Anti-Catholic bigotry is still in steep decline regardless of last Saturday’s riots

There’s a great deal I agree with, strongly, in this piece by James Foley. There were repeated incidents of horrific abuse of a sectarian nature. I was horrified and disgusted but it’s not ‘Scotland’s Real Shame‘ any more.

I write as the grandson of a ‘Rangers man‘ but also of a father who knowing and working with Catholics disavowed sectarianism in disgust at what he saw and as someone who has donated to a Green Brigade charitable initiative which built sports facilities in Palestine.

I write also as someone old enough to be taught only British Imperial history at school but who later learned by himself of its horrors from, India to Ireland.

But, I write now in 2021 as someone who has also read Tom Devine and studied sectarian conflict in other places such as the Balkans.

In the mid-19th Century, the Irish born population of Scotland doubled in a flood of around 100 000 people. By international comparisons, it was accepted relatively peacefully. There was no civil war, there was no ethnic cleansing, there were no forced repatriations, of the kind we have seen in Europe even in the second half of the 20th Century. There was violence, there was economic exploitation and appalling housing conditions but few murders and no starvation.

Times were bad, really bad, but could have been so much worse and Scotland has little reason be ashamed now of this past. I’m far more ashamed of the role our soldiers have played enforcing the rule of Empire.

Today, as Devine points out, it is largely over. There is no systematic discrimination against Catholics in any of our institutions. Catholics on average are better educationally qualified and as well-paid as any other than perhaps Hindus.

I share Foley’s disgust at last Saturday’s riots but they should be kept in perspective.

5 thoughts on “Anti-Catholic bigotry is still in steep decline regardless of last Saturday’s riots

  1. I concur it is no longer as pernicious as it once was
    When 64 yrs ago Walking over 3 miles for my 1st day at a catholic primary school and distinctly remember being called a little Feinan b***ard and spat upon
    And going on well on for a further 30 odds years,even in the development of my successful business
    But slowly but surely watched anti catholic prejudice diminish greatly
    However in particularly in poorer deprived areas of West Scotland the embers of hatred are still hot and smouldering
    Something the Better together and Unionist higher echelons are only too well aware,standing ready with a jerry can
    Of petrol too hand too many a willing volunteer to throw upon the glowing embers
    Such is often encouraged by subliminal
    Messaging and signals all in a way that the finger of blame never points in their direction of the incitors
    Oh i assure you I know my Foes

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Brit state would have it otherwise and will if they can. That’s the whole problem now, it’s about control and divide and rule. It’s about undermining he SNPs’ integrity at Holyrood. Let’s just hope the Brit state stops there, I fear they will not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is mainly in Glasgow. Around ‘sporting’ clubs. The Orange Walks should be banned. They are in most parts of Scotland. Racist, bigoted, misogynist. Unequal and unfair blackballing people. There is no need for secret societies. They are dying out. Young folk have no time for it. Brainwashed from the cradle to the grave. Holding Scotland back. Why people persist with it is a mystery. There was peace and quiet for a while. Just ignorance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gordon
      I fully understand your desire to ban Orange Walks
      But such would set a precedent and a highly dangerous one
      Despite all the abuse as a Catholic I was subjected too in my younger days,even having to run for my very life on a good few occasions
      The very last thing I will support is a ban
      The Orange order like it or not are part of our history and culture and as such proponents of it surely are allowed to celebrate their roots and beliefs
      But with strong caveats that it shall be undertaken with honour,dignity and without any offence in a controlled and civilised manner
      After all the they do have some cracking music and indeed tis a pleasure to observe and listen to as a well organised
      Orange parade as it passes by
      Let supposed oppossing tribes share and enjoy each others cultures in a orderly,civilised and respectful mindful manner
      Those who cannot will never be afforded the opportunity to display such
      By such the need for secrecy becomes void

      Like

  4. Hear! Hear!

    Sectarianism is appalling, but, it is not as bad as it was in the 1950/60s. The ‘perfectionists’ will, of course, dismiss this as complacency. Of course any incident of sectarian discrimination is wrong, and, if we are present then we should act in some way.

    Liked by 1 person

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