This article (see below) shows the ripe old hypocrisy of the English press. It's conclusions are probably true, Murray will never be truely loved by Britain's tennis fans for the simple fact that he's a Scot first and foremost.
That's entirely in his favour. I think it is astonishing that he has to defend himself against accusations of being ant-English (even though as he has felt forced to point out, sad in itself, his coach is English, his girlfriend is English and much of his family is English).
Murray is a potentially great tennis player, potentially a world champion. He is also a Scot who likes to wave the Saltire. That doesn't make him anti-English, it just makes him pro Scottish.
He has played in British teams in the Davis cup, sometimes risking his personal health to do so but for little reward.
It is obvious that the English would have preferred 'one of their own' like Henman to win Wimbledon, even if ultimately he just didn't have the talent. If Andy manages it they will no doubt try to drape him in a UJ and claim him as the 'best of British' but in reality they would just as easily drop him, if he loses.
Andy is Scottish, he is a source of pride for our country. If the discredited union leads some to be jealous of him and unwilling to cheer him for his talent, that makes them anti-Scottish but it does not make him anti-English.
Good luck Andy and if in the future you lose, don't worry about it because you have plenty of time and the ultimate talent to be world No. 1 not just British No. 1.
You have a long lustrous career ahead of you and on current probability most of it will be within a proudly independent Scottish state. So if some people won't clap you or support you ignore them because they are just plain jealous.
This article aptly sums them up:
Murray's a winner - but not yet a heroTim Adams watches as Andy Murray advances to the next round at Wimbledon but fails to inspire Henman-style hysteria
Tim Adams The Observer, Sunday June 29, 2008 Article historyThough Andy Murray overcame the occasionally stubborn challenge of German Thomas Haas at Wimbledon yesterday to advance to the fourth round of the tournament for the second time, 'Andymonium' has yet officially to break out in SW19. Partly, this looks like a question of flags. Outside Centre Court there was not a Union Jack to be seen except as a detail on the caps of a contingent of Aussies 'jeez mate-ing' loudly about paying forty-eight quid for a tray of Pimm's.
This evidence of the slow disintegration of the union seemed to be gathering pace by the big screens. Nobody was making their way to Murray Mound; Henman Hill, it seems, will be forever English. Perhaps there was something in the air: forget Scottish independence, this week has seem something of an assertion of devolution for the Home Counties. First there was the by-election at Henley in which the party of the Scottish Prime Minister was outflagged by the BNP; now there was this comparative apathy toward the progress of Murray - a living embodiment of the Midlothian question. (It seemed somehow symbolic that as he took to the court, Labour's Scottish leader, Wendy Alexander, 'bring it on' challenger to Alex Salmond, resigned her post.)
The Wimbledon crowd, anyhow, had not forgotten how to respond to one of their own: before Murray's match the very-nearly-14-times-champion Tim Henman was introduced to the crowd from the Royal Box, and the response on his eponymous hill were the discreet whoops that pass for mania in Dorking. The emergence of Murray provoked a more muted kind of murmur.
Wandering among the crowd I eventually come across some red, white and blue draped around the shoulders of Rebecca Lynch, up from Brighton. She had camped out overnight with her mate, Melanie Cole, who had confused the issue of identities by bringing out her full St George's Cross attire - a relic, she admits from her decade supporting Henman. Murray's Scottishness isn't a problem for them, 'though he is a bit miserable'. 'I'm half Scots anyway,' Melanie suggests, from beneath her bowler hat. 'Let's just say if he wins he's British; if he loses he's a Scot.'
Others are more robust in their opinion. 'He's a f**** moaning Scot who hates the English, but he's the best we have,' offers Charlie Robson, who has just done his A levels in Twickenham. That's pretty much a general feeling, though expressed more genteelly elsewhere. 'He's a bit scruffy,' says Christine from Oxshott, 'and he looks permanently in pain'. I glance up to the screen where Murray is warming up. It is hard to argue with this assessment. Practising his serve, he wears the look of a man regretting a pre-match pickled herring.
The resultant absence of jingoism is quite a pleasant surprise. Though Murray is playing a German, and we are enjoying a long afternoon in the sun, there are no Dambuster refrains; a stag-nighter in an afro wig who climbs on to a table to conduct a chorus of Rule Britannia ends up singing solo before falling off.
Some of this ambivalence, I'm repeatedly told, goes back to the throwaway remark Murray made the last time he played here in 2006. When asked who he was supporting in the World Cup, he replied 'anyone but England'. After he made that original remark he was shocked to hear a woman on her mobile phone exclaim: 'That Scottish wanker Murray has just walked past!' As a result he launched a cross-border charm offensive at the outset of this year's tournament. He was, he said, a quarter English through his gran; his physiotherapist was English, and, despite the name, so was his coach, Miles Maclagan.
'My girlfriend's English, too,' he went on, in some desperation, 'and I live in London. I'd have qualified to play football for England but probably wouldn't have got into the team!' Despite his efforts, the offensive doesn't seem to be working.
Far more patriotic excitement was garnered by Chris Eaton earlier in the week, with his tales of driving up from Surrey to the tournament in a sports car held together with duct tape. Eaton's appearance at the tournament excited not only a high-pitched entourage of fans, but also a lively correspondence in the Telegraph, the house journal of Surrey sports-car-with-duct-tape drivers; one observer seemed to voice the opinion of many when he noted: 'How nice to see a player that actually enjoys his tennis and showed true deference to the traditions of Wimbledon, rather than the truculence and downright rudeness of Andrew Murray and his appalling family! Well done, Eaton, see you next year. Here's hoping we see the last of the miserable Murrays in the next round!'
For a while in the second set against Haas, which he chucked away, it seemed possible that that particular wish would be granted; but, in the end, Murray won with some style. Maybe that's the other reason, beyond the state-of-the-union issues, that Andymonium has yet to ignite here. Murray has not yet put us through the wringer enough times to excite general national neurosis. Though he makes a gesture toward the style of tennis that British Wimbledon fans have come to expect of their heroes - the sublime touch followed by the embarrassing mis-hit - in general he is far too much in control to count yet as a national treasure. He's winning too easily; he just hasn't suffered enough and neither have we. No doubt in the coming week all of that will be put right.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
I must register my complete disgust, firstly with the Labour Government who have now introduced effective internment for modern terrorists by agreeing potential detention periods of up to 42 days and completely ignored the effect of this policy in the past in Northern Ireland.
Secondly, with the BBC's newsnight Scotland program who rather than treat the subject with the respect it deserved preferred to have Gordon Brewer giggle with Brian Monteith and Lorraine Davidson over the fact that the Conservatives David Davis had saw fit to resign and force a by-election.
It is incredible that no genuine Scottish response to this measure could be found. What an insult to the people of Scotland this abysmal half-hearted add-on of a programme is.
However even the antics of the above pale into insignificance behind the total idiocy of my local MP. A Scottish paper reported that: Mark Lazarowicz, the Labour MP for Edinburgh North and Leith, had grave reservations about the proposal and had considered rebelling, but said: "I was given assurances that they do not expect the powers to be used."
Thanks very much Mr Lazarowicz, vote for effective internment even though you apparently don't believe in it but you are foolish enough to believe an utterly desperate Prime Minister!
No legislation is ever passed that is not intended to be used. If Mr Lazarowicz disagreed with the proposal he should have voted against or at the very least abstained. Instead his Government has provided an effective recruiting sergeant for future suicide bombers by ripping up the rule of law. Detention without charge or trial is simply not acceptable in any modern democracy and certainly should not be happening in Scotland.
I respectfully suggest that Mr Lazarowicz should do the decent thing and resign and allow someone to become our MP who is actually fit to do the job and vote on such issues on principle. His actions simply are not good enough and are an embarassment to all the constituents he is supposed to represent.