In case you are in the most remote part of the UK right now, you’ll be well aware that Andy Murray takes to Centre Court today aiming to be the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title in 76 years.
As unseemly as it is to daub party colours over any apolitical sports star, the number of Google hits SNP Tactical Voting used to get linking the tennis ace to a certain Nationalist political party was nothing short of extraordinary and, as far as I’m aware, entirely without base.
Notwithstanding, it is difficult to not view David Cameron’s decision to raise a Saltire above 10 Downing Street as partly political as well as patriotic. With twenty million people expected to be rooting for Andy today in front of the tv, it is inevitable of course that politicians would seek to muscle in and identify themselves with that aspiration and success.
We are still two years away from the referendum and I suspect most Scottish sporting and tv celebrities will go out of their way to make sure their comments are not dragged into the debate as either being for or against a Yes vote. Andy Murray’s stock will go stratospheric if he wins today, it’ll remain seriously high even if he loses, but for how long can he remain neutral with politicians looking to claim him as their own?
I personally don’t see why someone who happens to be good at hitting a tennis ball should have more sway over how people should vote in an election, or makes bras for that matter, but that is the reality of the 21st century.
Politicians of both sides of the independence debate will doubtlessly remain on the edge of their seats, after today’s result, when Andy Murray faces questions from all sorts of press with all sorts of intentions.
As far as I’m concerned, it’s not about winning today, it’s the not being taken apart that counts.