One of the bizarrist bits of political posturing of the last couple of decades was Norman Tebbit’s assertion that you could judge the level of an ‘immigrant’s’ allegiance to England by asking them who they’d support when their country of origin played England at cricket… did second Generation Bangladeshi, West Indian or Pakistani root for their country of birth or the country of their family heritage?
The problem with this is that it assumes that sporting allegiance is somehow a given expression of national pride.
The problem is, that under the Tebbit test my national identity can be filed under ‘couldn’t give a shit’ or when feeling generous ‘the independent republic of underdog’. I have no sense of association with sports men and women from England at all. The english football team is not ‘we’ it’s not ‘us’, it’s 11 blokes that I don’t know, probably wouldn’t like very much if I met them, who just happen to have been born on the same bit of land as me. So what?
So, in this world cup, I’ll be rooting for Iran, Togo, Trinidad, and any other underdogs.
And as a musician, I’m hoping that England go out in the group stage, just to free up the venues for music again instead of sports on big teles. :o)by