"They hate us as much as we hate them."

Let’s just admit it: Rivalries are good.

king's rivalry ucl varsity

Let’s just admit it: Rivalries are good.


And as an Arsenal supporting Englishman living in Wales I am no stranger towards hostility to your neighbour. Even though I do tire of the constant ‘Stand up if you hate Tottenham’ chant at the Emirates as well as the constant Welsh ‘shit on the English side of the bridge’ mentality, I would not trade them for the world.



In terms of Wales, it is the unity and togetherness of the nation (not seen in England) which makes matches far more enjoyable and almost convinces me to hope for Welsh victory. As for Arsenal, merely liking the club compels you to hate Spurs, making the chant (one of only a few well known Gooners’ chants) bearable.



As a student of History and German, I have long had such theories as Freud’s ‘Narcissism of Small Differences’ shoved down my throat, and it is easy to directly apply here. In the case of human psychology, it is perfectly natural; compulsive even, to have contempt or hostility towards a similar nearby party. It strengthens unity and spirit amongst a group and encourages self improvement in direct comparison with the other.



The hostility seen in such rivalries as that of Arsenal and Spurs, Inter and AC, and Manchester City and United reflects this well, evidently having benefited them in European and domestic form through the course of history.


In the case of UCL’s rivalry with that of (for argument’s sake) the Strand Polytechnic it is very much the same. We seek rivalry with King’s to define our institution, especially since it lies in such a multi-cultural, enormous city where identity is easily lost.


However, it has been said in recent weeks that this rivalry is dwelled upon too much.


I will admit that if you questioned 10 UCL students about the history of our rivalry with King’s, and why not LSE, Imperial or Queen Mary, I am sure little over half would be able to provide a convincing answer. But why not let them jump aboard the ‘hate King’s’ bandwagon? I did and most UC students did not shy away either. Whether it be due to our superior standing in the university league tables, better London location or even just more attractive specimen, why restrict it?


This rivalry is just about the only thing which provides the UCL student body with that much needed unity; the unity which we somehow lack in comparison to other leading UK institutions. And without it you can be sure our university would not be the same.