I don't understand why some of my neighbours are so determined to be anti-English.
The Euro 2020 was, for one who has little interest in football, a light distraction from the continuing mind numbing awfulness that is Covid19.
But once Scotland dropped out of the competion the rhetoric moved to supporting Scotland's other team, anyone that is playing England.
And I just don't get it.
I'm told it is because of centuries of colonialism. But that doesn't make any sense. Scotland is part of Britain and it was a British empire not an English one. And, if you sniff around the edges of any kind of history of the empire there were a great many Scots who were not only very active with the empire but also a great many that prospered.
I'm told that it because of the long history of England's military aggression against the Scots. But there are so many different aspects of; religion, family feuds, land grabs, retaliation etc involved in that history that makes it massively complex. And all of which had nothing really to do with the actual people living on either side of the border, but most importantly that was before three hundred years of union.
And if it is military aggression that is the issue, then why on earth would you support the Italians (and the Germans) rather than your neighbours who stood shoulder to shoulder with your grandparents through two world wars?
I don't know what the answer is.
I think it might be partly due to a hand me down tradition in much the same vein as the anti catholic/anti protestant sectarianism nonsense that still abounds in quite significant segments of our society. And I say nonsense because, if you are so animated and devout about your faith, why are the churches quite so empty.
I also think that there might be an element of needing someone to take out frustrations on, combined with some part of Maslow's heirachy of needs to do with fullfilment and belonging. Why not then pick on the nearest entity that might be seen to be doing a little bit better than you are for no 'apparent' reason.
The bad English people, the bad Germans, the bad Italians (inc Romans), .... the bad Scots. They're all dead and long buried. We've got all new ones now. I've met loads of them. Great people, positive, family focused, just wanting to get on with life. And I think this might also be part of the reason that this anti-English sentiment is on the rise again. We don't know our neighbours. There are too many of us who are just not aware of much outside their own backyard. All my syblings and I went to colleges and universities south of the border. Condemning a generation of under graduates to no choice other than Scottish universities cannot have helped.
It is disappointing and embarrassing to continually have to apologise for the unnecessary aggression of others.
And it does nothing for Scotland, or Scotland's people.
We should be channeling that energy, that enthusiasm to produce better results for our own teams. Rather than pursuing such negative, wastefull agenda we should be encouraging more youth sport, more proper youth competition, so that we are producing larger numbers of athletes down the line. (It might even help with out national BMI).
If we had more of our own success then we might find it easier to play the dignified and humble loser.
One last comment. It is not harmless banter. Banter involves two friends. Most of this anti-English sentiment is either media/social media pronouncements into the ether or mob/crowd action. Much more importantly, with banter there is a significant amount of laughter involved on both sides.
I'm not laughing.