Monday, July 8, 2013

Underground, overground, Scowimbling free, the Scowimblian of Scowimbledon Centre Court is he

When Andy Murray defeated Roger Federer in a best-of-five-set match on Wimbledon Centre Court to win Olympic gold last year, I suggested that although it might be drowned out by events elsewhere in London, in terms of pure achievement it was right up there with the greatest ever Scottish sporting moments. It was certainly one of the finest ever Scolympic accomplishments. But what we have just witnessed not only surpasses that, it might just go down as the greatest ever day in Scottish sport. It's hard to think of much else that matches it - possibly Celtic winning the European Cup with an all-Scottish team in 1967, or Allan Wells winning the blue riband athletics event at the 1980 Olympics. At the very least, though, a Scot winning the men's singles title at Wimbledon is on a par with those. And even as a curling fan, I'd probably have to concede that this is a slightly bigger deal than Eve Muirhead and co winning Scotland's second women's world championship a few months ago, although the two events in combination means we can certainly say this has already been a truly vintage year for Scottish sport!

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Here's an intriguing thought - if Scotland votes for independence next year, and Murray becomes a Scottish-registered player from 2016 onwards (he would still only be 28 or 29), how would the London media rationalise in retrospect all the stuff we've heard today about him being the first player from 'the country' to win Wimbledon in 77 years? Would they deem the rump UK to be right back to square one, with the legendary "drought" further extended? I don't ask that question in a gloating way, or even necessarily in the expectation that it will happen (there are various permutations), but there's no obvious answer. It would certainly be psychologically very difficult for them to backtrack after all this hoo-ha.

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Alas, Scottish sporting prowess has a habit of bringing out the worst in Britain's leading cat forum, as we discovered when Murray won gold last year. For obvious reasons I'm no longer your man on the spot, but you can read Mick Pork's account of what happened this time round (including his own 88th unexplained banning from the site) by clicking HERE.

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I'm not going to ruin a very special day by actually reading a blogpost with the cretinous title 'Andy Murray wins Wimbledon. This is a great day for Cameron, and the Union', but a small friendly hint for Toby Young - it can't be both of those things. It really can't. I suppose it's conceivable that it might be one or the other (although I'm struggling to see how or why), but anything that is good for Cameron must by definition be bad for 'the Union' (sniff). There is abundant evidence that support for Westminster rule in Scotland is in inverse proportion to support for the Tories in Middle England.

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You have to hand it to Alex Salmond - no-one has a greater talent for deftly capturing the mood of the nation, as he demonstrated once again by entering into the carnival atmosphere after Murray's triumph and unfurling a saltire in the Royal Box. Unsurprisingly, a few of the usual suspects weren't entirely happy about that. Prize for the most ill-judged tweet of the day goes to a chap who reckoned that what Salmond did was a bit like Nick Clegg waving a 'Yes2AV' banner at a sporting event. Yes, folks, you read that right - the Scottish national flag being waved by the political leader of Scotland in celebration of a Scottish sporting triumph is the equivalent of a referendum campaign banner. It's hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Perhaps there are some pills available that would help these people to finally "get it"? If not, they'll have to make do with explaining away why so many identical 'referendum campaign banners' were being waved enthusiastically by ordinary members of the crowd in Centre Court, not to mention on Henman Hill. Were all those people demonstrating their support for independence, rather than cheering on Murray? If so, we must be winning handily...

Of course, Salmond probably was making a point, albeit a more subtle one than the paranoid Brit Nats want to believe. If the media refuse to do their job by properly representing one of Murray's declared national identities, then the First Minister of Scotland might as well do that job for them, and he did it very effectively. I don't think any of us would begrudge English or Welsh fans for feeling that they have a stake in a triumph by a player from a fellow British nation, any more than Spaniards begrudged us for cheering on a golfer from a fellow European nation when Seve Ballesteros won his majors. But Salmond's gesture was a timely reminder to the world that Murray is, when all is said and done, a Scowimblian.


  1. Whether Britnats like it or not, the UK is made up of four (or possibly five) recognized components: the kingdoms of Scotland and England, the principality of Wales, the province of Northern Ireland and the Duchy of Cornwall...although official recognition escapes this part.

    Each has its own flag and its own identity.

    Supposedly (possibly with the exception of the republicans in NI) we are all proud of this individuality, whether or not we want independence for our own little bit.

    So what we had yesterday was First Minister of Scotland waving a Scottish flag on an occasion when a Scot won a prestigious sporting event. Wouldn't it be strange for him not to do that?

    And given that this was happening in the royal box, it seems unlikely that even he could have imported this flag unbeknown to security and fellow royal box users.

    What, I wonder, did these Nats make of the fact that the Saltire was waving proudly over the roof of number 10 Downing Street. Cameron getting a bit mixed up about what side he was on?

    Move along. Nothing more here.

    Well, only ...well done Andy. You worked hard and waited long for this.

    Imagine the welcome you're going to get when you go back home to Dunblane.

  2. James,

    Why no rant about Porkie's latest ban [@politicalbetting]? * Where is the solidarity...?

    * Everyones favourite [sic] Swede is back. I think Mike's taking the mick....

  3. Fluffy, a friendly hint. You know how people keep telling you that you haven't got a funny bone in your body? Well, that isn't just "banter". Sorry to do a Cowell on you, but it's probably time you faced the truth.

    Now, without wanting to insult your close reading skills, you might want to check the previous thread before concluding that I haven't made my thoughts on Mick's banning abundantly clear. OK?

  4. I wouldn't worry about it James as it just confirms that the inexplicable and frankly eccentric banning of me yesterday was noticed by far more than just the one brave PB regular. Rob had the balls to speak out on PB at the time he saw it and was astounded by my totally unjustifiable banning. Cowardice goes hand in hand with the pitiful attempts at bullying on PB, hence the herd's bovine compliance with the increasingly lunatic site moderation on Political Betting.

    James was banned for completely spurious reasons since six other right wing posters (including the likes of David Herdson) broke the same rule Smithson attempted to use as an excuse for banning James on that very same thread James was banned on.

    No reason was given at the time and no email was given for my own 88th ban and the thread is here for all to see and make their minds up on why Mike Smithson's site keeps banning scottish posters for no justifiable reason.

    For those who doubt the evidence of two scottish posters in such a short time being banned with no justification, (and all the other scottish posters previously banned) perhaps they could explain why Mike Smithson's site went so far as to ban ALL talk of scottish politics and independence at one time?

    James and plenty of other PB posters can confirm that was site policy after some of the far right posters and Moderators on PB whined at Smithson so much he caved in to them and simply banned any and all discussion related to scottish independence for a time.

    So how does that look for a site that is supposedly about politics and betting? Because it Looks very like someone on PB has a problem with scottish politics and scottish posters.

    Maybe we should tell them about what PB's chief right wing moderator TSE and what he has done over the years? Maybe we will. :)


    Remember this man?

    Andy Murray is British now he's a winner. And some people lie about the Scottish loser tag. Deary me.

  6. And can we track down the person who first told fluffy thoughts that he was funny and drop them down a very deep hole for their crime against humanity.

  7. On the sporting double-think of britnats.

    The Irish Lions beat Australia and are legends and heroes to a man. Scotland beat the same Australia and are rubbish and not good enough to play for the Irish lions. No sane person could argue for both simultaneously. Apart from unionists of course.

  8. Still banned, still complete silence from the craven cowards over at PB on any conceivable reason or justification for their ban.

    So be it.

    For those who still don't get it, which far right nutjob/moderator on PB used to sport the telling "Malleus Scotorum" as a user signature?

    Was it the same bigot who kept deleting scottish posters posts while banning me 88 times and the likes of James and other scottish posters without ever having the balls to justify his decisions?

    Of course it was. Step forward TSE, the shrieking chicken. The pride of Smithson's

    Betting and finance next. :)

  9. James, Porkie;

    I'm still posting on OGH's site: Neither of youse ah! It is all about tolerances and tolerances: Understanding what is allowable and working within a measured leeway.

    You both have failed to recognise this. As I have 'the Belgian' on "ignore" all I can say is this: Hope you are back whining soon James....


  10. You're still posting fluffy because almost everyone ignores your painfully unfunny poseur posts and doesn't even bother to read them. Including the moderators. Which may be one reason why your dimwitted racism gets overlooked so often.

    Most on PB simply think you're drunk or on something and you certainly do nothing to convince anyone otherwise.

    Miraculously it looks like I can post again, but for how long? ;)

  11. The charge against Smithson : his moderation regime is demonstrably biased, irrational, and in many cases downright offensive.

    Fluffy's observation : "You and Mick are banned, but I'm not."

    I rest my case, m'lud.

    (Glad to hear your ban has been lifted, Mick. I've just had one last check and mine is still in force, so I think that removes any lingering doubt about whether it is permanent.)