ALL THE PROTESTANT MEN?
Bob Woodward,the highly-respected journalist who,with Carl Bernstein revealed the truth behind Watergate in the early ’70s,has just released a new book about,he claims,the disfunctional Trump presidency. The claims he makes in it are highly plausible-for the current POTUS!-and he is himself highly credible.
Apart from “Follow the Money”-a line which wasn’t in the book “All The President’s Men”,but only in the film-the main life lesson to be learned from Watergate must surely be that it’s not the original offence which will do for you,it’s the cover-up. And there certainly seems to be some collusion over events at Celtic Park on Sunday.
I think we’ll start elsewhere though,at Rugby Park. Where Stevie Clarke read out a statement which excoriated Collum and his employers. The former for a ridiculous red card the previous weekend,the latter for not having the courage to rescind it.
He strongly suspected that this was because Collum had been given the match on Sunday. Said as much too. Well,I’ve seen the red card decision from last week. And I watched Collum bottle it when Rangers players did considerably worse on Sunday. Yet the only criticism he received in the media was for failing to give a perceived-read imaginary!-foul against Tom Rogic in the build-up to our goal.
You couldn’t make it up? In Scotland,you don’t have to-there’s highly-paid pros queuing up to do it for you.
Next,the player who was allegedly fouled gets laid into Collum in every press outlet imaginable,calling for him to be demoted,blackballed,kicked out the ludj,whatever,and not a hint of a disrepute charge. Neil Lennon or Scott Brown would have needed a team of Philadelphia lawyers to wriggle out of similar.
Then there’s the blatant bout of thuggery from McGregor. Clear donkey kick at a defenceless player on the ground. Red card and a penalty in every league on the planet. Referee couldn’t possibly have missed it,but he decided to ignore it.
Well,no harm done. Ajer wasn’t badly hurt,we got the three points anyway,and there will be a three-match retrospective ban for violent conduct. Aye,Timmy,that’ll be right. Offence not deemed to be violent enough for action to be taken.
Honestly,that’s how they explained it away. Not violent enough. What,kick him ten times and follow up with a baseball bat? Good God.
But all of this pales into insignificance beside The Main Event of the weekend. The wilful disregard for the welfare of many thousands of Celtic supporters by the people who are supposed to protect them. And the shameful haste with which conflicting narratives were thrown together to cover up a catalogue of failure in crowd management and event planning.
I’m loathe to say too much about this particular point as investigations are still ongoing. And I hope the HSE get involved. But for Celtic to act so surprised at events when they were clearly part of the planning process is a disgrace. For the police to lie about which access points were or were not available is a disgrace. For tens of thousands of fans to be corralled into a bottleneck-all to enable a red carpet access for 800 at the diametrically opposite corner-is very likely criminal. And as I said,shows wilful disregard.
The people responsible should be held to account,grateful not to be facing manslaughter charges. But they won’t. Not in Scotland.
But remember,it’s the cover-up which will get you.
Even if not every time,it’ll get you eventually.
I live in hope.