Ross County 1—4 Celtic.

We’re in the draw for the next round of the League Cup and it’s Motherwell away. There’s always that anxious wait to see if we get Rangers.

Celtic hit the bar twice in quick succession. A Welsh header from a corner and David Turnbull’s free-kick hitting the defensive wall and then the bar.

But we also scored two goals in the first half. An early scare with Ross County almost scoring in sixty seconds from a ball knocked on from a shy.

Calum McGregor got our opener. He’d held his hands up to show he was unmarked from a corner. Turnbull picked him out. His shot was deflected but went in. Twenty-one minutes gone. A changed Celtic team with Liel Abada and McGregor the only players to remain in the team that beat Dundee United on Sunday. Abada patrolled his usual right-wing beat, but McGregor played a more advanced role, with Aaron Mooy dropping deeper and taking the ball from defence.

Giorgos Giakoumakis missed Sunday’s game. He’d a point to prove, and he usually does, coming up with a goal. He’d a bit of a tussle with Alex Iacovitti and took a few knocks going down injured after a poor first touch. But he got his goal near the half hour mark. Tony Ralston was the provider. A lovely touch on the edge of the box (the full back was in the striker’s position) and he laid it off. Giakoumakis dipped his shoulder and took the ball into his right foot and curled it into the bottom corner. Like the United match, it looked like game over. The Greek striker hobbled through the remainder of the half. He was unlucky with three headers, the last one on the brink of half-time. Three goals for him the season. He’s always looking for more.

Ross County had more of the ball in the second half, but Celtic still dominated. The goal the Staggies scored in sixty-seven minutes was a shocker for the Celtic defence. A long punt from the keeper, Eastman, into the Celtic box. Substitute, Carl Startfelt came on for Welsh, who went off injured. The Swedish International was too easily beaten in the air by Jordan White. Iacovitti took time off from fouling Giakoumakis to wander into the six-yard box and stoop down to header it into the goal. Moritz Jenz was nowhere.

Daizen Maeda restored the two-goal lead five minutes later. McGregor had a shot from the eighteen-yard line spilled by the keeper. Maeda was there to pounce.

Sead Haksabanovic came on for Maeda. His first dribble, he ghosts past Johnstone, his touch and cross of the ball nearly gave us another goal. Even in the short time on the park he looks a class addition.

Just on full time, James Forrest nicked a fourth. Ralston made it (two assist and McGregor having one) with a cutback to Forrest in the box. He too looks sharp.

The worry for Celtic is we still get bullied by big centre forwards. But this is less of a worry in Scottish football because we have more of the ball. In Europe, teams don’t go back to front. Transitions and losing the ball at the back and midfield is the big worry. But out team, our squad is lighting fast.

Team that will play against Rangers: (my guess). No real shocks. Hart, Taylor, Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Hatate, McGregor, O’Riley, Jota, Kyogo, Maeda.

I’m no fan of Startfelt. Jenz has strolled through a few games, but I think Postecoglou prefers Starfelt (what do I know?) Similarly, Reo Hatate edges out Turnbull. The Japanese player is quite simply wonderful and looks to have extra time on the ball, which can be a problem when he loses it. Kygo is on fire. He’ll start ahead of Giakoumakis (that is no longer a debate). Liel Abada scored a hat-trick at Tannadice. He’s made a good case for starting, but Maeda’s closing down work and his pace means he’ll start ahead of the young Israeli. Postocoglou has taken Maeda wherever he goes and obviously rates him highly. Jota, certain started and ace in the pack. Forrest is down the pecking order. Hasbanovic—we’ll wait and see. I guess he could be another cracker. Celtic to win 4—1 against our Glasgow rivals. HH.

50th Anniversary. Deaths of three young brothers and their pal, 25th August 1972.

(Tiny) Paul Wilson

William Watson aged eleven and his brothers, George aged ten and Robert, aged nine, lived in Kitchener Street, Clydebank. Ten-year-old John McNeil lived in the same row of tenements. The Forth and Clyde canal ran parallel to the block of houses. Two rafts of Styrofoam-packing material overturned. Two of the Watson boys fell into the water. Their brother and McNeil, floating above them, tried to save them, but didn’t make it ashore. The police recovered three bodies after dragging the canal. The fourth was found by a naval frogman, who was said to have cried as he brought the body to the canal path.

Tiny was too wee and his big brothers wouldn’t let him on their rafts. He recently died too. RIP.

Dundee United 0—9 Celtic.

A Kyogo first-half hat-trick and another added by Jota. Game over at half-time. Abada added a second-half hat-trick. Juranovic scored a goal that wasn’t a penalty. Even Starfelt get in on the act, scoring one and almost scoring another.

We’ve got Champions League. We’ve got Dingwall and the League Cup in midweek. We’ve got that other mob coming to Paradise next week. But first we needed the points at Tannadice. We lost the league here last year. Won the league here two years ago. One game at a time, sweet Jesus. Two games a week from here on it. That’s why a big squad is a must with injuries and loss of form factored in. Giakoumakis was out, but he wasn’t needed.  After the shambles of last season, we’ve built a team that looks fit for purpose. Let’s hope it’s all sunshine like today, but that old cliché, prepare for the rain (and high-energy pressing costs ahead).  

Starfelt comes back into the team and Jenz finds a place on the bench. United’s game plan revolved around Steven Fletcher. Ironically, after taking his studs to Joe Hart’s head in the first few minutes, Fletcher won over ninety percent of the balls hoisted in his direction. And he also got in behind Taylor for a great take on his chest, with his shot hitting the post before his sixtieth minute substitution. By that metric he had a good game. Celtic’s achilles is we can look weak, soft centres, when we come up against the big guys. Rangers worked on that and bullied us in the two games they won last season. But here United’s best chances came from slack passes from the back. O’Riley preventing a shot on the goal by slide-tackling to retrieve the ball at the edge of our box from Middleton. The same United midfielder also had his shot blocked after a slack pass from Startfelt towards Juranovic.

Hart’s second-minute injury added seven minutes to the end of the half. He saved a shot, but palmed it up in the air and away from an advancing Fletcher, whose studs cut open the keeper’s head. Fletcher was booked.  

  Similarly, the big call was Hatate, who started and Turnbull going to the bench. The pace of Maeda is replaced by the pace of Abada. Our front three proved deadly. Jota had the first shot on goal in the opening thirteen minutes.

Five minutes later the Portuguese winger set Kyogo up for the opening goal. Abada split the defence with a ball out wide. Jota played it first time. Kyogo, unmarked near the penalty spot, took a touch and fired home.

Celtic lost their rhythm for a short spell with the game becoming stop-start. But O’Riley almost scored with a shot with not enough bend to take it into the goal, two minutes after Kyogo’s first goal.

Th guessing game is picking the first eleven who will start against Rangers, but my guess is Maeda will start. Abada will drop out.  I’ve a preference for Jenz, but he hasn’t really been tested. He didn’t get on here, while most of the usual suspects did after the game was well over around the sixtieth minute: Mooy, Maeda, Turnbull and Forrest. Bernabei coming on for the last twenty minutes.   Most of the substitutes here will, I guess, find a first-team place in the midweek match. That’s the way it’s going to go in this rollercoaster season with Real Madrid in a midweek home tie following the game against the Ibrox club.  

Kyogo’s second goal for Celtic, was the pick of the bunch, a scramble outside the box and he hit it first time into the top corner.

He grabbed his and Celtic’s third just before half-time. O’Riley made it look easy with his pass to Abada. The Israeli squared it. And it really was easy for Kyogo.

A demoralised United looked like going three goals down at half-time. But with Jota popping up to score a forth, with Abada flinging in a cross which the Portuguese winger side footed into the net after taking a touch, the game became a training exercise in how many Celtic wanted to score.

Celtic where so far ahead, Taylor opted to take a shot at goal from outside the box at the start of the second-half. But it was Abada who made it five. He seems to be invisible, ghosting in at the back post for two tap ins.

Juranovic’s goal, almost twenty minutes into the second-half, had the element of farce. O’Riley slammed the ball off Kyogo, who was standing in the United wall at a free kick. The ball came back to Juranovic, and he fired it through their defensive setup and into the net. The keeper, unsighted, almost getting a hand to it, but he never made a save, but it was no Greek tragedy, like Barkas, the one we spent several million on.

The young Israeli, Abada, made it seven. Another tap in, in which he ghosted in.

Postecoglou, around the sixty-second minute mark, made four changes.

For fifteen minutes, United held out, before Abada helped himself to a hat-trick before being substituted. Maeda created it with an inside, reverse, pass. But Abada still had plenty to do, but his deft dink ended up in the next.

Three minutes later, an unmarked Startfelt had the freedom of Tannadice and the six-yard box, to head into the net from a corner.

Celtic fans chanted for ten. United had took punishment enough. Turnbull came closest. His header was not over the line, and that kept it a single-digit victory. There’ll be other days like this, but we’re playing with the big boys after the midweek match. I would settle for a starter for ten in our derby match. Four would be enough. Maybe five. I’m not greedy.

Celtic 2—0 Hearts

A great weekend for Celtic. Ange Postecoglou went with the same team that beat Kilmarnock last week. And the same Japanese duo got our first goal. This time is was a bit later in the game, thirteen minutes when Kyogo tapped the ball into the net from a Maeda cutback. Good work from O’Riley and Turnbull helped unlock the Hearts defence.

Hearts won at Tynecastle in Postecoglou’s first competitive game last season. But it’s 2007 since Hearts last won a league game at Parkhead. And they offered little to suggest that they would win here, but in the first ten minutes of the first-half saw more of the ball and had five corners in relatively quick succession.

But it was 33 minutes when they had their first serious attempt on goal in which they’d seen little of the ball. Former Celt, Mackay-Stevens found space in the middle of the park for the first time and his pass found its way in behind the Celtic defence. Joe Hart came out to narrow the angle, but it was a poor attempt from frontman, Ginnelly, who really should have scored.

Celtic had stacks of first-half chances, but with that one goal lead, Hearts were always in the game. Greg Taylor, early in the match, opted to try to pass to Kyogo, rather than shoot. Later in the half he was clean through on goal, but took too long to shoot and was tackled by Haring.

Kyogo had a few damp squibs and an offside goal chopped off. Linesmen were often too quick to penalise his darting runs.

O’Reily had a spectacular half-turn-volley which went past the post. A header with which he should have scored.

Maeda had a few headers which were off target or too near the keeper. He arrived too late for simple tap-ins for balls flashed across the goal.

Jota had a few digs, none of which troubled the keeper. His nearest effort hit the side-netting.

And even Juranovic lead the line in a late break in  the first-half, but  he was pulled down by Mackay-Stevens.

Jenz has dealt well with the more usual pugilistic approach by Hearts. He looks like a fixture in the team.

Celtic were flat in the second-half and we’ve come to expect a raft of changes in the last twenty or thirty minutes. Maeda going off and Abada coming on. And lately, Mooy for O’Riley. This allowed McGregor to push further forward. These changes helped tilt the game back towards Celtic.

Giakoumakis to replace Kyogo. The Greek striker usually produces and he did so in the 94th minute to seal the points. His shot rebounding off Lewis Neilson. Before that he was unlucky with a header and had a scuffed shot that was well saved by the second-choice Heart’s keeper.

Rangers went down to nine men at Easter Road and dropped two points. Hearts also went down to nine men and made the last ten minutes comfortable for Celtic. Both were for second yellow offences.

Alex Cochrane pulled McGregor back when the ball was flicked over his head.  And in the closing minutes of the game, Alex Sibbick clearly pushed Abada after the second winger got ahead of him.

It was comfortable for Celtic in the end and that takes us two points clear of Rangers. Hatate did his chances of getting in front of Turnbull no harm with his substitute performance. But that’s not to say the former Motherwell man had a bad game. He didn’t.  Let’s hope PSV win on Wednesday and make it a bad week for the Ibrox club and help deprive them of the £40 million Champions League funds we are guaranteed. We’re away to Dundee United next week and then it’s the big one. Two wins—and would it be too early to say the league is over? Premature perhaps, but I’ll take it. Changed days from the doom and gloom of this time last season.

Panorama: The Billion Pound Savings Scandal, BBC 1, BBC iPlayer, Directed by Andrew Thompson and Luke Mendham.

Britain is the money-laundering capital of the world. An estimated billion pounds is lost every year to companies that go bust, create ‘anonymous’ limited accounts, disappear or hide their wealth in tax havens in former British colonies. Panorama follows one company, Blackmore Bonds and other subsidiaries to an address in Gibraltar. Blackmore as a limited company went bust, leaving around 2000 investors in Britain with worthless bits of paper where their savings were.

A £46 million fraud, in which the two directors of Blackmore, Philip Nunn and Patrick McCreesh walk away with millions of pounds, seems an open-and-shut case for a police investigation.

Financial expert, Paul Carlier, reported Blackmore to the proper authorities. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which was set up to regulate firms and financial markets in the United Kingdom had oversight in such cases.

Whistle-blowers in the FCA reported widespread managerial incompetence and graft. Large fees being paid to those at the top for marketing themselves rather than protecting their clients. Andrew Bailey began his term as Governor of the Bank of England on 16th March 2020. Prior to his appointment he was Chief Executive Officer of FCA.

Those left with worthless Blackmore bonds know they have little or no hope of being reimbursed. But they hope for a public enquiry. We get the usual sentiments about making sure these fraudsters are made to pay, and making sure others don’t have to suffer as they did.

Money talks. A public enquiry that uncovered the PPI scandal, one of the many edifices that lead to the banking crash of 2007-8, in which banks sold policies knowing they were worthless to their customers, resulted in no prosecutions. But many customers got their money reimbursed. In the same way, those with Blackmore bonds feel themselves cheated and think they should qualify to be reimbursed—which they will do, if there is a public enquiry—because the FDA failed to act, despite being continually informed what was happening on the ground.   

A letter addressed to Paul Carlier, included much information that the FDA was trying to hide and hoodwink others they were doing a great job of oversight in finance and fraud. The Queen famously asked economists why they hadn’t seen the global financial crass of 2007-8 coming. Here it is in black and white. Andrew Bailey is culpable but gets promoted to one of the most prestigious jobs in Britain. Here he’s lost £50 million. Let’s see how he deals with inflation. I’m no financial expert, but I can tell you how it will go. He will raise interest rates by a quarter-point. Round up the usual suspect. Raise interest rates by another quarter point. When he walks away from the job he’ll be all the richer. We’ll be none the wiser. Stagflation will continue regardless.  

Philip Nunn and Patrick McCreesh are crooks. Andrew Bailey is a different kind of charlatan. His incompetence costs him nothing.  

Lullaby, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, Writer Leila Slimani, Director Lucie Borleteau.

Leila Slimani brings to the screen her international bestselling novel Lullaby, directed by Lucie Borleteau. Another case of preferring the film to the novel. I read about half the book, or more, before I stopped reading.

I knew what was going to happen and didn’t particularly like any of the characters. I’ve nothing against books about nannies. Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre is a classic, none of which of its multiple adaptations as screenplays match the written word, but they remain entertaining. We even get Orson Welles as a gruff Rochester.

Lullaby a simple enough story, an affluent middle-class Parisian couple, hire a nanny, Mila (Assya Da Silva) to take care of their little girl, Sylvie (Noelle Renaude) and little boy, Adam (Calypso Peretjatko  [nine months] and Benjamin Patissier [fifteen months]).

Paul (Antoine Reinartz) is a successful music producer. His beautiful wife, Wafa (Rehab Mehal) doesn’t need to work. They’ve got enough money to live on, but she wants to go back to work and kick-start her career. They agree to look for a nanny. To try out a new way of living. If it doesn’t work they can go back to the way it was.

Wafa is a successful, highly educated Parisian, but she’s also regarded as Algerian. Low-paid drudge work is done largely by the immigrant population. An agency boss belittles Algerian nannies and coloured nannies in general. The usual slightly racist stuff about being lazy and late and not being properly French. This makes Wafa uncomfortable.

They are not sure they’ll find a nanny—they can afford. Wafa interviews a few candidates. Mila is the dream candidate. And she’s white.

She wins the job and the kids love her. Their parents like her too. She does everything for them. Not only taking care of the kids but housekeeping and making them healthy meals and snacks when they finish work.

Like me, you’ve probably figured how this is going to go. There’s a slightly loopy bit in Jane Eyre where she runs away into the English wildness, almost marries another man, but keeps her morals and becomes the nineteenth-century equivalent of a millionaire. She hears Rochester’s voice calling to her.

Lullaby doesn’t end with a lullaby. Read the book or watch the film.

Midnight’s Children, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, writer and narrator Salman Rushdie, director Deepa Metha.

I like films, but I love books, but I don’t love Salman Rushdie’s books. I read about the first fifty pages of Midnight’s Children and didn’t go any further. But I enjoyed the film. It’s a simplified version of the book, and being quite simple that’s the version for me. I get the same kind of thing with Shakespeare. It’s not something I’d read for pleasure. And when you get to a certain age you could admit that if you’re not reading for pleasure, you’re not reading. You’re watching films—hence Midnight’s Children (for Dummies). A guilt-free pleasure.

As you probably know Salman Rushdie’s novel is based on the night (Midnight) when India is no longer under British rule. India becomes independent. Two boys born at midnight are switched by a nurse. A rich boy becomes a poor boy. A poor boy becomes a rich boy. The trajectory of their lives are changed by that act. The prince becomes a pauper and the pauper a prince.

Their lives, together and apart, mirror the breakup of India with Pakistan and in the seventies with Bangladesh, also changed with the act of partition.

When I mention magical-realism, you’ve probably figure I don’t know what I’m talking about. The rich-poor boy Saleem Sinai (Satya Bhabha) hears voices in his head. And by twitching his nose can summon all those other children born on that magical night, who have also been given a hidden magical power. Paravati (Shriya Saran) for example is a witch, a very beautiful witch. She’s the love interest. Shiva (Siddharth Suryanarayanan) the poor-rich boy whose destiny Saleem Sinai stole, stands between them. Being a simple sort, I’m simplifying.

I enjoyed the movie, but not the book. I might try reading the book again, already knowing the broad outlines of the narrative. But I probably won’t. Sometimes when I do that I still don’t like the book, which makes me feel like a reader that has failed the reading test. Watch the movie (don’t read the book). I’m simplifying my life.  

Great Scottish Writers, Douglas Stuart (2022) Young Mungo.

The same, but different. Most writers write the same book again and again. (I do that too). Publishers like that. It’s an easy sell, especially if your debut novel won the Booker Prize. Different characters, different haircuts, the same predicaments, with much the same outcomes. Write what you know. Young Mungo (Hamilton-Buchanan) is Shuggie Bain.

A rundown housing estate in the Dennistoun, East End of Glasgow (of course) after Thatcher destroyed the mining community, helped shut down many of the shipyards and what she thought of as lame-duck industries that made things. The workshop of the world has moved to China. Mr Campbell batters his wife after Celtic unexpectedly beat Rangers 2—1  and end their 45 game unbeaten run. John Collins and Andy Payton scored. Mark Hateley got a goal back near the end. The game took place in the 92/93 season. A meaningless fixture, but not for Mrs Campbell. She’s a good neighbour. (‘Her ankles were chalky blue from bad circulation.’) She looks out for Young Mungo and his sister, Jodie, but not their eldest brother, Ha-Ha, who’s gone feral at eighteen, and has already fathered a child with a fifteen-year-old girl. His mother was also pregnant at fifteen with him

Nobody looks after Ha-Ha, but he’s determined to make a man of Mungo. He’s too soft, too girly, and it’s bad for his reputation.

The cautionary tales lives at the bottom of the close. Poor-Wee-Chickie can only walk his dog early morning when the kids aren’t hanging about ‘the Paki shop’ to harass him for walking funny, talking funny, for being a wee poof. He’s seven or eight bolts on his door, but follows the world through his net curtains.

Young Mungo is fifteen going on sixteen. His sister Jodie is a year older than him, and mother’s Mungo. Somebody’s got to do it. Hers is a secondary storyline. The narrative switches to her point of view. Mr Gillespie, the Modern Studies teacher, is grooming and  fucking her over and has been since she’s been fifteen. (Like mother like daughter, but she doesn’t like sex with the paedophile, she endures it.) But he’s promised her great things. He’s promised to get her into Glasgow Uni and out of the East End and into the West End of Glasgow where English people live. 

Murdo joked with James Jamieson that he could rent his doo hut out for £45 a week to a single mother with three wains. James lives across the back from Murdo, but they’re worlds apart. It’s not so much what light through yonder window breaks, but whose arms and legs will be broken, rather than whose heart. Shakespearian rivalry. Gang warfare between the Montague’s and Capulet’s. Bernstein’s and Sondheim’s early musical scripts rivalry rang between Catholics and Jewish gangs in a musical called West End Story set in New York. East End story in Glasgow is the old I’m not a Billy, you’re a Tim. Catholic Bhoyston, an unconquered country linked by the bright lights and a narrow motorway bridge.

  James is a Catholic. He lives in Dennistoun. He’s got to provide his own bright lights, but also to keep them muted. His da is a widower who works in the rigs. He might even get him a job on the rigs when he too is sixteen. But he’s worried about him. He’s caught him out when the phone bill came in and it was astronomical—chat lines, which would have been something to be proud of, but GAY chat lines. His da wants him to sort it and fast. James has his own plans to run away. His dreams are Young Mungo’s dreams. They could run away together. But James tells him, he’s too scared. Too tied in with what his ma wants and needs. He’ll be there for her like Poor-wee-Chickie was for his ma. And he’s still there.

Mungo, like Shuggie Bain’s ma, like Douglas Stuart’s ma, was an alcoholic. Any notion of her bringing the wains up was purely accidental. Ha-Ha had that figured before he could reach out of his crib and chib somebody. He’d a keen grip on the Dennistoun reality of life being poor, brutal and then you die. Every man for himself. His ma wasn’t against him, but neither was she for him. She was too busy getting drunk and having fun. With sober interludes when she went to AA meetings. The promise of hope was the promise of failure. Mungo, like Shuggie Bain, tries to protect his ma.

But there’s a sense of jeopardy that was missing from Shuggie Bain. What kind of ma, the police asked Mo-Maw—without getting a reasonable answer—gave her wee boy to two men from an AA meeting, she’s just met and didn’t know, to take him for a fishing trip up North? They might be paedophiles. They were paedophiles not long released from Barlinnie Prison. It’s not far. James and Mungo cycle to it. For big families in the scheme, it provides alternative accommodation. What type of mother is Maureen, Mo-Maw?

The book begins with The May After. Mungo is wearing his cagoule and he’s going fishing with an older man, St Christopher. He’s an alcoholic with a room, one of 300 in the Great Eastern Hotel. Gallowgate was wiry, tattooed and younger, and he keeps the old guy in line. Mungo hadn’t strayed far from the half-dozen tenements he’d be born in. Scotland was a foreign country.

‘The men lumbered in the sunshine. They were weighed down with armfuls of plastic bags, a satchel filled with fishing tackle, and a camping rucksack. Mungo could hear them complain of their thirst. He had known them only an hour, but they had mentioned it several times already. They seemed always to be thirsty. “Ah’m gasping for a guid drink,” said the elder of the two.’

Working-class characters like Mungo talk in the Scottish dialect. This interests me, in particular, because I’m trying to get a feel for it on the page.

Poor-Wee-Chickie, for example, talking about ‘doohuts’ and James’s da. ‘He lives there, doesn’t he? I used to ride the mornin’ bus to work wi his father. He was a miserable big batstard. Didnae have the time of day for anybody. Wouldnae smile at ye if you bought him a new set of teeth.’

There’s a trade-off here (and other parts of the book) with dialect, which is always an approximation. For consistency, ‘wouldnae smile at ye if you bought,’ would read ‘wouldnae smile at ye if ye bought’.

Glasgow humour injects humanity into the characters. Parts don’t need to add up, because in community living they don’t either. Gallowgate, for example, likes talking on the pay phone to random people he’s never met. It’s a useful skill for a sociopath and convicted paedophile. But in Shuggie Bain, his ma also loved to chat on the phone. It was how she kept in touch with the world. Her trait became his trait. Same but different.

I could use terms like this is a more rounded work than Shuggie Bain, but I can’t really be arsed to remember if it is. In both of Stuart’s novels life is breeched and broken. The leading narrator tries, and fails, to sellotape a palatable future together with his mother, but there is no sticking point. Only a continued sense of failure. There’s more a sense of danger to Young Mungo. And that adds to the frisson of the follow-up novel. The truth is I just like it better. Read on.         

Kilmarnock 0—5 Celtic

Celtic go with the same team that started against Ross County. Reo Hatate is still been given time to recover from his injury. And Startfelt wasn’t risked on a plastic pitch.

The Kilmarnock game plan wasn’t to lose a goal. They did after seven minutes. A wonderful pass by Greg Taylor in behind the defence. Maeda squared the ball. Kyogo with his first touch of the game, he scored the first goal of the game in off the post and finished up in the net with the ball. A five-a-side goal, played on a five-a-side pitch.

Turnbull had four shots on goal. Three of which sailed over and one which came off a defender. He was replaced (or rotated) in the second half and Mooy came on to stroll the last twenty minutes. But ironically it was Taylor who had one of the best chances of the first-half, waltzing through the defence but trying to cut the ball back to Kyogo with a shot on goal being the better option.

Jota scored a wonder goal against Aberdeen. He scored another today. 25-yards out, he hit it first time into the top corner. 35 minutes in and the game and the Kilmarnock game plan is ripped up.

 Jenz, I think, it simply better than Starfelt so the team is stronger. He was up against Kyle Lafferty, who plays with his elbows and was finally booked for it in the second-half. Jenz managed to chip in with his second goal in his second game at the end of the half to make it 3—0 and effectively game over. He got away from Lafferty and on the half turn, swivelled and put it into the corner. That goal, and his performances so far, puts him ahead on Starfelt with goals scored for the club, but more importantly in the pecking order.

Starfelt came on, early in the second-half for Jenz, and scored his first league goal for Celtic in the 76th minute to make it four-nil. O’Reily’s corner. Carter-Vicker’s header. Walker palmed the ball out to Starfelt who took two tries before bundling the ball into the net from inside the six-yard box.

A misplace pass by Taylor led to one of Kilmarnock’s only shots on goal in the first-half. Lafferty tried to chip Joe Hart. It will happen at some point this season, but the Northern Irish international hit him with the ball.

  Giakoumakis came on—with Kilmarnock having a ten-minute period when they got up the park—and showed that whatever Jenz can do he can do better (he’s been doing it longer) scoring with an overhead worldy in the 82nd minute.

 Abada, who scored a wonderful goal last week, also came on and had a few shots at goal. Forrest, on the other wing, kept it simple. With Champions League qualifiers no longer with us, we have a full squad ready to go. Postecoglou emphasis is on when a player gets his chance he must seize it—and with two or three games on the horizon that will happen sooner rather than later.

Van Badham (2021) Quanon and On: A Short and Shocking History of Internet Conspiracy Cults.

‘We elected a meme.’

Conspiracy beliefs eat you from the inside. I know this having been brought up a Roman Catholic. Guardian journalist Van Badham tells the reader her book is about two things, i) the internet, ii) belief. It was personal for her.

‘My interest in the internet’s extremist underworld resulted from my experience of its attacks…I found myself on the very public online radar of misogynists, racists, homophobes and outright fascists. I was the subject of attack videos and hateful memes and subject to constant trolling. In the wake of online attacks came offline too. Parcels of anonymous materials began to appear on my doorstep; my Twitter account was hacked; I was stalked, harassed and attacked in the street. International Neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer published a hit piece with my photograph and a written incitement to run me over in a car.’

I naively believed that at the soon to be President Trump’s rallies the cries of ‘Lock her up! Lock her up!’ was regarding the Democratic Party’s servers being tapped by the Russian state (FSB) and information about her email accounts being passed to followers of the moron’s moron. She’d acted illegally in not securing them, which was a potentially criminal act (but we all know rich people don’t get prosecuted).  Hillary Clinton publicly apologised. But Trump’s followers wanted her locked up for what I thought was a minor misdemeanour. What I didn’t realise was when she ordered pizza, it was a code word for children to be delivered to her and her paedophilic followers, who would rape and eat them. They would also milk them for a substance, a by-product of fear that would give them eternal life. #PizzaGate wasn’t about pizzas. Badham shows that any relationship with badly scripted B-movies and The Matrix is intentional and unintentional.

The $4 million damages awarded against Alex Jones— his defence costs running at $49 million— were the standout tag for public and political theatre. The right-wing profiteer who said the Sandy Hook school shootings were a hoax, and helped propagate the lie using his site InfoWars as an internet megaphone amplifying lie after lie for personal gain was forced to recant.

Jones’s highly priced attorneys made school-boy errors. They released two years’ worth of text messages from his phone to his legal adversaries and then failed to claim client privilege. A counterpoint to Stop the Steal.

Infowars website was making $800 000 a day from merchandising was one of the facts revealed. His net worth $279 million revealed to the parents of a family of a six-year old boy shot and killed and targeted as liars by Jones’s trolling followers.

Alex Jones, like Trump with ‘Stop the Steal’, ran on paranoia and promoted self-serving lies, all the way to the bank, and beyond the Presidency. The show is still running.

Alex Jones was quick to apologise to the bereaved parents of Sandyhook children. He was willing to admit ‘the attack was ‘one hundred percent real’.

Jones also admitted #PizzaGate was a lie. The Ping Pong restaurant run by James Alefantis in Washington, DC, did not have dungeons and basements which ran underground and fed the voracious appetites of Hillary Clinton and her cabal for very young children, who they liked to torture before eating. #PizzaGate: The Bigger Picture on YouTube.

His YouTube messages to his tens of thousands of followers that he was going down there to investigate was also a lie. He’d no intention of visiting. Online activists, digital soldiers, kept the churn going, until Edgar Madison Welch from Salisbury, North Carolina did visit with rifle in hand. He sent a text message to his girlfriend and children. He was ‘Raiding a pedo ring, possibly sacrificing the lives of a few for the lives of many. Standing up against a corrupt regime that kidnaps, tortures and rapes babies and children in our own backyard.’ In other words, Madison Welch was being heroic.

Jones was also forced to apologise for perpetuating lies that a yogurt factory was also a centre for supporting child rapists and the spread of tuberculosis.    

19th August 2020, Joe Biden was announced as the Democratic candidate that would run against Donald J. Trump in the forthcoming election—which he, of course, stole, if you believe the 45th President of the United States and his dim-witted followers.

In the White House, the moron’s moron was asked at a press conference what he thought about QAnon and its followers on social media (and indeed in the White House itself when they invaded it in an attempt to shut down Congress and lynch the Vice President of the disUnited States, Mike Pence).

‘They are people who love their country,’ was the moron’s moron’s reply. Meme speech follows familiar patterns.

When the call came Ashli Babbet and Rosanne Boyland came to Washington, DC, like Maddison Walsh because they saw themselves as heroic. They were willing to die. And they did. Yet they were disowned by QAnon as false-flags. Later to be lionised.

Who or what is QAnon? Van Badham suggests it may have been Steve Bannon. The government insider who played Deepthroat in the deep web of 4chan and 8chan. Or it might have been someone from Breitbart or Cambridge Analytica. Certainly, they had help from Russian FSB. Lieutenant General Flynn is put in the frame. Both received pardons from the then President Trump. Or it may have been lawyers such as Rudy Giuliani. Or it might have been all of them. It didn’t really matter. QAnon went silent after Trump. It helped create a meme as President.

Silicon Valley pioneered computer software to get you clicking on cute cats doing silly things. You became the product. You are part of Big Data sets and A/B testing on server farms.

Amazon, for example, identified me as part of the tens of millions who bought and read Donna Tart’s The Goldfinch. Ninety percent of us finished it.

Amazon knows I’m a sucker for books. I’m also part of the millions of buyers who bought Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Piketty shot down the idea of a trickle-down economics being a shell game using offshore companies to hide profits and help create an ideology that was based on lies. But we lost the propaganda war, by us I mean the poor people that are reliant on wages as their sole source of income and who get to retire when they reach between sixty and sixty-eight (if we’re not dead first). The French economist urged governments to tax the rich. The two leading candidates of the Tory Party vie with each other to go in the other direction. Taxing the poor has always been popular in certain elite groups that don’t eat children.

But Amazon also knows I’m the exception to the rule. Only three percent of those who started Piketty’s book, finished it. I’m glossing over that I forget more than I remember and in an examination I’d fail, but Amazon doesn’t know this. It just quantifies pages turned. And I’m a page turner.

But I’m also part of the growing minority that believes we are living in the end of times. Unchecked global warming will end civilisation in the next fifty years. A YouGov pole at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic found that almost a third of those questioned anticipated a life-changing disaster in their lifetime.

A 2019 survey found that almost half of those polled in US, UK, France and Italy belief that civilisation will collapse in the years to come.

Conspiracy theories thrive in such an environment of fear. It’s not what you think, but what you feel. Van Badham’s prescient book came out before Alex Jones’s trial. In a way it vindicates her work, but nobody is listening to things they don’t want to hear is the real message of this book. QAnon metamorphoses into something more right-wing and hateful and will go on and on destroying lives. Jones shows were the money and political influence lies. It’s not surprising his phone records have been subpoenaed by Congress investigating the role the 45th President had in insurrection and civil disobedience in Washington, DC.