It wasn’t just the craven jingoism oozing from every sweaty tartan pore. It wasn’t even the anti English lyrics spewing out of the Murrayfield sound system, courtesy of the tartan duo, 'The Proclaimers'. The lighting was a bit over the top though. Subdued when England trotted out, it exploded into life when the Scots appeared. It was all Hallelujah chorus and lightening bolts, I mean, was it the Scottish rugby XV taking to the field or was it Jesus, his 12 disciples, the Pope and Mary Magdalene about to play England? The National Anthems were a bit of a pain… God, how I wish we had one.
All that I could stand – even the result didn’t unduly concern me. England lost, Scotland played well, I can handle that…. I mean, it’s a game for God’s sake - it’s not a war is it?…..
Well to view the pre-game ‘entertainment' you’d think we were still in the Middle Ages. It’s Scotland versus England again – so let’s all don the woad, dress in the tribal tartan, dig out the claymores, clubs and dirks – and lets go and hunt invading Englishmen. There they all were – on the rugby pitch at Murrayfield doing the old ‘Braveheart’ routine. Instead of teenage majorettes with pom-poms, I watched a group of dressed up weirdos doing a little re-enactment of the battle of Stirling Bridge, where William Wallace beats the invading English…
And that is what really sodding well bugs me. With Scotland and the Scottish psyche, it’s all about England – a big ugly, bullying, teutonic neighbour constantly invading Scotland, a little noble Country trying very hard to mind its own business…….
And, according to them, it has always been so, hasn’t it? They’re always quoting Stirling Bridge, Bannockburn, Dunbar, Falkirk, Wallace, and Essex boy Robert the Bruce as examples of English aggression, because it’s all one way, right?
No, actually, it ain’t….
I’ve been delving into a few history books – you’ll be surprised just how many times the wild men from the north have sallied south to try and grab a piece of dear old Albion.
It’s quite a list….
Scots invade Northumbria and win at the battle of Carham in 1018 – thus annexing all Northumbrian and hence English land stretching from Edinburgh to the River Tweed.
King Malcolm III of Scotland invades England in 1093 his army is beaten and he is at killed at the battle of Alnwick.
King David of Scotland invades England in 1138 – and is beaten at the battle of The Standard.
Scots invade and start pillaging and stuff in Northumberland. An English army meets them at the battle of Halidon Hill – Although the Scots outnumber the English, 14,000 to 9,000 - they are soundly spanked, losing 4,500 troops killed to English fatalities of just 15.
King David II of Scotland invades England in1346 and is beaten and taken prisoner at the battle of Neville’s Cross
The battle of Otterburn in 1388 – Earl Douglas and his Scots army invade England and defeats Harry Hotspur and his English army.
The battle of Humbleton Hill in 1402. Hotspur gains revenge in the return leg, this fixture as per all the others, also played on English soil due to the fact that the Scots had invaded - yet again
King James IV of Scotland invades England in 1513 and is beaten and killed at the battle of Flodden Field in Northumberland.
Then there’s the Scottish interference during the English civil war - and that posh French prat, Bonnie Prince Charlie and his mad excursion down to Derby – and of course, not forgetting the current campaign of Westminster occupation by the Scottish Raj….
One day, the Scots are going to lose their misty, one-eyed skewed view of history and grow up. It is no wonder that south of the border, attitudes are hardening towards our northern neighbours – who knows, maybe next season, at Twickenham, we'll have a re-enactment of a noble English army bravely defending our homeland against an aggressive Scotland, after all, there’s plenty of battles to have a go at….