This World Cup fuss makes me St George's cross
I'VE watched with some amount of incredulity the amount of hoo-ha that has been caused since Jack McConnell declared that he would not be supporting England in the World Cup.
So far I've resisted chucking in my tuppence worth but as the rumbles have rumbled on and on and the allegations against Scots have got more and more ludicrous, I couldn't contain myself any longer.
I am quite sure that when Mr McConnell made his comments he thought he was joining in the banter related to all things football and Scotland.
But no. Some people have tried to make out that he has incited public and social unrest on a scale we've not witnessed since the introduction of the poll tax.
Let's get one thing straight here - in choosing not to support England you are not proclaiming your hatred of all things Sassenach.
Now, those of you who read my witterings regularly will testify that I am about as much a political animal as Tigger. But the nonsense that has erupted over this alleged "anti-English" label has really got my blood boiling.
It all came to a head last week with the despicable attacks on the two individuals wearing England tops, one of whom was a child of just seven. As far as I'm concerned hitting a child is the lowest of the low and the scumbag responsible for the disgusting attack on Hugo and his dad will hopefully get what's coming to him in due course.
And not just for the cowardly, mindless assault, but for allowing politicians and the media to label Scots as a nation of anti-English morons.
Just because we have a couple of runts who behave like mindless thugs, it doesn't make them spokesmen for the nation.
It was only a week ago that I watched the news in disgust as two London neds were jailed for beating a man to death because he was gay.
I, along with every other right-minded individual in the country, was appalled at what I saw. But one thing I didn't do was immediately label the English as a bunch of homophobes because of what these two morons had done.
You only have to look to another sport to see how "anti-English" we apparently are. It's Wimbledon time and for years, we've all supported Tim Henman in his various attempts at doing the business for Britain, but I've never heard anyone saying they'd be not be supporting Tim because he's English.
Granted it's now taken a Scotsman to give us real hope, but even Andy Murray has been on the receiving end of some vile abuse this week for his stance on the debate. But again, these are just a few cowardly morons using the internet to anonymously "attack" Andy, not the entire English nation.
Some cynical Scots might say that the reason that such a fuss is being made because England's hopes of actually lifting the World Cup get less every game they play, and they are beginning to panic a tad. Others may say it's just politicians using it to gain some points against our First Minister.
For me, I've always enjoyed watching England's progress in the various European and World Cup competitions because I know, I just know, that sometime soon they are going to blow it. Big style. And they always do. Be it on penalties or sending-offs, they always blow it.
Speaking as someone who should be supporting England due to family history, I have no qualms about not doing so. But only in the good-humoured, banter-laden crack associated with football. Nothing more sinister than that.
Scotland v England has been the most passionate football encounter since international football began and for one to beat the other has been the only result either side were interested in. So, now that we are in 2006 we are supposed to forget all the history and don our St George's crosses? Aye right.
It's exactly the same as Hibs fans probably not getting right behind Hearts in their quest for Champions League glory and I can't see many Jambos cheering on Hibs in the Intertoto Cup either.
And if England do the business against Portugal tomorrow, I'll happily accept it. Probably because I know that the big blowout is only one or two games away.
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