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Andy Murray’s SPOTY victory could help the IndyRef NO campaign

December 16th, 2013

Sport is very much part of national identity

If you don’t believe that sport and politics are intricately linked just look at the Tweet above from the Mail’s Matt Chorley a few minutes after Andy Murray’s historic victory at Wimbledon in July. That Cameron was pictured against the backcloth the Saltire next to a smiling Alex Salmond was widely seen as a political coup for the SNP leader.

Clearly this had been worked out in advance and the shots went round the world.

Sport plays a huge part in the politics of identity which is very much what the referendum is about.

That election is now less than nine months away and I’ve been pondering what will be the political impact of a Murray huge SPOTY victory, with 55% of the vote, is likely to have.

My view is that it’ll help the unionist side.

For this annual jamboree is very much a British thing relating to all parts of the Kingdom which I’d suggest reinforces the notion of “Britishness” in Scotland as well as elsewhere.

Just think what would have happened if Murray had been defeated in last night’s vote. It would have have been portrayed as a rebuff to Scotland which the YES campaign would have been able to exploit.

Mike Smithson

Blogging from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble since 2004