In Bed With the Unionist Scottish Tories – Rangers Football Club Supporters reveal their hand
The 2016 Scottish Cup Final was marred by the bad conduct of a large section of Rangers supporters who, throughout the match baited Hibernian fans with sectarian chants The songs (clearly audible to television viewers) contained the phrases ‘Fenian bastards’ and ‘up to our knees in Fenian blood’.
Despite the foregoing the game was played in a good spirit by both teams and the final result was in the balance up to the final minute when Hibs scored the winning goal. At the final whistle (seconds after the restart) a number of Hibs fans invaded the pitch. They were mainly exuberant, but a few sought to re-enact the events of 1977, when Scotland beat England at Wembley. This brought Rangers supporters onto the pitch and the resultant confrontation was inevitable. Many watchers and television viewers were horrified at the violence between both sets of supporters and allocated blame equally between them.
But not Prof Adam Tomkins. He made it clear, when writing to the Rangers Forum that the Scottish Tory Party absolved Rangers and their supporters of any blame. He then basked in the adulation of Rangers fans who commented favourably about the Tory party and Tompkins in particular.
But a subsequent investigation, completed by Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen QC made it clear that there was fault on all sides and he could not attribute blame to either club or to any individual, or group.
The Scottish government and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon were castigated in a statement issued by Rangers Football Club shortly after the incident which stated:
“It must also be said that it was not at all helpful to see leading members of the Scottish Government, including the First Minister whose parish is Govan, passing comment on social media without any attempt to condemn the behaviour of Hibernian’s fans. These failures are unbecoming of our elected representatives.”
The comments made were: “Ms Sturgeon “condemns unreservedly any act of violence or disorder by anyone who attended the cup final”. “Violence has no place in football, either on or off the pitch,” Justice Secretary Michael Mathieson. The foregoing statements were vindicated by the later findings of Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen QC.
Prof Adam Tomkins MSP comments were unbecoming of a member of the Scottish Parliament but, as yet no disciplinary action has been taken against him by his Party leader. Shame!!!
28 September 2016: Hibs and Rangers in the clear over Cup Final disorder at Hampden
Hibernian and Rangers escaped punishment by the football’s governing body in relation to the disorder at the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden.
Hibs triumphed 3-2 to win the Scottish Cup but the post match celebrations were marred by scenes of crowd disorder and a pitch invasion.
A report by Sheriff Principal Edward Bowen QC into the disorder said it was impossible to attribute blame to either Club or to any individual or group.
He suggested a reserve of police should be ready to deal with possible pitch invasions in high profile matches and said new laws should be brought in to make pitch invasion a criminal offence.
Events of 21 May and Follow up.
23 May 2016: The Rangers Forum – Scottish Cup Final – Rangers v Hibernian – A supporter Sent Adam Tomkins (MSP) an e-mail
I’m writing to hopefully discuss the disgusting scenes witnessed at Hampden yesterday. I would write to Nicola Sturgeon, but she’s already made it quite clear that she has no interest in condemning it, in fact, on the contrary.
At the age of 29, and having attended hundreds of football matches at both Ibrox and Hampden, I’ve never seen scenes like yesterday. As a Rangers supporter, it’s safe to say I feared for my safety, and to watch Rangers player getting attacked was my worst moment as a Rangers fan.
I appreciate there’s not a huge amount that can be done with the SNP in control, but I was curious to hear your thoughts on the matter, none the less, and hoped as the main opposition, you would be the best person to contact (I should mention I’m a local constituent).
Any suggestions on what can be done to take the matter further would be greatly appreciated. I think I speak for the majority of Rangers fans when I say that we can’t accept what happened yesterday getting swept under the rug by the SNP.
Adam Tomkins responded:
I was at the game: not on a corporate freebie but with Rangers season-ticket holders in the Rangers end. I used to be a season-ticket holder myself at Ibrox.
I have tweeted several messages about the disgraceful and dangerous actions of the Hibs fans in storming the pitch at the final whistle. Like you, I was appalled by what I saw. It is important that the police and SFA inquiries proceed without political interference, but I will be looking for answers to two sets of questions in particular:
* Why Hibs fans were allowed to reach Rangers players who were still on the field of play?
* Why the police seemed (to me) to take quite a while to restore order?
It is the job of MSPs to press for answers to questions such as these and you may be assured that I will not rest until I have them. I will be discussing with colleagues in the Parliament tomorrow morning what further action we as MSPs should take at this stage. As the father of four young children, a number of whom enjoy coming with me to football matches, I share your concerns. What follows, in case of interest, are the lines the Scottish Conservatives have put out today:
“The events after the final whistle at Hampden on Saturday ruined what should have been a day of celebration for the whole of Scottish football; not only the culmination of a long cup competition but the first time that two teams outside the top tier have competed in the final. While Hibs supporters will rightly wish to celebrate winning their first Scottish Cup in 114 years that can be no excuse for the reported assaults on players and officials, nor the destruction of the fabric of our national stadium.
l understand that Police Scotland have set up a unit to track down the perpetrators, and I would urge them to ensure that all routes are taken to identify and charge those involved in these criminal acts. Thereafter, it will be for Parliament to determine how best to review the performance of Police Scotland in responding to this disorder.
The hard work of the footballing authorities, the police, football teams and their supporters has meant that significant progress has been made in the past two decades in making attending football matches in Scotland safer and more enjoyable, sadly the scenes on Saturday represent a significant setback for that progress.” This is not the end of this matter, but I hope you can see from the above that we have made a start in getting to the bottom of this, with a view to ensuring that all relevant lessons are learned. With very best wishes: Adam Tomkins MSP: Conservative MSP for Glasgow :
Forum members comments:
Can’t argue with that, its set the bar for other MSP’s to respond to similar questions with the same respect and attention to detail.
Bravo Mr Tomkins, I actually trust this guy to do his best for us, most unusual for a politician.
I’m heartened to read that response from Adam Tomkins MSP
Thank you Mr.Tomkins and I trust that you will be vigilant when the SNP and Labour attempt to whitewash this affair.
Excellent response but where are SNP and Labour in their condemnation of the events or even acknowledge them.
Puts his party leader to shame. If this guy was in charge, they would get more votes.
The problem with police Scotland the route they will be taking will be mostly directed at our support.
Future leader of the Scottish unionist party
One of the reasons why I voted Conservative for the first time in recent elections.
That is the difference between a real political party and a shower of charlatans (SNP and Labour).
Impressed with that response. Wee Nic is my constituency MSP. I emailed her. Still waiting.
He was on one of my lecturers at uni. Full of his own self importance and loves the sound of his own voice however very committed to the union. Didn’t know he was a bear. That reply is very good. Hope he delivers.
Good reply, I hope he shares it with his party leader. She could learn from Prof Tomkins.
I’ve written to mine whose constituency covers Hampden. Not expecting much … he’s an SNP asslicking knobend
Just remember this is the result of voting Conservative in the Glasgow region. Far from a wasted vote.
Just remember this is the result of voting Conservative in the Glasgow region. Far from a wasted vote. Correct, don’t give SNP or Labour your votes, they despise Gers fans.
He is one of the reasons I voted conservative for the first time
Puts his party leader to shame. If this guy was in charge, they would get more votes. She was too busy getting married. Don’t suppose she gave much thought to the game.
Good reply. Fair play to him.
Decent reply, hope he follows it up.
Excellent response. I don’t know why we don’t vote more conservative in Scotland. SNP are fascist. Labour/liberals a joke.
That is a good reply. Glad to see that we have someone our side. I was at the game (as I was in 1980) and Saturday was a lot worse.
Best political response so far…..sadly maybe the only one. Saturdays troubles and concerns should transcend politics.
Excellent reply from Mr Tomkins, it’s good to know we have a politician on our side, I may need some advice later.
Just read about him in today’s Daily Mail said that he is a constitutional lawyer (whatever that is ) and academic who is probably the cleverest person at Holyrood. Just so happens that he is up against Angela Constance who is probably about the thickest person at Holyrood
Just gained a vote for Tory next elections. Bravo to him, hopefully he keeps his word.