12 October 2012

Return of the Useful Idiot

by Andy McKellar | CRO Deputy Editor

After a brief and most welcome break from his ill-informed and inaccurate ramblings, the Rangers support were again treated to another blog entry from Channel 4’s Alex Thomson earlier today. He no longer has the financial disaster or moral furore that surrounded the old company to enjoyably and contently report on, so he has set about attacking the loyal fans and supporters of our great Club.


Thomson first entered the limelight when he abandoned his normal forte of war correspondence to enter the rather unique world of Scottish football. There was admittedly a rather large story brewing at Ibrox at the time and his involvement was perhaps understandable to some extent, at least initially.

Since then though it has become abundantly clear that Alex has no intention of reporting objectively or accurately on the numerous points of discussion at Rangers or within Scottish football. He has of course also written the foreword to ‘Downfall’, a book scribbled by Donegal-based Rangers-hater Phil Mac Giolla Bhain, or whatever he is calling himself these days. His endorsement of this book, or ‘the message’ as he likes to call it, certainly raised a few eyebrows but that isn’t to say that we were completely surprised by it.

If you have been unfortunate enough to read his latest article, “Threats and silence: the intimidation by Rangers fans”, then you would be forgiven for thinking that it was penned by good old Phil himself. Thomson does refrain from using some of the more vitriolic language that many anti-Rangers ranters utilise (for once) however his piece is still filled with more than enough digs and remarks against our support for it to be worthy of such bloggers.
The Channel 4 journalist, and I use the term loosely, cites several examples of lawyers, football officials, book publishers, booksellers, broadcasters and newspapers as being the victims of intimidation and threats from Rangers supporters. There is though a distinct lack of quotes or names involved in his various anecdotes and so you may be excused for questioning the genuineness of such vague reporting.

Thomson of course is no stranger to receiving threats himself after reporting an incident to the police, quoting word for word a tweet sent from a parody Twitter account that was set-up by a Celtic supporter to mock David Leggatt, who I’m sure many of you will be familiar with. His claim was reported as being ‘laughable’ but of course Alex has persistently told us to ‘watch this space’. Needless to say we're still watching (and waiting).
For the record I do not want to be seen as denying that there is a rather undesirable element to the Rangers support which we would perhaps be better without, however I’m sure the same can be said for many groups of fans in just about any country where football is prominent. Their actions do little to help the clubs they support or the fellow fans who consequently become guilty by association but we should not allow the extreme minority to act as representatives in such situations. It would also be wrong to ignore the fact that many threats from these keyboard warriors are completely and utterly hollow. Thomson though doesn’t mention that.

You only have to look at the hatred and bile that has been shown towards Rangers and its fans in recent months to realise the injustice and inaccuracy in singling out only one set of supporters. Alex makes reference to speaking the ‘truth’ at the very end of his latest article but he does seem to regularly ignore the ‘whole truth’ in his coverage of Scottish football.

Thomson has also refused to investigate or report upon the actions of the SFA and SPL in their attempts to resolve the Rangers’ situation, not to mention the conflict of interest connected at Harper MacLeod. Furthermore, when a club chairman is allowed to come out and call the governing bodies ‘corrupt’ without any comeback or consequences then you know there is a story waiting to be written. Sadly, I suspect it will go untold, at least by Thomson.

The Channel 4 reporter seems to be nothing more than another useful idiot in the media who seems intent on spreading the nonsense created by less credible bloggers and Rangers-haters. Of course credibility is something which is hastily diminishing for Thomson himself after being shown to be a liar in relation to his crass, tasteless joke involving the Ibrox disaster memorial statue, something which he was later forced to apologise for.

Unfortunately it seems that we will be lumbered with Alex Thomson for a while yet as his focus will no doubt turn to whatever possibly negative Rangers story that he is told to report on by his puppet-masters (read: the person who buys his lunch on the day), whoever they may be. That will unfortunately mean more ‘TOMOBLOG’ entries which attack and vilify our support and football club but thankfully we now have our own outlets such as here at CRO, over at The Rangers Standard, and various other fans' websites from which we can challenge such views.

Rangers FC has been kicked from pillar to post in recent months and had to fend off attacks from all and sundry. We are now very much back on our feet and embarking on the early steps of our road to recovery. It has been refreshing to witness Charles Green provide a staunch defence of the Club in recent weeks and long may it continue. There will however always be those who wish to tarnish our name and spread propaganda. Thomson is just one of the latest.

Andy is the newly minted Deputy Editor of the CRO. He can be found on Twitter at @AMCKEL or via email: amckel@thecoplandroad.org