Leading article: Great Scot

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The Independent Online

Events, as has often been noted, develop their own momentum: suddenly, everything seems to be going, irresistibly and irreversibly, one way. And so, at the end of a week which produced that rare public spectacle, the sight of Gordon Brown's teeth, comes another revelation to warm the heart of any Hibernian: where Manchester United and Chelsea now play once echoed to the cries and clashes of that essentially and fearsomely Scottish pursuit with sticks and a ball, Shinty. As the balance of power shifts, now it can be told.

Indeed, if we hadn't been so often reassured that such practices are grossly exaggerated, we might think the timing of this reminder of a shared culture more than merely coincident with yesterday's ringing defence by Mr Brown of Britishness. Others, noting this week's GQ Outstanding Achievement Award to that most celebrated of Anglo Scots, Rod Stewart, will doubtless discern a pattern involving stripes of varying widths and colours crossed at right angles.

For our part, we now appreciate why Sirs Matt and Alex and their other distinguished countrymen have been so at home; and we are also beginning to wonder, given his form, about Mr Mourinho's possible Glaswegian antecedents. Meanwhile, you should confidently expect to see several equally southern-based backbenchers in shorts practising shots with the caman imminently.

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