Thread: Olympic Gold
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Old 23rd February 2002, 15:11
Hirta Hirta is offline
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Originally posted by NE_fifer
What's annoying is that when Scots are representing Britain they are only British if they are doing well. When it looked earlier in the week that the curlers were going to crash out without a medal the BBC described it as a "Britsh success story turning into a Scottish failure" This was complemented by some snidey and derogatory reporting in some sections of the English press. Now they've won everyone is only too happy to call them British. It's the same everywhere. Look at David Couthard - when he spins out he's Scottish but when he wins a Grand Prix he's British. How many times after violence at England's latest away fixture do we hear about "British football hooligans" - all too often.

In sport, as elsewhere, the terms England and Great Britain are used interchangeably. I'm sure that most English people are quite happy representing Britain becasue as far as thier concerned it's "pretty much the same thing". But for a lot of Scots you have to realise that isn't the case. Although people cheering for Tim Henman might wave Union flags I'm sure thier really cheering for England.

After the British team won the semi against Canada the Olympic web stie said "England stun Canada" You surely must admit that this is very annoying for many Scots. Scottish sportspeople strive for years to do well representing their country, either Scotland or Britain, only to be called English. You can't say it's not OK for them to be called Scottish but then say that calling them English is fine. If you want "strenght in unity" then it has to be fair

As for Anthems, if you haven't noticed, God save the queen is played as an English anthem at football and rugby, so whilst it is technically the UK anthem I think you would be very nieve indeed to think it isn't percieved by a lot of people as the "English Anthem" As far as I know when it was first written 100's of years ago there was a line that mentiond defeating the Scots or something along those lines!
Whenever I read a paper which has articles concerning Scotland (not just sport but in other areas) the fact that it is Scottish is almost always mentioned, but if it is English it is not. It is British. However there are sometimes exceptions to this and this is what you are (naturally enough) noticeing. How many institutions/papers/political organisations etc can you think of that have the prefix 'Scottish'? Now how many can you think of that start with 'English'? Hell, last time I was in Scotland a supermarket was called 'Safeway Scotland' or something like that? Would there ever be a 'Safeway England'? I doubt it.

English football hooligans are always referred to as such and not British, except when referred to in a British context (well believe it or not you do get them too, Old Firm etc).

Yes, the anthem is played at England international fixtures, one of the few countries in the world not to play its own anthem (or even have one). Actually this does irritate many English people, in The Times recently there was a pole asking what should be played before England's rugby games and most people voted for 'Jerusalem' as it is specifically English. People may, as you say, percieve it as the English anthem only out of a lack of knowledge (which I would also suggest would be the reason for the team to be called Engish on the winter olympics website, which is incorrect). That it may have had an anti-scottish line in it several hundred years ago (when the political climate of the time was much different) and not anymore is testement enough that it is no longer relevent and I can't really see the point of your argument in this particular instant.

The English are far 'happier' (not really the correct term, maybe 'far more passive' would be more appropriate) to be reffered to as British. This because the English are a majority on this island and therefore don't feel the need to assert their 'differences' all the time. I guess it's a lack of insecurity about our identity that means we lose our more specific 'Englishess' as opposed to Britishness. Why do you think English might see it as "pretty much the same thing", as you put it?
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