"To be a Ranger is to sense the sacred trust of upholding all that such a name means in this shrine of football. They must be true in their conception of what the Ibrox tradition seeks from them. No true Ranger has ever failed in the tradition set him." - William Struth  

Same City Council, Same Old Story

Written by: General Schomberg
Thursday, 9th January 2014

"Celtic, though, as a football institution, quite rightly remains a symbol of Catholicism. The Celtic strip, as famed and proudly known around the world as it is, still cannot be divorced from one of its cultural parents, which is the Catholic faith."  - Graham Spiers

Back in 2009 I questioned the impartiality of certain politicians at Glasgow City Council pushing an aggressive initiative aimed at reducing the annual number of Loyal Order parades.

Of course accusations of paranoia on my part were the first line of defence for those supporting the thinly-veiled agendas of Councillors James Coleman and Paul Rooney and their sympathetic journalist Gerry Braiden. With that in mind, I'd like to take a look at who has been running the council, past and present and see if I can establish a pattern.

Between 1975 and 2003, ten Lord and Lady Provosts were appointed. All of them were of the Roman Catholic faith. This in a city the last census tells us comprises 31% Roman Catholics. Let's take a look at what mathematicians call "probability". The probability of consecutive events (RC Provosts in this case) is the probability of one event happening (0.31) to the power of the number of consecutive events (10). The answer is 0.0000025 or 1 in 400,000, showing a statistical bias to put it mildly. Four hundred thousand to one. Try getting odds like that at your local Ladbrokes next time you pop in.

That the Scottish media never saw fit to question this strange phenomenon is a mystery in itself. Indeed it took jokes regarding the situation from satirical newspaper columnists like Rikki Brown and Tam Cowan (presumably they found GCC's bigotry funny) to see change. Those in control at City Chambers were in a dilemma - they had been found out -the statistics were an embarrassment. Former Provost Dr. Michael Kelly, himself a Roman Catholic, stated so on national radio.

So what did they do? They appointed as Provost a female of the Jewish faith, Liz Cameron. Why Mrs. Cameron? As a product of the fee-paying Roman Catholic school Notre Dame perhaps she was seen as a safe bet who could break the cycle without upsetting the apple cart. One of Mrs. Cameron's first actions was to sign off a cheque for £600,000 - the Council choosing to use public funds to purchase stained glass windows for the Museum of Religious Life and Art - from her old school, Notre Dame.

Councillor Bob Winter took over from Mrs. Cameron in 2007. A Protestant, the Evening Times once described how Mr. Winter and his four sons "made a pilgrimage (to Seville) to see the team they love go down 3-2 to Porto in a thrilling (UEFA Cup) final". It could be contended that Mr. Winter is yet another safe bet.

It was the appointment in 1999 of Councillor Alex Mosson, who held the position of Lord Provost from then until 2003 that caused the biggest stir. A lifelong Celtic supporter, Mr. Mosson was the inaugural Chairman of The Celtic Trust and remained on the board of same for many years.

Mr. Mosson has four criminal convictions that led to custodial sentences. Two for housebreaking, one for assault and one for housebreaking with menaces (he tied-up and beat-up an elderly lady whose house he was robbing). In essence, he used to beat up and rob pensioners he later purported to represent as Lord Provost of Glasgow.

Mosson once worked in Aberdeen as an insulators labourer when an RNLA charity bottle went missing from a local pub. After the theft, he was promptly barred for life. At the time of his appointment as Lord Provost, otherwise unemployed Mosson lived in a plush Victorian home in Glasgow's west end. It was said that his trade union involvement was farcical; he hadn't worked for twenty-odd years - a full time councillor on the make.

Mosson’s wife (the then Lady Provost) caused uproar when she made an application and received an increase in her dress allowance from £8,000 to £14,000 per annum. She justified this by stating that the people of Glasgow wouldn't want to be embarrassed by their Lady Provost appearing twice in the same outfit, in public on their behalf.

The Mossons could be spotted as "guests of honour" at the Celtic Rally and their photographs were often to be found in The Celtic View, the peroxide Mrs. Mosson accompanying her husband whilst he received or presented awards. The four years of his tenure as Lord Provost cost the people of Glasgow a minimum of £250,000. In his case, crime would appear to pay.

He caused further outrage when in 2005 after it was revealed that he used his taxpayer-funded chauffeur-driven car to attend Celtic Football Club matches, functions and supporters' rallies during his time as Lord Provost. During that period, he attended no Rangers fixtures despite having an open invitation to visit Ibrox. His public engagements, revealed under Freedom of Information legislation, included the following:

"36 Celtic home matches as Lord Provost; (Celtic) away matches at Paisley, Livingston and Liverpool; the testimonial ball, dinner and match held to mark the career of former Celtic player Tom Boyd; supporters' rallies honouring Celtic captain Paul Lambert and former club physio Brian Scott; a Celtic charity event; a Celtic hall of fame dinner; a Celtic board meeting; an event in Ireland dedicated to ex-Celtic player Sean Fallon; a "civic lunch" in 1999 with the chief executive of Celtic; the funeral of former Celtic player Bobby Murdoch; an official council reception and lunch at the Corinthian in Glasgow, prior to the Republic of Ireland's world cup match against Saudi Arabia."

Of course the Lord Provost is supposed to be an impartial public servant who is sensitive to the views of all of our city's residents. Mosson had an open invitation to attend football matches at both Parkhead and Ibrox, but chose only the former. Freedom of Information documents show that he attended no matches at Ibrox, while the small number of Rangers games he did attend involved Celtic as opponents. Of the six Ibrox functions identified from his list of engagements, Mosson failed to attend three of them. For all his Parkhead engagements, the City Daimler was put at Mossons disposal. The taxpayer funded his jaunts.

Mosson was the major dissenting voice behind the council's decision to include the flag of the British Isles at citizenship ceremonies, stating "I know many pubs in the east end where you would be killed for flying a Union Jack". He was subsequently laughed out of the building after a legal eagle tore strips off him.

After leaving office in 2003, he was appointed chair of the Glasgow Marketing Bureau, and promptly awarded a £200,000 contract to an established Glasgow business - The Trophy Centre which, at the time, was owned by a former Celtic Director (formerly owned by James Torbett – the monster at the head of the Celtic Boys Club child abuse scandal).

Finally, you may care to note that Mr. Mosson was part of a group of people responsible for inviting IRA leader Gerry Adams to Glasgow in the 1980's. It would seem his love of Irish Republicanism runs in the family - his son once announced on his Friends Reunited profile that he was "still a Provo".

While the position of Lord Provost (civic head) could be considered little more than that of "figurehead", the financial muscle lies with the Leader of the Council. Then incumbent Stephen Purcell was elected in 2005 by members of the majority party (Labour) and presided over a £2.4 billion budget. Deputy Leader at the time was the aforementioned Councillor James Coleman. Both are lifelong Celtic supporters and regulars at Celtic Park. In a fit of what can only be described as idiocy, Roman Catholic Mr. Purcell once recounted how his schooldays were spent "throwing stones at Protestants". Later, he was forced to resign having admitted to regularly taking cocaine amid allegations of liaising with violent criminals.

Prior to Mr. Purcell's appointment, Labour's Charles Gordon held the position of Leader. A Celtic Park regular, Mr. Gordon attended the same Roman Catholic secondary school (St. Thomas Aquinas) as Mr. Purcell and Alex Mosson. Mr. Gordon declared the following in his Declaration of Interests under "gifts and hospitality":

"Invitation from Celtic Football Club to represent the City and the Council as Leader of the Council".

"Attendance at the UEFA Cup Final in Seville, and associated events from the 20 to 22 May 2003".

"Hospitality at Celtic v Anderlecht Football Match".

Mr. Gordon had succeeded Pat "Lazarus" Lally. Mr. Lally gained his nickname due to his apparent ability to "keep bouncing back" as scandal after scandal littered his career. Among the more embarrassing episodes were suspension from the Labour Party amid Police investigation of his tenure as Chairman of the Council Housing Committee (a report was sent to the Procurator Fiscal attesting he had ensured all the good Council houses in Simshill went to his family and friends) and similar suspension following the theft of a video recorder from Castlemilk Labour Club.

By now it may not surprise you to hear that Mr. Lally was a Celtic season-ticket holder who advocated a street party in Glasgow, should Celtic have won the UEFA Cup in 2003.

Looking again at the question of the impartiality of public servants in relation to Loyal Order parades, allow me to remind you of the then-members of the “impartial” publicly-funded "Public Processions Committee" set up by Glasgow City Council.

Chaired by the aforementioned Celtic supporter James Coleman (See Note 3), the committee comprises six further members.

The other members of the committee:

  • Councillor James Scanlon (Labour, Ward 8, Southside Central) a Roman Catholic and a regular at Celtic Park.
  • Councillor Tom McKeown (Labour, Ward 19, Shettleston) a Roman Catholic and a Celtic supporter.
  • Councillor James Dornan (Scottish National Party, Ward 7, Langside) a Roman Catholic and a Celtic supporter (See Note 1). (Would it be fair to state an SNP member may take a dim view of a Loyalist/Pro Union organisation?).
  • Councillor John McKenzie (Labour, Ward 1, Linn) was Chairman of the Pat Anderson Glenacre Celtic Supporters Club.
  • Councillor Catherine McMaster (Labour, Ward 21, North East) a Roman Catholic and member of the Scottish Catholic Historical Association.
  • Councillor James Todd (Labour, Ward 17, Springburn) a Roman Catholic and a Celtic supporter (See Note 2).

It has been long-established that the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics is none too enamoured by Protestantism. The link between Roman Catholicism, Irish Republicanism and Celtic Football Club is inextricable. Glasgow City Council's “impartial” Public Processions Committee comprised entirely Roman Catholics and/or Celtic supporters. It also included a member whose Scottish Nationalist politics make it highly unlikely that he'd look upon the pro-Union Loyal Orders favourably. Would it be fair to say their impartiality should have been subject to scrutiny?

Currently Glasgow City Council are involved in allegations of favouritism resulting in financial impropriety towards what many Council employees describe as their ‘works team’ – Celtic Football Club.

Nobody should be surprised.

Note 1. Mr. Dornan's name may be familiar to you - he had to step down as SNP candidate for Springburn after it was revealed he had breached charities legislation by failing to declare he is an undischarged bankrupt.

Note 2. Mr. Todd's name may be another that is familiar to you. In 2005 it was revealed "he works for a private hire taxi firm owned by the notorious McGovern crime clan". Glasgow City Council had awarded the firm a lucrative "school run" contract.

Note 3. In 2007 a head mistress at a Roman Catholic school, backed by the Roman Catholic Church, complained bitterly regards Glasgow Council-funded taxis emblazoned with advertising for lap-dancing bars picking up school children. On Sunday 30th August 2009 the Sunday Herald reported that Deputy Leader James Coleman had announced that GCC would no longer utilise the services of any licensed cab advertising such establishments. Some claim that Councillor Coleman was bowing to pressure from his masters.


by The Ref
by Admin


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