TAKE a bow Sons of Struth front-man Craig Houston, a man who tells it exactly as it is and does not mince his words.
For it was Houston who nailed the rebel renegades of Vanguard Bears as the handful of those who claim to support Rangers who could not have done Jack Irvine’s dirty work any better for him than if they were in his pay.
Last week, while Houston was in London doing good work on behalf of those who want the current board ousted, Laxey Partners were buying up an extra 5pc of Rangers shares and then trying to justify their broken promise and their declaration to vote for the current board, by saying they had found it hard to gain a consensus from supporters groups.
Laxey partner Colin Kingsnorth, who had previously said Laxey would vote in accordance with the wishes of Rangers supporters, further attempted to wriggle out of that solemn previous pledge and promise by adding that he believed there were 101 supporters groups and 102 different opinions.
Where on earth did Kingsnorth hear such unadulterated twaddle? From Jack Irvine?
Did Irvine use the so called “neutrals” of the no more than 50-strong Vanguard Bears – a secretive organisation – to try and usurp the views of the democratic Rangers Supporters’ Association, Assembly and Trust who represent tens of thousands of real Rangers fans and who all wholeheartedly back the move to replace the current board with the Nominees?
It certainly appeared that way to the man whose Sons of Struth group has rallied those three groups, plus the Blue Order and the Union Bears to form big battalions into an army marching under the same banners and bellowing the same mantra of “Sack the Board.”
It was an angry Houston who made it clear that none of these groups, who have all democratically and unanimously agreed to join this fans’ union, had spoken to anyone at Laxey.
However, it was what he added and what he was quoted as saying in a national newspaper which was more telling, more revealing and more damning as far as the Vanguard Bears rebels are concerned.
Houston said: “The only supporters’ group not to join, are Vanguard Bears. They represent 50 fans and have stated all along they would remain neutral. So if Laxey have spoken to any fans’ group it could only have been them.”
The fact of the matter is that nobody believes the so-called neutrality policy claimed by Vanguard Bears on their web site. Not when so many of their members and their handful of camp followers infect the Rangers Media site attacking all and sundry who support the Sons of Struth, the Union Bears, the Blue Order, the Supporters Association, the Trust and the Assembly and their backing for the “Sack the Board” campaign.
Not when so many of their members and their handful of camp followers take to Twitter under the guises of a series of anonymous but easily identifiable with Vanguard Bears names, vilifying all and sundry who support the Sons of Struth, the Union Bears, the Blue Order, the Supporters Association, the Trust and the Assembly and their backing for the “Sack The Board” campaign.
It is a particularly cowardly, sly and sleekit way of going about their business.
Vanguard Bears should either have the courage of their convictions and come out publicly and join disgraced former director Ian Hart in saying they back the board.
And they should tell us who they are. For any endorsement of the board, who held a secret meeting with Vanguard Bears, by Vanguard Bears, an organisation which is just as secretive as Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita, would be no endorsement at all.
After all, we know who have been elected to lead the three main supporters bodies. Drew Roberton is the still recently elected secretary of the Association and has impressed everyone who has come into contact with him with his clear sighted and commonsense approach.
Andy Kerr, the president of the Assembly is a man who I have had cause to be critical of in the past, but who has more recently shown his true mettle and risen to the challenge in a fine and admirable way.
While Gordon Dinnie, the chairman of the Trust, is a quietly spoken man of rationale with a huge breadth of experience in the field of organised labour, an experience which makes him an invaluable asset during negotiations.
These are the people who are now urgently seeking talks with Laxey Partners chief Colin Kingsnorth in order to impress upon him just how wide spread and deep rooted the distrust of the current Rangers board is among their tens of thousands of Rangers supporters members and to put him right. Kingsnorth has been being fed lies.
But who represents Vanguard Bears? What are the credentials of their leaders? Are their representatives elected? And why do they cower behind the shield of anonymity, just like Blue Pitch Holdings and Margarita do?
Craig Houston has done the overwhelming majority of Rangers supporters a massive favour by finally outing Vanguard Bears in the mainstream media.
For now their backs are up against the wall. Now Vanguard Bears must tell the rest of the Rangers support – the tens of thousands – just who they are. Now they must tell those tens of thousands of decent Rangers supporters, just who they are giving their support to.
It is no longer an option for Vanguard Bears to officially espouse neutrality, while their members and few followers take to Rangers Media and Twitter to anonymously attack those who want regime change at Ibrox.
They must put up, or shut up. And weigh in balance the consequences if they chose to continue with their present totally unacceptable behaviour.
The Rangers Supporters Association will no longer tolerate it. The Assembly will no longer tolerate it. The Trust will no longer tolerate it. The Union Bears will no longer tolerate it. The Blue Order will no longer tolerate it. The Sons of Struth will no longer tolerate it.
And as I have said before, the days of the handful of people who drive the Vanguard Bears’ agenda, such as it is, remaining anonymous to skulk in the shadows, are coming to an end.