Why does the BBC tolerate anti-Scottish bigotry?


by Guest    
7:55 pm - September 6th 2010

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contribution by Mike Small

When is a media row not a media row? When the media doesn’t report it. This week has been rightly dominated by ‘Metgate’ and Andy Coulson.

But another media controversy tells a different story about British culture and acceptable public behaviour. Rod Liddle has entered the fray with a bizarre outburst that must surely be referred to the Press Complaints Commission. But let’s ignore Liddle for the moment.

The row centres about comments made by Baroness Ruth Deech and Douglas Murray on Radio 4s Any Questions programme (20 August).

The cheering audiences, clearly venting pent-up frustration were delighted as the commentators described Scotland’s elected leader as ‘crawling out of the darkness’.

Deech kicked things off by saying:

It’s been very embarrassing for the rest of us. And it started me thinking along these lines, if Scotland wants to be independent, OK, be my guest, go ahead…..go off on your own, because actually, we’re all subsidising them I think, by way of benefits and all sorts of reasons.

Then Murray took up the attack blurting:

There is not very much to do if you are the Scottish Justice Secretary in a devolved Scottish Assembly. You can at least read the one important bit of news that comes across your desk in the last five years. The problem that I think the most galling thing about this whole thing is this pretend, horrible, charade building in Edinburgh called the Scottish Parliament and the horrible charade politicians who inhabit it and who occasionally crawl out of the darkness and explain something to the rest of us, as if we’ve never thought of moral questions before.

Joan McAlpine, writing in The Scotsman wrote: “It was Scotophobia writ large. Can you imagine a serious Radio Four Show getting away with similar comments about the Irish Dail? Would it be acceptable to describe the Major of London as “crawling out of the darkness”?

Who are these people and why are they on the radio? If it had been Jeremy Paxman (who insiders describe repeatedly crashes the junction between the UK Newsnight and its Scottish ‘opt out’) or Jeremy Clarkson (remember his widely celebrated ‘one-eyed Scottish idiot’ line?), or Anne Robinson (who famously shared her hatred of the Welsh) or any number of renta-a-quote right wing English Nationalists, it might have been easier to shrug it off as so much enshrined but ignorant bigotry.

But Ruth Deech, is a former governor of the corporation. If she is the quality of the British Establishment who make up the BBC Board of Governors there is little hope for the flood of complaints reaching anything other than the BBCs green-ink-brigade waste-paper bin.

The comments – and the BBCs response to them – Deech is due back on the programme this Friday – may say something about the consensus wisdom of wider English culture.

It seems to now be received wisdom that Scotland survives by English handouts and there seems to be a backlog of resentment against the devolved settlement.

I imagine that some readers will suggest there is little issue here other than having offended some bruised and brittle Scottish sensibility. But remembering MacWhirter’s comment that: “The cultural importance of broadcasting is immense – it is how a nation talks to itself” it might be worth reflecting on the fact that Douglas Murray is the Director of The Centre for Social Cohesion, founded in 2007 to promote greater cohesion among the UK’s ethnic communities and within wider British society.

Greg Dyke once described the BBC as “the glue that binds the nation together”, but as the BBC’s reputation comes under further assault the question remains, which nation?

—–
Mike Small is eo-editor of Bella Caledonia blog / Twitter

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Reader comments


1. Chaise Guevara

“It seems to now be received wisdom that Scotland survives by English handouts and there seems to be a backlog of resentment against the devolved settlement.”

Well, there’s some truth to that. Problem is, people who wouldn’t normally object to the bulk of spending going to the areas that need it most tend to see things differently when there’s an imaginary line between their area and the one receiving ‘handouts’. Devolution hasn’t helped, and nor has the decision of politicians in Scotland and Wales to divert money in such a way that makes it clear they get things the English can’t (free university tuition and free prescriptions, respectively). I’m not saying they weren’t perfectly in their rights to do that, or that it was the wrong thing to do, just that it hasn’t helped.

Even so, though, this seems to be part of a bigger irrational dislike and distrust of Scotland, evidenced by the paranoid whining about how we were ‘ruled by Scots’ under Labour. Every time someone does that, I wonder whether they’d say the same if a disproportionate number of ministers were Jewish.

@Chaise G: Nah, it’s just another excuse for whining ballbags to act like whining ballbags. Some folk are never happier than when they’re complaining about something, and the flimsier the excuse, the more strident the complaints.

If it wasn’t us, it’d be someone or something else.

I’m sure the scots would like their oil money back that was stolen by thatcher to pay for putting unemployment up to 3 million in the 80s.

Little Englanders do get their knickers in a twist if anyone stands up to them.

I wonder to what extent it has been triggered by perceived anti-Englishness north of the border i.e. the “Braveheart” factor. It certainly doesn’t excuse ignorant bigotry but it may go some way to explaining it.

Come on, this is ludicrous. Trying this desperately to wrap yourself in victimhood only makes you look silly.

There’s nothing “Scotophobic” in either of those two quotes – there’s no mention of Scotland or Scottish people at all, only criticism of the current political structure and the current politicians.

Jason: “There’s nothing “Scotophobic” in either of those two quotes – there’s no mention of Scotland or Scottish people at all, only criticism of the current political structure and the current politicians.”

Rutch Deech” It’s been very embarrassing for the rest of us. And it started me thinking along these lines, if Scotland wants to be independent, OK, be my guest, go ahead…..go off on your own, because actually, we’re all subsidising them I think, by way of benefits and all sorts of reasons.”

Uh, yeah.

Colin; Which bit of that is criticising Scottish people? It’s just saying that the current devolution setup ends up subsidising Scotland.

8. Chaise Guevara

“Nah, it’s just another excuse for whining ballbags to act like whining ballbags. Some folk are never happier than when they’re complaining about something, and the flimsier the excuse, the more strident the complaints.”

Inclined to agree with you here. I’ve seen the dark underbelly of humanity. I go there on my lunchbreaks via the BBC’s Have Your Say forum. It does seem that bitching about everything and everyone else is a standard part of many people’s lives.

9. Chaise Guevara

@ Jason

This bit:

There is not very much to do if you are the Scottish Justice Secretary in a devolved Scottish Assembly. You can at least read the one important bit of news that comes across your desk in the last five years. The problem that I think the most galling thing about this whole thing is this pretend, horrible, charade building in Edinburgh called the Scottish Parliament and the horrible charade politicians who inhabit it and who occasionally crawl out of the darkness and explain something to the rest of us, as if we’ve never thought of moral questions before.”

Patronising, verging on the dehumanizing. Sure, it’s not “fuck off you fucking jocks”, but it’s pretty unpleasant.

This argument is similar to the one over the weekend between Gen X and Gen Y.

Group A assumes that they suffer from social and economic prejudice. Group B proposes that the prejudice is not new and is established in homophobia, racism, sexism et al.

Chaise; it’s being rude about Scottish politicians (and devolution), not Scottish people as a whole.

I forgot to mention that as well as throwing small children out of tower block windows, Caledonia has a nifty sideline in male genital mutilation and advanced trepanning techniques.

13. cynicalHighlander

@jason

Think what if the colour of our skin was of a darker hue? mmm

I took offence especially when a public broadcaster abused its position, which I am crimminalised if I refuse to pay its enforced tax. I was offended but have to endure the bias as the BBC are untouchable in any form.

If you wish to listen again it can be found here.
http://newsnetscotland.com/beyond/547-ofcom-defends-bbcs-antiscottish-broadcast

14. Cynical/Realist?

So, basically any suggestion that someone doesn’t like the Scottish parliment, Scottish politicians – or anyone who dares express an opinion on these is a ‘racist bigot’. As is disagreeing with the Scottish parliment, or finding it wastefull (unless you are a Scot presumably).

Brilliant. Top notch work. We can all go to bed feeling better liberals for sorting that out now can’t we?

Can’t wait for the next similar statement to come out The Scottish Parliment about the English to see this blog raging against ‘Englandopobia’.

The whole exchange was relatively brief. Mike, quite reasonably only quotes sections of what Deech and Murray had to say. Shortly after the programme was first broadcast, I transcribed what the panel said here:

http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.com/2010/08/any-questions-crushingly-fatuous.html

Their full comments should, I think, dispel any sense that these are reasonable remarks made by institutional critics.

16. Cynical/Realist?

@13 so is any view which goes against the Scottish Paliment by default racist? I don’t agree with the tone of the comments, but its about politicians not Scottish people. Its quite possible to have issues with the Scottish Parliment/politics without being racist against Scots.

Sally, there is no oil in Scotland. It’s a hundred miles offshore.

@14

I’ve witnessed some horrible anti-English stuff when living in Wales a few years ago and it’s not pleasant at all, and should be combated. Just because people who are slagging off people who live somewhere else have the same colour skin doesn’t make it right.

Laban @12:

You didn’t mention the ice cream wars:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow_Ice_Cream_Wars

Hey Laban, you do know that awful stuff happens in pretty much every country in the world, right? I’m sure I could drag up plenty of links to criticise the English, Welsh, Irish, French et bloody cet.
That said you seem to think that the rise in false car insurance claims is due to immigration/multiculturalism so I’m not sure how seriously to take you.

21. Robert Louis

17. Damon.

Around 90-95% of the oil reserves are located in Scottish waters. It is, QED Scottish oil. In Scotland.

Getting back on topic however, the comments made, were not merely directed at Scottish politicians. It is very clear, that Ruth Deech was referring to Scotland (the country) and Scots.

However, the whole issue raises very important questions for the BBC, and their approach to comments such as this.

Had both Ruth Deech and Douglas Murray commented on the question, as to whether the release of Megrahi was sensible, then I would have had no issue. The trouble is, they didn’t. They started venting their spleen regarding their own quite jaundiced and ill informed thoughts on Scotland and Scottish people.

Even when we consider Douglas Murray’s schoolboy rant, he criticised not just the Scottish politicians who decided to release Megrahi, or even just the members of the Scottish Government. No, Murray felt compelled to mock ALL of the elected politicians within the Scottish Parliament, merely it seems, because they are Scottish.

Murray also made quite peurile comments regarding the Scottish Parliament. Despite his lack of knowledge, he might be interested to know that the Scottish Parliament is not only more democratic than Westminster, but it is an awfully lot less corrupt. Comparing the two, is like comparing a convent to a brothel.

The BBC had no doubt thought this issue would go away. It hasn’t. Those comments were very offensive, and should not have been broadcast.

@21

Hang on old fellow, you can’t really say the comments “should not have been broadcast”. Freedom of speech, if it means anything, means the right to hear things you might find distasteful.

The IFS Survey of Public Spending in the UK (September 2009) includes this estimate of the per capita rates of public spending on services in 2008/09 in the different parts of Britain (p.34):

“Total ‘identifiable’ public spending on services was £7,971 per capita in England, £9,162 in Wales, £9,538 in
Scotland, and £10,003 in Northern Ireland.”
http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn43.pdf

For a map showing how taxpayers resident in London and the south-east are subsidising public spending in most of the rest of Britain, try this:
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23416323-details/The+REAL+north-south+divide:+South-East+is+'bankrolling'+Britain/article.do

24. Robert Louis

22

Freedom of Speech is another argument, as I suspect you are already aware. If a person were to go on Radio four and start talking in racially abusive terms about asians or black africans, would that be ok?

People in Scotland regularly criticise their politicians, but the derogatory comments on this programme were aimed at Scottish people as a race. It will not do.

25. cynicalHighlander

@. Cynical/Realist?

What is it that you are unable to understand? This was an attack on Scots in general by a supposedly unbiased broadcaster who should of stopped it as being out of order. The subject was al-Megrahi release on compassionate grounds yet there was no one there to defend that issue giving a freeforall by the UK based BBC.

The question should never of been allowed without someone present to defend the Scottish position.

26. Robert Louis

23

Sorry you are going a bit off topic, with your selective citing of figures.

The Scottish economy has been in surplus for the last four years. I’d recommend you take a look at the official figures, prepared by the civil service.

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/06/22160331

As regards funding, you will find that the current SNP Government of Scotland have asked for full fiscal autonomy for Scotland, whereby there is no more money provided from the Westminster Government to Scotland, but Scotland gets to keep ALL taxation and revenue from Scotland to spend in Scotland. Scotland would only spend what it earned.

Your English Prime minister, David Cameron has actively blocked this. Perhaps you need to ask Mr.Cameron why.

27. Robert Louis

25

I agree.

Is it not usually standard procedure with the BBC, whereby if a political decision is being debated, then an invite will always be given to the relevant authority to defend their stance. I always though that was how they achieved balance.

Perhaps, they felt they didn’t need to bother in the case of the Scottish Government.

Shoddy, very shoddy.

Bob B.
I’m getting tired of this opinion. There are two sometimes three or more sides to every argument. Try this for starters:
http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/06/22160331/4

The point about this is a bit of respect for others is always a good thing. It wasn’t shown and the comments were at best bigoted.

29. Robert Louis

23. Bob

The Scottish economy has been in surplus for the last four years.

The official figures by the civil service are here;

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/06/22160331

30. cynicalHighlander

@23. Bob B

Facts how is the UK split? England has 9 regions then there is Scotland, Wales and NI. London is a REGION and gets the biggest slice of the cake and the SE England gets far less as does Cornwall and the northern regions of England as well as Wales and Scotland.

Douglas Murray is a Scot. He hails from the Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides. To brand every Scot who opposes the Scottish Parliament a ‘racist’ is absurd. 26% of the Scottish people voted against devolution.

Bob B

I’m getting tired of that opinion. There are are many sides to every argument.

For example, read this: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2010/06/22160331/4

Puts a different gloss on who’s subsidising whom.

The thing is that whatever you think, respect should be maintained: It wasn’t in the case of Baroness Deech and Douglas Murray. What they said was at best bigoted.

33. cynicalHighlander

@28. Flowerpower

74% voted for do you have a problem with the majority view. How many people voted for the ConDems?

34. Roger Mexico

This whole issue strikes me as being a bit old- fashioned. I’ve always got the impression that, in the last decade or so, Scots have have got more self-confident and relaxed about half-witted attacks on them by “professional” controversialists. Let’s face it, has anyone taken Rod Liddle seriously for years? (why anyone pays him is the bigger mystery).

Of course it would have been nice if someone had been there to put the Scottish case – not least because of the mixture of hypocrisy and hush-up with which both the UK and the US dealt it. But then there wasn’t a representative of the Libyan government either. AQ say they don’t know the questions in advance of the evening; you can’t have an enormous panel of representatives of those who might be offended in reserve, just in case.

Autonomy works both ways – outsiders will criticise you out of malice or ignorance. Reply calmly and treat them with contempt they deserve.

cynicalHighlander @ 29

do you have a problem with the majority view?

Not at all. Indeed, I supported devolution and still do. But to call Scots who think otherwise “anti-Scottish bigots” or “racist” is manifestly absurd.

How many people voted for the ConDems?

The media were talking up the chances of a hung parliament for months before the election. On the doorstep Liberal Democrat candidates and campaigners were almost promising it after Clegg’s first debate performance. So no one who voted LibDem should be at all surprised that their party entered a coalition. That’s what third parties normally do all over Europe.
Nor should anybody be surprised that the Conservatives were the largest party. That too had been predicted by the polls. And since Clegg had run a vote-for-change campaign, it was hardly likely he’d prop up an unpopular Labour government that had been in office for 13 years. So, yes. The coalition has a mandate.

@24

Scottish people aren’t a “race”. They’re a nationality. And we hear distastful things about immigrants and Muslims all the time on or via national media.

I voted against devolution but I must say it has gone better than I expected. However, the West Lothian question is unfair on England. I don’t think there is an easy answer to it other than English regional assemblies that they do not appear to want. The best thing to do with Liddle, Murray and Deech is to ignore them. They only say what they do to provoke a reaction. As far as I can see Ruth Deech has been a subsidy junkie all her career.

@ 23. Bob B

Those regional spending reports even from the IFS are not accurate. There are huge sums spent in London and the South East but they are calculated as being spent on the whole of the UK. For example, the civil service in London is calculated as spending divided by all parts of the UK. However, it is a subsidy to London and the South East where the employees buy houses and spend their salaries on local goods and services. The spending in turn generates tax revenue for the Treasury assigned to that area but it originated as public spending.

Spending on the arts, transport, M15 and M16 are all considered for the whole nation but they subsidise a specific part of it. Health spending in Caithness would be counted as public spending on that region. However, anti-terrorism spending in London would be counted as for the whole country. Although, it is more a subsidy to London than Caithness. If a multinational or nationwide firm have their headquarters in London but generate revenue throughout the UK. Should we consider their tax a London contribution to the Treasury just because that is where their head office is? Things are much more complicated than they are often presented.

Lallands; There’s still nothing there directed at Scottish *people*, only politics, politicians and policies.

You can barely turn on the TV without seeing similar or worse sentiments about Westminster politics, politicians and policies – does Scotland need some special status?

Douglas Murray is Scottish!

I’d like to know why I never get offended. Is it a sort of sticks-and-stones-won’t-break-my-bones gene? Hints and frank accusations that pale-skinned people are to a man/person colonialists, imperialists, racists, responsible for global warming, intolerant, arrogant etc. etc. are ubiquitous in the media. And again, why can’t us English have a share of the cake, and be offended properly. The only half-decent cultural slurs I’ve ever heard about the English, apart from all the above pale-skinned ones, are that they are not interested in sex, oh, apart from the ones about English food. Come on world – offend us English a bit more robustly! We’ve got a right to be hated as much as anyone else.

41. Chaise Guevara

“Chaise; it’s being rude about Scottish politicians (and devolution), not Scottish people as a whole.”

It says that their politics are a horrible charade and that the place they live is “the darkness”. Or if it doesn’t say that, it doesn’t try very hard to avoid giving that impression.

Cynical realist writes: “so is any view which goes against the Scottish Paliment by default racist? I don’t agree with the tone of the comments, but its about politicians not Scottish people. Its quite possible to have issues with the Scottish Parliment/politics without being racist against Scots.”

I’m not sure that it is, and the general point that isn’t being addressed is that whilst the commercial media can publish a diatribe of hate-filled material daily (Mail), we dont have to pay for it. The reality (and the irony given the allegation of being subsidised) is that Scotland pays licenece fee (14%) and receives a poor investment in return for that (between 6-8%).

To add to this the idea that this discourse is acceptable on a supposed ‘UK national’ broadcast service, which it manifestly is not, is absurd.

The context here is one in which a former member of ther BBC Board of Governors derides Scottish institutions and mocks the Scottish people. It is simply unimaginable to suggest someone in that position stating in such blunt language a ‘critique’ of English institutions.

Mr S. Pill writes: ‘we hear distastful things about immigrants and Muslims all the time on or via national media’. Again there are laws against this, so I presume your talking aout the tabloid press? The difference being here is that this is a public broadcaster that we in Scotland help pay for.

43. organic cheeseboard

well at least murray isn’t being bigoted about muslims, for once.

though i fail to see why the BBC continually pays him to appear on these shows.

should be added that he has form for being anti-Irish too.

Not sure just how scottish he is either – schooled in London…

Not sure just how scottish he is either – schooled in London…

Born in Scotland to Scottish parents. Exactly how far do we want to take this?

Chaise, it’s completely obvious that “the darkness” in that sentence refers to the Scottish Parliament.

There is *not* *one* *word* in any of what’s been quoted that says anything about Scotland itself or attributes of Scottish people.

At least trepanning has progressed in Scotland; I haven’t heard anything about English trepanning for years.

47. Chaise Guevara

“There is *not* *one* *word* in any of what’s been quoted that says anything about Scotland itself or attributes of Scottish people.”

The thing about “the darkness” is ambiguous, but the quote overall is still belittling. It doesn’t say that the Scottish are inherently inferior, just inconsequential.

@37: “There are huge sums spent in London and the South East but they are calculated as being spent on the whole of the UK. For example, the civil service in London is calculated as spending divided by all parts of the UK.”

It’s a complete but popular myth that most of the civil service are entrenched in London. In fact, only 18% of the civil service work in London and only about 12% in central London.

And it’s ok for Scots to wear “Anyone But England” t-shirts, is it? Funny how Scots living in London choose not to wear them!

I’d be offended if I could be bothered…

I thought a disproportionate number of cabinet ministers /were/ jewish?

But then, the cabinet’s hardly big enough to be vaguely proportionate in any case.

Maybe if the english had “our” own parliament, “we” wouldn’t get off on moaning about the Scottish and Welsh so much. Or maybe “we” would – declaration of war?

(Technically, I’m english, but I don’t really identify as it, hence the lack of proper-nouning and airquoting).

Shruggy, etcetera

“The media were talking up the chances of a hung parliament for months before the election”

Claptrap.. They were saying that Call me Dave was going to win in a landslide.

The BBC is obliged to tolerate occassional scottish bigotry because it not only tolerates anti English bigotry but quite often promotes anti English bigotry.

The only racism actively condoned by the BBC and encouraged within the UK is anti-english bigotry endemic in Scotland.

Roll on Scottish independence

54. Chaise Guevara

“The only racism actively condoned by the BBC and encouraged within the UK is anti-english bigotry endemic in Scotland.”

Funny how so many people think that all bigotry is outlawed except bigotry against themselves. This may shock you, but you’re not the only victim in the world.

Chaise

I don’t pretend to be a victim.

Have you been to Scotland and have you experienced the casual every day anti-English bigotry displayed by your average Scot who having believed Mel Gibson’s Braveheart myth actually sees themself as the victim and of English domination blaming us for all their ills real and imagined that afflict them?

Baroness Deech expressed the view, shared by a large and increasing number of English people, that under present constitutional and financial arrangements the Union with Scotland is, from an English perspective, a lot more trouble than it is worth.

The Scottish Nationalist movement in general and the SNP in particular, have been expressing a similar view about Scotland’s relationship with England for decades, but apparently, when articulated by the English it must be ruthlessly censored. Get over it and vote for independence if and when Alex Salmond gives you the opportunity, the rest of us will breath a sigh of relief.

57. Ian Campbell

What ‘right wing English nationalists’? Deech, Murray, Liddle & Co are not English nationalists, they are British nationalists. And they can be just as rude about the English. They describe all English nationalists as ‘Little’, ‘sour’, ‘shrill’ or ‘dangerous’. What they would like to do is to close down the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly and return to the position before devolution (N Ireland being the exception). What they absolutely will not do is to allow genunine English nationalists, who recognise the aspirations of the Scots and Welsh, any voice at all – there is no English Parliament, the British govt gives as little recognition as possible to St George’s Day in England, there is no ‘BBC England. Indeed, until very recently the BBC did its best to avoid using the word England. The three main political parties still avoid mentioning England in their election manifestos – these refer to policies for England, eg. education, healh, as ‘British’ or unspecified as if they apply to the whole of GB. The BBC has to remind them that this is misleading but they still do it. Please do not give English nationalists a bad name by blaming them for the excesses of the British nationalists (call them Greater England nationalists if you like).

58. Robert Louis

Let’s be clear, the comments did NOT just relate to Scottish politicians.

Ruth Deech said “…… and off you go, and go off on your own, because actually, we’re all subsidising them I think, by way of benefits and all sorts of reasons, and if they want to show how independent they are, ok, thank you and goodbye.”

It implies two things;

1. Scotland is subsidised by England. This is factually untrue, and is pretty offensive.

2. Scots are all on benefits. To re-iterate, for those who seek to see a different meaning, she said QUOTE “……because actually, we’re all subsidising them I think, by way of benefits and all sorts of reasons,…..”

Either way, the comments were bigotted, hateful and borderline racist, and as such they have caused offence.

As for the anybody but England T-shirts – did you know the police went into a shop in Kirkcaldy to ask them to remove them from the window?

So what we have is double standards. It is racist for Scots to say ‘anybody but England’, but definitely not racist to say what Deech and her silly friend Murray said.

Anybody who proposes the abolition of the BBC will get my vote. It is nothing but little britannia land propaganda, from start to finish, and people in Scotland are pretty sick of it.

Double standards.

@Robert Louis

Actually, I didn’t say “Anyone But England” t-shirts were racist. I didn’t even say that they were offensive. Actually, I said that I couldn’t be bothered.

That’s the difference really. We’re not bothered. We’re mature enough not to take offence. Even if we were offended, so what?

It’s still legal to offend people, as it should be.

IMHO.

60. Robert Louis

57 ian

I agree with you. I like many Scots think it is really good for England to finally start flying its flag (the St.Georges cross) again. England should take pride in being English, just as many Scots take pride in being Scottish.

The Westminster machine still pretends to be all powerful. The Education secretary only has authority in England, and nowhere else. Why is he not called the English Education secretary? Likewise with the Health secretary in Westminster – he has no authority in Scotland whatsoever, and yet the BBC treats his pronouncements as though they affect the entire United Kingdom.

Scotland has always had a separate legal system, even before the act of Union of 1707, so the Westminster Justice Secretary has no authority there. yet still the BBC refers to ‘british law’. There is no such thing as British law. There is English law in England Wales and N.Ireland, and Scots Law in Scotland.

Devolution happened over ten years ago, the BBC and Westminster both like to pretend it didn’t happen.

Robert Louis; you’re right, it does imply that Scotland is subsidised by England. You might dispute its accuracy, but holding that opinion doesn’t say anything at all about Scottish people.

(In fact, I could easily turn that argument round. Unless you’re claiming the balance is *exactly* right, which seems unlikely, presumably you’re claiming that Scotland subsidises England. Could I not find that equally offensive if I chose?)

Your second “implication” is just daft, though. There are demonstrably various benefits that Scottish people get from the state that English people don’t – university tuition, etc.

62. Robert Louis

59 stuart

I wasn’t referring to you. But you did raise the ABE T-shirts. Geez your English paper, the Sun, got ‘retaliatory’ T-shirts printed, with SNP printed on them, as a double dig (relating to the SNP, and also standing for ‘Scotlands not playing’).

The reality of the ABE T shirts is this, in Scotland in footballing, England are called the ‘Auld enemy’. They are a rival football team. Like Manu and Chelsea.

Why did people in England get so fussed up (it was on the BBC) over Scots not wanting to support England? Why would they?? it’s like asking a Manu supporter to support Chelsea in the FA cup final. It just isn’t going to happen – well not in my lifetime anyway.

The ABE T-shirts were ALL about the football rivalry. The media decided to turn it into something else.

63. Chaise Guevara

Tim

“Have you been to Scotland and have you experienced the casual every day anti-English bigotry displayed by your average Scot who having believed Mel Gibson’s Braveheart myth actually sees themself as the victim and of English domination blaming us for all their ills real and imagined that afflict them?”

Yep. I’m not saying anti-English bigotry doesn’t exist. I’m saying that it’s not the only form of bigotry ‘encouraged’ in Britain. When the Daily Mail prioritizes stories about immigrant criminals, or twists events to make it sound like Muslims are given special treatment, isn’t that encouraging bigotry? What about religious sources that condemn homosexuals, thus encouraging people to treat them as second class citizens and, for example, refuse to let them use bed and breakfasts?

The ‘only I am ever discriminated against’ line is nonsense, and is normally spouted by people in the group that suffers the least discrimination.

64. Robert Louis

61 Jason

I must respond regarding the second point. The reason people like you geneuinely think Scots get extra benefits, is down to the media having completely mis reported things.

The Scottish people and companies pay their taxes to London. In return, the Scottish Government once a year get a block grant (ballpark around 30 billion pounds) via the Barnett formula.

Once the Scottish government get that money, they can decide how it is spent.

Let me give you an example. The current Scottish Government have chosen to use some of that money to eliminate prescription fees. That is their decision. You government in London could do the same. They choose not to.

The point is, Scotland does not magically get EXTRA money to pay for such things, it is merely down to how the Government in Scotland choose to prioritise their spending. If they decide to make bus travel free, then they have to find the money from that fixed budget.

So, their are NO extra benefits. None.

As regards who subsidises who, well, just consider that the Scottish oil industry regularly contributes around one fifth of all UK corporation tax to the London treasury.

In 2008, that was 12.9 billion. From Scotland with a population of just 5 million.

Just for the record, the SNP want to end the barnett forula, and keep Scottish taxes in Scotland, and get no more money from England. That is, Scotland would only spend what it directly earns. The London Government under David Cameron have opposed this.

65. Home Rule for England

I don’t recall hearing many complaints from the left at the regular anti English bigotry shown by politicians of all parties:

“Jack Straw has warned that the English are “potentially very aggressive, very violent” and will increasingly articulate their Englishness following devolution”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/this-britain/hague-and-straw-warn-of-dangers-in-aggressive-english-nationalism-728492.html

Scotsman Charles Kennedy said that regionalistion calls into question the very idea of England itself.

David Cameron called English Nationalists ‘sour little Englanders’. Funny how he didn’t say it of Scottish and Welsh Nationalists!

How’s that for bigotry?

Robert Louis; ah, come on, I know you know that the Barnett formula is hugely more generous to Scotland than it is to England, so Scottish people certainly do get more “benefits” than English people.

My point, however, isn’t that I believe England is subsidising Scotland. I don’t believe there’s a simple answer to that question, so it’s perfectly reasonable to express an opinion on one side of the debate or the other.

67. Robert Louis

65 Home rule for England.

1. I like your name. People in Scotland would welcome England becoming independent from Scotland. If you have a petition, I’ll sign it.

I personally believe England should have its own parliament. Current arrangements no longer work. It would be good for England AND Scotland, and might help to eliminate some of the daft things that get said about Scotland AND England.

2. Some of the things you cite are out of context, and do not mean what you imply – especially the comment you attribute to Charles Kennedy.

68. Robert Louis

66 Jason.

I’m not sure if you are serious. The Barnet formula is not wanted by the current Scottish Government, they actually dislike it, and would at a minimum like full fiscal autonomy (cffr.co.uk).

It is just nonsense what you say about Barnett. Just because you read it in the papers doesn’t make it true. You have been seriously deceived, by the pro unionist press.

69. Robert Louis

Wouldn’t it be great if people and companies in Scotland just paid their tax to the Scottish Government rather than London. That way, there would be no Barnett formula, and no nonsense media stories about England subsidising Scots. It would be fair all round.

That is what the current Scottish Government want. They have formally request it.

The London Tory Government will not allow it to happen. You need to ask David Cameron why.

Robert Louis; How about if I read it in the Treasury analysis?

http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/d/10%281%29.pdf

By my calculation, that’s very roughly 7K per head for England vs very roughly 9K per head for Scotland.

@ 58. Robert Louis

I think what she was getting at are the benefits the Scots that the English don’t. such as:

Tuition fees paid for by the state – leading to English students leaving uni >£10,000 more in debt than Scottish students

Older Scottish people getting free home care – unlike English people

Older Scottish people not having to sell their homes for residential care

Scottish people paying £3 for prescriptions, £7.20 in England

More spent on school meals in Scotland, Free school meals being kep in Scotland and abandoned in England.

No road and bridge tolls in Scotland – both in England

Free eye tests in Scotland

Free dental check-ups in Scotland

You know? That sort of thing. As funded by the Barnett Formula.

I was at that Any Questions broadcast and Deech’s comment got by far the biggest cheer of the night. I appears that support for Scottish independence is growing in England if not in Scotland.

Just to clarify I think that Scotland should get the above – but if we’re a “United Kingdom” the English should get the same.

@3 Sally

Little Englander isn’t an insult btw. Although it was meant as one originally when it was levelled at those who stood against British imperial expansion. Turns out the “Little Englanders” had the right idea. And as far as I’m concerned they still do. I for one am proud to be a little Englander.

I’m starting a group for people who don’t see themselves as victims.

Not many members, obviously.

I was wondering when al-Megrahi would get a mention again though. This site went pretty quiet when the rest of the world was looking at BP’s role in his release.

The tory/New Labour gang cringe when Alex Salmond speaks truth to power, namely America..

Salmond has stood up to America in the last couple of months more than the Poodle did for 10 years. And I’m sure Call me Dave will follow suit. Now that he does not want to upset Rupert, his press officer.

Wyrdtimes your list seems exhaustive…’Free eye tests in Scotland. Free dental check-ups in Scotland’ etc but these are things run for under a manifesto and elected on that basis. They havent appeared out of the ether.

You write: “Just to clarify I think that Scotland should get the above – but if we’re a “United Kingdom” the English should get the same.”

And now we see where the basic problem lies..You have fundamentally misunderstood the nature of the devolution settlement. If you want the same elect representatives who want these things and run on a platform for these policies. Instead, England elected a Tory Govt that is now wrecking public services across the UK.

As a digression, and this is particularly for those remarkable contributors justifying their own racism on Liddles Millawall boards…

First Minister Alex Salmond delivers a special Eid message to Muslims, see here: http://ow.ly/2AxEu

75. Stephen Gash

Anti-Scottish bigotry? Don’t make me laugh.

The BBC’s sole reason for existing is to bash the English. How many times have you heard that the Crossof St George is racist? When has the BBC ever said the same about the Cross of St Andrew, the inspiration for the Ku Klux Klan’s flag? Whenever has the BBC allowed sneering about St Andrew being a Jew who never set foot in Scotland? Compare that to the annual sneering about St George not being English.

The BBC promotes the reviled regions of England and suppresses all talk about an English Parliament. When its own poll showed 61% wanting an English Parliament, the BBC responded by dismissing the result.

The BBC is institutionally Anglophobic – just like Scotland.

Just to clarify, I detest the self-pitying of the English bleating about Scottish (or BBC) ‘Anglophobia’ as much as the whiny Scots wingeing about ‘Scotophobia’.

You’re offended? So fucking what?

The BBC’s sole reason for existing is to bash the English.

True dat. Anti-English prejudice just seeps from Chucklevision. As for the Hairy Bikers, well, their fulminating Anglophobia is daunting in its vehemence.

78. Chaise Guevara

“The BBC’s sole reason for existing is to bash the English. How many times have you heard that the Crossof St George is racist? When has the BBC ever said the same about the Cross of St Andrew, the inspiration for the Ku Klux Klan’s flag? Whenever has the BBC allowed sneering about St Andrew being a Jew who never set foot in Scotland? Compare that to the annual sneering about St George not being English.”

I think BenSix above has dealt with your theory rather well, but nevertheless: there is a strong feeling among non-English Britons that the BBC focuses too much on England. If this is true (and there are good reasons that it may be), then the reason the BBC spends so much time “bashing” England is that it spends so much time talking about England in general.

More to the point, though: pointing out the racist connetations of St. George’s Cross and the non-English origins of the saint himself is not the same as bashing England, unless you’re crazy enough to think England is the same thing as a couple of red stripes and a fictional character.

@75: “The BBC is institutionally Anglophobic – just like Scotland.”

I’m not convinced about the BBC. As for Scotland, consider these news reports:

A young woman who comes from England originally has been viciously assaulted in a Scottish city centre in what police are treating as a racially motivated attack.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5512401.ece

Prime Minister Tony Blair has condemned attacks on a seven-year-old boy and 41-year-old man who were wearing England shirts in Scotland.

The attacks in Edinburgh and Aberdeen are being treated as football-related racist assaults.

Primary schoolboy Hugo Clapshaw was punched in an Edinburgh park and disabled Ian Smith was attacked in his car in Aberdeen.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/5101184.stm

Police have launched an investigation after England flags were torn from a house and burned in Stonehaven. Alexander Clark was flying the three flags in the Aberdeenshire town in support of England in the World Cup.

The large flags had been hanging from the house in Newbigging Drive since the beginning of the tournament but disappeared overnight on Friday.

A man was assaulted in Aberdeen last week while wearing an England football shirt.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/5116434.stm

Logie Baird invented the TV just so the Scots could insult the English.

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone just to ring us up at night and blow raspberries at us.

So much hate!

I am reminded of nothing other than the ridiculous Israel apologists who claim that any criticism of Israel is anti-semitic. The commentators expressed an opinion about the current political setup of the UK. At no point did they say anything about the Scottish people in general.

The real root of this article is given by Chaise @47, who says that it implies that Scotland is inconsequential. This isn’t racist, any more than my saying that Andorra doesn’t carry much weight on the world stage. This says nothing about the Scottish people and everything about its relative size as a nation. It is, however, a fair reflection of the views of most English people who quite frankly don’t really pay much attention to Scotland on the grounds that they see it as not big enough to warrant much attention.

I think BenSix above has dealt with your theory rather well, but nevertheless: there is a strong feeling among non-English Britons that the BBC focuses too much on England. If this is true (and there are good reasons that it may be), then the reason the BBC spends so much time “bashing” England is that it spends so much time talking about England in general.

Well, England does make up 85% of the population of the UK. It would be strange if it didn’t take up the bulk of domestic coverage. I’d actually be surprised if coverage was proportionate – you ‘ought’ to see virtually nothing about Norn Iron (pop. 1.6m) and not much more about Wales (pop. 3m) and Scotland (pop. 5m). Wales isn’t that much bigger than Greater Birmingham, and put together they’re smaller than the South East (excluding London).

Sorry chaps, there just aren’t that many of you.

83. Chaise Guevara

@81

“The real root of this article is given by Chaise @47, who says that it implies that Scotland is inconsequential. This isn’t racist, any more than my saying that Andorra doesn’t carry much weight on the world stage.”

That’s true. On the other hand, the wording does seem almost deliberately chosen to patronise. I just think it’s unfriendly to the point of being counterproductive, unless your motive is to antagonise more Scots into demanding independence. I’m not saying there needs to be a public apology or anything.

84. Chaise Guevara

“Well, England does make up 85% of the population of the UK. It would be strange if it didn’t take up the bulk of domestic coverage. ”

Disco. When I first moved up north, I ended up in several conversations with a Welshman and a Yorkshireman about how the BBC doesn’t care about anywhere but the South (they seemed to have difficulty not blaming me personally for this). I’d certainly never noticed this, and after some consideration realised that rather than the South, it’s focused on London. Which is kinda fair, given as that’s where a lot of stuff happens.

It is, however, a fair reflection of the views of most English people who quite frankly don’t really pay much attention to Scotland on the grounds that they see it as not big enough to warrant much attention.

Hehe… You’d fucking notice us quick enough if we were to stop supplying you with electricity and drinking water. ;)

I should point out, for those born without a sense of irony, that I wasn’t being serious in comment # 50 – Baird and Bell didn’t invent those things, they just nicked the ideas to further their Anglophobic agendas.

87. FlyingRodent

You know, when I said at Comment 2 that the boo-hooing about Scotland stuff is just a weak excuse for whining ballbags who love to feel all persecuted over nothing to act like whining ballbags, I actually thought I was being a bit unfair.

Like that old saying – if I only have a hammer in my toolbox, then everything looks a bit like a nail? Turns out there are a hell of a lot of nails about – whiny, ballbaggy nails, at that.

It would be a mistake to regard the Scots as only Anglophopic:

Rise in race crimes linked to attacks on Poles

A GROWING number of attacks on Polish bar workers is being blamed for race hate crimes rising to record levels in Edinburgh
http://news.scotsman.com/tacklingracisminscotland/Rise-in-race-crimes-linked.3299508.jp

What’s so very curious about these reports of attacks on the English and Poles who have settled in Scotland, is that Scotland has a problem of prospective population decline:

“Scotland’s population is changing and this poses critical challenges for policymakers. The key demographic trend is that Scotland’s population is shrinking and ageing.”
http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/releases/2005/april/index2.aspx

89. Chaise Guevara

“You know, when I said at Comment 2 that the boo-hooing about Scotland stuff is just a weak excuse for whining ballbags who love to feel all persecuted over nothing to act like whining ballbags, I actually thought I was being a bit unfair. ”

What are you talkin about??? Some1 pointed out the BBC slagged of St.George buy callin him a forreinger!!!!!!1111 WHY DONT THEY SLAG OFF ST.ANDREW TO????!!!

@mike

You’ve fundamentally missed my point.

Scots get about £1500 more per person, per year from central government than English people. That’s how they can afford better services and higher investment in all areas of service provision than the people of England. It’s not as the Scottish government claims because they prioritise certain things – they GET MORE MONEY to spend on each person.

Glasgow has an excuse:

“The first high rise flats had been built at Crathie Drive, Partick (1946-54) and Moss Heights, Cardonald (1950-54), but now that there was pressure to rehouse quickly and relatively densely, new blocks started rising all round the city. Most of these blocks were built quickly and cheaply, often through ‘package deals’ with commercial contractors employing designs by mere ‘low status contractors’ architects’.”
http://www.theglasgowstory.com/story.php?id=TGSFF

“Much of the housing stock in north Glasgow is rented social housing, with a high proportion of high-rise tower blocks, managed by the Glasgow Housing Association.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow

“Former Glasgow City Council leader and rising Labour star Steven Purcell resigned from the council yesterday in a move that will spell the end of his political career.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article7052068.ece

92. Chaise Guevara

“Scots get about £1500 more per person, per year from central government than English people. That’s how they can afford better services and higher investment in all areas of service provision than the people of England. It’s not as the Scottish government claims because they prioritise certain things – they GET MORE MONEY to spend on each person.”

True, but so what? Overall, it’s an impoverished area. We should be prioritising poorer areas, surely?

93. Chaise Guevara

Bob B, you do know rounding up and publishing a few horror stories isn’t going to convince us that the Scots are racist bastards to a man, yes?

“Scots get about £1500 more per person, per year from central government than English people. That’s how they can afford better services and higher investment in all areas of service provision than the people of England. It’s not as the Scottish government claims because they prioritise certain things – they GET MORE MONEY to spend on each person.”

Oh that is such hot air.

It does not take into account the giant hidden subsidies that are given to the English. For example take the Ministry of defence. Where is the home of the British Army? Southeast of England. Where is the home of the Royal Navy? South of England. Where are the major RAF bases? South of England. Now of course govt s spread a few trickles around the rest of the country, but the majority of the money is spent in the south east. All those servicemen and woman with cash on the hip, ready to spend it in south of England shops and pubs. And never mind that the actual Ministry with all the Generals and Vice Air Marshals all being paid out of the tax receipts. Now where is that? Oh yes London.

And then you have agriculture. All those farmers down in the south west scrounging off the state.

The English are CIA / Tory brownshirt plants.

Sally; that just means more people move there to fill the jobs created. It doesn’t compare with the government splashing around another £2000 a year each!

@93: “Bob B, you do know rounding up and publishing a few horror stories isn’t going to convince us that the Scots are racist bastards to a man, yes?”

Agreed – but it’s as well to document the extent of Anglophobic incidents across Scotland since so many Scots persist on painting the English as racist for their concerns about inward migration – and recall that according to that BBC Newsnight report, 40% of London residents were born abroad.

It seems to me to be very strange to worry about prospective population decline in Scotland while making phobic attacks on migrants who settle there – especially in the light of these recent population projections by American demographers:

“The UK will be the biggest country in Western Europe by 2050, overtaking both France and Germany, figures showed. The UK’s population will increase to 77 million in just 40 years’ time from 62.2 million today, a rise of almost 24%, the US-based Population Reference Bureau projected.”
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-population-largest-in-western-europe-by-2050-2039395.html

“Sectarianism and religious bigotry have long been accepted as part of a way of life in Scotland. The divide between Protestant and Catholic, the Orange and the Green, is most visibly reflected in the support for Rangers and Celtic which begins early and spreads from parent to child, from one generation to the next.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/panorama/4284023.stm

We might also recall the special contribution of the Scottish banks – RBS and HBOS – to the recent financial crisis and reflect on whether the connection of those banks with Scotland was a mere coincidence.

Btw I’m a London resident and I was born here but I’ve lived and worked in Scotland so I’m familiar with hostile sentiments there towards outsiders.

Bob. I don’t think anyone would claim that there are no racists in Scotland. Moreover, there are plenty of anti-English Little Scotlanders. Therefore, copying and pasting selective news events does not prove anything. I don’t like nationalism of any form because it tends to be insular defining what one is against rather than what one is for. Although the nationalists have their share of anti-English they are much more benignly pro-Scottish than anti-England. This research comparing islamophobia in Scotland and England might be of more interest to you than selective news reports.
http://www.devolution.ac.uk/pdfdata/Briefing%2024%20-%20Hussain-Miller.pdf

RBS are a global institution with their headquarters in Edinburgh who employ more people outside Scotland than in with many of them in England. Blaming Scotland for RBS is like blaming London for BP because that is where they are headquartered.

Having worked in Scotland, London, Singapore and New York in my experience Scottish societal attitudes in general have less hang-ups about people from different cultures. Although I would agree that there is an almost casual Englandphobia. To me it is the small nation next to a big neighbour syndrome. The same thing can be observed in Canada towards the US.

It pales to insignificance compared to the endemic Anglophobia that permiates Scotland. Keep your bile for the rabid anti-English Westminster Government under a string of Scots including, ‘There is plenty of Scottish blood flowing through my veins’ Cameron, Campbell, Falconer, Steel, Kennedy, Ian Duncan Smith, Martin and their ilk.

100. Shatterface

‘Like that old saying – if I only have a hammer in my toolbox, then everything looks a bit like a nail? Turns out there are a hell of a lot of nails about – whiny, ballbaggy nails, at that.’

I might be mixing some metaphors here but its about time someone took a hammer to the whiners’ ballbags.

Bob B (#80) does have a point. All over England you can see the odd car with a St Andrews cross sticker, and as far as I know they don’t get vandalised. The Cross of St George seems to get treated in the Land O’Cakes like a flute band on the Garvaghy Road.

Susan spent a few years nursing in the North, and when England beat Scotland at Hampden her then boyfriend wouldn’t speak to her for the rest of the day !

Laban: “All over England you can see the odd car with a St Andrews cross sticker, and as far as I know they don’t get vandalised. The Cross of St George seems to get treated in the Land O’Cakes like a flute band on the Garvaghy Road.”

For some reason Italian food is popular around where I live so there are many Italian restaurants – in additions to the Indian restaurants and Chinese takeaways. It was therefore unsurprising at the time of the world cup to see a few Italian flags flying from cars and the restaurants amongst the many St George crosses.

No one made anything of it – but then a walk down local high streets in London or a visit to a local supermaket is like seeing the united nations out shopping. I travel around by public transport and its amazing how many different languages a traveller can hear. It’s reckoned that there are about 300 languages regularly spoken in London so I’m not too impressed by claims about English bigotry.

According to the 2001 Census: “minority ethnic groups were more likely to live in England than in the other countries of the UK. In England, they made up 9 per cent of the total population compared with only 2 per cent in both Scotland and Wales and less than 1 per cent in Northern Ireland. The minority ethnic populations were concentrated in the large urban centres. Nearly half (45 per cent) of the total minority ethnic population lived in the London region, where they comprised 29 per cent of all residents.”
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=263

Bob B – “minority ethnic groups” are overwhelmingly concentrated in England, yet that’s never stopped Scots politicians telling the English what racists they are.

Richard W @98: “RBS are a global institution with their headquarters in Edinburgh who employ more people outside Scotland than in with many of them in England. Blaming Scotland for RBS is like blaming London for BP because that is where they are headquartered.”

Perhaps they could usefully add to the their criminal law in Scotland a new offence along the lines of being in charge of a bank while under the influence . .

At least that would be a charitable explanation for the RBS take-over of ABN Amro in 2007:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7033176.stm

“RBS bosses admitted to the select committee that buying parts of the Dutch bank ABN Amro in 2007 was a ‘bad mistake’.”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/feb/10/abn-amro-columnists-predictions

Don’t you think this account of what led to the Act of Union in 1707 has a certain resonance in present times?

“The Darién scheme was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to become a world trading nation by establishing a colony called ‘New Caledonia’ on the Isthmus of Panama in the late 1690s, it is generally regarded as being based on a flawed concept. In practice the undertaking was marked by poor planning and leadership, lack of demand for trade goods, devastating epidemics of disease, and increasing shortage of food, it was finally abandoned after a siege by Spanish forces in April of 1700. As the Darien company was backed by nearly half the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left the country – which had suffered a run of bad harvests – completely ruined and was an important factor in weakening resistance to the Act of Union (finally consummated in 1707) among the political elite.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darien_scheme

105. FlyingRodent

Oh, boo, hoo hoo. It’s all so very sad.

@ 104 Except that Fred Godwin is Scottish, as was the PM at the time. Scots are largely to blame for the economic meltdown

107. Chaise Guevara

“All over England you can see the odd car with a St Andrews cross sticker, and as far as I know they don’t get vandalised. The Cross of St George seems to get treated in the Land O’Cakes like a flute band on the Garvaghy Road.”

Don’t know what that means, but it sounds like an awesome analogy. Explain!

It makes perfect sense that anti-Scottish racism in England tends to be of the casual, jokey variety, while anti-English racism in Scotland is more likely to spill over into violence. Historically, we (England) are seen as the benefactors of the divide, so we condescend, they resent*. Resentment is a much more powerful and therefore dangerous emotion.

I noticed a similar thing when I first moved from the South to the North: that the North/South divide seems to exist on an emotional level in the North. In the South, as far as my own experience goes, it just doesn’t: the North/South divide is something you refer to when discussing disparities in income, quality of life etc. But up North, there’s a fair few who assume that Southerners are their official enemies, albeit in a relatively friendly way, as if the North and South are rival football teams. Same reason: South’s richer.

*Absolute generalisms there, of course.

108. Chaise Guevara

“Scots are largely to blame for the economic meltdown”

I do remember the eeeeevil Scottish plot to bring down Lehmann Brothers and frighten the US market. I hope you were joking there Matt, because if not that’s the stupidest thing I’ve heard you say. And you’re the guy who despises everyone older or younger than himself.

If that’s the stupidest thing you’ve heard me say you obviously haven’t read that many of my posts

110. Chaise Guevara

LOL. You get several coolpoints back for decent repartee.

Bob, dounds like you guys have built Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land. Not much chance of the BNP getting elected to anything there.

I don’t quite see the ABN Amro analogy with the Darien Scheme, but it is an interesting thought. However, the resentments towards the monarchy and the East India Company were settled over the course of the next century and a half. The anger felt meant that those of Scottish and Scotch Irish heritage in the thirteen American colonies about 25% of the population agitated to kick Britain out of the colonies. When rebellion came they fought on the American side against the British. Long memories and all that. The East India Company were dealt with even later when Jardine Mathieson effectively destroyed their monopoly. Jardine Mathieson still trades as a large conglomerate out of Singapore employing over 100,000. The East India Company were consigned to history. Although someone has recently bought the name and intends to revive them.

The Scots have produced a variety of illustrious, pioneering engineers – like James Watt, Logie Baird, and Robert Watson-Watt. They have also produced outstanding entrepreneuers – like Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Watson. But they also have a special knack of undertaking completely disastrous commercial projects.

Among many historic examples is the Caledonian Canal:

“The Caledonian Canal in Scotland connects the Scottish east coast at Inverness with the west coast at Corpach near Fort William. . . The canal finally opened in 1822, having taken an extra 12 years to complete, and cost £910,000. Over 3,000 local people had been employed in its construction, but the draught had been reduced from 20 feet (6.1 m) to 15 feet (4.6 m), in an effort to save costs. In the meantime, shipbuilding had advanced, with the introduction of steam-powered iron-hulled ships, many of which were now too big to use the canal.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caledonian_Canal

In short, the canal was of little commerical use ever since it opened and it serves only as a leisure attraction for tourists. But in its time, it was regarded as an engineering triumph. In due course, it inspired the Baron Rothschilds in the 19th century to make one of his more memorable observations:

“There are three principal ways to lose money: wine, women, and engineers. While the first two are more pleasant, the third is by far the more certain.”

@Richard W

I do appreciate you reminding us about Jardine Matheson, yet another example of outstanding Scottish entrepreneurs. The entry in Wikipedia relating to the foundation of their illustrious partnership company in China is most illuminating

“Jardine, Matheson & Co. was founded in Canton on 1 July 1832, following a meeting between William Jardine and another Scots trader, James Matheson from Sutherland. In 1834, the pair sent the first private shipments of Chinese tea to England; another big export to the UK was silk. In return, they traded opium to the Chinese. Jardine Matheson’s early profits were based on this trading of Indian opium into China. When the Chinese emperor tried to ban the trade, the company called on Britain to compel China to provide compensation for the confiscated opium, leading in 1839 to the first of two Opium Wars.”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardine_Matheson_Holdings

114. Chaise Guevara

“But they also have a special knack of undertaking completely disastrous commercial projects”

Haha! Fantastic! Now do one about the Jews!

“Haha! Fantastic! Now do one about the Jews!”

But we’ve already done previous threads on Palestine and the peace-loving Israeli settlers there.

OTOH we have this insight from George Orwell about those from northern places in his book: The Road to Wigan Pier (1937):

But when you go to the industrial North you are conscious, quite apart from the unfamiliar scenery, of entering a strange country. This is partly because of certain real differences which do exist, but still more because of the North-South antithesis which has been rubbed into us for such a long time past. There exists in England a curious cult of Northerness, sort of Northern snobbishness. A Yorkshireman in the South will always take care to let you know that he regards you as an inferior. If you ask him why, he will explain that it is only in the North that life is ‘real’ life, that the industrial work done in the North is the only ‘real’ work, that the North is inhabited by ‘real’ people, the South merely by rentiers and their parasites. The Northerner has ‘grit’, he is grim, ‘dour’, plucky, warm-hearted, and democratic; the Southerner is snobbish, effeminate, and lazy — that at any rate is the theory. Hence the Southerner goes north, at any rate for the first time, with the vague inferiority-complex of a civilized man venturing among savages, while the Yorkshireman, like the Scotchman, comes to London in the spirit of a barbarian out for loot. And feelings of this kind, which are the result of tradition, are not affected by visible facts. Just as an Englishman five feet four inches high and twenty-nine inches round the chest feels that as an Englishman he is the physical superior of Camera (Camera being a Dago), so also with the Northerner and the Southerner. I remember a weedy little Yorkshireman, who would almost certainly have run away if a fox-terrier had snapped at him, telling me that in the South of England he felt ‘like a wild invader’. But the cult is often adopted by people who are not by birth Northerners themselves. A year or two ago a friend of mine, brought up in the South but now living in the North, was driving me through Suffolk in a car. We passed through a rather beautiful village. He glanced disapprovingly at the cottages and said:

‘Of course most of the villages in Yorkshire are hideous; but the Yorkshiremen are splendid chaps. Down here it’s just the other way about — beautiful villages and rotten people. All the people in those cottages there are worthless, absolutely worthless.’
http://orwell.ru/library/novels/The_Road_to_Wigan_Pier/english/e_rtwp

116. Chaise Guevara

“Hence the Southerner goes north, at any rate for the first time, with the vague inferiority-complex of a civilized man venturing among savages, while the Yorkshireman, like the Scotchman, comes to London in the spirit of a barbarian out for loot.”

The above, in this day and age, is not ‘insight’.

117. Home Rule for England

Robert Louis 67

“1. I like your name. People in Scotland would welcome England becoming independent from Scotland. If you have a petition, I’ll sign it.”

So why don’t Scottish people vote for independence en masse?
VOTE SNP SET ENGLAND FREE!

118. shaun the brummie

well,we english should start removing the jocks,taffs and paddies,back to their ancestors countries of origin.the savings in benefits would be huge,as would the job availability to english people.english politicians would look after english matters.you want aircraft carriers you pay for them.you want to fight in afghanistan you fight.rangers and celtic in english football…LMAO.no more jocks,taffs,or paddies on english tv.your benefits bill would swallow up your oil money very,very quickly,and what jobs would there be.english conservatives could renationalise everything down here,profits could be reinvested.nat west would be detached from rbs,as would halifax and lloyds.i could go on and on…..

118 shaun the brummie

..best not, you’ll only disply your ignorance more… and anyway, nobody could bear hearing the ridiculous whiney accent!


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    English Broadcasting Corporation? http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/09/06/why-does-the-bbc-tolerate-anti-scottish-bigotry/

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