By a Newsnet reporter
He’s gone from being a surly anti-English Jock, incapable of winning a Grand Slam event, to the latest example of the Great British Union Hi-Jackery.
No sooner had Andy Murray defeated Novak Djokovic that the southern scribes were out in force airbrushing all things Scottish from the tennis superstar.

It’s been Britain this and British that as red, white and blue ink, formerly used to tatoo the Team GB Olympians, is now applied to the boy from Dunblane.

According to one TV commentator, Murray’s triumph had left England (sic) with a difficult task as to who to award the Sports Personality of the Year award to.

So ubiquitous was this re-branding of Scotland’s most famous sports star that Sir Sean Connery felt compelled to chastise one reporter for failing to acknowledge that Murray was in fact Scottish. 

For Murray’s part, he has learned from experience just how dangerous and intolerant the British (English) media can be after a light hearted remark about the England football team resulted in the Scot being hounded by sections of the southern press.

Murray is now a lot more careful and guarded when dealing with the UK media, and rightly so.  His answers are well thought through and he knows exactly what to say in order to move on.  He still has his detractors though, as evidenced by remarks by English journalist Carole Malone, who said on SKY TV: “He’s not a likeable person, he is not easy to like… he’s just dour.”

Contrast Murray’s demeanour and handling of interviews with the UK media with this clip from CBS and note his willingness to engage and even enter a relaxed chat on the passion of Sir Sean Connery and references to Scotland.

In truth the reason the mass English media are desperate to adopt Murray is that there are no signs of an English born world class male tennis player able to challenge for Grand Slams.  If there were then be sure, Murray would find himself occupying the same role as cyclist Graeme Obree did when he had a rivalry with Chris Boardman.

England is desperate for a ‘home grown’ player to lift the Wimbledon men’s title and Murray is as good as it gets right now.

Of course, running in parallel with this sporting need is the political landscape currently dominated by the independence referendum.  It was in the background when Murray was ‘invited’ to the British Consulate in New York to be handed a Union Flag decorated tin of goodies, whilst surrounded by the pro-Union imagery.

Red, white and blue balloons and Union Flags greeted Murray.  ‘Sport is Great’, bellowed a poster in camera shot, the reference of course to Great Britain and the Olympics.  Prime Minister David Cameron’s congratulatory message, where he described Murray’s achievement as ‘Great’, was also a subliminal reminder of the ‘Great British’ agenda.

Murray, accompanied by his mum, had to go along with the charade.  To have refused would have been to invite unwanted vitriol.

For me, and I would guess most Scots, Murray is a Scotsman who has surpassed the expectations of many of us.  It’s OK for the rest of the UK to celebrate along with us - we do the same when the likes of Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell and Rory McIlroy win - but the media should stop trying to force this British brand onto someone who is clearly not interested in any identity baggage.

I for one would hope that Andy Murray remains apart from the Scottish or British nonsense, he doesn’t need the hassle.  His career is about to enter a new phase and he is now a recognised global sporting champion.  An added bonus is that the Americans have very clearly taken to this shy and unassuming Scotsman - welcome traits in the arena of corporate sponsorship.

Murray will still have to endure the moronic ‘British’ questions from now on from the usual suspects, that goes with the territory.

“You’re live on SKY News Andy what do you want to say to the British audience who supported you so strongly?” shouted a SKY reporter as Murray walked through a media scrum.

Yep, it really is that pathetic.


# Leswil 2012-09-12 08:02
I reported this yesterday on Newsnet, I deliberately followed the story across news media and there was never a mention of Scotland, there was a very rare reference to "the Scot".

However, the most reported was the grand slam victory by a British man, since Fred perry in 1936.

So, yes, the Union has claimed him, somehow as an extension of THEIR excellence in sport.

Nice if Andy declared he did it for himself, yes, but also for Scotland.
Unfortunately I doubt that will happen.
# bodun 2012-09-12 19:16
Then take a look at this.

Headline: Andy Murray must now become English, says Cameron
# jim288 2012-09-12 19:24

I'll come and visit you.
# deepthroat 2012-09-12 23:53
Very funny piece of satire
BUT point 4 Commonwealth Games 2014 NOT 2016
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-12 20:24
Quoting Leswil:
So, yes, the Union has claimed him, somehow as an extension of THEIR excellence in sport.

That would be because Scotland is part of the Union, so he is the Union's as much as he is Scotland's. He is an extension of their excellence in sport as much as he is of ours. We can become independent after 2014, but that process won't be speeded up or secured by complaining that we aren't independent in 2012. Until we're independent, we're part of the Union. Until we're independent, Murray is British and those who consider themselves British have as much right to celebrate a British win as those who consider themselves Scottish have to celebrate a Scottish win. That's how 'they' have managed to claim him: he's theirs. Murray may support anyone but England, but the English tend to support anyone who wins, even if they have to pretend to be 'British' rather than English to do so.
# Siôn Jones 2012-09-13 21:27
I thought the English tended to favour gallant losers like Tim Henman.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-13 22:15
The English tend to produce gallant losers, and so support them by default. But they'll jump at the chance to support someone who can actually win things.
# SolTiger 2012-09-12 08:37
The greatest sporting achievement since 1966 no doubt.

# Lamplighter 2012-09-12 09:29
"He still has his detractors though, as evidenced by remarks by English journalist Carole Malone, who said on SKY TV: “He’s not a likeable person, he is not easy to like… he’s just dour.”"

And for some reason you think this is an inaccurate statement? But really,who gives a toss anyway...
# Rabbie 2012-09-12 11:12
Ower the last year A've nivver seen sae mony Union Jecks on the tellie in ma life afore. As an ex RN serviceman, A can see nae bother when ony o thae Union Jecks is fleein upside-doon turnin it intae a yin-time international distress signal. In ma day, it wis a punishable offence tae dae thon in the navy. Ah! the distress o the Union Flag.
# rhymer 2012-09-12 12:12
Yes, isn't it amazing.
Some idiot actually thought that Andy Murray's Grand Slam win was the same as England winning the World Cup.

A single Scotsman on a tennis court.
Eleven Englishmen on a football pitch.
I doubt if we will care or remember in umpteen years time
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-12 12:39
The two things are very different, not least because Andy Murray could easily win another Grand Slam tournament.
# J Wil 2012-09-12 14:31
Necessary because the news reader on Sky News said it was only one grand slam.

We get the message.

They give more reverence to Henman.
# Leader of the Pack 2012-09-12 12:54
The problem is not the fact that Andy Murray is indeed British and Scottish its the fact that UK unionism has hijacked the designation of British or Briton as meaning akin to being a UK unionist and tied to Westminster! The designation of British is in fact as pertinant to an Independent Scot in an Independent Scotland as it is to a Unionist English person within an England within the union. Qualifying for the term British is simply being born or officially residing within the mainland Island of the UK it is not tied to a dependency of being Governed from Westminster Hollyrood Cardiff or Belfast. Yet Unionism has hijacked the designation of being British as exactly that! The Union flag is not a flag of Greater Britain but a representation of the United kingdoms including the mainland island of Greater Britain and all the outer Islands including NI! The Union flag will not be pertinant when the Parliaments split into their constituent parts but the geographical designation of Greater Britain will still remain as will the national designation and identification of British still remain! Thems the facts folks and its about time more people educated themselves to them!
# hiorta 2012-09-12 13:21
All this English desperation to be a 'somebody' just reveals their precarious sense of inferiority. Rightly so, too.
# flyingscotsman 2012-09-12 14:22
The desperation is obvious here, I was embarrassed reading it. Seriously, what relevance does this have to the sport or his win?

"Being a proud Scot and a proud Briton has never appeared to conflict Murray.

He lives in England, has an English girlfriend, largely English support staff and management, and counts Englishmen among his best friends. He also retains close Scottish friends from his early years and life on the tennis tour, and was moved to tears on a rare playing appearance in Scotland - for Britain - in the Davis Cup. "
# Leader of the Pack 2012-09-12 15:49
Its not Andy Murrays Identity which has been hijacked but the entire BRITISH identity! UK unionism has hijacked the British identity to mean a representation of folk subject to the Westminster Parliament and not subject to geographical location! In other words UK Unionism = British! And we're not helping this by acknowledging it by referring to UK unionists as Brit NATS!!! We are the Brit NATS not them!!! They dont beleive in Nationalism! They are unionists who believe in unequal National unions! except when they are on the wrong end of the unequality as in the case of the EU! Start getting the terminology right and a better understanding of our cause can be presented to the undecided and uneducated!
# scottish_skier 2012-09-12 19:40
Yes, they are trying to tie cultural/social identities with political issues.

Destined to failure for obvious reasons. There is no target audience.

Those Scots (around 1/3) who are 'Scottish not British' (in identity and this is important to them) will never change their 'yes' minds, nor will that equally Scottish and British 'no' group (not far off 1/3 too).

For those undecided - who are Scottish with varying degrees of socio-economic attachment to 'British', it ultimately comes down to politics.

Hence the jubilee, olympics etc had zero effect on anything. Just reaffirmed existing identities at most.
# mudfries 2012-09-12 16:13
Aye, its pathetic isnt it, the unionists are desperate to wrap murray in the union jack, remember folks - british nationalism is good - Scottish nationalism is bad! and they even see the contradiction.
# ramstam 2012-09-12 21:04
Aye, a braw victory for oor Andy. Nearly as guid as that fellae Norman's in 1066.
Funny how folk are kinna selective in whit they remember! Personally I think Andy and Chris(Hoy) will hae tae watch their backs on the political situation.
Anas Sarwar's attempt to get a knighthood for Andy smacks of opportunism. Anyhow there is nae greater honour than the "freedom of Stirling", and it's great that Andy is ettlin tae be in Glasgow for the Scottish Olympian's parade. Well done Andy!
# Clydebuilt 2012-09-12 21:07
Unionists have tried to hijack Scottish heroes for hundreds of years, Robert Burns and Walter Scott.

The lesson from Today's Herald isn't about Hijacking Andy, Today's Herald is a clear example that Unionists will use any oportunity, any event that presents itself and use it as a weapon against Scottish Independence.
Classic warfare from Gardham.

Marcus Gardham the political editor who has the Daily Record on his CV, used Andy's success to drum up demands from the Scottish Government. Whilst at the same time trying to sow dissatisfaction with Scotlands development of sport for all.

My feeling is that the Herald is finished. Gardham is further nail in the Heralds coffin.
# J Wil 2012-09-13 09:54
"Unionists have tried to hijack Scottish heroes for hundreds of years, Robert Burns and Walter Scott." might also add Conan Doyle.

You can now even detect this bias in some of the, supposedly, non-political programmes like The Antiques Roadshow and Flog It where references to Scottish craft and culture are deliberately ignored and references to English craft and culture are always keenly promoted.

The amusing thing is that all the best craft work in Britain was imported from the continent with people escaping repressive regimes, from things learned from Italian culture during grand tours, or plagiarised from Japanese and Chinese culture.
# Barontorc 2012-09-12 23:22
Aye the Herald's nigh-on finished - so let's have Tom Shields as the "Scottish Minister for Common-sense".
# Clydebuilt 2012-09-13 12:52
Quoting Barontorc:
"Tom Shields as the "Scottish Minister for Common-sense".

sorry if it's to be Tom Shields he'll have to be the First Minister fur Nae all!
# Barontorc 2012-09-13 13:50
Clydebuilt got it in one! - At least he'll be an honest man, telling it as it is, where there's nae-sense to all the nonsense we've been putting up with for yonks.

Is there any sense in this lopsided farce of exploitative domination we've endured for over three hundred years!

The court jester was the only one brave enough to get it right on the button - and survived.
# Dcanmore 2012-09-13 11:42
Jackie Stewart, another outstanding world-beating Scottish sportsman, used to wear his tartan banded crash helmet through his entire career. And I believe a small Saltire next to his name on the car as well. I don't ever remember him receiving vitriol for it. Funny how times change.

During the 1990s when he and his son Paul ran their own racing team, one English commentator quipped "the cars will be painted British Racing Green I assume", and quick as a flash Jackie replied "no, they'll be in Scottish blue". Eventually they did change the blue scheme to white with a tartan band so they could accommodate the Ford 'blue oval' sponsors.
# EricF 2012-09-13 13:35
Quoting Dcanmore:
Jackie Stewart, another outstanding world-beating Scottish sportsman, used to wear his tartan banded crash helmet through his entire career. And I believe a small Saltire next to his name on the car as well. I don't ever remember him receiving vitriol for it. Funny how times change.

Scottish nationalism wasn't seen as a threat then. Now it has to be beaten down at every opportunity.
# weegie38 2012-09-13 17:10
Personally I'm mystified at anyone in the British Isles claiming credit for Andy's success. He honed his tennis craft as a teenager at the Sanchez-Casal academy in Catalunya: he was turned into a player capable of winning Grand Slams by a Czech-born US coach. He owes Scotland little and the UK even less.

Good luck to the guy, and may he long steer clear of the nationalistic aspect of tennis. I look forward to him pulling out of many Davis Cup matches in years to come.
# Early Ball 2012-09-13 17:30
To be fair Weegie his old lady did more than a little bit.

You cannot blame him for not playing all the Davis Cup games. They usually are the week following a slam and Britain no. 2 is ranked 200 in the world.
# weegie38 2012-09-13 18:00
Quoting Early Ball:
To be fair Weegie his old lady did more than a little bit.

You cannot blame him for not playing all the Davis Cup games. They usually are the week following a slam and Britain no. 2 is ranked 200 in the world.

Ok - his mum did a lot. If anything that merely proves my point. Where did the British (or Scottish) tennis "system" help out?

A country can only really claim pride in a sporting endeavour if the nation, usually through government intervention in training facilities and talent-spotting infrastructure, played a role. I'm not sure much of that happened in Andy's case.

As to him not playing in the Davis Cup, I'm quite happy with that!
# Early Ball 2012-09-13 20:37
I see where you are coming from.

East Germany and GB Cycling would be good examples!

Judy saw what "the system" did to Jamie and wanted something better for Andy. She was right.
# The_Duke 2012-09-13 18:35
Yeah, even in the closing ceremony. The US interviewer opened with "I don't think I have to tell you there are bagpip[es blowing all over Scotland tonight!"

See even in the US they can get it right

11.32 secs
# youoffmyplanet 2012-09-13 23:33
Going to be unpopular for this but heigh-ho. This article did not come across very well. Has he been a bit of an outcast because he's not won a Grand Slam? Sure. Are there plenty of English tennis fans who put ridiculous emphasis on his ill-though out football quip? Sure. Has he been characterised as dour, a word synonymous with glum Scottish stereotypes? Sure.

But I don't get why you're making your point so virulently? I've seen him draped in a Union Flag and I've seen him talk of Scotland and I've seen the US and UK press talk of 'Dunblane, a small Scottish town' and the British tennis curse being broken. The logic of your argument seems to be that if an English player had achieved this then there would be no mention of 'TeamGB'.....and that that would be a pompous and possessive thing to say that they were the first English player to win since Fred Perry. So I guess what I'm wondering then is why does it largely come across that you'd support Murray's name being followed by (Scottish) all the time? He is listed as British, just like Henman, and until Autumn 2014 there will continue to be a state called the UK. Even an American would realise that his accent isn't English, even if they can't perfectly pinpoint it.

You write 'Murray, accompanied by his mum, had to go along with the charade. To have refused would have been to invite unwanted vitriol.' .....but we don't remotely know that that's what they were thinking. You paint a picture of a hostage situation which, if true, the strong-minded Murrays would never have gone along with. I suggest they're either neutral about the constitution, or saw the ££££ signs.

I notice that you also conspicuously write that Scots celebrate UK successes, and then list 2 Northern Irishmen's names. Not expecting you to cite the English football team, but you could have wrote Rory McIlroy and Jess Ennis instead? Would have been a bit more balanced. Just seemed a fudging of the issue considering the links between Scotland and N.I.

I'll be voting for independence, and I know full well how sport and culture can be used as propaganda by Westminster, but I'm afraid this kind of article is a bit of a PR nightmare for those of us trying to convince non-Scottish friends living in Scotland to vote YES, and believe me, in the big battlegrounds of Edinburgh and Glasgow they are an important minority. Less and less of the electorate by 2014 will be white, 60 years old and born and bred in Govan. They won't understand the point you're making.
# Barontorc 2012-09-14 00:00
youoff... 60 year olds born and bred in Govan are not the most likely to vote for independence - barge-pole and touching distance come to mind!

However, to touch on the thrust of your argument, it would be real nice to have our kids excelling in sport and being recognised as Scots.

Can't you concede that par for the course so far, is that when a Scot does well, he or she, is a Brit, (aka English) success, when disappointing - he or she, is a (numpty) Scot!

Do so and we'll have an understanding and take it from there.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-14 18:31
Daily Telegraph, Wimbledon 2011. British, not Scottish.

Guardian, 2011. British and Scottish.

BBC, 2011. British and Scottish.

Sky, 2012. British and Scottish.

And so on.

Can't you concede that, par for the course on Newsnet, the chip you have on your shoulder is entirely your own invention? Do so and you'll have some understanding and you can take it from there
# call me dave 2012-09-14 01:57
Murray not attending the Glasgow parade for the Scottish medallists.

No reason given but that's his business.

He wasn't at the London parade either as he was in America winning the last grand slam of the year.
# Training Day 2012-09-14 13:05
O/T but pertinent with a sporting theme:

I make a point of avoiding Scottish Questions as a Brussels Sprout that's been run over by a steamroller is capable of affording more intellectual stimulation but Davidson's comments appear to have been recorded in Hansard..
# john__ 2012-09-14 14:57
I like the take of the daily mash (usual stereotypes aside):

In particular the last line rings true:
“Murray can pledge loyalty to the Queen and live out his days as a wealthy Lord with rich lands and many sons, or we’ll have his head on a stick.”

# Training Day 2012-09-14 17:38
O/T apparently Salmond 'booed' at Olympic parade in Glasgow.

Either: a spontaneous burst of derision at separatist megalomaniac

Or: Councillor Matheson and his chums at the Orange Order have had commune in advance of today.

I have no view either way ;)
# G. Campbell 2012-09-14 18:26
British Unity @BritishUnity
The booing of Salmond during Team GB parade tells you all you need to know about what Scots think of separation #bbcparade #bettertogether
Retweeted by Tessa Hartmann
(Fashion-Editor-At-Large for Herald Scotland)

This week British Unity is mainly being followed by fans of The Rangers:

Including WillhelmA, who uses a cartoon of Alex Salmond in Nazi uniform as his twitter background:

Elsewhere on twitter, some Tory congratulates some other Tories for getting the Union Flags out:

Rob Anderson @randerson_gfd
"@Kevin_Maguire: BBC reporter confrims Alex Salmond booed during Team GB's Glasgow parade" Result @GlasgowTories - good job with flags!

And full-time Labour activist/part-time Daily Record Westminster Editor, Torcuil Crichton, goes into a 'Salmond booed' retweet frenzy.
# Jiggsbro 2012-09-14 18:54
Scotland in 'Not all Nats' shock.

The SNP were rocked today by the devastating revelation that they do not have the support of 100% of the Scottish electorate. Unusually in the democratic West, the apparently elected leader of Scotland, Alex Salmond, found some members of the public don't support everything he says or does. Salmond, who seeks total control of Scotland, was booed by more than a dozen of the 5,000 strong crowd who had gathered in Glasgow to celebrate the achievements of British Olympians and Paralympians, to the obvious amusement of Sir Chris Hoy (one of the Olympians honoured by the British government). The SNP were slammed by Glaswegian citizen Anas Sarwar, who said "I came to congratulate the Olympians, not to listen to some fat fascist take all the credit. Salmond has disgraced Scotland in the eyes of the world and should resign. I'm only here because my mate Johann is still competing in the Olympic Hide and Seek final, but I'm sure she'd say the same thing, if she was told to".
# balbeggie 2012-09-14 21:14
seems from twitter that it was an 'organised boo' from the Bitter Together mob. FM seems to have received spontanoeus cheers from the crowd during his speech according to the BBC reporter John Beattie.
# call me dave 2012-09-14 22:25
Not too surprised to hear about the booing, when you enter the lion's den there will always be a few willing place-persons to carry out their mission.

However, the vast majority who were there will have seen that it was right for the FM of Scotland to congratulate the Scottish branch of team GB on our behalf.

Who else could have / should have done it?

Anyhoo! Roll on 2014,
# GrassyKnollington 2012-09-14 22:58
Exactly. They're willing to ditch any pretence of socialism in favour of slavish unionism so spoiling the Scottish Olympian's celebration with some staged booing of their nemesis Alex Salmond is pretty low but very much par for the course for our lovely home grown British nationalists.

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.


Donate to Newsnet Scotland


Latest Comments