Assisting The Electorate To Wake Up To The UK Government's Discrimination Against The People Of England.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Saturday Nights At The Labour Club...

Do the Scots hate the English?

This is something I have often thought about, being of English/Scottish parentage. My first answer would be "yes, a lot do". This is based on experience of my own family. When I was a kid, Saturday nights at the local Labour Club would often end in bloodshed and wailing police sirens when members of the Glasgow contingent of my family visited. Kids like me were witness to the likes of my Scottish uncle Jimmy, eyes blazing, lurching towards my father or some other innocent regular, fists up, "Come on, you English bastard!"

Now, as my father identified more with the concept of Britishness and saw my Scottish mother and her family as follow Britishers, this puzzled him. Most of the Labour Club's regulars were puzzled. But several of my Scots uncles and a couple of my Scots aunts didn't give a shit about that. On those Saturday nights, accompanied by a soundtrack of naff 70's pop on the juke box, England was the enemy. The assembled regulars, most of whom, like my father, considered themselves British first and foremost, were the enemy.

Saturday night's all right for fighting? Not 'arf, Elton!

I was puzzled by the stream of past English misdeeds spat out by certain of my Scots relatives. And I think I kind of accepted it. Scotland was in victim mode. In England, certain romantic, Victorian ideas about Scots and Scotland still prevailed (the bonny, bonny heather, the wee girl in the tam o' shanter, the strapping Scots Porridge Oats guy tossing his caber). The English certainly seemed to like the Scots; certainly seemed to feel a fraternal bond with them through Britishness that I know was not reciprocated by many Scots, if my own family were anything to go by.

To me, England existed but didn't exist. It was Britain first (I don't remember history lessons ever mentioning England when I was at school in the 1970's) and England second - a vague, shadowy second. Apart from the sports team, the language and the Tourist Board, what was "English"?

Fast forward to now, and Tony Blair has awarded his own nation its own parliament, and England remains locked in the tower of Unionism. Democracy seems dead here - and the hate-filled attitude of the Scots seems to shape much government policy for England.

For me, now, England isn't a vague concept. I have "read up", realise that history is a million shades of grey and the Scots were not lily-white. I realise that the Scots are behind the times anyway in behaving as though England is the England of yore. England is a modern, open-minded country which is being held back by the actions of a petty and vindictive elite. It's the interests of 50 million people being suppressed by the actions of MPs representing 5 million. Scary.

Many Scots still don't like the English, despite devolution. The 7 year old recently attacked for wearing an England shirt; the disabled man dragged from his car for the same offence; the English couple beaten up in Scotland a few months ago.

The World Cup has focussed England's attention on Scottish anti-English racism for perhaps the first time. In sport, England is no longer the vague, shadowy apparition, draped in the Union flag.

One or two Scots have been quick to try and make out that there is a problem with anti-Scottish racism in England. Scotophobia. Oh come on. Over one million Scots live in England. My own dear mother is one and does nothing to hide her Scottishness - yet she is one of the most loved people in our village. When another Scottish couple in our village put up the flags of England's opposing football teams in their windows during the World Cup, and a Saltire, not a window was broken, not a finger nail was chipped.

The English accept the Scots.

Casting around for examples of anti-Scottishness in England, one uncle of mine suggests that the name "Jock" is offensive - perhaps it is. But it is usually a good natured thing. I know several men happy to be "Jock", a Welshman who introduces himself as "Taffy" and an English Scouser who can't stand the nickname. So there you go.

But can "Jock" really be compared to the "Sassanach" and "hun" nicknames bestowed on the English by the Scots?

So, what am I saying? That all Scots hate the English? No, certainly not. This is evident in my own Scots family - there are several members who are reasonable, completely anti about being anti-English, and I admire them. They have swum against a tide of anti-English bigotry all their lives.

At the end of the day, what is happening to England is largely the product of many years of anti-English bigotry in Scotland and Wales. Victim stories passed on from generation-to-generation, fake ethnic snobbery and elitism - so-called "Celt" versus pig dog, mongrel English.

But the English, being all the races and creeds resident in that country, are beginning to wake up, and group together under their own flag. The Cross of St George. So far, it's mainly for sport, but that has also helped to catapult devolution issues further into the spotlight, along with the sterling works of the CEP and EDP.

England is no longer a vague, shadowy notion to me, draped in the Union flag. Years ago I never argued with my Scots uncles. Now I do. The other week, things became so heated with one of them that we still aren't talking. The English answering back can be a shock to the system. Uncle Jimmy even called me a Sassanach.

Never mind. At the end of the day, I feel it's all positive. England's scapegoating for the British Empire, it's abuse by the British State, are all coming to an end. The air is being cleared of an accumulation of centuries of anti-English pollution. We are speaking up.


Darleen asks:

Is your Scottish uncle really called Jimmy?

I reply:

No, he's called James really - but he's never ever called that!

Caryn Jones writes:

Is it worth all this bad feeling? History is history, and if answering back is going to upset the Scotch so much, is it worth it?

I reply...

As I wrote earlier, I think that the outcome will be positive and that the air will be cleared, which is what has been needed for centuries. But, much more importantly, if the people of England don't speak up, we'll continue to be trampled all over by the Scottish Raj In Westminster and, ever increasingly, the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Fair representation for England, in line with Scotland, is an absolute must.

This blog is supportive of the aims of the Campaign for an English Parliament, but is in no way connected.