Blogs Coffee House

State of the Union – not good

12 May 2014

12:12 PM

12 May 2014

12:12 PM

Mr S attended the international rugby union 7s tournament at Twickenham on Saturday, which was graced by some 76,000 people – mostly yuppies on the razzle by the look of things.

I regret to report that this crowd of genteel, if beery, English people loudly and roundly booed the Scottish team. The Scots ran in several tries against the hapless Portuguese, and each score was met with open resentment, while every Scottish handling error, missed tackle or infringement was cheered with glee. The noise was shattering, the atmosphere hostile. No other team received a barracking (as is right: booing is abhorrent). Even the Australians, who are the default villains at Twickenham, were given a measure of respect. When will this end, if not this September?

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • David Ford Cosworth

    Each year for the 6 nations five of my fellow Scots meet up with Five welsh friends, we either go to Cardiff or Edinburgh, We have a few beers watch the rugby normally go for a curry and more beers will follow, never had a bad time in Wales the guys there are great, and equally the Welsh guys love Edinburgh, now I have really good friends in England, I even lived their for 4 years, but would I do the same.. NO.. because quite simply their would always be the one English mouth piece looking to start trouble regardless of the result, even the Welsh have said to me that when England play in Cardiff the atmosphere is nothing like that if when we Scots come to town, its a shame and it would be great to think that we could all just get along but England has earned a reputation of being one of the most hated nations in the World and there is a reason for that.

  • HenBroon

    Bill Maclaren privately described Twickenham as one of the worst examples of English zenophobia he had ever encountered. He said the people there were rude arrogant bigots, he utterly despised the whole thing, and got out as quick as he could after matches. He was a very wise and well respected amn in the rugby world.

    • Bill_der_Berg

      “A bomb placed under the West Stand at Twickenham would set back the cause of British fascism by 50 years” (attributed to Philip Toynbee).

  • Mark McIntyre

    If ‘Jock’ cannot take it – he should not have given it – in the first place.
    WHA HAE !

  • HJ777

    It’s the normal sibling rivalry – nothing more.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    Even in amateur days there was, for a while, a tradition of booing London Welsh during club sevens. There was less sensitivity about such behaviour in those days.

  • JonBW

    Once we’re independent of each other, we’ll get on fine.

    • HJ777

      Strangely, there were many conflicts between England and Scotland before the union.

      And not a single one since.

      • Derick Tulloch

        “they make a solitude and call it peace”
        The Darkness where the people were.,_as_seen_from_space,_Oct_2012.png

      • HenBroon

        So 1745 was just a wee joke then?

        There are many Highland families who would disagree the memory of the genocide inflicted on the Highlands by English Redcoats post 45 are still very raw. You can see the damage to this day.

        • HJ777

          I suggest you read a history book.

          The Jacobite rebellion was not a England vs Scotland conflict. There were English and Scots on both sides. It didn’t have much support from lowland Scots – they did threaten to sack Glasgow, after all. I presume, by the way, that you would have been in favour of absolute monarchist rule in preference to parliament?

          I could explain the whole thing to you but I fear it would fall on determinedly ignorant ears.

          • HenBroon

            Ah yes, the sanitsed Britnat history force fed to Scottish students up untill 2007. The reality was somewhat different. Much of the history of these times is oral, handed down through generations of families in the Highlands. The only safe way to guarantee it’s survival. Post 45 there was 100 years of genocide and forced immigration, which stopped only when the English dominated Government in London England realised that their persecution of the Highlands was starving the Army of recruits, and their grouse moors of servants. Culloden was an English inspired act of terror designed to exterminate the Jacobites, they nearly did. It was ironically the descendents of those immigrants who drove the Brits back in to the sea as America asserted her independence from the Brits. Read “Born Fighting” by Jim Webb, it tells the history the Brits would never tell.

            You stick to your wee comfort blanket of sanitised Britnat propaganda, it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, securely wrapped in your Union Flag. Hold on tight it is about to be blown away.


            • HJ777

              So you think that the Jacobites, who wanted to impose a monarch with absolute authority (the “divine right of kings”) abolish parliament, who were opposed by most Scots, threatened to sack Glasgow and who tried to march on London had right on their side?

              Interesting political view.

              The idea that it was a Scottish vs English conflict is a complete myth not supported by any historian of the period.

              As for the American war of independence, surely you know that it was inspired by the defence of freedoms that the Jacobites opposed that provided the motivation? You didn’t know that? It was the Whigs in parliament who were sympathetic to the American uprising.

              Don’t you know anything?

              • HenBroon

                “As for the American war of independence, surely you know that it was inspired by the defence of freedoms that the Jacobites opposed that provided the motivation?”

                Just WOW.

                So the rejection of taxes imposed by London had nothing to do with it? Better get on the phone to the Washington Post. I’m certain they will be interested in your wee world version of historical events that shaped America. You are a laugh. They even have special TV channels for nutters like you.

                • HJ777

                  Yes, WOW.

                  You didn’t know that? You really are totally ignorant of American history, aren’t you?

                  The rebels argued that their “Rights as Englishmen” meant that taxes could not be imposed on them without the consent of their local representatives. The Whigs in parliament agreed that they were just defending traditional freedoms – traditional freedoms which the Jacobites and their heirs were against

                  History is complicated and you take a one-sided simplistic view based on your prejudice.

                • HenBroon

                  You will be telling us next the Holocaust was a myth and that Britain is a respected world leader. Have a wee word with nurse regarding your meds. Go for a walk, the sun is shining on Scotland, we are in a very happy place. You seem very sad and depressed. Keep away from fast running water.

                • HJ777

                  So you think that just because you have a nurse that other people must have one too.

                  That explains a lot.

                  Britain IS a respected world leader, albeit disliked by despots, which explains your attitude.

                  I spend several hours every week on running water – perfectly safely.

            • HJ777

              By the way, here’s a short list of some of the Highland clans that supported the British government against the Jacobites:

              Clan Sutherland, Clan Sinclair, Clan Campbell, Clan MacKay, Clan Munro, Clan Ross, Clan Gunn, Clan MacLeod, Clan Grant.

              That’s before we even start to mention lowland regiments.

              Oh, and there were English soldiers on the Jacobite side.

              • HenBroon

                The Danish airfoce were in the coaltion over Libya. Canadians served in Afghanistan. There were Ghurkas serving in Borneo and Aden when I served. My best mate in the Falklands war was from Jamaica. Scots Irish English and Welsh fought in the Spanish civil wars.What is your point caller? Apart from being a muppet. Politicians create wars, if they had to serve at the front their would be no wars. An assault rifle is a weapon with a member of the working class at both ends.

                • HJ777

                  Yes, what are you apart from a muppet?

                  You certainly know no history apart from inventing your own.

  • Bill_der_Berg

    Many years ago a Welsh international player said that it was dispiriting to hear the thin, polite applause with which Twickenham crowds greeted a score, either by England or the visiting team. At least booing is full-blooded, human sound. I doubt that the crowd thought of it as much more than a joke.

  • The Colonel

    Compared to the Scottish left wing scumbags who told Nigel Farage to F-Off back to England you English B,stard this is small beer.

    • abystander

      Oh for heaven’s sake.
      His assailant in Edinburgh was a English student. Has he not also been whacked over the head with a placard in Kent and didn’t someone tthrow an egg at him the other day?

      • The Colonel

        Mr Farage was accosted by a crowd in Edinburgh and verbally insulted by several people not just one person.

        • abystander

          Farage was heckled in a pub.

          The Edinburgh police have better things to do than accompany this idiot, who thinks everyone must shut up and listen to him, from a pub toilet.

          • Chris

            Freedom of speech not important in the ‘new Scotland’ then?

      • Cymrugel

        Setting all other issues aside everyone should egg Farage or whack him with something that won’t leave any injuries in his ridiculous gurning chops at least once a day.
        I feel this is an issue that could well reunite Scotland and England quite successfully

        Should Better Together be told?

  • Bill_der_Berg

    Scottish and Welsh fans usually support whichever team happens to be playing England. It’s probably not as satisfying as actually booing England.

    • glurk

      Having been what seemed to be the only Englishman in the pub watching an Scotland England International in Scotland when they won, I was quite lucky to get out alive…seems about normal to me.

      • Bill_der_Berg

        A Scottish friend went into a pub in Glasgow during a soccer world cup match some years ago. He was puzzled to see that there was a stout metal mesh protecting the scree. Then England scored and some fans hurled bottles at the TV set.

      • Jambo25

        Utter bollocks.

        • glurk


  • Michael Sweeney

    Compared to the abuse hurled at football matches this is pure Tufty Club stuff.

    I am rather cheered to read about it though. Its about time.

  • cg

    This sort of unsporting behaviour is typical of ‘rugger’ fans.

    • Bill_der_Berg

      If it was typical it would have passed unnoticed.

  • Bert


  • Doggie Roussel

    Rugby crowds are generally perceived for their equanimity and sense of fair play…

    That the Scottish team was so roundly booed and derided at the recent 7s tournament suggests that a southwest London crowd were telling the ungrateful and underachieving wretches exactly what they thought of them.

    Let’s be shot of the Scotch asap and they can then start to compete on level terms with all the second-rate nations of the world: Rumania, Bulgaria, Mongolia etc etc

    Bring on September !

    • HenBroon

      With two thirds of the RN mothballed and no planes to go on the carriers we are building for you, the Army down to militia levels, with recruiting non existent, levels of debt that make Zim look a good investment, Scotland has nothing to fear except economic refugees from England. Your imperialist bombast is quite tragic.

      We need to start stockpiling tents now.

      • Doggie Roussel

        what planet are you on ?

        Who is going to finance your defence forces, Inland Revenue, NHS, pensions and NI, care of the old, education etc etc etc…

        September can’t come quickly enough and with any luck a Yes vote will see you whining parasites have to stand on your own feet at long last and we will be shot of at least 50 Labour voting MPs in Westminster, along with the £ 1600 per Scot imbalance in subsidies that you leeches currently bleed from the Exchequer.

        In the event of a NO vote, that odious tub of lard in Holyrood, will seek devo max, which will mean screeches and demands for even bigger bungs for you parasites north of the border. We, English, can only benefit from a YES vote.

        All that ever comes from Scotland is the clenched fist of grievance or the outstretched palm for yet another subsidy.

        • Flintshire Ian

          I for one will be pleased to see the rude HMRC staff at Cumbernauld getting the push. Last I heard it’s in Scotland and we can’t have foreigners collecting our taxes. BT and Sky call centre staff will be crapping themselves as well I think, along with anyone else whose employment is either subsidised by English (mainly) taxes or whose business sells mainly to England and Wales. Bring it on Jock!

          • HenBroon

            Do you have a problem with foreigners? BT and SKY are going no where they have said so.

            • Flintshire Ian

              The clue is in the name – British Telecom and British Sky Broadcasting. Putting up with call centre staff with difficult accents might be acceptable if they are part of your own country but it isn’t if you lot leave. Consumer pressure will have both companies back in England or Wales very soon after you leave us.

              • HenBroon

                Bigoted clap trap. There are many call centres in Scotland simply because the Scottish accent is clear and distinct and is trusted world wide. Staff are well educated with excellent skills and work ethic. I know it does not fit with you bigoted narrative of wee hottible nasty Scotland. But a closed mind is a hazzard only to the bearer. Jog on muppet.

                • Flintshire Ian

                  Time will tell. Leave us if you want to, and see how many jobs leave with you.

      • HJ777

        Have you forgotten to take your medication again?

        • HenBroon

          I see your originality by pass was a roaring success.

    • Reconstruct

      With respect, Rugby Sevens crowds are not famed for their equanimity. Many happy hours have been spent in Hong Kong, lightly drunk, abusing . . . well, it’s usually the French and Australians who get it worst, but if the Scottish are in the frame, so much the better.

      • Ringstone

        Absolutely right, sevens are a gigantic p*ss up with added rugby – and long may it remain so.

  • Denis_Cooper

    So which well-known Tory politician set out to stir up the English against the Scots?

    I’ll come back later to see if anybody can name a Tory politician with a mop of blond hair who gets paid for writing increasingly stupid and no-longer-funny articles in the Daily Telegraph when he has spare time from his mayoral duties.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Well, two hours have passed and nobody has said that BORIS JOHNSON went out of his way to try and stir up the English against the Scots, thinking that there might be votes in it for his party in England.

  • Bill Brinsmead

    The behaviour noted is similar to what I encounter at the Party Conference where my southern colleagues display ignorance of Scotland and the Scots and only a thin appreciation of the Union and how it benefits us all. [Same comment applies to most posts on this blog.]

    • Blindsideflanker

      That is a wind up I presume, for the thinnest of appreciation for the Union comes from North of the border, they did after all elect an SNP government, and are currently running a referendum for independence?

      • Kennybhoy

        “.. they did after all…”

        Fucking idiot!

        • Blindsideflanker

          With such limited debating skills, describing others as idiots is a bit hypocritical.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Is it any wonder that the English after much provoking rise to anger? What did the British establishment think was going to happen when they bribe the Scots with this and that, frequently to the cost of English people, did they rely think we would remain silent for ever?

    Parliament is about to be prorogued because it doesn’t have any legislation to debate , but in the Conservative, Libdem manifestos , and in the coalition agreement was an undertaking to answer the English Question. So far four years into this parliament, even though they have had time do things like additional powers for the Welsh assembly, offer the Scots devo max, do homosexual marriage and women in the from line on the argument of equality, they haven’t seen fit to get off their fat lazy backsides to give English people equality.

    If there was a British team of politicians at Twickenham, they wouldn’t have been booed at like the Scots received, they would have been lucky to get out of there alive.

    • Tony_E

      The Lib Dems have highland MPs, so they have indicated that they will not support any move to deal with the West Lothian Question, as it would undermine their authority on English matters in Parliament.

      Conservatives have gone along with this to maximise their chance of getting legislation through against small backbench rebellions and in the face of Labour opposition to spending and restructuring plans for the public sector.

      So its a payoff, but not a good one for the English voter.

      • Blindsideflanker

        “Conservatives have gone along with this”

        And that sums up the Cameron Conservatives, no values, no principles, they go along with things. Cameron, as leader of the opposition, instead of going off to Glasgow to call English people ‘sour faced little Englanders’, had challenged Labour’s constitutional racism, he might have had got a majority, and not needed the Libdems.

        • Denis_Cooper

          Just as Cameron decided that he would “go along” with the Lisbon Treaty, after two years of saying “We would not let matters rest there”. A decision which Daniel Hannan has recently described as “unconscionable”:

          “That decision was a terrible error, and probably cost the party an absolute majority the following year. I thought it unconscionable, and resigned from the Euro front bench in protest.”

  • seanm

    The Aussies had the worst booing I would say from being there. I’m Welsh and we had a fair few jovial boos as well. The fact Scotland were playing one of the worst teams in the tournament has something to do with it as well, we all like an underdog.

    If England had been playing against Portugal in Cardiff or Edinburgh, I assume the reaction would have been pretty similar but that’s alright I suppose…

  • dalai guevara

    This kind of thing could have easily been avoided, Mr S.
    By fielding a British team.

    • HenBroon

      You mean like the British and Irish Lions?

  • Keith D

    “Yuppies on the razzle” pretty much sums up why this happened.

  • Maidmarrion

    Disappointing , I always believed that rugby supporters were a great stride away from the boorish football supporters .
    The camaraderie enjoyed in rugby with the Welsh ,Irish ,Scots and French fans surely extends to the English too?
    How sad that sports fans should behave in this manner.

    • JoeDM

      Standards have been slipping since the sport went professional.

  • Holly

    Hope you feel better for getting that off your chest.

    Crowds are free to boo or show ‘respect any team they like.
    It’s not as though the Scottish have been cheering for England……EVER!
    Your post is as pointless as my reply.
    We both could have been doing something else just as meaningless…Like the washing up, when your boiler’s busted…..For a week tomorrow!

  • hammerscot

    Unfortunately my fellow scots have been doing this to the English team at Murrayfield for years. No doubt the Nats will be out telling us how terrible it all is

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Well said. During my last visit to Murrayfield my friends and myself were greeted with foull and abusive language and most disgustingly, spitting. We did not do anything to incite this reaction such as wearing an England shirt or cheering for our team. A wholly bizarre day with Scotland failing to field a team despite all the fireworks, field guns and exploding bagpipes beforehand. There were a few blokes in blue shirts scampering about in the swamp presented as a pitch but they took no interest in the England team and were merely a minor inconvenience.

  • William Haworth

    The time for the Union is over. Salmond has fuelled so much anti-English resentment that even the mild-mannered English have taken note.

    It’s time to start thinking about an independent England’s place in the world.

    • asalord

      The time for the union is over. British nationalists have fuelled so much anti-Scottish resentment that even the mild-mannered Scots have taken note.

      It’s time to start thinking about an independent Scotland’s place in the world.

      • Holly


      • Hello

        “It’s time to start thinking about an independent Scotland’s place in the world.”

        There’s not much to it, you’ll just have to find a different set of people to “agree with”. You’re 8% of the UK economy, 1.3% of the EU economy, 0.3% of the global economy, and shrinking. You’ll be able to attach yourself to other peoples arguments, you won’t be able to make your own.

        Roughly the size of Greece, which was very influential in the recent Eurozone crisis, of course.

        • ChuckieStane

          Size doesn’t matter… but since you mention it, Greece is bigger than England.

          • Hello

            Money does.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Not as an economy you idiot.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Oh come. That is not even mildly witty. Good luck on your own. I look forward to it.

    • Cymrugel

      Yes the mild mannered English.
      Those wee bah lambs who subjugated Wales; invaded Scotland umpteen times; colonised Ireland and terrorised its people for centuries; built a vast global empire through conquest, which the world is still reeling from and brought dozens of indigenous people to the edge of extinction, if not beyond.
      But all for their own good of course.
      Yes mild mannered indeed.

      • nickwilde

        Of course there were no Scots or Welsh who terrorised the Irish were there, just the wicked English. And the Celts played no part in Empire did they? If we you want to look back to the subjugation of the Welsh, that was mostly the Normans. Your level of knowledge is well matched with your insight.

        • monty61

          Only in Gnat la-la-land are my fellow Scots the English Empire’s first victims. History is a minor inconvenience on the way to solitary glory.

      • Blindsideflanker

        Oh yes and do tell where Flodden is?

        Did the Scot’s army take a wrong turn with their 1513 SatNav and by mistake ended up in Northern England, just when our backs were turned fighting the French?

        But never mind a scratch 2nd division army was put together and sent the Scots packing. I suppose you will claim we were nasty to them even though they invaded us.

      • HJ777

        It was a BRITISH (not English) empire and it was largely not built through conquest. Perhaps you think that the French, Italian Spanish or even Belgian empires were better? You’d find that a hard one to argue. Countries within the British empire were largely well run and underwent pretty peaceful transitions to independence and, for the most part, democracy.

        Your view of Irish history is pure nonsense, borne of rather obvious ignorance. The conflicts within Ireland were along philosophical lines much the same as those within the rest of these islands, not along national lines.

        It was, of course, the Anglophone world that represented the sole voice of freedom during the second world war and which triumphed eventually to the benefit of the whole world.

        • Cymrugel

          Largely not built through conquest?!! Are you having a laugh?
          Do you think the Indians, African’s, native Americans, aborigines, etc just saw you lot arrive on the beach, handed over the keys and asked you to take over running the place?
          How can you just whitewash the annexation and subjugation of millions of people by force?
          The British Empire may well have been better than some – I have in fact argued this on a number of occasions – but don’t kid yourself ; muscling in on someone else’s territory; killing or deposing their native rulers; side-lining their culture and language; appropriating their property and making them servants in their own land is not a positive experience.
          The problem with the English has always been a shameless set of double standards; don’t do as we do, do as we say. It’s OK for you to build a global empire, but others should mind their ps and qs. The sense of arrogant superiority and entitlement is insufferable.
          Try telling the Irish that they are the authors of their own misfortune. England invaded their land, imposed colonists and since they finally booted England out you have spent years since portraying them as stupid and violent for their effrontery.
          As for the Anglophone world being a beacon of freedom ; that freedom in most people’s eyes is symbolised by America with its acceptance of other cultures; its vigorous political system; its ability to adapt and its sense of freedom – based incidentally on sending mother England packing at the first opportunity. It’s not symbolised by a clapped out imperial nation that thinks it did a quarter of the world a favour by invading and looting to for 200 years.
          You are just lucky the yanks opted to keep English as their national language, otherwise you would be ebeven firtherv to the margins than you are now.

          • HJ777

            I see that your ignorance of history is almost total and that you prefer to insert your own prejudice in place of any knowledge.

            Ireland – words fail me. Clearly you know zilch.

            If you knew anything about the history of America you would not be making such ludicrous comments.

            You are quite pathetic.

            • Cymrugel

              I note that you do not actually engage with any of my points preferring to simply make silly remarks.
              Please enlighten me on how the people, of Ireland welcomed the British in. Explain to me how the original English settlers took over the eastern seaboard of America with the blessing of the local tribes; and perhaps why given the many benefits the Americans decided after much blood shed that they could do quite well without mother England – a self inflicted blow given that all they originally wanted was representation at parliament, but which was denied in the usual high handed fashion.
              Go on. Explain it to me.

              • HJ777

                Your ‘points’ are just a series of stupid assertions without evidence based on zero understanding of history.

                The history of Ireland, as with the UK, is largely one of dispute between political factions, not between nations.

                I really don’t have time to educate you (even if it were possible).

                Provide some evidence for your assertions if you want to be taken seriously.

                • Cymrugel

                  Where is your own “evidence” may I ask? Your own comments are just a set of unsupported assertions.
                  The British made no bones about their pride in conquest up until the modern period – bragged about it in fact. There is plenty of first hand narration from English writers about how they stuck it to the Irish barbarians. Perhaps you should brush up on your reading on Cromwell.
                  As for the rest of the empire; do you think the Indians just happily transferred the rule of their vast country to these foreign interlopers?
                  Are you completely stupid you ridiculous right wing twit?

                • HJ777

                  I’m sure that you consider anyone who doesn’t agree with your prejudices ridiculous and deserving of abuse.

                  That’s the way that ignorant people who believe that they are always right behave.

                • Cymrugel

                  Abuse? Please refer to your own comments above.
                  I note that you do not refute any of my statements.
                  As I said – right wing twit.

                • HJ777

                  Your statements are so childishly stupid and simplistic withe generalised assertions about “The English” (as if they were all the same) that they aren’t worthy of refutation.

                  Call me all the names you like. The more you do it, the more you demonstrate your intellectual vacuity.

  • JoeDM

    It seems to me that in recent years English rugby supporters have becoming more boorish and less sporting.

    • Blindsideflanker

      But still fractionally less boorish than the Scots and Welsh , who lead the way on this.

    • HenBroon

      It seems to me that in recent years THE English have becoming more boorish and less sporting.

      There fixed that.

      • Cymrugel

        “become” you say?

    • glurk

      See previous comments re the sporting nature of rugby supporters, all Brits, just take your pick as to who is annoying you most at the moment. They’re all damn scary but cant hold a candle to football mobs.

  • asalord

    Bitter together, better apart. Vote Yes.

    • HJ777

      Most people in the UK aren’t bitter about anything.

      Of course, fools like you will try to deliberately generate bitterness, but that is your problem.

      Without the few people of you ilk, everyone will get along fine. Why not just go elsewhere – no-one will miss you.

    • Doggie Roussel

      If only… the Scotch are getting their abacuses / abaci out of mothballs and will only vote through their pockets… nasty, astringent, embittered & scrounging supplicants, that they are….