Not very sporting Alex…

Sunday, May 20th, 2007 @ 8:22PM

I was genuinely really sad to read today that Alex Salmond has signalled his intention to sign up Scotland for its own Olympic team. It transpires that he’s not even discussed the plans with his own cabinet, let alone had the opportunity to debate it in the parliament and seek the views of the Scottish people with an open consultation process.

During the election campaign, Tony Blair made a keynote speech at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange to audience of local business men, party members and rather randomly, Scottish members of the British Judo Team. One of my friends took the opportunity to chat to them and find out what they thought about the election. They were first of all, so proud to be part of the British Olympic team. They argued that the high levels of competition to get into the team made them work all the harder and made the result all the sweeter. They’d made great friends and travelled all over Europe together. The had grumbles about the amount of funding their team got and hoped that Scotland would win the bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games so that additional cash came all the faster, but they didn’t want independence.

Winning the 2012 London Olympics was a British success, with tens of thousands of Scots demonstrating their support on the official website. I remember listening to the live result at work - 8 or 9 of us all hoarded around a computer screen struggling to hear the radio. We screamed and jumped with joy at the result. Such a fantastic achievement. I was proud to be British that day, just as I was proud to be Scottish just a few days before when the Make Poverty History march rode through the streets of Edinburgh.

Hosting the Olympics is a success that the whole country should celebrate. It will inspire the youth of today to become the champions of tomorrow and will also unite the whole country in a sense of community and sporting endeavour - I want to be a part of that as a British Citizen.

It’s not the colour of the sporting t-shirt that makes us Scottish, it’s the history, traditions, culture and beliefs that we share. I don’t need Scotland the Brave playing when we win to make me any surer of that fact.

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