Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Sunrise Over Glasgow!

The sun rises over Glasgow for the last time in this decade - and what a beautiful day it promises to be!

Happy New Year when it comes.


Silent Sunlight

'Silent Sunlight' from the 1972 album released by Cat Stevens - Catch Bull at Four. 


Early Christmas Presents

Private Eye, the UK's best and only fortnightly satirical magazine, on the consequences of agreeing to a general election without ensuring that the voters had the final say over Brexit in a second, confirmatory referendum.  


Boris Johnson's Elephant Trap (13/12/19)

Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP gave Boris Johnson an early Christmas present by agreeing to his call for an early general election without insisting on a democratic People's Vote over the final terms of Brexit.

The 'prize' for the SNP is a clean sweep of all seven Glasgow seats and a landslide victory across the rest of Scotland - courtesy of a discredited, unrepresentative First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral system.

But if you ask me, all of the opposition parties should be throughly ashamed of themselves for walking straight into Boris Johnson's FPTP elephant trap.           



On Your Marks. Get Set. Go! (12/12/19)

Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP all agreed to an early general election which always seems like a terribly high risk strategy to me.

Not least because the much smarter move was for the opposition parties to refuse to budge without securing the right of voters to have the final say on Brexit - by holding a democratic People's Vote between Remain and Boris Johnson's deal. 

The Times cartoonist, Peter Brookes, captured the pre-election mood rather well, I thought, but we will know how things turn out later today.  


Santa's Little Helper (1)

As 2019 draws to a close Labour has some serious thinking to do over its woeful performance in the general election, but as ever Peter Brookes hit the nail on the head with this cartoon in The Times. 


The Uncomfortable Truth (19/12/19)

To those saying that Corbyn was not the problem an opinion poll finding just broadcast on BBC2

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181 people are talking about this

The uncomfortable truth for Labour is that far too many voters regarded Jeremy Corbyn as useless and unfit for high office which is not that surprising since he was a mediocre backbench MP between 1983 and 2015 - before being elected, against all odds, as party leader.

In 2020, we are told that Jeremy (aged 70) will retire to the backbenches again where he can continue to draw a handsome salary until the next general election (probably in 2024) by which time he will have been an MP for 41 years.  


Banners, Bams and Religion

Rangers emerged as deserved winners in Sunday's Old Firm derby match at Parkhead.

But Celtic were made to look completely crazy off the field of play, as the Greetin' Brigade unveiled another of their home made banners - this one depicting Satan in a Rangers scarf.

The Daily Record reported that the banner contained the following invocation before the game got underway: 

“Saint Michael, The Archangel. Defend Us In Battle”.

According to scripture Saint Michael is the commander of the Army of God and chief enemy of Satan whom he ejected from Paradise.

Now I'm all in favour of a bit of colour and good natured banter at football matches, but invoking this kind of religious symbolism at sporting events is juvenile and hugely embarrassing to boot.

Because when all is said and done football is a game, a hard fought yet 'sporting' contest at its best - not a battle between the forces of good and evil. 



Celtic's Greetin' Brigade (17/12/19)

The Greetin' Brigade's death skull banner reappeared at Celtic Park on Sunday, but sadly this was not the only example their juvenile behaviour.   

Another banner was unfurled during the second half of the match against Hibs which said "Tories not welcome" and "F*** off Rod", the latter being a reference to Rod Stewart.

Now I'm not interested in understanding the mindset of these self-appointed, moral guardians who seem to think they are in a lofty position to judge who is and who's not welcome at Celtic Park these days.

But the bottom line is they are a terrible embarrassment to Celtic FC which should now take action to prevent further damage being done to the club's good name and reputation.  


Bams Banned From Celtic Park (29/11/19)

How pleasant it was to be at Celtic Park last night and not have to listen to the moronic chants of the 'Greetin Brigade'.

I can do without idiots singing 'Up the 'Ra' and 'You can stick your poppies up your arse' - thank you very much.

Celtic did absolutely the right thing by banning these clowns and putting the Club crest on the safe standing area where they congregate. 

The Rennes fans were great, I have to say, they kept their spirits up even when they went 3-0 down and were a real credit to their club.


Bams Booed at Celtic Park (28/11/19)

The Daily Record reports that Celtic FC have taken action against the 'Greetin Brigade' by closing part of the safe standing area for tonight's Europa Cup match against Rennes.

Now this is a welcome move if you ask me, because these clowns seem to think they are bigger than the club, that they are a law unto themselves with their dumb antics - which include setting off flares inside the ground, offensive chanting and disrespecting other fans (including other Celtic fans) on a regular basis.     

I wrote to the Celtic complaining about the Green Brigade's moronic behaviour during the Celtic vs Motherwell match when they were booed into silence after telling fellow fans to 'stick their poppies up their arse' on Remembrance Sunday.

So well done Celtic and if the 'ultras' are not prepared to listen and shape up - it's time to start shipping them out.    


Celtic issue Green Brigade with final warning over UEFA and council fears

The fans group branded the club vindictive after the Parkhead standing section was slashed for Thursday's clash with Rennes.

By Michael Gannon - Daily Record

(Image: SNS Group)

Celtic have slapped the Green Brigade with a final ultimatum – shape up or get shut out of the Betfred Cup Final clash and the Rangers Festive showdown.

The fans group branded the club vindictive after the Parkhead standing section was slashed for Thursday night’s Europa League clash with Rennes.

Celtic were clobbered with another £13,000 fine from UEFA for banners and chanting in their encounter with Lazio – their third punishment from the beaks this season.

Hoops chiefs took action in a bid to fend off more damaging sanctions from the big wigs.

(Image: SNS Group)

But Record Sport understands the club are determined to clean up the ultras section as there are real safety fears due to the use of pyro and the overcrowding of the standing area.

UEFA take a tough stance on political and offensive chants and banners – but they hold and even harder line on supporters’ wellbeing.

Celtic also have to remain in line with Glasgow City Council over safety certificates for the standing area and have huge concerns over the continued use of fireworks and flares.

The Green Brigade have been banished from tomorrow’s clash and the club are also withholding tickets until further notice – which could see the group excluded from the Betfred Cup Final with Rangers as well as the Old Firm showdown on December 29.
Green Brigade slam 'vindictive' Celtic and reveal they face ban for Betfred Cup Final AND Rangers league clash

The fans statement said: “Our aim, as always, is to positively support Celtic and following Thursday we hope to get back to that.

“However, omitted from the club statement is that fact that all Green Brigade tickets are being withheld until further notice – including the upcoming League Cup Final and potentially as far as the Glasgow Derby at the end of the year.

Peter Lawwell and Ian Bankier meet UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin and UEFA Director of Competitions Giorgio Marchetti in 2017

“We hope that the club will reconsider this position and re-engage with the fans in a positive manner.

“For over 10 years we have maintained a reasonable working relationship with the club which usually manifests itself by way of regular meetings.

“Unfortunately this relationship broke down earlier in the season when we had the audacity to criticise the Celtic board for lack of investment.

“Although engagement has remained, it has been largely futile and undermine by a breakdown of trust.

“To implement sanctions at three days’ notice highlights a blatant disregard for the considerable expense and arrangements some fans undertake to support Celtic.

(Image: SNS Group)

“Considering we met with the club last week to discuss potential sanctions specifically against our group, the timing and scope of this decision is particularly vindictive.”

The Green Brigade blamed the club stewarding issues for the overcrowding problems and are unapologetic about the use of fireworks.

They said: “We appreciate that pyrotechnics run the risk of drawing the ire of footballing authorities. “There are varied views among the Celtic support on its use however it is undeniable that such displays of passion in the stands remain incredibly popular with significant swathes of Celtic supporters, whilst it’s safe use is common across the footballing world.

“Pyrotechnics within football, and even at Celtic, predates the Green Brigade. It would be naive to assume that it can simply be eradicated and instead, the mature, progressive approach would be for football clubs and authorities to properly engage with fans to promote safe use.

“On the select occasions we opt to use pyro, we do so with total regard for safety and seek to limit risk as much as possible.”

Death Skull vs Fighting Leprechaun (27/11/9)

I wonder if the Green Brigade are monitoring my blog, because after I shared my post about their daft 'death skull' banner it was replaced by a 'fighting leprechaun' for Celtic's next home game last Saturday at Parkhead. 

Now I suspect these violent images are the product of an immature, juvenile, male mind which would be in keeping with the group's general behaviour. 

But let's see what happens in the weeks ahead.


Bams Booed art Celtic Park 3 (22/11/19)

I have been trying to discover the significance, if any, of the strange banner on display at Celtic Park which I saw for the first time last week - a menacing black skull wearing a gas mask.

Doesn't seem very friendly or inclusive to me, but if any readers know the answer, drop me a note (in confidence of course) to - markrivine@compuserve.com


Bams Booed at Celtic Park 2 (12/11/19) 

I said I would write to Celtic about the shameful antics of  the self-styled 'Green Brigade ultras' at Sunday's match against Motherwell.

Here's what I had to say to the Club who responded very quickly to confirm that my comments have indeed been brought to the attention of the Celtic Board.

I hope other supporters will raise their voices too - in the same spirit which led to the 'bampots' being booed and quickly silenced on Sunday.    

Dear Celtic FC 

I would like to register a complaint about the behaviour of some of the Celtic fans at the match against Motherwell yesterday.

Specifically, my complaint is about a small group of supporters in the safe standing area who style themselves as 'ultras' or the Green Brigade.

During the second half of the match the fans in question began singing 'You can stick your poppy up your arse' led on by cheerleaders who did their level best to amplify this ugly, divisive message via their loudhailers and drums.

I have written about this shameful incident on my blog site and what I find incredible is that Celtic FC help to facilitate this nonsense by continuing to allow the 'ultras' in the Green Brigade to bring their drums, loudhailers and banners into the stadium - without demanding guarantees about their future conduct.

In my opinion their behaviour on Remembrance Sunday crossed the line and the club should take action to deal with these morons who regularly bring Celtic's good name into disrepute.

I enclose a copy of the article which has been posted to my blog site and would be grateful if you could bring my comments to the attention of the Celtic Board.

Kind regards

Mark Irvine 


Bams Booed at Celtic Park (11/11/19)

The start of yesterday's home match between Celtic and Motherwell was marked by a respectful minute's silence for Remembrance Day.

But the occasion was spoiled somewhat in the second half by the moronic behaviour of a small group of fans in the safe standing area - the self-styled 'ultras' in the Green Brigade - whose cheerleaders decided to sing: "you can stick your poppy up your arse".

The rest of the Celtic support responded quickly by roundly booing the bampots, but the real problem is that these clowns think they are a law unto themselves - answerable to no one and bigger than the club itself.

What's incredible to me is that Celtic FC help to facilitate this nonsense by allowing the 'ultras' in the Green Brigade to bring drums, loudhailers and banners into the stadium - without any guarantees about their future behaviour.

Celtic has been fined regularly by UEFA, the European football authority, over the infantile behaviour of this group of fans whose antics hit the club in the pocket, as well as damaging its hard won reputation for being fair-minded and tolerant.

I will be writing to the club to make my voice heard and hope other supporters will do the same.