28 thoughts on “Scotland the brave”

  1. >>simply because they were wearing England shirts

    The worrying thing about this isn’t that someone was hit for wearing England strips but that it’s been reported as such. It makes it sound like this is some sort of serious trend when it appears like random acts of violence from violent people. There is a worrying increase in anti-scottish feeling down here and this is going to make it worse.

  2. I know, and it’s leading to a lot of navel-gazing in the Scots media. It’s thuggery, pure and simple, from the kind of people who batter the crap out of others for no reason whatsoever. But unfortunately it does shine a light into the festering anti-englishness among the thicker members of Scots society.

  3. I’m in two minds about your post, to be honest. Yes, there’s an element I recognise, but it’s also a very, very small element. Most Scots are great, including me :)

  4. Yep, I’ve read it. And I’m not offended :)

    On the racism thing… something I’ve wondered about from time to time is the difference between Scotland and England in that regard: generally speaking we don’t have a race problem in scotland, bar tabloid-fuelled anti-“asylum seeker” stuff. I wonder, is the difference because we’re overwhelmingly white (compared to England)? In the absence of non-white immigration we’ve had to find another target for our racism (which exists, to a greater or lesser extent, in every country), so we’ve gone down the anti-English and sectarian route instead… certainly I’m baffled when the BNP get any votes in England, but not baffled when nut-jobs spout ill-informed anti-english bullshit up here.

  5. >>I’ve read it

    So have I and I shouldn’t have been offended by the first one.

    >overwhelmingly white

    I probably shouldn’t notice but when I come back up to Scotland it is quite startling how white the population is. Thinking about it I think that pre-university I only had met about a dozen non-white people.

    The racism down here is fairly shocking. I did hear someone in the pub a while back saying that it was “about time” that someone had made the comments that the BNP were being prosecuted for in that documentary (and people were agreeing with her). I’ve heard some really shitty stuff. And yes, I am a coward and usually don’t say anything to them unless I know the person reasonably well, but I’m not a fan of beatings. I suppose the first couple of times I did until I realised how acceptable it is. And it works both ways – it isn’t uncommon for the race card to be played in workplaces etc when anything doesn’t go someones way.

    The BNP getting votes down here doesn’t surprise me at all. I didn’t vote when I lived in Scotland (mainly due to my opinion that all scottish MP candidates are bastards) but I’ve had to do the whole lesser of two evils voting down here as I don’t want to give a mandate to the BNP. I think the only reason that the BNP don’t get more councillors and MPs down here is that the turnout of the Asian population is massively higher than the white population. This usually means that in some regions the councils have a non-white majority (even if not mirrored in the population) which the white people think are giving preferential treatment to asians. That’s where most comments I hear seem to stem from, e.g. “I don’t mean to sound racist but if I was asian there wouldn’t have been a problem getting planning permissions” and so on.

    People are bastards really.

    Oh, BTW Ruth was actually born in Scotland with English parents but considers herself Scottish.

  6. My assessment of English racism is based on living in the South. Now you mention it, David, yes, it is quite different in the North. I think I’d better update my post to mention that.

    > I’ve had to do the whole lesser of two evils voting down here

    That’s the only voting I’ve ever done: voting Labour to make sure the SNP don’t get a foothold. These days, of course, were I still in Scotland, I’d vote SNP, but I’d be doing it for the UK, not for Scotland.

    > I probably shouldn’t notice but when I come back up to Scotland it is quite startling how white the population is.

    I found that really odd when I first moved to Glasgow. I really missed black faces.

    > “I don’t mean to sound racist but if I was asian there wouldn’t have been a problem getting planning permissions”

    Is there any kind of bigotry or prejudice that town planning departments don’t encourage?

    > generally speaking we don’t have a race problem in scotland

    Hmm. While you are probably right that the racism dosn’t get so much of a chance to rear its ugly head as it would in England, due to fewer targets, it’s definitely very much there. Remember in 1996 when it was proven that Glasgow estate agents had been operating an informal cartel to keep Asians out of nice areas? (The irony being, of course, that the Asians are such nice and civilised neighbours — Govanhill would have been so much nicer if most of the whites had moved out.) And there was the whole Mohammed Sarwar nonsense, a large part of which, in my opinion, boiled down to a major faction in the Glasgow Labour Party not wanting a non-white candidate.

    This is interesting:

    >Communities will always “scrap” for government resources because they are correct in their belief that if group A gets more of the pie then group B gets less. Scrapping, with or without bricks and broken bottles, is an excellent way to get more pie. Nor is it wise to hope for a day when resources are no longer scarce; in most of the country the economy is more sovietised than many countries that not so long ago were actually part of the Soviet bloc.

    … multi-racial – and even, to some extent, multi-cultural societies can be made to work. Just not where there is socialism.

    I suspect that applies quite well to Scottish anti-Englishness as well as intercolour hatred. It’s certainly a large part of the reason why the English are going off the Scots.

  7. > While you are probably right that the racism dosn’t get so much of a chance to rear its ugly head as it would in England, due to fewer targets, it’s definitely very much there.

    Oh, I agree. Many years ago I remember a fairly nasty situation where a friend’s friend was in town, and the local arses couldn’t decide what was worse: the fact he was English, or the fact he was black. Had he been gay (or even better, a gay tory transvestite) as well I suspect the entire fabric of the universe might have imploded and taken the entire town with it. I’ve certainly had jaw-dropping moments when blatantly racist crap has spewed from the mouths of people I thought were smart enough not to have such opinions. And taxi drivers too, particularly north-side-based ones. And of course we also have really nasty homophobia too. Yay us.

    > The irony being, of course, that the Asians are such nice and civilised neighbours

    Yep, although of course there’s a bit of a gang problem developing now. Which is partly a reaction to racism, and partly a sign that Scots asian teenagers can be just as stupid as Scots white teenagers.

    I do think Scotland has more in common with the north than the south btw: largely industrial (or rather, formerly industrial) economy, several generations of unemployment, hard drinking macho culture etc.

  8. > Communities will always “scrap” for government resources because they are correct in their belief that if group A gets more of the pie then group B gets less.

    Indeed. And when people mistakenly believe that group A gets more of the pie than they do, human nature shows its many wonders and heads get caved in.

  9. From what I’ve seen so far the asian gangs and the white gangs round here are equally stupid.

    I think that there are a few cultural issues here that help breed this stuff. One is that Asian culture is currently much more family oriented. For example, there are 3 people in my office. I live with Ruth but my Dad lives in Largs, my Mum in Ireland and Ruth’s folks in Ayrshire too. Julian, my colleague, lives in Lancashire with his wife but their family are in Yorkshire – about 70 miles away. Javaid and his wife and kids live across the street from his mum and dad and they have various relatives living in the same street or close-by. White people see that as really threatening, i.e if an asian family move in then the whole area will be full of asians within a few years.

    I think the other thing is alcohol. Muslims (or which a large part of the asian commuity) do not drink. White English culture is largely centred around pubs (just look at soap-operas!).

  10. Hi Gary,

    I’ve come across to your site from Squander Two’s following the ‘Scots hate the English’ thread and thought I’d add my tuppence worth.

    As a Scot who’s lived and worked in London for forty years I almost choked with laughter at Squander’s claim that racism is not as prevelant in the South as elsewhere. He must have been on the moon when Steven Lawrence died.

    Anyway, lets say that this is one Brit who’d be sorry to see the Union break up, as I believe – should that happen – the biggest celebrations would not be in Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh or London but, in the Cabinet Offices in Berlin and Paris.

  11. Hi Alec, thanks for popping round. I agree, it’d be a shame if the union were to break up – football arsery aside, I do think most scots are generally pro-union (if we weren’t, we’d have voted the SNP in decades ago). However, there’s a lot of speculation in the Sundays today that rather than Scotland deciding to go it alone, we could end up in a situation where England says “sod the lot of you” and boots out the rest of the UK. Hope that doesn’t happen…

    > I almost choked with laughter at Squander’s claim that racism is not as prevelant in the South as elsewhere.

    To be fair, I think he said that it was more acceptable to be *openly* racist in general company, rather than saying the North was more racist than the South. Having lived in neither place, I’ve no idea.

  12. Hi Gary,

    I agree entirely with your Scots/SNP observation. Also, can confirm that within the last twelve/eighteen months I have experienced an upsurge in English nationalism (some quite vitriolic) especially when Scots MPs voted on England only legislation. The West Lothian question is at the heart of this. As well as recently with McConnell saying he was supporting England’s football opponents.

    Returning to the question of racism down in this neck of the woods – it is just as open, and wider spread, depending on the company ones in. By the way, this applies equally within non-whites. Indian (Hindu/Sikh) v Pakistani (Muslim), Somali v West Indians (Marcus Howe’s recent TV programme highlighting and lamenting this in south London) as well as Asian v Blacks (recent riots and murders in Birmingham) are only some of the sad facts on this subject.

    As to our love/hate relationship with our big brother England (where I’ve enjoyed a good life – and yes, some of my best friends are English. Correction, my best friends are English). However, I’ve constantly had to remind them that there is no such person as the queen of England (more on that later*) Gt Britain is not another name for England or vice versa and that the Cornish are not English (Anglo-Saxon).

    *It was with horror that I, and the rest of Scotland, heard the new queen (1953) announce her title as Elizabeth the Second of Great Britain etc. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

    Right, got to dash and watch England beat Ecuador.

  13. > Squander’s claim that racism is not as prevelant in the South as elsewhere

    Gary’s right: that’s certainly not what I claimed. Nor would I, as it would be obviously wrong.

    > He must have been on the moon when Steven Lawrence died.

    Steven Lawrence was killed by five blokes. Extrapolating from that to an entire population seems risky to me.

    There was a lot of shite spoken about the police at the time. For instance, their use of the word “coloured”. When I was at school in New Cross, “black” was considered borderline racist, and “coloured” was considered polite. At some point over the following decade, the offensiveness of the two terms was swapped, without a nationwide advertising campaign to let everyone know. Had I joined the police and moved back to London, I’d have used the word “coloured” precisely because I’m not racist and I’d want to avoid causing offense. And I’d have been labelled as a racist as a result.

    Yet another good example of how political correctness helps no-one. Actions matter; language doesn’t.

    > the Cornish are not English

    Yes, they are. Cornwall is in England. People born in England are English. “Anglo-Saxon” refers to a historical people who no longer exist, and has nothing to do with whether anyone is English.

    > Elizabeth the Second of Great Britain

    But that’s what she is. Similarly, Henry V of England was also Henry V in Angers and other parts of France, regardless of how many Henries they may have had there previously. The number refers to royal lineage, not to geography. It’s very simple: her name’s Elizabeth; there’s been one previous Elizabeth on the same throne, hence “the Second”; and then you put the territory over which she is sovereign after the word “of”. The territory is subject to change; the lineage, having already happened, isn’t. Anyone who gets offended by that needs a hobby.

  14. > Also, can confirm that within the last twelve/eighteen months I have experienced an upsurge in English nationalism (some quite vitriolic) especially when Scots MPs voted on England only legislation.

    I wonder how much of it has been stirred up by the mid-market tabloids?

    Peter Preston wrote about it in today’s guardian, although it seemed a little unfocused to me; then again, thanks to my delightful dog I’ve been awake since silly o’clock and I’m running on sod-all sleep…

  15. > Gary’s right: that’s certainly not what I claimed. Nor would I, as it would be obviously wrong.

    Accepted.

    > Steven Lawrence was killed by five blokes. Extrapolating from that to an entire population seems risky to me.

    Where did I extrapolate, or even infer, that an entire population was in anyway guilty. I am claiming that bigotry and prejudice knows no geographic or societal borders and is often expressed in murderous fashion. Perhaps you’re feeling a wee bit defensive over your own original rant (graciously amended) against an entire population based on two cowardly thug’s despicable actions. As for the rest of the sad, ugly Lawrence affair, I can only defer to the McPherson Report.

    > It’s very simple: her name’s Elizabeth; there’s been one previous Elizabeth on the same throne,

    The previous one was queen of England not the United Kingdom of Gt Britain. Monarchs can take their own name when they ascend the throne, hence why Charles has indicated that he may take another title than Charles III (he thinks Charles is unlucky name for a king) should he succeed his mother.

    > Anyone who gets offended by that needs a hobby.

    I feel so chastised. *Rushes off in tears to tell Scotland to get a hobby*. They want to know if supporting Portugal counts?

    > Yes, they are. Cornwall is in England. People born in England are English.

    Try telling that to my Cornish friends who all hold British passports. ; )

    > I wonder how much of it has been stirred up by the mid-market tabloids?

    Very much tabloid stirred (particularly foreign owned – which is ironic in itself) although a number of the more serious papers have climbed aboard on what is a matter that must be addressed and resolved without rancour.

  16. Forgot to add in my last post:

    > The number refers to royal lineage, not to geography.

    If this is correct, why did JamesVI have to become James 1?

  17. > Where did I extrapolate, or even infer, that an entire population was in anyway guilty.

    You didn’t, and I didn’t say you did. You did, however, say this:

    > I almost choked with laughter at Squander’s claim that racism is not as prevelant in the South as elsewhere. He must have been on the moon when Steven Lawrence died.

    Sorry, but if that isn’t supposed to mean that Steven Lawrence’s murder is, in some way, evidence of the prevalence of racism in the South, what does it mean?

    > Perhaps you’re feeling a wee bit defensive over your own original rant (graciously amended) against an entire population based on two cowardly thug’s despicable actions.

    No. What I ranted about, and said that I was ranting about, was not the two stories but the fact that they are not unusual. Any criticism of the Scots was based not on the two thugs but on eleven years’ experience of living in Scotland.

    > I can only defer to the McPherson Report.

    I’ve not read it and have no idea what proportion of it is fair or correct — I have no idea whether the whole coloured-versus-black thing was addressed in there — but that doesn’t change the fact that there was a lot of shite spoken about the police at the time and a lot of the alleged racism was no such thing. For all I know, McPherson was as dismissive of some allegations as I am, and only left in justified ones. Doesn’t mean the unjustified allegations weren’t made.

    > Try telling that to my Cornish friends who all hold British passports.

    What, you think holding a British passport proves that you’re not English?

    Your Cornish friends may not like being English. Neither do I, come to that. But they are. Also, just because you happen to know a bunch of Cornish separatists, doesn’t mean there aren’t thousands of Corns quite happy with or even proud of being English, who would be rather surprised to hear your theory that they’re not.

    > Monarchs can take their own name when they ascend the throne

    Yes, they can, if they want. Or they may choose not to. And not only when they ascend the throne; any other time they like, too. In fact, monarchs aren’t unique in that regard: I can change my name if I want, and have done. So can you. What on Earth this has to do with misguided Scots resentment over the name of their queen, I have no idea.

    > The previous one was queen of England not the United Kingdom of Gt Britain.

    Same throne.

    > If this is correct, why did JamesVI have to become James 1?

    Because he ascended a different throne. He was the sixth James on his old throne, but the first on his new one.

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