Don't shoot begs Tartan Army;Jotter

5th June 1998 at 01:00
Would the author of Pedagogy of the Oppressed have supported Scotland against his native country, Brazil? This vital theoretical question is posed by Liam Kane, a Glasgow University adult education researcher, ahead of next Wednesday's big match.

Kane studied the Landless People's Movement in Brazil recently and attended the First International Meeting of the Paulo Freire Forum. Someone has to do it.

Freire, not a dangerous midfielder but the famed revolutionary author, has been taken to heart in urban Scotland by radicals keen to emphasise the "conscientisation" of the oppressed. The great man died over a year ago.

Kane spoke glowingly at the First International (next Wednesday's match must be the second) of the legacy Freire left to Scotland. First, the "certainty that Freire really liked Scottish whisky. To this day, the co-ordinator of the largest Freirian project in Scotland complains that Freire drank almost a complete bottle of his best malt on the only occasion he visited Scotland," Kane tells us.

The doubt: whether Freire would have backed Craig Brown's boys. "I argued that in the world of football, the Brazilians were the oppressors while Scotland were clearly the oppressed. I argued that if Paulo Freire always stood by the oppressed, then had he been alive he would be supporting the poor oppressed Scots on June 10. While the Brazilians applauded my attempt at humour, they clearly felt no such doubt: a Brazilian supports Brazil," Kane concludes.

The Tartan Army Movement may strike back with a heroic 0-0 draw, but don't count on it. We know our place.

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