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In Defence of the Sectarianism Bill


Guest Andypendek
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Guest Andypendek

Having been only an infrequent visitor to the site for a couple of weeks, I was a bit taken aback at the reaction to the law being rushed through Parliament.

Reading some posts, I became convinced that it was only a matter of time before my near on 10,000 posts would render me suspicious in the eyes of our new, ever vigilant, internet KGB, and I could expect the dreaded knock on the door at 3am. Perhaps I would be denounced by a fellow poster, tired of my lengthy posts and arrogant manner! I could imagine tapping messages to the next cell, in which WVB and Travelling Willbeary maintained an uneasy truce. To a champagne revolutionary such as me, it was all terribly exciting.

But like all fantasies, it had to end sometime. For all the hysteria (and some of it is so hysterical it almost justifies the bill in the first place) I can’t actually see what the fuss is about.

Given the many distasteful invocations of the Nazis in threads on this subject, I hope you’ll forgive my introducing a real voice of suffering. Primo Levi, while in Auschwitz, saw a prisoner attempt to slake his thirst with an icicle, only for a German guard to knock it from his hand. ‘Why?’ asked Levi. ‘Hier ist kein warum’, replied the guard. ‘Here there is no why.’ For those posters who live in Scotland, and who will be affected by the Bill, there most certainly is a why.

Why is because this issue is virtually dead in all walks of life in Scotland, except football. As far as I know, there have no tales of little Paddy O’Connor, heart set on being a dentist since his days at school, being turned away as the Worshipful Society of Teeth-Pullers doesn’t take the Irish, or heartbroken Brigit Timoney turned away from the doors of the Royal College of Nursing as they occasionally serve potatoes in the canteen and this would offend her dignity at work.

Why is because the last, painful throes of this vestige need to be given a thump over the head with a spade, like some crow your cat is tormenting in the garden.

Why is because some are finding encouragement for the sickest of acts masquerading as rivalry.

And why is because we of the chat room persuasion are in need of some persuasion to clean up our collective act.

But what will it actually mean? What is required of us under this Bill? As far as I can make out, and I admit I found it hard to read, we shall have to avoid just about everything. In reality, though, we all know what we have to avoid doing. No mentioning the Pope, which is fine by me as it reduces the Roman Church’s room for claiming victimhood; no mentioning Catholicism for the same reason, and which will have the same effect when I am debating the subject somewhere more suitable than Ibrox. Anything else? No shouting about Ireland, I suppose, which is a poor reflection on that country’s maturity but not something I absolutely need to enjoy my football. It certainly made winding up timmy fun but we shall just have to find other ways to do that.

In short, what’s required from me is a minor alteration of some singing and shouting. I can manage that, especially with the tangential benefits mentioned above as consolation. Anyone who suggests Plod will be chapping the door in the dead of night because you sang ‘If you hate Neil Lennon clap your hands’ is either deluded or at the wind up.

Few have had a good word to say for this bill, and indeed in many aspects it is very poor. Speed of introduction, all-encompassing powers and undefined offences leave some with the worry of a police state at the football. But I’d ask, in that respect, what else is new? Buying a ticket for a game allows the authorities to detain you for a period of time they decide before and after the actual game, circumscribe your movements between, say, the train station and the ground, rigidly enforce breach of the peace legislation they would otherwise ignore (esp. In relation to alcohol), confiscate items on the flimsiest of grounds (think of flags)...the list goes on and on. And bad law is nothing new, either; current law allows the police to nick you for virtually anything behind the wheel, under the catch all expression driving without due care and attention. They don’t though, and I don’t believe they will be enforcing this new law with an iron fist.

In summary, something had to be done, and this is it. You can’t be in charge of a country, see bombs going through the post to sports figures and do nothing. It’s not perfect, in fact it’s not even good, but it’s not as bad as some make out. Of course, I could be wrong. Voices claiming the opposite of me may well be in the right, and I may have misread the signs completely. In that case, should you find yourself in a cell awaiting trial, and the aging, portly yet still ruggedly attractive prisoner in the next cell taps through to you an overlong and flowery message, be kind to him. He may be me!

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So the government needed to bring in yet another bad law, which is only applicable to the football and the internet, because someone put bombs in the post to high profile RC's?

Aye, I can see why you would approve.

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But what will it actually mean? What is required of us under this Bill? As far as I can make out, and I admit I found it hard to read, we shall have to avoid just about everything. In reality, though, we all know what we have to avoid doing. No mentioning the Pope, which is fine by me as it reduces the Roman Church’s room for claiming victimhood; no mentioning Catholicism for the same reason, and which will have the same effect when I am debating the subject somewhere more suitable than Ibrox. Anything else? No shouting about Ireland, I suppose, which is a poor reflection on that country’s maturity but not something I absolutely need to enjoy my football. It certainly made winding up timmy fun but we shall just have to find other ways to do that.

Here, Andy, you are as wrong as the bill itself.

Cunningham, on TV the other night, said (mockingly) that she does not expect the bill to impact on the rights of Pastor Jack Glass to preach fire & brimstone oratory in rejection of papish advances, but that the much more feral, everyday language of the common man to be stopped in it's tracks.

So, 'I reject popery' would appear to be acceptable, but 'Fuck the Pope' is not. They amount to the same essentially, but one voice will be silenced by a law that needs only a complaint of offence taken to be made to the police for them to have to take action.

Presumably you also find it curious the subject matter she chose to illustrate her point. There's a reason for that, after all.

Fundamentally, in refusing to tolerate one persons expression or interpretation of a word or phrase, they are insistent on a toleration of their interpretation. That's an attack on our freedom of expression, a freedom to disagree and an demand that we all sing from the same hymn-sheet; one they are going to create for us. A template for speech designed by language snobs to silence the currency of expression of the majority. Does that sound familiar? Or healthy?

And you think this is a good idea?

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As far as I can tell all the offenses are already covered by existing laws.

Also reptile rose has just implied rule Brittania is sectarian. If these are the people making our laws there's no hope for anyone.

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Ah well Republican Rosie did admit at the George Hotel it was in essence a bill to protect her "Faith Community"

But hey ho let's all bend over and let Republican Bigots rule the roost and make every attempt possible to stifle free speech and the right to criticise where fit.

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As far as I can tell all the offenses are already covered by existing laws.

Hit the nail on the head there... (tu)

This is the problem, our politicians have such low-horizons and limited ideas that they are intent on reactionary policies. We're in a position where politicians (of all parties) are so desperate to be seen as worthwhile and contemporary that they will take any 'issue' of the day and try to turn it into a new policy, leaving us with new laws that are already covered by existing laws. Or laws that are simply not required.

I don't disagree with the OP's assertion that we could do with a little less of the FTP but (it's a giant but), this law will have little to no affect on changing viewpoints.

Ultimately, I don't think anyone should legislate against what is in someones head even if it is most disagreeable.

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Have you got shares in spades man stop digging

and trying to defend the indefensible The SNP is made up with out and out "Irish" Catholic Republicans in senior positions and as soon as they can will try to remove the Queen as head of state despite Salmond Lying otherwise.

BEFORE YOU START I AM APOLITICAL NOT A CARD CARRYING BANNER WAVER FOR ANY POLITICAL PARTY.

And thank god for that cause it has turned you from being a decent poster into simpering sniveling apologist.

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In summary, something had to be done, and this is it. You can’t be in charge of a country, see bombs going through the post to sports figures and do nothing. It’s not perfect, in fact it’s not even good, but it’s not as bad as some make out. Of course, I could be wrong. Voices claiming the opposite of me may well be in the right, and I may have misread the signs completely. In that case, should you find yourself in a cell awaiting trial, and the aging, portly yet still ruggedly attractive prisoner in the next cell taps through to you an overlong and flowery message, be kind to him. He may be me!

Right let me get you here we drop the attempted murder charges, explosive material and terrorist charges.

and give them 5 years under the new bill give yourself a shake.

SNP and others are using extreme cases and incidents to take away civil liberties.

Whats that I can smell is that the Reichstag burning.

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Now that I have showered (twice) after the horrendous thought of having Willbeary as a cell-mate, I still feel violated! :pipe:

The bill is not needed, not properly thought out (no surprise there), not viable, totally unworkable, and is undoubtably going to cost the tax-payer a load of money which could be better spent on ACTUAL problems within Scottish society.

I couldn't give a flying fuck about politics, its all just posturing from bastards who are lining their own nests, but I was slightly (very slightly) optimistic that the Nats would make a positive difference, given the opportunity. I have already given up on that.

Knee jerk politics.

Fuck the pope, fuck catholics, fuck Islam, fuck every religion. And if theres a god, fuck him too.

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Let's be clear here:

1. No-one is being hysterical about this Bill.

2. No-one is saying sectarianism and/or threats should not be addressed.

3. No-one is attempting to exaggerate the circumstances in which you may find yourself in trouble.

However,

1. It is quite clear that this Bill is progressing too quickly and without enough consultation. That warrants complaint - no matter if we post on forums or are high ranking QCs.

2. There are many laws already covering sectarianism and violent crime. They don't do a good job and so far, the draft of this Bill suggests it won't either as it still does not define the issue.

3. Arrest and/or conviction will be based on a 'reasonable person' (i.e. a credible witness) reporting an alleged issue to the police. We've seen in recent years a less then equitable approach to this.

This is why people are rightly worried and this is why we are quite within our rights to challenge it.

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Guest Andypendek

Here, Andy, you are as wrong as the bill itself.

Cunningham, on TV the other night, said (mockingly) that she does not expect the bill to impact on the rights of Pastor Jack Glass to preach fire & brimstone oratory in rejection of papish advances, but that the much more feral, everyday language of the common man to be stopped in it's tracks.

So, 'I reject popery' would appear to be acceptable, but 'Fuck the Pope' is not. They amount to the same essentially, but one voice will be silenced by a law that needs only a complaint of offence taken to be made to the police for them to have to take action.

Presumably you also find it curious the subject matter she chose to illustrate her point. There's a reason for that, after all.

Fundamentally, in refusing to tolerate one persons expression or interpretation of a word or phrase, they are insistent on a toleration of their interpretation. That's an attack on our freedom of expression, a freedom to disagree and an demand that we all sing from the same hymn-sheet; one they are going to create for us. A template for speech designed by language snobs to silence the currency of expression of the majority. Does that sound familiar? Or healthy?

And you think this is a good idea?

I though he was dead? Cunninghame is a balloon, but she's not first minister. We know which foot she's kicking with so it's hardly a surprise to hear her comments. I can't see what's wrong with wanting to stifle bad manners (as you put it, the feral language). I'd have prefered education to legislation, but that's another thorny road!

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Guest Andypendek

As far as I can tell all the offenses are already covered by existing laws.

Also reptile rose has just implied rule Brittania is sectarian. If these are the people making our laws there's no hope for anyone.

A dark summation. She sounds like a diddy, and does the SNP no favours by these comments. Every party, though, has people they wish would shut up. They rarely let them get near the levers of power.

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Here, Andy, you are as wrong as the bill itself.

Cunningham, on TV the other night, said (mockingly) that she does not expect the bill to impact on the rights of Pastor Jack Glass to preach fire & brimstone oratory in rejection of papish advances, but that the much more feral, everyday language of the common man to be stopped in it's tracks.

So, 'I reject popery' would appear to be acceptable, but 'Fuck the Pope' is not. They amount to the same essentially, but one voice will be silenced by a law that needs only a complaint of offence taken to be made to the police for them to have to take action.

Presumably you also find it curious the subject matter she chose to illustrate her point. There's a reason for that, after all.

Fundamentally, in refusing to tolerate one persons expression or interpretation of a word or phrase, they are insistent on a toleration of their interpretation. That's an attack on our freedom of expression, a freedom to disagree and an demand that we all sing from the same hymn-sheet; one they are going to create for us. A template for speech designed by language snobs to silence the currency of expression of the majority. Does that sound familiar? Or healthy?

And you think this is a good idea?

:praise: :praise: :praise: :praise: :praise: :praise:

And stop trying to deflect Andy the Pastor Jack Glass was a reference to a section of the kirk not him directly.

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Guest Andypendek

Let's be clear here:

1. No-one is being hysterical about this Bill.

2. No-one is saying sectarianism and/or threats should not be addressed.

3. No-one is attempting to exaggerate the circumstances in which you may find yourself in trouble.

However,

1. It is quite clear that this Bill is progressing too quickly and without enough consultation. That warrants complaint - no matter if we post on forums or are high ranking QCs.

2. There are many laws already covering sectarianism and violent crime. They don't do a good job and so far, the draft of this Bill suggests it won't either as it still does not define the issue.

3. Arrest and/or conviction will be based on a 'reasonable person' (i.e. a credible witness) and on someone reporting an alleged issue to the police. We've seen in recent years a less then equitable approach to this.

This is why people are rightly worried and this is why we are quite within our rights to challenge it.

1,2 and 3- I must have been reading different threads to you, then.

1- Not saying don't complain. Trying to suggest some complaints may be OTT or missing the point.

2- Probably true. It's a gesture.

3- That is how the law works, football related or otherwise.

I can't see how me posting my thoughts on a rainy morning affects your right to challenge the bill.

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1,2 and 3- I must have been reading different threads to you, then.

1- Not saying don't complain. Trying to suggest some complaints may be OTT or missing the point.

2- Probably true. It's a gesture.

3- That is how the law works, football related or otherwise.

I can't see how me posting my thoughts on a rainy morning affects your right to challenge the bill.

The main thread on the new Bill is the one I posted the other day which is far from hysterical and asks serious questions of the legislation.

You have then posted a defence of this new Bill so I can only assume it is (partly at least) in response to my thread.

That's is why I made the riposte above and it is clear from live coverage this morning of the Justice Committee the new Bill could and should not be allowed to progress in its current guise.

I'm surprised at anyone who'd NOT want to challenge such hastily put together and flawed laws by Ministers who are readily suggested to be incompetent/biased by people like yourself. No matter the weather.

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This defence of the Bill, much like the bill itself and those that created it, are all missing a vital point. Football clubs and their supporters...are not sects, or religions. As my thread yesterday morning stated, there are no limits to which a football supporter will go to enrage his opposing football supporter. Part and parcel of the game. Take the hatred/passion out of any sporting rivalry in the world and it becomes bland and missable.

It is not just the politicians who have lost the plot in Scotland, it's the people who look to be offended. The grassing up culture that was started by the taigs and carried on by the likes of you and I, led to this nonsense.

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Right let me get you here we drop the attempted murder charges, explosive material and terrorist charges.

and give them 5 years under the new bill give yourself a shake.

SNP and others are using extreme cases and incidents to take away civil liberties.

Whats that I can smell is that the Reichstag burning.

This is why this bill is so wrong (tu)

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