We’re not alone…….

The lead article in the Sunday Times surprised me a little. While I would be aware that intolerance is not confined to our fair quasi-province, I didnt really expect such an ugly manifestation in Scotland.

A seven-year-old boy wearing an England football strip is attacked by a jogger. A disabled man, also wearing his team’s colours, is dragged from his car and beaten. Appalling examples of anti-English prejudice? Absolutely. Proof that Scotland as a nation is guilty of endemic racism against the English? Absolutely not. Last week’s violence must not be dismissed lightly, yet some perspective is urgently required. Attempts by noisy commentators to portray Scotland as violently anti-English are a travesty of reality.

I think that there is a whole new debate that needs to be started once more on identity, not just the positive, warm furry bits, but the ugly, naked, hatred bits that are implied with this type of oppositional identity with which we are depressingly familiar.

PS. While Miss Fitz is not exactly competitive, (it’s her arthritis) this article should put me on the top of the Guest Blogger List. Not that I was looking or anything!

  • Aaron_Scullion

    Hmm. If you ask me, attacks like those in Scotland last week are a symptom of the fundamentally flawed structure of the United Kingdom.

  • Donnacha

    According to the Thunderer: “Scotland is not racist toward English incomers; and the English public is not boiling with anger at the Scots.”

    Fair enough, that might be true, but the poor wee bugger who got belted is a Kiwi. Perhaps it was all a manifestation of Scotland’s inability to beat the All Blacks.

  • mystic meg

    Yawn. The guy who attacked the wee boy and his Da was wearing a Rangers jersey. Go figure.

  • Pete Baker

    There’s an interesting addition to this dicussion from Ruaridh Nicoll on the Guardian’s Comment is Free blog:

    “During the game against Trinidad and Tobago, I didn’t flinch at Gerrard’s strike; it was too beautiful. But when Trinidad’s Stern John (how Scottish is that name?) seemed to pull one back, and before my brain accepted he was offside, I leapt into the Mid Brae air and hollered my delight. There was an echo. I spun round. All the other Scots had been pushed to the back of the bar where they huddled like the defenders at Rorke’s Drift. To reach them would have required a run through dangerous country. I fled.

    I don’t know how I’ll feel during today’s[yesterday’s] match, for my emotions have already proved too unreliable. Yet, as I hear the cheers for Ecuador and think of little Hugo Clapshaw, I suspect I’ll be feeling a little heartsick.”

  • Miss Fitz: Sectarianism and thuggishness have been part of the Scottish landscape for over 100 years. In fact, one could argue that sectsrian was a Scotish Lowlands import. Further, the brute was wearing a Ranngers jersey and soccer does lend itself to thuggery like this.

  • Crataegus

    We’re not alone…….
    There was me thinking at last a thread on the supernatural, Irish ghost stories and all that, but no it is Scottish Ghouls.

    If you listen to the World cup commentary from RTE a fair measure of anti English feel being expressed. That’s the way of Nations.

    There is a very interesting series I think it is called War of the World Channel Four which more than just touches on this subject.

  • alledgedly according to a report just out… well in the papers today. Belfast is the most Racist city in the universe….. So i quess that will be an other *chip* on our Scots neighbours shoulders……. Try abit harder Scotland.. you might reach world class one day.

  • No UFO’s, disappointing. I needed a UFO story to brighten my Monday morning.

  • John East Belfast

    The anti English sentiment in Scotland is akin to the type of person who measures his success in life by the hoping for the failure of others.

    Infact the jealousy of a sibling towards another is very appropriate in this context.

    Scotland really needs to grow up and stop being so immature – it is all very embarassing.

    I have no hesitation in supporting any of the home countries when competing against others and I would also have little hesitation (despite the hostility of some of their supporters to NI & England)to supporting my neighbours and fellow Irish men across the border when they play anyone outside the 4 home countries of the UK.

    Undoubtedly the attitudes have always been there but there is something of an increasing intensitivity about it and that combined with the Wales Fans booing GSTQ in Cardiff would illustrate that the UK has very much lost its way when it comes to appreciating its Britishness.

    I think Brown is onto something – and I know he has his own motives as well

    I was in Paris last weekend and I was struck by the number of French flags flying from so many public buildings.

    The subtle dumbing down of our nationality by largely the Left over the last 30 years has done the UK no favours.

    Ultimately people will only appreciate what they had when they have lost it

  • kensei

    “I have no hesitation in supporting any of the home countries”

    God, I hate when people say this.

    Football is a game of local rivalries, and particularly so within the UK but also out there in the wider world. Congratulations! You’ve sucked half the fun from the game.

  • woof mcdog

    You know why people hate the English football team and their efforts – because a good number of their followers are fat racist ar**holes who shouldnt be allowed to leave Engerland on a point of international decency.

    One of the wonders of having access to live satellite feeds is that you get to see what the BBC ISNT SHOWING at 6 pm.

    HUNDREDS of fat shaven headed English scum chanting about the bombing of Dresden in a German town. Oh yes people the live feeds dont lie. But the BBC make noises toward a police over reaction. BOLLOCKS.

    Shut their mouths with a baton and deport them.

    And it wasnt only in Stuttgart – it was in every other town they have played in – the Police reaction was only different. Even the BBC admitted that.

    A plague on their house. England deserve to win nothing until they learn to grow the hell up.

    I feel sorry for their players and decent fans, however…

    I hope they get to the final and get stuffed by Germany.

    That really would be bliss.

    Do I seem a tad anti – English?. Believe me if it were the Irish at it id want them sent home too.

  • Crataegus

    woof

    The English are a strange lot. On one hand you have the football fans who can be real stinkers on the other you have hordes of ex-pats settling all over France, who speak French and in many ways as pleasant a bunch as you could wish to meet. On my travels I keep bumping into the English who have ‘gone native’ and generally an interesting group.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Hmmm. Isn’t there an argument that negative attitudes toward England football fans are examples not of prejudice, but of postjudice? I mean, if people in Ireland or Scotland or France or Germany happen to dislike the England football team and much of what is associated with it, is this necessarily a simple case of bigotry?

    Is anyone seriously suggesting that there are no other reasons why Ingerlund might be so widely disliked?

  • John East Belfst

    Kensei

    “Football is a game of local rivalries, and particularly so within the UK but also out there in the wider world”

    The local rivalries out there in wider world are between neighbouring nation states – Germany/Holland, England/Germany, Germany/Poland etc.

    Scotland and England are not neighbouring independent countries but part of the wider United Kingdom.
    As an Irish Republican you cannot appreciate this.

    My point is that an “Anyone But England” mentality within the Scots is not consistant with the relationships that formally exist within the UK.

    British sportsmen should be supported by the Brits and if they dont then that is indicative of a wider malaise within the UK that could do with fixing.

  • Aaron_Scullion

    John,

    “The anti English sentiment in Scotland is akin to the type of person who measures his success in life by the hoping for the failure of others.”

    Nonsense! The ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Scotland is a result of 4 to 5 million Scots feeling like their Nationality is of little or no important, as a result of a government and media imbalance.

  • Reader

    Aaron Scullion: The ‘anti-English’ sentiment in Scotland is a result of 4 to 5 million Scots feeling like their Nationality is of little or no important
    Only insofar as some of them define themselves by what they are not. If some NI unionists also do that, do you respect them?

  • Billy Pilgrim

    JEB

    “Scotland and England are not neighbouring independent countries but part of the wider United Kingdom. As an Irish Republican you cannot appreciate this.”

    Leaving aside the ridiculousness of that second sentence….

    Seriously though, why do you dwell on the word “independent”? What does that have to do with it? They are neighbouring footballing nations, and surely that’s what counts, in a discussion about football?

    Now, I’m sure people in Scotland wouldn’t want the UK to, I don’t know, lose a war or something. But watching the Auld Enemy getting stuffed? Now that’s a pleasure unto itself.

    (Besides, it’s sheer fantasy to suggest the the Union of England and Scotland was ever about, or ever featured, any particular affection between the two nations. Acquiescence, or a recognition that it was in each nation’s interests, yes. But a love match? Or the colonial prostration of settlers, as is the case with Northern Ireland? Get real.)

  • kensei

    “The local rivalries out there in wider world are between neighbouring nation states – Germany/Holland, England/Germany, Germany/Poland etc.

    Scotland and England are not neighbouring independent countries but part of the wider United Kingdom.
    As an Irish Republican you cannot appreciate this.”

    Oh, I cannot appreciate it, but merely think it’s bloody stupid. At any rate IN FOOTBALL Scotland and England are entirely separate countries. Different leagues, different national teams. And as I pointed out, people from the same city often develop intense local rivalry, so this is not entirely unexpected.

    “My point is that an “Anyone But England” mentality within the Scots is not consistant with the relationships that formally exist within the UK.”

    But entirely consistent with the relationships that exist in football. There is of course, an element of politics to it, but nowhere near as is made out.

    “British sportsmen should be supported by the Brits and if they dont then that is indicative of a wider malaise within the UK that could do with fixing.”

    You are quite right. It needs broken up, as it has totally outlived it’s usefulness.

  • terry tadpole

    John from East belfast, with the greatest of respect, you need to stop reading the Newsletter and wise up lol.

    “Undoubtedly the attitudes have always been there but there is something of an increasing intensitivity about it and that combined with the Wales Fans booing GSTQ in Cardiff would illustrate that the UK has very much lost its way when it comes to appreciating its Britishness”.

    Um go and read a history of Wales and then spend oh 30 seconds wondering why they might not like the Queen or her anthem.

    Do you know what the word Welsh means?. Its from an anglo saxon word meaning Foreigner. Think about it.

  • Donnacha

    Well, if you want to go down that road, An Bhreatain Mor, the Gaelic for Great Britain can be translated as The Big Wales, something I have often comforted my brutishly oppressed Welsh mates with.