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 answer.


  1. Wow, I was expecting the usual hate filled bigotry dressed up as "it's only banter" or "we're only messin'".

    Plain taken the wind out of my sails.

  2. Lighten up cove! England is also packed with boorish chavs. I get the piss ripped out of me regularly by the boorish counterparts of your t-shirt wearing "jocks". (love being called a Jock by the way, don't you?)

    Anyway I found the following related post mildly amusing:

    The Scots react differently to the cold weather than the English:

    At 50°F
    People in Southern England turn on the central heatingPeople in Edinburgh plant out bedding plants

    Southerners shiver uncontrollably
    Glaswegians sunbathe on the beach at Largs

    Cars in the South of England refuse to start
    People in Falkirk drive with their windows down

    Southerners wear overcoats, gloves and woolly hats
    Aberdonian men throw on a t-shirt; girls start wearing mini-skirts

    Southerners begin to evacuate to the continent
    People from Dundee swim in the River Tay at Broughty Ferry

    Life in the South grinds to a halt
    Inverness folk have the last BBQ before it gets cold

    Life in the South ceases to exist
    People in Dunfermline throw on a light jacket

    Polar bears wonder if it's worth carrying on
    Boy Scouts in Oban start wearing their long trousers

    Santa Claus abandons North Pole
    People in Stirling put on their 'long johns'

    Alcohol freezes
    Glaswegians get upset because all the pubs are shut

    Microbial life starts to disappear
    The cows in Dumfriesshire complain about farmers with cold hands

    All atomic motion stops
    Shetlanders stamp their feet and blow on their hands

    Hell freezes over
    Scotland will support England in the World cup

    Hat tip