On Super Ally and God Save the King

We’re all in silos whether we know it or not. Our whole digital algorythmic culture nurtures this state. In recent weeks we’ve seen the Short Term Let lobbyists come to realise that they are not, as they supposed, respected members of the community revered for their hard work and industrious contribution to the community. They are in fact widely regarded as a profiteering, tax-avoidant group who have exacerbated our housing crisis and distorted whole communities.

They are not pleased to have found this out.

Poor Ally McCoist seems to have his silo popped too. Ally was on punditry duty last night at the game and seemed upset at our fans booing the English national anthem. He said on talkSPORT: “I do not like the booing of any national anthem to be honest with you. I just think it is a distinct lack of respect. I genuinely dislike it intensely. If you can’t show respect, I am not talking about England, I am talking about anybody or anybody that goes to Hampden, any football ground or any sporting event. If you can’t show the opposition respect by respecting their national anthem, I think it is a poor show.”

He was asked if he was singing God Save the King on the gantry. And he bluntly added: “Actually I was. Because I am British, you got a problem with that?”


McCoist called Scotland fans “out of order” for booing God Save the King – and branded them SNP supporters. This is hilarious, Hampden isn’t full of SNP supporters its full of Scotland fans, and the revulsion for God Save the Queen (or King) goes back decades. Displays of republicanism are rare, and this is more about a rejection of deference and the imposition of an anthem with no cultural resonance here than anything more overtly political. But in a country where schools are literally crumbling but plans are afoot to have a portrait of the King hung in them – it’s surprising there’s not more dissent.

McCoist seems confused.

If he was singing God Save the King he was singing the English national anthem. In his wee silo-world of Unionism its possible for being British and Scottish to co-exist, especially if your Scottishness is subordinate/just-a-laugh/ and meaningless, but for most of us this isn’t possible to reconcile. To sing God Save the King is an act of fealty and an expression of deference. It is to be a Subject.

To be British is to be supine.

I look forward to McCoist and his ilk singing the national anthem of the next nation to come to Hampden.

The question isn’t why do Scotland fans boo God Save the King, the question is why do English not have the self-respect to adopt a proper national anthem?



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  1. James says:

    Well said! The Scottish people have every right to show their disdain for an anthem that actually mentions them as worthy of slaughter. Ally has every right to express his opinion……..but he has to be aware that this particular anthem and it’s connections to English imperialism make a rather toxic mixture.

    1. 230913 says:

      ‘The Scottish people’ does not equate with ‘the Scottish Jacobites’, whom one version of the anthem deems worthy of slaughter.

      That version, the first published version, was first sung at Drury Lane theatres in support of the 1688 revolution and against the reactionary Jacobite Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, and his Scottish supporters, who, as counter-revolutionaries who were bent on restoring the ancien régime through the British Isles, were indeed worthy of slaughter.

      1. Why were the Jacobites worthy of slaughter ‘230913’?

        1. 230914 says:

          They were trying to restore the tyrannical Stuart regime that was overthrown by the revolution and the revolutionary settlement of 1688/89, which finally enacted the sovereignty of both the English and the Scottish parliaments over the crown. (It was the Scottish parliament’s subsequent threat to exercise that sovereignty, and appoint a different head of state from that which the English parliament had nominated to succeed Anne at the English head of state on her death, that prompted the English parliament to do a swift volte-face and support the royal court’s Scottish party in its long-standing pursuit of a political union of the two parliaments on top of the personal union of the two crowns.)

          The restoration of the Stuart dynasty in 1745 would have set back the curbing of royal power and parliamentary sovereignty in Britain by 57 years.

          1. That’s a very reductive historical analysis of the forces at play

          2. 230914 says:

            Indeed! All historical narrative – all science or knowledge – is reductive. That’s what makes it all so relative, doubtful, or prone to deconstruction. You pays your money…

          3. BSA says:

            There’s reductive and there’s totally warped

      2. BSA says:

        The British did not distinguish between Jacobite and Hanoverian Scots. They despised and distrusted the whole country as their garrisoning of the whole country after Culloden and the barring of Scotland from Militia service and so access to arms indicated.

        1. 230914 says:

          Many of those ‘British’ were Hanovarian ‘Scots’.

        2. Iain MacLean says:

          The conditions of 270 years ago don’t change, the elite in England who have control over Scotland view Scottish nationalists and Scottish unionists with the same sustain, albeit they view Scottish unionists as useful idiots.

          In general across all English society and classes, they would never accept the union settlement Scotland has to endure.

          Colonialism is alive and kicking in 2023, the colonialists still control Scotland, the bbc, press and those who have sold their soul, see to that!

          1. 230915 says:

            Who are ‘the elite in England’? How do they ‘have control over Scotland’? ‘Control over Scotland’ in respect of what? I only ask because this sounds awfie like some alt-right populist conspiracy theory; ‘Independence’ as some ‘taking back control’ sh*t*.

            Both the Scottish and the English parliaments jointly accepted the same union settlement in 1707. Granted, the constitution of this new state was left until after the event, which was a mistake (which is why I keep banging on about the need for Scottish society to extract from its government guarantees on the constitution of a new ‘independent’ Scottish state before we agree to that state). And granted, there was considerable popular opposition to the union settlement among all classes in English society at the time, since it gave the impoverished Scottish economy access to English markets with no reciprocal benefit to the English economy. After the Seven Ill Years of famine in the Scotland in the 1690s, during which a tenth of the country’s population starved to death, and after a series of failed attempts to establish a trading colony in the New World, Scotland’s subsistence economy was bankrupt, which was why the Scottish party in the British royal court campaigned even harder than it had done before for a union with England’s mercantile economy at the time. The Scots secured that union by threatening to withdraw from the political union of the crowns, which would have left England’s northern border vulnerable to future French invasion. The English state accordingly and reluctantly ceded access to its markets in order to ensure its national security. So, while there was little popular support for the union settlement on either side of the border, political expediency won the day.

            And colonialism is unfortunately alive and well in 2023. But Scotland isn’t and never has been an English colony. You can argue that, because England is by far the greatest constituent of and net economic contributor to the union, it has always been able to exercise most clout in its decision-making. A lot of people make the same complaint about the clout that Germany exercise within the European union. But you can’t really argue that Scotland has ever been occupied by English settlers, in the way that Ulster was by Scottish settlers or Australia was by settlers from all four British nations. That’s just anglophobic hyperbole.

  2. John T Bonnets says:

    I love to hate God Shave the King, it’s the perfect soundtrack for hating the England team when they are playing anyone bar Russia. I am worried that it they change their pompous pontificating anthem they might replace it with something good like a Bowie track or Led Zeppelin, then I will hate them less or start to hate the rock classic as well!

    1. Iain MacLean says:

      When it comes to music, the English, specifically English song writers and bands, have contributed the greatest music of the 20th century, Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Who, etc…. I could add to that there are many other cultural aspects where English people have excelled internationally at!

      When those unionist who believe, wish or state in the bizarre hope it helps their cause that all Scottish nationalists or those whom like me merely support Scotland’s independence, that we hate the English, you are so out of touch with reality, about as diluted as Mr McC!

      1. 230916 says:

        Ah, but the global supremacy of English popular culture has little to do with its superior quality and more to do with the geopolitics of globalisation. If Benin (say) had enjoyed the UK’s imperial success instead of the UK, then Beninois popular culture would have contributed the greatest music of the 20th century to the world.

        1. Niemand says:

          How could we ever know that? It is true that the variety and depth of English popular culture (and to some extent Scottish too) is related to colonial legacies or simply cultural mixing over centuries one way or another, but that does not have much to say about quality except it is a good basis for it.

          As it stands the quality of English popular music and some other cultural things and their impact is inarguable. It would not be so popular for so long if it were not good. One cannot always look at reach and popularity as an indicator of quality but very often, you can.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            @Niemand, regarding the spread of culture, technology can play a significant role. By a rare if not unique historical event, the alphabet that some think was created by itinerant miners in the Levant millennia ago became the encoder of European languages and accidentally very well suited to the much later technology of moveable type, which drove the idea communism of European book culture, which in turn allowed a relatively backwards part of the globe to catch up with, and surpass, more technologically advanced parts of the human world, powering the European military conquests of colonising empires. History seems full of these accidents and coincidences (or Connections, in James Burke’s terminology), which rather undermine the grand narratives and manifest destiny models. And in relation to the anthem, print propaganda in the form of cheap, mass-produced bibles. Where cultures got stuck, grew more backwards, was precisely in those respects they grovelled before the fake authorities of king and god. With the rise of print in Europe came the rise in civil, royal and clerical censorship. Stage censorship was only repealed in the UK in 1968.

          2. 230917 says:

            The point I was trying to make was that the contribution English songwriters and bands have made to world music is prominant, not for the inherent superiority of their music, but only for the same reason that the contribution Anglophone culture generally to world culture is so prominent: so-called ‘white privilege’; a kind of passive advantage or ‘soft power’ that white cultures enjoy over non-white cultures and that Anglophone culture shares in. This cultural privilege flows from the colonisation of non-white cultures during the period of European expansion from the Crusades onward and the establishment of the West’s global hegemony.

            I’m not sure that this is something that we can ‘know’ (or, at least, know ‘for certain’). Rather, it’s a narrative by means of which we appropriate the world to our understanding and thereby makes knowing it possible, a necessary a priori condition of knowing it at all.

            Of course, other stories are available. The question is which story makes the best sense of, or best explains, one’s own experience of the world (‘best’ relative to one’s own practical interests, whether as an individual or a social being, in coming to understand the world in the first place; in other words, ‘best’ relative to the epistemic principles that guides one’s own knowledge).

          3. 230917 says:

            You’re right, SD. Technological development (especially in communications) did facilitate the establishment of the West’s global hegemony through the colonisation of other ‘minds’, both at home and abroad. The exciting thing about the most recent developments in communication is that the extent to which the technology is now disrupting that global hegemony and the facilitating the dissolution of its values.

          4. Niemand says:

            SD, yes, very good points, there is a great book by Michael Chanan called Musica Practica which looks at the history of Western music through the lens of technology (broadly defined) rather then the great men of history trope and is really enlightening. One simple point is that written notation and its later printable form is at the heart of the development of the whole classical canon – the ability to think of music vertically as well as horizontally is the root of much of its harmonic developments. Or the idea that the pianoforte (as opposed to the fortepiano) is unthinkable without the development of the tech at the time and again, this instrument had a huge musical impact generally

          5. SleepingDog says:

            @Niemand, I guessed such technology lay behind musical reproducibility, but it’s not an area I know a lot about, so thanks. I have forgotten anything I learnt relating the psychology I studied to music, but I remember that complex music was hypothesised to have a positive influence on infant mental development. Students often reported that listening to music helped them think. So technology that made music easily and popularly available may well have had large-scale social effects of some kind. Although whether in general it suppresses or encourages individuals making their own music, I have no idea.

        2. Niemand says:

          230916, I don’t see why the Western dominance you describe excludes the idea the music is also so appreciated across the globe because it is good. This argument covers a lot of things. Untangling cultural dominance is not simple and quite possibly, impossible and of course might also go hand-in-hand. People bemoan the ‘cultural imperialism’ in Europe of US culture (I have done so myself), but as my Dad pointed out in the 70s of his brief experience in the US during the war – the reason that US fast food was popular was that is was vastly superior to the British stuff (at the time). And where would be without the Blues? A product ultimately of gross iniquity and barbarity but now underpinning vast swathes of music enjoyable across the world.

          1. 230918 says:

            No, the two things are not mutually exclusive. I’m just suggesting that the fundamental reason that Western music is almost universally appreciated as ‘good’ (as these things are judged) is that Western aesthetics or standards of judgement have eclipsed those of the other cultures that Western culture has colonised and appropriated from.

            The Blues is a fine ‘Master/Slave’ example of the colonisation and cultural appropriation of elements of one culture by another more dominant culture. The Blues is a Western assimilation of Aftican culture. I know the West likes to portray it as a ‘fusion’; but it’s not a ‘just’ fusion because it didn’t rake place under conditions of equal parity.

          2. 230918 says:

            Here’s the narrative I’m peddling here:

            The goodness of anything – a piece of music, and action, and statement – is not absolute; it’s always relative to the criteria that we employ in evaluating its goodness. When we say that a piece of music is ‘good’, we are at least implicitly appealing to some standard of judgement or other that’s, itself, an element some culture. Good Western music is ‘good’ by the cultural standards that the West has succeeded in globalising through the extension of its economic and geopolitical ‘empire’.

          3. 230918 says:

            No, the two things are not mutually exclusive. I’m just suggesting that the fundamental reason that Western music is almost universally appreciated as ‘good’ (as these things are judged) is that Western aesthetics or standards of judgement have eclipsed those of the other cultures that Western culture has colonised and appropriated from.

            The Blues is a fine ‘Master/Slave’ example of the colonisation and cultural appropriation of elements of one culture by another more dominant culture. The Blues is a Western assimilation of African culture. I know the West likes to portray it as a ‘fusion’; but it’s not a ‘just’ fusion because it didn’t rake place under conditions of equal parity.

          4. 230918 says:

            Here’s the narrative I’m peddling here:

            The goodness of anything – a piece of music, and action, and statement – is not absolute; it’s always relative to the criteria that we employ in evaluating its goodness. When we say that a piece of music is ‘good’, we are at least implicitly appealing to some standard of judgement or other that’s, itself, an element some culture. Good Western music is ‘good’ by the cultural standards that the West has succeeded in globalising through the extension of its economic and geopolitical ‘empire’.

          5. Niemand says:

            One tends to go round in circles when trying to discuss worth in something like music so I won’t try except to say I we do judge art and will continue to do so.

            I think your analysis of blues music is rather superficial. Yes its origins are African and its roots were brought to the US with slaves taken there. But it only evolved as a form in the early 20th century when it met Western music, particularly gospel and church music. It was produced and developed by black people. After that sure, it became appropriated by all and sundry in a variety of forms but its inception and development that formed the basis of those borrowings was by black people and it still is ultimately seen as a black music. And why did it catch on so much? Because it is so good! You cannot contain music and using appropriation in the sense of theft when it comes to cultural forms is mostly baloney to me. No-one owns culture. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t be criticised for showing no respect in their borrowings but it isn’t theft.

            Leroy Jones in ‘Blues People’ claimed whites can never really play the blues properly because, put simply, they are not black so cannot have experienced the suffering that is at its root. He describes it as a blood ritual. He may well have a point (personally I love the blues but if I really want to hear it I will listen to Lightnin’ Hopkins, not Eric Clapton) but the music appeals to all peoples and at a deep level and once it does that it will influence them and they will want to take it and use it in their own way. If some think that wrong then the music in effect becomes a victim of its own success which is very strange way to look at things.

          6. 230918 says:

            I’m not denying that blues music is good, or that there are good and bad practitioners of that music. I’m denying only that there are any absolute measures of good and affirming rather than all the criteria by which we distinguish ‘good’ from ‘bad’ instances of anything are culture-relative.

            I like the blues. For me, it’s good. It’s good as far as I’m concerned because I find it aesthically pleasing; I enjoy its sensuality. But that’s only because the dominant culture into which I’ve been assimilated equates ‘goodness’ in music with ‘aesthetically pleasing’ (its sensuality) and, moreover, attunes me to the sensuality of blues music. There are alternative cultural constructions/other people in which/for whom the very sensuality of music makes it ‘bad’ and/or in which the blues leaves one cold.

            There are lots of things that are good as far as I’m concerned, but none of them are good [full stop].

          7. Niemand says:

            Like I said there is no solution to the argument of artistic worth and its relativeness.

            For me some things are simply good and others bad and I judge that using a set if artistic-based criteria in my mind. No-one can ever tell me ‘it is all relative’ and expect I have to accept that. If others want to dismiss my value judgement, or anyone’s then fine, but I will continue to value it and those of others I trust and think know what they are talking about.

            I do think it matters what / how you are comparing and don’t go in for grand sweeping judgments about musics of the world as it is too complex and culturally bound to judge, but if you want me to say that within a genre one piece is intrinsically better then another then I am very happy to do so, say why, and stand by that. One is good, the other bad. That isn’t the same as what you like of course or what is most popular, but often is.

          8. SleepingDog says:

            @Niemand, some criteria are objectively founded in the real world, like mathematical models of harmony that were discovered, not invented.
            Of course, humans are not the only living organisms to make music, and may have learnt it from the birds. Other objectively-measurable aspects of music are its mimicry (of natural sounds, say), complexity, repetitiveness, clarity, carrying power, and I believe variation on motifs, although as I say, I am far from being a musician. And while musical appreciation may be subjective, people can explain why they chose certain of these objectively-derived criteria. And there will be different kinds of musical training worldwide.

            The function of national anthems is probably, as I suggested, orchestration of the masses. Even this can be measured objectively: who sings, who doesn’t, who boos. And if you’re singing a national anthem praising your colonial overlords (not in complicit Scotland, but elsewhere in the British Empire), you can have good grounds for rejecting it.

          9. 230919 says:

            Well, there’s no *absolute* solution to the question of what is good and what is not. Some things are good for you and other things are bad, and you do make this judgement based on a set of criteria in your mind. You should indeed continue to make your value-judgements in accordance with the criteria you think are best, and no one should interfere with the autonomy of your judgement in the name of some ‘higher’ or ‘transcendent’ good. ‘God’ – absolutism – and all the authoritarianism that goes along with it is dead; we are now each his or her own arbiter of worth.

            We can only nowadays justly say that, for me, here and now, as I’m historically constituted in my mind, this is good (or this is better than that); we can’t justly say that its good or better for everyone, everywhere, at every time.

            I’d only add that it follows that we should hold our value-judgements lightly and maintain a doxastic attitude of doubt towards them (keep them ‘under erasure’, as Derrida put it and not get so het up about who’s in the right. At the level of metaethics – the criteria by which we determine what’s to count as good or bad – there is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’; there are just the various sets of criteria that we in fact, for reasons of custom and history, variously use in making our value-judgements. We should do this to avoid the curst conceit o’ bein’ richt that damns the vast majority o’ men and sends us crusading against one another.

  3. 230913 says:

    I know. It’s scandalous, a loyalist commentating on a football match. Shouldn’t be allowed. No wonder we can’t win a referendum.

    And Scotland fans should, of course, be excused for booing the away team’s national anthem. It’s all just good-natured banter, especially in matches that feature the traditional ‘Auld Enemy’, the heritage of fixture which we were celebrating with the special friendly last night, and in which the Tartan Army duly played its part.

    All part of the Tory nationalism that led to the establishment of ‘home international’ sporting events in the first place, all part of our ‘Britishness’.

    1. 230913 says:

      After viewing the viewing the video that ‘norm’ posted, that should read ‘in which the Tartan Army and its English counterpart duly played their parts’.

      1. 230913 says:

        …and Scotland is still ‘haunted’ by the narratives of 19th century Tory nationalism. This is nowhere more evident than in the ‘historic’ rivalry between the two so-called ‘home nations’ as it’s played out in sporting arenas.

        It’s the same kind of hauntology that operates in the ‘historic’ rivalry between England and Germany that England fans perceive in fixtures between their national football teams.

        1. Sporting rivalry exists everywhere. It’s okay, it’s really all okay …

          1. 230914 says:

            Indeed it is. But, in Scotland, in relation to sporting fixtures that involve England teams, that rivalry’s haunted by an historical narrative of ‘Britain’ that was written by Scottish Tory nationalists in the 19th century.

  4. Colin Glassey says:

    Will look forward to Ally Mcoist singing the soldiers song when Ireland come to hampden….did he sing Flower of Scotland last night ??? I think not …just a union bears bigot. …get a life mr Mcoist

  5. Alex Lawrey says:

    Not sure why it was booed but Liverpool fans also reportedly boo it too, but it is one genuinely terrible song only possibly surpassed in musical awfulness by that God-forsaken dirge that is the Scottish national anthem, (I’m not saying that because of any views on Scottish independence, Flower of Scotland is just a mind-numblingly bad song) let’s face it most national anthems are just unlistenable with only perhaps the Soviet-era Russian anthem, Israeli anthem and USA anthem being remotely something musical and good tunes (ignoring factors like lyrics, context nationalistic intents etc – just judging them as music)

    1. Colin Glassey says:

      You are obviously tone deaf if you think that our national anthem (scottish)is banal and tuneless…makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up

      1. 230914 says:

        It does bleed nostalgia and sentimentality; I’ll give it that.

          1. 230915 says:

            I don’t imagine that booing is an expression of musical criticism. Sounds more like the baying of a hatred of the ‘Other’. It’s hardly edifying, whichever tribe it comes from.

    2. Iain MacLean says:

      Strange you think that, football aside those countries in the rest of these islands and counties beyond that play rugby without fail view Flower Of Scotland as the best anthem of all to sing along to.

      Conversely, can you see any Scottish person but a clown or someone on the make, seeking to belt out lyrically with passion that some god should save Charlie Windsor?

      1. Niemand says:

        As opposed to a song used as a national anthem about a victorious bloody battle in 1314 (yes, over 700 years ago ffs) that longs for the return of the soldier’s literal fighting spirit as a benchmark for a nation’s greatness today? This is just as stupid as GSTK. There’s nothing that wrong with the song, it is a folky bit of fun but to be taken seriously enough to be a national anthem?

        Tbh I dislike all national anthems for the reason they are very often lyrically based on a load of old cobblers, sometimes offensively so and prefer they were never played at sporting events as they too often cause strife for no good reason whatsoever. What purpose do the anthems serve at football exactly? Much of it seems to be tradition more than anything else since plenty of sports never play them and no-one wants them to. They seem like a juggernaut no-one can stop but who really would care that much if international football just dropped them?

        1. SleepingDog says:

          @Niemand, and singing or not singing your national anthem can have serious repercussions:
          Yes, anthems are probably intended to show a fake unity behind official national mythology (and I guess typically bombastic, militaristic, patriarchal, sometimes colonial-settler themes, sometimes official-religious).

          It seems the England men’s team have given up taking the knee (or is it begging the knighthood?) before kick-off? I guess we will see what happens in a competitive game between these nations in a week’s time.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            So Bella covers the Scotland vs England men’s friendly but not the competitive England vs Scotland match the following week, despite the chance to compare? The first competitive match England plays after reaching the World Cup Final? My impression was that the Sunderland crowd offered a strangely muted rendition of God Save the King, by the way. And Ian Wright was mostly very fair in the ITV pundits studio, though overall they bigged up the Scottish performance a little after an uncharacteristically poor first half on recent form.

        2. 230915 says:

          Yep, they’re a bit of an anachronism, hearkening back to a time when ethnicity or ‘bloodlines’ still played a significant part in national team selections. I suppose the playing of them was originally intended to fire-up the players’ native genius; it now seems to have withered to a ritual pre-match formality and/or a pious expression of collective sentimentality.

      2. 230915 says:

        I hate Scottish rugby. It’s the epitome of tartanry. The Scottish patriotism that (arguably) finds its highest expression at Murrayfield internationals was invented, along with nearly all its clownish tartan tropes, by the Romantic circle of Edinburgh Tories – Sir Walter Scott and his chums – in the 19th century as a way of consolidating the Union and its global empire culturally. Some wags call it ‘Scott-ish nationalism’, which is a nice deconstructive pun.

      3. David B says:

        I’d like to hear a Welsh person say that Flower of Scotland is a better song than Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau

    3. Mr. Derek Thomson says:

      La Marseillaise?

      1. 230915 says:

        My favourite national anthem is the National Anthem of South Africa, which is often referred to by its incipit ‘Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika’.

        Not only does it have a storring tune, it also incorporates the five most widely spoken of South Africa’s eleven official languages – Xhosa (first stanza, first two lines), Zulu (first stanza, last two lines), Sesotho (second stanza), Afrikaans (third stanza), and English (final stanza). The lyrics are sung in these languages regardless of the native language of the singer.

        It’s a fine expression of South Africa as a pluralistic union of many nations.

  6. SleepingDog says:

    When England hosted the Women’s Euros football tournament in 2022, and met Northern Ireland, only one ‘national’ anthem was played, sparking this explainer from CNN:
    It really was not a good look, this century or otherwise. I suspect it materially affected the performance of the players, too.

    Wikipedia says that Crown dependencies and other British territories share the official UK national anthem of “God Save the King”, also still used apparently in other parts of the globe invaded by the British Empire.

    Of course, your objection to that anthem might simply be that you despise theocracies, their rulers’ mythologised authority and their fake legitimacy.

    1. 230913 says:

      ‘The Londonderry Air’ is played as the anthem for Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games. Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1’ is used as the anthem for England. Maybe FIFA should take a page out of Commonwealth Sport’s songbook.

  7. Devine says:

    I was in no way offended or surprised by affable cheeky chappy ‘I demand to know their names’ ex- Rangers striker McCoist adopting loyalist sentiments, its what I would expect from him- I was more offended by his smarmy negativity of all things Scotland and his perpetual fawning hype of all things English during the match. It was so cringing and gushing that I was truly surprised that he didn’t suddenly vanish up an English arsehole. But glib and grovelling Super-Ally knows what side his bread is buttered, hence why he gets the gigs in the English media. His unctious media persona is so Uriah Heepish and eager to please his betters that he has abased himself to the extent that such snivelling crawling and slick bootlicking has become second nature…McCoist reminds me of many a unionist in Scotland: Scottish Unionists have more in common with English Nationalists than they do with English Unionists https://www.ippr.org/research/publications/the-ambivalent-union-findings-from-the-state-of-the-union-survey

    1. 230914 says:

      But Ally was right: England played well. Scotland also played well, but England were performing at a level higher than Scotland is currently capable of performing. It was the best performance I’ve seen from an England team since Euro 2020. Ally wasn’t ‘gushing’ at all; he was just telling it as it was.

      1. John says:

        You obviously know nothing about football.
        Yes England played well but Scotland were poor on the night.

        1. 230914 says:

          ‘Poor’ only in comparison. Better opposition always makes a performance look poorer. Scotland performed as well as England let them, while Scotland wasn’t capable of stopping England from looking as good as it did.

          As Steve Clark said on the wireless in his interview after the game: the Scotland team still has a distance to go before it can match the likes of the current England team in terms of its performance; and that’s the comparative level of performance towards which Scotland must aspire to and continue to work. Scotland is far from the finished article when it comes to European and World football.

          1. John says:

            I have the utmost regard for Steve Clarke as a manager and person but he was never going to come out and publicly criticise his players who have done so well so far. That is called good man management.
            Yes England are a good team but Scotland never laid a glove on them. Just because your opponents are better players doesn’t mean that you stand back and do not compete. Spain were man for man superior to Scotland but the Scottish performance was far more engaged and better as was the outcome. Virtually all summarisers from Graham Souness to Pat Nevin and Willie Miller (not an inconsiderable degree of experience there) said that Scottish players did not perform to their best and let themselves down. With the greatest of respect I think I would give more weight to their opinions on international football than yours. In some ways it was a similar performance to last years WC qualifier against Ukraine and Euro Championship match against Croatia where some reason (maybe pressure of expectation) the players and team underperformed. The good news is, as Steve Clarke said, the team bounced back from these disappointing performances and we can only hope that they do so again and qualify for European Championships.

          2. 230914 says:

            Scotland did compete. In fact, England’s first goal came as a result of Scotland’s high press, when both Robertson and Tierney were both caught too far up the pitch, allowing Kyle Walker run into the space behind and fire in a cross that Foden dispatched with aplomb. The second goal came when Robertson miscontrolled the ball (which happens even to world-class players like himself), and the third came after Scotland brought on two attacking players and changed its formation to chase the game, leaving itself vulnerable to counter-attack. A case of being too much on the front foot, perhaps.

            Scotland played aggressively, on the front foot, and knocked the ball about slickly and to good effect. It was an enjoyable game to watch, and both teams did the occasion of the 150th anniversary ‘heritage’ match proud. Had we a bit more quality than Ché Adams and then Lyndon Dykes up front, we might have had as much success as England did in front of goal.

          3. John says:

            In reply to your comment of 14/09 4.46pm.
            I have followed football including Scotland closely for nearly 60 years and played in my younger days. I also know enough to appreciate that to really understand the game at any level you have to have played or been closely involved at that level eg Souness,Miller,Nevin etc.(150 caps between them).
            Correct me if I am wrong but your level of knowledge of football is much lower than former internationals who are now established professional pundits on the game. Despite your lack of expertise in football you still continue to spout your opinions and prove your ignorance.
            Perhaps like Michael Gove you don’t value the opinion of experts?

          4. 230821 says:

            So… with what part(s) of my wee match analysis do you disagree and why? You haven’t said.

            I treat the claims of any expert with a healthy scepticism. If they can justify their claims with a coherent argument, based on sound premises, then I’ll accept those claims. If not, I’ll continue to doubt them. Appeals to their authority as experts does not a valid argument make.

            Anyway, Coisty has played and coached lots of football at the highest level, yet he still apparently talks sh*t*.

          5. John says:

            Reply to
            I disagree with virtually all your analysis.
            Scotland failed to mount any meaningful challenge to England in first half and could have already been 2 goals down before first goal. The second goal was a poor mistake from Robertson but no more than England deserved on balance of play. Scotland failed to disrupt England’s play and could not retain any possession for any length of time.
            Scotland were marginally better after half time and were gifted a goal which finally roused crowd. However the response was one misdirected header by McGinn (shoulder rather than head) and any fight back quickly fizzled out.
            Several Scottish players in midfield were poor by their own standards on the night and IMO only goalkeeper, central defenders and Christie when he came on would get pass marks.
            To back up my analysis May I direct you to the games statistics especially the fact that Scotland had zero shots on target. I cannot remember last time, if ever, this has happened at Hampden.
            I never mentioned Ally McCoist and much as I may disagree with him dragging politics into football and find his cheeky crappy persona a bit tiresome purely as a summariser he is reasonably perceptive as he proved during World Cup.
            Lastly I note you have the same opinion of experts as Michael Gove. I am not sure how this informs all the other topics you pontificate about on this site but as far as international football is concerned it is a subject about which you appear to know SFA and are quite happy to prove it to everyone.

          6. SleepingDog says:

            @John, England also struggled to create chances, and were quite happy to play it about at the back, especially when 3–1 up towards the end of the game, whilst Scotland failed to press high and well enough, not entirely in keeping with how the match was pitched and rated in coverage. To me, it didn’t much resemble a typical derby match. Scotland’s men’s national team have been on a roll of competitive results but quite possibly beat their two leading rivals in Euros qualification against the run of play.

            There is a philosophical question about how the game should be played, the appropriate balance of attack and defence, but the results of relying on defenders to provide attacking options can at least be measured empirically.

            Of course, comparisons with previous Scotland – England fixtures have to take into account significant changes such as the introduction of VAR.

          7. 230916 says:

            I don’t see that much disagreement between our respective analyses of the game. I think we disagree, rather, on whether Scotland’s failures were the result of its own relative ineptitude or the result of England’s greater competence.

            What the game revealed to me is not that Scotland performed badly ‘on the night’, relative to its own current capabilities, but that Scotland still has a ways to go before it can match the standards of play of which teams like England are capable. Scotland were outplayed not because it played badly, but because England played at a level of performance of which Scotland is not yet capable and to which it can only aspire and continue to work towards.

            And I make no apologies for the sceptical attitude I adopt as a matter of principle towards ‘authorities’. The man o’ independent mind leuks an’ lauchs at sic deference. Do you really think that attitude is the same as Michael Gove’s?

          8. 230916 says:

            I don’t see that much disagreement between our respective analyses of the game. I think we disagree, rather, on whether Scotland’s failures were the result of its own relative ineptitude or the result of England’s greater competence.

            What the game revealed to me is not that Scotland performed badly ‘on the night’, relative to its own current capabilities, but that Scotland still has a ways to go before it can match the standards of play of which teams like England are capable. Scotland were outplayed not because it played badly, but because England played at a level of performance of which Scotland is not yet capable and to which it can only aspire and continue to work towards.

            And I make no apologies for the sceptical attitude I adopt as a matter of principle towards ‘authorities’. The man o’ independent mind leuks an’ lauchs at sic deference. Do you really think that attitude is the same as Michael Gove’s?

          9. John says:

            My mistake when it comes to football knowledge and attitude you are more Liz Truss than Michael Gove.

  8. Richard Stanbrook says:

    I’m sure that, deep down, HRH King Charles III is exasperated with Brexit and those “little Britons” who still suffer from neo-imperialist delusions of grandeur.

    Unfortunately, unlike his father, King Charles III cannot comment in public, more’s the pity. However, as the current situation worsens, he may well say “enough is enough.”

    Yes – I’d like nothing better than to see the restoration of Scotland’s independence and EU Membership. But insulting the Monarch in such a mean-spirited fashion is NOT acceptable. He deserves much better.

    Remember! King Charles III was not responsible for Brexit. His late Mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was every inch an Europhile and proud of it.

    I would dearly love to see the Royal Family spearheading the campaign to rejoin Europe as a leading partner. Or, perhaps I’m just too much of an idealist.

    1. 230914 says:

      No, the last thing we want is for a head of state, which has been reduced in its power to being little more than a creature of parliament, becoming a populist ‘heroic leader of the nation’, above and beyond its current constitutional role. That’s little different from fascism.

      1. BSA says:

        Yes indeed, and why ever would he want to when he can just go on being a billionaire oligarch looting the country with impunity from his untouchable position as God’s enforcer on earth.

        1. 230914 says:

          Yes, King Charles does have far too much wealth and far too much prestige. But that doesn’t affect me; even if it was all taken away from him, I wouldn’t see any of it. The problem with the British establishment is structural, not personal. The ‘Great Men’ theory of history is a Tory myth. Getting rid of ‘spectacle’ of King Charles wouldn’t make one iota of difference to our lives.

          1. BSA says:

            No-one is suggesting he is a ‘Great Man’ ffs ! He is the embodiment of the British Establishment and what passes for its legitimacy. The abolition of his position is what is necessary for the creation of a modern popular democracy which the UK is emphatically not. His subsequent personal obscurity in a bungalow in Milton Keynes, on the state pension, is really just the icing on the cake.

          2. 230914 says:

            But the status and influence you ascribe him gives him makes him a ‘Great Man’ – an agent of history – in Carlylean terms.

            But you’re right; the head of state is its symbolic figurehead and a key part of its establishment.

            Though I can’t see how changing the way we appoint our head of state would make our democracy any more popular. The government and its ruling party would still be in charge whether our figurehead was a king or a president or a turnip.

          3. Iain MacLean says:

            The monarch and their off spring are part of that outdated anti democratic establishment, they perpetuate the class system and benefit from it hugely down through the generations.

            Undeserving honours bestowed upon them, tax avoidance, a view of legislation in advance to ensure it does not impact them, protection via extensive patronage they hold the keys to and never having to justify themselves to the public, etc.

            Next time someone from Qatar hands you a plastic bag with a million quid, would you expect the police to say “move on nothing to see here”?

            The English royals are the glue to the establishment, without them the whole system fails, talent, fresh ideas & hard work should replace privilege, mediocrity & conservatism.

          4. 230915 says:

            I think it’s the other way around, Iain. It’s the establishment (the whole matrix of official and social relations within which power is exercised in Britain) that perpetuates the system by which we appoint our head of state (by inheritance rather than by election or by sortition) rather than the other way about. Disrupt that matrix, and the practice with wither away; abolish the monarchy and replace it with an elected or randomised presidency, and the establishment will remain undisturbed.

            The whole question of ‘whither the monarchy’ is a distraction, a soap opera, a Debordian ‘spectacle’. Don’t waste your time on it!

  9. Derek says:

    Isnae a new thing, boo-ing GST(whatever). Wales; back in black-and-white at the Arms Park…


  10. Iain MacLean says:

    McCoist and others, not just football pundits but political commentators and some celebrities too, down the years have cast Scotland aside and embraced English / british nationalism to gain acceptance and further their career in London.

    Contrast that with pundits or celebrities from elsewhere making a living in England who can be themselves and present a balanced view without having to be supine toward England and dismissive of their own country.

    I look forward to pictures of England’s king be hung in Scottish schools and being defaced and mocked by adults and students alike. Perhaps those criticising Scottish people for having contempt for an anti Scottish anthem, should be prepared to pay for the installation and upkeep of this folly?

    Coisty, it’s 2023, not 1690!

    1. 230915 says:

      I must admit that I too find Ally’s performances cringeable. But not because he’s chosen to pursue a post-playing career in the British media but for his tartanry, which is mosht evident in hish increashingly Shir Sheanish dicshun.

      Ally, in common with the Tartan Army, the stereotypical or kitsch representation of traditional Scottish culture that emerged with the rise of the Scottish tourism industry in the 18th and 19th centuries. Ally exudes a sentimental Scottishness based on notions of our tribe’s primal innocence, prior to its corruption by ‘the b*st*rd*n English’, and on histories that have been fabricated from the whole range of tokens and caricatures of which our ‘heritage’ is composed: sporting fixtures with the ‘Auld Enemy’, the Gaelic language, the Scots language, plaid, the false glamour of past events like Bannockburn, the Jacobite Rising, Red Clydeside, the Poll Tax protests, and the ‘wha’s like us’ celebration of Great Scots like Robert Burns, John Logie Baird, and Andy f*ck*in Murray.

      That said, if your going to wait for Scottish school to hang portraits of the king on classroom walls so that adults and students adults can indulge themselves in the traditional ritualistic anglophobic abuse that’s become a standard element of our tartan culture, then you’re going to have to wait for a long time. Our educators are hell-bent on cultivating a culture that’s considerably less cringeable.

  11. WT says:

    Below are three references to the offending verse that, bizarrely, is being discussed here. I don’t know who to believe, The Times, the BBC or HAL9000, but I do know when I go to a football game I don’t consult with the oracle on the history or cultural significance of anything around it. I go to watch a game and I pay a fist for it. Generally we get beat. When God Save the King is played I don’t have to think, I know that I don’t like it or what it stands for. The issue is simply God save the king, blah blah blah, long may he reign over us – stop right there. I don’t want to be ruled by a King or a WM parliament. Also, with Britain’s recent foreign policies like invading Iraq and having a go in Afghanistan I don’t want to ‘send him victorious’. I stayed silent and seated in Cinema’s as a child when the GSQ was played and I didn’t know about the sixth verse, I just knew I wanted my country to be separate. I think sometimes the danger is to over intellectualise. Independence is what it is – a struggle for freedom. A struggle to take our place at the top table, to be represented at the UN and to decide our own social and economic policies weighed up by what suits our nation. Does it need to be anything more?
    Mr. McCoist’s rant is just his opinion and I suppose he’s entitled to it just as I am to mine no matter how ill-considered and Ill informed.


    1. 230915 says:

      ‘I think sometimes the danger is to over intellectualise.’

      No, the danger is to under-intellectualise. Unless we make conscious and critically examine the culture that informs or ‘colonises’ our behaviours, we remain enthralled to that culture and all the harmful prejudice and discrimination it can instill in us.

      The struggle for freedom, the struggle to be free from the oppression of colonisation, requires critique, self-examination, and self-criticism. Those who go to football matches to enjoy them without questioning the history or cultural significance of the often hateful behaviours that surround them are hardly liberated.

    2. Nationalism is Nationalism. No matter the colour says:

      It’s their anthem, not ours.

      Respect their choice.

      It’s not hard.

      Yes, they should respect Scotland’s anthem – including the bit that bangs on about sending them home, years before our king became their king.

      This permanent victim complex is extremely boring.

      1. 230916 says:

        ‘This permanent victim complex is extremely boring.’

        Yes, but it’s an effective populist ‘grudge-and-grievance’ device. If you continually spin people narratives that cast them as ‘victims’, there’s a good chance will eventually develop a victim complex, which makes them in turn more susceptible to demagoguery and elect you, the wiseguy, as their saviour. It’s what politicians do; they whip up fear and/or resentment among us as ‘victims’, which they can then exploit in their pursuit of power.

        ‘Flower of Scotland’ is a fine example of a patriotic victim narrative. The Corries specialised in such victim narratives back in the day, when they weren’t singing overtly racist songs like their ‘humorous’ version of ‘Scotland the Brave’.

  12. Wul says:

    Any chance of a Crowdfunder to pay for an “Ignore” button on Bella’s comments pages?

    1. 230915 says:

      There’s nae need for a button, Wul. Juist ignore it. I’m forever ignoring things I dinnae want ti read. It’s juist background noise.

  13. Nationalism is Nationalism, no matter what the flag is says:

    Christ, he’s allowed an opinion.

    It was once also Scotland’s anthem. The fact England haven’t changed it is up to them, they don’t feel like they need to. For me, Jerusalem is a better song, but whatever.

    Anthems of visiting teams should be respected. Sadly both England and Scotland have a tradition of not doing that. Was the booing of Ireland’s anthem at Hampden (I was there and disgusted by it) anything to do with “deference” or was it just boring, hard N nationalism that we – a county that inflicted colonialism on Ireland – need rid of.

    Scotland and Scottish people need to stop being kids in glass houses. As do the English. As bad as each other, as ever.

    If we’re ever to move on from the past, respecting our neighbours and their right to have the anthem of their choosing, is part of it.

    For anyone tempted to bang on about the long lost “rebellious Scots” line. Maybe if our own anthem didn’t bang on about something that happened years before our king became their king, we’d have a point.

    1. 230916 says:

      ‘It was once also Scotland’s anthem.’

      Indeed, at the height of it’s popularity in the 18th century, everyone in the British Isles had a version as their anthem. Even the Jacobites petitioned God to save their king and send him victorious, while loyal Scots petitioned him to aid General Wade (a Leinsterman) in crushing their rebellious counterparts.

      And its popularity extended far beyond the British Isles. The melody continues to be used for the national anthem of Liechtenstein, ‘Oben am jungen Rhein’ and the royal anthem of Norway, ‘Kongesangen’. It’s used for the American patriotic song ‘My Country, ‘Tis of Thee’. In Switzerland, it is known as “Rufst du, mein Vaterland”. It was also belted out as the imperial anthem of Russia from 1816 to 1833, ‘The Prayer of Russians’, and as the national anthem of the German Empire from 1871 to 1918, ‘Heil dir im Siegerkranz’ .

    2. John says:

      Pompous nonsense from someone with a pompous name.
      It’s a football match – booing an anthem is small beer compared to some of the songs sung.
      Would I personally boo GSK – not now but I did when I was younger along with thousands of others at Hampden & Murrayfield (I voted Labour at that time.)
      Do I think that England should use UK anthem when other home nations do not – no because it perpetuates the issue of English & British being used as same which many outside England find irritating and disrespectful.
      Liverpool fans booed GSTK at FA Cup Final and I don’t object to people booing it because as we found out last year the ability to express anti monarchy sentiments are very restricted in this country.
      Is Ally McCoist allowed to express unhappiness with people booing GSTK – of course he is. Is he correct asa football pundit to tie this in with politics- No he is not.

  14. Marybel Tracey says:

    I think as an english born person I can speak for what stands for the English National Anthem at the football. It’s a let us be loyal to a wonderful king/ queen ditty. As I am not a royalist it does nothing for me. I escaped the country during the coronation weekend and I remain seated when it is ever being sung. It is not an anthem to me but a subservient rhyme. As to O Flower of Scotland we have a more rousing tune which people sing with gusto I do agree. However the anthem which makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up is the Welsh and I haven’t a drop of Welsh blood in me.The French sure stir the blood with Le Marseillaise. As to respect to some extent I agree that respect should be shown but that cuts both ways. And as I once declared respect, true respect is earned, not demanded.

    1. Booourns says:

      Agree respect is earned, but both sides are going to say that and continue booing. It just strikes me as pathetic.

      And what did the Irish do to not earn the respect when their anthem was booed at hampden earlier in the year?

      If people want to boo to get an upper hand on atmosphere, they should just admit that’s the reason rather than attempting to tie it to some political point.

  15. Frank Mahann says:

    How can anyone expect atheists or republicans to sing God Save the King?

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