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January 16, 2007

Why are the SNP taken so seriously?

Asked what the Act of Union (300 years old today) had done for England and Scotland, an SNP spokesman told BBC Radio 4 tonight:

Well, back three hundred years ago, it made England look strong and powerful.

And that, apparently, is it.

Regardless of what you think about nationalism and the idea of Scotland becoming independent, isn’t it more than a little disingenuous to suggest that Scotland hasn’t benefitted one jot from being politically and economically joined to England?

True, they would have had a lot of North Sea oil to themselves, but I’d be interested to know if Scots think that England has ever done anything for them.

My suspicion is that the Act of Union has strengthened both countries over time, and that in denying this outright, the SNP are making themselves look silly. There are still arguments for independence today without disregarding three hundred years of history, no?


November 27, 2006

British Sport: An Annus Horribilis?

Name one British sportsperson who has had an outstanding year.

You can’t, can you? Looking down the list of contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, you begin to realise that there’s either been a dearth of major sporting events this year, or we’ve just been crap at them.

  • According to the betting, Darren Clarke is the current favourite. This is the golfer who, in the four major tournaments this year, came 22nd, 56th, didn’t make the cut in the third and didn’t play in the fourth. Yes, he won the Ryder Cup, but aren’t we making more of that tournament than is appropriate? I think his nomination is only because of the death of his wife, which while tragic, surely isn’t reason enough to give him this award?

  • Zara Phillips is second favourite. She’s now the Eventing World Champion, but aren’t we clutching at straws to say that’s the best achievement of the sporting year?
  • Joe Calzaghe is third. He added the IBF Super Middleweight Championship to his WBO title. Whoop-de-do.
  • Beth Tweddle is fourth. She’s the World Champion at “Uneven Bars”.
  • Andy Murray is fifth. His main achievement is being more exciting than David Coulthard. But that’s not hard.
  • Monty Panesar is sixth. He wasn’t good enough to be picked to play in the Ashes. Steve Harmison was. Enough said, I think.

But my personal choice for sports personality for 2006 is….... David Walliams at 40/1. Which I think says all you need to know about the state of British sport at the moment.


September 02, 2006

Imbecile of the Week #4: Sven

It’s not exactly a weekly feature any more, but it’s worth resurrecting to celebrate the end of the Sven era for England football and the start of the McClaren one.

Today’s match against Andorra was hardly a challenging fixture. But it’s more Steve McClaren’s posture, style and communication skills which make Sven look like an imbecile. McClaren seemed comfortable in the spotlight, using it to his advantage and trying to bring the England supporters along with him. In a way, while his style of management makes Sven look like a fool, it’s really the Football Association who are daft for not getting rid of Eriksson sooner.

Here’s to more of the same from McClaren and Co. And good riddance to the Sven days. As Gary Lineker said at the end of tonight’s programme:

Miss you, Sven.

Not.


July 01, 2006

Self–explanatory blog entry


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