Donald Trump is eligible to play soccer for Scotland. The rules of the sport clearly state that a player is free to represent the country of either parent’s birth.
As his mother is Scottish, there is nothing, technically, to prevent Donald John Trump scampering around the world’s soccer fields while proudly wearing the dark-blue shirt of his maternal country.
Of course, it’s ridiculous to think that a 70-year-old man with no knowledge or experience of the sport would ever be remotely considered for selection at the highest level. I mean, how could anyone who is absolutely and totally unsuited to such a lofty position come even close to … oh, hang on. …
As a Scot, though, I can’t help wondering what would have happened if President Trump had settled on his mother’s side of the Atlantic and achieved the equivalent political success in my native country.
I’m guessing there would be a wall on our southern border to keep the English out. Actually, this has been done before but for different reasons. A couple of thousand years ago, the Romans, having conquered most of England, decided that the Scots were an extremely annoying race and erected a huge wall to keep them on the northern side.
It must be said that it worked pretty well. The structure remained mostly unscathed, apart from some less-than-clever graffiti. Not being able to write, the Scots contented themselves with insulting depictions of Italian genitalia. We Scots have never mastered subtlety.
I believe President Trump has a fondness for the Second Amendment—the right to keep and bear arms. This would be tricky in Scotland, where acquiring a gun isn’t easy. I come from the Highlands of Scotland where, like Montana, we have a hunting culture and many of my neighbors legally own licensed shotguns and rifles.
These are typically used on deer, rabbits, hares, ducks and, on one memorable occasion by a friend of mine, a salmon. This is a longish story which involves a shotgun, frustration and a fish in a shallow pool. I like to think that he invented instant Sushi.
I also had a friend who, unable to flush out any standard fare for the pot, once shot a swan. While talking about the incident the following evening in the pub, he’d been informed by his horrified audience that swans were a protected species. His memorable response was that “They may be protected but they’re not f***ing bulletproof.”
But I digress. Handguns are almost unheard of in Scotland and death by shooting is, thankfully, extremely rare. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to paint some kind of idealistic picture of life over here. There is crime and there is violent crime but, I’d like to think, the stringent rules concerning the ownership of firearms mean that the use of guns in crime is kept to an absolute minimum. It’s also difficult to conceal a gun in a kilt.
Regarding foreign policy, it would appear that President Trump has a rather bellicose approach. Now, it’s one thing to take this stance when you’re the leader of a powerful nation with a population numbering over 300 million but a whole different ball game when you can only muster 5 million people.
As Top Banana in Scotland, he would have to be a bit more realistic and avoid upsetting, say, the Chinese. A list of countries that he could insult and flex his muscles at would probably be limited to the likes of Liechtenstein and Monaco. At a pinch, I’d throw in Switzerland. It’s a nation that’s slightly more populous than Scotland but it has a reputation for being docile when it comes to conflict. It’s ripe for bullying and has all sorts of good stuff like money, watches and chocolate. Well worth considering.
Tweeting—something he is clearly passionate about—might also be a problematic area for First Minister Trump of Scotland. We have the technology, of course, but it’s just that nothing much ever happens here. “It’s raining again #trump” is not something, when announced on a daily basis, that would be likely to generate a huge following.
Having said that, I’m not the person to ask about social media as I avoid it as much as is possible. While I appreciate the miracle of this worldwide information service, I’m not convinced it was intended to facilitate the sending of videos about sneezing pandas. But that’s probably just me.
Anyway, all of this is pointless speculation. Donald Trump is not the First Minister of Scotland, he is the president of the United States of America and, for all I know, he may become one of the wisest, most gracious and inspirational leaders in world history.
And it’s probably just as well that he stuck to politics rather than playing soccer for Scotland. Can you imagine what heading a ball would have done to that hairdo?
Roger Kettle lives in Newport-on-Tay, a village not far from St. Andrews on the East coast of Scotland. He has enjoyed a long career as a creator and writer of newspaper comic strips, two of which, “Beau Peep” and “A Man Called Horace,” ran for a combined total of over 60 years. He also wrote “Andy Capp” for 11 years after the death of its creator, Reg Smythe. Roger’s fascination with the history of the Old West has brought him to Montana and Billings six times in the past 24 years.
The accompanying illustration is by a fellow Scot, Steve Bright (Brighty), one of the U.K.’s top cartoonists and a recent nominee for the prestigious “Britain’s Political Cartoonist of the Year” award. You can find much more of his work at his website.