Monday, December 27, 2004


My comments about my Christmas day generated a few comments of interest. There was some skepticism about my comment that the Scots "loathe" the English. I guess that was too strong a term. How about "profound suspicion" of the English instead? I first went to Scotland accompanied by a Scottish wife so I saw one side of Scotland that way. I also personally did a randomized doorknock survey in Glasgow for publication in the academic journals -- and several journals did in fact publish the results. So I got another view of Scotland that way: A community-wide view. So I saw Scottish people both intensively and extensively, as it were. So I do have some grounds for saying what I do. But one experience I repeatedly had is one that many Australians report: Scots cannot tell the difference between an educated Australian accent (or to some extent any Australian accent) and a Southeastern English accent. So Scots normally assume that an Australian visitor is English -- I was told on several occasions that I "sounded like the TV". And so they usually give the visitor the frozenly polite treatment that they reserve for the English. It is that treatment which causes the English to come to the remarkably false conclusion that the emotional Scots are "dour". When the Scots learn that you are Australian rather than English, however, they are greatly relieved, the frozen mask drops immediately and you are given a thoroughly Scots sentimental welcome. It is a joy to experience and sad that the English never do experience it.

Some readers also doubted that the Scots see the English as oppressors. The Scots certainly shouldn't and perhaps in their objective moments they don't, but one must not forget that Celtic memories are long and I can assure you that the execution of Mary Queen of Scots by Elizabeth I is still a lively memory in Scotland. So perhaps "oppressors" is a bit strong too but again I think "profound suspicion" does a pretty good job of characterizing the Scots attitude to the English. The Scots certainly see Australians in a much more positive light than that.

One reader also commented that the pervasive Leftism of Scotland is a fairly recent phenomenon. That could well be true, though I have some reason to doubt it, but in any case I did explicitly say that I thought the Leftism concerned was "not genetic" -- which means that it could change with circumstances.

There was also some dissatisfaction that I did not criticize the multicultural emphasis of the Queen's Christmas message. I did not do so because I think the Queen was being perfectly realistic in her approach. The English egg has now been thoroughly scrambled and the dark-skinned population is not going to go away. So what the Queen was very strongly saying was that each group should honour both its own traditions and the traditions of others. And that way the different groups could live together without friction. What the multiculti Leftists want, on the other hand, is for the tolerance to be all one way. At the very least they want Anglo-Saxons to be tolerant while Muslims can be as intolerant as they like and it would be better still for Anglo-Saxons to lose their own traditions, customs and identity altogether. The Queen, by contrast, was saying that EVERYONE should be tolerant and that EVERYONE should honour their own traditions. And I agree in seeing that as the only viable solution for community harmony in modern Britain. No doubt there are more than a few people in Britain who would like to kick all the darkies out but that is not going to happen.

I suppose one could argue that the Queen could have stressed assimilation more but, on the other hand, the ethnic community members she showed did seem, as far as one could tell, to be highly assimilated. Assimilation does not imply uniformity -- just a familiarity with and respect for the ways of the majority community.


No comments: