opened my mouth to change my feet
It started with a flippant comment in response to a Scotsman piece about the oldest Derby in Scottish football (Rangers v Queens park). I cheekily tweeted it couldn’t be as Rangers were only 1 year old.
The Rangers supporters trust did not find my tweet amusing in the slightest and told their 23000 odd followers so.
In hindsight, it wasn’t my finest tweet or moment of lucidity. Imagine my surprise when I logged on today (around lunchtime) to find my twitter interactions full of rather hostile and angry tweets.
Being a bit taken aback I reread my original tweet and apologised for having a green goggles moment. I then deleted the offending tweet. I hoped that my humble apology would be taken as such and the matter would have some of the heat removed. The barrage of responses continued.
I accept that some of the labels attached are fair enough and can live with them. Dimwit, clown, A***hole, muppet, twat, knob etc and such like generally reflect the ‘getitupye’ response that old firm fans use towards each other. I Winced a few times at my own stupidity but generally took my licks. A great piece of advice was to stick a wee winky face on next time (won’t be a next time)
A few offered me some encouragement in future elections by suggesting I would get beat as Rangers fans have long memories.
Some fans accepted the apology and had a giggle at my expense. I’d earned it.
However, sadly that wasn’t it.
The Labels that I found most offensive came from a few (obviously very upset) bears. Narrow-minded Bigot, scum, filth, Bheast and paedo being the most colourful and an over reaction I thought.
Now I know there are some excitable chaps on both sides of the Old firm divide but when one thinks it’s okay to post my mobile number (twice) and another says after looking at my handsome photo that he wouldn’t want me teaching his kids and uses #paedo hashtag, I get a bit irked. Gone Too Far.
As an elected councillor I should have steered well clear of the topic, and will certainly try to keep away in future but it doesn’t stop me speaking out on this kind of behaviour. Yes I am flippant (lots of evidence of this) and I do take my role very seriously (sorry it offended a particular respondent).
I was obviously not commenting as a councillor but I will certainly be more circumspect in future.
I am not, however, a Roman Catholic, a dirty Tague (taig both spellings), corrupt or a bigot. Nor was I stirring up hate (although I seem to have managed that, accidentally, with aplomb). Just because I support a rival football club does not make me a bigot.
I love using twitter and the immediacy of the interaction. It has many great people contributing and sadly a few who take it too far.
Now, finally, I say to Any Rangers fan who gets this far I am sorry that you were offended by my flippant remark. No caveat, just an apology. As UEFA, SPL et al consider you to be the same club, then henceforth I will do so too.
And to the most offensive tweeps maybe you should reflect on your comments. I know I have.