by Ian Hamilton
I know that the welter of comments added to an article in my last blog is not typical of England. They were petty and hostile. The English Nationalist Parties should take lessons from us Scots. We are internationalists. We know that our country can never take its place in the comity of nations until its independence is assured, but we are moderates. Let us discus things.
Independent minded we may be but racist never. We want more immigrants. Come and live with us whatever your colour. We are underpopulated. Our schoolchildren protest in the streets at the thugs from the London Home Office who deport their black school friends. There are no pure bred Scots. We are all mongrels here.
With those in England who seek your own Parliament we have sympathy but you bewilder us. You already have your own Parliament. It is the Westminster Parliament. Its traditions are English. Its history is English. The vast majority of its members are English. That you have so many Scots governing you is your own choice. It isnâ€™t our fault. We despise them too. In Scotland a quarter of the children live in poverty while these politicians plunder what they can for themselves. Indeed the best Scots are no longer going into politics. They neither want to govern England nor sit in the powerless Parliament at Holyrood. Once we get independence people will regain their interest in public affairs, and so will the voters. Meantime it is unfair of you to choose these Scots and then blame it on us. They are the best that money can buy so make the most of them.
You chose New Labour as the Party of Government, albeit on a minority of your popular vote. It is a peculiarity of the way Westminster is elected that you always get a Government you donâ€™t want and havenâ€™t voted for. You havenâ€™t had a Government since 1945 that was elected by a majority of English voters. Often it is the Scottish vote that decides things. It is a bad mixture. On the things that really count both you and we are frustrated. Most Scottish MPs voted against Trident, but were overwhelmed by English MPs. This is the other side of the West Lothian question. We dislike being over ruled by you just as much as you dislike being ruled by us. Now that you know our wishes are you going to take these submarines away from near Glasgow and put them on the Thames? Thatâ€™s where the people who want them live. If not why not? Or do you want to keep us in the Union as your atomic bomb base?
We understand your frustrations. I hope you understand ours. Perhaps some of you still have dreams of Empire and have difficulty with your own identity. You would rather run second to George Bush than risk being an outsider on your own. We gave up that thinking long ago, and want only to be a peaceful Northern country. Our aspiration is to look towards the other small countries on the fringe of Europe.
Among these is England. We have been through so much together that we value your friendship above everything except the right to go our own way. Do not be deceived because we support any team that plays England in the World cup. Since our team never gets far we pay you the compliment of jealousy. Do you expect us to be neutral? The shout of, â€˜Come on both sides,â€™ is too comic even for Gordon Brown. You are welcome to him but do not say anything nasty about his being a Scot. That might be misconstrued as xenophobia. Remember he is an MP in your own Westminster Parliament.
Talking of xenophobia we Scots are instinctive internationalists. That is why our Tartan Army is welcome everywhere, drunk or sober. We are passionate about the beautiful game because we invented it. The first mention of it in history is in an Act of the Scottish Parliament of 1424. Our forefathers called it â€˜fitbaâ€™ and we still do. It is the proper name for the game. Anything else is corrupt English usage. Donâ€™t you agree that â€˜The Fitba Associationâ€™ sounds much better? But I wander.
You have made it clear that you donâ€™t want us anymore. Enough! Lord let the English now depart in peace.
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Contributions from England are particularly welcome.