About McPherson's Rant

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McPherson’s Rant is an old Scots Folk Song about a Robin Hood Type Character who was hanged.

There is no connection, unless you count the “rant” part.  The world’s a strange place and sometimes a “rant” at absurdity and unfairness is just what’s required.

Here you can expect to find examples of stupidity, irony and idiocy , especially relating to Hong Kong, and with particular attention to the SCMP, and its’ letters page. A common problem with many blogs is their failure to find something new to say, I find the SCMP, and it’s letters page, provides plenty of ammunition on a daily basis and will reference them frequently. If you have your own letter not getting published, put it on our comments section.

 

 

 

 

Juxtaposition is a nice word

It’s a nice word!  Roughly means the placement of two contrasting items or concepts near each other  At least I think that’s what it means and I can’t be bothered checking or I may have to change the headline.

In yesterdays SCMP I noticed a few items that fit the criteria and had me chuckling.  The item that caught my attention was a small side bar on page A9 with the headline: “British Minister backs bigger role for Religion.”  Here is the small item: “Europe is threatened by a wave of ‘militant secularism’, and religion should play a bigger role in public life, a British Cabinet minister said.  Sayeeda Warsi, a Muslim, said: “Europe should become more confident and more comfortable in it’s Christianity…Militant secularists have the same intolerant instincts as authoritarian regimes.” Pish, twaddle, crap, bullshit and possibly agenda setting for some militant muslim shite.  But I won’t rip her apart here, she’s made it too easy for me, not least by going to meet the ex-Hitler youth member and protector of pedophiles at the Vatican.

In fact the SCMP did my job for me.

On the same page, leading article: “Bombings hint at tit-for-tat response.” Story? Attacks on Israeli Scientists by Iranians, cause of dispute, Jew Vs Shia Muslim hate. Root? Religion!  The story underneath headlined: ” US warships transit Hormuz strait.” The headline explains the story really, but why is it a story? Tensions between an Evangelical Christian country and again, Shia Muslims, Iran. Religion again! Still on the same page. “We won’t protect Assad Says Wen.”  This story refers to the ongoing strife in Syria. At the root of the strife, beneath the layers of confusion is really Islam’s version of Catholic vs Protestant strife, namely Shia  Vs Sunni. Oh, religion again!

All that on just one page!

So where is the evidence for this militant secular intolerance  woman? Where in the world is there currently religionists being persecuted by militant secularists?

The only militancy secularists and atheists practice is in open debate. Why? Because we want to free those that have been indoctrinated by dogma and coerced into believing myth is fact.  We want to free them to be free thinkers and free the world of religious inspired hatred.

So in my humble opinion, we need less, much less religion in public life, not more and we would quickly see less trouble in all areas of the world.

NB: Found this interesting fact yesterday, the oldest tree in the world is 9000 years old, where does that leave creationists?


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Laughably pathetic

Just a short one I have to get out there.

Please spare a compassionate thought today for Democratic lawmaker Wong Sing-Chi. Someone kicked him as he crossed the road.  There he was, on the front page of the City section of SCMP, in full color, pointing to the injury, a 5cm scratch on his right leg. In light of the assault, nay, grievous bodily harm if not attempted murder, he went to the police station to report it, before going to Hospital – fucking hospital!!!!!!!!!! For a scratch!  I can barely find words, but I’ll try, how’s about: “Hapless, Miserable, piteous, wretched.  None of them quite fit the bill really so I’ll settle for arsehole!


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A new year, same old Seven’s whining

Like clockwork, the public distribution of sevens tickets comes around every year, and like a comet’s tail, it’s followed by  the cacophony of voices of the disenfranchised, those who failed to get a ticket.  Last week, there was even a letter in the SCMP from a guy stating that if the government gives the HKRFU any subsidy it should be immediately withdrawn – ach a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, when you’re mentally challenged, it’s best to keep your mouth shut rather than confirm everyone’s suspicions. So Mr. Kan or whatever your name was, be assured, the HKRFU subsidizes the Government in a BIG way.  Firstly they pay a massive rental for the stadium, then a percentage of the  revenue from the Hotels running a full capacity is paid as corporation tax. Indeed a percentage of every dollar spent by the tourists coming here finds its way into Government coffers. I’m sure with the multiplier effect some economist could come up with a figure in the high tens of millions.  And as a non- profit organization the money from the sevens is put back into the Community in the guise of new pitches which the government don’t need to build, (if they ever would) then perhaps as a consequence of the 1000′s of kids playing sport and not becoming obese little emperors, the government saves millions of dollars in medical costs.  Is that enough Mr Kan?

But back to the whining, it’s always the same, ” I am a rugby fan.” I’ve been going for years.” “There are not enough tickets for the general public.” “The system is wrong, whine, whinge and waffle!

All over Hong Kong on a Saturday there are indeed thousands of Rugby Fans: They’re playing rugby, they’re watching rugby.  All over Hong Kong on a Sunday, there are indeed thousand of Rugby fans, they are working gratis as Mini- Rugby coaches, Mini- Rugby referees, Mini-rugby supporters.  Five thousand kids across the territory on a Sunday adds up to a hell of a lot of unpaid volunteers – should Mr. Armchair whiner get a ticket and not the multitude of true fans, I think not, but then again, am willing to be corrected! Actually, that’s bullshit, I’m right, get over it!

The HKRFU could sell 70,000 tickets, but they’re waiting on a government talking shop to get around to deciding where, when and how, the usual shite.  Meanwhile the HKRFU takes the flak from the whiners, it’a about time they went on the offensive.

As a last point, it’s strange irony that the whiners were also out in force when the price increase was announced.  Then returned to the fray when they couldn’t get a ticket.

I play rugby, I work at the Sevens, I’m a director of a Rugby Club, I’ve got two tickets and the other one will go to a true rugby fan!


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A new year, same old shit no doubt

Happy new year to anyone who is waiting on another post, I’ve been busy with a new project and had to set this aside for a few months, but new year always rejuvenates me, well, by the 5th am generally recovered from the excess and motivated, that lasts till February.

Anyway, to kick off the new year, I found a wee post in today’s SCMP, that had me reflecting on how strange the media is when it gets on it’s high horse.  A small post, five lines, no more, under China News, headlined “Road Victim, 5, thrown in well.  In this case a guy in Wudo county ran over a kid while reversing, as it turns out the kid only had a head injury, but the driver picked him up, drove to a well, knocked him out with a blow to the head and dumped him in the well to drown.  Just another day in China’s morally bankrupt, avaricious society.  (In case you don’t know, the popular thinking in China is;  you only pay once for an accident if the party is dead, however, if injured it gets too expensive, ergo…)

The strange question here is why no uproar similar to the recent soul searching regarding the death of two year old YU YU, run over twice by two different drivers and eventually picked up by a street cleaner, but died in hospital.

Differences?  2 year old Vs 5 year old.  A girl vs a boy. One captured on video, the other not?  Do these differences justify one becoming a cause celebre, whilst the other is nary a footnote in the events of the day?

Not really, the truth is that the press jumped on the YU YU bandwagon and rode it for as long as they could and then they dump the issue when they believe it is spent.

It reaffirms the old adage: “The press may not tell you what to think, but for sure, they tell you what you should be thinking about.”

In the earlier case YU YU was new news, now the issue is old hat.

Sucks for the five year old dead kid’s parents huh!

More on this later…

 

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Pampered pooches & pathetic people

As part of a divorce settlement, one woman in Hong Kong is seeking 55% of her former husbands assets, fair enough, we all know the old adage: “Hell hath no fury but a woman scorned.” And it seems her man strayed. She has submitted a breakdown of necessary expenditure in order to keep herself in the style to which she was formerly accustomed, again fair enough.
This style includes HK$5 million a year for buying clothes and HK$2.4 million in recreational expenditure. HK$1.8 million for buying food and HK$600 000 for eating out. She also requires HK$15 million to buy a boat and HK$600 million to buy a house in Hong Kong. The list goes on and on, but one item got the old morning muesli sprayed onto the front page of today’s SCMP, she wants HK$143 000 a year to spend on food for her dogs. That’s just under HK$400 a day on her 3 pooches, what the fuck is she feeding them? And rest assured, being Hong Kong, these will not even be real dogs, just pathetic fashion statements carted around in a fucking Gucci bag, latest model of course!
I know people in Hong Kong who live on less than HK$100 a day, and an ex had HK$15 each for breakfast and lunch and HK$30 for her dinner.
WTF is this woman on, it’s a dog, if it’s hungry it’ll eat anything, this pampering pets is pathetic and selfish. How can a dog be fed better every day than ten’s of thousands of people in Hong Kong, not to mention millions world wide who would eat her fucking mutts just to get hold of some meat.
It can’t go on, there is no reality for these people other than the one they have created for themselves and like Marie ( let them eat cake) Antoinette, they just don’t realise that the instruments of their downfall are quietly growing in many corners of the world, perhaps there won’t be a reign of terror, but there is a reckoning coming that may consume their wealth as quickly as they inherited it. Not tomorrow, not soon, perhaps not even in a decade, but it will come, and not from any direction we will anticipate.
I don’t hate the super rich, they’re mostly just wankers, with some notable exceptions, however, the obscenely rich? They are so far removed from the rest of us, that they’re just obscene wankers obsessed with protecting their capital, and come the day, they’ll realise all the money in the world won’t save you from whatever manifestation of disaster that befalls us, be it economic meltdown, or a natural or man made catastrophe, calamity or cataclysm.

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SCMP CHUCKLES

It’s been a while since I guffawed loudly on the bus while reading SCMP.  This morning it happened twice, TWO LAUGHS from me before Mid-day, a hitherto unheard of event.

The first was the main headline: “Cardinal Slams ‘brainwashing’ schools plan.”  I assume good ol’ Cardinal Zen, can’t see the irony as no doubt he was brainwashed at a young age, hence his adherence to a strange obscenely rich sect, led by a strange German, based in the Vatican City.  Lets be clear here, Zen does not want anything to interfere with his own system of brainwashing in Catholic schools.  Catholic education is designed to remove freedom of choice when it comes to religion, and at the same time is expanding in poor countries as poor people are more likely to believe in their promise of an everlasting heaven as they suffer their hell on earth.

Lets not go into the whole predatory priest thing, it’s been done already, but I’ve mentioned before that church’s obscene opposition to condoms which can mitigate poverty in these poor countries, not to mention HIV.

The second guffaw, related to the story: “Philippines rejects US envoy’s sex tourism claim. ” The US Ambassador said last week that 40% of men visiting the Philippines were sex tourists, hardly worth a chuckle, but the retort from New Tourism Chief, Ramon Jiminez, had me rolling on the floor.  Mr Jiminez took issue with the diplomat and pointed to data from immigration and passenger exit surveys that showed NO TOURISTS admitting to having sex holidays: “Instead, responses showed visitors indulging in Shopping, sightseeing and visiting friends and relatives.”  Now I might be wrong here, but I don’t think the Philippines immigration form has a Sex Tourist option under reason for visiting, I could be wrong, maybe I just never noticed it before, but even if it was there, do they seriously believe that anyone would choose that option?  Surely he is joking, or dumb, or both.

A final point does spring to mind, more irony in fact.  It’s a bit rich for the American Ambassador to opine from the high ground, when in fact the USA was instrumental in creating the demand for sex around their Military bases in the Philippines, not to mention supporting Marcos as he and his cronies impoverished the country, and as we know poverty forces women into tough choices and prostitution is one of those choices.  So Ambassador, STFU!


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Creepy Sex Pests on MTR

In “How we see it” earlier this week in the SCMP, there was an article about sex pests on the MTR.  Fair enough you might think, there are some strange people out there.  Here is the article:

“The good news is that almost all categories of crime are down on the MTR. Only pickpocketing has worsened, with the number of cases going up by 7 per cent in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year. Even sex crimes have levelled off or dropped slightly.  The bad news is that offenders are getting more ingenious and inventive.

It appears that crowded MTR stations and trains, and public transport in general, are magnets for sex pests. The overly chummy conditions make it easier for creeps to hunt for victims.  A favourite ploy has been using hidden cameras to shoot up women’s skirts.

One guy was recently arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist because an object was bulging from his leg. It turned out to be a data storage device attached to a pinhole camera in his shoe, which he used to take lewd photos of women’s underwear.

Police have seen 38 such cases in MTR stations or on trains in the first six months of the year, though most weren’t as technically involved.

Molestation is another problem, with 83 cases in MTR stations and on trains in the first six months. One victim was a two-year-old girl who had her leg touched.

This type of crime fuels calls for women-only trains. But such separation is unlikely to be effective. It further stereotypes women as victims needing special protection. And it neglects the fact that many such crimes are committed in stations, not in train compartments.

Tougher penalties, enforcement and patrolling are needed. A public education campaign is also needed to encourage bystanders to lend a hand and call out for help.”

I’ve been sitting on my reply for a few days, as I’m just not sure how to raise the below subject without being hounded out of town, but here goes.

One line stuck me as rather strange, or at least deserving of more explanation.  It says:

” Molestation is another problem, with 83 cases reported on trains in the first six months.  One victim was a two year old who had her leg touched.”

I’m sorry! Is a leg being touched molestation?  Was there a hysterical mother involved?  Was it a dirty old man, or a young kid. Was someone rubbing a kids leg, or did they brush against it?  Did it go to court?  Would a kid whose leg was rubbed know it had just been molested?

To just throw such an allegation into a commentary piece without explanation smacks of shoddy journalism and a pretty crap effort at sensationalism… oh but then again, it is the SCMP.


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Ranger Vs Celtic

Over the years, we’ve been asked many times by customers to show Rangers Vs Celtic matches.  I’ve always refused as I don’t consider the event a valid sporting event, tribal warfare might be a more apt description.  But on Sunday I relented, a few people who were in asked, and they were neutrals.  All was fine, I went to meet some friends, having no interest.  Later I got an email from a customer explaining how pathetic, sectarian peasants, with barely a brain between them, managed to spoil a pleasant evening in The Canny Man, and this e-mail, explains why I was right all along, I only wish they’d keep their pathetic shit on the West Coast of Scotland instead of exporting it worldwide, and yes, I do concede it’s a minority, however, it’s the minority being arseholes that people remember.

Here was the email from a customer:

Let me set the scene……..
I arrived in the bar at 7.30 as the game commenced on the big screen. 
Inside there were 20+ customers watching quietly, the commentary was turned off and the bar music continued to play. More customers continued to trickle in and everyone was in a relaxed and comfortable mood. 
15 mins passed when suddenly the door flew open and in came a bunch of 6 younger blokes. The group except one were all dressed in Celtic colours and lead by one who was exceedingly more vocal than the rest. 
That complete idiot was later indentified to me as Martin, by Colin the manager from the Blue Goose bar, he told me they had been in his place before coming to the Canny Man. 
Martins battle cry and introduction to all guests benefit was ‘Fuck Rangers’ ‘Fuck the UDA’ and ‘Fuck the Queen’……… 
This group immediately occupied the front stalls seats directly in front of the big screen. 
Martin their leader continued and in fact increased his tirade of abuse against anything Rangers that appeared on screen and requested that the commentary now be turned on. 
As this happened, I watched as guests immediately began leaving the bar. 
Big Norrie my kilted associate, one of the boys on his way to New Zealand, and I decided we would continue to remain seated on the couch and not be intimidated by this obnoxious behaviour. 
Thinking your staff would have informed you by now of what was going down I was expecting you to come thru the door any minute and deal with this problem. 
(Head kicking time)
At half time we gave up listening to the outbursts and decided to move into the pool table area along with another group of kilted Scots guys who had been sitting on the opposite couches. 
By this time the bar had virtually emptied and the staff looked on at these people in disbelief. 
A few games of pool were played, and we continued watching the game on that areas small screen when suddenly the peace and tranquility was interrupted by the sound of breaking glass followed by Martins screaming voice as he remonstrated with one of your girls over by the big screen. 
It was at that point those left decided something had to be done and I immediately asked the senior girl for your number to alert you. 
Before I knew it Big Norrie had decided that it was his time to intervene before the girls copped even more abuse and the situation got totally out of control and went over to confront Martin telling him that his behaviour was disgraceful, to calm down, and behave. 
It seemed to work….we watched as the staff finally persuaded the group to leave.
Was it over ? not quite….. but close !
Martin and his mates came back in for a final go and delivered a few gobfulls of abuse. Realising that the situation could get a little sticky as the numbers started to change against their favor they decided to leave. 
When we left a bit later it was not totally surprising to see Martin and his bunch staggering about outside Carnegies. 
After 5 minutes verbal tooing and froing with him and his mates we decided to head down to the Blue Goose and be told by Colin that he knew Martin and watched them head down your way to you to watch the game !
Alls well that ends well, but next time I’ll understand when you say ‘that games not showing in my place tonight.’

It’s a shame the staff didn’t see fit to call me, as I was out with some rugby player mates, who would have been more than willing to be unreasonable and aggressive to them.

And so, those of you who are sensible and reasonable fans of either persuasion, now know why I will never show that crap again.

 


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The Original Canny Man’s Obituary

Over the years, in fact since I opened The Canny Man in Wanchai in 2005, many people have asked me what it means, and why I called it The Canny Man, the story began in Edinburgh, in 1993, where I was a journalism student.  One day a few drinking buddies and I, just fresh from avoiding the last class of the day, elected to go to a bar called ‘Canny Man’s’ a bar adjacent to our campus up in Morningside, home of  ”wee women in tweeds”, an affluent area, if you disregard the ubiquitous students.

In short, we were refused service, as The Canny Man’s owner held somewhat disparaging attitudes towards students, and preferred to keep his bar an Oasis of regulars.  There and then, I decided one day I would own a bar called The Canny Man, and I would also elect to make it my own wee oasis, and so my oasis in Wanchai came about.

The old fella who refused me and my mates, died a few weeks back, and it seems only fitting that I should reprint his obituary from The Scotsmans Newspaper.  The old boy was a character and you don’t get many in the trade anymore, dominated as it is by soulless chains offering the same shit.  To Watson Kerr, famous around the world, and to his family…A toast… Slainte, I hope the family carry on his worthy traditions. Original obituary here

Here is the full text, it makes interesting reading.

Obituary: Watson Kerr, renowned Edinburgh innkeeper

Published Date: 07 September 2011

By Martin Hannan

Extraordinary Edinburgh publican whose unique approach to hospitality brought his Canny Man’s pub legendary status

Watson Kerr, renowned Edinburgh innkeeper.

Died: 3 September, 2011.

IF EVER a man suffered from the wrong image it was Watson Kerr, innkeeper extraordinaire of Edinburgh, who died at the weekend.

Arguably the capital’s most famous publican, Kerr was “mine host” of the utterly unique Canny Man’s public house in Morningside. He passed away last Saturday, leaving his family in shock, and his devoted regular clientele bereft of a kenspeckle figure in their lives, while not a few people around the world are still bewildered as to why he refused to serve them simply because he didn’t like the look of them.

Watson Kerr gained his celebrity by doing things very much sui generis, and to coin a phrase, it was either his way or the highway for those who entered his establishment. He had no hesitation in barring people whose conduct was less than becoming, or even because they were wearing what he termed offensive apparel.

His lovely and loving wife Gloria once summed up the Kerr philosophy succinctly in a note to customers: “You drink where you want, I’ll serve who I want.” She added: “He can’t stand people who can’t handle their drink.”

The Canny Man’s once boasted a sign saying “regulars only”, which was useful because, if you didn’t pass muster, staff would invite you to leave because you were not a regular, rather than say your clothes were dire or your face didn’t fit.

Kerr was what might be termed a colourful character. Even in a licensed trade which abounds with larger-than-life figures, his reputation as a publican who would stand no nonsense gained him fame far furth the boundaries of Edinburgh. Yet his renown as a martinet was not really fair, for he was by nature a kind and hospitable gentleman whose creed was the maintenance of proper public house standards.

In essence he ran The Canny Man’s like a private club and, while the rules were often unwritten, some were indeed put down for posterity in writing. To this day The Canny Man’s has a prominent sign outside – No smoking, no credit cards, no cameras, no backpackers.

Formerly the Volunteer Arms, The Canny Man’s has been in the ownership of the Kerr family since it was founded by Watson Kerr’s great grandfather John in 1871.

In appearance it looks quite normal outside, but the interior is completely eccentric, the entire premises being festooned with the eclectic collections of several Kerr generations. Bric-a-brac vies with fine art prints, lithographs, and notices and, of course, a huge collection of whiskies and other drinks on the walls behind the bars.

One small notice seems apposite at this moment: “Don’t make plans, it makes the Gods laugh.” Another notice says “Nobody’s perfect, except the captain” – a definite Watson Kerr touch.

The Canny Man’s nooks and crannies are set in richly wood-panelled recesses where a curious amalgam of the ladies of Morningside, well-bred students and the professional classes enjoy the pub’s atmosphere of dedicated relaxation.

Kerr was committed to keeping that clubbable milieu, and gained his greatest fame in the 1990s when he decided he had suffered quite enough of Christmas excesses bespoiling the Canny Man’s. He issued edicts which at various times included the following imprecations:

“NO OFFICE PARTIES. This means: DO NOT ASK. The answer is NO. And do not bring the remnants of paper-hatted clowns back here. They won’t get served and you’ll be barred.

“There will be NO Christmas decorations. This means I don’t want anyone cutting down a tree on my behalf – and I’m not a friend of the earth.

“No festive lunch. This means be truly thankful I’m not going to serve Christmas pudding, give you a cracker, and charge you double… I’m serving lunch as usual and you’ll have to wait as usual and more than likely the food will be cold by the time you get it, as usual.

“NO FREE NIPS. This means that you have not had a drink on the house this year and you will not be getting one. So don’t ask.”

He concluded his tidings of comfort and joy as follows: “Having said all of that, have a nice Christmas and New Year.”

Kerr was adamant he was only acting in defence of his regulars. He said at the time: “They give me their custom 365 days of the year and I’ll be damned if I’ll allow hordes of once-a-year clowns to disrupt things here.”

The press loved these stories and flocked to The Canny Man’s for further elucidation of the gospel according to Kerr only to be told by the staff to “go away, as we’re not publicity seekers”. Which is true – he never actively sought publicity, and even in death, the Kerr family are respecting his privacy and no obituaries are planned.

Instead, his wife Gloria penned a personal note to customers, which is on the Canny Man’s notice board: “It is with deep regret that Gloria Kerr and her children Tristan, Tara and Mark have to inform you of the death of her loving husband and their loving father.” Alongside is the first of what will no doubt be many notes of condolence which says: “Watson – a perfect gentleman.”

It can be revealed today that Edinburgh Licensing Board and the then district council took up the Christmas matter informally with Kerr, attempting to discover if his less than welcoming message was an act or the real thing – there were fears that Edinburgh’s image could suffer among potential tourists.

An emissary reported back that it was no joke and the “Christmas, bah humbug” message was quite sincere. I know, for I was that emissary, Canny Man’s being one of my haunts at the time. The board took no action, it should be said – more than one member agreed with Kerr.

He was serious about curbing the excesses of Christmas drunkenness, just as he was serious about keeping The Canny Man’s as an oasis of peace in a rambunctious city. Completely belying his image, he did innumerable kindnesses for customers, but never publicised any of them – that was not his way.

The tribute he would probably have most enjoyed came from a regular customer at the Canny Man’s for more than 40 years who, over a pint yesterday, said: “In all that time I would never dared to have addressed him as Watson. He kept a good pub… no, he kept an EXCELLENT pub.”

In an age when so many pubs have closed for a myriad of reasons, the good news is that the Kerr family will keep The Canny Man’s going. They know they have a very hard act to follow, but will surely maintain Watson Kerr’s standards, for, in an era of homogeneity and boring sameness in so many walks of life, there is surely an honoured place for a pub like The Canny Man’s.

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It’s not easy being crap at sports…

It’s not easy being crap at sports, you really have to work at it, especially when blessed with a glut of talent.
As the world cup approached I took to posting a few jokes on my facebook page to wind up my English friends, always an easy task, a few phrases like this one from comedian John Bishop:
“Being an England supporter is like being the over-optimistic parents of the fat kid on sports day.”
or
“Snow White was returning from town to the cottage in the forest where she lived with the 7 dwarfs. In the distance she could see smoke, then as she got nearer she realized that her cottage had burnt down. Frantically, Snow White searched the forest for the dwarfs, then she heard a a lone voice saying, ‘England for the World Cup, England for the World Cup, England for the World Cup. On hearing this chant, Snow White gave a gasp of relief as she knew that at least Dopey was safe.”
Or even: What do you call an English fan with a bottle of champagne after the rugby world cup final?
Waiter!

Strangely, quite a few of my aforesaid English mates, have had their sense of humour surgically removed and are still very sensitive after the operation. One mate was moved to retort: “At least we’ve won something.” True, one Soccer world cup and one Rugby world cup, for the nation that invented and codified both games, but is it fair to draw a comparison between the two countries, one with a population of 60 million, the other with 5 million? ( Yes I know New Zealand has 3 million)

Lets be clear here, I am not English bashing, being a Scot I have a sober sense of expection, unfortunately, even that low expectation is generally thwarted by Scotland’s ineptititude at both codes, an ineptitude borne from pathetic participation in sports generally in Scotland. In fact the very few successes Scotland have in Rugby have been upset or shock results, more often than not against England, a common theme in Celtic nations when they face the ‘auld enemy.’ A grand slam in 1990 and shock wins in 1999 and 2000 to deny English slams, as well as a brace of wins against South Africa and Australia, are the highlights of the last 30 years!  But it can be said that given their rather small population, their rather unhealthy lifestyle, Scotland has somehow managed to punch above their weight over the decades, however, even that seems to be on the wain.

But what are we to make of England’s consistent underachievement? They have the largest player base in world rugby and they have the best football league in Europe, so the answer  can’t be structural, well in the case of the idiots that run the RFU, they are dysfunctional, but the league structure is very competitive.

Is it the national psyche?  And here I am referring to the UK as a whole.  Westwood, Andy Murray, Jimmy White, Colin Montgomery, all glorious under-achievers yet were or are at the pinnacle of their sports.  Is it our appreciation of the underdog that undoes us?  Is it the way we revel in glorious defeats, Charge of the Light Brigade and Eddie ‘the eagle’ Edwards writ large across our collective sporting history.

Every country can breed winners, but it seems the Brits lack that final 1%, the mental toughness, that turns a contender into a champion.  Nick Faldo had it but the Brits didn’t like him, Colin Montgomery didn’t and eventually became the countries favorite woolly jumper.

I am not offering a solution, merely positing a truth that deserves serious exploration.  The simple fact is England specifically,  should have more sporting success but continually fail to satisfy their adoring and long suffering fans。And it is down to individuals and teams not performing to their best on the national stage.


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