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The Hun finally comes on board

October 19, 2007

Rangers against Fascism – who’d a thunk it?

I’ve been criticised on this blog before for betraying a pro-republican bias and portraying Rangers football supporters as a bunch on inbred fascists.

I challenged the reader to try Googling the phrases “Celtic anti-fascist“, and “Rangers anti-fascist“. The result: 21 500 hits for the former, including the excellent anti-fascist fan site, Tiocfaidh Ar La. At the time, there were no results for Rangers (except for anti-fascist sites reporting on Ranger’s fans activities), because, I suppose, the idea was a contradiction in terms. By being anti-fascist they’d be alienating all their support.

Well, that’s changed. There’s now a Ranger’s anti-fascist site.

“This site has been set up in response to ‘Celtic Fans against fascism’ and a number of other sites that have been slandering Rangers fans, falsely accusing us of being racists, fascists and nazis! We support celtic fc and their fans in any effort to tackle bigotry, racism and sectarianism, but we will not accept them lying about our club to do so! Like most football clubs we have problems with a minority of fans, as do celtic, but the kind of propaganda and defamation levelled at Rangers fans, Unionists and Loyalists only serves to worsen divisions and create resentment and hostility.”

It’s a start, I suppose, though they still appear to be jingoistically pro-British. Still, I hope the trend continues.

OK, background for anyone reading this who isn’t from Scotland: there are two major premier league teams in Glasgow, Rangers and Celtic. They dominate Scottish football, and are collectively known as the Old Firm.

Celtic was founded in 1888 as a football club for Irish Catholic immigrants, based on the success of a similar club founded a few years earlier in Edinburgh, Hiberian (that’s the team that the characters in Trainspotting support).

Catholics faced discrimination in Scotland until quite recently, and Celtic was a football club, a social network, and a political force against discrimination. While it still has strong links to Irish republicanism, it is broadly considered to be a progressive force, and has a good reputation for anti-racism and support for national liberation struggles (There are some scary Celtic pubs in the East End of Glasgow full of hard men, with walls covered in flags from Cuba, Catalonia, Palestine, Basque separatists and more).

Celtic is also the natural home for a wide range of political movements, from Antifa to the Republican Communist Network. And it is unusual to find a trade unionist who is not a Celtic supporter.

Of course there is also a dark side, of plastic Paddies and IRA supporting thugs, but broadly the team has a good reputation.

Rangers, on the other hand….

Rangers are the Protestant and unionist club. They fetishise the British Empire, and see themselves as British rather Scottish (just as many Celts see them themselves as Irish, it has to be said – when are we going to get a team that sees itself as Scottish?).

Rangers is the natural home for a wide range of political movements, including the British National Party and some extremely dubious Loyalist groups.

Rangers-supporting Orange bastards still march through Catholic areas in an attempt to intimidate people, but of course that’s just culture now. These bastards used to march passed my house all summer, whistling on their little flutes, pissing in the streets and generally making a xenophobic nuisance of themselves.

While I am not particularly a football fan, I am anti-Britain and anti-fascist, so you can imagine where my sympathies lie.

Of course, you can’t generalise about fans: there are some real pricks who support Celtic, and some sound rangers fans.

But….

Football is political in Europe, and there are fraternal links between clubs with a similar political outlook, such as the close relationship between Celtic and the Hamburg team St Pauli, aka The Anarchists, favourite of both The Sisters of Mercy and Einsturzende Neubauten.

Rangers, of course, has links with rather more dubious clubs, such as St Germaine, Red Star Belgrade (favourite of Serb war criminals) and Real Madrid, which was the favourite of the fascist dictator Franco.

Rangers symbolises everything I like least about Scotland (and the Britain it identifies with), and I have always felt it needs to be defeated: on the football pitch (preferably by Celtic or Hibs), on the streets, and in the battle of ideas.

For some political football merchandise, check out Philosophy Football.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Exposing Lies permalink
    September 1, 2008 12:13 pm

    ‘Rangers, of course, has links with rather more dubious clubs, such as St Germaine, Red Star Belgrade (favourite of Serb war criminals) and Real Madrid, which was the favourite of the fascist dictator Franco’

    Care to back these claims up with hard evidence?

    This is the kinda thing that makes me laugh about the green and grey hooped monkies. This blog is littered with lies, lies and more lies. Tell a lie often enough and it becomes the truth eh timmy?

    Firstly, the BNP are not welcome at Ibrox and never have been. I have been a Rangers supporter all of my life and have never met one BNP member or voter.

    And secondly, Rangers supporters have no links with any of the clubs mentioned unless of course we are talking about individual preferences.

    Like I said, let’s some evidence to back up your lies, I mean claims.

  2. beaultattak permalink
    January 3, 2009 4:01 pm

    ssarxtnuzacyvrqhwell, hi admin adn people nice forum indeed. how’s life? hope it’s introduce branch ;)

  3. January 4, 2009 4:24 pm

    So THIS is why my ears were burning! Interesting reading, if a little simplified and generalized. But thanks for the support, the so-called ‘celtic fans against fascism’ and TALfanzine not to mention a huge number of ‘anitfascist’ celtic supporters seemed surprisingly unwilling to help me combat racism amongst Rangers, not that I’m suggesting for a second they actually want Rangers to be Fascist or racist! Anyway I’d like to remind you that antifascism is nothing new at Rangers, or indeed with ‘Orange bastards’. In fact if your definition of an antifascist is a Communist then the UVF qualify as their political wing are Marxist. However the vast majority believe in Democracy, hence the DUP. Incidentally the BNP have NEVER stood for election in Ulster so please don’t attempt to tie that into Loyalism. Furthermore they have no presence at Ibrox, or at least no greater presence than at Parkhead. One of the leading BNP members in the West of Scotland is a lifelong Celtic fan, just have a quick look through Stormfront you can’t miss this eejit! And yes no doubt there are probably quite a few ‘huns’ there too. However that should not be an excuse to generalise every Rangers fan, just like I wouldn’t dream of saying all Celtic fans were terrorists or paedophiles for example. And if I did would it help or change anything?
    The reason the RAF site was started was because a lot of young Protestants / Rangers fans think they have to hate Catholics. Part of this is doubtless because of prejudice and bigotry in Scottish society as you say, but perhaps part of the reason is because we hear that Rangers are bigots day in day out, and if you say something enough people can be impressionable and believe it. So youngsters grow up thinking they should hate the ‘Tims’ or the ‘Huns’, and pass that buck to the next generation. I can’t think of any positive aspect of Loyalism or Republicanism except for a few politicans who are very rich on the back of it, and at the other end of the scale are the innocent victims murdered. Often by their ‘own side’.
    As for the remark about a ‘Scottish team’ well there’s Partick Thistle for a start, and many others. Again though they have a ‘Sectarianism’ all of their own with their Nationalist politics, and some might even say a unique form of bigotry in their ‘fuck the Queen and fuck the Pope’ songs. Maybe its time football clubs were not associated with national, religious or political identities and were once again just sports clubs, there to entertain the population on their days off work and provide a light entertainment for their fans, albeit one more important than life itself.
    Most of all though I hope we can learn from the past. Its time to realise and admit Glasgow has enough problems with a Catholic team and a Protestant team. We don’t need a Communist/ Fascist division, or a racial divide, or an Israeli/ Arab/ Jewish/ Muslim divide in Glasgow!

  4. Hans permalink
    January 29, 2009 11:32 am

    “Fuck the queen and fuck the pope”. All this sectarian bullshit is really pissing me off. One more reason to support the only team in glasgow, Partick Thistle. ;)

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