A SECRETIVE group of Unionists were thought to have been attempting to recruit members outside a football stadium. 

Unionist Clubs Scotland (UCS) were said to be leafletting outside Ibrox on Sunday – but little information is available on the group. 

The National took a dive to find out what we could about the ultra-Unionist organisation. 

Who are Unionist Clubs Scotland? 

Unionist Clubs Scotland (UCS) is a shadowy collection of local societies with the stated aim of empowering Scottish Unionists whose "voices have been marginalised by toxic nationalism". 

It is thought they are not a formal organisation – though the name is claimed to be copyrighted on the group’s website – and they are not registered with Companies House or the Scottish charity regulator.

What are they up to?

The bulk of their activity appears to be concentrated on social media. The group has 23 social media accounts spread across Scotland to local chapters. They are Oban, East Fife, Ayr, Greenock, Perth, Edinburgh & Midlothian, Motherwell, Glasgow East, Glasgow North, Glasgow West, Broxburn, Bellshill, Harthill, Larkhall, Wishaw, Coatbridge, Clydesdale, Paisley, Hamilton, Bothwell & Uddingston, Airdrie, Argyll, and Kirkintilloch.

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They were thought to have been leafleting outside Ibrox on Sunday during the Rangers vs Hearts match.

There is no suggestion the club are affiliated with Rangers. 

A Reddit user claims the group handed out leaflets from members of the group which told readers “your British way of life is being diluted on many fronts”.

It goes on: “The SNP detest who we are. There have been constant attacks on our Club and our fan base for over a decade now. Hundreds of Rangers fans have found themselves banned, even more in a court of law. Pressure from well placed politicians, editors, law enforcement has seen to that.”

The leaflet also claims that the SNP are “erasing those who see themselves as British”, asking “what will it take for YOU to draw a line in the sand and refuse to take another step backwards”.

It adds: “The Scottish nationalists despise you and they despise your football team. The time has come to stand your ground.”

Another picture shows either the reverse side of the leaflet or another piece of literature listing politicians they are opposed to. These include SNP members such as James Dornan, John Mason, Anum Qaisar, Brendan O’Hara, Humza Yousaf, Susan Aitken, and Nicola Sturgeon. Green MSP Patrick Harvie is also mentioned.

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They are accused of disrespecting Rangers fans, criminalising them, calling them “huns”, marginalising supporters and saying they are “far-right”.

The leaflet notes that – despite the alleged attacks from politicians – “fortunately the foundations built by the Gallant Pioneers are sure and steadfast and we as fans are fastened to the to the rock that is Ibrox”.

They also appear to have organised a “roadshow” which visits various branches. It was due to pop up at a Masonic Temple in Airdrie, according to an advert posted on Twitter. Attendees were urged to “come along and see the work of the clubs and the difference grassroots is making across the ground”.

In 2021, clubs from across Scotland took to motorway bridges to hang Saltires and Union flags celebrating 314 years since the 1707 Acts of Union.

What are their goals?

UCS has eight stated aims and values on its website. They wish to “increase engagement – particularly amongst "working-class Unionists”, and to “expose nationalism”. The organisation is also opposed to more power being devolved to “local assemblies”, claiming they are “abused as a vehicle to attack and undermine out country”.

Another of their stated aims or values is simply “British”. They explain: “We are in our hearts Scottish AND British. We love all of our UK and we aim to promote this mindset and encourage it in others.”

Who are Unionist Clubs Scotland? The shadowy group combating 'toxic Nationalism'

They also pledge to counter “nationalist spin and lies” through education, pledging a “real focus on our young people”.

It is not known whether the group have any ties to Unionist political parties but the UCS aspires to forge them, promising to “encourage support and co-operation between all mainstream pro-union organisations” and encouraging members to join and become active within parties.

Their final aim is direct action, which they say will be pursued through organised protests and media releases.

UCS is active on TikTok, with videos highlighting gaffes from SNP politicians. They have 605 followers on the platform.

Taken together, their Twitter accounts have a total of 19,554 followers. The most-followed account was that for the Coatbridge chapter which had 3773. The least popular was the Oban chapter with just 2 followers.

How are they funded?

It appears UCS relies heavily on members’ donations. Despite not being registered as a charity, they are entitled to raise cash through donations and appear eager to do so.

Their website prominently displays a donation option close to the top of the site. A fundraiser launched in April 2021 said donations would be spent on “flags, leaflets, billboards, posters and stickers”.

The fundraiser, which has raised £1650 at time of writing, states: “For too long, the Unionist community has been silent against the oppressive regime of the SNP. Now is the time to get active within our communities and fight back. We are proud Scots but also proud to be British.”

Multiple attempts to reach UCS for comment were made.