Our Smiling Future
If the referendum debate is one giant selfie – yesterday Erraid Davies gave us another unlikely insight, another unlikely star.
If township opera singer Pumeza Matshikiza warmed hearts on the opening night, Erraid Davies from Shetland broke them with a performance and a reaction that epitomised courageous honest endeavour, Scotland at its best.
Talk about “punching above your weight”? At only 13, Erraid was competing against competitors that were older, stronger, more experienced and she took a medal. She started badly and fought back showing courage as well as huge skill and technique.
Well done her. In fact the whole Commonwealth Games is turning into a massive cultural celebration of local Glaswegian pride, sporting achievement and the best we can be. It’s more bigheart than braveheart, and all the better for it.
Glasgow is shining, this is Scotland playing soft-power at it’s best. There’s a sharp contrast from the over-paid cynical and tense World Cup, full of fouls and broken dreams.
Forget the weirdly jaundiced media coverage and just enjoy it. Writing in the Scotsman, Lesley Riddoch hits the sweet spot:
Scots are holding our heads a wee bit higher this week. Scottish success has begun to seem normal and consistent.
I’d guess the same thought has been working its way around five and a half million brains since competition began in earnest – can this really be us? The folk who couldn’t build a parliament or a tram line on budget or on time; the people famed for deep-fried Mars Bars and unhealthy eating; the nation renowned for whisky, not footie? Is this really us – winners? With the added bonus of an equally winning, underdog-supporting crowd as loyal, enthusiastic and occasionally barking as the famed Tartan Army? It’s heady stuff – and no matter what happens in the remaining days, the success of last week allows some gloomy and self-restricting narratives about Scottishness to be rewritten.
Re-writing ourselves. It’s great to see. Who could guess that one of the unexpected authors would be a 13 year old girl from Shetland, giggling into a bright future as a country beamed back at her?
Erraid’s named after an island of lighthouse keepers. Another beacon has emerged blinking into the 21st C.