Monday, 16 September 2013

Ghost of The Billy Boy

The 1930’s were politically polarising both internationally and domestically. The looming war between Fascism and Communism darkened the horizon, with many liberals dashing here and there wondering which fence to sit on to get the best view as they hoped both these titans would destroy each other. Not that Liberals could accurately be described as sitting in the middle. Herr Hitler was feted, courted and ultimately appeased.
Wow. That turned out well, didn’t it? But many liberals had been sincere in their belief that to tell the truth about Herr Hitler or, worse, to tell the truth to Herr Hitler, would only make matters worse. Best to turn a blind eye to his criminal treatment of the Jews while they were made to scrub pavements with toothbrushes in German streets at gun point. Liberals really do know how to be diplomatic, if not honourable .
Around the same time, Mr Fullerton was being feted, courted and appeased in Glasgow. He and his Fascist thugs were a useful bulwark against uppity workers who were prone to “communism” and such like. The original Billy Boy, of whom tens of thousands sang praises for decades after his infamy, was sponsored by the UK’s Fascists, the Blackshirts, who in turn supported Herr Hitler. The thuggish violence of the Billy Boys, celebrated as much as it was until recently, was ultimately unsuccessful in cowing Glasgow’s inherently progressive working class.
The celebrants, the communicants, of this unholy and perverse violence directed against workers and especially workers of Irish heritage were a sub section of Scottish Protestants, many of whom supported Rangers Football Club. Many supporters of that club, including my own grandfather, were not fascists or anti anything. Hence my employment of the term “sub section”.
Many members of this sub section of the Rangers support try very hard to pretend they represent all Rangers supporters. They don’t. But they feel important while passing themselves off as spokesmen. I know many Rangers fans. Some are life-long friends. The likes of The Rangers Standard does not speak for them. I know socialists who are Rangers supporters who cringe at the self-important, self-appointed nonentities who pompously proclaim the truth according to Rangers.
Credit where credit is due. Rangers fans no longer sing the racist and incendiary hymn to murder that The Billy Boy song is with the same freedom as before. It’s churlish not to applaud that, though we know this appalling anthem is still whispered some places and yelled out others. Progress comes dripping slow sometimes.
So slow in fact that even in the year 2013 a respected professional journalist working for the BBC no less can be made to hear the haunting footsteps of the Billy Boy. The ghoulish Billy Bear, with one foot firmly planted in 1930s Fascist landscape and the other planted firmly in its own mouth, is foaming hatred, raging against the truth, and railing against those who dare speak it.
Even now, in the year 2013, there are liberals, don’t you know, in positions of influence, who’d rather do anything than stand up to Herr Billy and say, we will not be intimidated. Freedom of speech will be defended.
So, who’s running the BBC? Neville Chamberlain?

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