A bad time to be Scottish.

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Balleh, Aug 25, 2009.

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  1. Gerald Warner in the Telegraph 25 August.

    'It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine," observed P G Wodehouse. Today, however, the situation has been dramatically reversed. For the first time in history the Scots, whose cultivation of grievance has sustained them for centuries, are disturbed to find themselves on the receiving end of embittered reproaches from across the world.

    The release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi, by Scottish justice secretary Kenny MacAskill has outraged world opinion. MacAskill's invoking of "humanity", modestly described by him as "a defining characteristic of Scotland and the Scottish people" (but not, presumably, of other people – least of all the English), grated on one's nerves. Scottish churches may be sparsely attended nowadays, but the Calvinist self-righteousness of John Knox persists.

    Scotland is the only part of the UK, probably of Europe, where someone can solemnly intone that the Scots are "more moral" and be greeted not with belly-laughs but with head-nodding agreement. From the start of the devolution agitation in the 1980s such moral superiority was as much an axiom of Scottish politics as Margaret Thatcher's responsibility for the Highland Clearances.

    Suddenly, this mindset is challenged. This is a bad time to be Scottish. Unease is stirring on the newly unfashionable side of Hadrian's Wall and it is not solely due to l'affaire Megrahi. Scotland's historical achievements are also beginning to look less impressive. It is our proud claim to have invented European banking, but the Bank of Scotland and RBS are no longer quite as iconic as they were; or, rather, they are even more so, but not for reasons on which we care to dwell.

    Still there is the Scottish contribution to statecraft. In recent years, Scotland has furnished the UK with much of its governing elite: Robin Cook, Alistair Darling (the best Chancellor of the Exchequer we have never had), Douglas Alexander – even Tony Blair was born in Glasgow. Unfortunately, Scots are embarrassedly aware that they also supplied Gordon Brown, who is notable as the only person on earth, apart from a few Trappist monks, who has voiced no opinion on Megrahi's release. Macavity, like a prudent Jock, has vanished from public sight and sound.

    Ever since the inestimable gift of devolution was conferred on Scotland by Mr Blair there has been a nervous apprehension among the educated or just plain sensible classes north of the Border that the "wee pretendy parliament", as Billy Connolly termed it, would one day drop us in the deepest doo-doo. Those fears have been realised. At its first meeting, the members of the parliament (MSPs) awarded themselves medals. This was done on the same precautionary principle that motivates Scots to conduct lavish celebrations at the start of the football World Cup tournament, in the realistic anticipation that there will not be a lot to celebrate at its conclusion.

    No forum in the world brings more passion to the debate on dog-fouling or the hazards of children's trampolines than the Wee Scotch Senate. Its finest hour came when, having reached the committee stage of a Bill to ban fur-farming in Scotland, MSPs were informed that there were no fur farms in Scotland. Defiantly, our legislators persevered and completed the expensive processing of the statute; some of us felt they should have included bull-fighting among its provisions. The chief consequence of setting up the Holyrood parliament has been that 129 Scottish villages are missing their idiots.

    When Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, telephoned MacAskill to make representations against the release of Megrahi, the parliament was discussing the problems of high hedges. Unfortunately, for MacAskill, the bar was too high when confronted with the challenge of deciding on the bomber's freedom. The overwhelmingly Leftist majority of Scottish politicians (Gordon Brown's "progressive consensus") are imbued with a knee-jerk anti-Americanism.

    That was at least consistent with their prejudices during the Bush era; but you could not put a cigarette paper between the politics of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy – America's progressive consensus – and Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill. The supreme irony is that Salmond and MacAskill have damaged Obama when his popularity is plunging. Not only has the President been seen to have failed the American families of Lockerbie victims, but his pledge to close down the Guantanamo facility is in yet more trouble – if he releases inmates he will be accused of "doing a MacAskill". That is why he is so exercised.

    Meantime, far beyond the geopolitical enclave of the White House, America's longstanding love affair with "Scattland" has come to a bad-tempered end. When France antagonised US opinion, the gutters of New Orleans ran with vintage claret poured out by angry restaurateurs: might they soon be streaming with Scotch whisky? Scottish business is concerned about the backlash. Nice one, Kenny.

    That will not ruffle the moral complacency of the political class, which will regard the ungrateful reaction of a world to which Scotland has gifted Sir Fred Goodwin, Gordon Brown, and now Abdelbaset Al Megrahi as just the latest Scottish grievance to be lovingly cultivated and resented.

  2. A McClassic! :lol:
  3. Very true, is it a coincidence that most of the politicians that have f*cked up England so badly are jocks , they have their own parliament now so why are they still in England ? Can't they all just f*ck off back over the border to their squalid little toilet of a country..................please
  4. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Well Mr Warner, if you are going to be anti-Scottish, might as well tell middle England in the unbiased pages of the Telegraph! :(

    Still a well balanced piece with chips enough to fit on both shoulders and on both cheeks of his arrse 8)
  5. This is rather amusing also:

    "At its first meeting, the members of the parliament (MSPs) awarded themselves medals. This was done on the same precautionary principle that motivates Scots to conduct lavish celebrations at the start of the football World Cup tournament, in the realistic anticipation that there will not be a lot to celebrate at its conclusion."
  6. I understand he is Scottish.
  7. Why don't you English people vote to cut us loose from the Union.

    They win the Ashes and the English are Gods again.

    Wake up

    There has never and will never be a bad time to be Scottish
  8. Perhaps it is time to declare Scotland a 'failed state' - they meet at least two of the four generally accepted criteria and, if we were to cut them loose from the remainder of the UK, would quickly add a third.
  9. Is there a good time?
  10. Bell206 ( is that short for bellend) don't you realise we've always been Gods, thats how come we've taken your oil, it why you speak English and why you'll always be second or even a third rate backwater compared to us,no one in the world really gives a flying f*ck what Scotland thinks or does...to the rest of the world youre just a cheesy little place where the men wear dresses and toss the caber..Why don't you cheer yourself up by watching Braveheart specially the bit where we chop that f*cker William Wallace up :D
  11. Animosity between British/Scottish and British/English has soon found a foothold here. I am English born - Romford in Essex so a bit of an extremist. I have lived in rural Scotland for nine years and have never heard a single word of enmity in all that time. I am no shrinking violet and ready to stand my ground but it has never been needed. Obviously, were I to tip up at a Celtic/Rangers match lecturing about Flodden there would be problems. My new countrymen are not shy of giving opinions but on the question of aggro - I have found none.
  12. I never consider it a bad time to be Scottish. I am proud of my country and all that it has achieved. The Justice Minister only exercised his power under Scottish Law. If the world dont like it, they can fcuk off!!! And as far as England ejecting us from the Union, that will never happen, we put too much into their economy. £12 Billion from oil taxes last year. Having 64% of the EU oil reserves and 25% potential of EU sustainable energy puts us in a strong position and would severely weaken the union losing it :)
  13. You should take a good look around this "green and pleasant land" fella.
    England, like much of the rest of the UK, is a going down hill fast.
    It does however still have the ability to attract all the human detruis from every flyblown corner of the world. And what an improvement that's been.
    Scotland a failed state?
    People in glass house's my friend! :D

  14. And please note, in the best traditions of Scotland, William Wallace was betrayed by his own people for some English coin. :wink:
  15. :D :D from liverpool