Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Scotland is a small country

In an opinion column in today's Scotsman, Duncan Hamilton worries that
We are in danger of becoming a small country with a small mentality.

In an adjacent column, his colleague Katie Grant proves that it is already too late.
Abroad, Scots are respected for not being English, but are still part of a Great Britain with more friends across the globe than enemies. And people like us better. Where the English are unattractively soft, the Scots are endearingly tender. Where the English are yobbish and aggressive, the Scots are manly and tough. Where the English are insufferably arrogant, the Scots are grittily stubborn.

Both columns decry the failure of Scotland to drag itself out of its socialist mire. Both recognise the left-wing intertia that is destroying the economy. But Ms Grant seems to be part of the problem:
Politicians are like people stuck in a bog. Tractor drivers arrive and offer a helping hand, but because the politicians don’t like the driver’s accent, or the clothes he is wearing, or his leisure-time pursuits, they send him away, thus condemning the country to carry on sinking deeper and deeper into the mire.

Ms Grant doesn't seem to realise that telling the tractor driver that she doesn't like him because he is English is just as bad as doing it because he his accent is wrong. Let's face it, the accent is usually wrong because it's an English accent. She asks:

[...W]here is the person determined and charismatic enough to turn our miserable present into this magnificent future?
To which the answer may well be that he was English and was sent homewards to think again.

As an unattractively soft, yobbish, aggresive, and insufferably arrogant Englishman who has just started a small business in Scotland, I would like to say to the endearingly tender, manly, tough, and grittily stubborn Ms Grant: stick to writing fiction.