British history is fraught with bloodthirsty battles, many of which involved English invasions on Scottish soil. England, a small island that became the greatest colonising nation the world has ever seen, started small – with neighbouring Scotland. Scotland’s battle for independence raged for years and the English were hated.
Who can forget the fate of Mel Gibson’s Sir William Wallace who – when brought before the English magistrates, tried for high treason, and sentenced to execution by public torture and beheading at the Tower of London – even under horrible pain, refused to submit to the king and beg for mercy. In Gibson’s historical film, awed by Wallace’s courage, the Londoners watching the execution yell for mercy, and the magistrate offers Wallace one final chance. Using the last strength in his body, a defiant Wallace instead shouts, in an unforgettable cinematic moment, “Freedom!” just as he is about to be beheaded.
Braveheart honours the stoicism of Scottish patriots and berates the English for their greed. Attitudes die hard…
Yet, along comes Andy Murray; tennis superstar and the great hope of Wimbledon 2011. And history repeats itself; England attempts to appropriate the Scottish dream. The English have no tennis player of note to call their own, so under the great British flag, the English call Andy Murray ‘theirs.’ Bless ‘em. As is often the case with sport; we lend support to the team we think will win.Guaranteed, if Murray loses the tennis star will again belong to Scotland.
Here’s a poignant irony of which to take cognisance; Andy Murray bears the same name as Sir Andrew Murray, the son of William Wallace’s comrade in arms, who fought for Scottish freedom in The Second War of Independence.
Dear England; get your own hero.