Did this actually happen?
Show Racism The Red Card (SRtRC) Scotland had a meeting with Phil Mac Giolla Bhain recently.
In fact you might have seen a statement about them meeting Phil to discuss “anti-Irish racism as well as the historical context.”
You might also have noted their comment that “during the meeting, a number of issues were discussed.” For example “Both Nicola and Phil spoke about Marriage Equality, LGBTQI Rights, Women’s Rights, Anti-Irish Racism, Poverty Inequality and a sense to address injustice.”
I must admit that I almost missed the statement because it didn’t exactly stand out from the torrent of statements SRtRC Scotland routinely issue about the people they meet.
The SRtRC Scotland Campaigns Manager seemingly spoke to Phil Mac Giolla Bhain on Saturday afternoon. The call resulted in them agreeing to meet.
Phil, of course, has written extensively about anti-Irish racism, and has called it out forcefully whenever he has seen it. As you may know, some don’t like the manner in which he has done this in response to such delightful ditties as The Famine Song and The Billy Boys, while others applaud. However, Phil is absolutely clear about his view and has been consistent in expressing it.
In short, it is not exactly a state secret.
Presumably Show Racism The Red Card Scotland didn’t think they were meeting an international man of mystery about whom they knew nothing when they agreed to convene earlier this week? Nor did they completely take leave of their senses, or set up the meeting as an elaborate practical joke?
It therefore seems reasonable to assume that they felt there was some merit in having a conversation with the Minority Reporter.
From a rational perspective this all seems like pretty anodyne stuff doesn’t it? “Campaign group meets person with relevant knowledge and experience to discuss an issue of mutual interest”.
Big deal, eh?
Well apparently it was! Because SRtRC Scotland seemingly felt the need to publicly justify having the meeting, because some folk don’t think Phil is fit and proper and are quite prepared to make a lot of angry noise about it! For some reason, his knowledge, opinion and views are considered by these people to be toxic and the sort of thing that SRtRC Scotland really should avoid.
You have to admit, defensively explaining yourself to the public like this is a bold stance for SRtRC to take.
Still, at least the meeting happened, and hopefully some good will come of it.
Wait, what’s that you say?
SRtRC has deleted the Tweet wherein they mentioned the “excellent session” with Phil and showed everyone’s favourite Ireland-based internet blogger quite literally showing racism the red card?
Sadly the deletion of the SRtRCScotland Tweet has robbed Keith’s Tweet of the sort of entertainment value we know and love!
Oh well then…
Perhaps the meeting didn’t happen at all and was simply a figment of our imagination?
Hopefully it isn’t the case that SRtRC Scotland are embarrassed by one or more of
- the meeting
- the issues discussed; or
- the person with whom they willingly discussed them.
And hopefully they aren’t seeking to limit the number of people complaining to them.
Whatever the case, distancing yourself from a meeting into which you freely entered to discuss a difficult issue which shames Scotland and which routinely causes considerable angst really isn’t a good look.
In my humble opinion.