Saturday, September 14, 2013

Tweet from official BBC Sport account claims that Andy Murray and Colin Fleming are playing for the "England" team

Let's just double-check the facts here. Andy Murray is from Dunblane, and played for Scotland against England in the Aberdeen Cup team event. Colin Fleming is from Linlithgow, and won a Commonwealth Games gold medal for Scotland in the mixed doubles with his partner Jocelyn Rae. Both men speak with strong Scottish accents. And yet when they lost the third set in their Davis Cup doubles match for Great Britain about an hour ago, this was the summary from BBC Sport's Twitter account -

"Croatia take third set tie-break 8-6, but England lead 2-1."

Wow. We kind of expect that sort of geographical and political illiteracy from American news outlets, and yet we still rightly get annoyed when it happens. Indeed, when the all-Scottish curling team won Olympic gold for Great Britain in 2002, it was the BBC's own Reporting Scotland that mocked an American newspaper for describing it as an "English" triumph. I'm not quite sure how we're supposed to react when our own national broadcaster makes such an unmitigated howler. It would have been indefensible even if they had referred to a GB team wholly composed of English players as "England", but to do it when only Scottish players are on the court for GB is just breathtaking.

The tweet was swiftly deleted, but as of yet there doesn't seem to have been any apology (which frankly should have been instant and automatic).

Ah well. Let's hear it for our Scodavisians. If Murray wins his singles rubber tomorrow, then GB will be returning to the World Group courtesy of three matches won exclusively by Scottish players. It's getting to be ever more like those "British" curling teams...

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There's an ICM poll on the independence referendum coming out tonight. No direct word on what it says yet, but the fact that Euan McColm and Blair McDougall went out of their way to retweet Kenny Farquharson's announcement probably isn't too promising. But let's wait and see. It's been so long since the last ICM poll on independence that it'll be difficult to draw any firm conclusions about the trend (and previous ICM polls have chopped and changed between different formats anyway).