|Shit, someone get me his number.|
What has become apparent before anyone has even tied their shoelaces or hefted a pole; is the political posturing. I've no doubt SNP strategists thought it wouldn't hurt the case for Scottish Independence having the referendum soon after a successful set of games, but for London-based journalists to criticise that after the pantomime that was the London Olympics - to me in any case - seems to be a classic case of what I'm calling (and desperately trying to get trending on Twitter) Cognitive Estrangement.
We have Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph mithering:
"In theory, politics and sport should not mix. But to the nationalists, politics is all about identity, which side you cheer for and which flag you rally under. When Salmond chose September 18 for his referendum, he had a clear sequence of events in mind. There would be the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the Commonwealth Games, then the referendum, held as Scots waited for the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles. The drumbeat of Scottish nationalism, he hoped, would grow steadily louder."
The sweeping generalisations are obvious. The notion that many in Scotland might vote yes not because of identity or national pride embodied in a flag, but instead around cold calculations based on empirical economic fact or perhaps an aspiration for something a bit better than the cold bastard-libertarian ideas as espoused by an uncaring Westminster Government - is entirely lost to Nelson.
(I would also say, with the best will in the world; the only reason many Scots now know this year is the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn, is because unionist press lickspittles keep accusing Salmond and the SNP of cynically using it to their advantage - which is ironic really.)
Nelson Blithely suggests 'Salmond will know better than to mention the referendum...' during the commonwealth games (I'm not capitalising it) when what he really means is 'Salmond would have Vote Yes tattoo'd on the foreheads of all competitors if he could get away with it.'
He goes on to say:
"The victories of Jessica Ennis and Bradley Wiggins were celebrated in Scotland as the achievements of countrymen, not foreigners. That summer, with the Jubilee and the glory, was one long coming together of the British clan."
The double standard is plain to see; when Britain competes, national pride & identity is fine - when Scotland strives? Not so much so.
Meanwhile, over at The Spectator, Hamish McDonnell is having a solipsistic crisis - it turns out, the entire commonwealth games event was organised purely to piss him off. He says:
"Even the official emblem of the Glasgow Games – a jaggy thistle – seems to have been deliberately designed to prickle and get underneath those prissy white strips worn by the dastardly English."
I don't really know what to say to that other than: Do fuck off Hamish. Is he really suggesting, we cannot deploy a Scottish-based symbol during an event organised in Scotland because it might offend the 'dastardly English'? I mean, they sell Tunnocks Caramel Wafers & Irn Bru down south - does the poor soul run screaming from shops? Is Hogmanay a time of horror for the delicate little flower?
|He's coming for YOU Hamish...|
More over and in finishing, the entire thing can be encapsulated in one telling collage:
While the usual suspects across the unionist spectrum are insisting these commonwealth games remain unaffected by nationalist politics - to a one - they all declared the Olympics (and the cringing Royal Idolatry-fest of the Jubilee) as a ringing endorsement of what it is to be British.
Its been mentioned, that by publishing these articles, the authors are doing the very thing they're criticising in others - namely - 'politicising the games'. Also, there is an annoying assumption that everyone is into it (if I can deploy such youthful terminology.) As with the Olympic Games, the impact and interest, as far as I could see, wasn't anything like as wide-spread as reported. Outside the sporting bubble; who's talking about it now? Hardly any one. Same with the Jubilee thing - Rolf Harris not-with-standing - is the warm regal glow of Britishness still incandescing?
I think these empire hand-wringers miss the point, its not about Scottish athletic prowess. Its about Scotland's ability to put on a world class event - on its own, unaided financially or in terms of resources by the rest of the UK. I have no idea how it'll go or what the opening ceremony will be like (and I find it hard to care less) but this isn't about nationalist pride, its about national ability.
Turns out, people like Nelson and McDonnell are just judging us by their own tawdry standards.
Anyway, as I said, I can't be arsed with any of it (bar the men's 10m platform of course) so you probably shouldn't listen to anything I say...
... Except, if your still contemplating a No vote in September, you'll be voting in favour of some serious double standards.