Phil Mac Giolla Bhain thinks the anti sectarian legislation is wrongly pitched. Its not sectarianism needs addressing so much as rascism:
This law which purports to put manners on Planet Fitba is an object lesson in what happens when politicians get panicked in to doing something about a problem they had previously been deliberately ignoring.
After Jack McConnell’s well-meaning anti-sectarianism effort the incoming SNP government decided it wasn’t a priority.
The SNP position, intimated in many private briefings, was that droning on about sectarianism was “running Scotland down.”
Journalists were called out on their lack of patriotism.
One of the many ironies of this situation is that in “doing something about the problem” the SNP government are ignoring the real issue in Scotland.
Of course there is a problem in Scotland of anti-Catholic hatred, but it cannot be understood without also factoring in anti-Irish racism.
They are intertwined because of the history of large scale Irish immigration in Scotland at the height of the British Empire when Ireland was very much a colonial possession of the London Imperium.
Occupational parity was achieved by Catholics of Irish descent in Glasgow in 2001, in New York the same social progress was reached in 1901.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty