No Gold Medals For Clutching At Straws

Hey everyone Much has been made in the last few days as to whether competitors at the Olympics have been singing their national anthems. This has been particularly true of British competitors & whether or not they have been singing God Save The Queen. At least it has in the minds of Scottish unionists.

You see it is my carefully considered opinion that unionists will win every gold medal they contest in the 100 bleaters event for clutching at straws. Honestly you just need to see their reaction at Andy Murray singing what they consider to be their anthem & their attitude problem to Sir Chris Hoy when decided not to sing it. I mean when it comes to petulance there is no species like a Pro British Unionist. Many of these people are seriously deluded & need someone to enlighten them & believe me that’s precisely what I’m going to do.

I start my crash course in enlightenment by saying that the unionists are misguided on this issue I mean they seem to let their petty minded attitude dominate their thinking as to who are True Brits or who are Rebel Scots on the basis of who gets their picture taken wrapped in the union flag or sings the first verse of a song. This is ridiculous, & not an intelligent way to decide someone’s national identity.

Also assumptions are never a good idea because 99 times out of every 100 you will get it spectacularly wrong. This has never been more obvious than now. Well what these people forget is that identity is a complex context, far too complex for many on either side of this constitutional debate to properly understand. However whether it is through fear or prejudice this does appear to apply more often than not to the unionists. Indeed I would go would go as far as to suggest that you can smell their desperation more with every passing medal.

This is in my opinion extremely embarrassing. Their attempts to hijack our Olympic stars have been foolish ill advised & I have to say cringe worthy. In contrast those who support independence have made no such attempt to claim anyone for the banner, preferring to let our champions have the chance to speak for themselves should they make the decision to do so. This seems to be beyond the thinking of many unionists who seem to be getting all excited over the slightest little sign of what they perceive to be Britishness even if others may interpret it as political correctness.

Well as I said identify is complex & the choices you make in how you choose to identify can vary greatly in different situations. For example with regards to my national identity I identify as Scottish. Constitutionally I would say I am republican who favours an Independent Scotland. Politically I would say I am a left wing socialist. & culturally I would claim to be Celtic Scots-Irish – Irish Scots. So If I can lay claim to all of these identities & probably many others I haven’t discussed then I think I have clearly illustrated that identity is fluid & has the capacity to change to suit particular circumstances.

Bearing this in mind I cheered Jess Ennis to victory in the heptathlon not on the grounds she was British but on the grounds that I am & always have been a sports fan who wants to see the best athlete or team win in any particular event. This also meant I was cheering Victoria Pendleton so loudly I think she must have heard me in the velodrome. Yes that’s right I a card carrying member of the SNP was cheering athletes born In England whom I genuinely wanted to win gold.
You see I am a patriot but I am also fair minded & respect sporting ability no matter where it comes from.

So why do I have a soft spot for these two athletes in particular? Well that’s easy I’ve always admired Jess Ennis since the first time I saw her competing for England at the 2006 commonwealth games in Melbourne. As for Victoria Pendleton let’s just say I watched a documentary on her quest for Olympic glory & from that moment on she had gained a new fan who would support her through thick & thin willing her to win in a way I never believed possible.

I had the same attitudes with regards to supporting Irish Gold Medal Winner Katie Taylor, Australia’s Sally Pearson & the legends which are Usain Bolt & the king of the pool Michael Phelps. The fact they are not Scottish doesn’t matter. Well as I said its not me who has the attitude problem. I am nothing if not a realist & anyone who believes there has not been a softening of attitudes towards a British identity in these past two weeks is fooling no-one but themselves.

Will it last beyond the games? That is a question only time & history will answer. Though there are certain people who seem to be telling us that it will with an almost bullish arrogance. Personally I’m not so sure, & I certainly don’t believe that the feel good factor of the Olympics will play more than a minor part in the upcoming Scottish Independence Referendum.

As for guessing which Scottish Olympians support Independence & which support the union I neither have the time or interest to play these silly little games. However for those who wish to do so I would offer this advice Do not & I mean do not attempt to judge someone on whether or not they sing God Save The Queen after all there are people who support Independence who rather like the idea of retaining the monarchy & would have no problem singing along as the anthem was played. On the other hand there are also those who may wish Scotland to remain within the union but have strong anti- monarchist tendencies.

So though you may believe that you can tell someone’s politics or national identity It may be more difficult than you think. I mean has it nobody thought that the reason some people may not sing anthems might choose not to do so because having been at a karaoke night they’ve discovered that they were no rivals to Bruno Mars or Jessie J & decided to stand with dignity during the ceremony to show their pride rather than risk that Rosanne Barr which caused fury throughout America.

For the benefit of those too young remember this incident I should perhaps explain that Rosanne Barr who at that particular time was one of the best known & highest earning stars in the world was selected to sing the star spangled banner at a baseball game & her singing was so bad it created a national outcry & she received hate mail from those who claimed she had made a mockery of America.

Whilst I am sure Sir Chris Hoy’s singing voice is better than that of Rosanne Barr I sometimes it is better not to take the risk. Therefore I think its time for certain sections of society to stop fooling themselves & cherish the Olympics for what it has been an excellent festival of sport & not taint the memory of it with their pathetic political jingoism. After all, there are no gold medals for clutching at straws.

Love & Best Wishes
Gayle X

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