Sunday, 14 March 2010
Three lions, and three cheers, for McKenna
I see that I'm not the only one in Scotland asking the early question - who will you support in the World Cup?
Kevin McKenna, one of my old editors, now columnist with the Observer, has picked up on the theme today.
Kevin has been as depressed as any other enlightened Caledonian by the appearance of "Anyone but England" t-shirts in Scottish shops.
He points out that for thousands of English people living in Scotland the usual anti-English boorishness during the football festival won't be "just a joke", and certainly wouldn't be seen that way if the joke was on Jocks.
I'm trying not share his pessimism. It's worth remembering, Kevin, that those who shout the loudest aren't always the majority.
The stats, as I recently blogged, show that far more Scots do support England if their own team isn't playing - 48% as opposed to the 34% who are in the "anyone but" camp.
It will be interesting to see this play out on the political high wire over the summer when (already looking forward to it) the election is over.
I fully expect Alex Salmond to send a message of goodwill to the England squad as part of the "civic nationalism" strategy, regardless of what the base vote might think.
Jim Murphy, the Scottish Secretary, has not just one choice of who to support but two. His wife is English and his kids support both England and Scotland. But he is more likely to be supporting the hosts, South Africa, where he spent a large part of his childhood.
Who will other politicians be supporting? England expects...an answer.