Why the “Three Lions” World Cup chocolate bar is upsetting the Scots

It seems at least one major company has decided to stir up a little World Cup media publicity – by annoying the Scots. Not content with politely ignoring Scotland’s failure to qualify for the tournament in South Africa, a feat accomplished by southern softies England with little trouble, Mars has launched a new logo on its famous chocolate bar which is causing quite a fuss north of the border.

The report I saw just yesterday makes uncomfortable reading for Scots. They are complaining about England’s Three Lions logo appearing on “the famous sweet bar three months before the 2010 World Cup kicks off”. Fair enough.

A spokesperson for the Association of Tartan Army Clubs is quoted as saying “They are treating the UK as if it’s England,” which obviously it isn’t. I was still with the writer at this point.

Then the very same person goes on to claim “Any Scots with any thoughts of supporting England are completely fed-up by the time the England team take to the pitch. It’s overkill.” I had to read that sentence a few times before its implications sank in.

Then we read about a Glasgow sports store which is doing a brisk trade in advance orders for the new England away strip. Strangely there is no mention of stag trips by parties of guffawing Englishmen or English students looking for clothing which is guaranteed to earn them a kicking on nights out in Paisley. Scots people, it seems, may be responsible for these advance orders.

I’m getting mixed signals. Scotsmen and presumably women who may be considering supporting England in the World Cup. Sports shops selling England strips. Chocolate sold without the batter we are told makes it a best seller in Scotland. Any of these has me worried. Put them all together and I fear for the long term future of Scotland. What is the world coming to when even people north of the border are contemplating cheering England on while wearing an England strip and munching a batter-free chocolate bar?

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