‘Fuck the Pope’ licence plates ignites outrage in Scotland

‘Fuck the Pope’ licence plates ignites outrage in Scotland January 16, 2019

THE letters ‘FTP’ on car licence plates should be banned because they could be interpreted as meaning ‘Fuck the Pope’, according to Call it Out, an outfit that campaigns against anti-Catholicism and anti-Irish racism.

Attention was draw to the “offensive” letters when someone in Scotland used the Gumtree site to put up for sale an S6 FTP plate for £900.00.

Image via Gumtree

The vendor said it would be ideal for:

True blue nose, bears. Originally on supporters minibus.

“Fuck the Pope” is a phrase used often by some fans of Rangers Football Club, whose supporters go by the nicknames of “bears’ and bluenoses.”

Last year, former Rangers player Ian Durrant was criticised for shouting the phrase at a club dinner.

A spokesperson for the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency said plates that might “cause offence or embarrassment to the general population” are withheld as a matter of policy, but the DVLA could find nothing objectionable about the letters FTP.

The numbers in question were not deemed unsuitable for release.

Asked if the DVLA would look to restrict sales of FTP plates in future, the spokesperson said:

There are no plans to do so at this time.

This did not please Call it Out. A spokesman for the organisation said:

These three letters are a familiar term of abuse in Scotland. It is clear from the sale of a number plate bearing these three letters that both seller and buyer recognise the value they have for those who wish to showcase their intolerance in this fashion.

While there are far more pressing issues relating to anti-Catholic bigotry and anti-Irish racism, such examples of petty intolerance are nevertheless indicative of a wider problem in our society and reinforce the importance for everyone in Scotland of effectively tackling this issue.

The advert, placed online last month originally priced the personalised registration plate at £1,100.

A second advert for the same plate posted on January 2 read:

Private [registration]. Held on retention document. Valued at £1024 [but] will accept £900. I have plates for posting, money will be split 50/50 by our fishing club and Rangers Youth Academy.

Call it Out was launched last October

To provide an organised, coordinated voice for Scotland’s Catholics and Irish community, in order to combat bigotry and prejudice against them.

Scotland’s Daily Record yesterday reported that the plate had been removed from Gumtree.

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  • Bubblecar

    “Fuck the Pope”

    Not being into creepy old cult leaders, I’d rather not take up that offer.

  • Jack the Sandwichmaker

    I just wanted to celebrate my “Freedom To Pirouette”! (I don’t have the skill to do it, but I like to emphasize that I have to freedom to do so, if I want to learn)

  • larry parker

    Maybe the ‘P’ is for pedophiles…..oh, same thing. Never mind.

  • Barry Duke
  • DingoJack

    Awww – I’m sure all those Scottish N.W.A fans will be so disappointed!

  • Broga

    If they didn’t make that assumption before, they will now. Stupidity and crass readiness to take offence is everywhere in the world of the devout RC.

  • Jennny

    Maybe some folk in other countries don’t realise how deep scottish soccer sectarianism is, though they may be familiar with the deep divide in Ireland. Both Celtic FC and Rangers FC are from Glasgow, so on local ‘derby day’ when these arch-rivals meet, …violence and sectarian bigotry are much on show and there is always a big rise in fans attending hospitals for fight-injuries that day…so it’s not news to me that Rangers wants to FTP!!!!
    Edited to add, it stems from historic irish emmigration to Scotland, way back since the potato famines of the 1800s, so is deeply ingrained.

  • Kevin R. Cross

    Just for the record: Fuck the Pope.

  • Snagglefritz Sagenschnitter

    13, 666, FTP. What is the world coming to?

  • Cali Ron

    Ironic that this organization represents Catholics and Irish as though all Irish are Catholics at the same time the Irish seem to be making a rather rapid retreat from Catholicism.
    Why are their football (soccer) fans so violent? I’m a sports fan, yet in my 60 years on the planet I’ve never been in a fight or even a heated argument with an opposing teams fan. It’s a game played by children without violence, what’s wrong with these adults?

  • Vanity Unfair

    It must be difficult for Celtic supporters having to invent chants about the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

  • Raging Bee

    If car licence plates normally have a three-letter sequence, then there’d be no reason to think ANY letter combination they’d see on a car has ANY meaning. other than what the beholder might idly impute while sitting behind it waiting for traffic to move or whatever. If any significant number of people are thinking FTP on these tags mean anything specific, it’s most likely because someone just told them it was a deliberate slight. So whoever is really offended by it should sue the moron who told them it was a deliberate message.

  • Raging Bee

    Oh, and MOH and PUH might be references to Mohammed. THINK ABOUT IT…

    Or not…

  • Milo C

    I’m not a supporter of violence, sectarianism, or really a fan of team sports.

    But I hope I can get a FTP licence plate. “Free to Play” is the most common interpretation in my social circles.

  • Vanity Unfair

    I didn’t do it. Even I am not that conceited.