Wednesday, 14 January 2009

These boors aren't real Scots

I have never met an ignorant Scotsman over fifty. I have, many times, on construction sites, in workers' boozers and on trains, met ordinary working Scots of this generation whose erudition would put an English banker to shame. These are men who don't confuse Rimbaud with a fictional American mercenary. There was something about aspiration in Scotland up until the sixties or so, or until the malign effects of Welfarism kicked in, that gifted even poor Scots with a superlative liberal education.

This generation would never have confused the interests of the Scottish nation, that is, the Scottish people, with those of a Scottish State. The confusion of nation and State, enhanced by such historically risible pap as 'Braveheart', has sadly created a boorish generation of younger Scots whose racism towards the English is turning increasingly violent.

A further incident, an attack on a young English woman this time, must not lead us to imagine such behaviour is typical of the Scottish nation. It isn't. These are the actions of an ignorant boorish rabble whom most Scots would disown.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid this sort of thing is not uncommon.

I've lived in Scotland for more than thirty years, but still sound English because of my birthplace and schooling.

And even in my own home village I sometimes get referred to as "that English bastard".

Even worse, my second son came home one day (at the age of about eight) and asked "Dad, am I English?" He was born in Glasgow and has spent all his life in Scotland, so clearly NOT, and why would it suddenly matter? It turned out that if he was "English", he would not be allowed into the house of one of his school-friends. And this friend's father was one of the local GP's!

Bigotry is always with us, unfortunately, and not just in the football world where it's most obvious.

Anonymous said...

I've had a couple of experiences with Glasgow taxi drivers that bear out Raedwald's thoughts.

The first, about eight years ago, was with a middle-aged driver in a bush hat who waxed lyrical about the Roman dictator Sulla and the many popular misconceptions that attended the late Roman republic.

The second, just last year, was an elderly man who picked me up directly outside of Glasgow University and commented on his shame that he had not appreciated the value of education until he was well into his thirties. Since then, though, he had taken a great many night classes in subjects ranging from egyptology to modern architectural history. The value, he explained, was not to be measured in material terms but in the improvement to one's mind and one's understanding.

On the other hand, I grew up with a close friend whose mother (a native Gaelic speaker) not only forbade her family from having all interactions with the English but actually closed her door to anyone and everyone with an English-sounding surname. At least we always knew what to get her for Christmas: a CD of The Corries and a box of shortbread and the bitch was set for the year.

Anonymous said...

Scotland has seen an unprecedented increase in dependence on the state and one consequence of that dependence is that the state, more or less self-consciously, is deliberately subsidising extremely poor lifetstyle choices. Alcoholics and drug addicts are feeding their addictions using handouts of taxpayers' money and they keep a roof over their heads while they do so because of subsidised social housing.

Utter dependence has created utter irresponsibility. The absence of responsibility means there is an absence of any spur to self-improvement - after all, if I'm going to be living on benefits for the rest of my life, why should I waste my time reading a book? Fuck books; just pass me my betting slips...

The unwillingness to improve oneself is manifested most obviously in an apathy or even hostility to learning and education. If you ever read the blog of Cllr. Terry Kelly, you'll see both the cause and the effect - the proud, even arrogant ignorance engendered by absolute dependence and absolute entitlement.

In the absence of knowledge and wisdom, too many Scots wallow in their ignorance. They seek a national identity which is defined not by the positivity of being Scottish but by the negativity of not being English. Once upon a time, to be a Scot meant something; now, to be a Scot simply means to yell loudly that you're no' fuckin' English. This, I need hardly say, is not true of all my fellow countrymen but it is true of far too many of us.

In the Middle Ages, Scotland was unique in Europe in that education was very widely available. Scotland, in fact, was the only mediaeval country to provide free compulsory education for all its inhabitants. The Scots, once upon a time, loved learning - and they loved it as much as they loved the bottle and the battle; they made themselves into an educated, cultured race who contributed much to the world. Labour's policies of welfare and dependence, of entitlement and division, of class warfare and English-baiting have erased a millennium of history and a millennium of culture by erasing the characteristics that made Scotland a great nation, the characteristics of independence, self-respect, intellectual curiosity, pride, devotion to hard work and, yes, the simple enlightened material self-interest identified the great Scot Adam Smith. These were the characteristics that helped build an empire and helped make Britain a nation without peer in the world. They may not be completely gone now but they are on life support and Gordon Brown, the son of the manse himself, is looking forward to pulling the plug once and for all.

Elby the Beserk said...

Some truth in this. Not that long ago there were quite a few Scottish footballers playing south of the borders. Far fewer now, certainly in the Prem. What one observed was that whereas English players struggle to put a simple sentence together, the Scots would be articulate and intelligent.

On the other hand. my father-in-law, a gunner in the Navy during the war, said that whenever he was in a bar anywhere in the world and a fight started, it was a Scotsman that started it!

Anonymous said...

What one observed was that whereas English players struggle to put a simple sentence together, the Scots would be articulate and intelligent.

Truth.

On the other hand. my father-in-law, a gunner in the Navy during the war, said that whenever he was in a bar anywhere in the world and a fight started, it was a Scotsman that started it!

Also truth.

William Gruff said...

Articulate and intelligent Scots are very rare; loquacious and pretentious Scots are quite common however. The rest are, and have always been, an ignorant rabble.

Anonymous said...

Thon wee lassie wis oan the wireless the day an she soonded as Scots as oanybiddy. Maybe no doric Aberdonian, bit if she hudna telt us she wis fae Cheltenham I wudna hae kent she wis a sassenach at aw. Noo if yon wally that punched the lassie wis able to detect that she wis a sassenach, how did he manage tae work it oot?

I think in the fullness of time we will find that there was no racist intent, only some drunken idiot who punched someone who's story fits some media agenda and who decided to get the 15 minutes of fame by claiming racism. Last year we had a Sikh boy who claimed ( and it would have been shocking ) that a gang of white youths attacked him and cut off his hair. Turned out to be codswallop, but how many can remember just the first bit of the story?

Racism is natural, and everywhere, but you cannot blame the whole Scots nation because some people are stupid.

Anonymous said...

Articulate and intelligent Scots are very rare;

About as rare as articulate and intelligent Englishmen.

loquacious and pretentious Scots are quite common however.

About as common as loquacious and pretentious Englishmen.

I took a look at your blog "Tartan Tinted Spectacles", Mr. Gruff, and I can see that you and the bigots who beat up this girl would get along swimmingly. Like them, you're blinded by your bigotry, wrapped up in your victimhood and downright proud of your ignorance.

I have known, taught and been taught by many fine, intelligent Englishmen whose thoughts were always a pleasure to hear, even when I disagreed with them, and whose obvious intellectual prowess never ceased to impress, men who exemplified all that was admirable about England and English culture. You, however, are not one of them. You are an embarrassment to England and the English race as the yobs mentioned in the story are an embarrassment to Scotland and the Scottish race.

Anonymous said...

Racism is natural, and everywhere, but you cannot blame the whole Scots nation because some people are stupid.

I don't think any sensible person - least of all Raed - seeks to tar all Jocks with the same brush. Every nation produces cretins (I'm talking to you, Mr. Gruff).

William Gruff said...

Anonymous 20:49 and Anonymous 20:50:

Anglophobia is part of the Scotch psyche and I haven't met a Jock yet who has not been touched by it. When I was in Sc*tland (I worked there for two years and there wasn't a day on which I didn't hear the phrase 'English bastard')it was dismissed as a wee bit o' banter but it isn't accepted as quite so funny when offered in reverse. No Scot is in a position to accuse any Englishmen of bigotry. 'Take it on the chin' and 'rise above it' as English people in Sc*tland are told to. You'll be accusing me of 'scotophobia' next.

If you want to insult me try again but try harder.

Archie said...

A morsel of apocryphum. A traveller stopped a man in the street in Scotland to ask directions. The jovial Scot asked the enquirer why he "didnae fuck off back tae England". Alas, the lost soul was in Scotland to conduct a survey of two factories - one in England, one in Scotland - for the owners, to recommend which one should be closed. No prizes for guessing which one drew the short straw!