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The following is an interview with Dr Stuart Waiton of Abertay University, probably Scotland's foremost free-speech campaigner. Here he gives his views on how increased censorship and authoritarianism is affecting Rangers, Celtic and Scottish football fans. He also touches on wider society.

 

His book, 'Snobs Law – Criminalising Football Fans in and Age of Intolerance' can be purchased here and I thoroughly recommend it. Thanks to Dr Waiton for his time.

 

http://www.therangersstandard.co.uk/index.php/articles/rfc-politics/310-dr-waiton-on-rangers-free-speech-and-sectarianism

 

It's an excellent read (the Spiers part especially), very well done to John.

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The most interesting statement he makes is that FAC want to be able to sing their songs but would deny others i.e.Rangers supporters the right to sing theirs. What kind of society would that lead to do you think ?

He's spot on about McConnell starting all this as a means of criminalising Rangers supporters for just about anything whilst ignoring anything by Celtic supporters. I believe this largely contributed to McConnell losing Labour power at Holyrood and letting in the SNP.

However I do believe Salmond did try to even things up by not restricting this act to Rangers but to all football supporters which is why there is so much opposition now as that wasn't McConnell's original intention.I actually don't think the SNP government were the real anti-rangers villains but have now got themselves one hell of a problem in what to do now with it because they should have ditched it when they got into power as there were already sufficient laws to deal with this as many legal experts pointed out

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A very poor interview - either the editing was crass or this guy really is an idiot.

 

If you're going to play to the gallery, don't try to hide behind a veneer of academic respectability and at least be up front about your larger agenda.

 

By far, the worst article I've read on TRS.

 

There's a great deal I agree with Dr Waiton about. I wouldn't say that people should be allowed to say whatever they like, there are some thing which are unacceptable. However, I don't believe that custodial sentences for words should be possible.

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Maybe it's fine on mobile devices, but the large text throughout made it almost like a script from "dummies law" as opposed to "snobs law".

 

Have to agree with some of his comments though because he does make a few good points.

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This is true.

"How much is class a factor in this crackdown on football fans?

 

Dr Waiton: It is not a direct factor in some respect i.e. being offensive can lead to anyone being arrested on Twitter etc. But it is a factor, in that football fans who are being targeted specifically in the new law and generally in terms of the obsession with campaigns to kick racism, sectarianism, wife beating, anti-semitism etc etc out of football. The modern liberal elite hate football fans who they often casually insult as knuckle-dragging bigots. This of course reflects their prejudices far more than it does the outlook if fans. This couples up with an old conservative fear of the ‘mob’ and loathing of the ‘unwashed’. Taken together we have a very dangerous hate-filled dynamic of regulation and control being targeted at the white working class in Scotland and indeed across the UK."

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If only!

 

While I wouldn't go so far as to describe football fans as 'knuckle-draggers' - I rarely shit on my own doorstep, after all - pretending that of all the mass participation/attended pursuits in Scotland, football fans are not and have not been the most embarrassing, anti-social and loutish groups is just self-delusion. Rangers, Celtic, Scotland, Aberdeen, you name it: it's only a difference in scale, rather than ignorance.

 

Manchester was the final straw for me - a mass demonstration of why Scottish people shouldn't be allowed out on their own. I didn't see any rioting, the media coverage was a joke but as I carefully picked my way through great torrents of pish I did wonder why people put up with such behaviour...well, times have changed, they now don't and while people can convince themselves all they like that it is liberal elites and snobs and an 19th century fear of the mob, I grew up at the top of a damp tenement and feel the same way.

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Well said Andy.

Pandora's box is well and truly open. The GB/FAC can protest all they like, but they will be dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming as will we. TBB is gone and won't be back.

Our lawmakers and enforcement agencies are slowly accumulating all the tools they deem that they need and will have no intention of giving them up.

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Well said Andy.

Pandora's box is well and truly open. The GB/FAC can protest all they like, but they will be dragged into the 21st century kicking and screaming as will we. TBB is gone and won't be back.

Our lawmakers and enforcement agencies are slowly accumulating all the tools they deem that they need and will have no intention of giving them up.

 

Still looks like a sledgehammer, no an Abrams tank, to crack a walnut when you already have a perfectly effective nutcracker at hand.

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