Hoy does us all proud

CHRIS Hoy has shown the world that there is no contradiction in being proud to be British and Scottish at the same time.

The fact that his bike was actually manufactured in Derby is a fine illustration of the benefits that can accrue to both nations through the Union.

(NOTE: the pic on the right is genuine and not the work of the nationalist government’s computer whizz-kids…)



Filed under Politics, SNP

26 responses to “Hoy does us all proud

  1. Johnny Norfolk

    It was a great win by a great Britain. Shame you could not resist showing the Scots flag. We would not do that in England. It shows you still have a large chip on your shoulder.

    It just spoils the Scots in the 21st cent.

  2. Johnny – I think you’re missing the point. The St Andrew’s flag should be no more offensive to you than the St George’s Cross is to me. The pic on the right is of Hoy celebrating his performance representing Scotland in the Commonwealth Games. Check out the excellent comment below from Scottish Unionist if you’re having trouble following the politics of this particular post.

  3. Indeed, and anyone who thinks that sport shouldn’t be political really isn’t paying attention. Alex Salmond seemingly couldn’t even bring himself to congratulate Hoy’s two teammates, who won gold with him in the team sprint, and who happen to be English – instead limiting his remarks to the Scottish duo of Hoy and Edgar.

    Contrast Salmond’s narrow focus with Des Browne’s openness and inclusiveness:

    AS: “This is a fantastic achievement for Chris Hoy and Ross Edgar, and Scotland’s greatest sporting moment at the Olympics of all time with Scots winning a gold and silver in the same event. This was the Braveheart final, and Chris and Ross did Scotland proud.”

    DB: “As with millions across the country, I have been closely following the progress of the British team in the Olympic Games. Chris Hoy and his British teammates’ achievement yesterday in the team sprint was an exceptional feat of sporting excellence. But for Chris to crown it today with another gold and a silver for Ross Edgar is remarkable. It is a great source of pride to all of us in Scotland that Chris and Ross are among the many Scots competing as part of Team GB.”

  4. Chris Hoy can be whatever he wants to be, it’s not for politicians, olympic committee’s, or spectators to impose a nationality (or anything else) on him.

    Sport shouldn’t be political, but it is …

  5. Johnny Norfolk

    Its strange that when a Welch person wins they are from Wales, when a Scott wins they are from Scotland when the English person wins they are British. Its no wonder you are creating such resentment from the English. It is not suprising from a party that used to have its power base in these areas.What you and your party have done is create by your attitude resentment from the English where very little exsisted before.

  6. What a load of nonsense, Johnny.

  7. James

    I see you’ve come second in Iain Dale’s best political blogs, again runner up to the great John Redwood.
    You keep coming second in these Tom. Is this an omen for the next GE? 🙂

  8. Letters From A Tory

    I don’t think bike manufacturing is really on a par with reforming the Barnett Formula.


  9. When Raquel Welch won a Golden Globe in 1974, I’m not at all sure anybody said that she was from Wales. I would think she’d resent it if it had happened though.

  10. Brian Hall

    Johnny, as a pro-independence Scot, I’m with you, there should be no shame in English sportsmen winning games and being branded English.

    I think there is a perception problem, the media continual throws Britishness at us, but its entirely irrelevant to most of the viewers who will see it as a slight on their identity.

  11. Hoy is an outstanding Olympian, a great Scot, a true Brit, and many other clichés. It was very interesting watching the BBC Scotland news the other night, you went one second from a velodrome where the Saltire was banned and union jacks were everywhere to seeing his Scottish supporters in a room where the Saltires obscured virtually all else in the room.
    For now, that is what it is to be Scottish, yes. It was somewhat telling that the Aussies who the BBC canvassed in London the other day had a go at us for pushing four countries together to try and get our medal results up. Is this a new Labour policy Tom, please stay in the union or we’ll slip down the 2012 medal table? I’m not sure it’s the voters prime concern!

  12. Steady on Johnny.

    I don’t share Tom’s politics but in this instance his original post was fine. Your readiness to tar all Scots with the same brush is vaguely insulting and Tom’s inclusion of the Commonwealth picture is understandable given the attention the story’s got.

    Many in England would do well to remember that there’s probably a silent majority in Scotland who are fiercely proud to be Scottish and British, cheer on the English at football or whatever when the Scots aren’t in the frame and are perfectly comfortable in the union. Your readiness to buy the nationalist myth of a restless bitter nation desperate to take its leave says more about you than it does about them.

  13. Madasafish

    The only Scottish athlete/sportsman who really creates any resentment amongst the English is Andy Murray: largely because of his stupid statements about the English.
    Come Wimbledon time, though, even he is forgiven:-)

    As for the rest, sport and politics should be kept apart: that rarely happens though – see Mrs Thatcher..

    Having said that, apartheid and sport… well I supported the bans on South African teams.. and the reasons are obvious. If the colour of your skin determines the team’s makeup…

  14. Andrew F

    …any chance he wasn’t making a political point?

    It seems to me that Nationalist-Unionist debate in Scotland is fought over petty minutiae. Yesterday, you called the nationalists “Stalinist” because they photo-shopped a flag. Today you claim a victory because a Scottish athelete draped himself in a flag almost certainly passed to him by someone from Team GB.

    The bickering is neither tongue-in-cheek nor substantive. It’s as if no one can actually bring themselves to have the proper open; and so instead we just get this monotonous, pervasive drone – about flags, and tennis, and so on. It’s just not mature.

    And I preferred this blog when it wasn’t so needlessly vitriolic. 😦

  15. Andrew – you wrote: “…a flag almost certainly passed to him by someone from Team GB.”

    Hoy IS a member of Team GB, you klutz.

  16. Brian Hall

    Cassilis, I don’t think the silent majority are fiercely proud to british and scottish..

    I’m pretty sure that a small minority are fiercely proud to British and Scottish;

    Another small minority are fiercely proud to be exclusively Scottish’

    A large silent group are proud to be British and Scottish

    And a second large silent group are proud to be Scottish but don’t mind being British

    And a third large silent group are proud to be Scottish but not proud to be British.

    Really its the size of the silent groups that make the difference as to Scotland future. But as they tend to be silent we rarely know what they want!

  17. Er, so who are the third group again…?

  18. Johnny Norfolk

    The English people I talk to are very resentful about the Welch and Scots having a far better deal from the NHS than we do. It does create resentment. Can you not see the unfairness.

    Labour have created resentment where none exsisted before.

    Just go out and talk to ordinary English people and ask. You may be shocked by the reply.

    MPs from Labour are just so out of touch with people its hard to believe.

    So when you highlight Scotishness it just rubs salt in the wound. because thats how we feel wounded, as you will find out at the next general election.

  19. El Toro

    I note the comments about sport and politics, however like any profession sportsmen and women can be as political or not as they wish to be.

    If a sporting star is very pro-independence and dislikes the symbolism of the union flag then they should have every right to fly the George Cross, Saltire or Dragon if they wish. That is their choice, as it is their choice to fly a Union Flag.

    Even if they would prefer to participate in an English, Scottish or any other team than a GB team it is the environment they must work in until constitutional change occurs. That should not prevent them from maintaining their political principals at the same time as pursuing a successful sporting career. We should all accept that. It is the fundamental right of free thought and speech.

    And Tom, as for the ridiculous comment about the location of bike manufacturing being a benefit of the union – utter tripe! By that argument we must be part of the same country under the same governance as France, the USA or, indeed, anywhere else we buy goods and services from.

    The Royal Air Force are procuring the Joint Combat Aircraft from a US company and that has nothing to do with being part of the same union, which we clearly are not.

    An independent Scotland would, like any other normal country, export and import and if a Scottish cycle team’s bikes came from England, China, or Nevis & St Kitts then who cares. You buy what you need from the best tender for what you specify.

  20. commenter

    I agree with the general sentiment.

    But where does his lycra suit get made, and does its existence demonstrate the mutual benefit accrued by Scotland’s union with [whatever country that is]? The comment about the bike was an equally silly point. Would he be not allowed to buy his bike from there if Scotland were independent? Confiscated at the border perhaps.

    One thing I have noticed is that the Beeb are quite keen to mention the nationality of Scottish athletes these days. I wonder if it is a response to the old moan about ‘Scots when they lose, Brits when they win’, which is as far as I can tell, out of date.

  21. commenter

    Johnny, I am to be honest a bit sick about chip-on-the-shoulder types such as yourself who are always moaning about how hard done by the poor old English are. Devolved parliaments/assemblies get a block grant which reflects need. In Scotland’s case, it corresponds reasonably well with income generated by Scotland. Especially these days, with $100 per barrel oil prices.

  22. Andrew F

    Tom – I’m well aware of that. You know, since I like sport and all.

    But when an athlete wins a medal, someone from the team generally passes them a flag straight away, which they then do a lap of honour in. My point was that in the immediate aftermath, Hoy wouldn’t actually have had any choice whether he had a Union Jack or St Andrew’s cross. You klutz.

  23. Andrew F – He certainly didn’t have a choice, at the Olympics the Saltire, Flag of St George and other flags that don’t strictly represent competing nations are banned. It’s an age old Olympic rule but thanks to the Chinese sensitivities about Tibet it’s being enforced rather strictly this year. Good on Hoy’s parents for smuggling in a Saltire painted onto their banner though.
    As far as I can see though, Hoy sees his flags as an extension of the team he’s in, so when in Manchester he could be seen opting for a Union Jack on the track but naturally when competing as Scotland he’ll take a Saltire.
    Of course, stepping back a few posts, how appropriate is it that our national anthem has religious overtones in a modern era? I think I have more trouble with an anthem than any flag myself.

  24. Johnny,

    If you have an issue with the way your health service or anything else is run I suggest you take it up with the elected members … there’s little point in having a go at people in Scotland and Wales who appear to have appointed largely competent representatives to their devolved bodies, if not competent, they at least have a good idea of where the priorities are, e.g. health.

  25. Johnny Norfolk

    I do not blame the Scots at all. not at all. I have never met or worked with a Scot I did not like, and I have the greatest respect for their culture and distictivnes. If I lived in Scotland I would vote SNP.
    No my gripe is with Labour who have not looked after or treated the English fairly. They have allowed discrimination with health provision on where you live and that is not right. If England had free prescriptions and the Scots did not just imagine what would happen, and that is one of the reasons that Labour will be destroyed in England at the next general election.

  26. El Toro

    In furtherance of the discussion of Scottish or British may I draw folks attention to the following Daily Record article today:


    I think that fairly tips the scales in favour of a Scottish team.

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