As sure as God's in Govan.
That ancient Old Firm tribal contest, just ninety embattled minutes, never fails to throw up a straw to clutch at; a reason to feel embittered, further nourishment to a festering sore, and conclusive "proof" of the dominion of Protestant, Masonic, Orange Scotland over downtrodden Irish aspirants.
Those whose lives are pledged to a land beyond the sea, but who`d rather stay on this side of it, can seek out grievance where there is none, conspiracy where it is absent, and injustice too - unless a hooped hero lashes out, jackass style, with all the fearlessness of a yellow convoyist.
It is Scottish football`s spring, summer, autumn and winter; a ritual that is as fundamental to the national sport as offside and the row Z blooter - it is the nation`s reluctant experience of a mentality which has one eye on justice, and one eye closed - it is of course, the Celtic penalty claim.
As sure as God`s in Govan, pontificators, commentators and assorted friends of the show crow loudly about the penalties Celtic were not awarded - and, curiously, they often come in threes - like condoms.
That part of Scotland which is unaffected by the spread of the grievance virus is bored out of its wits as the umpteenth repeat performance of Celtic "injustice" is played out in the press and on the airwaves.
The script is battered, bruised and bewildered, but those who read it out interminably are intent on fueling a grievance mentality which has a seemingly insatiable and perverted desire to be forever the victim.
The subliminal message is that this nation will never let the hooped hordes get a fair crack of the whip because of their religious allegiance - and this message is as tainted as it is offensive.
Let those Celtic-minded souls come of age now and stop being an embarrassment to themselves, their sport, their country and their preferred religion, but let`s not hold our collective breath in anticipation of enlightened ways.
Since 1888, this soap opera has run, and still the script remains the same.
Let this piece be published now, and again at one-hundred year intervals until Armageddon is but a distant memory ...