Creating a GB football team for the 2012 Olympics is a cheap stunt. Nobody bothered at previous Olympics and nobody will bother at future Olympics; it’s just another example of desperate bicep-flexing by the hideously bloated corporate orgy of the London Olympics, currently going into hyperdrive in the countdown to next year’s instantly forgettable fortnight.
The most interesting aspect of it seems to have gone unnoticed. A GB football team requires the amalgamation, and thus loss of identity, of three separate components – England, Scotland and Wales – yet there has not been a whisper of dissent or any expression of the slightest qualm in one of those component parts: England. From the outset “England” has instantly transformed into “GB” without breaking stride, positioning Scotland and Wales as ancilliary and subservient. The English governing body, the FA, is actually one of the prime drivers of the scheme and is entirely in favour, in stark contrast to the opposition of their Scottish and Welsh equivalents, the SFA and the FAW. Scottish and Welsh fans fear the permanent loss of their independent status in football; whereas to English fans, without exception, no such concern has crossed their minds. English players who might get selected for a GB team have zero conflict of interest and not even an issue to be addressed, unlike their Scottish and Welsh equivalents who are automatically put on the spot and required to make an either/or choice. Indeed to the English overall a GB team is, if anything, a good idea, because it allows the (English) manager to select from a larger pool of players. There is no controversy, no tricky questions of identity to ponder and, in fact, no problem at all. Why? Because, to the English, “Britain” and England” are the same thing.
Here then is concrete evidence straight from the horse’s mouth of what is normally concealed by the British state: England is Britain. How could it not be, when England comprises 85% of the British population? From this perception it is but a small step to the realisation that, therefore, Britain and Wales are mututally exclusive concepts and contradictions in terms. Sebastian Coe & Co have obligingly confirmed what those of us who call for an independent Wales (a steady 10-15% of the population, entirely unrepresented in the Welsh media) have always known: that the like-it-or-lump-it “Union” with England/Britain abolishes Wales.