Is an anti-Scottish bandwagon gathering cultural momentum among English middle classes?


What do the English really think of us Scots?  It’s the question that dare not ask itself.  Generally speaking, it’s never a good idea to generalise, especially in a country where the phrase “the English” has become outlawed from everyday usage.  (Scotland is the only place on earth where an entire nation can’t use the collective noun when describing another nation without being frowned upon.  Perhaps this is not a bad thing.  But the reasons behind it are highly selective and less enlightened).

My own experience is that among working class northerners for instance there is great affinity towards Scotland.  And vice versa.  But among a section of the middle classes of the south of England there seems to be a growing churlish resentment.  Not just against our unfathomable desire to hold a referendum on Independence – how could they after all we’ve done for them? – but there is also a less remarked upon cultural prejudice which seeks to actively diminish, marginalise, ignore, block or even mock our cultural output.

Last week on Twitter Greg Hemphill (Still Game, etc) stated that his new comedy series had been approved for production by BBC Scotland bosses after they viewed a pilot episode.  But the BBC national network then chose to cancel it.  I was a bit shocked by this and when myself (and comic book writer Mark Millar) expressed surprise Greg stated that this is standard practice at the BBC: “every show BBC Scotland make has to have “network transferability”.  So it has to be supported down there.”  So there you have it from one of Scotland’s most successful comedy writers/actors of recent years.  BBC Scotland’s output has to come with a stamp which says: Approved By London

A couple of days ago the Fort William-based children’s writer Barry Hutchison, author of the popular Invisible Fiends series for the over 9s, tweeted: “Chilled by the number of English booksellers I met last week who hadn’t bought in my books because they thought they’d be “Scottish stuff”.”  He added that he was surprised since it was northern bookshops where this occured rather than London ones.

From anecdotal and personal experience I’ve found this to be a long-standing problem for Scottish writers.  Publishers and bookshops regularly discriminate against Scots especially when a work is set in Scotland or uses a Scots language.  I recognise this situation from my time in the publishing industry in the 1990s  with Rebel Inc.  Apparently the situation has gotten worse.  If a writer is from Kenya, Canada, Italy, Belarus or Mexico City there is more chance of them getting a book deal, effective distribution, nomination for major awards, or national media reviews in England than there is for a new emerging voice from Scotland.  Of course there are exceptions but that doesn’t necessarily detract from the overall trend.

Recently our own columnist George Gunn has written to me privately about an unhappy experience he had when submitting a play – written in the Caithness tongue – to an English-based theatre company.  They suggested submitting it to a theatre company in Scotland where the language might be understood.

Scots have never displayed such antipathy to cultural output from England.  The exact opposite has been the case. Whether its TV soaps in Cockney or Mancunian; or the films of Loach, Leigh, Meadows; or the plays of Shakespeare, we love them all and enjoy them for what they are.  Scots have always looked outwards culturally, without prejudice.  So what the hell is wrong with the English middle classes – the people who control the important gateways in publishing, TV and bookshops – that they can’t do likewise?

(As an aside I’d love to see a breakdown of the takings for Pixar’s film Brave between various countries, in comparison to England, just to see how far the anti-Scottish prejudices go, or dont go.)

Perhaps I’ve called this wrong.  Perhaps these narrow-minded prejudices are not predominant south of Hadrians Wall. Perhaps cultural works from or about Scotland are widely consumed, adored and championed in middle England.  I would appreciate if writers and others involved in cultural output could set the record straight, either way.  Write to us at Bella and let us know, either in the Comments box below, or privately via email.

Kevin Williamson

(To help understand the current mindset of Little Englanders here is an article printed in Der Daily Mail yesterday.  See what you think. A chill pill before reading is strongly advised!)

A reaction to Scottish resentment: Why English support for Andy Murray was not all it might have been

By NIGEL JONES (Daily Mail, 9th July 2011)

Though no tennis fan, Andy Murray’s gallant attempt to oust Wimbledon’s king Roger Federer from his throne has prompted me to ponder weighty matters that go far beyond sport into history, patriotism, and the ancient ethnic loves and hatreds uniting – but more often dividing –  England and Scotland.

In the wake of Murray’s defeat, some Scots have voiced well-grounded dark suspicions that the loyalty of many English tennis enthusiasts to Andy, the first Briton to reach the Men’s final since ‘Bunny’ Austin in 1938, was at best lukewarm. Indeed a good few English fans  – judging by their Twitter and Facebook remarks –  went so far as supporting his triumphant Swiss opponent. So why should this be so?

It is clearly not Murray’s less bankable personal characteristics that are at the root of the problem. He is – or was until yesterday – the personification of the Scottish stereotype of dourness that caused PG Wodehouse to famously remark that ‘It is never difficult to distinguish between a ray of sunshine and a Scotsman with a grievance’.

Many – perhaps most – other male tennis stars of various nationalities display the same traits of moodiness, irascibility, dullness and general all-round ill humour without it adversely affecting their popularity. And Murray’s tear-choked post-match speech on court showed that even this stony-faced maestro of misery is capable of raw human emotion when the occasion demands it.

No, Murray’s problem with the public is not personal – it is political. Or to put it even more rawly, it is ethnic. He is a proud and patriotic Scot, and as such is, ipso facto, an enemy of England, the dominant nation within the increasingly fractious family that make up the British Isles. Leave aside Murray’s reported support for the bitterly anti-English SNP (not the least enjoyable aspect of Sunday’s final was to see the usual smug smile wiped off Alex Salmond’s fat features) and you are still left with a man who, to many English, is simply not one of us. Despite the plethora of Union Flags at Wimbledon, when we think of Andy Murray it is not that symbol of Britishness that first springs to mind – but the separatist saltire of St Andrew.

Human beings are tribal by nature, and despite the artificial Union foisted on England and Scotland by their ruling elites under Scotland’s Stuart dynasty in 1603 ( when James I and VI succeeded Queen Elizabeth I); and a century later in 1707 when the reluctant nations were forced up the aisle in the shotgun wedding that was the Act of Union, the English and Scots remain two divided tribes.

Common – largely commercial – interests, kept the Union show on the road for three centuries as the British Empire rose, ruled, and finally fell. Scottish imperialists were among the most enthusiastic empire builders, provided several Prime Ministers to preside over the Imperial project, and Scottish soldiers and sailors fought alongside their English counterparts in two world wars and countless lesser conflicts.

For their part, the English evinced a sentimental adoration for all things Scottish, from whisky to Scottish shortbread biscuits, and from bagpipe music to Andy Murray’s beloved porridge, culminating with our current ruling House and their enthusiasm for holidaying in the rainy, midge-infested Highlands.

This was always, however, a one way street. There was never a corresponding cult of Englishness in Scotland. The default position of most Scots towards their southern neighbours was one of sullen resentment, interspersed with increasingly frequent spasms of active loathing.

And after the Empire faded into the mists of history, there seemed less and less reason to keep a union, which had always been a marriage of convenience rather than one founded on love, out of the divorce courts.

Despite or because of the manifest advantages to the Scots of having their limping economy subsidised by the hated Sassenachs; despite or because of the one-sided gift of devolution – allowing Scots at Westminster to determine the destiny of England while denying the same say in Scotland’s affairs to the English – Scottish demands for separation under the skilled direction of Alex Salmond have grown and grown.

Now, unsurprisingly, they have at last encountered an English backlash. This can be seen, not only in the scarcely veiled glee with which many English people greeted the victory of Roger Federer; but also in the fact that support for outright Scottish independence in the run-up to the referendum on the subject, is currently stronger south of the border, than it is in Salmond’s native heather, where the pro-Union cause has a 20% lead in the polls as more canny Scots calculate the real cost of abandoning a union that, when all is said and done, has profited them rather well.

As the Scots are belatedly discovering, sullen resentment works both ways, and as they contemplate the increasingly dubious benefits of such a loveless union, it is the English who are discovering the joys of nurturing a sense of righteous grievance.

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  1. Excellent article Kevin. The rascism displayed by media outlets and in particular the BBC is both alarming and disappointing.

    On the subject of our national broadcaster, I’m surprised that a huge stink hasn’t been made from their contribution to the English FA. I understand that they are refusing to divulge the amount. I suspect that if the SFA received a proportionate amount, as per our population, that amount would more than cover any reductions (if at all) by Sky, in relation to the Newco situation.

    I think it is a scandal that they refuse to divulge, bearing in mind they’re owned by the paypayers and other uk FA’s don’t receive their fair share. I’m surprised that the SNP haven’t publicly stated this. What do you think?

    1. Frederick Robinson says:

      BBC (and English) ‘racism’ includes Kirsty Wark, James Naughtie, Andrew Marr, Eddie Mair, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Menzies Campbell – to name but a few. And English in similar positions in Scotland…? My sympathies go to writers rejected by whoever (once had my translation of a Spanish play rejected by Gerry Mulgrew because too ‘neutral’ – i.e. Standard English in tone, as against in a regional, presumably for preference Scottish, dialect; so I know how it feels), but it’s not so long since Irvine Welsh, Iain Banks et al were flavour of the month on both sides of the Border, and I well remember when my native Midlands/North of England were in a like position in the 50s with Stan Barstow, Alan Sillitoe, John Braine, John Wain etc. It’s called fashion: readers tire of a particular style, Live with it. As for the Daily Mail article; it’s quite mild as that rag goes. Having lived/worked in Scotland 1966-96, I personally feel very divided over Andy Murray, I admire his skill enormously, applaud his successes; but my wholehearted support is tainted by the nationalist’s adoption of him as theirs. He’s a talented tennis-player. End of story.

  2. So, Andy, You seem to have really pissed off Nigel Jones and Middle England.
    Well done!

  3. Tracy says:

    Try getting a Scottish fitness book published! I had to do it meself 🙂

    1. Frederick Robinson says:

      English-born, but 30 years in Scotland (wife and daughters still there), within weeks of arriving I was refused purchase of a bag of nails in a hardware shop: ‘You English? Ah dinnae serve English!’ On his window an SNP badge to this effect. Within a year he was out of business (nothing to do with me). I liked/like (even love(d) some) Scots: but answer this – who is seeking independence – Scotland or England?

    2. come on…you’ve only got to stop eating deep fried mars bars…..hardly a book more a sentence….

      1. markyftw says:

        Way to reinforce a negative stereotype man!

  4. James Coleman says:

    Who is this Nigel Jones? He writes like a refugee from the Daily Mail’s or Telegraph’s below the line comments sections. What a load of tripe. Rainy midge infested Highlands? What about the small pond, low hills, mosquito infested district in Cumberland which gets as much rain as a far eastern monsoon?
    Since Mr Jones saw fit to introduce a joke into his diatribe I’ll leave with another gleaned from the aforementioned comments p ages clearly written by a Scotsman and which describes Jones to T. “Q: What’s the difference between an Englishman and an air raid siren? A: You can turn the moaning and whining from the siren off.”

    1. Frederick Robinson says:

      As in ‘Whaur’s yer Wully Shakespeare noo?’ as long ago as (the 18th-century, was it?)

  5. Bob says:

    “Scots have never displayed such antipathy to cultural output from England.”

    Haha, good one.

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    Congratulations to Andy on finally being adopted by the British public. All it took was a few tears as the metaphorical bloodletting to satisfy the middle classes. Of course, by “British public”, we’re not referring to those who tweeted with the #JockPrick hashtag and will likely have laughed at his tears, rather than joining in the emotion. Nor are we taking about the Scottish public, who needed no winning over. I think we all know it doesn’t really mean he Welsh or Northern Irish either.

    So, “British public” means “middle England”, then. Well well, I am surprised!!!

    Kev, I think the phenomenon you refer to is merely evidence that the Empire mindset is alive and well, certainly in a particular section of England. it’s that same looking-down-the-nose attitude which is applied to European music tastes, the “quaint” customs of former colonies and the political systems of other countries, while pretending that the British way is superior – a feat which requires a rather impressive pair of blinkers. You don’t see Geordies or Scousers being subtitled on TV, but Still Game was fair game for the foreign language treatment (I can’t remember if they actually subtitled it, but I know they cut half the episodes from the first series because of the accents).

    People may claim the UK is a family, but if it is, we’re very much the black sheep of that family. The slightly wayward child that no one likes to talk about. We’re not meant to draw attention to ourselves. Just sit down and let middle England do the talking.

    Aye, right. No more!

  7. The real depth of antipathy towards Scotland and Murray can be seen by searching for both ‘Jock’ and the less salubrious ‘Cunt’ on twitter. Naturally this is not the articulation of the English middle classes, rather some febrile brain dead movement of delightful Engerland supporters.

  8. Morag Eyrie says:

    Ooh I have so much to say on this I think I’m going to have to write a Village Aunties post response (not arguing with any of your points, just expanding from my own experience and viewpoint). And, sorry, this has turned into a long comment anyway!

    (1) As someone who is of Scottish parentage and has lived in Scotland for 15 years, but has a Kiwi accent, and who spends a fair amount of time in England for work, I have *long* been aware of exactly how hostile certain sections of English society are to Scotland. They say stuff to me that they may not say in front of an “actual” Scot. I would say that it is *much* more pronounced in the South East, to the point where I heard a lot of really egregious stuff when working in Berkshire for a year recently. Most folk I know in the North (where I am sitting typing right now) are more sympathetic and often express the wish to “come with us” when we leave the Union. However, I am also discerning a growing narkiness and hostility, all of it obviously fuelled by how we are presented in the media in England. I say “obviously” because they parrot stuff they read and hear in the mainstream media.

    (2) Re the tennis: as an ardent tennis fan for about 6 years, I think the article pasted in above is actually incredibly accurate about the attitude of England to Murray even though the writer is clearly gleeful about the shameful state of affairs. I found it stomach-churningly miserable watching Murray’s match because of all the cognitive dissonances: the BBC appearing to pull for Murray as “British”, but not really- and I have many observations to make on this; indeed I was roundly attacked on Twitter for one observation I made about the coverage. The focus on Union Jacks in the crowd but not Saltires. The way large segments of the crowd and indeed the commentators roared for Federer (who despite being Swiss has always been presented as a kind of ideal archetypal English gentleman). The “blood-letting” at the end “winning the hearts” of England (I have to admit I was very moved too, but I am sickened by the way the entire show has been manipulated to promote British unity).

    A lot of folk don’t seem to realise that the BBC has always had a huge role to play in maintaining the Union (and Empire). And that they are extremely aware of that, that they are utilised in that way by the powerful, and that they are really really good at it. I want to write a blog post about the validity of cultural criticism of things like the Wimbledon coverage being just as important as direct critique of politics and news. The way things like Wimbledon are used to manipulate public opinion is powerful, insidious, and nearly invisible to many people.

    1. Chris says:

      Sadly it *is* envy we are seeing. As an Englishman, I can tell you now, the Scottish people are among the nicest around. You can really have a proper slanging match with them, and come away better friends than you were beforehand. You, the Scottish people are not where our “problem” comes from.
      As this has turned out to be a mini essay, here’s a TL;DR to summarise:
      [Thanks to our national and devolved governments foisting unionist propaganda and policies upon us, including financial and democratic disparities, the English are now jealous of the “better deal” that the Scots get. Sadly, this isn’t even a natural phenomenon, it has been engineered by successive governments of both Holyrood and Westminster. All in all it’s like how the British view Americans. When we meet one they are inevitably lovely. However, the only ones we hear about are loudmouths with minority opinions, and all we see is our Government colluding with theirs, and getting butt-f***ed in the process.]

      What it comes from is a combination of things:

      Firstly, financial things. When you look at things like the Barnett formula, Tuition fees (especially how Scots and EU students get in free, but English have to pay full whack- there is a separate issue about pricing for the Welsh and Irish in Scottish universities but that is another topic entirely), prescription charges, nursing home fees, NHS parking fees, it’s clear that life is cheaper for the Scots in many areas. The Barnett formula coming from Westminster, and subsequent policies from Holyrood are really a kick in the teeth- 20% extra spending per capita? For 30 years (Forgive me if that figure is incorrect, thats the figure as I recall it)? Seems a bit steep, especially as it was meant to only last a year.

      Secondly, Rhetoric. Not really a jealousy thing, more of a “how is this our fault?” thing.
      Despite the financial disparity evidenced above, people like Alex Salmond and a plethora of nameless voices cry out about English injustices, and how we’re crippling them, despite the fact that you get more money nowadays. Now yes, I know we have a history, and a somewhat bloody one at that. And yes crimes have been committed against both sides in the past. And yes, during the empire, England did like to repress other cultures other than tea and cricket.
      But thats the thing, its in the past. I did none of these things, yet the rhetoric seems to blame me and my generation as equally as my great great grandfathers. Thankfully that seems to be a minority opinion, it just happens to be shouted the loudest. This is also compounded by similar sentiments from segments of the Welsh populace. Additionally, all this stuff about English ruling everyone else rings hollow when Blair, Bush, and Cameron have all publicly declared their allegiance to Scotland, yet none of the other home nations.

      Thirdly, another jealousy one. Patriotism. Being Scottish is a proud thing, and the Scots are naturally a patriotic people. It is encouraged, and that is a good thing. Same thing with the Welsh, your cultures are deemed PC. However, the realm of English patriotism has been coopted by louts supporting In-ger-land football, and only football. Thanks to decades of unionist propaganda, the English people have been forced to become British, and British alone. England and the English has become a dirty word, wherein our westminster overlords have used class division to drive out English patriotism amongst the middle and upper classes, lest they be seen as “one of those poor people”. Now, with English patriotism returning to the middle classes, it is not what it should be. It’s not about loving your country anymore, its about them bloody foreigners. The English would dearly love to be as patriotic as the scots, without being judged by their peers, society, and the media as scum. Sadly, while the current government and media prevail (It’s not just you thats annoyed with the BBC that everything must be British!), that isn’t going to happen. And so we remain jealous of that.

      Speaking of government, point four. Representation. Now, devolution of powers is a good thing- different cultures have different priorities, and different social needs and wants. Decentralised government can give us that. But it was done incorrectly. The system ended up as a shambling cascade of democratic inequity. The Scots got the best deal with their pariliament, the Welsh, a significantly worse deal. But England was ignored as it is a no-go word in politics. Thus, English politicians rightly have no say in Welsh or Scottish matters. But, matters solely based in England are handled by Westminster, which Scottish and Welsh MPs are entitled to vote in (I believe some half-arsed legislation is coming in to combat this eventually, but it’s not exactly a proper solution sadly). So, lets take the popular example of tuition fees. Ostensibly it affects all of Britain, thus everyone got to vote. But Cardiff and Holyrood had already decided to override it for their students, thus making them safe. If you wanted to save budget money, and your people weren’t going to be affected, how would you vote? Same way any person would, you’d vote yes. For this reason, we need an English Parliament. But the issue is emphatically dismissed by Westminster as it would “break up the union”. Yet again, Westminster causes jealousy and resentment amongst the English.

      Well, that turned out to be a horribly long essay, but I hope it’s answered your question as to why the English are jealous of the Scots, and where the resentment comes from.

      One final thing, there’s a reason Scottish language plays and books aren’t bought below the border… barely anyone down here speaks the language, so it makes no economic sense to sell it.

      1. James Coleman says:

        Your reply was very welcome until you came to the bits about finance when you brought up a number of the things stated by English people which infuriates Scots. Doug Daniels and others above and below have answered most of your points and complaints and shows that Scotland is NOT subsidised by England.
        But still the comments appear in English newspapers above and below the line. And what exasperates me and other Scots the most is the English claim that they are subsidising the Scots. The evidence which shows this to be untrue is now widely available in Public Documents produced and published by Westminster and Holyrood and has even been PUBLISHED by some parts of the English news media, yet there are still some well known ‘journalists’ on major English newspapers who refuse to accept that fact and who continue to produce what can only be called anti-Scottish pap for the English masses. And there also many people like you who will not accept the truth either. Why?

      2. Chris says:

        James, can you link me those documents? Doug daniels does mention these things but fails to cite any verifiable sources.
        See, if you are correct, and the finance bit is untrue, then this adds strong weight to the points about the media. Again, not the people, but the establishments with vested interests twisting things to breed discontent, a’la the class wars that governments are so keen on.

        If I am correct, this is still indicative of a divide and conquer type strategy.

        Long and short of it, England is not your enemy. You are not our enemy. London, is the enemy of us all

      3. James Coleman says:,, and go to Google with Prospective Anglo-Scottish Maritime Boundary Revisited. That lot will set you on the road and go some way to explain the reasons why we are not happy with the current situation.

    2. Chris says:

      (Sorry, posted under the wrong comment)

    3. Ben A says:

      You make a lot of good points. As a patriotic young Englishman I feel that English identity has been demonised by the British Unionists, often in a very subtle way. I wish that I could celebrate my identity is a positive way, but because so often I can’t without being thought a racist, it does tend to cause anger and resentment. Scottish identity is so strong partly because of so many years of being in England’s shadow and because of resentment.

      1. markyftw says:

        I think our culture might be a wee bit stronger due to the repression of aspects in the earlier days of the union and the resulting hegemony of “British” culture which was enforced on us (not just by Westminster but also forces within – people like David Hume professing to be Northern British and wanting to erase the “scottishisms” in his writing and speech), so it became strong in reaction to that.

    4. what you have to remember this is the start of the english reaction to the scots led labour party’s attempt to destroy the identity of door immigration,anti english human rights act,illegal wars,the denying of things given freely to scots and welsh to a lesser extent.these are bribes to keep this god awful union going.will scots vote for independence…..nahh just an attempt to wheedle more english taxpayers money out of the pro british/anti english government…and cameron is as anti english as any other scot on the make down here.we english want out of the union..out of the eu…proper border controls…scots/welsh/irish will be treated the same as albanians or romanians..or whoever.all there should be a deceltification of england and the english beaurocracy…no more more more more cameron…i would much rather a pro english incompetent politician as opposed to a cunning anti english back stabbing lying scot who will do anything to do us down…….oh for another flodden……….all scots service personell would have to leave england and be paid by the scottish taxpayer…no more joint more ships paid for by the english to be built in scottish yards….spend a couple of billion on english yards…..and f**k the scots….ENGLAND FOREVER BRITAIN NEVER…

    5. Frederick Robinson says:

      Morag, the BBC can hardly have been responsible for ‘maintaining…. the Empire’. The Union, perhaps; but the EMPIRE (not the Commonwealth) was virtually finished by the First World War, and the BBC didn’t really get into its (or do I mean, of Auntie Beeb, ‘her’) stride until well into the 1920s.

  9. James Coleman says:

    As an afterthought to my last post. Why is the London media always full of articles about Scotland and all full of venomous, spiteful, bile? There is at least one every week now. It is not a new phenomena as the London media has been anti-Scottish for years. But why the obsession? Is it envy and if so what is it envious of? It is the same in the below the line comments sections. The smell of envy is strong among the rancorous whining. Maybe it is all merely a ploy to generate clicks on web sites to massage the authors’ egos and/or to claim numbers for advertising purposes. Maybe it is just the last few mutterings of the English Raj going down with the ship? But whatever it is, it is not serious journalism.

    1. Chris says:

      Hell, I posted in the wrong reply section. James Coleman, see the post above for my reply to you, below Morag Eyrie’s post

  10. Looking forward to that Morag.

  11. Neil MacGillivray says:

    Rejection is always accompanied by bitterness. And there is a realisation that without Scotland the much trumpeted greatness will disappear; no Trident missiles to protect them and to guarantee the special relationship with the USA and with that will go the opportunity to join illegal wars to make them feel good and wanted and GREAT. We should accept all the unpleasantness from their pens and hope that the Scots who read it take it to heart and vote YES for a cleaner, decent, democratic country without the xenophobic rantingss of ignorant parochial racists. If such remarks were printed about Asians, Jews or any other group prosecutions would follow.

  12. lenathehyena says:

    Finding anti-Scottish sentiments in the Daily Mail is as shocking as discovering the Pope shits in the woods. Xenophobia is an English characteristic and doesn’t stop at the Scots. I never fail to be surprised at how unfriendly so many English emigrants in Scotland are – think of meeting fellow Scots in the hills for example – always a wee chat but so many English people prefer to walk by with scarcely a grunt. That said once English people get to know you they are usually extremely friendly if not exactly generous.

    Scottish literature may struggle in the south but let’s not imagine Scotland is its own level playing field. I know several writers who have been told not to bother sending anything in the Doric, for example, to publishers or BBC Scotland or the so-called National Theatre of Scotland, as no-one in the central belt will understand it – i.e. take the trouble to try to read it.

    There’s still a view that Scots ‘up there’ are a different species and everything should centre on, well – the central belt.

    Personally I don’t really care what people in England think of ‘the Scots’. The more animosity the easier it will be to get a yes vote in the referendum. I’m more concerned about the struggle we have within Scotland to overcome ignorance and prejudice among our own people. That’s still a long way off.

    1. “Xenophobia is an English characteristic and doesn’t stop at the Scots.”

      Do you know, I’d never have said that, not because I disagree but because, as a charitable sort of chap, even though I say so as shouldn’t, I’d like to think, despite indications to the contrary, that it is no longer true. The richness of vocabulary displayed in the corncucopia of pathetically despicable derogatory terms routinely applied by the denizens of the southern kingdom to all the nations of the world, except themselves, quite dismayed me when I first encountered them in their own not really terribly green or pleasant land.

      Have always found the Teutonic Saxons, in their greener and very pleasant land, much easier to get on with than the Anglo-Saxons. Not by choice. It’s just a fact. I say nothing of the French, as I’m unavoidably biased in that direction, but one simply cannnot help appreciating them for not sharing the English delusion that London is the centre of the universe, as obviously Paris is. Well, it just is. That being so defensibly the case goes some way towards explaining why the English antipathy towards the French endures and is reciprocated. There is also the small matter of the intellectual rigour of the French educational tradition compared with all the dumbing down that has brought England down, alas.

      A nation, furthermore, which fails utterly to appreciate the sheer splendour and elevating joy of being citizens of Europe is deficient in something, I venture to suggest. That they stand between Scotland and Europe is both Scotland’s misfortune and Europe’s. That they stand between Scotland and the full expression of its identity and realization of its potential is what makes Scots less than they could be and should be, which is why they need to do something about it but cannot be counted on to do so, I fear.

      A subject people is ultimately only a subject people because it consents to its subjection, having been persuaded by a dominant power that that is what it deserves and even that that is what is good for it, though that dominant power would never itself consent to be dominated and therefore cannot truly respect those who allow themselves to be persuaded that subjection and dependency are better for them than national self-determination.

      I read the Daily Mail article and found it to be so tediously predictable that I cannot help wishing that I hadn’t bothered. I could have used that time productively. There is nothing there that in the least surprises me. Have read and heard the whole boorishly anglocentric routine in one form or another more times than I care to admit. It is as if a cultural meme manifests itself so strongly in every generation of the dear English that a noxiously repellent pattern simply repeats itself all the way down the generations, and, frankly, it’s a bore.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        I’m afraid, Frankly Francophone, that (although a Paris-lover myself), your view that Paris the centre of the world has been contradicted by the HUGE emigration of (particularly well-off) Parisians to London in the train of M. Hollande’s increasing the top rate of tax to – 75% is it? Not a very strong recommendation of the magnetic attraction of the French capital (to capitalists, at least).

      2. bj says:

        You know, as someone who is actually an ethnic minority in Britain (unlike white Scots and Welsh), the most vicious racial abuse I have experienced in my life happened in Glasgow.

    2. markyftw says:

      Bring on the Doric! S’langsyirawrightaestulllissenaeusdoonhere?

  13. Dave Coull says:

    I’m a bricklayer by trade and at one time (many years ago now) I seriously considered going to work in Germany, where they had a shortage of bricklayers and the money was said to be good. (After all, I was already in a foreign country, I worked for 12 years in London……) So I was a keen viewer of Auf Wiedersehn Pet, not just because it was funny but because I could so easily see myself in many of the situations. That series had loads of Geordie accents which must have been at least as challenging for folk from the South East of England as anything out of Scotland. It’s not an accent problem so far as “national” TV is concerned, it’s a prejudice problem.

  14. Kev – I have two rejection letters from English publishing houses that I still scratch my head at. One states: “We have a Scottish writer”. The other says: “We’re not looking for a Scottish writer.”

  15. Well I am not surprised at the article it is true in so many ways,it has been well written and points posed perfectly.I would like to add the the reason for the dislike (apparant) of Scottish culture is not really a dislike but an insidious attempt to eradicate us Scots from the Isle of Britain.I recall when I was at school in the 50,s we had some olde maps of the British Empire and of course Great Britain,but the isle of Britain had England emblazened from Cape Wrath to the Isle of wight,Scotland was not there.I have since heard this mentioned by Stephen Fry,on his QI program of how it was once normal to call all of Britain England,and maps were printed in this manner.If independence is not gained by Scotland there will be no Scotland in another 60 years.

  16. rya says:

    If you want to see cultural prejudice in action, have a listen to Jazzer, the only Scottish character in The Archers. He looks after the pigs, does a milk round and is usually looking for a dodgy angle on things. He’s the only character (bar those who have done a stretch in jail) who has not received redemption from the writers. Funny, that.

  17. Tocasaid says:

    Needs to be said. The English middle-classes – immigrants or ex-pats to beg a question set by the Guardian – in Scotland will fight tooth and nail to keep the Union. In recent years, I’ve come across many who’s grandchildren are indistinguishable from south of England middle-classes. Why is this? I’ve no idea. You can walk down Leith Walk and hear Scots-Asian kids speaking broad Scots English. Polish kids come here and after a year talk like the locals. Why not the kids of English middle-classes? Interestingly, those English who are more down to earth seem to assimilate better.

  18. pmcrek says:

    Scotland has always been considered a cultural wasteland by a selection of England’s chattering classes, this is by no means a new thing however, nor is it limited to Scotland. This has always been the case to, its not a new thing and its not really surprising for a demographic unlikely to have ever heard of the enlightenment.

    Also I couldnt agree more re: the working classes in the North of England, I have nothing but the utmost respect/admiration and sympathy for folks in the North and what they have to put up with and have had to put up with.

  19. roofusrabbit says:

    Kevin, it’s a long time since I saw you last but your writing here is excellent – thank you. I for one am tired of the accusation that we North of the Border are subsidy junkies of Westminister. A lie and a racist myth. Hope all is well in your world and keep on speaking out and don’t mind the stones they throw at you. Hazel

  20. Why are the English NOT British,and here is my answer.
    Now I have been thinking and dagerous as it is I will persist.I have been thinking about the British thing and how some of our southern neighbours have this claim that we Scots don’t embrace being British,may I say the English establishment only start this British thing when they want to use the other people of this island,as there are so many cases when its always England never Britain until a Scot is winning or a Welsh person has won,it came to me that it is done in so many “little” ways.Even using the comedy programs like “Dad’s Army” the intro had England emblazoned across the south coast,yes that is part of England but were was the rest of Britain then?I have noticed this on numerous occasions and my wife always says ach “its only” whatever and not important,but as I continued thinking .Its like have just one little brick.its only one but when you get a thousand you get enough to build a wall,and that is what has been done all these little bricks have built the wall to divide.

    1. Chris says:

      Funny you should say that, down here in England we almost never hear the word England/English. It’s always bloody Britain. Only time you really hear the term England (or dare I say it, In-ger-land) it’s in the sports.
      If you think of yourself as English, and are open about this you are labelled a racist here. Scottish or Welsh and you’re a patriot, but English and you’re a chav. Fantastic. So don’t blame the English (sorry, Southern British) for all this, we’re sick of it too. Blame the toffs in Westminster.
      As to Dad’s Army, if you wanted to include Scotland in it, you’d have to zoom out a helluva long way, which would ruin the effect somewhat.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        Re ‘Charles Patrick O’Brien’ and ‘Chris’ on England/Britain. Since I returned to my native England 16 years ago, after 30 years in Scotland, proud of being English, but preferring the broader concept of being British, it has distressed me to see Britain becoming fragmented (even though my 1980s experience of Thatcherite Britain made me wholeheartedly sympathise with the Scots’ desire for independence). But what I wanted to say related to ‘Dad’s Army’. It was a comedy based on the possibility of the South of England being invaded by Germany. To bemoan it’s not including Scotland is as if English viewers complained about ‘Take the High Road’ or ‘Dr Finlay’s Casebook’ not taking place in Surrey or Devon. I used to teach acting, and am proud that one of my former students was Greg Fisher, better known as ‘Rab C. Nesbitt’. One of my favourite episodes in the latter was Rab visiting a posh relative in the London suburbs. Asking after ‘ra Baroo’, he’s sent by his unknowing relative to ‘the City’, and ends up amid multi-storey banks and finance houses. On one street, a brollied/umbrella’ed City gent approaching, he asks: “‘Scuse me, pal. D’ye ken whaur ah kin fin’ the baroo?” Bottom of screen, a subtitle: ‘Excuse me, my friend. I wonder whether you would be so good as to direct me to the nearest office of the Department of Social Security?’ To which Gent replies: ‘I’m terribly sorry, old chap, but I’m awfully afraid I didn’t quite understand what you were saying….’ And the BRILLIANT writer, Ian Pattison, added a further subtitle to this, reading: “Sorry, pal, but ah cannae underston’ a word ye’re sayin’….’. Without (I’ll call them ‘regional’, at risk of nationalists falling about my head) regional variations within these mainly-English-speaking islands, such delicious humour would be lost. Finally, re Scotland and Britain and the Empire, I believe Scots had a profound influence on and in both of the latter…..

  21. chicmac says:

    Good article Kevin, saying that which dare not be said.

    I note that on the imdb release date list, ‘Brave’, on 13th Aug for UK, is 40th out of 56 major film going countries and just a few days before kids go back to school. All very redolent of the treatment meted out to ‘Braveheart’ . For example, the most expensive DVD ever at £50 for a general release movie, which was a prohibitive for most when first released and was also the longest to get to TV (4 years) in modern times.

    But, more seriously, there is a very long list of examples where the old adage “it’s a case of today, the World, tomorrow, England – maybe.” applies to Scots contributions.

    Duns Scotus, James Gregory, Robert Burns, David Hume, James Clerk Maxwell, John Muir, Charles Rennie Macintosh, Donovan are all classic examples where this has been the case.

    There are other examples where English ‘suppression’ of Scots contributions has been rather more completely successful. A classic example of that is the competition/survival of the fittest theories of evolution developed in Scotland from Lord Monboddo via various contributors, to Patrick Matthews, but attributed exclusively to Charles Darwin, who having gained his degree in Scotland could scarcely have avoided becoming aware of those theories.

  22. nick porter says:

    There’s an awful lot of tooth gnashing on here. Does nothing to assuage the stereotype of “chip-on-shoulder misanthropes” I’m afraid.

    Nonetheless, I’m sure lots of English folk hate the Scotts and vice versa but would suggest that those who do (on both sides of the fence) ought to stop thinking and plug themselves back into x-factor / the sun / McDonald’s. Frankly, there’s been little to separate this island other than a poor attempt at a wall for millennia, so the idea that we’re all so very different’s quite amusing.

    I would suggest that most people in the SE don’t hate the scott’s at all. (The people i know, at least.) I just think we’re all a bit indifferent. Sorry, nothing personal.

    P.s. As for this article, my favourite line was this “…an unhappy experience he had when submitting a play – written in the Caithness tongue – to an English-based theatre company. They suggested submitting it to a theatre company in Scotland where the language might be understood.”

    This man should be shot for his stupidity.



  23. England Forever says:

    Sorry Kevin, but you are talking absolute rubbish. In fact, like all blog posters from beyond the northern border, you seem somewhat surprised that we, Englishmen and Women are defending ourselves and our nation. Looks like all the hatred spewed from up there in the north has come back to bite you in the arse.

    Jocks never like to talk about their actions, only ours. I sincerely and genuinely look forward to you going independent, to a large fortified border being constructed dividing you from the civilised world, and yet one more excuse for never, ever visiting your country ever.

    England till I die.

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      “Defending” yourselves? Oh right, so Scots are an invading species now, are we?

      It’s interesting you talk about a border separating SCOTLAND from the civilised world, because this is exactly what we mean when we talk of middle England having an imperialist attitude. This “civilised world” you talk of consists of punishing the weak for the crimes of the rich, remaining committed to outdated political structures, and obsessing with being a “powerful” nation. If that’s civilisation, I’ll gladly take my place amongst the savage Scandinavians with their old-fashioned concepts of fairness and equality.

      I’m afraid if you put a border up, you’ll find Scotland joining the rest of Europe as a modern, progressive, 21st century democracy, while England becomes ever more isolated. Fill your boots.

      1. England Forever says:

        Absolutely not, but what you are is extremely xenophobic, the hatred for the English is all consuming among every social circle, every class and every group in Scotland.

        Do you want to know why we are growing more and more hateful of you? It’s because we have reached our collective limits. We have put up with your hatred for hundreds of years, and we are unwilling to continue. Not that I expect you to understand this, outside of carrying a chip on your shoulders, the second best skill a Scotsman holds dear is his outright denial of anything bad in his country. You hate the English and you deny this fact just as vehemently.

        You seem to think that by losing you, we would be less powerful. Let me explain this in such a way that a simple Scot would understand, our capital city has a bigger population than your entire country. Our capital city has a bigger economy than your entire country. We would be just as powerful, but since we wont be sending your silly little country money, we’d have more to spend on our own.

        As for joining Europe. I really hope you do, just so that you jump onto the Euro bandwagon and lose everything. If this will be the result of constructing a border, then I’ll get the cement mixers starting.

      2. peninsual says:

        Thanks for the contribution. It goes a long way to confirming KW’s article.

        I know that you and your glorious media will oblige by publishing many more in the same vein.

        Great to have the support.

      3. Doug Daniel says:


        1. English hatred is not all consuming, and it’s certainly not present in every social circle, class and group in Scotland. Nobody here is suggesting ALL of England is prejudicial against Scottish culture, so at least have the decency to similarly not tar all Scots with the same brush.

        However, let’s assume you’re right, that’s still not xenophobia – it’s anti-Englishness. Xenophobia is a fear of foreigners. Apart from the fact that England is technically not a foreign country, it’s only the one country. We’re not the ones who remain obsessed with “the Germans”, we’re not the ones who turn our noses up at the French, we’re not the ones who complain about immigration, and we’re not the ones who want to keep the rest of Europe at arms length.

        2. I think you’ll find there are no plans for Scotland to join the Euro, so you’ll be disappointed when we don’t lose everything. Although considering we’re nothing like the countries which are suffering because of the Euro, I’d fancy our chances if we were in it anyway.

        3. There’s a fundamental problem with your theory that UK – Scotland = LotsOfExtraMoney. See, when we become independent, we’ll be taking our money with us. That includes all the oil money which has been squandered on pointless projects that brought absolutely no benefit to Scotland. You won’t have any extra money when we become independent – you’ll have less.

        4. Let me give you a wee lesson in numbers. It doesn’t matter how big London’s economy is, because it’s overcrowded, plus it’s just ONE city. China has the second biggest economy in the world, yet its colossal population means that money doesn’t stretch very far. On the far more important scale of GDP per head, China languishes in 88th place, which is why it has massive levels of poverty. Conversely, Norway is only the 24th biggest economy in the world, but it’s 3rd in GDP per head. That’s why it’s the envy of Europe.

        Now, the UK is currently the 7th biggest economy in the world (down from 6th a couple of years ago, and 4th a few years before that – not a promising trend…) but only 22nd for GDP per head. The OECD reckons Scotland would be 6th in terms of GDP per head if we become independent. It’s fairly evident that Scotland will be better off independent.

        5. I’m not surprised you’re going on about being “powerful”. It’s that imperial mindset which we want away from. I couldn’t give two hoots about metaphorical cock-measuring contests with other countries – I want to live in a country that measures success in how well it looks after people, not how “powerful” it is. But lose Scotland and you lose your capability to harbour nuclear weapons – so you’ll effectively be castrated anyway.

        Now I suggest you trot along back to the Daily Mail comments section or wherever.

      4. An Duine Gruamach says:

        If you think Scots are incapable of seeing the faults of their own land, you clearly haven’t read very much of this website.

      5. you’re not invading…….you’re PARASITES…..f**k off hame….

      6. Dave Coull says:

        Although born and raised in Scotland, I lived in England for many years, working as a bricklayer. Shaun the Brummie’s attitude towards building workers (or any other kind of workers) who come from another place is “f**k off hame”. A strange thing for somebody descended from Irish immigrants to say, but racists are never logical. Here in Scotland, more than a quarter of a million of our population are folk who moved here from England because they find Scotland, in some ways, more to their liking than their native land. So, English folk account for a far higher percentage of the population of Scotland than Scottish folk are of the population of England. And yet, we’re not telling folk from south of the Border “f**k off hame”. Or, at least, the vast majority of us aren’t. That’s because most of the “natives” here aren’t as thick as Shaun the Brummie.

        1. Frederick Robinson says:

          Dave Coull, I went to Scotland (Glasgow) in 1966 because I was offered a job there (maybe you went to England for the same reason) and initially found Glasgow terrifying For much of the time I didn’t like it; but for much (more) of it, I loved it. And as I became more involved, I became part of it and vice versa, to the point where when, 30 years later, on health grounds basically, I left, it was a wrench. It’s not black and white.

      7. Frederick Robinson says:

        Another thought for Dave Coull (not in the right place, I’m afraid, because of the lack of ‘Reply’ buttons): you mention the ‘quarter of a million’ immigrants to Scotland from south of the Border (of which I was one for 30 years until health reasons took me back down South again), but the English population is about 10 times that of Scotland, so the equivalent north-to-south emigration would be about 25,000 – which I suspect is an underestimate of the actual level of emigration.

      8. Frederick Robinson says:

        Oh, it IS in the right place! The website is more intelligent than I gave it credit for.

    2. markyftw says:

      Could you please refrain from calling us “jocks”. Jock is the Scots diminutive for John it is not a synonym for a Scottish person or the Scottish people as a whole. Thanks.

    3. Maria says:

      It’s people like you that give England and the English a bad name. “Arrogant till you die” would be more apt.

  24. Interesting and thoughtful article. I lived from 1990 to 2009 in leafy Bedfordshire and I came across very little anti-Scottish sentiment (to my face) until the last four or five years and then there was a little of the Kelvin MacKenzie anti-Gordon Brown right wing variety.

    However, I also have a Leeds born friend who has lived in Scotland longer than me and supports independence but who routinely faces what ranges from unpleasant “comedy” to racist hostility because of his working class Yorkshire accent. As I am frequently in the pub with him in various parts of Scotland I have seen plenty of it first hand. I have also seen lots of Scots xenophobia (and Irish in Ireland).

    I think we have to be very careful to avoid an anti-English edge to the Yes campaign. I don’t think it is an effective vote winner, in fact I think it alienates many on the pro-independence side.

    It is of course entirely legitimate to question London control of BBC Scotland.

    1. Ted says:

      The constant theme against Scotland is that we are getting something England is not. The usual suspects are trotted out, Barnett Formula, tuition fees, prescription charges, etc. Some Scots are utter loonies, just as some English tend to be on the same wavelength. The thing I cannot understand is, why are they not demanding the same things that are available in Scotland for their fellow English countryfolk?. Not one of the hateful, anti-Scottish comments about “free-loading Scotch” that I have read, mentions anything about improving the lot of their own countrymen. Why is that?

      1. Chris says:

        Many of us do, and the Campaign for an English Parliament seeks to redress this deficit. However, Blair, Cameron and the Eton cronies think this would break up the union and categorically reject this proposal. The only party who wants it are the English Democrats, who are constantly labelled as racist for it.
        That there is the problem

    2. An Duine Gruamach says:

      If fifty million English really want to make a better nation for themselves, five million Scots couldn’t stop them even assuming we wanted to. Laziness and bitterness go well together, it seems.

  25. jon says:

    Scottish people concerned about racism towards them from the English! Check your self Scotland. When talking about incidents of racism towards Scots its like you are completely oblivious to thecyears of racism towards the english. The tartan army? Quote Andy Murray ‘Anyone but England’. Scottish tuition fees, prescription charges, thevbarnett formula, higher percentage of tax spent, smaller classroom sizes and yet i meet scots who dislike the english because they feel wexare somehow enslaving them?! Its a tradition to hate the english! Now YOU are moaning and whining about a backlash only brought to the fore by Scottish independance efforts. Youre a joke. Independance for Scotland! Im on your side. We’ll take Londons money back and spend it on people who will be grateful for it.

    1. Doug Daniel says:

      1. Andy Murray’s “anyone but England” comment was in reply to Tim Henman ribbing him about Scotland not being at the World Cup. But even if it wasn’t, it’s no different to Hibs fans being “Anyone But Hearts” fans, or Man City fans being “Anyone But Man United” fans, or England fans being “Anyone But Germany, Argentina, France or anyone else we harbour a grudge against because of wars rather than football” fans. Scotland and England have the longest rivalry in football, and wanting your rivals opponents to win is one of the most basic tenets of football.

      2. “Scottish tuition fees”? There’s no such thing, although clearly this annoys you. It’s not our fault our government actually gives a toss about normal people, whereas your government panders purely to the well off. We get a block grant, and we spend it on what we consider to be important. Your government does the same with its equivalent money, only it doesn’t think education and health are particularly important.

      3. Scotland pays more into the UK treasury than it spends. That is an ACTUAL FACT. It’s only “London’s money” in the sense that we give ALL our money to London, and then get SOME of it back. When we become independent, London will have less money to spend. Well, except that Scotland’s independence will force Trident’s replacement to be cancelled, leaving billions of pounds left to be spent elsewhere.

      it amazes me that people accuse the SNP of playing grievance politics when you compare it to the sort of unsubstantiated bile folk like yourself come out with.

      1. England Forever says:

        The saddest thing is that you believe most of the crap that you type Doug. You really are completely and utterly full to the rafters with shite.

        Typical scotchman.

      2. peninsula says:

        Thanks again.

      3. Tocasaid says:

        EF – let’s hear your arguments then.

        Otherwise, folk might think that you’ve lost it.

      4. Doug Daniel says:

        Actually EF, I believe every single word of it, mainly because it’s true.

        However, you’re welcome to show me where I’m wrong. Although I do actually mean show, rather than just stating that I’m full of shite without any sort of facts to back it up.

      5. James Coleman says:

        I think it even sadder that you believe what YOU write. How can one be so thick and still be considered alive?

      6. Maria says:

        Well said Doug, agree entirely.

  26. Ian the Californian in Manchester says:

    In my 11yrs here, my experience is that the English middle class are the most racist, xenophobic and unaccepting of all the white British groups.

    1. Galen10 says:

      @Ben A

      You didn’t try very hard to prevent the atavistic Dr Strangelove right arm twitching at the end of your post there did you? Ironic how someone can argue about how hard done by the English are using broad brush generalisations, and then finds it impossible to resist revealing themselves as a blimpish little Englander who attributes blame for all the ills he sees at the door of multiculturalism, mass immigration and the machinations of the British Unionist elites. Sure you haven’t missed out any other causal factors there…? International freemasonry perhaps…? Or that old chestnut Jewish Bolshevism? Perhaps it’s all a Catholic plot?

      Are you for real?

      Does your inchoate rage stem from being force fed Daily Mail editorials when you were young, or did you develop your yoo-hoo theory about “reality” all alone?

      Xenophobic anti-English feeling in Scotland, or anti-Scottish feeling in England is very much a minority interest. As a Scot who has lived in England for many years, and worked and lived in both countries, I’ve seen my share of both. If the English have a stunted sense of their own nationality, it has little or nothing to do with the impact of the Scots, nor can it be attributed to mass immigration since the 50’s.

      It CAN however be attributed to “longue duree” factors in English history, including the British imperial project, English regional identities, the domination of London and the Home Counties, the lack of revolutionary societal change, and the persistence of the crypto-medieval structures of the British state which ALL the major parties including Labour have connived in propping up over the past century.

      If the English people want a “different sort” of democracy, something more progressive which allows the expression of an English identity whilst preserving the Union, then let them articulate it, and put forward plans and proposals for doing it. Blaming everyone else but yourselves, particularly with reference to mass immigration, Scottish particularism and conspiracy theories about British/Unionist elites, simply makes you look (at the very best) odd, or (perhaps more likely from the tenor of your post) one of the “I’m not a racist, but….” brigade.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        galen 10: the factor of ‘duree la plus longue’ in ‘the British imperial project’ must be the concept of ‘Britain’, I’d have thought? And who first ‘invented’ the Britain (i.e. union of England, Scotland, Wales, and eventually -part of – Ireland) that brought about the Empire? That famous Englishman Jamie the Saxt (or James the 1st as he became called south of the border) who considered ‘the whole isle of Britain (his) wife, and (he) the husband’. The man whose mother, a French widow, saw factional wars in Scotland, but who himself, ‘the wisest fool in Christendom’, clearly valued togetherness over strife. Sadly, his son had other views.

    2. Maria says:

      You’re quite right, Ian. They are.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        Ian and Maria, Define (from memory; this forum is so disorganised it’s difficult to find the comments I’m commenting on) ‘white, ‘middle-class’, ‘British’ ‘xenophobic’ ‘racist’ and relate those (Ian from California, particularly, since it’s your 11 years’ experience of same that apparently entitles you to describe one lot as the most ‘xenophobic and racist’ of the white British groups’ – which sounds pretty racist in itself, if you ask me!) and relate same to your PERSONAL experience, and we might have some testimony to assess your opinion against rather than unspecified generalised negative categorising.

        1. Maria says:

          Frederick, that is a very good point (I can’t find my original comment). Define white, that is ethnic European. Middle class: I have no idea what that refers to as I now live in a classless society but I imagine it means people who are pretty well off and who don’t work with their hands. British: the definition is up to you, I would say anyone holding a British passport. Xenophobic: extremely insular with a feeling of superiority towards people from other countries, literally “dislike of outsiders”. Racist: actually making one’s xenophobic feelings known to the aforesaid people from other countries or to third parties. I have a lot of personal experience as a third party. Do I have to cite chapter and verse? If so, I will keep you busy for some time, I fear.

          1. Frederick Robinson says:

            Maria, you’ll be pleased to hear (may know already) but per BBC (BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation) Radio 4 News, this evening, Cornwall has been officially recognised as ‘a minority’. But you can only be a minority compared with, or among, something larger. England? Britain? Europe? I think you’ll find your passport is European (is it red?). British ones used to be larger, dark blue and (is it still the case?) ‘Her BRITANNIC Majesty requests…etc.’ figures on the first page. Geographically, I’m afraid Cornwall (even as a ‘minority’) is in England. If you are of Irish-French parentage, I’m afraid you have no British blood either. Anyway, I was wanting to answer (a) ‘Ian of California’, whose posts seem to have gone the way of the Carthaginian Empire; and (b) your email answering mine (which ALSO seems to have disappeared: is Bella Caledonia trying to drive us all insane?) a propos definitions of white, middle class etc. But Bella Caledonia do not seem to publish (too logical, presumably) the emails one is answering immediately before the ‘Leave a Reply to (in this case, Maria)’; and I can’t keep referring between here and my email-cache. So I’ll just slither away and wish you ‘happy minority’.(My favourite memory of Cornwall – where I worked in the Porthminster Hotel cocktail bar during 1963 vacation from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School – was watching a production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ as dusk fell over the Minack Theatre (Porthcurno?)).

          2. Maria says:

            Hi again, Frederick. I had to laugh at your comments and I hope you also had a grin on your face when writing them. (You really like that slithering away, don’t you? What I actually meant was “being evasive”, but living abroad for so long my English has gone off the boil to an alarming extent.)
            Yes, I read in the WEST BRITON today that Cornwall has finally been officially recognised as a Home Nation, as well as a “minority”! Quite a coincidence. What the WEST BRITON actually said was: “The Cornish nation, culture and language are to be fully recognised alongside the Welsh, Irish and Scots.” And I presume this means full Home Nation status. Rather strange wording, though, as it implies that Ireland is part of the UK instead of a separate republic.
            And you’re quite right. I do have an EU passport (since the 1980s), but inside it describes me as “BRITISH Citizen”. In the old dark blue passports the holder was grandiloquently described as “British Subject: Citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies” which I imagine would not be acceptable nowadays!!

            About Scotland, though, as I’m afraid I have been wandering from the point. I’m wondering what the rest of the UK will call itself if Scotland leaves the Union. Scotland may even change its name back to Alba, but I hope the Home Nations still remaining in the Union (which now include Cornwall 😀 ) will still be known as Britain, or the United Kingdom, even though the kingdom is far from united.
            And would Scotland be a republic or a kingdom? There must still be descendants of the Scottish royal family around besides the present monarch of the UK, but whether they would be willing to take on the job of monarch is another matter. And what would be the new Scottish currency, or maybe Scotland would go for the euro, etc. etc. These may all be very minor points but they still have to be dealt with on both sides of the border.

          3. Frederick Robinson says:

            Too busy to answer your latest in detail: but (apart from the rather unsatisfactory ‘rUK’ (rest or remainder of the UK)) sometimes used: how about, for Northern Ireland, England and Wales – ‘NEW’?

          4. Maria says:

            You forgot Cornwall (it’s no use trying to get a rise out of me, since it’s officially a Home Nation now). But how about New Britain? No hurry to reply. I have to work today and tomorrow as well, while the rest of the populace is out on the streets celebrating our new King’s birthday.

          5. Frederick Robinson says:

            I understood the new status of Cornwall (Kernow), under the auspices of the EU Commission, to be ‘national minority’? Beware, though, of fragmenting the UK still further. I come from the Kingdom of Mercia; Fife, in Scotland, is already a Kingdom; Kent and Essex have similar claims….Before you know where you are, we’ll have kingdoms, princedoms and dukedoms galore, like Germany pre-unification, with tolls and customs duties and passports, visas, etc., etc. every few miles down any given road until a Bismarck, Hitler, (or Farage) rallies everybody together anew against some common foe(s)..

          6. Maria says:

            It could even be “KNEW”, if we give Cornwall its original name “Kernow” 🙂

          7. Dave Coull says:

            The Scottish Government’s white paper, “Scotland’s Future” states “the official name of our country will be Scotland”. True, the Gaelic name is Alba, but, in practice, the official name, and the name it will in fact be known as, will be Scotland. Now, the SNP might not be the government of an independent Scotland. But I reckon there is zero chance of any political party getting elected on a platform of changing the name, and zero chance of any change winning in a referendum either. It will be called Scotland.

            So far as the rest of the UK is concerned, there is nothing to prevent a sovereign country from calling itself anything it likes. A country can call itself the Pan-Galactic and Trans-Dimensional Empire if it likes. As long as it doesn’t mind the whole world laughing at it. It would be quite ridiculous for the rest of the UK to try to call itself “Britain”. With the northern thirty five percent of the landmass of the island of Great Britain a separate country, that would be certain to lead to loads of jokes about “Little Britain”, or “The Lesser Spotted Britain” , etc.

            As for the United Kingdom, that will cease to exist with independence. The United Kingdom was formed by the Union of just two kingdoms, the kingdom of Scotland and the kingdom of England. When a marriage, or a partnership with just two partners, breaks up, you cannot say that the marriage, or the partnership, continues with just one of the two partners! They could decide to form a new United Kingdom, but the original United Kingdom of Great Britain will be gone, deceased, passed away, no more.

            For the past several years I have been suggesting that the most sensible thing for them to do would be to call themselves the United Kingdom of England, Northern Ireland, and Wales. That puts the three parts in alphabetical order, and it mentions Wales for the very first time, which might please the Welsh.

            “would Scotland be a republic or a kingdom?”

            Probably, to begin with, a kingdom, for the lifetime of the present Queen. But, when she dies, I can’t see many folk being enthusiastic about King Charles III or Queen Camilla. In 1704, the Scottish Parliament passed an Act stating that, when Queen Anne died, THEY would decide who the new monarch should be. It would be a simple enough matter to follow that precedent from 1704.

            “There must still be descendants of the Scottish royal family around besides the present monarch of the UK, but whether they would be willing to take on the job of monarch is another matter.”

            Whether they would be “willing to take it on” or not is irrelevant. They won’t get the offer.

            “And what would be the new Scottish currency”

            There won’t be one. We’ll be suing the pound. Every country on the face of this planet which ever became independent was using the existing currency at the time of independence. Scotland will be no exception. Sooner or later, there will probably be a separate Scottish currency. It will probably be called the pound, after all, Scotland had pounds before the Union with England, and nobody has difficulty distinguishing between the Canadian dollar and the American one. But to begin with we’ll be suing the same currency, of course.

          8. Maria says:

            Thank you, Dave. In your reply however, you say that Scotland will probably be a monarchy to begin with, Queen Elizabeth being the monarch. But if Scotland is a separate country, how can it still keep the monarch of the union it’s seceded from?

          9. Frederick Robinson says:

            Maria, re secession: Before the 1707 Parliamentary Union (which is what this Independence would end), there had been a United Kingdom since 1603, when Scottish Jamie the Saxt also became James I of England, and ‘I being the husband’ made ‘the whole isle of Great Britain my wife’. Being a real pick’n’mix First Minister, Alex Salmond clearly prefers this regal link and can dispense with the hoi polloi (on both sides of the border) when he’s got an independent Scottish Parliament and can (who knows?) establish himself in Holyrood as President, once ‘Scotland’ decides, QE2 (the late Queen, not the ship) no longer there, that Charles, William or George are not the flavour of the month or year. (i) Devolution to (ii) Parliamentary Independence within the Kingdom (well, Queendom, really) to (iii) Presidential Republic in easy stages. But first, the People must decide….

          10. Dave Coull says:

            So, Maria, you are claiming that Jamaica is not a separate country from Scotland? You are claiming Barbados is part of the same country as Northern Ireland? You are claiming Australia is the same country as England? You are claiming that Canada and Wales are part of the same country?

          11. Frederick Robinson says:

            Dave, as far as I’m aware, Jamaica, Barbados, Canada and Australia were never part of the Union of the United Kingdom of GB & NI, so they couldn’t secede (hence, be separate and independent in the way that Scotland can) from it. Neither are they, like England, Scotland, Wales and – to some extent – Northern Ireland, geographically contingent. They were colonies of a no longer extant British Empire, became independent as the Empire declined, and retain looser connections as parts of the Commonwealth. So there are significant political, historical and geographical differences from the situation with Scotland.

          12. Dave Coull says:

            “They couldn’t secede” – I note your inappropriate use of an American term derived from the history of the USA, Frederick Robinson.

            This isn’t the USA.

            The USA was formed by THIRTEEN states, 13 former colonies, joining together. The most ancient of all of these 13 colonies had been in existence for just one hundred and seventy years. the youngest had been colonised a mere FORTY FOUR YEARS earlier.

            The United Kingdom was formed by just two kingdoms, with a separate existence stretching back nearly a thousand years, joining together.

            But when they joined together, the Scottish negotiators ensured some important differences would always remain. There would never be a Church of Britain, the separate Church of Scotland and Church of England, with their very different characters, would continue. Scots Law would continue to apply in Scotland, so the Border would always remain a real border in that different laws applied on each side of it. And of course Scottish Education would remain separate.

            The Treaty of Union was a treaty between just two countries, Scotland and England. The Treaty didn’t even mention either Wales or Ireland, for the simple reason they were both territories ruled by England. There was no Treaty for the 1801 Union with Ireland, because a Treaty is something between equals.

            However, although there was no mention of Ireland in the Treaty of Union between Scotland and England, there IS mention of Scotland in the Irish Act of Union. Article V of the Act states that the Church of Ireland and the Church of England will become a single body, with the monarch of England as the Head of the church. But Article V specifically states that this does NOT apply to the Church of Scotland. The Church of Scotland was, of course, presbyterian, and, as such, it did not recognise the monarch as Head of the church, maintaining, instead, that “There is NO earthly Head of the church; the one and only Head of the church is Jesus Christ”. Article V of the Act of Union (Ireland) specifically exempts Scotland from that Union.

            When a partnership between just two partners breaks up, you cannot say that one of the two partners has “seceded”. When a marriage ends in divorce, you cannot say that the spouse who sued for divorce has “seceded”, and that in some sense the marriage continues with only one spouse. Where there are only two parties to a Union, if it breaks up, it is meaningless to suggest the marriage/partnership continues with only one partner/spouse. The Union is ENDED. It is no more. It ceases to exist. It is an ex-Union. There will be no “secession”. The United Kingdom will simply cease to exist.

          13. Frederick Robinson says:

            Thanks for your condescending, unnecessary transatlantic history-cum-geography lesson, Dave, based on my (in fact, not introducing it, myself, but merely maintaining continuity with Maria’s) use of the word ‘secede’. I had difficulty not laughing at your final comment: ‘the United Kingdom will cease to exist’. I think you are meaning as a documentary entity. The multitude of social, commercial, geographical and other links that combine to make the reality of the entity sometimes known as ‘the United Kingdom’ (of not, as you suggest, two kingdoms, but ‘Great Britain…’ – already a kingdom and a principality – ‘….and Northern Ireland’) will not, as you, along with Alex Salmond, seem to think, disappear into thin air, like Brigadoon in reverse, leaving only Scotland north of the Channel. The Lake District, industrial North and Midlands, agricultural West Country and East Coast, bustling London and Home Counties – to sketch in merely the English part of what has been suggested as the ‘rUK’ (remainder of the UK) will still be there, if only to provide (toll?) roads for transport from Europe to Scotland to have some land to run across. Your solipsistic Hiberno-centric view of the POSSIBLE (it may not even happen!) breakaway for Scotland reminds me, with Scotland as Franco) of Peter Ustinov’s tale of a a gigantic crowd assembling outside the dying Franco’s window. Aroused from slumber, he asks what the noise is. ‘It is the people of Spain,’ murmurs an attendant, ‘They have come to say goodbye….’ ‘Ah, si?’ answers Franco, ‘Where are they going to?’ The KINGDOM will remain united because it’s the one thing Salmond wants to retain – his links with HMQ, possibly with thoughts of ‘the United Kingdom’ being a creation of the Stuarts under James I, when the Kingdom’s monarch was a (Franco-)Scot. God, this subject’s boring. Maybe that’s Salmond’s goal: to bore everybody to death.

          14. Maria says:

            Yes – I plead guilty too as I used the word “secede” first.

          15. Maria says:

            Point taken. However, I wasn’t claiming anything. I was merely asking for information. I’ve been living out of the UK for 40 years, so the finer points of such matters have slipped my failing memory.

  27. Ben A says:

    This article is nonsense, so let’s grapple with reality. It’s a bit ripe for any Scots to complain about English xenophobia or anti-Scottishness, and here’s why. If a Scotsman goes to England he stays a proud Scot, wears a kilt on special occasions, perhaps joins his local Caledonian club and generally flaunts his Scottish identity. Nobody will trouble him for this. Most English people see Scottish culture as a manifestation of British culture and will happily join in Burns Night celebrations and tell everybody that they also had Scottish ancestors. The same cannot be said of English people who live in Scotland, most of whom embrace Scottish traditions and do not flaunt their Englishness. If English people behaved in Scotland in the same way that some Scots do in England they would get beaten up. Most English people have a good attitude to the Scots, although many of us are getting fed up of the anti-English sentiment of a large minority of Scots. We are also increasingly waking up to the fact that the UK is coming apart at the seams and that our British masters are doing their best to keep English nationalism down because they realise that it is a huge threat to the Union.

    As for me, I regard myself as English not British. I wish Scotland and its people no harm. Scots should also be aware that the British Elite cares nothing for England, only for the UK in general. It has largely succeeded in stigmatising English nationalism although that tide is turning now. Much of the anger and ‘xenophobia’ in England comes because many English people feel that we have been ignored, abused and generally taken for a ride. Our identity is mocked and derided and it has few healthy outlets. Also it’s easy for Scots to pontificate about being ‘inclusive’ but how many of you cities have been subjected to mass immigration in the same way that English cities have? Lucky for you that you have far fewer immigrants who can more easily assimilate into Scottish culture. In many English cities this is difficult if not impossible and none of us asked for this.

    1. An Duine Gruamach says:

      It’s an odd one. I saw a play in Romanian at the Edinburgh Festival a few years back and enjoyed it very much. I do not speak Romanian.

      Did they suggest supertitles at all?

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        That suggests it was a good production, with extra-linguistic communication as well as linguistic. A good mime does the same, even without language. But theatre is (generally) not life: in life you would perhaps have (had) to communicate back, and may have found the experience less-enjoyable; or perhaps enjoyable, but incomprehensible, or confusing.

    2. Chris says:

      I agree with you 100% here. Well said.

  28. George Gunn says:

    In reply to Nick Porter – is that me who should be shot for my stupidity or the person who rejected my play? If it is me then in mitigation I would say that I was invited by the company to submit it. I innocently thought that they would respond to the drama of the piece, not necessarily the spoken language. On reflection I should have had more sense.

    1. Frederick Robinson says:

      It hurts, George Gunn: but your experience is shared by more rejected playwrights, authors, poets, artists, than the reverse.

  29. Macart says:

    An interesting article which has more than a little basis in truth but not, I think for the obvious reasons. The usual suspects are in order of appearance:-

    BBC (the clue is in the name) well known for underspend in Scotland
    The Mail (shudder)
    The Express
    The Telegraph
    and latterly and perhaps most surprisingly the Guardian of recent times.

    This isn’t about ethnicity and never was. Its about power, influence, wealth and manipulation of same. These media outlets have one thing in common, the hub of wealth, privilege and power on these islands – Westminster, London and the south east. Playing the ethnic card, turning Scots and the Scottish government into hate figures, creating resentment between the nations on this island, this is their current remit and we cannot and should not play the same card. There is not one shred of proof that the Scottish Government has ever promoted anti-English sentiment at any time (anti-Westminster almost certainly). Yet there is a myth being spread in England that all Scots are bred to hate the English, that political secession is about ethnic separation and the arch demon is Alex Salmond. Can anyone provide one, just one anti-English quote from the man?

    The powers that be are using the media to play to the xenophobes on both sides of the border, fuelling envy and grievance on one side and creating outrage and mistrust on the other. This is mana from heaven for the media. The London centric press kill two birds with one stone; Firstly they get to flex their politically biased anti-independence muscles whilst proving street cred with their Westminster buddies and secondly their deliberately provocative commentaries sell papers. That’s right folks, they make money off the back of the misery and conflict they are spreading. The mis-information is intended to spread doubt and fear amongst the Scottish readership and grievance and righteous indignation in England.

    England and the English are not the issue in our constitutional crisis. The choice is between Westminster, elitism and neoliberal policy under the UK banner or Holyrood, accountable government and social democracy under independence. Lets leave ethnic rants in the rubbish bin where they belong.

    1. James Coleman says:

      “…The mis-information is intended to spread doubt and fear amongst the Scottish readership…”

      It isn’t able to do that, thank goodness. But it does raise the level of resentment by Scots against the English in general.
      The comments in English newspapers above and below the line which annoy me most of all are those where “The English” claim they are subsidising the Scots. The evidence showing this to be untrue is now widely available in Public Documents and has even been PUBLISHED by some parts of the English media, yet there are still some ‘journalists’ on major English newspapers who refuse to accept that fact. Are they dumb or what?

      1. Alan Linklater says:

        A quick question that many people living in Scotland are now asking –

        The English media have been telling their readership for years that England subsidises Scotland, yet now they seem hell bent on trying to convince Scotland not to dissolve the union?

        Surely, if all the subsidy stories are true, then the best thing that could happen for England is if Scotland becomes independent?

        Considering the financial mess, then this must be great news for England, surely? No Scottish subsidy – more English money, right? It’s not rocket science.

        Either Westminster and the UK media have had a massive attack of altruism re Scotland, or they’ve been talking the English for fools.

        Smells a bit fishy!

    2. can you tell sevco and shitic they can never join english football then….as they being scots are typically arrogant and hypocrites…join english football……….stick to TOSSING…….

  30. Macart says:

    @James Coleman

    No they’re not dumb James, anything but. As I stated before there are two motivating factors

    1. They’re making lots of moolah from the controversy, cold hard cash from increased sales. Check out the figures for the Mail on the ABC site.

    2. They are following politically driven editorial remit from their publishers and they from their Westminster buds.

    We cannot, must not rise to the bait. We’ve got to keep the debate about political and constitutional change. As soon as we sink to name calling and ethnicity, they’ve won. The debate is about governance, constitutional and governmental accountability, democratic mandate and above all our sovereign free will to choose our form of governance. Its about aspiration and whose vision and talent is fittest to provide us with the future we want. We are already separate nations what we have is a treaty of political union which is no longer fit to serve either party involved. That treaty must either be redrawn (a la FFA) or dissolved and thus reflect the wishes of each nations political preference.

    Scotland has consistently voted for left of centre social democracy en masse and its only if the other partners and primarily the English electorate agree that the union falls into line. Nobody should be happy with that arrangement least of all the English who must be totally perplexed and frustrated that the other union partners receive devolved parliaments yet they do not. They are constantly fed the line that the other parties are receiving benefits they are not and that somehow the all powerful Westminster parliament has been conned by these devolved houses into parting with English cash and powers against their will.

    At this point its only too easy with a word or two in the right media ear and some provocative editorial to bait the public in both England and Scotland. Sorry for the long winded reply James, but it’s not an easy one to answer quickly.

  31. Pict54 says:

    Why are English posters on here so poorly informed? Despite all the financial information available proving Scotland’s net surplus provision to the UK (Gers.), and despite clear evidence of a cover-up (the McCrone report) which revealed from the UK GOV’S own files that Scotland would be one of the richest country’s in Europe if we had full access to the oil in our waters , they still whine on about subsidy junkies. And they all are racist in their stereotyping of the Scottish character. Such bile,such hatred..and yet over 400,000 now settled in Scotland (over 8% of our population) so it can’t be that bad up here (despite all the supposed beating ups that they get). My only worry is that nearly all of those resident Anglos that I’ve met are Unionist! So bring on Independence, so that we can join the rest of the free-thinking world, before more of those whining sour Saxons decide to join them!

    1. Dave Coull says:

      Pict54, as a fellow Pict, I have to disagree with the tone of your statement. You complain about “bile” and “hatred” yet appear to display the same yourself. Yes, there are over 400,000 folk who were born south of the border settled in Scotland. And about the same number who were born in Scotland settled south of the border. You say nearly all the ones you’ve met are Unionist. Well, I have met plenty of English folk in Scotland who intend to vote for independence. In fact, I would say support for independence is at about the same level as amongst the “native” population. As for the ones you meet – maybe it’s YOU that’s putting them off the idea.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        This is very confusing! Thank you, Dave Coull, for your sobre response to Pict54. (By the bye, I ahd not realised – my failing – that there were at least 2 Picts still in existence. We live and learn….)

        1. Dave Coull says:

          Yes, Henry Ford said “History is bunk”. That’s Henry Ford the anti-semitic fascist and Nazi-sympathiser. That’s Henry Ford who hired thugs to beat up and even kill anybody trying to organise the working class. The careful and scientific study of history certainly is NOT bunk, although the picture of history held by ignorant bigots like Henry Ford is.

          1. Frederick Robinson says:

            I’ve explained how I arrived at my opinion, similar to Henry Ford’s, that ‘History is bunk’. That you assume that that means I support Ford’s views and actions to the letter suggests something about your reading of others’ words and opinions rather than anything ‘scientific’ or ‘historical’. Ford also enabled millions of US citizens to afford (pardon the pun) a motor-vehicle, formerly the prerogative of only the rich. (Whether that, in thelong run, with global-warming questions, is an unqualified good is another matter. I personally gave up car-possession almost a decade ago. I also have close friends and family with Jewish connections; but have reservations about Israel over Palestine. Life is complicated!)

    2. then grow a pair and vote for independence then……if you’ll be so much better off…….prick……and a coward…….give us english a vote for independence from the celts…… wouldn’t see us for dust..ENGLAND FOREVER BRITAIN NEVER…

  32. Fiona MacInnes says:

    Kevin/George et al,
    Things could be rejected because they are simply crap, but unfotunatley few of us (I’m talking about Jockland) get the chance to make our decisions about the relative crapness of plays or novels as the publishing/performing pond in Scotland is so shrivelled that only if you are a ‘house’ writer already inside the (closed shop) mainly twee or extended to the outer reaches (lifestyle escapees) by default Edinburgh twee-land, with an ‘in the know’ unatainalble magical agent will any plebs who might recognise the story you might be telling about their shared experience in thier various lingos and patois get a chance to access it over the mad frenzy for 50 shades and stuff like that wot I have just read though mildly funny Separate Lives by Kathryn Flett (Orkney name so thought it would get a try…) but which is about ANOTHER PLANET (their caps not mine) even another SPECIES of female. So if all of us unpublished Jockesses(asses LOL) are simply greetin into oor soor (plumbs) GRAPES we should maybe just shut up and put up. However, the thing is THIS………(Deep breath for breathy chic-lit pause – possible bodice rip warning….ha gotcha!) Scottish literary/comedic/poetic voices are NOT BEING HEARD (liking the shouty capitals I have 2say) and seriously its a conspiracy partly as a result of the demise of the printed word the screwed down publishing world who must make money in the money obsessed now with only an amazon tarnished light at the end of a globalising bookshop devouring tunnel. As for the BBC well the British bit rather gives it away.BBC Alba is good but not enough.
    Any answers? A Scottish epublisher please and a travelling political theatre. A truly independent, free tv station – could it be done? Could some tv person advise – does anyone out there have enough dosh to get going?Rejection does get embarrassing ( as well as making you think you ARE crap) and using dialect certainly is a no no in England but also in most of Scotland I have found, however I just cant cure myslef of it…so there’s no where to go Ah doot.
    Phew got that offa ma hooters.

  33. Boundaryhistorian says:

    Edwinsborough (called Edinburgh by Scots) was founded by the English king Edwin. It was taken from England by Scottish conquest in the year 1018. The border between England and Scotland has changed many times over the centuries. Nationalist pride in battles works both ways – remember the Battle of the Standard?

    1. Dave Coull says:

      Edinburgh wasn’t “founded by king Edwin”. He merely captured it. There was a “capital” at Edinburgh LONG before any king Edwin, It was the capital of the Welsh-speaking Gododdin. The most famous epic poem in the Welsh language, Y Gododdin, was written, in Edinburgh, by one of the Welsh-speaking inhabitants of Edinburgh, LONG before any anglo-saxon Edwin appeared on the scene.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        Dear Dave Coull, Sorry I’m writing this in English, not Pictish (or ‘Scots’, though I picked up a few phrases and accents during my 30 years’ residence), and I’m glad that ‘we’ are still ‘here’, though I’m not quite clear on who you mean by ‘we’; and ‘here’ is a subjective orientation. But congratulations on your historical omniscience and (assuming by ‘we’, you mean ‘Picts’) what must be unique personal lineal continuity through many centuries. Most individuals can only trace their ancestry a few generations. Do any professional historians or archeologists, struggling to make objective historical sense of bones, bits of jewellery and (mostly highly partial or mythical) literary sources, know of your existence? You could be a prize museum exhibit! I’m afraid my ‘erroneous and all (my) other beliefs about history’ (incredible! you’re a mind-reader to boot!), tempered as they are with a sense of humour, incline to that expressed in Dylan Thomas’ ‘Under Milk Wood’ – ‘and from this small circle of stones, made not by Druids, but by Mrs Beynon’s Billy’. I did in fact study history for a couple of years (BA London at Glasgow College of Technology) until my private history made it no longer possible; during that time, interesting as I found it, I tended towards Henry Ford’s view that ‘History is bunk’.

        1. Dave Coull says:

          Steve A made the clearly racist claim that “the people of lowland Scotland are Anglo-saxon not celts”. Not only is that racist claim not true of “lowland Scotland” ( HIS ignorant words, not mine), it isn’t even true of England. As for you, Frederick Robinson, your claim that the Scots “got rid” of the Picts was a racist libel on both the Scots and the Picts. OF COURSE the great majority of the one million people of the North East of Scotland, and a large percentage of the population in other areas, are of Pictish descent, even though the majority will also be descended from immigrants of more recent arrival. Probably some day soon somebody will do a bit of DNA research and establish this conclusively, by scientific means. In the meantime, I point to the absence of any evidence to the contrary. So far as both history and archaeology are concerned, there is simply no evidence of any “ethnic cleansing”. It didn’t happen. The newcomers and the existing population mixed.

          1. Frederick Robinson says:

            ‘The newcomers and the existing population mixed’. Exactly. So what is your apparently ‘racist’ (‘the race card’) obsession with Picts, Scots and Anglo-Saxons? You’ve forgotten about the Normans. The ‘English’ (I should preface this by ‘many of….’, perhaps: your ‘scientific’ approach to ‘history’ makes generalisations meaningless, since inter-racial and international mixing is, and has been, more the norm for the last thousand years, and probably further back than that, I would say – again, qualifying my statement because if science is anything, it is doubt and discovery) are a mix of Brython (et al, e.g. Goidel: I wasn’t around personally at the time to bear witness, and we have little in the way of intelligible testimony), Roman, Nordic, Germanic, Norman French, and nowadays, almost any national or racial group you care to mention. But I don’t get shirty because you write of ‘Anglo-Saxons’ as though that label and ‘English’ are synonymous. So why do you get so hot under the collar about Picts and Scots? I specifically said ‘I BELIEVE (without the emphatic capitals; meaning ‘I don’t know’ + in context, ‘it is a generally-held view, supported by the fact that the area north of roughly Carlisle-Newcastle is now known as ‘Scotland’, not ‘Pictland’) ‘that the Scots – did I say ‘got rid of’? Let us say ‘superseded’ – the Picts’. I’ve thanked you elsewhere for your sobriety on the matter: since then, your sense of humour and balance seem to have deserted you. Folk-memories, often-partisan written records, biological and archeological remains tell us just so much. Strange how the complexity of the modern world is seldom projected onto a past that may have been every bit as ambiguous and complicated.

          2. Dave Coull says:

            If you look back through these posts, Frederick Robinson, you will find that it was Steve A who made the racist claim that “the people of lowland Scotland are Anglo-Saxon, not Celts”; and it was yourself who repeated the racist libel that the Scots “got rid” of the Picts. I’m not the one who is “obsessed” with such things – but I was responding to folk who clearly are.

      2. Frederick Robinson says:

        And ‘New York’ was once ‘New Amsterdam’: ‘Time Marches ON!’, as those US (newsreels?) used to say. Do you have any knowledge, though, Dave Coull (I ask this in all sincerity) why Edinburgh is so called? (PS Mr ‘Dear Dave Coull’ reply was in answer to your brief posting of 01.58 (don’t you sleep?) of November 2. This is one of the reasons I reached my ‘history is bunk’ view – variations in the sequence of events and letters can change their meaning).

        1. Dave Coull says:

          I’m well aware ‘New York’ was once ‘New Amsterdam’. The Dutch thought they’d pulled a smart one over the English in that trade, just as they thought they had pulled a smart one over the natives when they “bought” Manhattan from. The racist Steve A, and yourself, have tried to make a big thing out of Edinburgh being briefly Northumbrian; that being so, it was relevant to point out it was the capital of the Welsh-speaking Gododdin before that. As for your question “Do you have any knowledge, though, Dave Coull…..” that piece of gratuitious rudeness doesn’t even deserve an answer.

          1. Frederick Robinson says:

            Mr Coull (I will not be so rude as to call you ‘Dave’; I hardly know you), I’m calling time on this. When I asked ‘in all sincerity’ (and meaning that phrase, because I personally don’t know the answer) whether you knew why Edinburgh was so-called, your ‘gratuitous rudeness’ comment in response suggests you are in argumentative, rather than rational, mood, and inclined to misinterpret what one says. So we’ll call it a day. ‘Bye!

        2. Dave Coull says:

          And no, Frederick Robinson, I did NOT “forget” about the Normans. All of the other groupings – Anglo-Saxons, Picts, Scots – were mentioned by either YOU or the racist Steve A, so of course in responding to you and your racist colleague I also mentioned these groups. Since I wasn’t (on this particular occasion) writing a History of Scotland, there was no reason for me to mention the Normans until you did. The fact I didn’t mention something there was no need to mention is not evidence of “forgetting” it.

          1. Frederick Robinson says:

            (i) ‘Steve A’ is not my ‘colleague’ (whether, in your terms, ‘racist’, or not). I know nothing of him outside this blog. Ditto, you.

  34. Frederick Robinson says:

    English antipathy to Scots as demonstrated by the absence of Scots down South: Malcolm Rifkind, PM Gordon Brown, PM Tony Blair, Education Secretary Michael Gove, James Naughtie, Kirsty Lang, Lord Reith, James Watt/Matthew Boulton, Kirsty Wark – who I bumped into only recently at the Pre-Raphaelite Exhibition at Tate Britain (she was there for the Turner Prize exhibition). To name but a few.

  35. Steve A says:

    Political nationalism breeds xenophobia. Scotland is no exception. Even Scots history is rewritten for nationalstic purposes. Scots folk, speak English for example because the people of lowland Scotland are Anglo-saxon not celts and had their own English kingdom there 500 years before the Scots kings added the lowlands to their Gaelic Empire. They’ve always spoken (northern) English because they are ‘English’ people. Read website after wesbite however and you’ll read that Scots had a seperate language called ‘Inglis’ – nevermind that the word ‘English’ was spelled any number of ways both in Scotland and England at the time.

    1. Dave Coull says:

      The term “lowland Scotland” is meaningless. Parts of the “lowlands” were still Gaelic speaking long after some parts of the “highlands” had ceased to speak Gaelic. And of course neither Orkney nor Shetland were ever Gaelic speaking at any time. Also, your version of “history”, Steve A, is nonsense. The most famous poem in the Welsh language, Y Gododdin, is about Welsh-speaking warriors who set out from their base in Edinburgh to fight against the Anglo-Saxons in Northumbria. Much of southern Scotland was Welsh-speaking before the Northumbrian incursion. Later, King Angus of the Picts, inspired by the vision of a white cross of Saint Andrew which he saw outlined against a bright blue sky (that bit might be a myth…..) led a combined force of Picts, Scots, and Welsh-speaking Brythons (that bit isn’t myth), and defeated and killed King Athelstane of Northumbria at Athelstaneford, in East Lothian, a village where they still ceremonially raise the St Andrews Cross to celebrate that this is Scot Land. It could have been some of King Angus’s newly acquired Northumbrian subjects who first used that term, “well, I suppose we’re part of the Scot Land now……”, but Gaelic also spread across southern Scotland, as can be seen from the fact that you can find Gaelic place-names right up to the border. The decline of Gaelic was a centuries-long affair, and the reasons for it were complex, but certainly NOT because “the people of lowland Scotland are Anglo-Saxon”. The people of every part of Scotland are a bit of a mixture, but you can find clearly Gaelic surnames, as well as place names, in every part of Scotland. Anyway, YOU are the one who is trying to argue froma false racial purity angle, Steve A – your statement “the people of lowland Scotland are Anglo-saxon” is a racist statement.

      1. markyftw says:

        Mostly down to the Scoto-Norman succession to the throne that “Inglis” or Early Scots became the language of the court. Then later the Lowlands. Modern English came later through the efforts of folk like David Hume who wanted to imitate their counterparts in London and in essence become better Londoners than those in the capital.

  36. Frederick Robinson says:

    I agree re ‘political nationalism breed(ing) xenophobia’, Steve A, On July 23 I posted an anecdote of the one occasion when I, as an Englishman, encountered an overt anti-English attitude in 30 years of living in Scotland (I’d still be there probably had the climate and my health not differed). Banter, yes, but xenophobia, no. Is it by chance that two of the most-widely-criticised political parties contain(ed) ‘national’ in their titles? The National Socialist (aka Nazi) Party in Germany, and the BNP in the UK, I mean. I laud Alex Salmond’s and his party’s achievements; I have gigantic reservations over the animosity, the polarisation,, his party’s nationalism has evoked among Scots I consider (I like to think, reciprocally) as friends, much as I think ‘non-Germans/Austrians’ might have felt shifts in the attitudes of their German and Austrian (former) friends towards them under Herr Schickelgruber’s malign influence. Patriotism is one thing: nationalism…..

  37. Frederick Robinson says:

    Only just seen your 20 July posting ‘Pict54’. (Are you a Pict, or a Scot? I believe the latter got rid of the former?) As an ‘Anglo’ (if you prefer these labels) who lived and worked for 30 years in Scotland until, not the people, but the climate (which made me ill) caused me to move back down south, I am ‘a Unionist’ (another label) if you mean one who prefers cohesion (e.g. being part of ‘the free-thinking world’) to fragmentation (as you might describe an isolationist nationalist), but politically (though not as an activist) I was raging against Thatcherite policies in the 80s along with Jimmy Reid and Tommy Sheridan and the rest; sadly, though, I don’t live in Scotland any longer (though my family still does); but on the (slightly warmer) South Coast, where I know not a few Scots (at least one of whom wouldn’t return if you paid him, and whose preoccupations – as are yours and the Scots’ – relate in the first instance to where they live. Your generalisations invalidate your argument.: e.g. ‘400,000’ (preumably indistinguishable one from another) apparently all (well, the 399,999 that ‘I’ve met’ – ‘I’ being you, of course) being full of ‘bile, hatred’, and supposedly suffering ‘beatings up’. You sound like the Scottish version of the Daily Mail, for heaven’s sake!

    1. Dave Coull says:

      Your belief that the Scots got rid of the Picts is as erroneous as all of your other beliefs about history. We are still here.

  38. Dave Coull says:

    As a boy, growing up on the east coast of Scotland, a favourite local pastime was clambering over the rocks around Scurdieness Lighthouse, at the mouth of the River South Esk. We could also watch ships coming into Montrose harbour. The local pilot boat had to guide them in, so that they wouldn’t run aground on the Annat Bank, a dangerous sandbank at the river mouth. The “Esk” in the river name is the same word as the Gaelic “uisge”. Scurdieness is a Gaelic name, and so is the Annat in Annat Bank. And so, of course, is Montrose. If it was French, it would mean pink mountain, but the nearest mountains are twenty miles away inland, and they’re not pink. The modern spelling is a corruption of the Gaelic “Munros”. The local church I attended as a boy is Inchbraoch parish church, from the Gaelic meaning the island of Saint Braoch. That island is no longer the island it was when I was young, because the main course of the river was dredged and deepened so Montrose Harbour could take much larger ships, and the shallow southern arm of the river was filled in and concreted over and the Sea Oil Services base built on it. But the cemetery is still there, and the highest point in the cemetery is believed to be the point where the annat, or hermit’s cell, of Saint Braoch, stood, back in the days when that Celtic follower of Columba (Celtic saints did tend to like islands) first brought Christianity to the area. (In the old days you had to line your boat up with the saint’s annat in order to avoid the sandbank, and that’s the reason it got called the Annat Bank.)

    Growing up on the east coast of Scotland I was surrounded by evidence that the people of the area had at one time been Gaelic speaking. I’ve never felt any great desire to learn Gaelic myself, but I know it’s part of my history.

    And it’s not just the area I grew up in, you can find evidence of our Gaelic past in virtually every part of Scotland, with the possible exception of Orkney and Shetland.

    You can also find evidence of Welsh-speaking Celts, as at Dunbar, in East Lothian for instance.

    That’s why it was so annoying when some ignorant person on here made the racist claim that “the people of the lowlands are anglo-saxon”. Anglo-saxon is one relatively small element in the mixture of who we are, and the attempt to exaggerate that small element for obvious political reasons is offensive.

  39. Liam MacNamara says:

    I find it amusing that Scottish people claim to be these great elightened tolerating parogons of the world, when vast swathes of the Lowlands still haven’t accepted Irish Catholics (fellow Europeans) as human beings. I’m glad my ancestors came to England instead of the Orange Calvinist cesspit beyond the Wall.

    Most of Scottish nationalism is based on embarassment at their leading role in the British Empire (along with Jews) and their attempts to use England as a scapegoat to cover-up ongoing international crimes of Scottish people. Including the warmongering of the Scottish Jewish Labour Party under Blair & Brown, as well as the Tories under London-Scots-Jew, Dave Cameron.

    (1) who founded the “Bank of England”? William Paterson, a Scot.
    (2) who founded the “Bank of New York”? Alexander Hamilton, a Scot.
    (3) who invented capitalism? Adam Smith, a Scot.
    (4) who handed Palestine over to the Zionists? Arthur Balfour, a Scot.
    (5) who ethnically cleansed my people from Ulster? “Ulster”-Scots, under the directive of Scot Stuart king, James I.
    (6) who undermined Home Rule in Ireland and was willing to ignite civil war to stop my people having any rights? Bonar Law, a Scot.

    The damage done to humanity by this small band of psychopaths is imesurable and no amount of tartan and short-bread tins, pseudo-socialism, pointing the finger at England can hide what you did, enthusiastically, voluntarily, during the Empire.

  40. Ian Dick says:

    I thought the response of Chris ( earlier) who was talking from an English viewpoint, was very fair.
    However my post, and thinking, is coming from my study of our genetic history . In both nations as in Wales, most of us on both sides of the border share almost the same genetic makeup. MOST of us are descended from early farmers and incomers from a period generally 3000 to 6000 years ago ( and a few back to 10,300 years). These are people with male chromosome marker called R1b: the Celts , Picts, Bernicians ( Lothians and Borders Anglian-British people) , the Galwegians and Cumbrians , the north easterners , Fifers, and Angus people ( ex picts) not forgetting the Strathclyde Britons – all R1 b: Ancient WELSH speaking people all of them at one point: and their ancestors, who were also the ancient Britons and the Picts, for example. So when people talk of red headed Celts and the difference of the Celtic fringe, they forget that over 60% of English people are exactly the same line of people. However in the South East of England, there is a belief that they are ‘Anglo-Saxon’ and Scots are ‘Celts’. This is an error, not a simplification. I stress here: the word ‘Celt’ is not helpful, it is a word that stems from the source of our common culture, around 500 BC, at La Tiene in the south of France. Most people of the borders and Lothians, are Angles and Ancient Brits, mixed.
    While most people born in East Anglia Kent etc, are ‘British R1b’ like most Scots, they have ‘Anglian’ or Saxon , names. When the Saxons and Angles invaded, they themselves were at least 60% R1b people, though ‘Germanic’ speakers. But so are many East Lothianers.
    Let me put this right: the majority of people who think they are ‘fair anglo saxons’ and so ‘different’ from red or brown headed folk, are actually, sandy headed Britons – fair and light brown hair is simply on the fair side of the common genetic spectrum of all R1 b folk. Southerners should not be so fast to put down the red hair that they believe is ‘only’ a ‘Celtic’ thing.
    I am really only writing this here so that some readers on BOTH sides O Tweed, can realise they are basing their antagonisms over the border, under false premises.
    Now, anyone interested, don’t take my word for this, you can get a copy of the excellent book by Alastair Moffatt, and James Wilson ( I am not an agent) ‘The Scots – a Genetic Journey’ ( around £10.00). I have just finished this and it is a revelation. And because it goes back to early history it is a great introduction to English and Welsh origins too. For my own part, a study of my genetic past, bear with me please, while I was born in Edinburgh, my father’s line has many markers for Shropshire area. My mother’s line – the Milne’s – are from pictish Aberdeen area. My maternal grandmother – is English of Danish stock ( she says). My birthplace – entitles me to be a proud Edinburgh Scot. but by blood line I am only 25% Scottish . It has made me feel I have much more kinship with English people, and in this, I no longer get flustered about ‘us and them’ of course, at Murrayfield, I do!
    Ian Dick

    1. Maria says:

      I have heard that red hair actually originated in Scandinavia, and since the Vikings settled in many parts of the British Isles this could well be true. My family who are Irish-French often used to say that traditional Gaelic/Celtic colouring is dark brown hair and blue or green eyes.
      I myself am from the Cornish peninsula (south west Devon) and most people from this region have medium to dark brown hair (some red hair too). They are also smaller and slighter than people in the south east of England. You don’t see many fair-haired people in Devon. Devon people and indeed most people in the west of England are mainly of Gaelic or Celtic origin. English Celts in fact.
      However there is a relatively new theory supported by DNA tests that the vast majority of the population of the British Isles are of Basque origin. About 85% in the west, slightly lower percentage in the east.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        Whose Basque theory?

  41. Ian Dick says:

    Dave Coull ( earlier) Dave I meant to comment on a couple of points from what I read as a generally very good and interesting post about the Montrose area of your childhood ( sadly the town seems a bit rundown these days).
    There are certainly Gaelic words in placenames in the East Cost, but Pictland was British of course before the merging of the Scot-Gaels from the far west and the Picts in the 8th? Century. As with the Lothian Anglians, and as with the early farmers of pre-history, the Mearns and Angus retained a large majority blood line of pictish-british.
    The incoming Gaelic ‘administration’ and no doubt some of its warrior caste did not make the counties of the East coat of Scotland, OR the Lothians, or Strathclyde ( to a limited degree) ‘Gaelic’ and indeed you will agree there are many pictish placenames all over ( though I am more versed with those of Fife, with the ‘pit’ prefix, Pittenweem etc). I’d like to talk further about this at some stage.

    Ian Dick

  42. Dave Coull says:

    Ian Dick, I was responding to some ignorant person who made the racist (and ignorant) claim on here that “the people of the lowlands are anglo-saxon”. Apart from the fact that the term “the lowlands” is in itself ignorant and pretty meaningless, anglo-saxon is just one relatively small element in the mixture of who we are, and the attempt to exaggerate that small element for obvious political reasons is offensive. Having said that, Gaelic is also just part of our heritage. I’m very well aware of my own Pictish ancestry. Any time anybody lays it on too thick about the Gaels of the West, and claiming that’s where Scotland started, I say no it didn’t, it started in Angus. I stress the Pictish origins of the Kingdom of Alba. And I’m also very well aware that, genetically speaking, there is little or no difference between populations north and south of the Border – they are equally “celtic”, genetically speaking, in so far as that term has any meaning at all. But I have to also say that, when anybody starts talking about ancient peoples being “British”, for me, alarm bells start ringing, because of all the modern baggage which that term carries.

  43. John Hurst says:

    I’m a Scouser. Liverpool is a city mainly of English,Scottish,Welsh and Irish descent. We live like a family and no-one gives a damn of ancestry. Maybe many of you people should do the same. I’m proud of my city, and being English (I even have some Scottish blood)and I’m proud of being a Brit.

    1. MIke Marriott says:

      Well said John.

  44. Tina says:

    I was called an ‘English Bitch’ by a Jock in central London – the best city in the world, so the Scots can shove their comments up their kilts!

  45. Lolboy says:

    To me, a foreigner in the British isles, stranger to your inner quarrels and disputes, grudges and hopes, there is little to no difference in how both the English and the Scottish act towards my person. Its a biased nation, filled with prejudice whose citizen’s best teachers seem to be Mr. TV and Mr. Football. Not talking about the nightmarish weather for most of the year, which apparently seem to be the perfect, ideal, for some British, yes, heard even that, unconfessed English deviances.
    Anyway for me the Scots can have independence, the English can go to hell, they all can do what they wish, affects me little. How wouls it, if I’d still be here, trying to save money to leave the sinking ship, thats it. I forgot, you will now ask me where Im myself from, you are also highly predictble. Not hating you, but after some years here I got what lies behind the brits famous coldness and etiquette, didnt like it! Not saying there isnt some beautiful, lovely people here, there are, some, but even those which are usually wel travelled and naturally intelligent have got some sort of general brainwash regarding most things, a pity indeed!

    1. Maria says:

      I’d guess you might be Dutch: I’m genuinely interested in your country of origin. I’m British myself but have been living VERY happily in NL for almost 40 years now, and I’m able to see the English as they really are. My main objections include their shocking unconscious arrogance and misplaced sense of superiority to others, and also the fact that they refuse to enter into open and frank discussion with others. They slither away and retreat behind veil after veil of polite superficiality. And this means that misunderstandings never get cleared up because English people refuse to discuss them. You never know where you are with them.

      1. Frederick Robinson says:

        Maria, re your response to (Dutch?) lolboy, you write of not knowing where you are with the ‘slithering away’ English – which one takes it your are not (!?) – yet beyond defining yourself as ‘British. myself’. you give no indication to let us know where YOU are from: Scotland? Ireland? Wales? the Isle of Man? Guernsey? the Orkneys? Shetland? Perhaps you are a naturalised immigrant from – who knows where?

        1. Maria says:

          Hi Frederick, I am Second-generation Briton of Irish and French parentage. From the Cornish peninsula. Offspring of naturalised immigrants 🙂

          1. Frederick Robinson says:

            Then logically, Scottish Independence a possibility, but Cornish independence not so, as far as I am aware, you are more English than anything. ‘British’ implies English-Scottish-Welsh (et al) combined. Minus any one of these (especially Scottish, since modern ‘Britain’ was a creation of Anglo-Scottish King James VI of Scotland, James I of England), ‘Britain/British’ lose much of their meaning, other than geographically. I, for example, am English/British, but lived/worked 30 years (almost half my life at the time) in Scotland, but came back to England on health grounds; my ex-wife, daughters (one born in England, one Scotland) and grand-daughter, still live in Scotland. All can vote in September, I can’t; so I’m not ‘Scottish. My Anglo-Austrian and Anglo-Austrian-Scottish/Bangladeshi family are Scottish, can vote; and I would need a passport to visit them. At present I am British (as are my family); after September, if there is independence, I am English, they are Scottish. Who’s ‘slithering away….’?

          2. Maria says:

            Good lord, the Cornish don’t want independence. They would (rightly) like official recognition of Cornwall as a separate Home Nation, that’s all. And no, I am definitely NOT “English”. Being English means you identify with the English as your ethnic identity. I don’t. I have no English blood. I have no feeling whatsoever for the English or England. I’m British because it says so in my passport, but surely the only person who has the right to determine my own ethnic identity is me myself and no other! If pressed, I would give my ethnic identity as Irish-British or West Briton.

          3. Maria says:

            Also, “British”, being the nationality of all the home nations in the United Kingdom, very nicely describes immigrants and their offspring, like me. How anyone could take it into their head to describe an Irish-French immigrant as English is beyond my comprehension. My ancestors are turning in their graves at the very thought.

          4. Dave Coull says:

            “I would need a passport to visit them” that’s not true. You don’t need a passport to visit the Republic of Ireland, why should you need a passport to visit Scotland?.

          5. Frederick Robinson says:

            Put it down to a mixture of wry irony and ‘feel’: the last time I visited my family (by return-fare train), I had inordinate difficulty – despite having an already-paid return ticket to England – in getting away from Glasgow, (inexplicable ticket-office complications) and only eventually succeeded by one of my daughters buying me an overnight sleeper compartment (i.e paying extra), and generally (perhaps because it’s – amazingly to me – 18 years since I left) there’s a growing sense of ‘here’ and ‘there’, where once there was no distinction. I fear Independence can only exacerbate this sense….

  46. Jason Hamilton says:

    It’s alarmist rubbish like this that divides people. Most Scots – and English people – get on fine with others from across the border. There are a handful of people that think nationality is cause for antagonism. Most rational people take those they meet at face value.

    Yes, there are idiots on both sides. Every country has them. But that doesn’t mean we all have to follow their lead now, does it.

  47. Frederick Robinson says:

    PS Maria. Typically, Bella Caledonia published my last (‘The Tempest’) email, after I’d clicked ‘post comment’, WAY up the page; and immediately after the email on middle class you sent, which I refrained from answering because they didn’t show it above ‘Leave a Reply’, making it impossible for me to know what I was replying to.

  48. JP says:

    You want to try saying you come from Birmingham! (As I do) to experience loathing and cultural indifference! (er….from everybody it seems!)

    1. Frederick Robinson says:

      It’s a decade or four (1960-62) since I worked in ‘Brum’, JP, and I have to confess that the day I got off the coach from my native Nottingham, the first person I spoke to in Wylde Green had to give me instructions to my lodgings three times, and even then I got it from his gestures mainly. But this led into 2 happy years in Erdington/Sutton Coldfield, and may well have influenced my eventually marrying and having two daughters by a Brummy (well, if you call Solihull folk Brummies). But the same problem occurred in 1966 when I got off the train in Glasgow (to be followed a while after by said Brummy wife and in due course, children) and ‘couldnae unnerston’ a worrd was sayed tae me’; 30 years later I returned to England, having suffered a stroke from the minus 15degrees winter of 1992. Otherwise I’d have been happy to stay with the folk in either city/part of the UK. I have to confess that Alex Salmond’s political faffing around hasn’t endeared (well, not ‘the Scots’, especially those not included in his limited definition, but HIM, and perhaps Nicola Sturgeon, particularly, to me. A totally destructive man, in my opinion).He should get out (of Scotland) more….

      1. MIke Marriott says:

        I could not agree more about Alex Salmond – I would be careful what you wish for.

        How a vote can happen without specifics of how the Union would be split is beyond me. It seems Mr Salmond can just say what he wants.

  49. touchstonesys says:

    Bile from both sides. Pride, especially nationalistic pride, has a long and nasty history from wherever it emanates.

    1. Frederick Robinson says:

      If you see ‘bile’ as being from an Englishman living/working for 30 years, most of the time happily, in Scotland, and still with many friends, former students, and my family (I having returned to England on health grounds) still there – not to mention the fact that, health permitting, I would still be (happy to be) there, as ‘bile’, you must have a very very tender constitution. I do feel annoyed over the Independence (aka Alex Salmond/NicolaSturgeon/SNP Show) question – but that’s political. I feel as angry about the David Cameron/George Osborne/Nick Clegg Show. I feel even angrier that the ‘once in a generation’ claim by the SNP suddenly contracts to ‘once in a Parliament’ aspiration once the Referendum went what they consider the wrong way. (I’m reminded of the Bertold Brecht poem about political leaders who not getting the election result they want decide they should change the population).

  50. bj says:

    I’d be perfectly happy to support Murray if I didn’t think I’d piss off a bunch of you whiners by daring to see him as ‘British’ at all. You want it both ways, that’s the problem.

  51. Away-andStick-your-Arsz-oot-the winda says:

    Mums Scottish Dads English sailor conceived in Glasgow born in Singapore. Grew up in Manchester then moved to Glasgow in 1974. As an 8 year old predestinate in a catholic estate it was interesting with an English Dad who wore an England Rugby and Man City top back then. When I moved speaking English I was hated by certain people but most working class people were fine. I joined the Army in 83 and as I developed a GlasGee accent which I cannot shed I was hated FRISP Porridge Wog Blah Blah.
    Yet my mates I served with were and still are friends for life English Scottish Welch Irish Indian Hungarian and African. My point is people in charge always look to cause friction people working and enjoying life and respecting one another always find the truth. This tiny island is to small for so much agro. Enjoy the best place on earth with the worst weather and have a laugh. It will all soon be over.

  52. Away-andStick-your-Arsz-oot-the winda says:

    By The way predestinate thats cause the catholic chaps do not like to say PRODestant

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