AS a 64-year-old life-long Raith Rovers supporter, I never thought I’d live to see the day when my team would be the leading story in all the national newspaper front pages. But, yesterday, there we had it, “Brown joins backlash after Scottish club signs rapist” (The Herald, February 2).
If it was ever to happen it would either be extraordinarily good news and we had won the Champions League or calamitously bad news. Sadly, it is unquestionably the latter and European glory will remain a dream.
I’ve stuck with the Rovers through thick and thin – and there’s been much, much more of one than the other – so I’m willing to give the club directors the benefit of the doubt. We all make mistakes in life. Perhaps they were blinded by the “football-related” reasons for signing David Goodwillie and didn’t see the bigger picture or their responsibilities to the fans of a community-led club.
However, what is now totally baffling is the refusal of the board to recognise the backlash, admit their blunder, apologise, and reverse the decision to sign the player. Like Goodwillie, remorse for their actions is not forthcoming and that is truly unforgivable.
James Miller, Glasgow.
* WHAT shocks me about Raith Rovers’ behaviour, even leaving aside the huge central issue, is the human betrayal: that they were prepared – and with forewarning – to ignore, shun and lose their most loyal, hardworking and supportive people of all over decades, who indeed had helped secure their very existence as a club. No more so than Val McDermid herself, and the two directors (“‘Disgusted’ Mcdermid cuts all ties with club for signing rapist”, The Herald, February 2). How amazingly hurtful must that be on a human level?
This may not come across so much to people who are not football fans themselves but if you are, as I am, you know the intensity of feeling and loyalty for your own club and for the lifelong supporters around you.
I hope Raith Rovers will withdraw this contract not just because of such a key issue for women and girls, but also to say sorry to their most loyal friends. I fear they may try to bluff it out, not for the noble goal of rehabilitation but for money, so long as the cost of cancelling this contract is less than the financial support they are losing. Those with connections to the club perhaps need to ensure that the latter losses continue to grow.
Sarah Nelson, Newport on Tay.
BRITAIN’S SECRET BOMB PROGRAMME
KEVIN McKenna expresses some incredulity over the fact that the UK joined Nato in 1949 without being the subject constitutionally of some kind of formal approval, such as a plebiscite or a referendum (“Can we really trust Nato propaganda on Ukraine crisis?”, The Herald, January 31). If one has that kind of reaction to the UK in so joining a military pact, a sense of incredulity should be occasioned when considering the circumstances of our development, after the Second World War, of nuclear weapons.
During 1946/47 committees established by the Labour Government gave approval to Britain building its own atomic bomb. The Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, required that this step should remain a secret. He was aware that such a development would not be popular with many in the Labour Party. He proceeded to conceal the matter from Parliament, the Opposition and most of the Labour Party. When the Conservatives returned to power in 1951, Churchill, as Prime Minister, was surprised to find out how far the British atomic bomb project had reached without any parliamentary approval
To adapt a saying, governments sometimes move in mysterious ways, their wonders to perform.
Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.
WHY CAN’T THEY BE LIKE BILL MCLAREN?
I WONDER if any of your readers tuned into BBC Scotland’s Sportscene last Saturday around 11.30pm? Goodness, such was the commentator’s excitement you would have thought Scotland had won the World Cup. Yes, a goal had been scored. Yes, a well-taken goal, but not a particularly well-constructed goal. Yes, it was the winning goal in a 1-0 thriller. But of course it was scored by Celtic against Dundee United. The commentator did not have a similar outpouring when the Dundee United goalkeeper made a wonderful save when, diving the wrong way, he athletically contrived to get his outstretched leg to knock the ball over the crossbar. Yes, the forward should have scored.
The following day I listened to a radio commentator describe Rafael Nadal’s historic 21st tennis Grand Slam victory and whilst he was excited he was always in control in describing this iconic moment in sport.
Yes, commentators must raise their voice to convey the exciting play in front of them, but they are doing a job which should have no place for bias. The “Margaret Thatcher” rant by a foreign commentator a few years back comes to mind.
Aspiring commentators should be forced to view and listen to rugby commentator Bill McLaren’s performances. Identify the players, explain why decisions are made and not too much other dialogue, as the viewers can see the action. Even when commentating on his son-in-law Alan Lawson’s first try for Scotland, Bill was the consummate professional even though he must have been bursting with pride inside.
Ally Martin, Dundee.
NOT FIT FOR REPETITION
RE recent letters about expressions (Letters, January 31 and February 1 & 2). Surely the most annoyingly overused example must be “not fit for purpose”. Ironically when this was first used by the Labour minister John Reid, he was roundly criticised for the use of what was then considered a pompous, arrogant put-down
Now this lazy cliché is used in every walk of life, often by well-educated people, who must have a wider choice of vocabulary.
M Carr, Glasgow.
TURNING BACK DIARY PAGES
GARRY Scott suggests that The Diary originated with Tom Shields in the 1980s (” Herald Diary joins the 21st century (if we must)”, The Herald, January 31). There was the wonderfully unparalleled Colm Brogan from the early 1970s, and from my boyhood, the Herald Diary was a daily composition from the pen of the ineffable Alastair Phillips.
Gordon Casely, Crathes.