‘Boys abused because they wore maroon’

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the sight of grown men hurling venomous abuse at 11 and 12-year-old boys at Tynecastle on Sunday will be an eye-opener to many who are not regulars at SPL football grounds.

For the young players from the Livingston Hearts Boys Club, entertaining the crowd at half-time during the Hearts-Celtic game should have been memorable – it turned out to be so for all the wrong reasons.

The boys were subjected to appalling abuse by some Celtic fans simply because they wore maroon shirts. The fact some of the boys involved were Celtic fans would be lost on the morons who barracked them.

The idiots might claim that many young boys these days would give back as good as they got in these circumstances.

But the only reason young boys ever behave that way is because of the example they are set by the adults they live with.

Supporters of the Old Firm have been extremely vocal in their campaign against the Scottish Government’s crackdown on football-related sectarian abuse.

There has been no claim, so far at least, that this nasty little incident falls into that category, but the disturbing level of hatred it showed is a perfect example of exactly why the crackdown is needed.

An inquiry is vital

THE fact that the trams dispute cost the council at least £66m is not just shocking, it is also the clearest proof yet that we must have a full – and immediate – public inquiry.

Our demand for such an inquiry is not about point-scoring or even a desire to see heads roll (though roll they should); it is about the need for Edinburgh and all of Scotland to find out exactly what went wrong so that there is never a repeat in any future public sector construction project.

The starting point for such an inquiry will have to be the way the original contract was drawn up. We suspect the roots of most of the problems that followed lie there.

But if it wasn’t already clear that such original mistakes were compounded by poor project management then the £66m dispute figure surely shatters any remaining doubts.

That massive bill (which some think may rise to £100m after all legal fees are accounted for) makes it clear that the hard-headed “we’ll see you in court” approach TIE adopted against their contractors was a mistake.

It is one for which we’ll all be paying for many years to come.