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By Jason Michael
When the unionist outriders of Scotland are out of ideas they invariably return to the same vomit – religion. Well hasn’t Steve run clean out of ideas and gone for the backup, stirring up all religious tensions because Britain is more precious than peace.
Even if only for reasons of mental hygiene, writers like the Daily Mail’s Stephen Daisley should be avoided like the plague. The man is an incorrigible bam. Evading his crap has nothing to do with him being a diehard unionist; most fanatical yoon hacks make for some pretty entertaining reading. No, the reason that Daisley is to be treated like the literary equivalent of an irate skunk is that he – as his employment at the Mail should suggest – has absolutely no scruples. As an extremist true believer in the glories of the Union he is prepared and willing to use any and all weapons at his disposal to forge that ever illusive positive case for Britain.
Usually this blog is quite content to let him be. Most of his readers can see through is ideologically driven nonsense. But every so often he crosses the line; picking up and instrumentalising certain topics that, considering the history and social makeup of Scotland, should be banned by a UN Convention. This week the rabid defender of Israeli war crimes and human rights violations, Journo Stephen, has found Catholicism – and the Catholic Herald has even given him some column inches to muck about with his new toy.
We remember when last year another great numpty of the Scottish unionist press, David Torrance, concocted his “Ulsterisation of Scotland.” Dragging the bitter feuds of old religious sectarianism and bigotry into the Scottish argument is nothing new. These people will do whatever it takes to safeguard the Union, even if that means bringing our country to its knees in a decades-long factionalised and violent conflict like that in Northern Ireland. And this is exactly where Daisley has returned. He has cunningly identified – read: imagined – Scotland’s Catholics as the stronghold of nationalism. He might be right in saying that 56 per cent of Catholics backed independence in 2014 and that only 40 per cent of Protestants did the same, but Catholics are no more than 16 per cent of the population – hardly a freaking stronghold.
Details, however, don’t matter in Daisley’s fantasy of a popish plot. Willing as ever to stir up a hornet’s nest, the clown has barged in there – all guns blazing. You Catholics, he explains, don’t understand your own religion, before going on to describe how the Catholics of Scotland should get back in their little box – just like “Mass-going, Celtic-daft Jim Murphy” – and start doing what their Church tells them to do. The Catholic Church, according to this nugget, is under threat from rampant Scottish nationalism; the cult of Nicola Sturgeon challenges the authority of the Pope and the dogma of the SNP undermines the teaching authority of the Church of Rome.
What is this, Steve, the sixteenth century? Less than a quarter of Catholics in Scotland, says the county’s Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference, even attend Mass. Unionists may prefer the Catholics of Scotland to shimmy back into the chapel and do what they are told by their clergy and bishops. Right now that would suit Daisley’s purposes because, sure, isn’t the SNP really just all about abortion and gay rights? Stephen Daisley, a spanner who routinely weaponises religion when it comes to defending poor little Israel, should maybe crack a book and learn something about Catholicism.
Since the Second Vatican Council and from the promulgation of Humane Vitae in particular Catholics, while largely continuing to identify with their cultural and religious roots, have voted with their feet when it comes to the harder edges of Catholic social and moral teaching. Even in West Belfast – a true Catholic stronghold if he’s looking for one – the chemist shops do a roaring trade in condoms of many colours. His buffoonery doesn’t stop at this. He sets in about the old divide, that subtle hairline fracture that runs between Scots Catholics – the old Scots Catholics and the new Scots Catholics who came from Ireland donkey’s years ago.
I am a Catholic and I am deeply offended by this. Stephen Daisley..... Stephen Daisley!!! catholicherald.co.uk/issues/march-2…—
Mr Malky (@MrMalky) March 23, 2017
Quoting Composer James MacMillan – like composers are experts in the social dynamics of minority groups in small European countries – he writes, “The Catholic community in the west of Scotland still has a residue of the Irish republicanism of earlier generations.” Read that again, “a residue!” What he’s actually saying is that the Catholics of Glasgow are filth; filthy with the stain of republicanism. That’s what MacMillan is saying. Daisley seems to think all Catholics are – because they are rotten to the core with nationalism.
Throughout his dirty little article he weaves in delicious wee codes for those who understand them, dog whistles to sectarianism and inter-catholic division. Then he walks off and has the neck to blast us in the independence campaign as “divisive nationalists.” Scotland’s independence movement has been a trailblazer in bringing all Scots together. On this side of the national discussion religion and race don’t matter. We have our arms open to Rangers and Celtic fans alike. We don’t even mind Kilmarnock supporters for God’s sake. This is a movement for all people who call Scotland home, and we can do without this narrow, bigoted, and hateful crap from Daisley.
Thoughts on Sectarianism in Scotland