Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Scottish Sun tries very hard to remember what country it's in - again

The endless contortions of trying to pretend you're a Scottish newspaper when you're not became apparent again with the appearance of a Scottish Sun editorial urging us to "try again" for a major football tournament. Now, since the "again" can only be a reference to England's failed World Cup bid, clearly the paper has a fight on its hands from the off to convince its readers that the nation of England can be reasonably characterised as "us". Nevertheless, they put up a valiant attempt, with some familiar thinly-veiled "England-is-Britain" logic...

"But the decision to hand the finals to Russia IS a loss to Scotland too.

If - and yes it's a mighty big if - we qualify, what an opportunity it would have been to play on soccer's biggest stage right on our doorstep."

All true, but much the same would have applied if the Belgium/Netherlands bid had prevailed - Amsterdam isn't much further away than London. And with the wonders of modern transport, Spain and Portugal hardly seem like the ends of the earth either. I wonder if, on their logic of simple geographic closeness, the Scottish Sun would have celebrated a win for either of those bids as a boon for "us"? I have my doubts.

But then, weirdly, the editorial undergoes a dramatic Pauline conversion and decides that "us" is Scotland after all, declaring with righteous indignation that if a country as small as Qatar can secure the World Cup, it's "shameful" that Scotland can't even try. Hmmm. Well, just as soon as we can match the Qataris' endless supplies of cash, I'm all for such boldness of thought. Perhaps the SNP's idea of an oil fund for future generations wasn't such a bad one after all, guys?


  1. The 'Scottish' Star was similarly affected. Apparently 'we', in a footballing context, means England.

  2. I wanted England to host the 2018 World Cup just for the fun of hearing the BBC trying to avoid saying, "Britain", "we", and, "us", all through the World Cup while having to say, "England", repeatedly.

    I could foresee a lot of use of the phrases, "the nation", or, "the country", by the BBC in an attempt to avoid saying, "England", and to try and include the rest of the UK by default.

  3. I'm quite glad we were spared that, Doug!

    Of course the reason the Sun had to do this was that the English edition were running an editorial about the World Cup that wouldn't have been appropriate for a Scottish audience, so they desperately had to think of something 'profound' to say on the same subject to fill up the space - no matter how contrived.

  4. I'm glad that the Sun finally found something 'profound' to say about something. It's been a long time in the coming.