The only magic of the UK is to make Scotland disappear

If you are somewhere in the big broad world outwith the UK, can you see this? It’s probably best to check since the part time prime minister and full time ego artiste who goes by the stage name Boris Johnson has told us all that people in the rest of the world don’t see Scotland, or the other countries of the UK, they just see one glorious Britain. According to Johnson, that’s the magic of the UK, a magic that he fears losing if Scotland becomes independent. There’s a Conservative PM there, telling the Scottish public that he can make Scotland disappear, like it was a good thing. If you feel something kicking you in the kidney, it’s only the rabbit which is also in the hat he’s consigned us to. It’s one of those union benefits.

The bloviating one was appearing for a photo-op in Essex, because appearing for photo-ops is what passes for leadership in the UK these days. He used the occasion to tell those of us who are unfortunate enough not to be able to dismiss him as an eccentric and authoritarian foreign leader that people in the UK don’t realise how the UK is perceived abroad. You need the lofty heights of Boris Johnson’s immense erudition to realise that you see, something which we lesser mortals will never come close to even if our French accents are far better than Boris Johnson’s strangulation of la belle langue française.

Apparently, people in furren pairts don’t perceive Scotland, England, Wales, or Northern Ireland, they only see one united kingdom, one generous and giving Britain, one fount of goodness admired and loved throughout the globe. Which is the kind of thing that could only be said by someone who has either never lived abroad, or who if they have lived abroad have never learned the language, or if they did learn the language they never listened to anything that anyone told them that didn’t fit in with their preconceived notions about how great the UK is. You know, a person who thinks that they are an expat, and not a immigrant. A person who believes that they are in furren pairts to teach the natives about the benefits of blighty, and who doesn’t think that another country could have anything to teach them.

The remark came shortly after the foreign secretary and steroid rage survivor Dominic Raab opined that the UK would be saved and Scottish independence averted by Boris Johnson’s “optimistic fizz”. Unfortunately the closest to a fizz that Boris Johnson gives the Scottish public is the hangover medication we all require after drinking ourselves into oblivion to forget the fact that we have the toe curling Boris bloody Johnson representing Scotland to the rest of the world.

The truth is that people in furren pairts for the most part don’t distinguish between Britain and England. The two terms are largely interchangeable for them. That’s how Boris Johnson can tell us that people abroad only see Britain, because for him there’s no distinction between Britain and England. But if you’re not English, you are constantly reminded, and constantly having to remind your foreign friends and acquaintances that you are not in fact English.

While travelling in Finland many years ago, I met a German woman who asked where I was from. I told her I was Scottish. “Oh, England,” she replied. “No. Scotland.” I told her. “I think you’ll find that you are in fact English,” she told me. To which I replied, “And I think you’ll find that you are in fact talking shite. I know a lot more about my own national identity than you do.”

For any Scot abroad, this sort of experience is not uncommon. When living in Spain my Spanish friends used to introduce me to others as “Paul, mi amigo escocés-no-le-llames-inglés-porque-le-cabrea.” (Paul, my Scottish-don’t-call-him-English-because-it-pisses-him-off friend.”

Just after moving to Spain, my late husband Andy – who was English – and I had to register as residents at the local town hall. In the nationality box on the form he put inglés, and I put escocés. The official happily accepted Andy’s form, but told me that she couldn’t accept mine because “Scottish isn’t a nationality”. A long debate followed about how if she accepted “English” as a nationality, then she needed to accept “Scottish” too, seeing as how the United Kingdom is only a United Kingdom because the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland came together following the Treaty of Union and created it. Despite this she still wouldn’t accept “Scottish”, and I had to register as británico.  For any Scot who lives abroad, you spend your life educating your new friends and neighbours, workmates and casual acquaintances, that Scotland is in fact a country in its own right.

For most people abroad the terms English and British, or England and Britain, are synonymous.  The most common way of referring to the UK in Spanish is Inglaterra.  In the exact same way during the days of the Soviet Union, people in the rest of the world generally referred to the Soviet Union as Russia, despite the fact that Russia was only one of the fifteen constituent republics that made up the Soviet Union.

Before any British nationalist gets on their high horse, I’m not trying to say that Scotland is treated by the UK in the same way that say, Estonia, was treated by the Soviet Union – with mass deportations, political repression, and a deliberate and concerted attempt to alter the demographics of Estonia with a massive planned inward migration of Russians which aimed to reduce Estonians to a minority in their own country.

The point is that any multinational state like the old Soviet Union or the modern UK, which is dominated by one nation which is larger than all the others combined, will be identified abroad with that numerically and politically dominant nation. That’s exactly what happens abroad with the UK. As far as the rest of the world is concerned, unless they have Scottish (or Welsh) people nipping their ears about it, the UK is the same as England. Despite what Boris Johnson claims, it’s Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland which are made invisible by the UK, not England.  It’s very easy for an English nationalist like him to claim that people abroad only see Britain, when those people abroad use Britain as a synonym for England.

The claim by British nationalists that being a part of the UK allows Scotland to “punch above its weight”, and to attain a global prominence that would otherwise be denied to it, is a lie. Being a part of the UK makes Scotland invisible. It’s that vanishing act which is the real magic of the UK, a nefarious magic that works against Scotland’s interests.

In Europe at least, there has been an increasing realisation over the past few years that Scotland is a different country. That’s because of Brexit. People in the European Union are aware far more than they previously were that Scotland is a distinct nation within the UK, and moreover it’s a nation which is markedly more European in its outlook, its sympathies, and its sensibility than Brexit Britain.


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139 thoughts on “The only magic of the UK is to make Scotland disappear

  1. Right on Paul, it’s bloody infuriating, as are the drop down boxes online for ‘what country are you from’.
    I went to Sri Lanka for a wee holiday a few years ago, to be met with, ‘you’re English’…eh…no…Scottish, ‘but is that not in England’, definitely not. A few heads and thoughts became enlightened.
    First trip to Cyprus in the mid 80s before the onslaught of Brit-greedery-trashy-tourism, though mod bases filled with Brits…we were tentatively approached by locals who asked if we were from England, oh no says us, we’re Scottish, from Scotland, to which they immediately warmed up with ‘Scotchese’ accord.

  2. Ha ha, your blog resonates so much with me today Paul. Thank you for introducing me to the verb cabrear to add to my Spanish vocabulary. I can now say how much it pisses me off having to constantly repeat, “ No soy inglesa, soy escocésa” 😂😂

    I’m so looking forward to the day when Scotland is an independent nation in the EU. Just hope I live long enough to see it. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  3. I live in Spain and I have found that when people find out I’m Scottish, and not English, they are very sympathetic. They realise more than my English friends and colleagues that we are a completely different nation and they are much more friendly towards us. It’s the English who have no idea – our EU friends are on our side!

  4. I have always found that as soon I indicated I was Scottish not English I received a much warmer welcome not just in Europe but America, Canada and New Zealand. There are many countries out there who tolerate the English because of their spending abroad but have an enormous dislike of them and I think that’s getting worse thanks to LBJ

    • You’re right about the enormous dislike, Kate. I’ve worked all over the world and found the general view of the locals about Britain was a strange mix of contempt and admiration. Contempt because of the British Empire’s appalling record of exploitation and a grudging admiration that we’d somehow got away with it for so long.

      In Brazil the Scots had the reputation amongst waiters, taxi drivers etc of being the best tippers in spite of all the fables about meanness. Just being from Scotland assured you of great service. In Germany, my German colleagues quickly adopted my clarification of the difference between Scotland and England/Britain: I’d tell people who asked about it “England haengt von Schottland ab”, which means “England hangs down from Scotland”, but more significantly it also means “England depends on Scotland”. That fair tickled them, but it also got them curious about our history and how it differed from England’s.

  5. One large part of the invisibility of Scotland comes from Labour in Scotland and Westminster who need it to identify as Britain because it was a reliable power block for them.
    Ironically poverty and abysmal working conditions created the environment for Labour success. Creating a successful Scotland in its own right would have undermined their grip.

  6. Had a similar situation once when I was in Austria. Was asked where I was from and said “Scotland.”

    “Oh, you’re English,” came the reply.

    “No – people from England are English.”

    “But Scotland is part of England. And you speak English.”

    “Well, by that standard you must be German then. Have a lovely day!”

    She wiz fizzing efter that.

    • Had a similar experience in Austria about 25 years ago. My husband, daughter and I were climbing Mt Schroder and met four Austrian gentlemen. In a short conversation, when they asked where we were from, with us replying we were Scottish, they all responded with “Ah! So you are English, are you not?” We rather energetically re-emphasised that , “NO, we are Scottish, from Scotland.”
      Again the response was that we were English. My exasperated husband then asked their nationality and they all proudly declared themselves to be Austrian, to which Tom said, “So that makes you German then, you all speak German.” They were outraged at the suggestion, but then it was a joy to watch their expressions change as the penny dropped. They smiled, “Ah! We now understand.” Apologies followed.

    • Seems that Gove has more ken than Johnson. One more brain cell?

      ”The idea was floated by cabinet office minister Michael Gove as a way of dampening support for Scottish independence by showing that Holyrood was being listened to at Westminster on issues regarding Scotland.”

  7. Once had this “Britain is seen as England is seen as Britain” discussion on Twitter. The guy claimed to have never come across this attitude anywhere, ever. Not on TV, not on radio, not anywhere. Presumably he lives in a wee bubble in the Home Counties. (of Engerland)

  8. You all for sure know that I live in Spain (Uno Mas, one more of the gang)

    In my experience Paul (lived in Spain for nearly twenty years, not retired run a business working construction ) the situation regarding other nationalities confusing Scots and English as being the same has improved dramatically in recent years.

    Before 2014 when working with or for English people I would be subject to a daily and very tiring range nof comments about Scots being mean, drunks, dour and of course that we were subsidised by England as we had no economy.

    After 2014 that pretty much stopped after the fright they got when they thought they were going to “lose” Scotland.

    The game changer for citizens of European countries was the night of the Brexit vote when the map of Scotland was all yellow for remain.

    In the apartament block I lived in at the time of the Brexit vote all of my neighbours of different nationalities were asking me when we were going to be independent and telling me that we would be welcome as members of the EU.

    So I believe for sure there is now a much greater understanding of the make up of the United Kingdom.

    P.S. Do you know that I have never actually spoken to a supporter of Scottish independence!! I live in a bubble of furriners. My contact with the Yes movement is entirely thro the internet.

    So if anyone happens to be near Costa Blanca and fancy a free Menu del Dia in the best spot in the area get in touch with Paul to whom I am going to send my contact details.

  9. It is amazing how people from Scotland are appreciated around the world. A 40million disaporia because people in Scotland were thrown off their own lands and made to emigrate. The Jacobite uprisings. The Clearances. The distrust and dislike of Westminster Gov.

    10% of the US, Australia, NZ and Canada of Scottish descent. Workers in the Oil sector all over the world. The auld Alliance with France. Mr McAllister in Germany.

    Scottish invention formed the modern world. A different legal and education system. TV, radio and telecommunication led on to the internet. Google can’t even work it out. Lack of information. Victorian. No – Scottish enterprise Eric Schmidt got it wrong. Giving lectures. He should have googled it. Now left the company.

    The Scottish revenues taken illegally and secretly by Westminster. They have been trying to extinguish Scotland for 300 years. They have not manage yet. In fact the opposite. Support for SNP/Independence rising. Johnston will be voted out.

    Scotland is distinguish. A complete identity all around the world. A complete unique history. Burns, Outlander. Tartan. Recognised and portrayed in music, film and language. An old nation with a unique history of equality and fairness.

    The Declaration at Arbroath. The US founding fathers. US presidents with unique Scottish/Irish heritage Their descendants were cleared from their lands by Westminster Gov patronage. The repression of Scotland and Ireland by the illegal unelected Westminster oppression. Millions killed. The Tories trying to kill even more.

    Johnston the migrant needs an education. The dope on a rope. Always puts his foot in it. He has to be called out. Liars always get found out, Born in New York. Brought up on EU money. Privilege paid by taxpayers. Embezzling public money. Unelected associates.

  10. I went to the US in 1995 with my brother and his wife, and their 9 month old son. Most folk loved the fact we were Scottish, and many told us of their own Scottish ancestry (some genuine, some dubious but hey). We visited an amazing B&B in Denver called the Lumber Baron’s lodge which was indeed the legacy of a 19th Century Scot who had every room panelled in a different wood. It was amazing and the hosts loved us as much as we loved their house.

    However in one particular shop the owner asked us where we came from and when we said Scotland, she asked us what language we spoke there. English, we said. No, when you’re in Scotland she said, not here. English, we said again. No, no, she said – if you speak English, you must be from England. So you must be English. You’re English aren’t you ?

    My brother was getting a bit agitated at this point but we were saved from any further argument by his baby son (who he was carrying) projectile vomiting all over the floor of the shop.

    Which I have believed ever since to be the appropriate response to anyone who won’t accept “Scottish” as my nationality 😂

  11. Bravo, now that really hit the mark and a nerve or two.
    I may not be up to date with what the rest of Europe thinks of Johnson’s faux Britishness, but rest assured even in Romania the language and the nationalities have never been better understood even if the Gaelic, Irish or Welsh languages would meet wide eyed befuddlement.
    I worked with a US Navy outfit in the 1980s where every new member of the military and US civilian personnel were given an intro to Scottish life outside the base which went along the following lines – Under no circumstances whatsoever will you refer to a local civilian as English throughout your entire tour of duty here, to do so will not only bring disrespect to our hosts but to your unit and this command. There will be NO exceptions, you are in Scotland not England,
    It is comical to think that the ignorance of the Charlatan is on full glorious display across the globe, while he is blissfully unaware the rest of the world knows otherwise..

  12. On the same subject just been listening to an old recording of a BBC quiz show called Who Goes There from 1989. Listen to this from around 14.17 to hear Eric Liddel described as “The other one, the English, you know the sort of public school chappie”. Interesting that they didn’t seem to consider English born Abrahams, also a public school “chappie” as English, presumably because of his Jewish heritage, but could forget the name of, and yet claim as English, Scot Eric Liddel. These wee things over time – clips on the Goons that are forever all about England, the them to Dad’s Army – make me realise just how much people have been manipulated by the media.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/live:bbc_radio_four_extra

    • Almost every war movie has some reference to ‘England’ fighting the Hun.
      Corbyn’s rally even had them breaking out into ‘Jerusalem’, ‘in England’s Green and Pleasant land’.

      I worked among English colleagues for the thick end of four decades…they were in no doubt that we Scots were a separate race, and indeed, despite the tedious Jock banter and framing us a canny, tight, drunks, and speaking in incomprehensible dialects,(Remember Davidson’s outrageous quip at party conference that her English mates be wary that she as a Scot didn’t wreck the joint and steal stuff? Odious little woman then, more so now.) we were viewed as clever if ‘not English’ by most.
      None of my colleagues saw themselves as ‘British’ in England. They were English.

      I and other Scots were respected for our expertise, education, and professionalism, yet still…bought in hired help, nonetheless.

      I have travelled the world, and nowhere was any local native left in any doubt that I was anything other than a Scot, not a Brit, which is a nonsense identification, and certainly not English.

      It is risible to imagine identifying my self as from ‘the UK’ or my nationality as British.

      It is tiresome that little oiks like RN Failure Sub Lieutenant Andrew Bowie and Jackson Carlaw develop this bools in the mooth Anglo Scots tortured put on accent, to identify themselves as Brits, and servants of a Lesser London God.

      To deny one’s country and birth right is surely a terrible thing.

      These people deny being Scottish..for money.

      Today I watched the Better Together Brit Nats try to bring down John Swinney, a gentleman, and true Scot. Fat bloated Scots who would destroy Scotland for money.
      I am more than content that these chancers deny being Scottish. Scotland can do without the. And soon will.

  13. I was recognised as Scottish by a professor of Geology in a Chinese university, he told me he hoped to visit Scotland one day, I was gobsmacked as this was in Victoria Australia along the Great Ocean Road. this only occurred when my mate volunteered me to take a Chinese tourist couples photo, I replied Aye awe right . Immediately saw his eyes light up.

  14. Familiar story. I lived in NL for many years. In Dutch the word “Engeland” refers to the UK, despite there being an equivalent of UK in the language – “Verenigde Koningrijk”.

    I gave up after a while explaining. In their language it doesn’t matter.

    BJ is of course being disingenuous. Or stupid. He only got a third after all.

    • Which is all the more astonishing, in that a sizeable part of their own citizens dislike being regarded as coming from Holland, which is of course only the Western coastal areas of the Netherlands.

  15. Pingback: The only magic of the UK is to make Scotland disappear | speymouth

  16. I’ve travelled a great deal and found that as soon as people realise that you’re Scottish their whole attitude changes towards you and you become pretty much their best friend over night. My husband in fact has ”brothers” (as they call him) all over the world now 😀. If you can’t speak the language and are trying to tell them that you’re Scottish do an impersonation of playing the bagpipes. That works 😎. On one occasion we ended up being invited to a party in France. The host was telling everyone that we were Scottish and ended up by saying that he had been to Scotland himself previously. He had been to Cambridge 🙄🤣.

    On a more serious note the buffoon can say what he likes. Scotland and the Scots won’t be magicked away and in fact with independence we’ll make sure that the whole world will know the difference between Scotland and England, no doubt about it, especially when their subs are kicked out of our country and they lose their seat on the UN Security Council.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/article/what-britain-will-lose-if-scotland-goes

  17. I do not agree with this bit

    “ I’m not trying to say that Scotland is treated by the UK in the same way that say, Estonia, was treated by the Soviet Union – with mass deportations, political repression, and a deliberate and concerted attempt to alter the demographics of Estonia with a massive planned inward migration of Russians which aimed to reduce Estonians to a minority in their own country.”

    We did have mass deportations we did and still have political repression and I believe that England has tried to alter demographics in Scotland it’s just that instead of moving enough English people to Scotland to outnumber Scottish people they have over three hundred years beaten killed bribed and brainwashed enough Scottish people into believing they are british first not Scottish and that has given them the majority that in their view justifies England’s control of Scotland .
    The huge number of Scots around the world didn’t just happen because we wanted to explore the world and decided to settle elsewhere it was largely because we were being repressed and made red in our own country by English soldiers who told us we were disobeying new laws introduced as a consequence of the union.

    Furthermore Scotland’s sufferance under that English control including mass murders and forced unemployment homelessness and poverty has been erased from Scotland’s history along with our language .
    I think we will find out a lot about these horrors once we are independent and Scotland’s historians are less frightened to talk about it.

    There is no way Scottish people would have stood by idly and allow the few wealthy people in the country that agreed the union with England they would have protested , rioted caused disruption and the response to that would have been harsh , English soldiers would have been sent to beat murder and crush such civil disobedience the same way they did the in every other country they took control of , the idea that Scots would have been excused the beatings murders forced unemployment forced homelessness and poverty just because we were in a new union is to turn a blind eye to reality.

    And yes there were Scots willing and eager to join the new union who helped the English soldiers and betrayed their own country but sad to say that too happened in every country that England took control of ,human nature is such that people look out for themselves and their nearest and dearest and will betray the masses if promised relief and protection by their oppressors.

      • Sorry Paul, but I’m with Terence on this one.
        Following Culloden it was seen by the English that they had suppressed and conquered Scotland for good. And to to prove their point they left over 400 ‘British’ forts manned all over Scotland to keep the ‘Rebellious Scots’ down, long after the battle.

        It was an occupation!

        https://www.scotsman.com/arts-and-culture/map-shows-400-british-army-camps-scotland-after-culloden-270187

        Those of us who are old enough in the tooth know that Scottish history was never taught at schools, yes we learned all about 1066 and good old lord Nelson at Trafalgar and Sir Francis Drake and all the other ‘spiffing’ English noblemen who saved ‘Britain’ from the bad guy. Funny how back then it wasn’t the UK! but Britain ie. England as you state in your post.
        Right from the off we were being ‘Assimilated’ into ‘Greater England’.

        Only now are the ‘Brits’ being forced to face the reality of Empire through the eyes of many oppressed former colonies throughout the world, but do they like what is being told, well you just have to read a lot of the HYS’s on various articles to see that they’re quite happy to stick their collective heads in the sand.
        And they wonder why nobody likes them. Go Figure!

    • Hear Hear Terence. I heartily agree. Your post above is correct people just don’t see it.
      We are despised and hated, my children attending a rural highland primary school were being called Scottish bastards by incoming English primary school children. Now where did they learn that from. Boy do I have stories.

      • Being called names in the schoolyard isn’t in quite the same league as having all your writers, artists, politicians, and intellectuals either shot or deported to Siberia.

  18. It is usually after independence that countries discover the true extent of the mass murder and other crimes perpetrated by occupying forces ,just because we have been in a union it doesn’t mean we won’t have any such atrocities to uncover even after 300 years , you have to look for them to find them, nobody in Scotland looks for them.
    Better chance of finding archaeological evidence or roman atrocities in Britain than English atrocities in Scotland in fact we regularly see BBC tv programmes about the Romans in Britain .
    You won’t ever see such a programme about England’s soldiers and their atrocities in Scotland after the union.

    Once Scotland is independent we will uncover our history.
    It’s there waiting for us to uncover it.

  19. I often think that the Battle of Culloden was a real turning point in Scottish history in particular in that it occurred around 40 years after the Treaty of the Union. Not only were our troops decimated so too were civilian women and children (that’ll teach you). The clan system was left in total disarray and it was all systems go in an attempt to destroy our institutions and identity: And the latter points continue to this day. Too bad for them that we’ve managed to hang on in there against all odds.

    • And all those Lairds whose ancestors carved up the land between them in the 18th century still hang the portraits of these genocidal maniacs on the walls of their Baronial Castles to this day, Petra.
      I seem to remember a BBC2 documentary regarding nearly a million Highlanders returning from WW I who were denied abit of land to croft by the Lairds, and shipped off to the colonies in Canada New Zealand and Australia.
      Acountry of 5 million, the size of England, and the @landowners’ and their clever lawyers, denied scots a piece of turf to eke out a living.
      Tomorrow’s ‘The glorious 12th’ I assume grouse shooting is banned this year.
      Not a dickie bird in the Dead Tree Scrolls of course.
      I am a proud Scot. On this, I will brook no argument or have any other label foisted upon me by the Murdo Frasers of this evil world.
      Where was Baroness Davidson today?

      • ”I seem to remember a BBC2 documentary regarding nearly a million Highlanders returning from WW I who were denied a bit of land to croft by the Lairds, and shipped off to the colonies in Canada New Zealand and Australia.”

        I saw that programme Jack. It totally enraged me. When they could no longer ”clear” the Scots out they came up with another great idea, make life unbearable for them and then pay their fare to get them to b*gger off elsewhere. Promises were made that, surprise, surprise, never came to fruition either, such as a decent home situated on arable ground in a ”land of milk and honey.” Aye right enough. And they wonder why we don’t trust them!

        • And tomorrow, nearly 1/5th of Scotland will be the playground ofa few hundred filthy rich ‘Toffs’ up from England, to satisfy their blood lust blasting grouse to smithereens for fun.
          ONE FIFTH of my land has been laid waste for this Pleasurama for the Nobles and their Rich Pals..
          On day one of Independence we must ban blood sports and offer the ‘land owners’ £1 an acre, and drive them the feck out of our country once and for all.
          One Fifth of our land mass..FFS.

        • I never saw that programme.
          Anyone remember what that programme was called if I can find the name I will do a youtube search no point in checking IPlayer

        • Petra…6.24pm you said…

          “I saw that programme Jack. It totally enraged me. When they could no longer ”clear” the Scots out they came up with another great idea, make life unbearable for them and then pay their fare to get them to b*gger off elsewhere. Promises were made that, surprise, surprise, never came to fruition either, such as a decent home situated on arable ground in a ”land of milk and honey.” Aye right enough. And they wonder why we don’t trust them! “

          My reply….

          Indenture they called it Petra, they threw the Scots off the wee bit land they occupied threw them out of their wee house took their job and livelihood away all because they disagreed with union.
          Nowhere to go a family to feed , many died on the road, many were offered indenture sign here they said and you will work for free for an Englishman for the rest of your life or until he frees you from this contract you will be transported to some far off country at his expense and will feed you your wife and your children but they too have to work and he will sleep with your wife and daughters and sons as he chooses take it or leave it ,it’s what the English did to the Irish too and to many other poor souls in countries around the world.

          • I agree with much of what you have to say there Terence but in many instances thousands of these Scots weren’t put out of their homes. Some stayed with their parents who remained behind in their wee Butt and Ben or croft, and never saw them again, such as Angus MacNeil’s relatives. The Westminster Government set up a ”scheme”, in particular between 1920 – 1930, and spent £millions ”encouraging” these people to leave. Not too difficult to achieve when they were feeling totally disheartened. No work. No future. This probably accounts for emigration, as Legerwood points out, over many decades and up until very recently in fact. I’ve got family in Canada, the US, Australia, Saudi etc and I’m not on my own as many people that I know of have family members living abroad.

      • I don’t think they were shipped off to the colonies. When they returned from the War and did not get the land they were promised that led to land raids and in 1919 a Land Settlement Act giving them 4 acres or so.

        More about it here:
        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-49741339

        At the start of the 18th century Scotland’s population was around 1 million and it was more or less equally divided between the Highlands and lowlands. By the end of the 18th century the population was around 1.75 million and had started to concentrate in the Central Belt.

        In the early decades of the 19th Century Scotland’s population actually grew at its fastest rate. Then as the century progressed emigration started to take off and at one point Scotland, Ireland and Norway vied with one another to occupy the top spot for emigration. In Scotland it continued well into the 20th century. I am sure that the majority of people in Scotland of a certain age have family members who emigrated. It is only in recent years that Scotland’s population started to increase as the birth rate slowly increased.

        But Scots leaving Scotland for pastures new was not a new phenomenon and happened too in independent Scotland. Poland was a favoured destination in the 16th and 17th centuries and at one point it was estimated that there were about 30,000 Scots families in Poland. If I remember correctly at one point a Scot was Mayor of Warsaw or maybe Krakow. Scotland had been trading with Poland since around the 14th century.

        • Don’t be silly , Scottish people traded with Poland and Belgium and yes many settled there that’s why so many polish folk have Scottish names and yes two mayors in Warsaw but that was nothing to do with the clearances .
          The Scots cleared from their lands and homes and jobs immediately after the union occurred were transported overseas and tied into indenture agreements this occurred before what is commonly known as “the clearances “
          Those who campaigned and protested against the forced union were hunted down by England’s army right across Scotland many died on the road with nowhere to go many signed the dotted line into indenture and were transported overseas to work .

          Over the next fifty years Westminster rewarded those who supported the union and punished those who fought against it land was stolen land was gifted and then we had a second wave of homelessness joblessness and theft inflicted on the Scots by the English and it has to be said some traitor Scots , the clearances they call it.

          Two separate tranches of misery

          To this day we still have the English families owning land stolen from Scots who didn’t go along with the union and gifted to these English families by Westminster
          To this day we still have traitor Scots families owning land stolen from other Scots and gifted to them by westminster

          Scottish independence will shine a light on all this

          • I was not being silly. I was replying to Jack Collatin at 5.02pm amd Petra at 6.24 pm who mentioned the WWI incident when the soldiers returned expecting the promise of land to be honoured. As you would have realised had you bothered to read the link that I included.

          • Legerwood, Petra has managed to track it down.
            See my comments below. 484,000 Scots were shipped to the Dominions….with no alternative here but penury and misery. I suggest that you watch Episode 2.
            It would be an outrage today.

        • Legerwood, I C&P below the summary of the series to which I referred earlier.


          Landmark series on impact of World War One leads BBC Scotland’s commemorative programming in 2016

          We’re bringing our audiences another remarkable range of content over the next 12 months as part of the BBC’s most ambitious season of programmes.”
          Donalda MacKinnon, Head of Programmes and Services, BBC Scotland

          Date: 02.02.2016 Last updated: 02.02.2016 at 11.25

          Category: WW1; Scotland; Radio; BBC Two

          A documentary series that examines how Scotland was shaped politically and culturally in the aftermath of World War One is a cornerstone of BBC Scotland’s programming in 2016 to commemorate the conflict.

          Each of the three hour-long programmes in the BBC Two Scotland documentary series, Scotland: The Promised Land, sheds light on many of the pivotal events that took place in the first ten years of the peace.

          The story of this remarkable decade saw the emergence of a generation of extraordinary figures whose competing visions of the future continue to form part of our political and cultural debate and resonate just as strongly today.

          Narrated by Ken Stott, the series is scheduled to begin in March with an episode which focuses on how the political landscape changed dramatically as previously marginalised citizens were enfranchised for the first time. It highlights remarkable conflicts – including the electoral contest between Winston Churchill and a prohibitionist in Dundee – as well as the rise of the Red Clydesiders.

          Episode 2 looks at how veterans and their families in the Highlands and Islands were promised land for enlisting which didn’t materialise when they returned from the war, and how this fuelled mass emigration to Canada and elsewhere. It features testimonies from migrants and their descendants who felt those in authority had not kept their word about the type of life the exiled Scots would find when they crossed the Atlantic.

          The concluding episode follows a cultural revolution, as emerging writers and artists such as poet Hugh MacDiarmid and sculptor William Lamb, who both served in the war, campaigned to revive Scotland’s voice and culture.

          Episode 2 is the episode which I recall. Nearly one million ’emigrated’ because they were denied a wee bit of land, while the Lairds and Royalty shot grouse and deer on a 1/5th of our land mass.
          A Million brave men and their families forced out of Scotland by the Belted Earls, the politicians, and clever lawyers and bankers.
          Imagine if they tried that on today’s Scots?
          Wonder if we can plumb the archives and view it again?
          Doubt it. It will have gone the way of ‘Scotch On The Rocks’. Shredded and burnt.

          • Ooops I posted 3 links and they went into moderation. Splitting them up now.

            ………………………….

            You got there Jack 😀

            Scotland – The Promised Land 1: The Birth of Modern Scotland (2016)

            The decade after the Great War would have a profound social and political impact on modern Scotland. Returning troops and …

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSwAozSWkJY

            Scotland – The Promised Land 2: Homes for Highland Heroes (2016)

            The second film in this series examines the grave problems facing Scotland’s Highlands and Islands in the turbulent decade after …

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cw17kNLN4A

          • Thanks for this, Petra.
            In a trick of memory, I exaggerated. It was only 484,000 of our young men and women whom the Lairds paid to have shipped to the dominions so that the threat of ‘bolshevism’ among the Lumpen Proletariat could be stifled.

            In episode 2, not one Laird was mentioned. It was all that nasty Sunlight Soap English Baron Leverhume’s fault and the land agents lying about farms waiting to be farmed in Canada wot did it.

            The vast hunting estates and large farms owned by the robber Barons merited nary a mention.

            Half a million Scots forced out of their own country by the Iron Heel Oligarchy.

            Just think what they could have achieved here, if we, the people, requisitioned the land held by a few hundred Lairds and Rich Land owners.

            I hope it is chucking it down tomorrow when the Chinless Wonders take to the moors to slaughter some innocent creatures to satisfy their psychotic blood lust.

            It is astonishing to realise that BBC managed to air an hour long documentary of the Modern Clearances without naming one Laird…they must have been well warned…

      • Do read, everybody, Tom Devine’s book.
        The Sottish Clearances about the extent of clearances in location and surprisingly recent date

    • There were some Scots who fought for Cumberland. Yours is a slightly distorted view. However I agree the s as aftermath was awful.

      • Andyfromdunning…you are right some Scots fought for Cumberland ,,when you get the choice of fight for us or we kill your wife and children right now…..that’s what you do…happens the world over

  20. I’ve always been aware that the use of Russia/ Soviet Union interchangeably was just like the English/ British interchangeability. That is not perchance. The similarities between Russia’s sociopathic elites and England’s sociopathic elites do not end there, which is why they dislike each other so much. They have both thought it fair game to prey on their neighbours and sought endlessly to build empires. Maybe that explains, at least in part, the leanings of Corbyn and his band of “British” socialists towards imperialism. Domination – for the wellbeing of their subordinate, backward neighbours of course – is always their objective. Who would have thought that the quiet spoken wee man from Islington, supporter of all good causes other than those that threatened his hopes of the imposition of his belief system, would be an imperialist. I would.

    The annihilation of Scottish culture was always the intention of the Brits but like everything else they ever did it never got finished. What they didn’t reckon on was that a lot of Scots were not only of the “if you can’t beat them join them” brigade but were actually prepared to be more British than the English – which we clearly see today. It’s a tangled web right enough.

    Fortunately most Scots, once they throw off the cringe, know who they are and what it means to be Scottish. I am one such and no-one who has ever met me has ever had any doubt as to my actual nationality.

    It can’t be very nice identifying as British, only to discover that I and very many other people reject out of hand any association with their chosen identity. But if you’re not very nice then that’s what happens. Tough sh…

  21. There are more people from Scotland in the rest of the UK than people from England in Scotland.

    400,000+ People from England in Scotland. (Less voters)

    800,000 people from Scotland in England. 50,000 from Scotland in Wales/NI. (Less voters).

    26Million Russians died in WW2. Saving the West. Poland was handed over to Russian dominance by the Allies at Yalta. Stalin died 1953. WW2 devastated the Russian economy. Nuclear Japan.

    Since 1990. Last two decades 150Million people have achieved self determination, self governance from Russian federation. USSR. People have become more prosperous.

    Military spending.

    US 320 million pop $720Billion. 1/3 of all world spending. Highest in the world pro rata

    UK pop 67Million. $50Bilion

    Russia pop 150Million $65Billion.

    China pop 1.3Billion $228Billion

    Saudia Arabia pop 34Million $69Billion.

    Illegal wars in the Middle East destroying the world economy. UK/US France. $3Trn. Taking resources and revenues. Destroying democracies.

    Russian oligarchs in London took £Billions from the Russian people and give donations to the Tory/unionists. Cash for honours. The unelected HoL.

    • Ahh that old chestnut Ken2….what a twister you are in saying….
      “There are more people from Scotland in the rest of the UK than people from England in Scotland.”

      As I’ve explained to you before Ken2

      Half a million or 600,000 or 700,000 Scots living amongst 50,000,000 ( fifty million ) English people doesn’t affect much of what England wants to do

      Half a million or 600,000 or 700,000 English people living amongst 5,000,000 ( five million ) Scots has a very big impact on what we Scots want to do

      • Take back the 1,3million in the rest of the UK/NI. The 500,000 (1/2million) go back to the rest of the UK. 3%? of the electorate who voted No. A tiny proportion. On passed polling outcomes. The vote for NO in Scotland would be higher. It is people born and bred in Scotland in a higher proportion voted NO. Not people from elsewhere. Especially elderly women, who live longer, and do not like risk. That is changing by all accounts. The younger ones coming on board.

        The tide is turning. Has turned. Now more people will vote YES. Including people from elsewhere. The 200,000 people from Poland etc. A higher proportion voted No because they were lied to about the EU. That is enough to swing it. Stop blaming others for what people born and bred in Scotland did by a higher percentage because there is more of them.

        Imagine the outrage if people from Scotland in the rest of the UK. were told they could not vote. Or had to vote a certain way. Just vindictiveness. They could have voted for Brexit in increased numbers (by proportion). They could have influenced that vote.

        People can vote how they like. That is why it is a secret vote. No matter what the polls predict. The Polls are often wrong in close contests, They can be used to affect the outcome. The pollsters can be the illegal manipulators. Cambridge Analytica.

        Support for the SNP/Independence increasing. For another IndyRef.

        The Scottish electoral systems changed by Westminster unionist parties and their associates to manipulate the result. An electoral system voters do not understand. Neither does anyone else.

        First preference votes go in the bin. To let 3rd rate losers in. Quotas. Voters diluting their own vote. Unintentionally. It can mean less people vote. They become disillusioned about the ability to influence the outcome and do not vote. A negative experience.

  22. Calpe Rock. Quite unique. 30 mins Benidorm. Altea a nice town. Fish in the marine. Along the Costa to Denia. Fishing port. Some fish from Scotland in the supernercados. Peterhead lorries leave every night.

  23. I second all that has been said previously regarding interchangeability of English and British in Continental Europe for the most part previously. How many times have we as Cymry had to argue, persuade, cajole, educate fellow Europeans that we are not English?

    I’ve even had it said that the Welsh language is a dialect of English.

    But here’s the thing. Start getting on their side and saying what perfidious Albion has done to them for is the same as she has been doing to her so-called Celtic fringe, and they start getting your side and agreeing with your point of view. Buy a sweatshirt that proclaims you are Welsh not English written in their language and they are keen to know more. Teach them your own language and draw similarities (where applicable) to how their language has been bullied and marginalised and ridiculed by a more powerful neighbour and suddenly you have new friends.

    I’ve done all this as a lecturer in Welsh in a Polish university (for 2 years) and as a freelance turor in Paris (for 5 years). Very soon, Poles realise the parallels of dangerous, bullying enemeies to their East – very soon, Frenchies get to hear similar stories to their own ‘ennemoi hereditaire’.

    This is why we are European – and will not rest until we are once again a sovereign nation and sovereign national people among our friends and supporters on mainland Europe. And to tell with Anglocentric, monolingual, xenophobic culture.

  24. One important aspect of Independence that Scotland may/will benefit from is in demographics .

    Scotland’s population growth since we ”united” with England has been one of the lowest in the world .
    At the time of the first UK census ( 1801 ) , Scotland had 1.6m inhabitants , England + Wales 8.9m , which makes us one 5th of the UK total .

    Today Scotland has 5.5m people while England alone has 56m , so Scotland has fallen to a 10th of England’s population .
    According to National Records of Scotland our present share of the UK pop. of 8.2% is projected to drop to 7.7% by 2043.

    With Independence , and the severing of some of the constraints that the UK has ( unwittingly ? ) imposed on us , it is hoped that Scotland’s growth will match that of other small nations .

    • Well Petra under normal circumstances you’d think and believe this was all a big mistake and a forced u-turn for the SNP, but suppose for the last ten years the SQA has been holding down the qualifications of Scottish schoolkids and the SNP can’t seem to make progress over a few percent at a time thus not making Nicola Sturgeon’s education promise real enough, so if you were to be presented with the perfect set of circumstances in which to make the opposition do your job for you by demanding the Scottish government interfere in the system you’d snap their hand off

      Now because I’m a conspiracy theorist I look at the end result and what’s happened is the kids will not vote Green or Labour or Tory over this they’ll vote SNP for the politicians who listened to them when politicians usually do not, y’see I don’t think kids care about how politics works they just care about how it affects them, and they got the result they wanted, and now next year Scotland cannot go back to the way things were done before because the percentages would drop again and the opposition would get the blame for forcing the Scottish government to change things, so whatever the Scottish government now come up with to replace the SQA the opposition will be forced to go along with it or look like they want to bring back the hated SQA and the teachers can’t say anything because the all the opposition demanded the word of the teachers be sacrosanct, the SNP just agreed with the opposition but in the end the SNP win the victory over everything by nullifying the opposition on education in the future, removing the power of the SQA and adding a good few thousand votes from happy kids who’ve ended up with better marks than probably many of them could have dreamed of

      Covid 19 handed everybody lemons but the SNP just made lemonade

      • I can just see the Holyrood BritNats still griping Eilidh. Another furore? Ongoing? We know that this was a very difficult situation to deal with; practically impossible in fact to please everyone. I reckoned however that being enabled to sit an exam now, to separate the wheat from the chaff would keep everyone happy. Would have made more sense. Those who knew that their (lower) grades were actually fair would have dropped their appeal and those who knew that they had what it took to be upgraded would have gone ahead and sat an exam. Looks as though that’s what they’re planning to do down south now, as they also encountered the same problems in relation to pupils from poorer areas.

        https://metro.co.uk/2020/06/30/gcse-level-pupils-can-sit-exams-autumn-improve-grades-12923341/

        • The SNP have neutered the power of the SQA, used the opposition to do it, given the school kids what they want and removed any objection from the opposition in the future to qualification marking by using them to hand that power over to the teachers who are under the direct control of the Scottish government in terms of curriculum direction the very thing that Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted to improve the marks of in education to narrow the attainment gap

          And all they had to do was let it alone to fester until they said OK we’re sorry and we’ll fix it, boom add another 100.000 votes for Independence from the youngsters

          And the beauty is the opposition can’t say a word next year because it was all their idea, they thought, I bet they don’t now

          • Good one Dr Jim

            From Prof Robertson:- ‘Exams ‘fiasco’ latest: Prof will fixit!’

            ”It’s (SQA) a large organisation, and they do have rather a lot of “managerial types” – but also head teachers and other educational professionals at high levels in the organisation.

            The SQA also have Grahame Smith (Former General Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress) on the Board of Management and Sonia Kordiak, the Vice Convenor of the EIS Education Committee, is on their Advisory Council – just one of the ways in which teachers are represented.

            I wonder what they think of the criticisms.

            Has Richard Leonard spoken to Grahame Smith?”

            https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/08/11/exams-fiasco-latest-prof-will-fixit/

            http://www.sqa.org.uk/sqa/79159.2325.html

        • To an extent Petra making them sit exams in next couple months sounds good but per my teacher friend pupils never actually completed their course which apparently in her subject is normally around mid April so 18 year old pupils who technically have left school would need to go back for a few weeks so that they could finish course then sit same exam as every pupil of that year in Scotland. Bit of a no win scenario unfortunately

  25. I live in Extremadura (western Spain on the border with Portugal). Not many foreigners here. My Spanish friends all know I’m Scottish. And I am always introduced as such to others. Definitely not English.
    I also remember years ago (late 90s) we (me and mine) had planned a driving holiday down through France and into Italy. My English husband decided we ought to have an “ecosse” badge and not a “GB” badge as he didn’t want the car damaged!

    • I also remember years ago (late 90s) we (me and mine) had planned a driving holiday down through France and into Italy. My English husband decided we ought to have an “ecosse” badge and not a “GB” badge as he didn’t want the car damaged!

      ________

      I go further back than you, then, Tatu3! 🙂

      In the early 1970;’s (prior to joining the then ‘Common Market’), my parents and me visited France and Brittany. (Obviously, in the latter place we were extremely welcome as fellow Brythonic Celtics, and indeed we conversed with ‘the natives’ in a sort of Welsh-Breton hybrid …)

      However, a few other things stick out from those journeys. Firstly, my parents reluctance to stick a ‘GB’ sticker to the back of the car (a 1962 white Triumph Herald 1200, if you ask). Me, as a non-corrupted 4 or 5 year old couldn’t understand why it wouldn’t stick and I tried all ends up to ‘help’ them stick it – but to no avail. (Looking back, I’m almost 100% convinced, my parents didn’t want to place the offending sticker on our car – clearly registered as a Denbighshire vehicle …Don’t forgot though, there was no CYM – Pays de Galles sticker at that time.)

      Another memory of those trips were the tedious waits in some French ante room (in Calais, I guess) in order for Dad to fill in the necessary ‘carte grise’ in order to be allowed to drive in France and Brittany. (My guess again is that when we eventually did join the CM, that this was no longer a requirement …) Any other history buffs out there remember this?

      Ay, yes. There was also the use of Lucozade wrappers on the headlights to make them comply with the ‘yellow lights law’ of France.

      Happy times – and another reason for despairing at ‘our’ departure from the EU.

      • Good times indeed. My father would drive us from Scotland down through England then onto either the ferry or one year the Hovercraft!, and down through France and into Catalonia. This was late 60s, early to mid 70s.
        I remember the ecosse badge on the car(s, as different ones over the years), the headlight problems, and being only allowed to take so much money out of the uk. Loved those holidays.

    • Tatu that reminds me of a year when my husband and I and some friends bought an old bus. The guys made sure that it was roadworthy and we women made curtains and so on. We drove through France to Spain in a bus covered with Scottish stickers and flags. The kids had their ”See you Jimmy” hats on and spent much of the journey with their heads stuck out of the window waving to everyone. My brother-in-law in the US said that we were mad and that the bus would be damaged, we would be attacked 🙄 etc. We said no we’ll be fine and we were. Everywhere we went people were tooting their horns and waving and when we stopped we were surrounded by well wishers. We made loads of friends on that trip. What a holiday with some brilliant memories.

  26. When in California, seeing family, Americans will hear my accent and ask “Hey man, where are you from?”’ “Scotland!” “Oh, Scotland! Cool.” Then the more honest of them will follow up “Say, where is that anyway?” Next to Ireland, I tell them.

    It’s much easier being a pro-Indy Scot over there than a British nationalist. Having to explain to any poor bastard the difference between England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom? Forget it! I’m Scottish, mate.

    • Wheras in Canada or New Zealand you’re immediately asked whereabouts in Scotland are you from? Some years ago a friend went into a laundrette in Vancouver only to be flabbergasted when the owner said “My, that’s a fine Grangemouth accent”

      • The Scots fairly get around, lol. I had a friend who came from Johnstone, Renfrewshire and was working in a remote area in Africa. He had driven for days without seeing a soul and eventually spotted dust rising on the horizon. The vehicle got closer and when they stopped to talk my friend couldn’t believe it when the other guy not only spoke English but had a Scottish accent. He came from Bridge of Weir. Four short miles from Johnstone. They then became lifelong friends 😀.

  27. The first Italian I learned was “…assolutamente no, sono scozzese”

    I kept being asked if I was inglese!

  28. Off topic

    Something for you to set your alarm clocks for – so as to avoid …

    Just had next week’s Radio Times delivered and lo and behold there’s an anti-Alex Salmond fest up and coming:

    Mon. 17 Aug. 2020 @ 9.00 pm ‘The Trial of Alex Salmond’ with Kirsty Wark

    Tues. 18 Aug. 2020 @ 8.00 pm ‘Scotland’s Uncivil War’ with Dani Garavelli
    (Repeated on Sun. 23 Aug. 2020 @ 5pm on FM)

  29. I just read and re-read Robin McCalpine’s diatribe. I guess I didn’t get the whole thing because I didn’t read anywhere what positive contribution he expected his publicity piece to make towards independence.

    At best I found it niaive, at worst I found it bizarre and literally stupid. There was not a single paragraph that made adult sense. Not a single one.

    Is this heralding the coming of Starmer as the new messiah?

    I suppose the problem of a specifically “left wing” or “right wing” organisation is the inevitability that, with just one wing, it will just circle endlessly in ever decreasing circles and ultimately end up disappearing up its own jacksie.

    I am saddened by this but life is littered with little moments of sadness.

    • I think a lot of folk like Robin McAlpine when they come at a thing from an ideological standpoint such as *I’m a socialist* or *I’m a capitalist* or any other type of ideology it’s difficult to then divorce themselves from that to take a position of having no ideology whatsoever and just accepting total democracy as a way forward instead of left or right or any of that out of date stuff

      • Robin Macalpine as a socialist is committed to boom and bust but mostly the bust for the rest of his life because socialism will never last long in U.K. as long as Westminster exists what a depressing future to have continually hoping for something you know deep down is never going to happen.
        He’s young , by the time he’s sixty he will have abandoned it and will look back on all those wasted years

        • Paul has a name for what Macalpine’s up to in that conspiracy piece of his: Woebaggery. It’s something too many of us are drawn to, with all our Doomscrolling and unsolicited psychoanalysis of Nicola Sturgeon. Ultimately, it all comes down to the same thing we all feel:

          “Go and dae somethin’ will ye!?!”

          It’s head vs. heart stuff. If you wanted to lose an indyref, you’d hold it right now during a pandemic wouldn’t you? You’d paint our movement as the lunatic fringe, a personality cult with zero grip on reality. You’d gladly put people’s lives at risk with a mad charge straight to indy, screaming like you’re Bravehearts. And you’d fall on your arse!

          But our hearts are yearning for action. The wait is painful. And so some of us pull out our pipes and start theorising, sweet dreams (or nightmares) with nary a whit to do with the living world around us.

          Keep the heid!

  30. For historical parallels these times are very similar to the post Robert the Bruce period: the so called second War of Independence. This was typified by an internal Scottish leadership torn by strife and intrigue which was pre occupied with internal governance as opposed to an English leader determined to assert his suzerainty over these isles and his perceived continental domains supported by sycophantic acolytes on both sides of the channel.
    Eventually, the second war of Independence gave way to the third War of Independence where a determined pro Independence Scottish leadership now prevailed and Independence was reinstated.

    • Well let’s hope that like Robert the Bruce we can overcome the ”strife and intrigue”, Mbiyd, successfully combat the ”English leader determined to assert his suzerainty” and regain our Independent state, ASAP. Roll on the day.

  31. As I type..you can bet your bottom dollar that Gavin Williamson is on the blower to Ofqual (English/Welsh qualification authority) to UPGRADE any DOWNGRADES they were intending to despatch to students on Thursday.
    Watch this space.

  32. Just to add to your comments I have lived in Southern Africa since 1975. My African friends who have studied in the UK have commented on the difference of the friendliness of the people in Scotland compared to the English. Some of our English friends we had in Malawi often said when are we going back to live in England. Come on Scotland back the SNP and come together as one until we get Independence.

    • My elder brother lived and worked in Malawi back in the late 70’s early 80’s.

      On return to Scotland…it took him almost 6 months to get his monetary savings ‘repatriated’.
      I think the currency in Malawi is the ‘KWATCHA’…..I’m spelling from the phonetic you understand so I’m probably wrong.

    • Great to see so many people who live abroad visiting the site and sharing such interesting stories 😀. And yes agreed, Malcolm ….. ”Come on Scotland back the SNP”, as it’s the only route out of this h*llhole.

  33. Culloden, the clearances, be assured, our gene pool is still here. Our inventiveness, our lateral thinking, is still here, just needs independence to roam free again.

    Whilst being treated by an English doctor he introduced the subject of England’s cricket team… “I’m not interested in cricket, I was required to play at school, but “summer colds” restricted my involvement – oops… “Scotland is an insignificant little nation’ be blurted.

    A diamond is of greater worth than a block of coal, I replied.

    • velofello.

      May I …?

      46. (of 60.)

      The flowers in Jon Bull’s garden

      Jon Bull had a garden and it was his pride and joy. In this garden, he did not grow any vegetables. He much preferred cultivating flowers that gave off sweet fragrances on the air. The main type of flower that Jon Bull was interested in were roses, and these were by far the most prolific flowers in his garden and he tended them with care. Jon Bull always ensured that they had sufficient water from his red, white and blue watering can. He gave them the best plant food. He nurtured his roses so well, that very soon they became the best-looking flowers in the whole garden.

      The roses’ roots were deeply secured and this enabled them also to seize the best nutrients from the ground – often at the expense of the other flowers in the garden. If they had feelings, they would surely have felt very happy, if not indeed a little smug about their position in Jon Bull’s garden. They were the centre of attention in that garden and that was that. Every other flower was to be looked down upon through the roses’ petals.

      *****

      Now next to the roses, a smaller group of daffodils grew in Jon Bull’s garden. These were a strange sort of flower. For although they grew in Jon Bull’s garden, they had not been fully domesticated by him – they still tended to grow wild, and slightly apart, although, believe me, Jon Bull had attempted to turn them into more ‘garden’ than ‘wild’ flowers. As a form of spite perhaps, Jon Bull had therefore not thought it appropriate (perhaps ‘worthwhile’ would be a better word) to spend too much time and attention in cultivating the daffodils.

      In any case, as previously mentioned, the roses took up most of his time and attention, and some semi-savage, undomesticated daffodils were not really important enough to be treated in the same way as they were. The daffodils only bloomed for a short time anyway and it was not worth the effort to cultivate them as prodigiously as the roses – at least, that’s how Jon Bull thought. It would also, he thought, lead to him neglecting his prized roses – something he could not and would not ever contemplate.

      So the daffodils would bloom at the appropriate time, with, if we are to continue the feeling metaphor, a certain amount of sadness. Not for them the care given to the roses, and they would soon wither away. True, Jon Bull occasionally gave them some water from his red, white and blue watering can, but the amount was not really that significant. Yet, somehow or other, year in year out, the daffodils would still be there. And in early March, their resplendent trumpets were almost a match for the all-powerful roses.

      *****

      Now adjoining the flowers in Jon Bull’s garden were the thistles. By rights, Jon Bull thought of these plants as weeds, and an annoyance and menace to him, and indeed to his whole garden. In that capacity, they proved even more of a distraction and a more dangerous one in fact, to his roses. Jon Bull had often tried to remove the thistles from his garden but had never succeeded. He first thought that removing the thistles by hand would be an easy enough task. But he soon found himself covered in painful prickles. As a result, he had to go home pretty quickly and to think on another idea of removing the thistles.

      On other occasions, eschewing the use of his hands, Jon Bull had taken up his best patent Wastemonister™ spade in order to dig up the thistles by the root. But it was hard, strenuous work – the thistles’ roots were deeply embedded – and it was often the case that Jon Bull had to give the task up, with sweat pouring from his red, fleshy face and his large stomach wobbling.

      The thistles then would have resisted for another day. Indeed, they were able to proliferate further, as when their flowers had disappeared, their light, feathery seeds could be taken up by the wind and be dispersed all over. When these seeds came to land, they would germinate, and new, sturdy thistle plants would start growing – causing further consternation and anxiety to Jon Bull.

      Another solution presented itself to Jon Bull in an effort to subdue the thistles – weed killer. He convinced himself that a good dose of Cullodenine™ would destroy the thistles once and for all. All his attention in dealing with them had been distracting him from attending to his beloved roses. Cullodenine™ would see an end to those troublesome thistles. However, although a lot of the thistles were killed as a result of the application of the Cullodenine™, in the long run, the weed killer actually proved quite ineffective. Enough of the thistle seeds had managed to escape the carnage, and had been seized by the wind to begin new journeys in the air oceans before falling to earth and germinating a new generation of thistles.

      In due course, these new thistles established sturdy roots and stems which became resilient against anything Jon Bull could throw at them; be they his Wastemonster™ spade or a new, seemingly stronger weed killer, such as Beeteeyuk™ which its salesman, Darling, had mistakenly convinced Jon Bull would be the most effective weed killer yet against those troublesome thistles.

      As for the thistles themselves, they had started to cluster together, knowing that their own common unity of purpose would repel both Jon Bull and any efforts to get rid of them. They also grew stronger prickles in mutual self-defence. Although they were constantly menaced by Jon Bull and his cohorts, the thistles also knew that when they were not under attack from them, they were at one and the same time being neglected in favour of the roses.

      The thistles were then agreed as one: in order to survive as a group and to avoid both the neglect and the dangers posed by Jon Bull, they had to arrange for their seeds to be dispersed as far away as possible from him and his garden. It was common sense really, and the thistles knew it.

      All it needed was to persuade enough of their fellow thistles of the logicality of this position, and the thistle population would be safe and secure from the depredations of Jon Bull, his cohorts, his weed killers and his Wastemonster™ spade. Will a sufficient number of thistles take on board this simple and effective advice, and seek for themselves the free and safe future that lies ahead of them, once their seeds start germinating in places beyond the power of Jon Bull and the control he currently holds over the flowers in his garden?

      Watch this space …
      _____

      Parables for the New Politics
      2012-2020

  34. Interesting read, and thinking about it this way, I can see how the concept of great Britain is pretty romanticized. While I certainly don’t think Boris will prevent Scottish independence, but instead over this pandemic the Scottish government have proven that they are far more competent in comparison to what the UK currently have.

  35. How to not be English/British/UK-ish.
    The short list:
    1) Gaelic signage everywhere, on the top line, not underneath.
    Underneath the Gaelic is Scots.
    2) Switch to driving on the right. Easier for tourists, too.
    3) Disavow the royal family. Start planning ahead now. I mean really, some god selected Charles?
    4) Disavow god for selecting Charles.
    5) Name whisky after Scotland. Oh, wait, did that.
    6) Make marijuana legal, Earl Grey illegal…..
    So many things….

  36. Their Scottish hideout.

    ”The Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, was given a tour of the new Queen Elizabeth House today, which includes Scotland’s first dedicated UK Government Cabinet meeting room.” https://mobile.twitter.com/ScotSecofState/status/1292864291633270784

    …………………………

    Anyone got some rotten tomatoes 😀?

    Mike Russell:- ”I can’t remember where I read that as empires crumble, symbol and show always replace substance. Anyway it was proved today by this grandiose posed display in Edinburgh by a somewhat gender unbalanced “UK’s men in Scotland” team outside their very expensive new premises.” https://mobile.twitter.com/Feorlean/status/1292918595505328128

    • I really wish he was not standing down , I would like his sharp wit to be present in the Scottish Government.

      I wonder if he too is being nudged out.

      Paul , I have long worried about the erasing of Scotland and I have long wondered what many Scots are happy to accept.

      Will they accept a Lib/Lab/Con coalition keeping the SNP out and selling us all out?
      I am old but in that event I can see trouble on the streets as the discerning young witness the treachery.

  37. Great post Paul.

    Identity and political predefinition…. Yeah, it’s a tricky old thing. (NOT REALLY)

    You define you. You get decide the kind of person you are and who you identify with. Mr Johnson nor any politician gets to tell you who you should be, or how you should feel about their definition of patriotism or nationality. They are politicians after all and fibbery/misrepresentation is second nature.

    If you have chosen to live in Scotland, (which is a country by the by), then be a Scot and make it mean something. Something good in the world. Make it an identity worth having.

    You know you want to. 🙂

  38. You know they’re running out of wriggle room and there is no more low hanging fruit on the devolution tree, when the plan to preserve the precious wee union is to pretend one of the nations in it, doesn’t actually exist.

    The end of this farce can’t come soon enough. I can’t wait to throw the union in the dustbin of history, along with all the faint hearts, black hearted unionists and the vermin in ermine. A fate not only long overdue, but richly deserved.

  39. And Caesar said *Put on another games that’ll win them over* he didn’t really say that, but if he did it still didn’t win them over

  40. O/T

    What a mess! And is Leonard, Gray and Baillie, et al, out of the loop once again?

    ..”Lawyers warned that the Scottish U-turn could potentially lead to legal challenges in England when pupils from either side of the border competed for university places. Leon Glenister, a barrister specialising in education law, said: “I struggle to see how the government can now refuse to apply the same rules in Scotland to England. Two unions urged Williamson to follow Scotland’s lead by reinstating the projected net 300,000 cases where teachers’ predicted grades have been overruled in England – 39% of the total – while Labour said that appeals from individual students should be allowed.”…

    ..”Labour is calling for a series of changes, including permitting individual appeals, as in Scotland; a “credible” system for allowing exam resits; and statutory guidance to universities to ensure they take a flexible approach when it comes to offers. Party sources added that if Thursday’s results reveal widespread injustices, Labour would advocate a Scotland-style U-turn.”..

    http://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/uknews/ministers-bid-to-quell-revolt-over-england-a-levels-by-allowing-mock-exam-results/ar-BB17Qitq?ocid=msedgdhp

  41. Oh dear.

    GCSE and A-level students can use mock results to apply for university and jobs

    In an eleventh-hour U-turn, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson is set to tell students they can use mock results if they are unhappy with the calculated grades they are awarded on Thursday…

    Mr Williamson said: ‘Every young person waiting for their results wants to know they have been treated fairly. ‘By ensuring students have the safety net of their mock results, as well as the chance of sitting autumn exams, we are creating a triple lock process to ensure they can have the confidence to take the next step forward in work or education.’

    Fudge!

    Bit of a smell of desperation in this story so as Westminster are not seen as following the Scottish government’s lead.

    https://archive.vn/OW7N2

    • Indeed, their propaganda team and the opposition choir were so fixed on “SNP-bad” that the repercussions of the solution escaped them, and now they’re boxed in.
      If Dr Jim’s surmise above is correct it’s a win-win solution for SG with probable increased support for Indy2, and Westminster again seen to follow SG’s lead whilst trying to pretend otherwise.
      Invisible Scotland ? 🤣

  42. Are you Irish? This is the question I get at least 90% of the time from Aussies on hearing my west of Scotland accent. The Irish who were transported to Botany Bay as convicts are now revered by modern day Aussies as Australian royalty. Many claim that they can trace their lineage back to the first fleet of convicts and that gives them a sense of pride. Scotland’s seperate legal system meant that few Scots were transported as convicts most were free settlers. As a Scot in Australia we can look to Governor Lachlan MacQuarie a British army officer and his wife who as Scottish enlightenment figures oversaw the civic transformation of a rum soaked penal colony by emancipation of convicts and respect and acknowledgment of the native aboriginal people to a degree. MacQuarie left his mark in New South Wales and his name is to be found in many places and institutions such as the Main Street of Sydney where the NSW parliament is located and MacQuarie University as well as dozens of other place names. However Scots input into the development of modern Australia is little discussed or known about. MacQuarie like many of the Scots enlightenment figures was probably a unionist. See: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lachlan_Macquarie

    Being mistaken as an Irish man in my mind is just a bit better than being called a Pommy Bastard though.

  43. In the run up to the 2014 referendum David Cameron turned to Vladimir Putin to help him prevent Scottish Independence now here we are in 2020 and Boris Johnson has turned to asking Donald Trump’s help save him from Scottish Independence

    For such a wee unimportant poverty stricken verminous useless bunch of drunken drug addled wasters with no future Scotland seems to attract the most important of people interested in our future

    I wonder if 57% support for the SNP could have something to do with it, can America put tarrifs on Scottish air? Will Johnson send a gunboat? a hit squad? the army?

  44. 10% of US voters of Scottish (Irish) descent could swing a US election. Strong Scottish disporia in the US. 8%+ 20/25 million. Strong tourist and family connections. Strong lobby in Congress. Especially for the Irish. Presidents of Irish decent. Scotland could be the same Independent. When people vote for it.

  45. An organisation recently requested my nationality and refused to accept Scots. So I registered as New Caledonian, which let’s face it, is true.

    This has thrown the internal mechanisms of their organisation into enormous and expensive confusion, which let’s face it, is just what they deserve.

  46. About twenty five years ago i started working in Denmark. They are big on paperwork and knowing everything about everyone and so i had to get a work document even though it was the EU. When the card came back it had, Place of birth: Aberdeen. Country: England.
    I made such a fuss about it, i was forever know at my place of work as Scotty.

    Remember Stephen Fry trying to male out on QI that England and Britain have always been synonymous?.

  47. So painful for me as English to understand why even English people have no concept of Britain, Great Britain, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (have they never wondered why it is written on the front of their passports!) and it’s constituent countries and, I think, province. So what chance the rest of the world to understand! I remember talking to a German man in Norway and explaining England, Scotland, Wales, NI, UK. He was intrigued and had never heard this before. I cringe every time an American (or other) refers to the UK as “England”. And don’t even mention the downright rude “Team GB” for the Olympics. Just remember there are a great many English who don’t believe Johnson has any idea about democracy and particularly local democracy. A bit like the EU, stronger together really is true IMHO.

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