Sunday, May 18, 2008

Couldn't they have yodelled for Scotland?

Having had a few days to reflect on the riot in Manchester on Wednesday, it strikes me that this is genuinely the first time in my life that I've ever felt a little bit ashamed to be Scottish. Wouldn't it be nice for the country to get a swift opportunity to present a more positive image of itself to the rest of Europe, and what better arena to do that than the carnival of fun, colour and refreshingly non-violent skulduggery that is the Eurovision Song Contest? Sadly, though, we've never been allowed to compete in our own right, and there's no sign of that situation changing any time soon. Personally, I've always sensed that if the BBC were willing to trade their 'Big 4' status in exchange for separate representation for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, that would be likely to gain some traction from other countries, but to date they've shown no sign of putting that case forward. That being the position, it's about time Scottish songwriters and artists at least started getting a fair crack of the whip for the UK at Eurovision - it's been a full two decades since a Scot last represented the country (Scott Fitzgerald). And, correct me if I'm wrong, but in the whole time since then it seems to me there have only been two Scottish acts in the UK national selection - City Chix with All About You a couple of years ago, and the unforgettably-titled Yodel in the Canyon of Love that almost upset the apple-cart for Katrina and the Waves in 1997. With 9% of the UK population, two songs in two decades is not exactly generous representation, is it?

This, ladies and gentlemen, has been an insight into the trials and tribulations of being a Eurovision fan and a Scottish nationalist all at the same time. I've suffered from the affliction for years...

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