Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Commonwealth Games... Yawn...

I'm going to set my stall out before things kick off: I can't be arsed with it. Like the Olympics, Wimbledon and the World Cup - its all a bit boring - well, for me at least. I understand folk can be interested in such activities; the running, prancing, waving and stick throwing etc - but it doesn't propel my javelin, flutter my rhythmic individual ribbon or lob my shuttlecock to the back of the court. That said, I may cast a lascivious eye over the Men's 10m platform.

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.


  1. Yes... I agree Do fuck off Hamish and take Nelson with you.

    This might have been amusing 18 months ago, but as it is we are all thoroughly fed up to the back teeth of it.

    You hate us, and you make no real pretence about it. We should all learn to behave like proper Englishmen and like cricket. We know.

    But we aren't going to, so live with it. Or as Pa so rightly says Fuck off.

    I wonder if they'll be tacky enough to drop Mrs Parker Bowles out of an aeroplane this time? I mean you don't get much less classy than pretending to drop the Queen of England out to parachute to earth, especially when she's 90 odd, unless you do it for real with her son's bit of skirt, who must be about 70!

  2. Hi Tris.

    I was out for my tea last night so didn't see the opening ceremony. I hear Barrowman featured heavily though. My line about 'nationalist pride versus national ability' might come back to bite me on the arse.

    Either way, as you say; Nelson is a cartoon unionist and I think going by his words - Hamish McDonnell is just a bit stupid.

    Certainly in Nelson, its a classic example of some one with a plummy accent managing to dupe others into thinking he knows what he's about.

    I can't remember who said it but, they suggested that, over the years we've all been conditioned to follow the lead of a posh public school accent.

    I think in many cases that could be true, personally though; they can piss off as far as I'm concerned, no one is better than anyone based on erudition, where they went to school or their station in life.

    (I hope the opening ceremony wasn't completely shite too.)

  3. Pa

    Must admit that I am not overly bothered by the Commonwealth Games to be honest. I would maybe care if the UK actually cared about the Commonwealth but of course it's only good to keep the Windsors in the spotlight I guess, look the here's the Queen.

    I have given up on the hypocracy of the media and commentators now, BRITAAN good, England proud, Scotland bad bad bad. Didn't watch the opening ceremony although my daughter was there and enjoyed it as she was performing with the Scottish Youth Theatre.

    However, rant time, I just don't see the point in spending hundreds of millions on pampaered athletes, I know some work hard, but there will be no legacy and esp in Glesgay who we know get nothing from the Scottish Government. if only Dundee got a smidgeon of the money spent on it that Glasgow does, or any small town in Scotland and we might actually see change happen. No, when people are starving I would rather buy food to be honest.

    I have been quiet recently as the vote gets closer, I keep hoping for a YES final push as I still believe it all hangs in the balance but I still fear a no vote and the loathing I will have for everyone who votes no for the rest of my life. Sorry to put you on a downer but I fucking hate the three tory parties, UKnotfuckingOK, and everyone who votes for them.


  4. I'm not overly interested in the games either, olympic or otherwise. I'm still less interested in the mad royal idolatry that goes on, I really don't get that at all.

    Glasgow is a big city and I live in Edinburgh myself, it does seem off that they get as much attention as they do. In keeping with the Scottish independence ethos generally - which is to say - bringing people, towns and cities with you even if it costs you money; I'd agree. Spend a fraction in Dundee or Perth or Inverness off the cash that gets splurged would mean a huge difference.

    In terms of no voters, frustratingly, people say they're voting no so easily, blithely unaware of the wider implications. They think they've got it sussed - they read a news paper or watched Scotland 2014 (dear god...) That said, a lot of folk are voting yes so it will be tight.

    I still believe there'll be a late surge for yes, I think there are those who at the moment are refusing to believe those arguing for the union can be that stupid - they're waiting for the A game. Except, this is it - come the 18th, they'll realise that and vote yes.

    Is what I think anyway.


Thanks for comment as always and I apologise if you have to jump through any hoops to do so. Its just that, I'm still being spammed by organisations who are certain I can't get it up or when it is up its not big enough or that I don't have anyone to get it up for.

Who knew blogging could be so bad for ones self-confidence?