Catriona Stewart: People should be mad about the ride to Dubai by Celtic, not skaters in Queen’s Park


Honestly, it was marvellous.

I had never seen scenes like this in my 15 years of enjoying Queen’s Park.

The air was absolutely crisp and dry and there was a buoyant feeling.

The freezing temperatures had resulted in ice covering the duck pond, and after months of hardship, people were experiencing a new sense of outdoor independence.

Figure skaters, segregated by the rink’s closure from their favorite sport, came to the park to practice their craft.

Friends strolled in pairs, laughing and drinking coffee around the pond.

Little girls, giggling and shrieking with joy, were pulled up and down on sleds, while dogs did their best to make sense of the situation.

Some boys had prepared themselves for hockey on the field and were chasing a puck.

It was lovely indeed. Life was all over there.

And the problem is that.

There was still a clear knowledge of the fresh, more virulent strain of the virus gripping the population the weekend before the tightened lockdown conditions were declared.

We’ve seen transmission speeds increase every day.

So it was no wonder people were angry on the Internet at what they saw as a mass meeting in the park.

Outside Pollokshaws Lane, in an area where vehicles typically do not park, there were lines of cars.

On the side of the duck pond, what looked like a crowd was gathering together. I say “looked like” because it wasn’t there when I was, and if people are crowded together, it can be difficult to tell from a photo.

But it was really crowded, even though you were trying to please everyone.

In the summer, too, we had identical scenes when the park was packed with people making the most of the sunshine.

Those who contributed to the hubbub were condemned by citizens – even though they were strictly following the rules.

Seeing a busy area is uncomfortable now, given what we know about particles in the air and the consequences of the virus, it is unpleasant.

I can’t be the only one who now sees mass scenes and feels alarmed on TV shows.

But even more sympathetic was the discussion over the summer. There was an awareness that, for their wellbeing and well-being, people who live in apartments without gardens absolutely need to go to the park.

There was an awareness that this was necessary and that when the green space appeared busy, it wasn’t fair to ask individuals to turn around and go home.

Now the logic sounds different. There was compassion and wisdom before, and it seems to have now waned.

While all of the above is still real, when you see people disregarding the rules of the barrier, there is a tough rage – even though people don’t do something wrong technically, you feel like they should try harder morally.

When you have strictly followed the rules and made personal sacrifices, it’s not easy to see people enjoying themselves.

For individuals who have been ill or who have lost someone they love to the virus, it must be cruel.

The fact that people in positions of authority or with money are breaking the rules and getting away with it is what really hasn’t changed the situation.

Positive trip to Barnard Castle from Dominic Cumming and his Covid-positive trip to pop star Rita Ora, who went to a birthday party, apologised and then traveled to Egypt, but upon her return was unable to separate herself.

Although others suffer, there are countless examples of famous faces doing what they want for their own enjoyment or comfort.

That’s why continuing their training camp trip to Dubai is a conspicuous misstep for Celtic.

All kinds of stuff people are missing out on, not least their own sport.

The Parkhead club said that the trip back in November had been planned with the approval of all the appropriate authorities. But we all had plans scrapped, even though it was pre-planned and completely legal.

Without stuff we’ve always had to do.

Sports stars are role models, like it or not, and while perfection is a ridiculous demand, attempting to set a good example is not.

All those people who are upset about novice skaters spending a few nice hours in their local park should be just as mad at Celtic for taking an unwanted break from the sunshine.

The pandemic, however, illustrated the difference between rich and poor, between those with the resources to sweeten the block a little and those who have to fight on exhausted.

If the rich find ways of enjoying themselves while others suffer, it provides a way to enjoy themselves.


Leave A Reply