- 16 Oct 07, 03:29 PM
I know, I know, it might seem a crazy idea, but I’d like all Scots, Welsh, Irish, French and Italians to support England in the rugby World Cup final. What do you think?
Aaargh, stop throwing bricks at me and let me put forward my logic.
You see, when I was a wee boy growing up in Borneo, the UK seemed a long way away. But it also struck me that all of us in the Northern Hemisphere are quite like each other. For instance, you can’t say that someone a mile north of the Scottish border with England is markedly different from someone a mile south of it.
People living a mile apart along the border between England and Wales must be similar. Or at least they must have more similarities than differences.
I am just back from Shanghai and I have more in common with the English than I do with the Chinese.
And, if I am perfectly honest, I am quite proud that England are in the final because it gives our Six Nations right here, ladies and gentlemen, in the Northern Hemisphere, some more credibility.
Now I know that there have been some skirmishes along our borders over the years. I know that a few Scots walked down to Derby doing a fair bit of damage three hundred years ago. I know we, the Scots, ganged up against the English in a thing called the “Auld Alliance” for a bit of a laugh. I know that the English can be bumptious like no other nation on Earth. And they huff a bit too much when they are beaten.
But the truth is I am fairly pleased that my near neighbours are in the final. After all, no matter what happens, they should be better winners or losers than the rather pathetic All Blacks.
Swing low, sweet chariot. Oh dear, I hope I can keep this up for eight minutes.
John Beattie is a former Scotland international who hosts radio and TV programmes for BBC Scotland.