The Curious State of Being British
Posted on July 12, 2013
The last time I checked on my passport, it stated that I was British, not English or indeed half English and half Scottish. As a consequence of being British, when I watched Andy Murray dismantle the world number one tennis player, Novak Djokovic, on Sunday, I found it rather enjoyable.
The reason I found it enjoyable is because, just like all the Olympians last summer and indeed the British Lions on Saturday, Murray was representing Great Britain. However, the problem for some people who have minds as narrow as a mouse’s corridor is that Andy Murray is proud to be Scottish as well as British.
A lot of this attention seeking hatred towards Murray relates back to his supposed disdain towards the English and in particular, the over- hyped useless football team that represents us. The fact is that when you pick through the diatribe that was published in the tabloids in 2006, everything thing Murray said or allegedly said, was part of some fun poking exchanges with Tim Henman that were blown out of proportion.
Great Champion: Andrew Murray
Because the countries of Great Britain are currently separated by unmanned token borders, rivalry between the nations in sport is a natural occurrence. In football and rugby, there is often fierce rivalry, yet in cricket, Welsh, Scottish and Irish players have all represented England. When Simon Jones, a proud Welshman, was ripping through the Aussies in the 2005 Ashes, I heard few complaints.
I am not entirely sure how the rules in sport in these Isles are set, though it appears that individuals tend to represent Britain and teams represent the country (except in the Olympics). If someone like Andrew Murray was given the choice who he could represent I am sure it would be Scotland, but at the same time if (as is the case with Cricket) his only route to the highest level was representing England, he would probably do so, albeit reluctantly.
I can’t see where the issue lies with Murray really; I would only ever get annoyed if he prostituted himself to little Englander’s and the tabloid newspapers, who, not missing out on backing a winner, have suddenly fizzed around him like bees around a honey pot. As Brit’s we are used to gallant losers who cry and release Christmas singles on the back of their over-hyped achievement, so we when success comes along we struggle with it, especially when the individual comes from Scotland, a country brought up on losing most sports apart from exceptions like Chris Hoy and ladies Curling team.
Many make claims that he is miserable and dull but these are claims made by people obsessed with celebrity culture who know little or nothing about sport. If you want to see comedy and fun and jolly japes, go and watch Michael McIntyre. Andy Murray is in the serious business of winning tennis tournaments, not telling jokes. Anyone who bothered watching him in action at Wimbledon would have witnessed someone who is, at this moment, the best player in the world. He does his entertaining on court, that is his stage and as a bonus he represents Great Britain.
My only disappointment emanating from the tennis was the pathetic attempts by politicians such as the detestable Alex Salmond and the leaders of all the other parties trying to attach themselves to an individual who has never shown any political allegiance. David Cameron made a big and childish point of recommending Murray as a Sir to annoy Salmond and Salmond himself wafted his Scottish flag around Wimbledon like the pathetic, cretinous individual he is. I don’t dislike him because of the SNP or any political ideal, I just find him odorous in the extreme. Salmon did Murray no favours with his behaviour and I can’t imagine Murray being his number one fan right now.
Political leaders whoring themselves to Murray
I like Andy Murray because he is one of the few sportsmen who represents us by knuckling down and doing what he is good at, rather than whoring himself to British celebrity culture. Ultimately, though, Andy Murray won Wimbledon not for Great Britain and not for Scotland, he won it for Andy Murray.
For that alone, I have the utmost respect for one of the best sportsman currently on the planet.