How do you know when Andy Murray has arrived in your country? When the ‘plane switches off its engines you can still hear the whining.
The athletically-challenged Scottish tennis player who supports any team playing against England at any sport, beat the world number one, Roger Federer, on his way to the quarter-finals of the Cincinatti Masters, then succumbed to Pete Roddick. It was, he said, the humidity: ‘I’m dying out here’, he shouted to his new coach.
We have this Scottish Home Secretary who, when the police are shown conclusively to be not doing their job, complains that the public are not reporting enough suspicious characters. If he doesn’t become the next Prime Minister, it will be another Scot, the Chancellor, who complains that we don’t pay enough tax, or the Minister of Defence (yes, you guessed it) who complains about everything. As the headline in Saturday’s Times leader put it, ‘There are few more impressive sights than a Scotsman complaining’.
So it seems I’m not the only one. There’s a video blog on YouTube by someone who calls himself ‘McRant’ who complains about the crassness of those who still think that the land north of Hadrian’s wall can support intelligent life. He argues that all the intelligent Scots have fled to England – which doesn’t say much for the ones who stayed behind.
McRant complains that every time he goes there, ‘I get this sense of meanness, lack of spirit, lack of identity, lack of people’, and that ‘holding parties to celebrate England’s defeat in the World Cup is unbelievable meanness.’
The funny thing is that McRant is a Scot.
Saturday’s opening day of the football season was impressive, and not just because Everton won and for 24 hours were above Man U and Chelsea in the table. (They didn’t play until Sunday.) The games were competitive but clean, there was no diving – a real treat after the histrionics of the World Cup this summer. There was only one thing wrong: the refereeing. Poor refereeing was crucial to the outcome of more than half of the games. Everton were given a penalty because Peter Walton thought that a player who was hit on the head by a ball had handled it. Liverpool were given one because Rob Styles had the impression that a defender intended to bring down Steve Gerrard. There were more examples, but you get the idea.
How is it that the same bad referees are allowed to come back into the top divisions year after year? You’ll have to ask the blazered buffoons at the FA. Who are they? No one knows - the England team manager calls them the ‘faceless amateurs’.