Tag Archives: Andy Murray

Referendum Aftermath

Andy-Murray_2341157bOn the morning of the Scottish Independence referendum, Scotland’s own 2 x Grand Slam winner Andy Murray tweeted his support for independence. Have to admit I was surprised as he is usually fairly guarded on such matters. However, over the previous few days his older brother, Jamie, had made it clear he was in favour. Therefore it was perhaps no real shock that Andy thought the same. Like many he had become utterly despondent at the negative campaigning of the NO team and had therefore given his backing to YES.

So a fiery, passionate Scotsman having an opinion on the future of his own country? All good you would think. Well not so according to many in the southern based media. Seems ok for the likes of David Beckham, The Queen, The Pope, Barack Obama and Cliff Richard to come out for NO, but hell mend a famous Scotsman coming out for YES. Twitter and newspaper comment sections have been swamped with highly abusive sentiments towards Andy. Some of those who had previously waved their flags and celebrated when he won Wimbledon were now torn. How could they possibly support this turncoat who had advocated the breaking up of their glorious Union? In truth I think those in the south are taking it as some form of rejection of England, and as such why should England now support this uppity Scot?

Bottom line is Andy Murray gave an opinion. Last time I checked this was a democracy and considering the magnitude of the moment I’d expect every Scot to have had an opinion. If it truly does impact on his popularity in England then it will be a sad day for sport and the UK. People need to accept others think differently from them. We Scots do get passionate about our country. It’s not about hating on others, it’s about wanting the best for ours. I really hope the UK tennis crowds don’t get on his back. The bloke has given his all for tennis on these islands and doesn’t deserve to be shunned for the heinous crime of airing an opinion.

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butterflyThroughout the referendum campaign the world ‘nationalism’ was thrown around as if one stepped removed from ‘Nazi’. Well, as referendum watchers will know there was indeed more than one occasion upon which supporters of independence were referred to as ‘Nazis’. Why someone who supports self-determination for their country would be compared to a regime responsible for two world wars and the deaths of millions is something lost on me. It’s actually a gross insult to those who died in the wars and camps that a free democratic process could in any way be compared to the actions of the Third Reich and the National Socialists.

So what is nationalism?

Well for me, it’s not about ethnicity. It’s about the people of a country wanting the best for that country i.e. civic nationalism. That is to say the voters of Scotland, those who live here, having their voice heard to the max. Whether you are 20 generation Scots or a migrant from any part of the globe, it makes no difference. If you live in Scotland, you are capable of being a Scottish Nationalist.

The problem the media has is that the word nationalism is often linked to ‘British Nationalists’. Now, a British Nationalist is in general perceived as an anti-immigration, anti-European…in short a racist. Think National Front, think BNP and that is what I would see as a British Nationalist. This form of nationalism is deeply ethnic, not civic. The difference between this and what he have in Scotland couldn’t be more marked. Scottish Nationalism is inclusive, pro-immigration, pro-Europe. People just need to take a moment to understand similar sounding words can mean utterly different things.

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SNP_LOGOmed_copySo What now? As I type membership of the party which gave us the chance to vote on independence, The Scottish National Party (SNP), has increased it’s membership by nearly 100% since Friday. From 25,000 it now has around 50,000 members. I was a member many years ago and may well join again. However, more important than that is the mood. From the despair of early Friday morning an air of optimism has slowly but surely emerged. Part of this is a show of support for the organisation which gave us the chance to say YES.

Let me firstly say one thing. YES lost the referendum. No matter how you spin the voting patterns, campaign tactics etc the bottom line is NO won, and YES lost. I accept that without debate. However, does that mean I should stop wanting independence? Does that mean the 1.6 million who voted YES should just give up the hope of something new, something better for Scotland? Of course not! There is now talk of new movements, new alliances as old friendships are strengthened and new ones formed. The dream for constitutional change in Scotland will never die. It may just take a different path for now.

My own view is we need to press the Unionist parties as hard as possible on their pledge of new powers for Scotland. By accident or design the term ‘Devo Max’ has become associated with what the NO campaign promised in the final days. Devo Max is in essence just about as much devolution you can have without being independent. Everything apart from Defence and Foreign Affairs is devolved. Securing this should be the goal of the new YES alliances which form. If Scotland proves itself capable of the additional responsibilities offered by Devo Max then perhaps in time the people of our country will truly believe we can stand alone. However, if they remain happy with a much stronger Parliament in Edinburgh, but still in the UK then that’s fine too.

However, as a true Scottish Nationalist I hope one day independence will be achieved. But for now let’s take smaller steps, as that is what the country seemed to say last Thursday i.e. not a NO to independence, but a NOT YET.

Thanks for reading.

The Wait is Over – Arise Sir Andy Murray!

murray1British tennis waited 76 years for a Grand Slam winner. That wait ended in September last year when Dunblane’s Andy Murray won the 2012 US Open. However, for many seasonal followers of tennis in these islands that was merely a warm up event. The only tournament that matters is the one which takes place in SW19 each summer. Wimbledon. Win that and you have arrived. Don’t win it the wait for a home winner continues. For all he has achieved in the game the World No. 2 would only truly receive the adulation and acceptance of some Brits when Wimbledon was cracked. That moment came a few short hours ago. The Wimbledon men’s singles champion for 2013 is Andy Murray!

wimbledoneThis afternoon under scorching London skies was Andy’s second successive Wimbledon final. His seventh overall appearance in a Grand Slam final. He has actually played in four consecutive Slam finals. He missed the French through injury but featured in the most recent Australian, US Open and Wimbledon championship matches. Of those six to date he’d won one and lost five. Each occasion he has been up against either Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic (three times each). Nothing has come easy. No patsy in the finals. Each time the underdog. Therefore when the moment came at Flushing Meadows it was for some the likely pinnacle of his career. Well, those thoughts are now being hastily revised.

Pre-match my thoughts were perhaps Novak in four but also suggested it wouldn’t surprise me if Andy won in straight sets. These two players are incredibly close and it was always going to boil down to a few points here or there. Today it was Andy’s turn to prevail. It wasn’t though without some last gasp tension which must have had the British nation on the verge of kittens. Three championship points came and went. Novak had three break back points. He couldn’t possibly lose it from here? He didn’t! Having shown incredible mental strength to fend off the break points the match and title was sealed when Djokovic netted a forehand.

He’d done it! He’d done it!

No more years of waiting. No more mentions of Fred Perry. We should cherish these years as they may well be the best ever in British tennis history.  Well done Andy. Two time Grand Slam champion. Wimbledon winner 2013. Take a bow sir. You’ve earned it!

Novak Djokovic Confirms His Status As “The Wizard of Oz”

Ok, ok. Apologies for the corny title but the fact is it sums things up nicely. The Serb won his fourth Australian Open this morning with a four set win over our very own Andy Murray (ps for those new to my blog I am Scottish as is Mr Murray !). This made is seven grand slam titles for the 25 year old from Belgrade, three in a row in Melbourne. Novak clearly enjoys the Australian courts and surroundings. I’m sure this year he will be out to further establish his position at the top of the men’s game by winning one of the non-Oz majors over the coming months.

Time Out – “Major”or “Grand Slam”. Some say one some say the other. Now seems in vogue to call what used to always be referred to as Slams as Majors. The GS term is now kept on ice by many to describe the feat of winning all four majors in one season. End of time out.

As for Andy. Have to say another fantastic achievement to reach the final of a major.Yes, he’s lost all but one, although each defeat has been to either Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic. For Andy to have actually managed to win one of his finals was a monumental achievement no matter what else he does in his career. In such an incredibly tough era for men’s tennis to have won 25 titles including 8 Masters 1000, Olympic Gold plus of course his major at Flushing Meadows is a truly superb feat by the Brit. He has nothing to redress himself for after today’s defeat.

Last word for Novak. Have to say if Andy wasn’t around the Serb would probably be my favourite player. Fantastic athlete, tremendous sport and above all a sublime tennis player. Well done Nole. A true champion.