even less interested in it from Sevco fans with their superiority complex.

Scott Allan has behaved appallingly here, and without the remotest sign of remorse for disrupting his present club’s preparations for the season.

I’m sure it wasn’t just Hibs fans who were colossally unimpressed by pictures of him out jollying with the players who had just beaten his side 6-2 in a cup match. That kind of behaviour is rank.

This is a guy who had a chance to sign for Sevco last year. He opted for Hibs.

He signed a contract with them, and I might be daft for suggesting this but I think he owed them more than spitting on the jersey in the fashion he’s just done.

Is it too much to ask that he acted like a professional and understood the very delicate position of the club who saved his career?

Am I excusing some of the comments that have been posted about him?

Of course not.

But those comments aren’t from fully “with it” individuals.

They are from a handful of asylum inmates, rattling the bars of their cages.

There’s no defending them.

No right thinking person would want to, and it would be a waste of time because these folk are beyond shaming, beyond logic, beyond reason.

They don’t know any better and they’re not inclined to learn.

My gripe is with those who practice the most astonishing hypocrisy.

The Daily Record has spent the last seven days trying to force Hibs’ hand, going to every ex Rangers player who they can get to give a quote about why the Edinburgh side “will have to” do the bidding of the one that plays out of Ibrox.

Intellectual heavyweights like Barry Ferguson and Charlie Miller have been drafted in to give their opinions on the matter, as if either of them were capable of seeing things from anything other than the blue point of view.

The Daily Record is not really a newspaper, which is one of many reasons I do not buy it and never will.

It poses as one, but in fact it has long been the creature of certain vested interests in this country.

The Labour Party is one of them, and whether you sympathise with that organisation or not, whether you vote for it or not, the simple fact is that you will never get proper coverage of Scottish politics within the pages of its principal cheerleader.

There’s no balance. There’s no impartiality.

That’s not me stating a political case; it’s me stating a fact.

The Daily Record’s sports coverage is no better.

In fact, some will say that it’s worse, worse by far.

The paper’s political coverage cheesed a lot of people off this time last year, but the boycotts preceded the referendum by a decade.

The Daily Record is not a trustworthy publication.

It is dishonest, dishonourable and occasionally disgraceful in its conduct and its brand of journalism.

The truth is, the newspaper has done its level best over the past week to put Hibs in as bad a position as possible and to push Scott Allan in the direction of the move.

They were talking about his handing in a transfer request five days ago, almost as if they were suggesting that if he hadn’t already that maybe it was time that he did.

Having played its part in provoking this outrageous situation, they are now washing their hands of responsibility and turning attention to a small group of Neanderthals who have reacted in just the manner they were supposed to.

It’s called stirring the soup.

The Record – which once asked, on the eve of a Celtic – Rangers game, whether Neil Lennon or Hector the Taxman was “the most hated person at Ibrox” – has been doing it a long time.

And as unimpressed as I am by The Record’s “mea culpa”, I am even less moved by the phony outrage gushing out of the Sevco fans sites and their own Twitterati.

As I’ve said, I know all about the lunatic fringe over there and I have the inbox to prove it.

But you know, as bad as it is, I know what I have to put up with is not half as horrendous as some of the vitriol that’s been poured on other people; Jim Spence, Angela Haggerty, Alex Thomson, Mark Daly and others over the last few years.

It was a Sevco manager who demanded the names of an annonymous SFA committee.

It was The Record that chose to publish, and push, that demand, in an outrageous serious of articles akin to a witch-hunt.

But it was the Sevco fans themselves, and their websites, which made sure those names were on the lips of every madman and maniac who knows the words of The Sash.

It was their folk who poured out of the gutter and “hunted” those people.

In their article today, The Record has produced a handful of tweets directed at Allan which, whilst not particularly nice, are more akin to bad taste than genuintely threatening behaviour.

The members of that SFA panel, including a representative of Raith Rovers (whose ground was targeted) actually received death threats so serious Police Scotland got involved.

I’ve looked for evidence that The Daily Record was moved to outrage by that.

I cannot find a single article condemning this vile behaviour except one … and it doesn’t, itself, condemn it but simply publishes the denunciation of those who did it by the arch-hypocrite himself, McCoist, who’s snarling, spitting, spiteful act had got the ball rolling in the first place, and who probably feared damage to his reputation if some of the creatures he had turned loose over-reacted to his all-too-obvious entreaties for action.

What I’m saying is simply this; no-one at The Record seems to have had a particular problem with online vitriol when it’s happened in the past.

(At least as far as football is concerned. When it comes to Scottish politics they display this peculiar myopia time and time again.)

They ignored it when Alex Thomson got it, when Mark Daly was getting it, when Jim Spence was enduring it and when Angela Haggerty was braving it, and the people who were doing it are amongst those squealing like pigs today about the treatment being dished out to an ungrateful (already) overpaid footballer with no sense of loyalty at all.

If I were feeling in a slightly more casual mood, I would say that no-one should have to put up with poisonous remarks on the internet or elsewhere, but you know what?

I actually don’t believe that.

In fact, I think it’s absolute cobblers.

There are professions – and I’m in one of them – where people willingly put themselves in the line of fire, and in the public gaze.

Journalism, literature, art, sport, politics, show business, music …. these aren’t career choices for the shrinking violet.

All of them depend, to one degree or another, on courting attention and encouraging an audience.

Well some of that attention will be the bad kind.

Some of the audience isn’t going to like what you do.

Only a complete halfwit – and it’s usually the kind of person who luxuriates in the praise and lives for every good word – thinks they can have one without the other.

Only the most deluded feel they are somehow above the howling bad reception.

The catcalls. The jeers.

The occasional barbs and abuse.

And on top of that, I’m willing to wager that more people in those fields have chucked it over bad peer reviews than have given up the game because certain parts of their audience told them they were pish, or gave them a bit of verbal.

You know what else?

Some of us even kind of like it.

In last night’s piece for the site, on why so many Scottish football fans have been watching Sevco in recent years (for the Giggle Factor), I said I used to read Richard Littlejohn solely because he wound me up and pissed me off.

If you’ve ever seen Littlejohn, his smug face and in particular that sex pest smile he wears on it, you’ll know just how much he lives for the negativity his work generates. He genuinely does love it. You can’t fail to notice that.

He is never happier, like a pig in its own shit, than when he’s pissed on half the country’s cornflakes of a morning.

His psychic twin, Hopkins, is the same.

I, personally, wear a lot of the insults as if they were badges of honour.

One of the tags I wear with the greatest pride was originally intended as an insult, after all; I am, and have long been, a fully paid up member of the Internet Bampots.

I’ve also been labelled a Cybernat by some and a “professional Rangers hater” by others.

The last one really does make me laugh uncontrollably.

(I don’t earn nearly enough for a start!)

All of this is simply to say that whilst some of the language directed at him, like the stuff urging he and his family a slow death, is vulgar and despicable, that Scott Allan is in the kind of job where a certain amount of that is inevitable.

I’m fairly sure he knew that before today.

He’s not going to be so affected by this that he’ll hang up his football boots to go and work behind a counter at McDonalds.

(Because those sorts of jobs … well the people in them never get stick, do they?)

I’ll go further; I would venture that a guy who tweets pictures of himself out on the piss with the team which just took six off his own is someone who’s stopped giving a monkeys what other people think or say about it.

Someone who does that … you might even say they’re provoking negative commentary, and as long as the folk dishing it out limit it to giving him some grief on Twitter I’m sure he’s big enough and ugly enough to handle that without too much trouble.

The hacks at The Daily Record know all this, because whilst they may appear institutionally stupid (Doha CSC and their “ban” from Iraq comes readily to mind, of course) they actually aren’t as dumb as all that.

The Sevco fan sites, in particular those which have been happy to push crap like the Celtic land deal story, in which they are perfectly willing to “name and shame” and tarnish the reputations of people who simply did their jobs according to the rules (as an EU investigation and several independent inquiries have proved beyond a doubt) either don’t know that or don’t care …. but either way, I’m not impressed by their sudden conversion to online etiquette.

This is typical of the way they behave.

They look at the conduct of a few nutters and numpties online and they don’t react out of genuine anger but instead use it to channel their own prejudices, like a sadistic kid focussing the sun’s rays through a magnifying glass to burn the wings off flies, and in doing so feed their own superiority complex.

“Oh look, he’s getting stick just because he supports ‘The Ranjurs” …”

Underneath all the mock indignation, that’s the self-serving tone that shines through most.

In their eyes, it was ever thus.

Hypocrites all.

It is impossible to take these folk seriously in anything.

(Believe it or not, this is what I do for a living friends and neighbours, and the support of my readers is vital. If you like what I do, and are able, and want to support it, you can make a donation at the link. If every reader was able to donate just £5 a year that would keep the site going strong well into the future. Many thanks in advance.)


James Forrest

James Forrest is a writer and blogger from Glasgow, and the author of two books, Fragments and Believers, which are available on Amazon.

8 thoughts on “Stirring The Soup

  • 29 July, 2015 at 5:51 am

    Fully agree – it is the hypocrisy from the smsm that irks

  • 29 July, 2015 at 6:09 am

    Another beezer article James! your thoughts on littlejohn are also have the gift of writing down what most of us are thinking.keep it up,love reading your words.

  • 29 July, 2015 at 9:05 am

    “Sell Scott Allen to us,we know he is your best player,we want to win the same League,and we are Sevco,we are the peepil”,you know it makes sense,…….as for the daily ranger,long stopped even looking at the headlines in a shop never mind buying one,gutter press.

  • 29 July, 2015 at 11:05 am

    If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

    Somethings rotten in the state of Sevco

  • 29 July, 2015 at 11:21 am

    In looking at all thats been reported in the Daily Ranger,there’s got to be sevco people running and reporting the rag.
    The SFA/SPFL is of the same make up,I have said it before,this is a protestant country,run by protestants,for protestants.
    p.s. another great piece James.

  • 29 July, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Good stuff James.

  • 29 July, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    not working at moment, when am back you will get some money from here.

  • 2 August, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    great article James by the way speaking of soup did you see mc cann on sky the other day ha ha

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