scotland is…

Bit of a furore over a leaked email from an aide to the Scottish Secretary, where that country is described as being “narrow, Presbyterian, racist, etc, etc”

Obviously I moved from Scotland some time ago, and while America is by no means perfect I’m very happy living here. I’d like to address the points from the email one by one:

Narrow: Yes, guilty as charged. Scotland is not a wide country, but in fact living in the central belt I personally found it very convenient to be able to get from Edinburgh to Glasgow in under an hour on the train (and a relief to get out of Glasgow and back to Edinburgh again). Or could this guy be meaning narrow-minded?

Presbyterian: Well my mother is one of these, and I’ve generally found her to be a very nice person indeed. I know that the Scottish Presby church is often seen as being somewhat dour, but often it’s with a wry sense of humor which is more than can be said for the freaky right-wing nonsense you get in the US. I’d take low-insanity dourness any time.

Racist: well this is more difficult. Like most places in Britain Scotland has been kind of welcoming to outsiders and kind of not. There are a lot of Asians in Glasgow, some more integrated and welcomed than others. I think that the email author’s comment may have been directed against the Scottish reaction to England – there is considerable racism against England (sometimes commented upon in this blog) which goes hand in hand with the Scottish inferiority complex. Not pretty at all.

Etc: The Scottish Parliament doesn’t do itself any favors – from here it looks like a lot of bickering and reinforcing the inferiority, persecution complex. But I could be wrong. Maybe it’s the smell of pee on main streets after a Saturday night which makes things seem somewhat depressing?

3 Responses to “scotland is…”

  1. Fiona Lihs says:

    I’m starting to notice a trend in your posts, this is the second one that talks about Britain/Scotland being depressed (or is that depressing??) Has it really taken you this long to figure that out, or have you just been able to finally come to terms with it? :D

    Personally, I blame the lack of sun.

  2. Dolf says:

    I’ve found Scots to be welcoming to foreigners (like me) on the whole, although the more posh people in Edinburgh tended to be terribly patronising (“oh, how interesting”…yah, right). Being English, however, seems to be unforgivable…On the other hand I have found a lot of Scots (especially Glaswegians) very neurotic about life and very unrelaxed/ agressive, but that may be about their feeling of being done down by the English…

  3. Will says:

    Interesting post. Must admit I know and am friends with more probably Engish people that Scottish ones – though few actually live here (in Edinburgh). I think that people Dolf speaks about can be patronising to a whole lot of people not just foreigners – that is MY personal experience anyway. Sorry a bit off topic but I really gained in leaving Scotland for a while (the downside is that it can be harder to ‘fit in’ once you return of course…).

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