Tartan Army’s Ian Blackford calls out Celtic but ignores “the realm of free speech”

Ian Blackford called out the Celtic fans for their banner at Paisley on Sunday which stated “If you hate the Royal Family clap your hands” and was displayed during the minute of applause for the deceased Queen ahead of the St Mirren v Celtic match, which the home side won 2-0.

Everyone at the game clapped as both supporters of the monarchy and also those who have strongly held and legitimate views against the Royal Family applauded their own postion. There were no boos, unlike at Hampden last night when the Scottish FA held yet another minute of applause for the Queen, whose funeral took place on Monday. Hampden was the scene of widestread booing from the Tartan Army, while of course others would have chosen to clap for the Queen.

Today the Westminster leader of the SNP and self confessed member of the Tartan Army called out the Celtic support but not the Scotland fans, or the Dundee United, Hibs or Hearts fans or indeed supporters in Wales and even in England who also voiced their disappoval.

So why pick on Celtic, Ian? And why no mention of the Tartan Army’s booing last night?

Here are a few comments that make very valid points.

“Blackford could have honestly said that the new “King “ had just confirmed their status as 2nd class citizens and what then would you expect ?….. Oh doff the cap and bend the knee …. Got it,” Nick.

“Lack of respect”…SNP man defends Queen who helped sabotaged the Independence Referendum… keep supping the soup Ian,” E-Tims.

“Here you pair, discuss this. Scotland rejects monarchy. Only Rangers have universally supported monarchy. Every ground and every support has had a negative response, Rangers is the anomaly, the outlier, the abnormal. Rangers are despised in Scotland,” Rab.

“Ian Blackford is another bootlicker who knows his place. With prominent, subservient, obedient types like him, SNP will never really push for independence,” Ronnie Postecoglou.

Meanwhile there was one decent article on all of this in The Scotsman this week, which perhaps has not had the coverage that it merits. It was written by Andrew Smith, who has previously called out the Celtic support himself for the re-introduction of the ‘Roamin’ in the Gloamin’ chant but this week pointed out that Republicanism should have it’s place and notes that all polling suggests that around half of all Scots are against having an unelected constitutional monarch as the head of state.

Smith also points out that both the current Prime Minister and Leader of the Oppostion have both previously expressed anti-monarchy views themselves and notes that every effort has been made to silence anyone who seeks the abolition of the monarchy. Smith talks of any anti-monarchy views being “disenfranchised from the public discourse as critical analysis of the institution has been largely avoided,” and while it a fact of life that their will always be opposing views on any give subject (for example Mr Blackford, Scottish Independence), it now seems to be the case that on the subject of opposing the Monarch “all attempts must be made to delegitimise the very holding of them.”

Yes, that’s you Ian.

Andrew Smith states:

“Into this context can be placed the furore over Celtic supporters’ protest with banner and song during the minute applause for the Queen in Paisley. As a club with Irish Catholic origins, it is hardly radical that this constituency is implacably opposed to an hereditary bloodline that confers patronage and privilege in a political dimension at the exclusion of those of this religion. A centrifugal force of the establishment, the UK monarchy is inescapably wrapped up with empire, imperialism and colonialism – predilections that have reaped a bitter harvest in Ireland and so many parts of the world, even if, in these islands, there is denial over that.”

He ends by noting the difference in the Celtic protest at St Mirren from the ones the previous day by Dundee United fans at Ibrox and Hibs fans at Easter Road.

“Unlike the distasteful songs by Dundee United and Hibs fans that gloried in the Queen’s death the day previously, the banners that stated ‘if you hate the royal family, clap your hands’, and the accompanying singing of those lines, was not personalised. It was deliberately holistic, and darkly smart for an applause tribute. It called out the concept of sovereignty. It was confrontational and would have been offensive to the great many, but such challenging activities still fall within a notable realm – the realm of free speech.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk


  1. The quicker people realise that the SNP are just orange tories, the better. You’ll be hard to find a bigger bunch of delinquents gathered in the same room.

    It’s commonly known that Celtic has steep history with Ireland, so it’s understandable their resentment to the crown. Maybe they should be asking themselves why the rest of the country (the racist from the south side being the exception), are also booing and singing songs throughout your silence or applauses? All this guff is just setting yourself up for a massive fail, so why do these establishments insist on having them. They have nothing to do with football.

    Anyway, It’s all getting very tiresome. She’s dead. She’s buried. It’s time to move on. Don’t be disgusted because someone has a different opinion from yourself. If we all agreed on the same thing, then there would be no need for politicians.
    Actually, wait a minute🤔🤔


    • Not a loyalist/monarchist and never will be, im a republican and avid supporter of independence, i think the monies taken from tax payers to fund their lifestyles should be completely withdrawn and the royalty cut back to bare bones. I think also that everyone has the right to protest against the current system which is completely undemocratic ffs 60,000 tories voting in a fkn klingon to take over as pm, wtf??? Anyway getting back to protests I think that celtic supporters should take the protests out of the game completely, we are only giving the huns and english commentators ammunition against us, every time there are protests at the games it costs the club thousands of pounds infines and that is not what being a Celtic supporter is all about, that money in fines could have been used to enhance the squad. So i would suggest any protests against the crown, uk government, snp or any others should be taken away from the games parkhead or others and hold the demonstrations in George Square for example, dont hide behind the Celtic football club and bring them down to the level of the huns across the water.