Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Glasgow post – old firm drama: Linklater, Bruce and Bell


As promised, here is the round up of the Old Firm match following the opinion in the Times of London on Holy Saturday.  Magnus Linklater always waxes lyrically, and being part of the establishment, tries to keep on certain guest lists.  Linklater discussed sectarianism in Scotland at length in his article:

"Religious hatred lives on - not in church but at football".

Please note, there is a pay wall to this article and you may have to find other ways of getting it.  Please also note that Obreption bought the paper for a huge sum in Swiss Francs at a railway station in Chur (GR).

On Sunday Steve Bruce posted an article on the Guardian “comment is free” website entitled "Scottish sectarianism?  Let's lay this myth to rest". (  We don’t know if this article was published on Sunday in the Observer/Sunday Guardian (it’s the same paper, unlike the Sunday Mail which is really the Sunday Record and the Mail on Sunday, which is really the Daily Mail on Sunday).

We’ve mentioned Steve Bruce before and being a real academic, Bruce always backs up his comments with numbers taken from reliable sources, unlike some of Professor Haldane’s ‘sources’.  As usual Steve Bruce is thought provoking and uses clear language, much to the annoyance of some religious broadcasters and some eminent theologians from Oxford, Cambridge, London and Tuebingen! 

On Tuesday, John Bell did his "Thought for the Day" slot (BBC Radio 4) about Glasgow, and started with an old joke about a Protestant giving the ‘last rites’ to a Catholic.  If you don’t know the story, you can contact me, but be careful in case you leave an electronic trail and get arrested.   One of my previous posts involved a huge bit of ecumenical syncretism with my “hail baaji, full of cumin”.  We’re not re-tweeting this one as it could be viewed in bad taste, but many people in South-east Asia, China and Japan cope with syncretism quite well. 

John Bell is an interesting character from the Iona Community (  Bearing in mind that the Iona Community was promoted by George MacLeod (Lord MacLeod of Fuinary) on giving work to many unemployed people in Glasgow during the slump, the community has an interesting take on social justice as well as Christianity - though it has a tinge of self-righteousness when viewed by some other Protestant churches! 
I could make a bad joke about Hallow Een, but I’m trying to be on good behaviour for both the Royal wedding and the Second Coming of John Paul 2 on his first step to being made a saint (check out sainthood in a previous post). 

Thought for the Day: John Bell 26/4/2011-
ps:  A beautiful example of syncretism in action was made by Rev. Angela Tilby, who is a tutor at Cambridge.  If her ordinands at Westcott House appreciate people living in harmony, her tribute to Sathya Sai Baba was both moving and explanatory.  Sure the guru amassed a huge fortune, but he wasn't alone in this.  He built hospitals and communities and some of his devotees actually read the Gospels.  Angela quoted one of them reading from St John.  I have only on two occasions put an entry on the Platitude of the Day blog, and those two know who they are!  Well done Angela and you are up there with the Bishop of Oxford, and shows that you understand the 21st century.   

Thought for the Day: Angela Tilby 28/4/2011

The Scottish Government should encourage Angela to do some outreach work in Glasgow.  It would certainly be better than some of the characters mentioned in Magnus Linklater's column. 

pps: As we prepare for the Royal Wedding, we are having to hold over our tribute to Poly Styrene and Phoebe Snow.  I hope readers will understand.  Samira Ahmed on Channel 4 has done some work on Poly Styrene and I was going to add some input on the contribution of Dame Ethyl Benzene to the production of Poly Styrene.  (This was a significant cash cow for the Huntsman group in America and could in fact fund some of the GOP!)

Although we have many experts in sports, we are not great experts in racing.  Our knowledge of horses is limited to colts during Palm Sunday and we refer anyone who lost a packet at the 3:40 at Ascot on 'Theology' to take their complaint to the FSA, who will no doubt put it in an appropriate place.  We are similarly not offering any odds on or off the field regarding Royal Wedding and its chances at the races.  We do hope, however, that you enjoy the service and wish William and Catherine all the best when they marry tomorrow.

We also enjoin the Liberal Democrats to refrain from canvassing in the Abbey, St Margaret's and in street parties throughout the UK.  Obreption has spies everywhere.


  1. Is this definitely going to be the last word on Glasgow? I'm not sure if your blog has been very helpful in providing a balanced view to the comments, but I think you might be right in mentioning Steve Bruce.

  2. There was an interesting piece in The Scotsman on Friday by Michael Fry regarding the Act of Settlement and the established churches in both England and Scotland. Would it be a good idea for Rangers FC to rename their stadium at Ibrox the Blessed JP2 stadium? In so doing and in the spirit of brotherly love, could Celtic FC rename their stadium John Knox Memorial stadium?