|Posted by talfanzine on September 1, 2011 at 8:30 PM||comments (0)|
“An astonishing verdict…”
|Posted by talfanzine on August 28, 2011 at 7:50 PM||comments (0)|
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 egotistal 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 PAUL McBRIDE QC, 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 ALLIANCE AGAINST TAL FANZINE BY INFERRING THAT OUR CRITICISM OF THE EGOTISTICAL T-SHIRTS WAS AN ATTACK ON THE ‘RHEBEL RHEBEL’ T-SHIRT SITE. IN FACT, 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. That is deliberate, calculated and malicious defamation.
|Posted by talfanzine on June 8, 2011 at 3:47 PM||comments (0)|
The fight for Independence heats up
The elections to the Scottish Parliament on 5th May 2011 proved to be truly historic and were of great joy to many at this fanzine who have long defended the Scottish people's right to run their own affairs and to quote John Maclean "bring the British empire crashing to its knees". We're not there yet but who can deny the significance of these results?
All three Unionist leaders in Scotland have now resigned throwing their parties into periods of soul-searching and navel-gazing. Early signs are that they have learned nothing. Labour, especially, ran a negative campaign against the SNP wheeling in their so-called "big-hitters" from London to tell the recalcitrant Scots that the world would end on May 6th. The people of Scotland and particularly the working class are heartily sick of being patronised by London politicians telling us we're the only country in the world too stupid and too small to govern ourselves. So who is to conduct Labour's review? Not Henry McLeish who sees the winds of change and called for a much more independent Labour party in Scotland, but no the same tired methods of wheeling in Jim Murphy from London to get the jocks in line. Truly, this party have been dumped by the working class and rightfully so.
A parliament designed by Labour's Donald Dewar to prevent an SNP majority has fallen inside 12 years to that very party. 69 seats and a working majority of 4. Whole swathes of Labour heartlands in the Central Belt have switched over to the SNP. LibDem votes in the north came to Alex Salmond as well due to the treacherous Coalition deal done last year in Westminster.
So what of the left? Well the Trotskyist left, split in two, were annihilated by both the BNP and Arthur Scargill's SLP. However classes not parties make revolutions and the vast majority of the working class rejected the ultra-leftists for the broad church that is the SNP. Republican Socialists have been vindicated in calling for an SNP vote as a tactic in which to break the imperialist UK state.
So what next? Alex Salmond has wisely parked the referendum til at least 2014. No doubt he will continue to govern in a populist social-democratic manner like before and try to carry the majority with him. Republican Socialists however should not simply just sit back and tail the SNP. The opening shots for the Union have already been fired with attempts to persuade Cameron to amend the Scotland Bill (a small increase in powers for the devolved government) by forcing an early referendum on the Scots, in the hope that the people will reject Independence. Such a move would possibly get the desired result for the unionists but surely such a move would be seen for what it is and reap a whirlwind of anger later on? The Orange Order have already been out banging the drum for the Union. The Irish community should organise an Irish community for Independence in response and Irish republicans must surely not stand back from this anti-Union movement either. Celtic fans in particular should ignore attempts by the unionist tabloids to patronise them with former Lisbon Lions being wheeled out to bang the same unionist drum! And readers of this fanzine will need no reminding of the roles likely to be played byarch-unionists like Lord Reid and Brian Wilson.
For the next 3 years or so, the SNP will haggle with London over more fiscal autonomy and look at a multi-option referendum. This presents a danger for Alex Salmond though. If, though I doubt it, London does concede powers of Corporation Tax etc. then pursuing the failed Celtic Tiger model tried by Ireland risks losing him large sections of the working class that he has just won over. He must govern as before, to the left of Labour. That's why they were elected. The next five years will be the most crucial inthe SNP's history and possibly in Scotland's 304-year Union with England.
The task for the republican left and communists who have long correctly taken a stageist approach to this question is now to build a United Front and be at the forefront of the Yes campaign. We must remain independent of the main nationalist party. Our goals don't stop with fiscal autonomy or a free state under the Crown. Those are but bus stops along the road to the Socialist Republic.
Suas an Poblachd Shoisealach na h-Alba!
|Posted by talfanzine on April 23, 2011 at 2:42 PM||comments (0)|
The recent 'viable' nail bomb devices discovered in transit to the Celtic manager Neil Lennon and 'high profile Celtic supporters' marks a new departure in the conflict that is lovingly referred to in Scottish sports media circles as the 'Old Firm Divide'. However, this represents only a new departure in terms of tactics rather than overall strategy, because Celtic fans have for years been the victims of a low level terrorist campaign of racist and sectarian attacks against them by an extreme loyalist element that attaches itself to the Rangers Football Club and for which the term 'zero tolerance' applies only to the 'taigs' and tims for whom they hold such irrational hatred.
This latest 'crackdown' on the peddlers ofinternet hate campaigns will be a mostly superficial, public relations driven non-event that will hardly scratch the surface of the real underlying problem of loyalist-inspired 'sectarianism' and anti-Irish/anti-Catholic hatred.
As a lawyer Paul McBride QC has a somewhat blind faith in the ability of the law to provide a solution to this problem. In his interview with the BBC it is interesting that he named everyone - (the clubs, the managers, the players, thepolice, the courts, the politicians) - that is everyone, except those with the power to make the necessary changes - THE FANS. As one of the intended recipients of the nail bombs, Mr McBride is more than most entitled to his opinion, but it is a predictable call for action from someone who makes a living from the law, entirely understandable, but in the opinion of this blogger, also entirely incorrect as long as the proposed solution does not include the source of the problem - the rangers support.
Any 'solution' that does not involve the supporters as its main component is not a solution, it's a smokescreen for a more authoritarian approach by those who run football, government and the law. In other words, the long-awaited 'solution' will be administered by those who refused to acknowledge that the problem existed in the first place. Remember also that this demand for a 'crackdown' by the forces of law and order is an appeal to those very same forces of law and order who 'advised' a media blackout of the nail bomb story. Were it not for the endeavours of Irish journalist Phil MacGiollaBhain we might still be none the wiser.
Had the institutions of football acted years ago to face down the loyalist-fascist bigots that attach themselves to rangers, and called sectarian attacks and racist murders for what they really were, we may not have reached the current situation of bullets and bombs in the post. Indeed lives may well have been saved and the situation defused by such a proactive campaign against bigotry rather than encouraged by a combination of the deliberate misrepresentation of racism as 'sectarianism', political and legal inaction and the deafening silence of the Scottish press. These issues were pointed out by us some years ago when TAL Fanzine initiated Celtic Fans Against Fascism and the Campaign Against Sectarian Attacks. We opined at the time that unless institutionalised anti-Irish racism (aka 'sectarianism') was seriously confronted from the bottom-up the problem would inevitably get bigger... Well, it can't get much bigger than this, can it?
No matter how any of us, as Celtic supporters and the intended victims of the hatred and abuse, feel about the fans of rangers, ultimately this issue can only be addressed and solved by a sea-change within their support. It is finding those in their own fanbase who are prepared to stand up publicly and consistently against racism, fascism and loyalism that will be the hardest task of all, but if we are to be politically consistent we must continue to call for and hope that the 'silent minority' among them will become a vocal and proactive majority.
I am not in favour of the draconian solution of simply locking people up for what they write or what they think...That road leads to the gradual eradication of the civil liberties and human rights of all, including the rights of those who would stand against racism and fascism. Moreover, it allows those in positions of power to continue to peddle the myth - the OSABATO line - that 'One Side's As Bad As The Other', depicting the victims of racism and 'sectarianism' as being in some way the architects of their own misfortune.
A democratic society has to utilise all means at its disposal in an effort to re-educate and rehabilitate those whose societal alienation produces only hate, violence and anti-social behaviour. The present approach of censorship (silence) followed by the lock and key (crackdown) is a short term fix rather than a long term solution. In regard to actual attacks and incitement, obviously there are exceptions, and where someone is actively involved in turning internet fantasies into reality they should be dealt with by the full force of the law.
However, legal solutions have little effect on cultural, religious and political perceptions, which are deep-rooted and ingrained. The real solution lies in finding ways to reach out and/or isolate this alienated section of the rangers support, without pandering to their odious fascistic views.
|Posted by talfanzine on March 4, 2011 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
Anti-Fascist Campaign Launched
Fascist ULTRAS Not Welcome At Celtic
It was brought to the attention of Celtic Fans Against Fascism that there have been increasing numbers of Dinamo Zagreb's hooligan gang - the Bad Blue Boys - making visits to Glasgow and following Celtic in Europe in recent seasons. Much of the information available about the Bad Blue Boys suggests that they are predominantly right-wing in political outlook and have an extreme nationalist and Nazi element among their support.
On at least two separate occasions over the years the BBB have attacked our anti-fascist friends from St Pauli at Celtic's European matches (in Zagreb and Budapest). The attacks were politically motivated. The BBB know St Pauli's anti-fascist reputation and attacked them because of it.
Unfortunately, some misguided Celtic fans have indulged right-wing members of this group and made them welcome at our ground and in our pubs. This season saw a banner raised inside Celtic Park in solidarity with Dinamo fans who are in dispute with their obnoxious right-wing chairman. While we can identify with any fan of any club who is dissatisfied with the way that their club is run, we do not believe that it is in the interests of Celtic fans or Celtic FC for our fans to make any kind of public solidarity with the Bad Blue Boys as long as the BBB is embarrassed by this extreme nationalist and Nazi element. We do not want friendships or anything to do with fascist elements within the BBB, that is any BBB who still have anything to do with fascism, Nazism and extreme nationalism. BBB who have nothing to do with fascism and extreme nationalism are welcome, as are the individual anti-fascist supporters of any club.
This anti-fascist principle applies equally to any ultras group at any other club with a fascist element still prominent in its stands and terraces. Right wingers and fascists are not welcome at Celtic Park.
Celtic Fans Against Fascism want to see a change in the situation at Dinamo Zagreb and other clubs with a problematic fascist element. We offer our support and solidarity to anti-fascists among the BBB. We would welcome dialogue with anti-Nazis at Dinamo. All who oppose racism and fascism are welcome at Celtic Park.
We have decided to launch a campaign among Celtic supporters aimed at educating them as to the political nature of various ultras (the BBB being one example only) and mobilising Celtic fans against fascists and extreme nationalists who may try to attach themselves to our club.
Many groups on the extreme right in Europe will identify themselves as our ‘friends’ with Papal flags and friendly talk about the Irish struggle, don’t be fooled by it. Make sure that you know the politics of any group who would attach themselves to our club.
In each issue of TAL we will present articles that educate and inform our supporters about the politics of extreme right-wing ultras groups and hooligan mobs.
ALL racists and fascists should be booted out of Celtic Park.
NO FRIENDSHIPS WITH FASCISTS!
NAZI ULTRAS F*CK OFF!
|Posted by talfanzine on April 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM||comments (0)|
TAL Forum knocked out by 'suspect device'
It may have come to the notice of our members and supporters that the TAL Forum, as it was, has mysteriously and overnight disappeared (last Thursday in the early hours of the morning). The first reaction, as always, is one of extreme paranoia... have we been hit by a new virus; have some enterprising (but malicious) Scotland's Shame fans managed to hack into our forums to destroy the database and put us offline forever?
The answer of course is something much simpler although the implications are much more complex. Our forums were housed on a separate server by a company based in Singapore. It appears that the company, unknown to us at TAL, has been undergoing both financial and manpower problems in the last few months, due to the pressures placed upon them by the economic collapse and financial meltdown in many countries, including the once thriving economies of the Far East.
That it is only our forums that have been affected by the meltdown is perhaps a lucky break for us rather than a disaster... In Britland and Ireland, despite the obvious disadvantages caused by the world economic crisis, we are, in a relative sense, better prepared to absorb such hardships. One thing that was learned by working class people during the Thatcher years was survival in the most oppressive and economically difficult times.
Looking around the internet and seeing the hardships endured by working class people in other countries - especially in those countries of the former Soviet bloc, whose economies have been pilaged and robbed by a combination of laissez-faire western capitalists and their own home-produced corrupt 'oligarchs' - we can truly be thankful that the worst that we have had to endure at TAL is the loss of our forums.
In the meantime, we have set up a new forum, which is integrated into our website.
Click on FORUMS at the top of this page and join us in debate and discussion.
|Posted by talfanzine on November 3, 2008 at 5:59 PM||comments (0)|
|Posted by talfanzine on May 21, 2008 at 10:40 AM||comments (2)|
|Posted by talfanzine on March 26, 2008 at 11:45 AM||comments (0)|
could be argued that Saturdays clash at The Reichstag is a game Celtic
don't necessarily have to win if they are to complete three in a row
for the first time in more than thirty years, but it is undoubtedly one
that they can't afford to lose.|
Despite being three points off the summit and having played a game more, with two clashes against the Huns still to come at Celtic Park, a draw at the Reichstag wouldn't be the worst result in the world but a win has to be the clear objective. Needless to say a maximum return would be a huge pshycological boost for all in Green and White.
Much will depend on who plays and in what formation, but it would be nice to think that the Ginger one has both a game plan as well as knowing in his own mind what his starting eleven will be for the lunchtime fixture. However it is unlikely he will show his hand between now and then which will keep us all guessing right up until the 12.30pm kick off time.
What isn't open to debate is that Celtic will need to produce the sort of performance and passion that has been missing for much of the season thus far if they are to come away with anything. Only in the three home Champions league victories as well as the final qualifier against Spartak Moscow did Celtic compete at the level which they are expected to do so and which we know they are capable of. The fact that they haven't done so since is a poor reflection on Strachans motivational qualities but thankfully for him (and us) he has an opportunity to redeem himself.
Only time will tell if he does and whether the Championship will remain a realistic aspiration after this weekend.
This entry to the TAL Blog by Holloway Gael.
|Posted by talfanzine on March 26, 2008 at 11:42 AM||comments (0)|