The Spanish know how to celebrate

Unlike the English . . .

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I have written already about the relative merits of Britishness and Englishness in relation to football, proposing a UK team, and I was told off in various quarters for being a naughty boy.

So I won't expand at great length on the relief I felt last night that England was not in the final, given the ugly havoc the side's presence would have thrown up on our streets, except to say that I happened to be in a Spanish restaurant during the final between Holland and Spain. The atmosphere was friendly, warm and generous. When Spain scored its late winner, there was hugging and dancing and flag-waving, but with none of the screaming, aggression or violence that accompanies England games.

The experience made me think about what it is to be English these days.

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
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