England is in the grip of a real crisis of confidence and appears to suffering a gargantuan sense of humour failure.
The Scots don't want you to win the World Cup and quite a number of them have said so when questioned in public. So what??
The rivalry and competition between the English and Scots has been the enduring cement in holding together the most effective and successful political union in history. The products of this rivalry are and have always been most evident on the battlefield. As an ex Army officer, formerly of a Scottish Regiment (kilts and all!), I know well that we excel as a nation because a little healthy competition drives us on to achieve bigger and better things. And yes, I unashamedly derive great satisfaction and pride in the history and achievements of this fabulous nation, especially as I have contributed in a small but direct way myself.
The trouble is that, over the past decade or so, competition has been all but stamped out of our society. It is an embarrassment to beat others, and woe betide if you appear to revel in it when it happens. An entire generation has grown up with no understanding of winning and losing and none of the experience of expressing those emotions. No wonder we fear hooliganism.
I am genuinely a mixture of all our national entities in birth, blood and upbringing. I am as British as they come and I am highly competitive.
I sympathtise with the Scots. They can't stand the thought of the English going on about it for a decade if you win!! They are miserable because the glory days of Souness and Dagleish are long gone. And they are your greatest rivals. They want you to lose.
So England, stop weeping and moaning and stop reading the Race Relations Act to each other and waving writs. Recover your sense of humour, recover your competitive spirit, pride and reputation and bloody well get on and win the thing. That'll shut them up (begrudgingly!).