Melanie Ried in The Times, third item:

Celtic connection

I feel sorry for English rugby fans, because they miss out totally on the camaraderie of the oppressed and the beaten. Even when they are actually beaten.

The Scots, of course, are expert in the dark art of finding the fellowship of the fallen everywhere they go.

When the beaten renegades returned from the game in Paris last week, one group was dizzy with the joy of being asked to partake of Basque hospitality in the French capital.

After the game, deep in the city – “Don’t ask us where, we haven’t a clue” – the Scots were locked into a Basque pub and embraced as fellow outcasts and rebels from the Celtic fringe. Drink was drunk, food was offered and Flower of Scotland sung in Basque. “And no French or English people were allowed in the door,” my informant told me happily.

Talk about the eternal curse of empire