So it’s world cup time. As everyone knows Scotland didn’t make it, but England did. Personally I couldn’t give a shit. I don’t follow football. I’ll watch the world cup or the euro thing, but that’s it. It’s the same with tennis or darts. I know some of the names but never watch it unless there’s a big tournament and then I get swept away with it all.
The madness that has wandered along with England making it to The World Cup in South Africa and Scotland not surprisingly getting within pissing distance of the thing, has reached fever pitch. Each sides fans having a pop at each other on facebook and through some witty and some not so witty t-shirts. Someone made the not-very-clever A.B.E t-shirts (anyone but england) only to be shown up by the wit of the S.N.P (scotland’s not playing) one.
I can see how Scots get wound up by England, and I find it all quite amusing, as for the most parts it’s all harmless fun. It’s when it turns fuckin nasty and antagonistic that it really makes me sad.
I was born at Pontefract hospital just outside Leeds. Twice a year we would go up to Aberdeen to visit my parents family. When I was 13 we moved to Edinburgh. I had a massively noticeable broad Yorkshire accent.
Being the new boy at school and being English were not two of the best things to have just as you were hitting puberty. This isn’t some ‘poor me’ sob story of how I was ruthlessly bullied at school, because I wasn’t, I did get some stick but most of it I brought upon myself, but I did however get the odd lame insult for being english.
Luckily I had a dad that warned me this would happen. He would take the piss out of me on a regular basis and say if I could take him taking the piss out of me I could take it from anyone. He also said if anyone called me an english so-and-so to either do two things: 1. Punch ’em
or 2.Laugh and agree with them. I did a lot of 1, and if it was someone I knew would probably beat the shite out of me then I’d resort to 2.
I got so fed up with 1 and 2 ( and a certain fuckin film – cheers mel gibson) that gradually I made an effort to change my accent to blend in. Within a couple of years most of my tormentors had forgotten I was english because my accent was so broadly Scottish.
Now however, I don’t really consider myself English. My dad used to say “You’re not English, you’re a Yorkshire Man. There’s a difference.” I liked that. I have an English partner, and whenever someone says something or acts derogatory towards her plainly because of her accent I get quite defensive and fucking angry. I’ve started reading on Facebook Scots moaning about commentators referring to England as “we”. These folk are the same fuckers who also refer to the team they support as “we” ! I read a comment on Facebook from Dominic Diamond saying in 1998 he was in a pub in London and got taunted for being Scottish. No Dominic, you got taunted because you are a massive wanker.
I’ve a lot of friends who’ve defended their knocking of England by making excuses saying things like ” Well English folk always take the piss about how much we drink blah blah”, well stop fucking drinking so much then! When I lived in England for 12 years, not once did I hear anyone take the piss out of Scottish people or talk down about them in the slightest. Where’s this mythical place where all english people have it in for the Scots?
Again, a lot of it’s harmless fun, just a certain uneducated minority take it too far, or do the classic only-joking-but-actually-I-fucking-hate-all-english-people thing, and you sense that they actually do believe there’s a pub in England where they all sit around taking the piss out of Scotland and calling all Scots ‘Jocks’.
Tonight it’s England’s first game. I know if they get beaten I’ll probably switch straight to default setting and take the piss out of my English friends. Then again, maybe I won’t. It’s a strange thing, If I was a footballer I could play for either England or Scotland. I was born in England, my mother’s Scottish, all my grandparents and Aunties and Uncles etc are too. I’ve seen it from both sides. I’ve been on the receiving end of getting ribbed whenever England got beaten (euro 96 was quite painful and I remember being in tears after Italy 90), yet now I’m looking forward to ribbing my mates south of the border if they get a tanking. How fucked up is that?
I’ve also been moaning about the amount of England flags and Advertisements I was bombarded with on my recent trip down south, but maybe that’s because living in Edinburgh there’s saltire’s and tartan flying everywhere all year, and it seems the English only get patriotic and get behind there country during sporting events, like there’s no sense of their own history beyond 1966. Who knows. I just got pissed off. It’s like when you love a band for years then suddenly they have one big song and suddenly every dick head is wearing their t-shirt and getting behind them for a few months!
I think the whole England / Scotland thing is always going to be around, and as long as it’s geniune harmless banter then fine, but like anything there’s always going to be some arse hole that takes it too far.
I don’t know enough about football, but the England team seem to be spending more time dicking around doing adverts for kit-kat and going off on safari. Beckhams not playing, neither is that duran duran fella (rio?) .I wouldn’t be intimidated by them if I was an opposing team, I’d just relish the chance to give them a pasting.
However, I do hope England do alright. Even I know they won’t win the world cup. I think even England supporters know they won’t win. Those days are behind them. I do look forward to this first game though and how I will react and who’s side I’ll get behind. I’ll be watching it with two English people and one Scot so it should be interesting! Weirdly, even though my mum’s one of the most scottish people I know, she’ll be shouting for England. I assume there will be living rooms around Scotland full of people laughing and cheering if England get beaten tonight, some getting rather heated about it and taking it too seriously. Someone just this minute has hung a saltire out of their window across the road from me. Didn’t you hear?: S.N.P