Scots hold English-bashing contest during World Cup

The Scottish media and establishment have been getting their knickers in a twist over England's place in the World Cup.

The issue is occupying acres of space in the Scottish tabloids, led by bitter rivals the Daily Record and The Scottish Sun. Most of the anti-English feeling is directed against the media for its alleged jingoism and 1966 obsession, with the BBC's John Motson singled out for criticism.

The tartan media frenzy comes on the back of an official warning from the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE)

Scotland that the World Cup must not be used by Scotland fans as an excuse for anti-English racism.

The CRE intervention gave Scottish newspapers a field day, with Daily Record columnist Bob Shields handed a whole page — under the heading: "Reading this page could be an offence" — for a jingoistic guide on World Cup pub etiquette, ending with the advice: "On leaving the pub, if England win: Say nothing, run home… and throw up."

The Scottish Sun's campaign got off to a nervous start when its English parent paper allowed columnist and former

editor Kelvin MacKenzie to launch an anti-Scottish tirade. This was prompted by the Scots tennis star Andy Murray making a throwaway joke about wearing a Paraguay shirt when the South Americans play England.

MacKenzie slammed Scots as "mean and morose" and "dim" — muttering darkly about economic subsidies from England. But despite his column not being carried in Scotland, The Scottish Sun tried to limit the damage swiftly, pulling in The Sun's Scots-born TV

columnist Ally Ross to redress the balance in a leader-page article.

Ross promptly did the business, declaring: "The reason Andy Murray, a lot of Scots and many other nationalities don't like the Eng-er-land football team has nothing to do with economics or politics. Its simply down to the fact that there's nothing about them that is remotely likeable.

"Not the players. Certainly not the English fans, who've spent the best part of 30 years causing havoc across the world… but above all not the incredibly touchy, 1966-obsessed English media who jump down the throat of a 19-year-old lad making a light-hearted remark at their expense."

The Daily Record got in on the act with relish, claiming MacKenzie's outburst had not been picked up by the English media and pointing out: "It was obviously too hot for the Scottish edition, which did not carry it."

By Monday, The Scottish Sun was feverishly promoting a CD called "The Trinidad and Tobago Tartan Army".

It is also running a daily "66-ometer"

asking readers to email "any gratuitous mentions of that glorious day".

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