I thought long and hard about whether to write this. I don’t like upsetting anyone, and I hope I don’t, but I really wanted to say something. When I was a little kid, I liked looking at maps. Some may find this weird. It is. But I loved them. My dad had a huge Reader’s Digest Atlas, about 18″ tall it was, I bought an identical one a while back, and it had relief maps of every continent, and close ups of countries, population data, information on exports and so on. I loved looking at it, but particularly I liked finding the capital city of each country, and writing it in a little book. When I’d done every country, I did it again, trying to remember each one. I told you I was weird.
I don’t do it any more, well, because it’s weird, but what it gave me was a perspective even at a very young age, of how small the Earth is. As I got older, as happens with many people I imagine, it gets even smaller in your mind, and with the internet and modern day travel, you can see and hear people anywhere on Earth as if they are next door, or be sat with them inside a day. It is a tiny planet. In the time you’ve done your 9 to 5, you could be in California, or Delhi.
And on this tiny planet, there are 7.2 billion people. 7.2 billion people that get on each others tits. What a bunch of pricks. Fighting the toss over borders for centuries. We’re still at it, and probably will be for a long time. Still, were animals, what do you expect? If Mr Lion comes home from a hard day chasing gazelles, to find another lion has pissed on his territory and is banging his missus, all hell would break loose, and rightly so.
The thing is though, that barrier you have in Scotland, and the same with Wales and Ireland, in my very humble opinion, has always defined you as different, as a country in your own right. As individual as any two other countries on the same bit of land. I’ve known a lot of people from Scotland. I used to work for one. He was an utter twat, and to this day, I wouldn’t speak to him if I met him, which isn’t like me at all, but even that two faced aggressive bastard cannot taint what I think of Scotland. Every other Scot I’ve met has been great, I mean that. You have a national pride the English lost years ago. Yes, yes, the English steamed in years ago and acted the twat, they did it everywhere, but they’re all dead now. Julius Caesar, invader of lands and inventor of dog food and dressings, he did too, also dead. You can’t hold all Italians responsible for the Roman’s barbarity. Not when they gave us pizzas, chow mein and frog’s legs. And similarly, it’s not our fault our ancestors were power hungry chuffers. To be fair if you go back 350 years, how many of us are truly Scottish or English? Some yes, but how many have European roots? How many are a mix? My eldest daughter is part Welsh, my wife’s family is Irish, and I’m reliably informed there is an Italian great great grandad in mine somewhere; for shame. (Still, they gave us pizza, frog’s legs and chow mein).
Of course, I don’t see it from your point of view, I can’t, but don’t let the fact that Westminster “rule” you piss you off. Someone has to. Almost everyone on Earth is governed in some way, by someone else with more money, or who knew someone, or whose daddy got them into a posh school. Luck really. Who got drunk where, met someone, and which jimmy tiddler swam the fastest.
There is always someone telling you what to do, pay these taxes, don’t drive there, wash those plates, NO NOT UP THERE, but does it matter? Not many people like being told what to do, but we almost all have to. If I’m honest, I don’t really give a shit any more about who runs the UK; most politicians aren’t normal people who have lived a life outside politics, they don’t have a clue. I’m not even sure it’s their fault, it’s just become like that, because they have to say and do what a lot of advisers say. Rich advisors probably. They don’t listen to the electorate, they don’t answer questions, they tell you what they want you to know, and hear, and I really can’t be bothered with it any more. I feel no connection with any main party, nor any party really, and I feel so detached from London, it might as well be in France.
The thing is, if it’s not London’s MPs in charge, it’s Mr Salmond, who is, sadly, just another MP, who slags off his opponents like a kid in a play ground, smug of face, and pockets full of conkers. I’m not picking out any one MP in particular, they’re pretty much all the same, have been for years, big kids, slagging each other off. Just watch Prime Minister’s Questions. Christ. Getting a bit deep there, I don’t like it. What I’m getting at, is that Scotland, to me, couldn’t be more independent already, because it’s in your mind, in your hearts, and in your communities. England has lost that to a great extent, and it makes me sad, but you’ve kept it. I’m proud to be from Yorkshire, and god do Yorkshire folk like to bang on about it, but Yorkshire couldn’t have greater extremes of wealth and attitude, and throw a couple of local football teams in there, and you’d think they were from different planets. I’m genuinely scared the financial effects, which I’ve read about and am certainly not going to go into, might have effects noone has even imagined calculating, and I don’t want to see anyone ruined financially because of this, and it could happen. He hasn’t an answer for this, and that’s frightening.
If I re-read this, it could be considered as patronising in places, and that is something else that has been banded about a lot, that the English are patronising. Some of them might be, but in my case, it’s a bit of jealousy. I’m jealous of Scottish patriotism. I’m jealous you sing “Flower of Scotland” so fucking loud at any sports event, football, rugby, quoits, you’ll sing it loud anywhere. The Welsh and the Irish do it too. It’s brilliant. Bastards.
I like us all being together. Look at your partner, do they get on your tits on occasion? Mine does. And I piss her off regular. My kids wind me up too, and I bet my parents and sisters hated me on occasion. The people genetically engineered to love each other, and the ones we decide to spend every day with THROUGH CHOICE, get right on each others mams. People at work; wankers. Some twat in the middle lane. Someone paying in coppers at the shop. The football ref. The polo ref (does polo have refs?). Wankers, everywhere. But to be honest, it’s not that bad on these little islands. I think it’s pretty good we’ve put up with each other for so long when we’re as different in the same house as we are from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Without getting all hippy and YOLO, we’ll pretty much all be dead in 100 years, we’re not here long, so whatever happens tomorrow, I sincerely, and hand on heart, hope no-one is too pissed off. Whatever happens, though, one thing is for certain…
YOUR FOOTBALL TEAM IS SHIT! 😉 Oh yes. So is ours. Now pass me some haggis ‘cos I honestly love that shit, and I’ll get the beers in. Best wishes to all.