Sunday, January 01, 2006

Liquidate Scotland!

Let me point out that I'm English, and as such, I am fully aware that we English are the natural ruling and dominant component of the United Kingdom. Whilst the Scots may constantly bang on about the superiority of their little province, we English know that they would still be huddling in their huts made of sheep dung and painting their naughty bits blue if the English hadn't beaten some enlightenment into their thick celtic skulls.

Imagine my horror then, on emigrating to Canada, to find that the place was full of transported Scots and their even-more-Scotch descendants. Little Scottish Shops here, Wee Scottish Nooks there, and you can't even go into a pub without hearing Rabbie Burns twangs of "i'll hae tae nae sassenach wee dram wha uncou" etc etc etc. Indeed in some parts of Ontario, I wouldn't be surprised to see naughty blue bits poking from underneath the kilties.

But every so often, one comes across a Scot who has seen the light. One such is Professor Niall Ferguson, who writes in The Telegraph of his appreciation of the realities of Scotland. He was, he tells us, one of theose Scots who

go through a long period, which can last up to 20 years, of telling whoever will listen that Scotland is God's Own Country; that its Highland scenery is matchless; that its people invented all that is worth preserving in the modern world - Scotch, golf, economic liberalism, penicillin, television and, er, Scotch - and that it is only a cruel fate that consistently robs its sporting representatives of the resounding victories to which they are entitled by dint of Scotland's proud history.

Yes, that was me, practically from the moment I got on the train from Glasgow to Oxford in 1980-something. For two decades I consistently and tiresomely corrected any Englishman or woman, my wife included, who dared to confuse the terms "English" and "British".

I banged on incessantly and tediously about the superiority of Scottish education, Scottish law, Scottish rugby, Scottish water, Scottish tweed, Scottish holidays - you name it. I quoted Burns. I quoted Carlyle. I quoted the statistics that showed that Scottish regiments were the ones that did the real fighting in the First World War.
But living the US has shown him the light. While I suspect that he's not quite ready to acknowledge the sheer genius of Englishness, he has reached the quite commendable conclusion that Scotland is "the Belarus of the West".

His proposal for 2006 is

The country hitherto known as Scotland should go into liquidation. The assets, such as they are, should be broken up, sold off and the proceeds (which won't fetch much) distributed to the creditors and, if anything remains, to the shareholders.

The Scottish Parliament should be wound up and its ridiculous building turned into a multiplex cinema or a shopping mall. The Scottish Football Association should be taken over by its English counterpart and Rangers and Celtic should go where they belong, which is pretty near the bottom of the Premier League.

The Scots can keep their accents, just as Yorkshiremen keep theirs. They can keep their lawyers, too; I would hate to send any more business the way of those fat London barristers. But the idea that Scotland might one day "be a nation again" should simply be dropped. We had our chance, when everyone else in Europe had it, in the 19th and 20th centuries. But we calculated that the Union and the Empire were a better bet than independence. Well, live with it.
Splendid idea! And as an Englishman, I suspect I'm entitled to a good wad of the profits, given all the blood and lucre spent by my ancestral countrymen in bringing civilization to the rough Caledonians. And don't all you Scotch-lite Canadians be complaining at the triumph yet again of the cursed English, either. Count your blessings. At least you're not Irish.


At 4:49 PM, Blogger Ottawa Core said...

ar, ye get me blood to boil ya do. but, ya said yer peace well. it's alays good to hear the ole country's lilting tone as you have so eloquently scripted.

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Krydor said...

I figure we Celts don't need another country. Most of North America suits us fine.

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