Andy Murray has been subject to a lot of anti-Scots prejudice by the English recently.
Why? They claim its because he made a flippant comment about not supporting England in the last world cup in 2006.
OK lets go with that for a bit. Why should Andy Murray support England at football? Each UK nation represents itself – in the eyes of FIFA at least the countries are independent.
We may live in a faltering political construct called the UK, but the reality is that the Welsh, English and Scottish are all different. The Northern Irish are also different and don’t even share the same island!
It may be neighbourly to support England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland but nothing more.
There are plenty of neighbours you can cite that don’t support each other national football teams. The Dutch and Germans. Turkey and Greece.
Domestically, its even more apparent. Rangers and Celtic. Hearts and Hibs. Dundee and Dundee United. In England:- Manchester City and Manchester United. Chelsea and Arsenal.
All neighbours that don’t get on.
Now I’m not saying that its right, but its at least understandable.
Similarly, I don’t expect England to support Andy Murray. He’s not English, so why should they?
What I do object to is the sort of views that Tony Parsons recently made known about Andy Murray. Murray as “the tip of a toxic iceberg of anti-Englishness” and “I believe Andy Murray is one of those characters who genuinely dislike England and the English”.
I don’t know Andy Murray. I do know from the papers he has an English girlfriend and has a flat in Wandsworth. Not signs of anti-English mentality.
If the English don’t want to support Andy Murray that’s fine – he’s not English. I just wish they wouldn’t justify it by saying he’s anti-English and writing prejudical nonsense about the Scots.
Another slant on this is the Britishness angle.
The attitude here is exemplified by a quote in The Herald:-
“A tabloid reporter was heard to murmur this week in the SW19 media scrum that what Wimbledon needed was a True Brit. He was immediately upbraided by a Scot: ‘But Andy Murray is a Brit.’
“The reply was an almost apologetic ‘well, you know what I mean’. What he meant was that a large constituency of the media and spectators crave an English presence in the style of Henman. This may be understandable, even forgivable. But Scotland does not have to agree with this skewed view.”
This skewed view equates Britishness with England.
That’s probably one of the reasons why the most Scots are loathe to be called British, or if they are its Scottish first, then British. Only a minority describe themselves as British before Scottish, and only a handful of Scots call themselves British only.
Now I can only speculate why the English equate Britishness with themselves.
It may be because they are by far the larger partner in this island.
It may link to an imperial past. Is Scotland just another colony?
But speaking as a Scot, Britishness is just a geographical term describing a native of this island. To me, the Northern Irish are not British, although they are very much a part of the UK. I think that’s why the British epithet is less used in Scotland – its not necessarily viewed as a nationality.
I think I would be helpful if the English started feeling English more. Perhaps this recent anti-Scottish diatribe is just the English starting to do just that. Hopefully such feelings will pass. Ending the asymmetric devolution process and giving English votes on English matters will help the process. An English Parliament is the most logical outcome of this.
England should take back the St. George’s Cross from the racists. The English should celebrate being English.
That’s my tuppence worth, from a Scot.
And wouldn’t independence just sort all this out nicely?!!