2007 - 2022

“Gaun yirsels England!”

003204RC_1Ah hink Scots should dicht thirsels o the hail ‘Anyone But England’ attitude an get richt ahint wir near neebors fir the Euros. Here’s how:

The tournie is muckle mair nor a few gemmes o fitba atween nations. It’s a vital source o cultural unity. It caa’s thegither fowk fae the faurthest neuks an crannies o Europe fir ae month-lang cooncil o ordinar fowk. Icelanders are fleein ower tae follay thir team. We hae Macedonians an Welsh, Poles an Spanish, aa stravaigin ower the continent. Thoosans o lads an lassies, auld yins an bairnies will be bletherin awa thegither in the campsites, breengin doon the rues an avenues, an sharin the crack ower frothy French pints.

An fir me, that’s whit the EU is aa aboot. Nane o these fowk will hae ony signeificant barrier atween thirsels an France. A wee Romanian faimly can bung thirsels intae thir Dacia Logan stappit fu wi flegs an jeely pieces, an drive aa the wey tae Paris. Nae Checkpoint Charlie tae navigate. Nae barbed wire tae loup ower at midnicht. Nae hinging oan fir dear life tae the unnerside o a rummelin train.

An whin this muckle clanjamfry o fowk get thegither in France, thi’ll hae nocht oan the cairds except a keek aboot the auld toons an a bevvy wi ithir fitba fans. Then occurs whit Ah’ll cry here “Drunken Diplomacy”, that is tae sey, the sort o friendly clash at gings thegither wi strangers an booze. That’s how Ah’m aa fir England an Wales daein weel. The better they dae, the mair positive thur time amang thur European brithirs an sisters will be, the mair chance we hae o a Remain vote. Hink oan it this wye: a guid puckle o the fowk wha are gingin fae Wales fir exemple micht nivir hae spak tae a Romanian afore. They micht weel hae creditit the pish the likes o UKIP come awa wi. They are mair thin likely tae be votin tae leave the EU on the 23rd o June. But gin ae Welshman fins hissel in a boozer haverin the pus aff some Belgian aboot Gareth Bale’s sleekit skills, or sharin a bench an a smile wi oor bonnie wee Romanian faimly fae earlier oan some sun-smooched Lyonais forenicht, he micht weel hae his heid turnt tae a mair progressive airt. Wha ance wouldae votit agin Johnny Foreigner micht vote stey, as a mindin o Jon fae Verona, the chiel he shared a tassie wi in Marseilles.

So come aa ye at hame in Europe; gie England an Wales a guid cheer in the pool stages. Gin they baith play weel, aa thur fans an supporturs will be oot on the randan, engagin in high-level Drunken Diplomacy intae the wee sma hours. Sic nichts in pubs thrang wi foreigners micht gar them vote remain.

But whit aboot us? Wi aa this Drunken Diplomacy takin place ower the watter, ance mair we Scots are stuck at hame, keekin through the sweetie-shoppie windae fae the ootside. It’s a scunner, nae question. But we maunnae just sit oan wir dowps afore the tele, baffies oan, yeukin wir nethers an tannin the T. We can aa engage insteid in Digital Drunken Diplomacy.

Whit’s Digital Drunken Diplomacy? It’s the wey fir Scots tae engage in the poleitical stramash an international socialisin o the Euros. Here’s how yis can pley: afore ilka gemme, bring up the twa teams’ poleitical profiles oan the wab, an wale the ane thit hus the maist gleg weys o dealin wi social problems thit afflict wirsels here in Scotland, or else hae problems fir whilk we hae solutions. Then, whin yir haein a swally wi yir pals an watchin the gemme, ye can come awa wi sic lines as “here, these Fins are pure mince. Ken whit isnae mince but? Thur progressive education system…” by siclike means we can bring ideas tae Scotland through the medium o fitba.

I’ll gie ye ae team as an exemple: Switzerland.

The furst guid idea Ah’ll bring up in the pub is thur direct democracy. The Swiss are spiered at fir aa serious deceisions in national referendums. The ithir nicht fir example Genevans hud tae wale whether tae implement a new re-shoogled form o benefits, whether tae sell oan a cooncil property tae developers, an whether a new brig should be biggit ower the loch. The fowk dinnae hate the cooncil, fir the cooncil just dae whit thir telt. Ony Aiberdonians luggin in tae ma chat surely wilnae credit the thocht.

Anithir fine hing tae bring up is how they cope wi leids. Switzerland haes German, French, an Italian areas. Aa the leids hae equal fittin in wark an business o government. Whit’s mair, mutual respect is inbiggit tae the education system, wi each learnin the leid o the ithir. Scotland would dae weel tae learn fae this system o mutual linguistic enrichment.

            *** To support our ongoing output in Scots and Gaelic go here to donate. Thank you. ***

But this shouldnae be one-way traffic. Scots arnae some dry sponge cryin oot fir a drookin aff a neebor blessit wi the saft watters o superior knowledge. We hae wir strengths an aa.

The Swiss fir example need wir help oan ae notable front. They arnae ayewis ower couthie wi foreigners. A few year syne they hud an anti-immigration election poster wi the subscreivin ‘Keep Switzerland pure.’ The pairty ahint the poster won. An this week ane o the richest clachans on wir wattery globe, Oberwil-Lieli, peyed twa hunner thoosan poond in fines insteid o haein ten refugees flit there. In a clachan whaur ower three hunner millionaires bide, they reckoned thit refugees ‘widnae fit in’. A solution loups stracht tae the mind o maist Scots: let them flit in then gie thaim the cash, ya fuds.

Whitever team yir supportin, fire them a tweet anent ane o thur progressive policies whine’er they score. So if the Swiss are yir team, gie them a haun wi thur race problem. Tweet @SwissEmbassyUK wi yir hertfelt congratulations ilka time thir Albanian-born Kosovan-parented Swiss-naturalised striker Shaqiri hits the net. Or when Johan Djourou, thur muckle black defender born in the Ivory Coast maks a vital stap tae save a goal. Gin it’s the Fin’s fir example, fire a note tae @FinGovernment sayin “gleg pley fae yur fullback. Must be doon tae yir excellent PE classes.”

Whae’er it is gettin yir backin, let them ken Scotland’s still here, keekin ower thur shouder, an wishin them aa the best oan the field an aff it.

Alistair Heather @HistoricAlly is a student o Historie, French an Gaelic atween Geneva an Aiberdeen Universities.



  **** To support our ongoing output in Scots and Gaelic go here to donate to us. Thank you. ****

Comments (16)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Bob says:

    Nae danger I’m supporting England: Finland are my team; Basic income experiments and progressive education fir me! 😉

    1. Ally says:

      Cannae argue wi that. Mon the Fins.

      How about this logic but; the proper bams fae Britain that are in favour o a Brexit will aa be busily smashin up cafés and pannin in the windaes o bars on the continent the day o the vote. So they’ll miss it, and we’ll win. Then England can get pumped aff Germany as usual oan penalties at a later date, Wales can bow oot, and they’ll come hame tae fin thirsels still very much in Europe.

      That’d dae, wid it no?

  2. Nic an Sgadain says:

    Mair o that!

  3. Layla says:

    As far as sports articles go, I am extremely impressed. I haven’t ever read one based around the theme of politics and multi-culturalism (I must confess that my interest in the sports page of any newspaper lies solely within the ‘utterly thrilling’ weekly edition of The Shetland Times… so, I am hardly an expert on the matter) but the viewpoint Alistair would like to see encouraged, of unity and multi-culturalism, rings true to all whether their interests lie with (or out-with) the sports scene.
    Football has long been seen as the national sport of the Housing Estate, the lower classes, the ‘common people’. With ideas such as this we could, in time, create a nation of socially-educated men and women. A nation of politically interested people- A far-fetched dream I hear you say? All great ideas must begin somewhere.
    “Scots arnae some dry sponge cryin oot fir a drookin aff a neebor blessit wi the saft watters o superior knowledge.” – an excellently well written verse!
    This article is splendid Alistair, thank you for broadening my mind on the potential of people and the potential of sport.

  4. andrew woodroffe says:

    Okay so you agree with staying in the EU but you fancy Scotland going Indpendant?! how does that work?Why not just keep it all open and together so that everyone can move where they like

    1. Ally says:

      Aye, that’s it: being stuck wi England in this auld Union is daein neither o us ony guid.
      We hae need o high migration. Loads ay Young Scots folk bugger off tae work ithirwhere (as Ah did masel), so we need a guid flow ay young, keen bodies fae the poorer airts o Europe tae come, work, add tae wir mixter-maxter cultural influences, an bide as langs they like or depart as and when.
      We hae that source a pairt o Europe. Dundee does weel fae aa the foreign students buzzin aboot addin life tae th place. But wi just the UK, they’d shut doon that vital artery. Ah ken in England they hae different migration needs. Let them dae their thing, an we dae oors.

      Ideally, Ah’d like tae form a union, and a joint fitba team, wi either Brazil or Germany. Then we micht get tae these tournies.

  5. Lynsey says:

    Ah dae hink thon’s a braw wey tae get intae the tournie, seein as oor aim team isnae there. Digital Drunken Diplomacy? That’ll dae fer me! Cannae get ma heid roon gettin ahint Inglan mind ye…

  6. Diane Anderson says:

    Aither braw bit o scrievin. Gaurt ma lauch, bit maks a puckle o guid pynts. Jist fit we’re needin.

  7. A wee suggestion says:

    *Random note to the Editors*
    After a keek at the Fringe guide, I’ve noticed 3 shows in Scots so far…

    O is for Hoolet (https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/o-is-for-hoolet)

    The Descent o’ Orpheus tae the Underwarl (https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/descent-o-orpheus-tae-the-underwarl)

    Singing Scots (https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/singing-scots)

    Probably/hopefully there are more. How about an article previewing the Scots shows at the Fringe? Or, you could profile some of the artists (such as Ishbel McFarlane -no connections, but enjoyed watching her show last year) or invite them to write a piece of their own?

    1. Ally says:

      Absolutely smashin idea. I’ll be at the Fringe an Ah’ll be deffo seein aa thae shaws (seen the hoolet ane aaready but I’d be mair than happy tae see it ance mair)
      I’ll see if Captain Bella gies us the authorisation tae screieve it nearer the time

      1. Captain Bella likes this idea too – but we need some money to keep going?

    2. Billy Kay says:

      Gaun yersel, frien! Gin ye fancy scrievin it, we’d be blythe tae furthset it. I’ve tellt Ishbel an Michael Dempster it wad be braw tae hae an airticle aboot the piece afore the Fringe sterts, sae here’s hopin.

      1. Ally says:

        Weel, gin it’s the gowden coin wir needin, Ah spose Ah could dae a sortay Bella Buskin hing while Ah’m doon in Reekie.
        Ken, read oot the best airticles fae the site oan the street wi a bunnet afore us oan the flair?
        Ony donations pit straight intae the Bella fund.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Its ‘auld reekie’.

          Whit aboot Ireland and N.Ireland anaw?

          Am supportin Wales – thon lads spiel braw fitba.

          The French public (and shuirly maist Scots) wid raither England wer eliminatet swithly.

          1. Ally says:

            Hiya Alf,
            Aye, maist o us wid be chuffed tae see England pumped ootay the Euros early doors noo, efter aa the pish in the week. Ah’m ower in France the noo and the French are gey keen tae see les Rosbifs tak a tankin. Cannae blame them. Isnae easy tae mak Marseille mair shite, but they certainly did it.

            Get them tae the QFs, so’s the fleet o bams wi thum arnae aboot tae vote on the 23rd, then get them skelped aff Germany or ane o the real teams.

            NI ? They seem mair inclined tae stey wi the EU, unlike the Welsh an English.

            Whit huv Ireland tae dae wi the EU ref? Or progressive policies deployable in D.D.D?

  8. Christine says:

    Gaun yersel Ally, what an uplifting piece.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.