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Wings Over Scotland

The Great Destroyer

Posted on August 06, 2012 by

We can’t really be bothered working ourselves up into an outrage about the despicable behaviour of a number of Unionist politicians (far less the angrily triumphant online hordes of British nationalists) in the immediate aftermath of Andy Murray’s magnificent gold medal in the Olympic tennis. GA Ponsonby has written an excellent analysis of the No camp’s mindset over on NNS that we can’t add much of value to.

All we’d like to point out is that the normally relatively-sensible Tory MSP Murdo Fraser has made an even bigger clown out of himself than it initially appears if this tweet from yesterday afternoon is what he genuinely believes:

Quite aside from the crass ugliness of attempting to politicise Murray’s victory at all (on the basis of an embarrassed, half-hearted mumbling of a couple of lines of “God Save The Queen”), Fraser’s comment is wrong on the most fundamental level.

Nationalists do NOT want to “destroy” Team GB, only to leave it and compete in our own right, thereby sending far MORE Scottish athletes to the Olympics to realise their dreams than is possible in a combined team. If and when Scotland becomes independent Team GB will continue to exist, and will take part in the Games with the best wishes of most Scots (except when it’s in competition with us, of course).

For his own personal ideological and political reasons, Murdo Fraser wants to see fewer Scots winning medals in the Olympics than there could be – and indeed fewer English, Welsh and Northern Irish athletes too, since a Scottish team would obviously free up more spaces in the GB ranks for them. For the sake of petty politics, he wants there to be fewer people from these islands at the Olympics. We want there to be more. We’re not sure how that makes us the small-minded ones.

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    32 to “The Great Destroyer”

    1. bigbuachaille says:

      The comment by # Thistle_2014 in G A Ponsonby’s article is very informative, summarizing the political propaganda and plain nonsense which underpins TeamGB.  Very good post.

    2. Holebender says:

      Well Murdo I’m happy to tell you over and over and over again, my friend, you’d best believe we’re on the eve of destruction!

    3. Craig P says:

      Slightly off topic but more people are going to read this here than on the letters page of the Scotsman and it has more chance of being published here as well.

      I see Lord Moynihan is calling for greater investment and participation in sport, to enable even higher medal tallies in future games. He should be made aware that greater participation in sport, and higher medal tallies, are two separate things. In fact, given a limited pot of money to spend, they may well be mutually exclusive. I will back this up with an example.

      Towards the end of the last century, the Australian Institute of Sport was given increased funding for the purpose of increasing Australia’s medal count at major events. Potential athletes were identified at an early age and given special sports training. Australian physios, nutritionists and coaches became world reknowned. By the millenium, and the Sydney olympics, Australians were winning everything. The AIS had delivered and sporting bodies around the world looked to Australia for the template of success.

      But it came at a cost. In the words of an Australian friend, “they only cared about the best. Everyone else was given the impression not to bother because nobody cared.” Australia – whose image is of healthy outdoor pursuits – is now the second most obese country in the world, after the USA, another country that spends vast amounts on its elite athletes.

      Greater participation in sport is often cited as one of the benefits of the Olympics. But the example of Australia shows that, unless a deliberate effort is made to invest in grassroots facilities, the more likely outcome is greater concentration of resource and effort at the elite level, whilst everybody else becomes less fit.

    4. sm753 says:
      “I regret that since I began arguing the case against NATO, a rather large number of SNP supporters have demonstrated the kind of unwillingness to tolerate dissent of any kind, on Twitter, on YouTube, on the blog, and, I regret to say, in violently abusive comments which I have removed at the pre-moderation stage, and in abusive emails.

      Of more concern is the apparent inability to engage with any debate above the level of sloganising and protestations of undying loyalty to anything the party says or does, or with complex, detailed arguments, and the ‘magic wand’ approach to independence.

      This is matched only by the uncanny silence of the party hierarchy and professional communicators, who nonetheless produce, daily, a blizzard of press release on just about anything under the sun – except defence matters and NATO.”

    5. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Another day, another inanity from the unionist side.
      They do have a limited script, threats, fear and nostalgia and now that they have run out of the points in most of the categories, they recyle the old negated ones ad nauseum; Orkney and Shetland to stay with Mother England.  

      It is getting a bit tiring to dredge up the energy to rerun the same simple counterpoints to their stupidities.

      It is getting to the stage that I need to seek inspiration in the Forrest Gump lexicon of observations.
      Stupid is as Stupid does.

      SM 753 arrives on cue.

    6. Moridura you only got three replies two from me.You come across as somebody who wants everything your way or no way.Your not that important either you join in and help with the ambition of independence and realise that every other decision will be made after independence,so no matter who wants in or out of NASTO no party can be certain of getting its own way,and its only up for discussion its not policy.Self importance and being a blow hard is your forte.

    7. Macart says:

      Murdo who?

    8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:


      “I regret that since I began arguing the case against NATO…”

      SM753: I believe I’ve already noted this blog’s policy towards trolling. I am at a loss to understand the relevance of your quoting the above in a piece about Murdo Fraser, Andy Murray and the Olympics. If you wish to discuss NATO or “cybernats”, do it in the comment section of a relevant thread. Consider that a polite warning.

    9. Doug Daniel says:

      I know your tweet about it was said in jest, but it really is quite a startling metaphor for the union that Andy Murray won gold when competing on his own, but when lumped with someone from England, they proved to be second-best. It shows you the lack of foresight of these people that they happily twatted their nonsense, completely oblivious to the potential for such a metaphor to be created.

      These Olympics, like the jubilee, have proven to be extremely revealing when it comes to the impartiality of many journalists and commentators. They may claim “all views are my own, not those of the organisation I work for”, but organisations are non-organic entities with no capacity to formulate opinions of their own. What are the opinions of a newspaper or news programme if not those of the people who write for them?

      My sister noticed my retweet and reply to @PaulBrandITV when he made one of the tedious “haha, get that right fucking up you Alex Salmond, you fat Nazi separatist cunt” tweets (I may be paraphrasing just a LITTLE bit…), and told him his tweet served no purpose other than to try and wind people up, and he decided to pick on her rather than me, presumably thinking she was a softer target. His “I asked a question, that’s my job. I don’t just ask the questions people like, whether it’s SNP or Tories” reply was typical of the sort of feeble get-out clause journalists try to invoke when someone points out that they sound remarkably partisan for a supposedly impartial journalist.

      Well, we’re watching you, journalists. We’ll remember all this when it comes to the 2014 Commonwealth Games. When Scottish athletes win medals under the saltire, we’ll be looking out for your “oooh, who’d want to be a unionist now? Bet Johann Lamont (or whoever is Labour leader at that point) is spitting feathers at all these Scottish athletes winning medals for #TeamScotland!”

      Idiots like Paul Brand (I feel bad saying that – I’ve been friends with a Paul Brand since I was 5) at ITV need to understand something: this is not about taking a government to task over a policy. This is far more important than trying to be the self-appointed leaders of taking the government to account, and as such, both sides need to be equally rigorously questioned. It’s simply not good enough to question the pro-independence side only, and by joining in with the “hahaha, the SNP are hating this LOLZZZZZZZZ!” tweets, journalists are perpetuating the myth that independence = the SNP.

      Far be it for me to suggest that this is because they are biased, rather than because they’re just bloody incompetent…

    10. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @sm753 – If Moridura wants to stop being an SNP member then so be it.

      If he wants to stop supporting Independence for Scotland because he doesnt like the SNP anymore then he is a fool.

      Independence is not the SNP. Independence is getting to decide for ourselves how we want to be governed, getting the government we actually vote for, and having the resources of our country used to benefit Scotland and Scotland alone!

      What the policies of those governments are Post Indy we will not know until then, and we will get a chance to vote for “Real” Scots Labour and “Real” Scots tories and “Real” Scots Lib Dems (rather than the current branding exercises for Westminster Unionists R Us – North Branch).

      Where Moridura is coming off as wrong is that they are proposing to DISCUSS the membership of NATO and put it ot a democratic vote at conference.

      IT could go either way, but Moridura has preferred to say I dont want to even discuss it like adults because I’m against it and I will stamp my feet until I get my own way and no questions asked.

      Thats not a great way to go about things.

      No, the conference will go ahead and they will debate the policy on Nato.

      The caveats that Robertson proposes seem sensible, but are unlikely to be agreed by Nato, so its back to partnership for peace in that case… which is exactly the current policy.

      If they do agree the caveats then Scotland has a stronger defensive position and can continue to ensure that WMD’s are removed from our shores and we dont get embroiled in non-un sanctioned aggressive wars.

      (And before you come out and say about the mutual defence article – I am fully aware we may be embroiled in a war as part of Nato, but that is if a member is attacked and its only been invoked once since Nato was formed and that was in retaliation to an event. It is unlikely that such an event will happen again within our lifetimes)

    11. MajorBloodnok says:

      Macart says: Murdo who?


    12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Notice: this is a line.


      Any comments posted below the line about Moridura/NATO, from anyone, will be moved and/or deleted.

    13. Macart says:

      @ MajorBloodnok

      Aye, the laddie disappears  off a cliff after the leadership campaign and now he decides to pop up and politicise a sporting achievement. Well that’s his creds with the dyed in the wool, blue rinse brigade sorted (just in case Ruthie gets the big ‘E’ before the referendum).

    14. Peninsula says:

      Not sure if this Tweet from the BBC’s Nick Robinson has been noticed by WoS

      Quote:  ‘Clearly upset some people who think sports and politics don’t mix but future of UK will be determined by Murray more than, say, Faslane’

      Where to begin with this utter nonsense?  And this guy is meant to be the Chief Political Correspondent for the BBC? 

    15. scottish_skier says:

      Personally, after watching Andy Murray win gold, I’ve decided to vote Tory. Sod being a slightly left of centre-liberal, I’m off to buy a copy of the Daily Mail!

      The SNP vote will go into complete collapse now as people see the light as I have, just like what happened after the Jubilee.

      Oh no, hold on, that’s not right….

      The fact that some unionist politicians actually seem to believe that a tennis match will decide Scotland’s future only serves to show that these people are unfit to run the country.

    16. Colin Dunn says:

      “Australia – whose image is of healthy outdoor pursuits – is now the second most obese country in the world, after the USA, another country that spends vast amounts on its elite athletes.”

      On a side not, Australia is also one of the countries that made it mandatory for cyclists to wear helmets, with the resulting 40%+ drop in cycling, and a concomitant impact on health.

      My concern about the UK spending more on sport as a means to better national health, is the separation between sport as exercise and sport as competition. The UK government seems to focus on the latter. It’s not better cycle racing tracks that improve health, it’s getting more ordinary people on bikes on the roads.

    17. TYRAN says:

      Would be interested which other places and their politicians regarding the 2012 Olympics actually behave like this too. Or is it a unique phenomenon here? Perhaps Spain but with regards to football competitions rather than Olympics; Spain winning major trophies for example versus a Catalan team.

    18. Craig P says:

      Colin, that is the point I was trying to make but you did it more succinctly. It is wrong to think we can automatically have both mass participation and high achievement. 

      It is a curmudgeonly point to make at this time of seemingly daily sporting success. But I would rather live in a country where everyone was as active as they could be, yet never see another gold medal again, than live in a country of couch potatoes cheering on a few glittering achivements second hand.

    19. James Morton says:

      I think it safe to say that I have never defined my politics or nationality through sport. I take my attitude towards sport from Peter Wyngarde who said or should that be drawled “‘Whenever I feel the need for exercise I lie down until it
      passes- I’ll no doubt take great pains to avoid the commonwealth games when they come around, but I will still be there on the day of the poll voting yes.

    20. R Louis says:

      With the latest tweets from the Political Editor of the BBC, we now have absolute proof, in writing, of the blatant prejudice and political bias inherent within the BBC, and especially within BBC news.

      Nick Robinson’s tweets are in complete breach of the BBC charter, and show the BBC for what it is –  a propagandist mouthpiece for Westminster.

      Nick Robinson ?@bbcnickrobinson
      “Clearly upset some people who think sports and politics don’t mix but future of UK will be determined by Murray more than, say, Faslane”


      This of course is the ‘balanced’ BBC reporter who last year during the protests in London, took it upon himself to destroy a placard held by a an innocent anti war bystander.

      Time for Nick to go. 

    21. Nairn Clark says:

      Here’s the thing with Murdo’s logic and the Olympics. The natural end of such a dimwitted comment is to apply it to anyone who has left the British Empire. Let’s ask him if the Jamaicans were being destructive small-minded Nationalists by leaving the empire, or if all those African countries were being the same, or if Pierre Trudeau (notorious enemy of nationalists) was doing likewise in repatriating the Canadian constitution from Westminster in 1982 – a move Thatcher acquiesced to – or does it just apply to the Scots?

      I think we know the answer, folks.

      He’d have a better case if the lyrics to GSTQ weren’t so barmy. With all that frustrating of knavish tricks and enemies to scatter, no wonder they require divine intervention to protect the monarch. If the lyrics were about what Liz actually does – opening hospital wards (less so these days), appearing at regattas or just sitting down and waving with Phil, we’d all be better off. 


    22. Appleby says:

      I remember  Nick Robinson’s “impartiality” when he was going into near-meltdown during the last general election results and the following talk of coalitions with Labour and others, etc.
      Nasty Nick is pure poison and prejudice.

    23. EricF says:

      Nothing much to add except to say that we have had a clear and unequivocal demonstration of the shallowness of the unionist case.  They think the positive case for the union has finally come along.  Expect them to be banging this drum constantly from now till 2014 – I don’t think they believe they actually have to say anything more.  They think its in the bag!

    24. Stuart M says:

      @Craig P:
      interesting stuff about the Aussies. I mentioned it on another Olympic blog post, but the UK basically did something similar after the Atlanta debacle. It targeted sports investment where the best result could be gained for minimal investment (i.e. not wasting money on sprinters or table tennis players). Hence cycling, a sport where no other nation dominated.
      Bread and circuses – it’s as simple as that. FWIW, if an independent Scotland’s government started plowing money into elite sportspersons in order to secure some nice headlines, I’d be just as hacked off.

    25. Roll_On_2014 says:

      Stu…. I thought you would appreciate this:
      Ee bah gum!
      To its residents, Yorkshire is known as ‘God’s Own County’.
      And were it a country in its own right, the white rose county would be riding high in the Olympic medal table.
      Four Yorkshire athletes, including Sheffield’s Jessica Ennis, have won gold at London 2012 so far, prompting Twitter users to celebrate how the county is faring better than Japan, South Africa and Australia.


    26. Morag says:

      Not to rain on their parade or anything, but how many of these medals were won exclusively by Yorkshire citizens?  Without, you know, other people in the winning team….

    27. MajorBloodnok says:

      Morag, you can’t mean, [gulp], Lancashire folk?!  Eeee, t’horror.

      Going back to Murdo, though, this is just another one of those “too wee, too stupid” idiocies.

    28. John Lyons says:

      I’m with you Stu, Can’t really be bothered getting worked up over this one. I thought Fraser was quite brave when he talked about destroying the tories and re-branding as some other right wing party. There are none so blind as those that refuse to see, and Fraser could at least see the Tories will never again amount to anything in Scotland. However, petty name calling lowers my respect for him. Maybe he’s turned bitter after not winning the leadership contest, or maybe he’s always been like that and that’s why he didn’t win the leadership contest. Either way, he, like his beloved Tories, is finished in Scotland.

    29. Siôn Eurfyl Jones says:

      Post INDEPENDENCE it will still be open to Scotland to contribute players to pan-national teams such as the British and Irish Lions, if they choose to do so, which I guess in the case of the Lions, (and the Barbarians) they will. That could extend to team GB, but I suspect nobody in Scotland will go for that.  Too much RUleBrittannia Union Jack bootery! 

    30. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “That could extend to team GB”

      On the existing Irish precedent it’s quite likely. Would be interesting to see how it panned out.

    31. Andrew Skea says:

      You suggest TeamGB will continue. So will Scots have option of joining TeamGB or TeamScotland?  Since Scotland will begeographically part of GB for ever.

      Maybe the team should be split into TeamSouthGB and TeamNorthGB?


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