and the most colourful.‘ he said. ‘Any trouble comes from yobs who turn up on the sidelines. We want to get shot of them as much as the police do. He added: ‘[Orange marches are] about freedom of worship and civil liberties,’ but condemned Republican hands. ‘They are anti-British. I don’t think they should be allowed freedom of speech.’
Clements believes the religious divide in Scotland is different from that in Northern Ireland. where communities are physically more divided. ‘Here the communities are so mixed. In Northern Ireland. you don’t get somebody from the Orange Lodge living next to somebody who is in a Republican band. [In Scotland] it is not warfare. but at low level it operates every day. from workplace jokes and abuse to a punch about the face.’
The Witness documentary examines three ways that religious conﬂict impacts on people’s lives: through sport. marching bands and family life. It is ludicrous to say none of this has any importance. Clements argues. ‘One march in Airdrie attracted 20.000 people. If you had 20.000 people demonstrating for a Scottish Parliament at the Scottish Office. something would be done. so you can’t say it isn’t important.
‘It was front page news in the Sunday Mail when Paul Gascoigne pretended to play a flute. The serious English papers did big features [on it]. Then people say it’s not an important issue. Why do 45.000 people go to Rangers matches? It isn’t because they all live in Govan.’
There is a tendency to dismiss sectarian attitudes as an offshoot of the troubles in Northern Ireland — a sort of hobby for people
Firm favourite: Celtic tans salute their team at a Celtic v Bangers match
who want to establish an identity for themselves. This is a mistake. according to Clements. ‘lt is more than that.‘ he says. ‘So much of the Protestant community in Ireland has roots in Scotland. and the Catholic comtnunity here has its roots in Ireland. “Hands across the water” is an important theme in the programme.‘
Politically. there is a will to tackle the issue. Moves have been made to deal with the situation at Glasgow’s Bridgeton Cross. 21 flashpoint every time Celtic have a home game. ‘It is being addressed.‘ says Glasgow District councillor Tony McCartney. ‘There is to be more policing
‘There is to be more policing at Bridgeton Cross on match days. Celtic fans who don’t know it is a Bangers area run the gauntlet when they walk along London Road)
at Bridgeton Cross on match days. Celtic fans who don’t know it is a Rangers area run the gauntlet when they walk along London Road. It has been going on since time irnmemorial. My opinion is that the police have been lackadaisical in dealing with it. but they are dealing with it now.’
The Clements-Wark team knows it is a difficult issue to raise. and expects to get flak frotn all sides for airing the problem. ‘This was the hardest production I have ever worked on.’ admits Clements. People were reluctant to talk openly. partly for fear of being ‘stitched up‘ and made to look like bigots. partly because. as Clements points out. ‘It is a small city’.
He learned this to his cost when his car was
vandalised outside his home. ‘Someone used a screwdriver to scratch “Fuck you” into the paintwork. I can’t prove it was related to our programme. but it is an issue that leads to paranoia. some of which isjustified.’
The aim was to provide an explanation for English viewers and exploration of the problem for the Scottish audience. Any criticism that this is bad publicity for Glasgow and an airing of something best dealt with quietly is given short shrift by Clements. ‘We are asking why there is this acquiescence in it.’ he says. ‘How serious an issue is it and why isn’t it talked about? People shouldn’t look at this and say: “I wouldn’t go to Glasgow.” The city is friendly and welcoming. but it is like Paris where they had bombs going off on the Metro recently. It doesn’t mean it’s not nice to go there and sit in a cafe.’
Clements is proud of the programme. but says its message is not particularly optimistic. about the situation in either Scotland or Ireland. ‘The message coming from both sides is quite depressing.‘ he says. ‘Everybody welcomed the peace in Northern Ireland. but without much confidence that it will last. Everyone thought it was a good thing until they started talking about what they would concede. They couldn’t imagine that. so you don’t come away optimistic about the peace process.’
The message in Central Scotland is that before
barriers can be demolished. they must ﬁrst be acknowledged. The Witness documentarv Football, Faith And Flutes is on Sunday 12 November at 9pm on Channel 4. The programme will then be discussed in The Witness Debate chaired by Sheena Mae/)unald at [1.45pm.
The List 3— l6 Nov I995 11