THE first thing I wrote this week was a cheque for £100 to the traffic police for a speeding offence.

A camera caught me going over the 50mph limit on a motorway which for some inexplicable reason, perhaps to make money out of motorists, does not permit cars to travel faster than you can on an A Road.

Three points will be added onto the licence and, as anyone who has been done for speeding knows, there isn’t much you can about it apart from pay out and accept the punishment. Or blame it on the wife as former Lib Dem MP Chris Hume did, which landed him in prison.

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I don’t agree that such a busy stretch of road with three lanes should not have the national speed limit but, as it’s the law of the land, my opinion actually doesn’t count for much. You can’t go to court, stand in front of a judge and present your defence with “I don’t agree with the law” and not expect a bit of bother coming your way.The Herald: Celtic Park is going to be a much better place now people can stand at the games

And so, naturally, we come to Celtic, flags, the two-state solution and UEFA.

There has been much talk about Palestinian flags and banners being taken to Wednesday’s game against Hapoel Be’er Sheeva, a show of support from some of the Celtic supporters to the people of Palestine.

This is not tokenism. It’s not the case that the plight of the Palestinians has become trendy and therefore a group of football fans have latched onto it. Celtic have a long tradition of flying the Flag of the Arab Revolt at games and there does seem to be some sincerity in their politics.

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Don’t think this is a bunch of neds. You may not agree with them and, as we will come to in a moment, their actions may come at a cost, but we do live in a democracy with freedom of speech, and so as long as any flag or chant was not racist or ant-Semitic – plenty of Jews living in Israel would support their argument – they should be allowed.

But there is a problem with this. It’s against the law in terms of the football authorities.

UEFA have made it clear they view flying the Palestinian flag as political and provocative, which goes against their own rules, and if it happens on Wednesday, and certainly in the return leg which takes place a 20-minute drive from the Gaza Strip, then Celtic will be fined at best.

I spoke last week to someone who knows how UEFA works and he was quite adamant that should Celtic get into more trouble – they have been done eight times in the last five years for a variety of offences – then they may be forced to close a stand for a Champions League game.

That would be maybe 10,000 empty seats for, say Real Madrid. People who bought season tickets so they could guarantee being at such matches shut out because of the behaviour of others.

Now does that seem right to you?

I personally don’t have a problem with the flags being taken to the game, I too have strong views on the issue, and certainly many Celtic supporters would agree, but just like the speeding offence that doesn’t really matter when rules are rules.

It’s quite simple, really. Just one Palestinian flag is going to bring another fine and perhaps see a part of the stadium closed down. Is that worth a protest that the vast majority of people going along to Celtic Park this week won’t have too much of an interest in?

Politics has always been part of Scottish football. Even in 2016 the rebel and loyalist songs get belted out. I was Dens Park last Saturday and the Rangers fans beside me got through the full songbook.

Both sides will tell you that’s it is part of their culture and the history of Ireland is something which deeply afflicts them. This is actually fair enough, although most of the singers look too young to remember the Troubles and very few are from Ireland, either north or south of the border.

This is why the many football regulars who can’t be bothered with all of this roll their eyes when earnest young men talk about such matters as if they lived through it. That’s akin to watching Star Wars a bunch of times and claiming you know what it’s like to work in space.

Anyway, those Celtic fans who are determined to take a Palestinian flag to Wednesday’s game must decide if risking your club being fined, a stand being closed and, one would imagine, those small band travelling to Israel next week getting a less then friendly welcome, is something they are prepared to do.

UEFA will act. Make no mistake about that. Everyone has the right to protest. But is this really the right time to protest?