Me and Marega
This blog does not allow for an in-depth study of the failures or successes and associated issues of immigration and racism but it does allow for relatively concise summary and comment.
Many European countries have an inherent problem with racism. The reasons for this are many and varied but in a lot of cases can be traced back to Colonialism and the subsequent influx of adopted citizens from the Colonies arriving and taking jobs which the ‘natives’ considered to be theirs. We experienced this with the arrival of the Irish fleeing the famine and then in the late 50’s and on with the partition of India and her conflict with Pakistan.
More recently the ex-Communist Eastern European Bloc has seen many fleeing real poverty to try to improve their lives in the UK.
In the UK, in line with the worldwide resurgence of right wing political parties and groups and UK Government policies we have experienced a very unseemly and nasty agenda against immigrants. Particularly during the Brexit campaign. Fortunately, the worst of these views has not reached enough of the voting populace in Scotland.
It is here though but thankfully the problem is not as acute as it is south of the border. We cannot ourselves to be complacent as the right wing anti-Europe anti-immigrant viewpoint is prevalent in the North of England, real working class, impoverished areas which were traditionally Labour strongholds with socialist tendencies, not much different from our own working class environs. We saw it to an extent after our own Indie Referendum with clashes in George Square.
The treatment of Porto’s Moussa Marega does not come as a surprise. We have seen it before, more so in Italy but Latin countries have a long association with racism. Portugal was split on Monday with certain politicians refusing to accept it as a problem and the Vitoria fans’ group The White Angels saying they were the ones who had suffered racial abuse from Marega! The Portuguese Prim Minister condemned the racists.
And what about the referee? He booked Marega for his actions on the pitch!
UEFA guidelines are clear and explicit. It’s a Three Strike and You’re Out plan which effectively allows the referee to stop the game to allow an announcement for the abuse to stop, if that fails then he takes the players off the pitch for an agreed period to allow order to be restored and if the abuse continues when the play is restarted the game is abandoned.
The referee failed Marega.
Marega’s Porto manager and teammates probably thought they were doing the right thing by trying to get him to stay on, he had already scored the second goal to put Porto 2-1 up. ‘Don’t let the racists win’ was probably their message to the angry, distraught player. They called it wrong and I can sympathise with their viewpoint but what is apparent is there is only one way to deal with racism and that is by shutting it down, immediately!
The Rangers supporters have caused Ibrox to be partially closed twice this season in European ties. This is the minimum punishment UEFA will hand out to clubs found guilty of racism. Against St Joseph’s at Ibrox and Legia Warsaw in Poland their fans belted out the infamous Billy Boys tune which contains the UEFA-banned lyrics ‘We’re up to our knees in fenian blood, Surrender or you’ll die’.
The action to close 3000 seats was decisive and had the The Rangers board shitting themselves to the point they refused tickets for the away game versus Young Boys of Berne.
Of course, this wasn’t a moral decision, this was a financial decision as they couldn’t afford more seat closures. The point remains, though, this is how to hurt clubs. In their pockets!
So where are we now? We know racism is rife across Europe in all walks of life. We see it growing in England. We know we don’t really have a major problem in Scotland with it. But our Government, our Police Force, our Football Governing bodies, our own Club allow this offensive song to continue to be sung.
Despite it being banned by UEFA.
Despite The Rangers being punished twice by UEFA for singing it.
Despite it being sectarian and racist.
Despite all of this, not a word.
My memory takes me back to the Scottish Cup tie at Celtic Park, against the original Rangers when everything kicked off at the end. Rangers had three (I think) players red-carded, Lenny and McCoist had a wee handbags situation at the end and the Scottish Government took things in-house to try to restore order to Scottish Society by blaming football fans for everything!
Later in the same month Scottish Justice Minister Kenny Macaskill attended the League Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers with a view to understanding the mood of the rivalry and the emotion of the game, and to ensure the fixture passed without the issues of the previous fixture.
I was at the game. There was no trouble. No major trouble. It was typical Celtic v Rangers, very typical. For large portions of the game The Billy Boys could be heard loud and clear.
What was the Justice Minister’s view on the game? ‘A great day, a great family atmosphere! It passed without major incident!’
I expect we’ll read all about Marega in our papers for the next few days and Sky Sports will provide in-depth coverage with a probable nod to the abuse suffered by the England National team in Bulgaria. We might well be reminded of Balotelli in Italy or Prince Boateng.
If any of our local media are feeling particularly vindictive we might even hear about Tonev, or the 12 year boy who abused Morelos, or the 15 yr old boy who abused Logan but will we hear anything, anything, about the weekly racist, bigoted and sectarianism nonsense that afflicts this country, especially from our neighbours across the city?
I’m inclined to think not!
I considered a closing paragraph on possible actions or punishment our esteemed custodians could enforce on any guilty party but what’s required is logical and obvious and already exists in our statutes. What is needed is a will to enforce it but as our ex-Justice Minister said, and I paraphrase, ‘Nothing to see here, folks, move along!’
So there you have it folks! Racism is out there and it’s right in your face, but not here it seems….
The above is a guest article by McCaff. Should you fancy firing one in yourself we would be very grateful and its firstname.lastname@example.org
That article has left me angry and depressed in equal measure. That’s a compliment not a criticism. Sometimes when the truth is laid bare in front of you it simply acts as a reminder of something you already knew but have witnessed and lived with for so long you push it to the back of your mind in a “ that’s the way it is here in Scotland “ manner.
In some ways this recent clamour from the media to magnify, exaggerate and indeed fabricate stories that have been designed to deflect attention from Traynor/ Sky and their cohorts, would have been the ideal opportunity for Celtic to speak out loud and clear about the real situation in Scotland. The stuff you refer to in your article. The stuff that can be clearly heard week in week out. Not the muffled muted fan filmed ( and very possibly edited) footage that is now popping up weekly on social media. The ones purporting to claim that a voice in the background with the word bastard clearly heard in it, could, perhaps, mibbes aye mibbes naw have the word ‘ black’ in it if you listen closely enough.
The extent of the claims that Celtic have a problem is so far limited to a 12 year old boy ( who might or might not exist) being charged. Reported by Celtic supporters. Again, mibbes aye……
Perhaps Celtic supporters should be queuing up at police stations across Scotland after every Rangers match that’s televised nowadays to complain about sectarian singing? Demand they investigate?
Far fetched and ridiculous idea? No more so than some of the utter shite being printed these days.
Jimmy not Paul
There’ll be a mail in your inbox at some point this morning, or early afternoon.
Keep an eye out.
McCaff, good read, mate. Never really understood the judging of people based on their skin colour, even though I grew up in a time & place where casual racist language was widespread. I can still remember when the first coloured kids came to our school in Brigton, and then hearing them being described as Golly Wogs & Sambo’s, but more so I remember that most would find it funny. I think we’ve come a long way since then, but as the Marega incident proves, we still have a fair way to go.
Powerful statement,bud. We won’t get anywhere with racism by pussyfooting around,by ignoring-or blaming!-the victims or even worse,ignoring the racists and their actions.
The authorities have a huge role to play here,and it is one that they have shirked for far too long. Whether that be the police neglecting their public duties or footballing authorities abandoning their duty of care to their employees,it cannot be allowed to continue.
Don’t get me wrong,I’m not advocating bringing back hanging for each and every transgression-there are times when a sharp rebuke or a slap will be more than enough to bring someone to their senses. But sustained or repeated offences must be stopped in the first place and prevented in the future. So how best to do that? As you’ve said,there is little need for further legislation. The legislation already exists. But it is useless unless there is a willingness to enforce it,without fear or favour.
As in many aspects of life,big steps have been taken in recent years to encourage and educate. But there are always the hard-line hold-outs. People who refuse to move with the changing times,who don’t think that they are doing anything wrong. Because they’re not doing anything different from what they’ve done for years. Frankly,you’ll never educate the hatred out of them nor encourage them to move with the times. The carrot doesn’t work for people like that.
Which takes me back to the authorities shirking their duties for far too long. The stick is there for them to use,and it’s past time for them to do so.
And there’s the nub.
50,000 of them giving it laldy plain as day every time they get together. For the duration.
Us,one maybe two might just at a push have said something once in the heat of the moment.
Which means that we can be held by some to be just as bad as them. Utter bollocks,hence my comment about a sharp rebuke or a slap. And also why it won’t change until the authorities get their finger out.
Aye, and a row of coppers deployed around the trackside listening in, perhaps even joining in, if only in their heads.
Headline to an article in today’s Grauniad.
“Boris Johnson agrees divorce settlement with Marina Wheeler”
So,does that make her a free Wheeler?
MCAFF, powerful and hard hitting but sadly true, here is a true story, we have 5 young girls in our salon, during the run up to the Brexit vote, every one of them said ,we are voting to leave so we can get rid of all the foreigners in our country, where do you go with that,,young women, I was shocked.hh.
I heard similar stuff from a lot of people in England, but not all young. As a matter of fact the majority of the young people where I worked were foreigners, and were the reason the factory was successful.
Most of the English were older but equally misguided.
I blame the politicians for a lot of it. The ‘ remain’ campaign simply didn’t get the message across.
In fairness,the younger generation were generally more in favour of remain but as you say,there was a heavy taint of racism to the vote. It saddened me then,and bewilders me now as suddenly people feel they don’t have to hide it any more.
Most leavers I spoke to down here before the vote were adamant that it was the EU they detested. £350m a week,etc
Now they freely admit that they were fed up of all the foreigners.
HI TWISTY and BOBBY, yes sadly the message did not get across, but to hear blatant racism from these young girls shocked me.hh.
A wee classic from the Dead and the great Jerry Garcia. https://youtu.be/Xy7QtRRIO0c
A very good read. I’ve always suspected little England was inherently racist under the veneer. Thank you.
Yes and what you hear is:
“ we’re fed up with them coming here and taking our jobs.”
“They come here for the benefits”
If you can be bothered look up the value these people added to the UK economy v what the “ spongers” took on benefits. You’ll be astonished. They added billions to our economy.
I’ve been dahn sarf most of my adult life. It was always bubbling under the surface,sometimes jumped out in plain sight,but never as obvious and poisonous as it is now. But having said that,racist remarks and abuse are still rare occurrences in everyday life.
Morning all, thanks for your comments.
Twists….i know you put inverted commas around ‘the spongers’ but it’s a really offensive term none the less. We currently are in to our second or possibly even third generation of people who have been let down by Central government policies. The destruction by Thatcher, especially, of manufacturing in this country and the Conservative policy of selling of council housing stock has created a have/have not society with some winners but many, many more real losers. As I said at the start of the article there is no time on this forum for proper forensic examination of the reasons for racism but it’s there and it’s more prevalent than ever and paradoxically more unacceptable than ever.
TWISTY, there is a lovely old Romanian man used to sit outside the coop across the road from our shop, he was not begging he played the accordian and the violin, people would throw a few bob in his violin case, last week the coop in their wisdom employed a security guard who stopped him playing, ffs he was doing no harm, anyway yesterday morning I found him wandering around the town centre, I said to him come and play outside our shop if you want, I pay rent on these premises nobody will move you from here, the smile on his face said it all,,,btw I said to him ill give you some money, if you DONT play that feckin violin??
I read an article in Time about four years ago about the demographic timebomb facing Japan. It currently has a population of c120m but due to their ageing population,low birth rate and a heavily restrictive immigration policy along with an endemic “no foreigners” culture,that is forecast to fall to c80m by 2070.
Which will wreck their economy.
Time pointed out that allowing approx 200,000 more immigrants in each year-younger,willing to work,willing to have larger families-would prevent this. 200,000 ain’t a lot,about 0.16% of the population. But it is too many for the indigenous population to stomach. So,they’ll settle for decline and wonder why it came to this.
In the same way that we will end up with staff shortages across the lower paid sectors,usually filled by newcomers to the country as they work their way up the ladder. And so it goes…
I think TWISTS was using the term as a reference to how immigrants are known down here.
BMCUWP and Twists
I wasn’t having a dig at you Twists, I understood the reference and you covered yourself with the inverted commas but my point is that there is an ignorance about why these ‘spongers’ are ‘sponging’!
No offence meant and none taken here.
Since you started the songs early today, this is relevant to today’s article.
My favourite Bob Marley track,and also the last one he ever recorded,I believe.
No problem bud . It’s as Bobby said – I was ( poorly perhaps) referencing how the people I worked with saw the foreigners who were being given some financial assistance.
They were referred to in the term I used . I agree it’s grossly offensive.
I googled Redemption Song there to make sure I was right about it being his last recording. And found this.
https://youtu.be/DnjBRNLsMDg?list=PLEXox2R2RxZIE45YjnecvImOUxucgExBi The Selecter – 3 min hero
https://youtu.be/5L2JNPyzhQs The Selecter – Missing words
https://youtu.be/SHWrmIzgB5A The English beat – Mirror in the bathroom
Since wur in a reggae beat,how about this for the most knowingly crap video ever,and a very topical theme?
The English Beat? Is that like London Suede?
A beautifully produced video to accompany Marley’s poignant voice, to be fair that brought a wee tear to my eye. Cheers
Aye,it got me too. Especially the “killing prophets” line and accompanying animation.
And on a similar subject,Biko.
https://youtu.be/lpqDTQOFvf0 Martha and the muffins – Echo beach
Bobby, haha I mind them well.
https://youtu.be/5_zMODDu9-A Sound of the suburbs
For anyone interested in a good read, try Marlon James’ A Brief History Of Seven Killings set around Bob Marley’s mansion in Jamaica. Not the easiest read but an absolute cracker.
Is that the one that hammers the CIA at the time?
Government scientists have declared a climate change EMERGENCY in the Cairngorms! (Actually it was a year ago) ?
You feeling it yet?
to get back to your first comment on the article, yeah, it makes me angry too. I’ve got three kids and I’ve managed so far to teach them right and wrong pretty well. I suppose they’re teaching me now, in modern terms of acceptable or not. But we’ve got this shit coming from The Rangers support constantly and realistically what can we do about it? It’s a proper conundrum. Report it to the polis, your tiny voice doesn’t matter. Report it to your local MSP/MP, one complaint sounds spiteful. Report it to the Club, they don’t want to get involved. But for me, here’s the real point; all of these people can hear it as well as you or me, WHY aren’t they doing anything about it??
Yeah, but the story is much more than that. Drugs, prostitution, politics, CIA, US/UK Foreign Policy and exploitation, gangsterism (not a word, I know), poverty.
It’s a hard read but worth sticking with it.
Here’s a strange one from my late teen years. A very short album,six songs and about thirtytwo minutes of sheer bliss. Two guitarists and a drummer,no bassist. But it still took me years to work out why it was unique.
Drummer played without cymbals!
Felt. Crumbling the antiseptic beauty.
Oh,btw-I still listen to it all the time. But mainly on CD as I’m wary of giving the vinyl more wear-except when nothing else will do!!!
I was gonna take the reviewer’s name out and pass this as my own, I couldn’t have put it better masel’ Mr Kakutani!!
‘It’s like a Tarantino remake of “The Harder They Come” but with a soundtrack by Bob Marley and a script by Oliver Stone and William Faulkner, with maybe a little creative boost from some primo ganja. It’s epic in every sense of that word: sweeping, mythic, over-the-top, colossal and dizzyingly complex. It’s also raw, dense, violent, scalding, darkly comic, exhilarating and exhausting – a testament to Mr. James’s vaulting ambition and prodigious talent.’ Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
I’ve got it on my bookshelves. I knew a bit about the background-but mainly because of the attempted assassination of Bob Marley and the premiership of Manley. The CIA involvement wasn’t a surprise,neither were the drugs and gangsters-but a whole lot more of it was!
A mighty long and sometimes difficult read,but worth the doing.
You say they hear these people so why don’t they do anything about it?
Cos they are the “peepul” that’s why. There’s no other explanation as far as the police, MP’s and media are concerned.
Celtic? Well the argument may well have been that it’s not their place to get involved, HOWEVER, when the peepul start involving their club with allegations of racism, the time for silence ends.
Fight back using every weapon in yer armoury
Indeed. But the people who want to do something about it-us-can’t because we don’t have the wherewithal or clout to do so. And the people with the wherewithal and clout to do so-government,police,the club-won’t,and for reasons of which we can only speculate.
Such as the red herring that the board were holding fire because of a fear that employees would be targeted. Or the even more shameful suggestion that they were keeping their powder dry. And don’t forget the all-time classic-never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
Which all turned out rather well,eh?
Felt, now that was a blast from the past. I think I picked up a 7inch single on spec one day way, way back, probably about 82/83. I never really got into them tbh but I’ll tell you what, that sound still works today. It’s still got the 80s written all over it, nice one!!
Cheers,old bean! The album is terrific,as is the follow-up,Splendour of Fear. Music to mellow to…
I was at a gig recently, 2/3 yrs ago, and got talking to my nephew’s pal, a boy of about 22. He was telling me he was working in a music studio in the Gorbals. I can’t remember what he was working on at the time but we got talking about influences. I was surprised when he told me he was into the Cocteau Twins! There’s a bit of them in Felt, too. A wee YouTube search turned up Cocteau Twin Elizabeth Fraser singing with Felt.
I’ve got a Felt mix playing in the background at the moment….I’m hearing the Cocteaus and Lloyd Cole in there too. I need to g out soon but I’ll investigate them further. Before I go though, BMCUWP, are you familiar with this boxset from Cherry Red, I bought it a couple or five years ago for my daughter (who wants a career in music journalism)
It has some real gems on it.
Lloyd Cole and The Commotions,Rattkesnake was a superb debut and I had a few Cocteau Twins albums at one time,sadly disappeared like much of my stuff over the years.
I wasn’t aware of the box set,though I’ll try to get it on the cheap over the next few weeks-so cheers for that. I’ve left it open on a browser.
I used to go onto Cherry Red offices every so often in the early 90s. Tiny,they were. Around Fulham Palace Road at the time. I had a client over there,and I’d bumped into the owner and his PA in a nearby pub. We had a chat about music-obviously-and he said just pop in any time for a coffee. No sales chat!
Of course,he was hardly ever there,but the PA and I got on well. Not quite well enough though-well,she could have her pick,ffs! Still,it broke up the day while the parking meter was running out.
I’ve posted this before but I go to gigs regularly with my daughter who’s 18. My youngest, who’s just turned 14 has been dying to go to a gig for ages but there’s no way he would pass for over 14 so he’s had to bide his time. Anyway, he’s going to his first proper gig on Sunday, The Growlers, a California band, in SWG3. He”s not gonna know what’s hit him! If you’re into current stuff check out Catholic Action, my nephew’s the drummer, and Savage Mansion which has a couple of the boys from Catholic Action in it too. Good indie rock from local bands.