CAPTAIN Edmund Blackadder perfectly summed up the First World War after years spent on the Western Front battling an enemy unlike his previous foes in that they were not three feet tall and armed only with dry grass.

“There hasn’t been a war run this badly since Olaf the hairy, King of all the Vikings, ordered 80,000 battle helmets with the horns on the inside.”

Given that one of the plans from up high was to "climb out of our trenches and walk very slowly towards the enemy,” poor Edmund might just have had a point.

Alas, not a lot was learned from that appalling conflict. Wars, and unwinnable ones at that, continue to this day; not all them involve guns, tanks and bombs.

The war on Drugs, Poverty and Crime were as successful as old Olaf was. I won't drown you with figures but rest assured it is easier now than ever to buy heroin, become poor and resort to crime, usually in that order, than ever before in most if not all westernised countries - particularly the United States which wages these wars.


READ MORE: Colt teams back on the agenda but still not closer to becoming a reality

And that’s after that’s after billions of dollars spent over many decades. An utter waste of time and money. It's as if Baldrick was behind it all.

That's not to say that nothing can be done to at least tackle even the biggest problems. It’s just we need a bit more thinking and less meaningless slogans.

Which brings me to Scottish football and our never-ending conflict against sectarian behaviour inside our football grounds.

Those who indulge in what I would call anti-social and offensive behaviour don’t want to change. And they won’t. The minority who throw bottles and coins have no interest in turning over a new leaf.

We can lecture, educate and reason. But this is another war which isn’t going to be won. There is, however, one thing we can do in terms of the singing - yes, this again.

An amnesty is called on certain songs. From August 3, the first day of the SPFL season, they are no longer allowed.


READ MORE: Rangers kid Ciaran Dickson hopes to follow Ross McCrorie's example at Ibrox

The clubs, Police, SPFL and SFA need to sit down and draw up a sensible and mature list of songs, chants and banners which from that date forward will no longer be allowed. Release the list so we all know what can and can’t be heard and read inside our football grounds.

Make it clear that if something which has been banned is belted out by a considerable number of people – one or two dafties are easily ignored – during three games over a certain period, then points will be docked.

Easy to say, not so simple to do, I know. But something needs to be done because, I don’t know about you, I’m fed up with this being an issue every single season when the actual football is what we should all be most interested in.

I hear all sorts belted out at games all over the country and nothing is ever done by the authorities. If we did have a list, at least everyone would know where they stood.

I’ve said before that old loyalist and republican songs can stay. It’s not my cup of tea but Scotland is hardly the only country in which politics, both ancient and modern-day, can be found on the terraces.

A lot of people look down their noses, particularly at Celtic and Rangers, and I am always reminded of what Frankie Boyle said about the Offensive Behaviour Law.


READ MORE: Gary McAllister admits Rangers have a striking dilemma ahead of Celtic clash

“The ruling classes telling the working classes what to say and can’t come in and say that the opinions those people hold, the songs they sing, the language they use is inferior and invalid.”

For me, Boyle is correct but I would still argue that there are certain things we should not hear and if we do, from next season, there will be consequences for the clubs.

It won't happen. I honestly believe too many in the game simply can't be bothered with any hassle which might come their way.

It's why managers are often the ones to speak out - Neil Lennon and Steven Gerrard for example - but clubs themselves are more reluctant.

However, if we were given a clear do's and don'ts, then just maybe we can move forward while at the same time admitting football is not the cause or cure of society's problems. We can't cure Scotland of bigotry but those in charge can make sure less bigotry can be heard at football games.

Or we go along as we've always done. Doing nothing.


KENNY McLean is from my bit of the world. He even went to my old school, Cathkin High in Cambuslang, which makes him a good lad in my book.

READ MORE: From the captivating to the controversial, Rangers' 50 greatest Old Firm games are chronicled

That he's become a fine footballer, a Scotland international and has now won promotion with Norwich City should make my alma mater extremely proud

He comes from what is locally known as 'The Circuit' which has changed from my day when it was known as 'lively.'

By all accounts, McLean is a good guy and he certainly came across that way in the few media dealings I had with him. He definitely has a bit of personality.

On Monday, the Norwich team as part of a civic reception got to ring the town bell in front of thousands of fans.

McLean, quite brilliantly, got his hands on the Mayor's hat and proudly wore it as he stumbled slightly onto the balcony.

The 27-year-old had a drink in his hand, and why not, but it wasn't beer, wine or champagne.

It was an orange bottle of MD 20/20 - the MD standing for Mad Dog. It's a beverage my friends and I were fond of ourselves.

It's a 13 per cent tonic wine - lovely with fish - and as it's an orange colour, will have some vitamin C.

My home's local hero pronounced himself the Mayor of Norwich and then the next day on Twitter declared that Tuesday a bank holiday, which you can do when you're a mayor.

McLean is now a Premiership player but judging by his celebrations hasn't forgotten where he's from and how we celebrate. You can take the lad out of The Circuit...

Good luck to him next season.