Socialist Worker

Old Firm battle reveals old prejudices

Issue No. 2249

The media discovered the issue of sectarianism in Scotland last week after letter bombs were sent to Celtic manager Neil Lennon, the lawyer Paul McBride and Trish Godman MSP.

Last week saw an extra 1,000 police at the Celtic vs Rangers match. But this is not about tribalism in football.

Lennon is under 24-hour guard. He is under threat because he is Catholic.

The prejudice that has divided Scotland was supposed to be a thing of the past. Sectarianism comes from a history of anti-Irish and ­anti‑Catholic discrimination.

But today it often comes to the fore during elections as politicians play with prejudice to win votes.

Bigotry and poverty are a poisonous mix. Catholics have faced discrimination, but the division in the working class has meant that Protestant workers are also held back.

The solution is not heavy policing at football matches. It is to stand up to bigotry and unite people in fighting the bosses.

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Tue 26 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2249
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