Let’s hope Lit­tle Eng­lan­ders don’t use Scots as ex­cuse to cause trou­ble

The Herald - Herald Sport - - FOOTBALL -

THE one thing rarely, if ever, said about the Na­tional So­cial­ist Ger­man Work­ers Party is that they dressed re­ally smartly.

Sure, the Nazis, to af­ford them their catchier ti­tle, killed peo­ple on the ba­sis of race, re­li­gion, sex­u­al­ity, eth­nic­ity, na­tion­al­ity and for any one of a thou­sand other rea­sons in be­tween, but you could take one home to meet the par­ents know­ing their ap­pear­ance would im­press.

I bring up such fas­cist fash­ion ob­ser­va­tions be­cause th­ese days those who refuse to be­lieve Adolf Hitler and his hench­man might have been the bad­dies look any­thing but the master race.

When old Adolf spoke about Ger­many tak­ing over the world, he did so know­ing that his army were young, trim, tough and ready for a fight. They wouldn’t have got any­where near Paris had the Wehrma­cht been fat, drunk and wear­ing only denim shorts.

That’s the big­gest prob­lem with to­day’s Nazis – they are slobs as well as racist. Stan­dards re­ally have dropped in the far-right com­mu­nity.

In Dort­mund last week, on the day some pa­thetic lone ter­ror­ist at­tempted to threaten our way of life, Ger­many played Eng­land in a friendly match.

The vis­it­ing fans were clearly af­fected by events back in the cap­i­tal city with many of them spend­ing the days drink­ing, swear­ing, mak­ing the lives of the lo­cals a liv­ing hell, singing songs about both World Wars, the IRA, the Pope and all man­ner of garbage deemed ac­cept­able banter.

And dur­ing the Ger­man na­tional an­them, they held out their arms to rep­re­sent the Bat­tle of Bri­tain planes.

Of course, those pic­tured in­dulging in such hi­lar­i­ous wit tended to be bald, fat and badly dressed. Tat­tooed as well, which al­most goes with­out say­ing, as th­ese mouth-breathers have de­cided evo­lu­tion is for other peo­ple and they pre­fer to read the riot act than read books.

Th­ese brave Brits never fought in a war. Un­less you con­sider smash­ing up a café in Mar­seille as be­ing in bat­tle.

They claim to be pa­tri­otic ex­cept many of them were caught mak­ing Nazi salutes to the be­mused but quite pos­si­bly not sur­prised lo­cals whose fam­i­lies, let’s be clear, would have been far hap­pier that Hitler came a crop­per than any­one liv­ing in Bri­tain.

The trav­el­ling English fans do this quite a lot. They sing about bomb­ing Ger­mans and then pay trib­ute to those Al­lies who fought in the war by Sieg Heil­ing. Of all the “C” words you could use to de­scribe this lot, con­fused is the one I shall choose for this fam­ily news­pa­per.

This isn’t some anti-English rant. In con­trast, I have good friends who go to al­most ev­ery Eng­land away game and they tell me the rise of the right over Europe is be­ing re­flected among a large sec­tion of their sup­port­ers who, to be fair, have more or less been well-be­haved for some years.

The guys I know still en­joy the jaunts. It’s easy enough to get away from the pubs where trou­ble might hap­pen and wan­der the streets in some far off city en­joy­ing all that is good in the world.

But then they get to the game and songs with lyrics such as “If it wasn’t for us you’d be Krauts” get an air­ing from pissed-up sim­ple­tons who were born decades af­ter the war.

“The old racist stuff has slowly crept back in,” one who was in Ger­many told me with a sigh.

The FA have threat­ened sanc­tions against Eng­land fans, with chair­man Greg Clarke de­scrib­ing the chant­ing in Dort­mund as “in­ap­pro­pri­ate, dis­re­spect­ful and dis­ap­point­ing.”

We shall see what hap­pens, but it will prob­a­bly be noth­ing.

Eng­land and their sup­port­ers will be in Glas­gow on June 10 for a now much-an­tic­i­pated World Cup qual­i­fier. The game is on a Satur­day with a 5pm kick-off. I am be­gin­ning to get a bit wor­ried.

What with Brexit, a sec­ond in­de­pen­dence ref­er­en­dum and cer­tain out­lets down south trot­ting out the line that us Scots are all scroungers and have been steal­ing from the English for years, is it too far a leap to think that this will aid some of the more hard of think­ing Lit­tle Enger­lan­ders to see their trip north as an ex­cuse to go look­ing for trou­ble?

I hope I’m wrong, I of­ten am, and I do feel for de­cent Eng­land fans, my mates, who want to drink some beer, have a laugh and find out what hag­gis pakora is.

But there are many – way too many – who will be­come all Butcher of Cum­ber­land once pass­ing Carlisle and bring out the of­fen­sive song sheet and 1939 arm ges­tures.

What was it Gareth South­gate, the Eng­land man­ager, said just the other day? “I al­ways say be­ing an is­land saved us in 1945, I’m not so sure it’s helped us ever since.” Quite.

CROWD TROU­BLE: Shirt­less fans drape flags and make of­fen­sive ges­tures in Dort­mund as Eng­land took on Ger­many in a ‘friendly’.

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