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Friday, June 30, 2006

Little Souls

It's the World Cup and so time for another tedious boat of anti-English racism in Scotland. Tedious if your not one of those who actually gets beaten up for being English. I remember I invited a priest up to give a talk here in Aberdeen a few years ago and he was walking to his train across the concourse (not in clericals) when a complete stranger shouted at him "when you’ve finished your degree f**k off back to England". My sister was a barmaid here for a couple of years and had people asking to be served by someone else because she was English. I remember listening to a sustained diatribe from her flatmate during a meal in a restaurant for my sister's birthday about how much she f***ing hates the f***ing English but not to worry "because I don’t think of you as English". The chap I share my office with uses the phrase 'f***ing English' as a kind of ejaculatory prayer as he broods over the Scottish Wars of Independence. I sat next to woman on the train the other day who had spent nearly two decades in Perth where her husband works and where she had raised her children. She was determined to return to England as soon as her husband retired because she couldn't stand the constant abuse. These are merely a cross section of instances. The English (those who have not been embittered by the experience of living in Scotland) have nothing against the Scots at all. They support whichever of the home nations are in any international competition unless they are playing England. Many Irish people of my acquaintance take the same approach. Most Scots not only don't support England they support anyone who is playing against England. The only possible reason for this is an irrational hatred of the English. This position of mindless hatred is endorsed by the brain-dead First Minister. Scotland has no legitimate grievances against the English. The Scots King inherited the English throne not the other way round. It is Scotland not England that ensured the triumph of Protestantism in Britain. The deposition of the Stuarts is a result of that calamity and nothing else. The Scots made a fortune out of the Empire. The Wars of Independence were an absurdly long time ago and the Scots won.