Sorry about the last thread, I got it wrong
Ok read this and tell me who you think wrote it.
It was the game of zero tolerance against sectarianism, when police snatch squads would target troublemakers at Ibrox in the aftermath of the bomb sent to Neil Lennon, the Celtic manager.
A day when Rangers and Celtic would stand united against any form of bigotry or intolerance and instruct their supporters to focus on the football. Enough was, finally, enough.
So what did Rangers do? They allowed a small Union Jack flag to be placed in every seat of a home supporter.
There were 40,000 of these flags, supplied by the Rangers Supporters Assembly, and every one approved by the club hierarchy.
I rang Rangers yesterday to ask why, exactly? The Union Jack is not an official symbol of Rangers FC. It is not part of the club badge, not on the shirt. It is not to be found on any page of the Rangers website.
A shirty spokesman, dismissing the inquiry as a nonsense, said that it was the flag of his country and the British Isles. But there are dozens of British clubs and none of the others ever hand out Union Jacks.
If Rangers wanted to give the team a show of support, why not simply hand out regular club flags and scarves?
Why endorse a provocative symbol of tribalism, on the very day when both clubs were meant to be going out of their way to calm their fans?
The spokesman could not wait to get off the phone, although, before he did so, he pointed out that Rangers had no intention of complaining about the tricolours flown by the Celtic supporters. As if that made everything all right.
Apologists will say that the Union Jack is only a flag, a common one, and not an incitement to send parcel bombs to football managers. But it has nothing whatsoever to do with football.
In the context of the Old Firm, it has been hijacked as a sign of lasting enmity, of division, entrenching the idea that one club, for now and evermore, will represent the Protestant sector of Glasgow and the other the Catholic.
One club handing out Union Jacks cannot possibly take us any closer to the day, however far away it may be, when Rangers against Celtic becomes a “normal” sporting rivalry, defined by geography, not historical or religious baggage.
A day when the Old Firm becomes like Red against Blue, City against United, Milan against Inter, rather than the poisonous stirring of an ancient religious divide.
The bomb intended for Lennon has focused attention on the murderous imbeciles, but there will always be extremists. The battle is surely more importantly won over the centre ground, the reasonable majority.
This is the job of driving sense into the “90-minute bigots” as they were described in 2005 by Lawrence Macintyre, the head of safety for Rangers at the time, when he talked of fans with Catholic friends and workmates who became filled with hatred on a Saturday afternoon at Ibrox.
“If we can get the person that doesn’t mean it then we’ll isolate the real racists and real bigots in numbers that are manageable to deal with,” he said.
Does anyone seriously believe that the best means of education is for Rangers to hand out Union Jacks?
To make such a point to the club yesterday was to be brushed off like an idiot. But then I met the same dismissiveness when I went to my only Old Firm derby at Ibrox a few years ago and expressed amazement that a giant Union Jack was being waved in the centre circle before kick-off.
It seemed bizarre then and, given the tensions around Lennon, the ritual seemed even more extraordinary on Sunday.
There seems to be an acceptance that these two clubs will always represent a sectarian divide, and the best that can be done is to contain the worst violence and the worst chanting rather than to eradicate the problem altogether.
But it has to be asked whether such an approach will ever make sufficient progress. Many well-intentioned campaigns and initiatives have been launched in recent years, only to founder.
The charity Nil by Mouth was established after the 1995 murder of a young Celtic fan, Sense Over Sectarianism, a joint-initiative, was launched in 2001, and Jack McConnell, then the First Minister, brought together a summit in 2005 that led to tougher legislation. Alex Salmond, the First Minister says the anti-sectarian laws will be toughened further in the coming months.
We can add the Pride over Prejudice campaign launched by Rangers, Bhoys against Bigotry by Celtic and Bigger than Bigotry. No doubt there are others.
The treatment of Lennon, the victim of a street attack in Glasgow in the past as well as having the threat made on his life, suggests that this problem is no closer to being resolved and that the clubs have to take a stronger lead. Condemning bombers is the easy part.
Rangers will insist that they do plenty, but that has not been the impression given in the past 48 hours, on or off the record.
They should pay more attention to their manager, the wise Walter Smith, who talked last week of how the sectarian problem had been tolerated for too long, and his relief that he was retiring. “To be quite honest with you, I’m quite glad to be getting out of it,” Smith said, which was a terribly sad admission from a man steeped in Rangers since he was a lad.
So that is one manager driven away and another who might have been killed. And a stupid club who think there is nothing odd, amid all this trouble, in handing out 40,000 Union Jacks.