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11 June 2006

Double standards

Scots join World Cup party - Sunday Times - Times Online reports the issue of Scots supporting, or not, England during the World cup. I have already blogged about this.

Comments such as:

In schools across the country, pupils have been warned they face expulsion for making anti-English remarks during the tournament.

are completely unhelpful.

One would have thought that in the interests of fairness that the same punishment, whatever it is, is handed out regardless of which team people are speaking out against (if any). One would also hope that any discrimination and racism is also dealt with in a consistent manner regardless of whether a football tournament is taking place in Germany or not.

In a similar vein, the article continues

A similar poll of 3,500 Scottish Gas employees revealed that just one in 10 wants England to win and the Scottish crew of a Royal Navy aircraft carrier are said to have been incensed when they were ordered to line up on deck in formation to spell out "England expects". One said he would rather cut off his own limbs.

Rather an over-reaction, however if the crew of the ship were asked to line up and say "We support Christianity" one might suppose that those with different religious preferences would have something to say about it and there would likely be outrage from the Moslem community.

Why then is religious difference of opinion acceptable in the armed forces but sporting and national pride has to be subsumed for England?

When these double standards are addressed, then we will be closer to harmony and understanding.

"England Expects" a country of equal opportunity, where differences of opinion are accepted. A country where speaking out for fair treatment should not be misconstrued as being anti-English and a country that accepts the consequences of a kingdom made up of four distinct nations.

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