Answering the lies of G40 on The Celtic Network.
I suppose the first thing I should do is to thank G40 of The Celtic Network (TCN) for writing such an ill-informed and inaccurate piece that masquerades as a ‘review’ of TAL’s latest Ezine edition.
The blog (see link) is little more than a deliberate misrepresentation of what was written in the TAL Ezine edition, but I welcome the opportunity to answer it. I would also encourage other supporters to go to our website and download the Ezine and read it for yourselves, because TCN’s ‘review’ is nothing more than a hatchet job, full of lies and deliberate falsehoods. Indeed one wonders whether the author of the blog actually bothered to read the Ezine, because his estimation of its contents are not based on reality.
Some people have little in the way of political answers, so they try to personalise the argument and the above blog is a perfect example of the personalisation of the political.
Our criticism of both Phil MacGiollabhain and Paul McBride is political not personal, but G40 and TCN prefer to interpret it differently and by his own admission G40 makes ‘assumptions’ based on his own prejudice against TAL and/or the prejudice and lies of others. Put simply, TAL Fanzine does not agree with the interpretation of the new anti-sectarian legislation by the ‘Two Macs’ – MacGiollabhain and McBride. Our view of the legislation was well-presented in the Ezine by Rebel Bhoy’s article entitled OURSELVES ALONE. (download from www.talfanzine.com)
The writer talks about TAL going into ‘the realms of fantasy’ and then goes on to claim that we specifically criticised Phil MacG because he wrote a piece on the Famine Memorial for the Celtic match programme. This is a lie, a complete fiction. There is no mention of such an article by MacGiollabhain anywhere in the Ezine. Did the author of this blog actually read the Ezine or did he base his comments on hearsay? The ‘realms of fantasy’ appear to be where the blog author was writing from.
Words are being twisted and not very cleverly. The real ‘conformists’ – those who would comply with this bad legislation – are the so-called ‘rebels’ who have INSTRUCTED the Celtic support to refrain from singing certain songs. Those who attempt to use their republican credentials to browbeat others into submission. We reserve the right to criticise that type of political hypocrisy.
Incidentally, TAL was never happy to simply go along with MacGiollabhain’s egotistical brand of ‘journalism’, as G40’s article claims. Indeed, my own contribution to the latest Ezine questioned where Phil might be leading us and made the point that we have a history to be proud of that MacGiollabhain wants to edit and rewrite, leaving us as little more than ‘the other side of the sectarian coin’ to the Scotland’s Shame FC support. It is our view that Phil’s personal obsession with Scotland’s Shame FC is an unhealthy one for a grown man who claims to be both a ‘rebel’ and a ‘journalist’ . That he has led a section of our support with him in this obsession is shamefully self-indulgent.
On the issue of the songs, I would urge readers to go to the Over and Over Radio show site on Spreaker.com and listen to the first hour of the show, where the songs issue and TAL’s criticisms of Mac Giolla Bhain and McBride are discussed. Rather than us living in the past, we are offering ways around and through the legislation. I made the point that mine is only one point of view and that I was certainly NOT telling people how they should behave or think, merely offering an ‘alternative view’ on the matter. It’s called democratic debate. Those who are issuing diktats on the matter are not from our fanzine.
For TCN to question our credentials as Celtic supporters is downright insulting. It is a dirty argument that really is beneath contempt. How dare TCN – a network that has been in existence for a matter of weeks – question our commitment to the club.
Incidentally, it is a complete fantasy – A LIE – that we have ever claimed that TCN is in the pay of the club. The blog is not just bad writing, it is utter tripe based on no evidence whatsoever from the Ezine or our website. It is a deliberate misinterpretation and misrepresentation of our views.
Looking through it again, the blog really is quite nasty in its intent and some specific points need to be addressed:
“…petty personal attacks against Paul McBride QC and especially Phil Mac Giolla Bhain.”
– WHAT IS PETTY OR PERSONAL ABOUT GIVING AN ALTERNATIVE POINT OF VIEW TO THEIRS?
“So because Paul McBride declared that the word Hun could be considered as offensive under these new laws when he was being interview on Celtic Underground TAL now consider him as a traitor. This is a guy who the same people where championing only months before for standing up for Celtic.”
– NOT TRUE, WE HAVE NEVER SUPPORTED McBRIDE, NOR IS OUR OBJECTION TO HIS INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW BASED ON THE WORD ‘HUN’.
“However that is nothing compared to the personal attack they carry out against Phil Mac Giolla Bhain. Again a guy they were happy to support when he was getting tore into the Scotland’s Shame FC support. This whole thing stems from the fact that Phil in his blog criticised some of the pro IRA songs at the Hibs game and then raised the issue of whether there is any need for these songs to be sung in Scottish football grounds considering the people in Ireland were trying to move on from the troubles.”
– PHIL IS AS ENTITLED TO HIS VIEW ON THIS AS WE ARE TO OURS. WHY DO THESE PEOPLE FEAR DEBATE ON THE MATTER? AFTER ALL, ISN’T THAT WHAT PHIL CLAIMED HE WAS STARTING – A DEBATE?
“Now this is where things move into the realms of fantasy. They then go on to slag Phil off for writing a piece for the Celtic match program about the need for a Famine memorial in Glasgow (Wolves friendly). Now I would have thought that these so called republicans would have welcomed this but they did not. Instead they seem to claim that he’s writing for the enemy which is strange considering it was a Celtic FC publication.”
– NOT ONE WORD OF THE ABOVE IS TRUE. NO QUOTES, NO REFERENCES, JUST LIES. IT’S A CUTE ATTEMPT TO QUESTION OUR COMMITMENT TO CELTIC BECAUSE WE CONTINUE TO CRITICISE THE CELTIC VIEW, WHICH IS THE OFFICIAL MOUTHPIECE OF THE PLC (WE DID NOT MENTION THE MATCH PROGRAMME OR THE FAMINE MEMORIAL ARTICLE, AS HAS BEEN CLAIMED).
“To top it all off they have a go at the fact that Phil Mac Tee shirts are being sold on Rhebel Rhebel so in effect they are also having a dig at that site. Anyone who is familiar with Rhebel Rhebel knows that they only produce products that the Celtic support are interested in buying. As a side note their T Shirts are brilliant so have a look on the site.”
– A CRUDE ATTEMPT TO BUILD AN ANTI-TAL ALLIANCE BY INFERRING THAT OUR CRITICISM OF THE EGOTISTICAL T-SHIRTS WAS AN ATTACK ON THE ‘RHEBEL RHEBEL’ T-SHIRT SITE. WE CRITICISED PHIL’S SELF-PROMOTION, NOTHING ELSE.
“So the questions are. What is TAL’s agenda? Are they a pro Celtic site or are they an organisation who wants to live in the past while the rest of the world move on? Is it their belief that your only a real Celtic fan if you support the now disbanded PIRA or you need to have pro republican views?”
– ANOTHER ATTEMPT TO IMPLY THAT WE ARE NOT ‘REAL CELTIC SUPPORTERS’.
“TAL claim to be anti fascist which is strange considering they seem to want every Celtic fan to conform to their view.”
SOMEONE WITHOUT A POLITICAL HISTORY BELITTLING AND BESMIRCHING THOSE AMONG OUR SUPPORTERS WHO HAVE A PROVEN TRACK RECORD IN FIGHTING FASCISM AND RACISM, AND COMPLETELY TWISTING THE IDEA OF ‘CONFORMISM’ IN THIS CONTEXT.
“By the way I’m happy to publish any responses from TAL and it’s supporters. I don’t believe in censorship. However I won’t publish personal abuse.”
– IMPLYING THAT OUR LIKELY RESPONSE WILL BE PERSONAL AND ABUSIVE. WITHOUT EVEN ONCE REFERRING TO, OR QUOTING FROM THE EZINE HE IS CRITICISING, HE CONCLUDES THAT WE ARE LIKELY TO BE ABUSIVE IN REPLY TO THIS NONSENSE. IS THIS MAN PSYCHIC?
“Foot note Contrary to what TAL believes TCN has nothing to do with Celtic fc if the club were paying me to work for them I think I might have noticed by now”
– NOW HE’S A MIND READER? THIS IS ANOTHER FANTASY. TAL HAS NEVER IMPLIED OR ACCUSED ANYONE ASSOCIATED WITH TCN OF BEING PAID BY CELTIC PLC.
I have no problem with G40 expressing a point of view that is different to TAL’s, but I do have a problem with someone who ascribes to TAL words that none of the contributors to the Ezine have ever uttered or written.