Roots of English Racism


What is a locomotive doing in an essay on racism? Well, are you sitting comfortably?

The one that got away

Fascinated by the monumental presence of steam locomotives, it was always a marvel to me that the Flying Scotsman – the world’s most famous locomotive – was not called the Flying Englishman. With the dominant nation in ascendancy it seemed an uncharacteristic blunder. The public, ever alert to a memorable moniker, nicknamed it, the Flying Scotsman.

The proposal for a through run from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley was the idea of Scotsman Walter Leith, General Passenger Superintendent of the Great Northern Railway. At that time the journey was made by three separate railway companies, ten long hours, long in corridor-less, buffet-less, smoky carriages. He proposed luxury coaches and a dining car. His innovation was erased from the history books, as was an original Art Deco poster advertising “Take me by the Flying Scotsman”.

There is a parable in that service being one of the few things uniting north with south Britain, a bridge created by a Scot, and an Englishman born in Scotland.

From train to shame

We read how England tamed the warring clans and civilised Scotland. We were the cultural evil ‘other’. No mention of clan chiefs and their sons and daughters taught in the best European universities, fluent speakers of Latin, French and Italian.

The truth is, Scotland sits too close to one of the world’s most aggressive nations. No wonder the Welsh think it safer to sing in choirs and play host to Dr Who series. Had the English Channel not existed I don’t doubt Brittany would be part of southern England. Mary, Queen of Scots, might never have spoken French or married the Dauphin of France.

Scotland is used to being treated as a second-rate nation by our English cousins. Indeed, if you feel the most successful nation in the world, the greatest ever, almost every other nation has to be second-best by arithmetic. To the weariness of the London parliament ever-rebellious Scotland is given special status, and special treatment. In contradictory unionist fashion Scotland is full of the uppity downtrodden.

As the Sun newspaper so aptly put it when a poll showed a massive surge of popularity for reinstatement of self-governance, “It’s in their very name, The Conservative Party. They’re desperate to maintain the status quo, always wary of those who rock the boat or whose eyes drift above their station. Nothing freaks them out more than a self-educated working man, except for a self-educated working woman.”

The oft quoted Etonian

English propensity to demean any nation or race they cannot understand or dominate is a characteristic admirably illuminated by Etonian George Orwell in his masterly essay, My Country, Right or Wrong. In it he makes a single, brief  allusion to Scotland, namely that the nationalist movement of his day claiming a spiritual superiority, (our poetry, music, mystical topography) was just a euphemism for demanding political power.

Orwell was correct to a degree, though he did not deride Scotland’s wish for self-determination restored. However, that one short statement is the one lifted by English nationalists, including J.K. Rowling, to defame Scots, carefully ignoring the rest of the essay deploring English racism and suspicion of intellectuals, especially Jewish ones.

During the independence referendum Scottish and English unionist politicians were fearful of people in Scotland becoming ‘foreigners’, an echo of the debate in 1706. “I do not want my sons to see Scotland as a place of foreigners”, said Ed Miliband, the then leader of the Labour Party. “If you do not sign a treaty we will have you foreigners”, said the English Parliament in 1706.


Unionists in Glasgow’s George Square celebrating the memory of Hitler

Where did it all begin?

These attitudes go back to the days of ‘merciless bare-arsed savages’, and the unwanted ‘minority’ population of Gaels. As soon as Scotland allies with a nation England abhors we become England’s mortal enemy. We saw it during the Great Debate on our independence. Ireland, Norway, Iceland, even Finland got it in the neck as soon as anybody dared suggest they were fine countries we should emulate.

There are countless false written records of Scotland’s savagery and the fiendishness of Scottish clans visited upon the good peoples of peace loving England, a peace addicted nation perpetually at war with other nations.

It’s an attitude prevalent when some “racial” element can be invoked, as when UKip economic migrant and former leader Nigel Farage called the European Parliament – and thus all Europeans – corrupt and meddlesome, not bad from a politician renowned for being an opportunist and a liar who has a French wife and lives in a corrupt country. Addressing the EU Parliament after England decided to dump it, but Scotland retain its historic links, Farage is on record shouting “Fuck Scotland!”

A land of evil giants

As far back as the mid-thirteen century the English Church and the propaganda of royal writs enjoyed depicting ‘the mountainous land to the north’ as filled with evil giants. This was echoed in the 20th century in Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s book, The BFG, in which a mild mannered put upon English giant lives in an impressionistic Scotland of cannibalistic giants. Sometimes stereotyping is unintentional and subliminal.

England’s  opinion of Scotland has barely changed in 600 years; we are a barbarous people living in a permanently rain sodden kingdom allied with England’s enemies. Unless, that is, there’s an estate for shooting deer and pheasants. Otherwise we are “uneducated tenement dwellers”, invariably drunk, work shy welfare junkies.

Scotland’s population had to endure that calumny throughout England’s Hundred Years War with France. Readers will note that in the 21st century half of England appears to want another endless war with Europe.


One Tory politician who seemed to get the message after the dark deeds were done

Medieval claptrap

Medieval English authors seldom visited Scotland but, like internet trolls, called on the opinion of others, or conjecture, to bolster their prejudices. Accounts such as “common knowledge“, influencing the works of Boece’s “Scotorum Historiae“, (Paris 1527) and William Camden’s “Brittania“, published in London (where else?) in 1586, plagiarising and perpetuating negative attitudes. In the 16th century Scotland was characterised as lawless, a savage place filled with wild-eyed Scots, Highlanders in particular.

Here is a short quotation from Camden’s account promoting an image of the Scottish nation as a wild and cruel people:

They drank the bloud [blood] out of wounds of the slain: they establish themselves, by drinking one anothers bloud [blood] and suppose the great number of slaughters they commit, the more honour they winne [win] and so did the Scythians in old time. To this we adde [add] that these wild Scots, like as the Scythians, had for their principall weapons, bowes and arrows. Camden (1586)

On every rewriting of Camden’s accounts they were modified to compare the Highland Scots to the inhabitants of Ireland, another local nation that has got it in the neck for centuries. Again, I draw readers attention to the barrage of racism thrown at Ireland during the independence debate.

God help anybody Irish, Jewish and black. As I write this essay anti-Semitism has broken out in universities, with swastikas daubed on doors and holocaust denial leaflets distributed among students. Free of Europe, English racism feels free of constraint.

And the abuse goes on…

Scots as carrot top redheads, (little different from Arab ragheads) vegetable hating haggis eaters, abuse uttered by puerile stand-up comedians and sanctioned by the BBC, continue the stereotype so often chosen by English to depict “ungenerous Scots living off English taxes”. The mentality of the racist is chronically incapable of distinguishing one “skirt wearer” from another.

An edition of the tired BBC political satire show Have I Got [Stereotypes] For You, (26 April 2013) repeated since without edit, was condemned by viewers because of its casual racism. Regular panellist Paul Merton suggested Mars Bars should become the currency of a post-independence Scotland. Guest host Ray Winstone added in his cockney flair, “To be fay-u, the Sco’ ‘ish eekonomay has its strenffs – its chief exports bein’ ‘oyal, whisky, tartan an’ tramps”. These insults are classed as ‘banter’. That banter had no bearing, of course, in the racial murder of English MP Joe Cox.

Readers are referred to Dr Jack Shaheen’s studies of stereotyping in visual media, though much of his research is aimed at American films and television.

After winning five Oscars, the movie Braveheart, about the life and death of Sir William Wallace, was condemned by the English press, aided and abetted by ‘shocked’ historians, taken aback that anybody should make a film about a Scottish historical character. No longer a man protecting the sovereignty of Scotland, or repelling invasion, the colonial depicts Wallace as a mad, murdering thug.

Sadly, racism and stereotyping have increased. These are police matters, but Scots are expected to take the abuse on the chin as cut and thrust of political discourse.


The annual service commemorating the dead of Glencoe

A colonised nation

It’s one of the mysteries of Scotland that its separate identity has survived despite over 300 years of attempted assimilation with English mores and values. Anglophiles won’t ever admit Scotland is a colonised nation, culturally, politically, and economically, but there is no other way to describe the grip the British establishment has over Scottish life and political aspirations.

That’s only a bare beginning of the shocking record of the Anglosphere and its settler-colonial version of imperialism, a form of imperialism that leads quite naturally to the “utter extirpation” of the indigenous population, and to what can be categorised as intentional ignorance on the part of beneficiaries of the crimes.

‘Intentional ignorance’ is the reason we should adopt a ruthless attitude when faced by spurious English claims of superiority. Among a minority of right-wing Scots there remains a residue of animosity toward Gaeldom, best exemplified in the racist whinge, “Why are the Scots wasting English taxes creating road signs in Gaelic?”

Secretaries of state cannae hack it

It was the Secretary of State, the Master of Stair, employee of the English government, who first suggested a clan should be  wiped out as a warning to Scotland to heed English power. He happily endorsed the edict of King William III to “extirpate that troublesome sept’, clan MacDonald, for daring to be late swearing an oath to the English Crown. (Secretaries of state ever since have had a damnable job coming to terms with Scottish aspirations.) William had to pacify the Scots if he was to be free to concentrate on  killing Frenchmen. It was a strategic necessity. He could not accept the Scots as equals and his Scottish supporters knew that. The Scots had to be crushed.

Of course, there was, as there always is, a willing Scot to do an Englishman’s dirty work, one who feels that sense of inferiority might be enhanced by tragic loyalty. The massacre of Glencoe took place during the winter night of February 13th, 1692. As massacres go it was modest, around 48 souls, many more sent to the hills to hide, but it stands as a symbol of today’s genocidal impulses.

Stair’s attitude is no different from  General Henry Knox, the first secretary of war of the United States, describing “the utter extirpation of all the Indians in most populous parts of the Union [by means] more destructive to the Indian natives than the conduct of the conquerors of Mexico and Peru.”

Intentional ignorance

In modern times we read ignorant press articles about the wisdom of Providence that caused the natives of Scotland to disappear like withered leaves of autumn, even though colonialists had “constantly respected” them. They are referring to the Highland Clearances that drove tens of thousands of Scots to the Americas, Canada, and Australia.

This intentional ignorance regarding inconvenient truths about Scotland continue to this day as English racists, emboldened by dumping Europeans, call for the annulment of Scottish ‘privileges’ and the disillusion of its devolved parliament. Like Native Americans Scots still need to be civilized by supremacist whites. That over 370,000 English live happily among us is neither here nor there. As one Scot-hater said, “Fuck them!”

The white English supremacist doesn’t differentiate Scot from Pole, or Pole from African. Withdrawal of political decision making is the new genocide. The revelation of broken faith, of violated treaties, of  appropriated  resources, phony Vows, and of inhuman acts bring a flush of shame to the cheeks of those who say they love Great Britain.

As Tories and some blue-blooded socialists keep telling us, the expansion of the peoples of white blood during the British Empire has been of lasting benefit to most of the peoples already dwelling in the lands over which the expansion took place, notably those who had been “extirpated” or reduced to destitution and misery. That’s only a bare beginning of the shocking record of the Anglosphere and its settler-colonial version of imperialism, a form of imperialism that leads quite naturally to the intentional ignorance on the part of beneficiaries of imperial crimes.

But some English are not racist

I can hear the screams of suppressed anger now, winging its way to this website: “Yes, bad things happened in the past, but let us put all of that behind us, and march on to a glorious future, all sharing equally in the rights and opportunities of citizenry now we are devoid of  European interference in our lives.” They do not see the racism.

It was Blair’s government that passed the Bill to reinstate a devolved parliament – very reluctantly. Blair thought it an error of judgement: “It only encouraged them to ask for more.” In a self-serving trade Blair stole Scotland’s oil rights. Getting a hobbled Parliament back is hopelessly inadequate compensation.

When it comes to humane politics, treating neighbours as they themselves would wish to be treated, the English set themselves terribly low standards, which unfortunately they fail to live up to.

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41 Responses to Roots of English Racism

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Twas ever thus

    “The French want no-one to be their superior. The English want inferiors. The Frenchman constantly raises his eyes above him with anxiety. The Englishman lowers his beneath him with satisfaction.”

    Alexis de Tocqueville
    (1805 -1859)

  2. Willie John says:

    Regrettably last night I accidentally landed on the Tracy Ullman show and very quickly moved on. Perhaps I am particularly sensitive or landed on the wrong skit, but I considered her ‘humour’ to be insulting to Scots, Scotland and especially our First Minister. If the BBC had aired this depicting any other race…………!

    I have one fear and that is what may happen when Project Fear2 gets ramped up a few more notches and the yoons start getting aggressive again.

  3. Andy in Germany says:

    I agree with about 99% of what you say, as I’ve said before, I’ve never been comfortable with the racism that is a part of English culture, even as I grew up there.

    But one thing I learned is that we often focus on what we despise and in doing so, run the danger of becoming the same. I hope that the Scots are not so blind as the English, and don’t turn on those of us who can see outside of the Matrix.

    I hope that there is a place for an independent Scotland for families like ours, woth English (if you must call it that) and Asian roots, whose children reflect this and speak Engllish, Japanese, and German but not Scots or Gaelic.

  4. Andy in Germany says:

    I might add, that in Germany, to scrawl a swastika anywhere, or distribute Holocaust denying propaganda, is a criminal offence…

  5. Grouse Beater says:

    I’ve a hunch, a good gumshoe hunch, that many a Scot voted No to self-governance because privately they feared unleashing a backlash of racist aggression and revenge from English sources.

    You can detect it in comments such as, “Things were all fine and dandy before that Salmond interfered in politics”.

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    The Scots to English ‘racism’ I’ve heard most of my life – I trust I have much more to live! – tends to relate to English arrogance or condescension. It’s aimed particularly at placemen, secretaries of state imposed on us, and wealthy imports.

    We can be scornful and dismissive whenever we hear it, and angry when a public school accent presumes to be a superior intelligence to a Scots educated accent. Therein lies a lot of anger at English attitudes.

    Granted, there have been instances of late when some troubled youth has told an English person to go home – just as I am told I’m a ‘wanker’ when seen in an open-topped car – but so far they’re isolated instances, some magnified out of all proportion by the Right-wing press.

    Our elected administration jumps on them whenever brought to its notice, and Nicola Sturgeon makes plain we welcome all in-comers. The more we encourage a tolerant atmosphere, the more we isolate hatred.

    The purpose of my essay, however, is to show English racism has a political purpose.

  7. sandycraig says:

    Regarding the Flying Scotsman, there was an article in the St Andrews Citizen last Friday, publicizing it’s rail tours in Scotland. There was a reply in the letters page in the Citizen this week, concerning that article. It was from Jim Patterson of the Scottish Railway Preservation Society, based in Bo’ness.

    Here are the relevant parts of his letter.

    “The tours are run by a company based in England. The SRPS applied to the National Railway Museum in York, for the use of Flying Scotsman in 2017, but it seems that although everyone in the UK contributed to it’s renovation, it was decide only companies in England can use this locomotive.”

    Who would have thought that eh?

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    Well spotted, Sandy. And I missed seeing the advert too. 🙂

  9. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Screencaptured and tweeted

    with thanks and acknowledgements.

  10. One minor point of order, Gb; The ‘Special Scotch Express’ (aka Flying Scotsman’ was in operation from about 1888, nearly four decades before the locomotive bearing that name entered service.

    The seeds of that prestigious service were sown at the earlier date and long before the three east coast companies merged into one in 1923, they operated a joint pool of premier rolling stock for this service. This still entailed a number of changes of locomotive en route mind and it wasn’t until 1928 that non-stop scheduled runs between London and Edinburgh became a practical proposition.

    Trainspotting pedantry aside, this is another good, hard-hitting piece and it reflects my own thoughts and personal experience of that strange exceptionalism exhibited by so many Englishmen (and it is nearly always men). I was quite outraged by it as a younger man but these days it stirs a little frustration in me still but primarily pity.

    It’s a sad fact but until there is a fundamental realignment of English society, an independent Scotland will probably need to maintain a Cold War style intelligence oversight towards its next door neighbour. They just can’t help themselves. Sad, but I really can’t see it panning out any other way if Scotland is to maintain her own course in the world.

  11. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I agree,

    they cannot wait to see us fail and will be working assiduously in the undergrowth to make that happen,

  12. Could be a couple of good screenplays in it though… 😉

  13. Hugh Wallace says:

    I’ve encountered among English women too in more or less equal numbers. In mixed company the men are perhaps more inclined to voice their opinions first & loudly but the women clearly share the views.

  14. JimK says:

    William III and Glencoe, surely.

  15. John Higgins says:

    I have a neighbour, English, retired, ex army, (22 years, mostly in Kenya). Since we moved into this house almost a year ago, relations between us have been quite friendly, and our wives get on well with each other.

    The trouble started whenever politics was mentioned, and he always mentioned politics. I remained polite until a couple of weeks ago when I got fed up with his rants, the usual stuff about Nicola Sturgeon, Alex Salmond etc. I asked for evidence, real proof for what he was saying. Something not from the Daily Mail or the Express.

    He, stuck for an answer, exploded with anger and ran from the room, returning after about five minutes when he had recovered his composure. He has not mentioned politics since.

    Thankfully we have two other English families living nearby. All are members of the SNP.

  16. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    axstafford60093 says:
    February 18, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    We need to get our retaliation in first?

  17. Grouse Beater says:

    Fixed on my copy. Jim. But thank you. (I go on to discuss William’s need to pacify the Scots so he could get on with fighting the French … so I had the right one draft one, but wrong name.)

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    I began with that locomotive just for you, Max! 🙂

  19. Grouse Beater says:

    I’ve taken a while to answer your remarks, John. I needed time to think about them. The incident is a good example of people whose prejudices are fixed, ingrained, and very comforting.

    When somebody tries to show the truth is somewhat different their insecurity is triggered, and they feel momentarily bereft. That loss turns to confusion, and then to anger.

    They believe in god but someone gave them proof he doesn’t exist. It’s a jolt to their comfort zone. When you tell them no one needs a Christian god to have a conscience, that takes a bit of getting used to.

  20. kininvie says:

    It’s interesting to speculate where it all came from. Was it an Anglo-Saxon thing maybe, or a left-over from the way the Normans treated the English after 1066? And when was it that wogs were first held to begin at Calais? Whatever the case, there was, and remains, a tinge of Trump-style narcissism which cannot bear to confront reality lest it learn hard truths. Hence the post-Brexit euphoria of the Express and Mail (who know exactly what their readers want to hear).

    In the case of Scotland, as I’ve no need to tell you, England has never quite managed to dispel the idea of feudal superiority – started by that great imperialist Edward I and continued by his heirs and successors – to the detriment of both nations.

    But it’s become a psychological problem – a complete failure to understand why Scots might not wish to be part of England. After all, ‘think of what we have achieved together’. It was telling in 2014 and is telling again now, how the language of extreme unionism veers from morbid self-pity through violent outrage, towards threats of unspecified revenge.

    Shakespeare, as usual, had it to a tee in the ravings of the impotent Lear:
    “I shall do such things – what they are I yet know not, but they shall be the terrors of the Earth.”

  21. Grouse Beater says:

    Welcome sentiments, Kininivie. Much appreciated.

  22. Marco McGinty says:

    Something similar happened to me during IndyRef. During a discussion about the politics of the day, an English friend of mine became increasingly angered. He simply could not differentiate between the Scottish independence movement, and the SNP, as in his head, it was all about Alex Salmond and the SNP, and nothing to do with self-determination.

    Before this, I knew he harboured some racist and sectarian beliefs against Muslims, or darker-skinned people, but I would always try and argue against his stance. However, a few nights before the IndyRef vote, his attitude became utterly ridiculous. As far as he was concerned, of all of the constituent parts of the UK, England was the one and only country, and the McCrone Report was a fictional account made up by “the SNP separatists”. But worse was to come. His final words to me will live long in my memory. He stated that “The Yes campaign is full of nationalists, and just like the Nazis, all you will do is start wars.”, which as far as unionist beliefs go, must rank as one of the most insane comments in the entire campaign.

    At that point, I left, and I have barely spoken to him since, but the worrying thing is that he will be completely unaware that this is the reason the friendship ended, and moreover, he will be unconcerned that he acted in a sickeningly racist or sectarian manner.

  23. SkareKraw says:

    The Bad Giants in the BFG live in a land one page after the end of the atlas. They’re not Scots in the book anyway.

  24. Grouse Beater says:

    …and there more where he came from.
    One of the questions I’ve put to Alex Salmond in a forthcoming interview, is the query that perhaps we should have used ‘independence’ less and civil rights more. After all, greater liberty is what independence brings. Perhaps that should have been emphasised and detailed. Your opponent was fearful of his future. As I’ve said before, without Scotland, England becomes a very small country and I think people realise that without analysing it.

  25. Grouse Beater says:

    Good point, and, yes, I was referring to the film adaptation, which I’ve made plain.

  26. I’ve long held the view that this mindset is indeed a legacy of 1066. The Anglo Saxons weren’t really that bad; sure, we had the odd dust up but relations between the Scots and the Saxons were no worse than any other neighbouring nations in Europe. Sadly, Harold lost the wrong battle or our histories might have been very different.

  27. Grouse Beater says:

    What’s wrong with you guys?
    You’ve a ton of great battles fought and won by England to admire. You don’t have to root around your long-forgotten murky past to dredge up some muddy skirmish in wee Stonybridge to feel pride.
    Choose life, choose death, choose England!

  28. broadbield says:

    I wonder if racism isn’t endemic to most societies, or at least to belligerent ones. It starts with the “othering” of the enemy: the demonisation and dehumanising that makes it easier to destroy them, often coupled with religious justification. I suggest that what makes the English variety different is that it’s coupled with a colonial mindset developed through the age of Empire and exported to the USA, Australia and elsewhere.

  29. kininvie says:

    In Scotland, it’s always been religion, not race. (Mind you, it is one of the few European nations not to have instituted a pogrom of some kind against the Jews.) Still, the events of 1638-50 show that we are just as capable of being proscriptive against dissenters as anyone else. Scots signed the National Covenant in 1638 in a great outburst of enthusiasm, which was well and good – but when the Parliament made it compulsory in 1640, the rot set in.

  30. Macart says:

    Neatly done Grouse.

    ‘Bad things happened in the past’. I’ve heard that one so many times by this point. You’re right. They don’t see the racism. Casual or otherwise.

    It’s written off as banter, or our inability to take a joke. Its daily invocation by the political class and the media has entrenched its use in the mindset of entire demographics of English society. People aren’t born to hate. No more are they born to commit act of casual cruelty or evil. These things are taught and learnt.

    What the establishment parties of Westminster and their media have unleashed on the UK in general and as far as we’re concerned, Scotland in particular, will come back to haunt them. The narrative they unleashed on society has only ever had one historical consequence.

    I’d rather the Scottish electorate had nothing to do with such an outcome.

  31. Grouse Beater says:

    They denigrate our history. When we resist they brush our history aside as archaic ‘incidents’; so, knuckle down, submit to our authority in the new age.
    Aye, right.

  32. Marconatrix says:

    Max, to try to put a hopeful gloss on matters, the ‘loss’ of Scotland (and NI?) might perhaps be the last straw that beaks the Illusion of Empire that still inhabits the English psyche.

    That could in fact explain the strength of resistance to an Indy Scotland, deep in the heart of hearts they somehow know that when Scotland goes the game is over.

    No doubt a new generation will accept England’s realistic place as a middling European nation, and develop appropriate attitudes and outlook (as indeed many already have) and the old codgers will pass away in due course. But for many the adjustment will be painful … who can therefore blame them for striving to delay it as long as possible?

  33. Glesga Keelie says:

    Have a read of in the New European magazine.
    For me it answers , but I’m no intellectual, the puzzle of the constant racism, comic stereotyping but with a nasty edge, the denigration, we get. And I’m sure the attitude applies to the “new” ” English as they absorb the mores of the general population.
    BTW, how is that Roman, or was it Greek, themed garden coming along.

  34. Grouse Beater says:

    Thanks for the links – my Sunday reading. Roman garden still under construction, probably two more years…

  35. Robert Innes says:

    Yes Grouse, I think you are absolutely right in your assessment of a degree of apprehension about the rUK Government’s reaction to Scottish Independence.

    That’s one reason why we will need the support at least psychologically if not also practically, by the exercise of “soft power” wielded by the other 27 EU members on our behalf in the early days of our new nationhood, by becoming an EU member ourselves.

    Of course, if we don’t become independent, we’ll experience Westminster’s Scotophobia anyway. Its already started.

  36. Grouse Beater says:

    Yes, the onslaught has begun, but so far their ammunition is recycled sticks and stones.

  37. Lucy says:

    Normally I let things go…. the flak you get for airing anything like the above is too much to bear.

    Re your TV examples — recently Radio 6 Music had a ‘funny’ text-in feature on the most ridiculously Scottish names. I didn’t tune in for the examples, but it went thru my head for ages, what if they’d asked for the most Jewish sounding names or the most Arabic sounding names?

    Re your quote by Blair — “It only encouraged them to ask for more” – pretty much what the NI FM Arlene Foster said about Sinn Fein — ‘if you feed a crocodile it will keep coming back for more.”

  38. Grouse Beater says:

    I’m grateful, Lucy, for your contribution. Courage is everything.
    And yes, you make insightful points. I once asked an American praising Cherokee cars what he’d feel if Cherokee Indians named one of their vehicles ‘Little Big Horn’. He wasn’t pleased one bit at my remark, no sir.

  39. John Low says:

    Talk of England winning those battles in the 100 years war … even while being force fed that stuff at primary school age, I noticed that the area of France that England controlled got smaller and smaller, and the famous victories got further and further north.

    England actually lost the 100 years war. something that they won’t usually admit – in fact most of them probably don’t realise, because all they get taught is the famous victories in some battles, and never the defeats or any assessment of the end result.

    Ultimately, from controlling most of France at the start, England wound up hanging on to Calais. And that not for long.

  40. Marconatrix says:

    IIRC the victories were mostly because of superior archery … and the archers were mostly Welsh — 😉

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