Monday, August 6, 2012

Scotland salutes you again, Andy - this time as the champion

I've been trying to assess where Andy Murray stands now, in the wake of his sensational win over Roger Federer to secure Olympic gold. While I was actually watching the match, it seemed obvious that he was in the process of achieving something that was at least the equivalent of that elusive Grand Slam title, and yet somehow the elation doesn't seem quite as overwhelming as it would undoubtedly have been had he won Wimbledon last month. Perhaps that's simply because there are so many other events to distract us, but I still have a feeling that in a month's time we'll be back to asking "can he win his first Grand Slam?". However, regardless of what happens in the future, at least there's no longer any way that Murray's career is going to be looked back on as a failure, and that must be a huge weight off his mind. And the tennis event at the Olympics has also come of age over the last week - it's travelled a long way since the Seoul and Barcelona Games when it was regarded as a fairly pointless sideshow that half of the top players didn't even bother turning up for.

There's nothing more entertaining at moments of Scolympian triumph than observing the eager efforts of Political Betting's Tory contingent to Britify the gold medallist in question. In case you missed the fun, it went something like this -

He's touched the Union Jack! Astonishing! Look at the flag! Look at Murray! You see? No distance at all between the two! The Murray shoulder is in ACTUAL CONTACT with OUR flag! He's one of us!

He's singing the anthem! Oh my God! He's actually singing OUR anthem! OK, he's sort of mumbling it...but that'll do! He's one of us! No doubt about it!

He even knows the WORDS to the anthem! Well, he knows some of the words, anyway. At least seven of them. But nobody else knows the words to the anthem either, so that means...he's one of us! Irrefutable proof!

And he hasn't produced a claymore, started screaming "Death to the English" and attacked the Duchess of Cambridge! That's what we all expected him to do...but he hasn't! Incredible! True Brit!

Gosh, how that boy has MATURED...

For my own part, I don't possess the mind-reading talents of PB Tories, and I wouldn't presume for a moment to know what Andy Murray's views on the constitutional future of Scotland are - if, indeed, he has any such views at all. But what does seem reasonably likely is that he would be just as proud to compete for a Team Scotland at the Olympics, if such a thing came into existence. And what a supremely proud moment it would be for this entire country if Murray, as defending Olympic champion, was to carry the saltire into the stadium in Rio for its debut appearance at an opening ceremony in four years' time.

That can happen, if we make it happen. It's in our own hands.


  1. James

    When Andys brother Jamie got married both of them wore kilts. Where does that fit into the YUKAY narrative.

  2. My guess is that he's simply a really committed team player, who identifies strongly with the team he's playing for. He'd be exactly the same if it was Team Scotland.

    And quite honestly, if I'd just reached the pinnacle of my career and an anthem was playing in my honour, I have a feeling I'd at least be tempted to hum along, regardless of the tune.

  3. These comments from PB are more proof that you're not really British unless you're English.

    No English tennis player would have to prove that they were British or be viewed as, "not one of us", until they had proved their loyalty.

    For these people on PB Britain is just Greater England which extends from Shetland to the Scilly Isles but unfortunately also incorporates some indigenous non-English.

    It's also why Unionist Scots are so fanatically British. They're not born to it but have to prove it with loyalty for the rest of their lives.

  4. James

    What I always have difficulty with is just why Andy or any other Scottish sportsman or woman should deprive themselves of the chance to compete at the Olympics, because we are tied to a union that is long past its sell by date.

    What we really should be angry about is the rest of the sports people of Scotland who are denied a place at the Olympics they would have had if Scotland was an independent nation.

    Doug too true.

  5. Watchin Andy walk round the court with the union jack draped over his shoulder after winning, as part of teamGB he was proud to wear it but what he did very subtly was pull the blue part of the flag up to his mouth and kiss it. To me that was him saying how special Scotland is to him.

  6. I trust you are well, I see you have been doing sterling missionary work on PB whilst I was away. :)

    Someone put this on Newsnet Scotland:

    I heard Glen Campbell asking Murray live on the programme the notorious. .

    'have you stopped beating your mother'
    question, it was relating to whether he was Scottish / British etc etc.

    Murray gave the expected answer

    "he was proud to represent his country as part of team GB"

    - quite a clever reply.

  7. Do English Tories really believe that Scots wish to attack Kate Middleton with claymores?

    What a very peculiar lot they are.

    I see to remember that someone tried to attack Mrs Parker Bowles with some sort of stick when she and prince Charles [somewhat stupidly in my opinion] went for a drive through the middle of student riots some two years ago now.

    As the demonstrators were, by and large, English students protesting about the English part of the UK government raising their fees by 200% overnight, while the story in Scotland was "no change to tertiary education funding", it's reasonable, or at least not unreasonable to suppose that the attacker of Mrs PB was, in fact, an Englishman.

    I don't remember a single incidence of a Scot being involved in any attacks on members of the Windsor family.

    As I said, what a bizarre lot English Tories are. (Maybe Scottish Tories too. I don't know. I've only ever met one, briefly.)

  8. Hi Marcia, I'm very well, thanks, how are you? I listened to that interview on the internet, and the form of words he used was "in tennis we play for Great Britain, and I'm delighted to play for my country" - the implicit suggestion seemed to be that if he was in a sport where Scotland competed in its own right, he'd be equally happy to play for his country in that form. He then went on to say "I haven't forgotten my roots, I love Scotland" - to be honest, that sounded like the sort of thing an American golfer with distant Scottish ancestry might say, but I'm sure he didn't mean it that way!

    It's hard to escape the impression that London PR people have sat him down and told him it would be prudent to emphasise his Britishness and downplay his Scottishness, perhaps to help with the crowd at Wimbledon. If Scotland became independent, it wouldn't entirely surprise me if there were siren voices in his ear urging him to "do a Peter Nicol" - after all, Nicol's attitude was that "I feel British, so I might as well play for England", which kind of underlines the point that Doug made earlier. However, hopefully that would be a step too far for Murray.

    Tris, I should probably make clear that it wasn't a direct quote from the PB Tories - it was my own 'creative reimagining'! What Plato actually said was something like "he didn't HAVE to hold the flag, he didn't HAVE to sing the anthem - he did BOTH. He's not your poster boy!" The irony being that the only people who ever claimed that Murray was a poster boy for Scottish independence were his vicious, paranoid critics in the London press (notably Tony Parsons). We just regard him as a hero for all Scots, unionist and nationalist.

    What Plato said reminded me of the PB Tories' jubilation - literal jubilation - at Chris Hoy's tears when God save the Queen played in his honour four years ago in Beijing. From which we can presumably infer that Murray's lack of tears means that he's not quite as British as Hoy is. That's how fatuous this stuff gets.