A small minority of Rangers fans are a "disgrace" who could have jeopardised England's bid to host the 2018 football World Cup, Gordon Brown warned today.First, I find it odd that our PM should immediately think of linking the trouble in Manchester with something ten years away. Why did he do that? Is it because his priority is to keep England "on side" (his side of course) rather than making suitable observations about the events themselves?
Second, I wonder how many English viewers were bemused to see so many Union Jacks being waved by Scottish fans in scenes reminiscent of Wembley in 1966. But I seem to recall reading somewhere that Glasgow was one of the top markets for sales of England football shirts. That's certain to confuse certain English bloggers for weeks...
Third, let's suppose that Brown's fears come to pass. Imagine England losing the right to host the World Cup because of the actions of Scottish fans who support the union with England albeit being even more passionate about the one with Northern Ireland. It's enough to confuse most people! But the quality of history teaching these days is such that plenty of English folk would blame Scotland as a whole despite the fact that the Scottish national team is usually supported by everyone except Rangers (and Celtic) fans whose predominant loyalties lie elsewhere.
Wouldn't it be bizarre were an England that had lost the right to host the World Cup respond by kicking Scotland out of the Union even though the Scots in Manchester were the most pro English ones that one could find? Stranger things have happened.