Minority Reporter – Book Review
Modern Scotland’s Bad Attitude Towards Her Own Irish
by Phil Mac Giolla Bhain
This is a hard book to condense down to a review, I don’t mean that in a bad way. Simply there is so much information of worth included that I could have happily written 10,000 words on it. Anti Irish racism in Scotland has never been seriously tackled in the way discrimination and racism has against other minority groups. The treatment dished out to Neil Lennon by both the Rangers support and the media in 21st century Scotland is proof of that.
The book lays down a marker before it even opens up with a preface written by Irish footballer Kieron Brady. Born in Scotland Brady decided that he wanted to represent the Republic of Ireland at international level. ‘No big deal, lots of players turn out for Scotland who weren’t born here’ you may say but unfortunately it is in Scotland. Especially if you pick the Republic of Ireland.
Throughout the book the author, Irish Journalist and blogger Phil Mac Giolla Bhain investigates and shines a light on this dark stain on Scottish society.
The book contains three main sections. Each section contains new researched material and blogs taken from the authors site. In most cases the blogs frame the timeline of major stories and incidents that have taken place both in Scotland and elsewhere.
Section one traces the history of the infamous ‘Famine Song’ and it’s subsequent banning on the grounds of racism. The author guides us through the events surrounding the songs birth and how the mainstream media and some in power tried to fob it off as ‘banter’.
Section two deals with the vile treatment handed out to Neil Francis Lennon. The author tries to examine the reasons behind Lennon’s disgraceful treatment by the press and ‘The Klan’ from the moment he set foot inside Celtic Park. It would appear that Lennon’s main crime was that of being an ‘Uppity Taig’.
Section three titled ‘An Illicit Ethnicity’? Gives an insight into what I perceived as ‘connected’ issues and happenings. I found this section of the book the most profound in many ways. I felt it stripped bare the depth of anti Irish feeling and a certain group who need to feel superior to others and going to horrible lengths to fulfil that. Also how once again press and senior politicians will try to hide racism behind the guise of sectarianism. It’s a bad day when you defend something by classing it as sectarian and not racist
In the authors last book ‘Downfall’ there were numerous mentions of the ‘Elephant in the room’ relating to the deceased clubs tax liabilities. In this book there is also an ‘Elephant in the room’, Anti Irish Racism. Everyone in Scotland knows it’s there but no one wants to admit it and some certainly do not want to talk about it.
This is an excellent book and I feel it’s release is timely. After all we only have a year left to decide what sort of society we want to have in the ‘best wee country’ in the World. As I said at the start I could have written pages on this. I could have talked about the contribution from learned and respected people, but I won’t. I want people to read this book for themselves.
You can buy the book at Amazon . Also available in all good bookstores.