The Clumpany would like to express its support for Andy Muirhead of Scotzine, who has decided to close down his excellent site partly because of personal commitments but mainly because of the abuse and threats he and his family have received.
I don’t know Andy, but I found him encouraging of this blog when it first began and he even published the below piece on his site last July. For this, I am very grateful.
Andy is clearly a huge enthusiast for all things Scottish football, and Heaven knows there aren’t enough of those in our traditional media outlets at present. Consequently, his output will be missed.
Not everyone agreed with Andy’s sometimes strident opinions on various issues, but so what?! One of the best things about social media is the opportunity it gives folk to see news from multiple angles, articulate their views, and argue the toss in lively debate and in something close to ‘real time’. It is a million times better than the situation in the past when we received our football news and narrative from narrow traditional media outlets and could only belatedly discuss it with others at home, work, in the pub, or at a game.
As 21st Century football fans we really don’t know how lucky we are!
But there is a dark side to this wonderful freedom.
Lively/ heated debate, and ‘point-scoring’ banter are one thing. Abuse and threats are quite another.
Let’s be absolutely clear about this. The treatment which Andy (and his family FFS!) have received for speaking his mind and addressing various issues that some in the MSM and football boardrooms may prefer not to ignore is nothing short of a disgrace. As much of a disgrace as the abuse given to Angela Haggerty a few years ago for which someone was sent to prison.
Shame on those behind it.
Scotzine has been around for a decade and was something of a pioneer in its field. Its triumph is that it has contributed to free, open, expansive, opinionated online discussion becoming established and valued as an essential part of the Scottish football ‘experience’.
What’s more, it is a permanent victory. This sort of discussion isn’t going to go away. Ever. And the lesson we can take from those who have tried to drive Scotzine away is that every single bit of free-thinking and speech about certain matters are anathema to them. They simply cannot bear to see folk offering ‘unwelcome’ views, and they simply cannot ‘live and let live’.
What a shame for them that they can’t censor our thoughts and words, and what a great pity that they can’t close down social media where our voices can – and will – continue to be heard.
Day after day.
It must be absolutely excruciating for them.
Nae luck lads.
The Clumpany raises a toast to Scotzine, Andy and his family.