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Friday, September 04, 2009

Lufe God abufe al and yi nychtbour as yi self

It may look like I've had a bit much to drink when I typed the title of this post, but it's actually Early Scots language and is a quote that can be found adorning the outside wall of John Knox house in Edinburgh, built in 1490. What it says is:

"Love God above all and your neighbour as yourself"

The reason I'm mentioning this quote is that over the last couple of weeks Scotland has taken a bit of a bashing on the world stage, mostly from America it has to be said, but I suppose that globally we're looked upon by many at this moment in time a bit like something unsavoury that you may have stepped in.
It would be easy for me to partake in a bout of Yank-bashing in retaliation, God knows they give us plenty of ammunition, but instead I think I'd like to simply 'big-up' the wee nation that I'm part of.

Scotland to me is, was, and always shall be home. Which can be tricky sometimes when you have a girlfriend who has lived and worked all over the world and can tell you almost to the minute how long a flight to any major European city will take. But home it is and bizarre as this may sound, I'm not sure if I'd like to live anywhere else, I genuinely love it here.
Yes, we have pish weather, yes, we have binge drinking and teenage pregnancy, yes, we consider cholesterol to be a major food group, and yes, we have one of the highest rates of heart disease in the entire World, but at least we're good at something.
We have poverty, we have knife crime, we have unemployment, we have substance abuse and we have Alan fucking Hansen, who thankfully seems to be growing more English every day.
We've made some questionable decisions, the Scottish Parliament building at Hollyrood being one and the obvious case of Abdelbaset Al-Magrahi being another, but more of that later.

On the other hand let's look at a list, shamelessly ripped off from, of just some of the things that my backward, drunken, uneducated, uncouth, aggressive, primitive but proud nation of around five million people has gifted the world:
The pneumatic tyre & tarmac.
The telephone
Finger print identification
MRI scanners
The hypodermic needle
Beta blockers
The fridge
Hugh MacDiarmid
Simple Minds
Frankie Boyle
Irn Bru
Tunnocks Tea Cakes
...and on, and on.

But what of the people of Scotland, what are we like?
Well all I can tell you is that until recent events, everyone, and I mean everyone, that I've met on my travels around the globe with The Demon have had nothing but good things to say about the Scots men and women that they have met, and it's fucking true. We are a wonderfully warm, open, welcoming and friendly race. We genuinely love to meet people and talk, talk, talk, another of our inherited skills. Party? Oh yes, we can shake our booty with the best of them and if you need help and there's a Scot around then you can bet the mortgage that he or she will do all that they can to help you, while probably dipping your pockets at the same time.

If America wants to boycott all things Scottish then who am I to stop them, but I would caution them to take a peek in The Mirror Of Hypocrisy before condeming all Scots, lets not forget that Osama Bin-Laden was tucked up in bed with the CIA during 'Operation Cyclone', nudge nudge, wink wink.
In any case America, look at what you'll be missing out on. Rannoch Moor, Loch Lomond golf course, Edinboro Castle, Haggis, Whiskey and, of course, Tablet.
It may be 519 years old, but the words on John Knox house have never rung truer.


Steve said...

Personally I think our "special relationship" with the US needed to have its boat rocked. I think it's good for the world to see that some of us are not so completely in the pockets of the US that we cannot make our own decisions. Personally I think the reasons to release Al-Magrahi were good ones. Having him die in prison would have served no purpose. It wouldn't have brought any of the victims of the Lockerbie disaster back. Gadaffi would still have made much propaganda out of it. A someone has already said: Al-Magrahi's imprisonment was supposed to be about justice, not revenge. America, rather worryingly, cannot differentiate between the two.

Ellie said...

I'm a fan of Glaswegians. I like their kisses too.

Inchy said...

Steve - If I'm honest, I have to say that I too think that sending him back to Lybia was the correct decision. Sending him as a free man though? I'm not so sure. I think a prisoner transfer to a Libyan jail may have achieved the desired result without the current backlash, but no matter what happened with Magrahi he was going to be either a returning hero or a martyr in a Scottish jail.

Ellie - Even though I've worked in Glasgow for the last decade, I've never had the 'pleasure' of delivering a kiss of the type you mentioned. Although I'm sure that, should you wish it, I can put you in contact with a number of Glaswegians who I know for a fact are experts in this particular form of affectionate greeting.

Chris Bloom said...

To be honest, I kind of stumbled upon this accidentally, and have to ask: what's America bashing Scotland about? I'm in America -- well, Alabama, so sort of America -- and haven't heard anything anti-Scot. Of course, I ignore 90% of what I hear, so it may have passed me by.

Anyway, I enjoyed the post. Thanks and God bless you.

Inchy said...

Hi Chris, and thanks for stopping by.

Take a look at:
This should give you more info on the reasons behind my recent post.

Thanks for leaving a comment.

Jaggy said...

Whilst I agree with your sentiment, surely you'd like the Americans to miss Scotch Whisky and not Irish Whiskey?

I'm a pedant, there, I admit it. And to you Americans, it's got nothing to do with kids.