Dear England

images… thanks for the belated apologies yesterday. It seemed (well mostly*) sincere, so thanks for that. Apology accepted.

Except, well, it was a bit confusing because some of it seemed not to be an apology at all just an excuse to draft up your worst cliches, stereotypes and cultural-hatred-dressed-up-as-jokes, so that was a bit weird. Buckfast and Braveheart gags? Really?

And listen don’t worry about Ray Winstone, Kelvin Mackenzie and all the casual racism as light-entertainment we get on the telly we pay a license fee for too, it’s fine, really, we’re pretty used to it. It’s a bit weird to be honest, but it’s fine, really. I mean we both know that if a Scottish newspaper (whisper it they don’t really exist but we don’t have time to go into that right now) – if a Scottish newspaper was to write a feature like that about England there would be just a cascade of abuse and it would probably be raised in the Houses of Parliament. But anyway, hey ho.

We’ve got our own apologies to make but before we do we just wanted to get a few things straight. You see, the thing is it’s not really about YOU guys. That’s the thing. It’s more about, well, democracy really rather than Barry Cryer or Scrooge McDuck, say. Best to get that sorted out. You see you may have got it into your head that ‘the nationalists’ are driven by anti-English sentiment but see that’s just a wee fantasy you’ve concocted to yourselves, so, best just let that one go? You see, our first apology is that we don’t share your slightly obsessive narcissist xenophobic outlook on the world. Sorry about that.

In fact we’ve got plenty to apologise for.

First up we’re really sorry about laughing at the World Cup penalties thing in Italia 1990, Euro 96, 1998, Euro 204, World Cup 2006, and, er, Euro 2012. It’s just childish, so, sorry about that.  Promise we’ll get right behind the lads in Brazil.

Sorry about not finding Steve Bell’s wide-ranging depictions of Alex Salmond endlessly funny, sorry about that. Sorry too about celebrating a bit when Thatcher died. That was cruel and heartless. And hey, sorry we were rude to that nice man Nigel when he came to Edinburgh. That was racist of us! Sorry about that. Sorry we didn’t hold lots of Street Parties serving Coronation Chicken when you had that lovely Jubilee thing. Sorry about that – they looked great. Especially the way you got Heston Blumenthal to make everyone packed lunches. Brilliant. Sorry we sort of gave up on the Union Jack and stopped singing God Save the Queen too back in the 70s. Sorry about that. It just seemed a bit shit.

Finally, you say: “Let’s talk. Anything is possible. Except you going. We couldn’t bear that.” Now we might be being paranoid but we’re not entirely convinced your being serious here, but that’s okay. We’ll be gone soon, just packing a few things.

Listen before we go – there’s just a couple of things we think you maybe missed with your apology, if you wouldn’t mind having a quick glance we jotted down a few items:

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. Mick Hucknall. Pedlars. Dungavel. Sam Cam. Question of Sport. Sandi Toksvig. The Big Society. Autumnwatch. Seb Coe. Paul Dacre. Royal Wooton Bassett. Paul Baxendale-Walker. Mark Lawrenson.

Simon Harwood. The One Show. Bullingdon Club Cabinet. Kelvin Mackenzie (okay you apologised already but really!). Katie Allsop. The Daily Mail. Neil Hamilton. Henman Hill. Jimmy Hill. Damon Devereux Hill. Journalism about Pippa Middleton’s bum. Sausages.

The Brits. Starkey. Alan Titchmarsh. Nadine Dorries. Mid-Bedfordshire. Endless coverage of the Ashes. QI. Jeremy Guscott. Jeremy Spake. Jeremy Hunt. Jeremy Clarkson. Jeremy Kyle (anyone called Jeremy apart from Hardy). Morrissey. John Redwood. A Touch of Frost. Discussion of Stephen Fry’s Twitter following. Roger Scruton. Paul Burrell. We’re All in This Together.

Illegal wars in far away places for no apparent reason. Jimmy Carr. Simon Jenkins. Paul Staines. ITV News – the news with REALLY BIG PICTURES. Ross Kemp. Keep Calm and Carry On. The Olympics. David Mitchell. Anne Robinson. Balmoral. Khaki Culture. Your newsreaders. Your newspapers.

David Aaronovitch. The Royal Mail. Last Night of the Proms. Sky Sports 1. Wills. Claire Fox. Peter Mandelson. Proudlock. Steps. Rugby League. Pork scratchings. Brian Moore. Roger Moore. Dudley Moore. Low-Flying. Posh Spices handbag. Men Behaving Badly. Simon Schama. 30 Years of Shame. The Boat Race. Bernard Manning. Nick Clegg. The Archers. Cowes. Swing Low. Noel Edmonds. Spooks. Mullets. The Apprentice. Linwood. Frank Skinner. The Great British Bake Off. The Economist.

Littlejohn. David Baddiel. The Dimblebys. WMD. Duckponds. The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street. Teddy Edward. Adam Boulton. Nuclear Power. Pudsy. Wetherspoons.

Dodgy Dossiers. Prince Andrew. Nicholas Witchell. Rory McGrath. Ermine. Magazines dedicated to the squeezed-middle. Horrid Henry. Spotted Dick. EDL. CBI. BAE. PFI. White Van Man.

Ainsley Harriott. Trinny and Susannah. John Terry. Delia. Jim Davison. Andrew Lloyd Webber. Mr Bean. Guido Fawkes. Oh I say. NEXT. Musicals. Duchy Originals. The Sword of Truth. Rod Liddle. Jacob Rees Mogg. DIB DIB DIB. SAS Novels. They Think It’s All Over (it is now).

Er, that’s it for now.



PS Don’t worry about the rugby, it’s not a real sport anyway, so no problem there.

* we’re not SUPER convinced that No. 46 is over-brimming with sincerity for example

Comments (60)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. macgilleleabhar says:

    Sorry guys but you don’t seem to get it. It’s nothing at all about the average English person. Mostly we enjoy the same life experiences and feel the same emotions from laughter to sadness as the world events unfold. From my personal prospective where we do differ is in beliefs in how government and society should work but at the same time, “The Man on the Clapham omnibus ” sees things much the same as I do but not so the UK Establishment.
    Margaret Thatcher spoke of “Return to Victorian standard” whereas in Scotland we would rather return to immediate Post War Standards but at the same time nostalgia appears in mainstream TV programs depicting a gentler British society.
    How much desire would there be in England outwith the South East for a slightly left of center social democracy as will possibly evolve in Scotland?

  2. jdman says:

    You missed Ronnie Corbett out of our apology to England

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Aw wee Ronnie was funny in 1976.

    2. majormacbloodnok says:

      I’d say he was somewhat diminished after the demise of Ronnie Barker, if that were physically possible.

  3. Viking Girl says:

    You missed out men in pubs singing ‘He is an Englishman’ as they bare their backsides to the bemused customers. Yes, I have seen it on more than one occasion.

  4. gksw8 says:

    Scots nationalism is a peculiar beast: part UKIP and part Trot. So it’s not surprising the English have a hard time “getting it’. Reading Bella Caledonia is like listening to a Nigel Farage spouting Das Kapital.

    Scots nationalism, like all nationalisms, has an extremely dark and sinister side. Scots Nats’ attitude to the English reminds me of English attitudes to contemporary Germans. It’s not borne of pride but fear: fear that they won’t measure up to a more powerful neighbour; fear that they’re somehow second rate. The English don’t celebrate Scots’ sporting defeats, for instance, and aren’t fussed about Scots holding high office: prime ministers, umpteen chancellors and even the current education secretary. Can you imagine the same happening in Scotland? And if not, why not?

    1. Sherlock says:

      Part UKIP part Trot? Absolutely wrong there. Where on earth did you get that idea? ‘sinister’? I’ve been wanting Scotland to have full control over its resources for years. To have its own government just like Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg etc. My husband is English. Your comments are utterly wrong, misinformed and ill judged. Do some reading.

    2. majormacbloodnok says:

      My dear fellow, this is Bella Caledonia, not the Guardian.

    3. Zen Broon says:

      When British people say they don’t like “nationalism”, generally it means they don’t like *Celtic* nationalism. It is simply a form of politically correct prejudice.

      1. gksw8 says:

        Farage blaming Brussels for all Britain’s ills is no different to Salmond blaming Westminster for all Scotland’s. Nationalism is ultimately cowardly and dishonest whether it’s Celtic or Anglo: “Our problems are your fault”. It’s the biggest load of bull in politics.

      2. FlimFlamMan says:


        Assuming both have done that, it’s different because Westminster has far more power over Scotland than Brussels, the EU, has over the UK.

      3. Illy says:

        gksw8: Go look up “False Equivilence” sometime.

        Westminster is the Soverign Government of Scotland. They have total power if they want it.

        Brussels is a place we send some B-list politicians to go play nice with our neighbours, and mostly ignore anyway, except when we’re using it as an excuse for things we want to do.

    4. Abulhaq says:

      English not fussed about Scots holding high office? depends on which newspapers you read. As for nationalism, as you choose to call the movement for self-determination, being “bull”, suggest you get that Victorian pith-helmet off your head it is overheating your brain. This is about us not you. We are being selfish, ie concerned about our own future, for a change. And it does feel rather exhilarating. As for blaming Westminster? again it is not about you!

      1. HandmaidWorks says:

        I can’t think of a movement further from the sentiments espoused by UKIP than that of pro-independence in Scotland. And if you really think it’s all about us trying to blame England then independence will surely cure that once and for all? Independence will meant that we would only ever have ourselves to blame – no arguments about being gerrymandered out of the democratic process through mere population size and electoral system. And ” Scots Nats’ attitude to the English reminds me of English attitudes to contemporary Germans. It’s not borne of pride but fear: fear that they won’t measure up to a more powerful neighbour; fear that they’re somehow second rate” sounds to me more like the sentiments of a No voter – fear that we can’t look after ourselves or run our own affairs and that we somehow need to fasten ourselves along to “a more powerful neighbour.”

      2. fence sitter says:

        Erm it is very much about England whether you think so or not. As an Englishman who grew up in Scotland I am very much on the fence on this subject. I see both sides of the debate and frankly think there are bigger issues in the world to be tackled than this but as it is this is the focus. Whether the pro independence people like it or not there is more to it than than simple saying bye and parting ways.

        You say it is not about England but that is the most narrow minded arrogant perspective. What about the millions who do not want independence? Who are happy with the current Union? Your opinions do not factor any of these people into them you just assume everybody feels the same as you. To say its not about Westminster and England is complete nonsense. England loose a huge chunk of territory and income and both parties become weaker in the process.


        1. bellacaledonia says:

          “England loose a huge chunk of territory”. Fuck sake.

      3. fence sitter says:

        Like it or not that is a reality. That’s kind of the whole point of this debate no? Scotland wants its land back, land controlled by England….

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          It’s supposed to be a union of equals. Two nations collaborating. This is about self-determination as defined in international law. To define Scotland as ‘English territory’ is the exposure of an attitude that is as extraordinary as your inability to recognise it as such.

      4. Abulhaq says:

        Ah, now we have it at last Loss of territory is the issue. A third of the landmass plus territorial waters leaves Westminster’s control; England’s Lebensraum in effect. Cameron considers the off-shore oil etc to be safer in his hands. Another example of the anglocentric psychosis.

      5. jake grice says:

        Well this is one of the big problems with this debate. Scotland is controlled by England and when it suits you agree when it doesn’t you don’t. I agree it is SUPPOSED to be about a union of equals but it is quite clearly not, if it was we probably wouldn’t be on the verge of a referendum. It the very basic level Scotland is a land that was overpowed by England and claimed as English territory again if it wasn’t we wouldn’t be having this referendum. You claim its extraordinary i am unable to recognise the attitude you reference and yet i find it equally extraordinary that you fail to address anything i have said other than the final sentence which at the end of the day is true in its basis.

        @abdulfaq the loss of land is not the fundamental issue but it is an issue that will need to be addressed if independence is granted. I live in the borders where there are countless towns like Berwick and Coldstream that are literally on the border which side they fall on? As i said in my response to your initial comment you have an incredibly narrow minded and arrogant point of view and you, like so many other pro-independence citizens fail to realise that not everybody wants independence and not everybody wishes to be spoken down to because they do not share your views. As someone firmly sat on the fence i will respect the views of the nation should the answer to the be vote no or yes can you honestly say you will do the same?

      6. gksw8 says:

        Now you’re being ahistorical. The Union has been beneficial for both Scotland and England for centuries in the way it never was, say, for Ireland. Would there have been a Scottish Enlightenment without the Union, or would the British industrial revolution have been as potent without Glasgow’s industrial muscle and only with Manchester’s mills? Scots slaved and conquered and built – and emigrated and were exploited – along with the English.

        The Union didn’t stifle Scottishness, it channelled it. And it still does – hence all those Scottish actors, writers, broadcasters and politicians who are perfectly happy to call England home. Scotland is not some over-exploited, colonised outpost serving English rentiers. It is the 3rd wealthiest part of the UK and it has been for decades.

        I don’t doubt Scotland’s capacity to run itself should it vote yes; several Scots have run the entire UK with varying degrees of success on and off for years. The SNP’s pledge to spend more and tax less in a country that has too many pensioners and too few immigrants will probably bankrupt the place within five years. But hey, that’s your choice and, as the rest of the UK has refused to underwrite it, it will be your problem.

        You can always take comfort from the fact that even an SNP-ruled Scotland won’t have a monopoly of stupid politicians. However the chips land post-referendum, I’m sure London will retain its fair share.

      7. Abulhaq says:

        JAKE GRICE
        I do not apologise for coming across as arrogant. Not in the least. In the face of what is served by the opposition which has arrogated to itself the imperial right to decide Scotland’s destiny for three centuries I am simply standing my ground. The days of the Wee Jock just taking it on the chin and scurrying away to his tartan corner are over. We will decide what our future shall be not placemen and placewomen for a system that as you admit is not one of equals, was never intended to be such and cannot be made such. That is not being narrow-minded but realistic, determined and focussed.
        ABULHAQ/ Father of Truth. (there are clues there)

    5. Howard Price says:

      Be honest now, what about English attitudes to the Scots? It’s utterly delusional to think this is all one-sided. The difference is the English media have no qualms about exposing their prejudice. Which really is the dark and sinister side.

      The Guardian ’76 reasons’ was largely passive aggressive. A bit disturbing, actually. The Economist too. A lot of angry hacks in Fleet Street who can’t contain themselves. There’s an ongoing shift change and people in Scotland are seeing it now. It’s grist to the independence mill.

      1. gksw8 says:

        If you think the piece in the Economist was “disturbing” then the Nats are in a more deluded state than I thought. It made the point that if Scots wanted independence then they should go for it. But that they shouldn’t be misled to voting for it on a false prospectus: they wouldn’t have any meaningful say in the £, they would probably be allowed into the EU but it was unlikely in under 4 or 5 years and the cost of mortgages, pensions and the like would probably rise given Scotland’s older demographics. Those are pretty reasonable assumptions.

        As to English attitudes to the Scots, they can be patronising but they’re rarely hostile. Ugly English nationalism has other targets, and they’re usually found across the Channel

      2. Alasdair Frew-Bell says:

        The attitude may best be described as Herrenvolkisch. A nice Germanism suggestive of the smug and natural superiority of a people who condescend to rule over you and tell you what is in your best interests; the Empire was fuelled by it and Scots were actually quite good at dishing it out, albeit as an acquired trait. Generally that people knows nothing of you, your history and culture beyond the prejudicial stereotype and may well wallow with delight in such ignorance. Our will to be independent
        is, of course, not about them, although they have the conceit to believe it to be ALL about them. Why do you want independence they plead? Why not! is our crisp reply and we move on.

    6. MalkiEightO says:

      gksw8 my oddly named padawan, you are quite wrong, there is no dark and sinister side to Scottish independence. We are trying to get away from the fear and anger and hate (which comes directly from our UK representatives) for fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate and that is the path to the dark side which lends itself to all suffering.

      1. gksw8 says:

        You only have to look at the childish Anglo-baiting on this blog to realise that something unpleasant lurks not far from the surface of much nationalist opinion. In England you can see the same kind of bile exactly replicated on UKIP and far-right Tory sites but directed towards Belgians, or Germans or the French.

        What “anger and hate” is directed towards Scotland? 800,000 Scots live south of the border, Scots are prominent in every walk of public life, Scots politicians occupy or have occupied all the great offices of state. It’s simply wrong to say that Scotland is an object of English “hate”. Of course, it helps if one is trying to create an “Other”, a bogeyman to define yourself against. But recognise that grubby gambit for what it is. Don’t pretend these are real differences.

        Yes, most of the rest of the UK would like Scotland to stay. It’s been a successful union for over 300 years. The price of breaking up would not be the painless process the SNP dishonestly and irresponsibly pretend. And asserting that isn’t some desperate ploy to keep our wicked hands on your resources. It’s an honest opinion freely expressed. Or are they not allowed?

        If the majority of Scots feel differently, of course they must vote for independence and go. But perhaps, as they are waving goodbye, they’ll pause to ask how many other countries would peacefully allow such a thing to happen. Would Spain allow Catalonia to secede freely, or France Corsica, or Germany Bavaria or America Texas? And if they ask perhaps they’ll also concede that the English are not the dark, grasping tyrants of their imaginations.

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          To compare us with UKIP is just pitiful. If you want examples of anti-Scottish feeling expressed in national newspapers you are replete with choice. This week we highlighted two: one in the Telegraph where the writer expressed that the currency union could be resolved by Scottish people begging for food, and one in the Guardian where an embarrassing array of national stereotypes were trotted out. What you don’t like is when this is played back to you and highlighted. You may have become accustomed to treating people like this but it’s not going to continue.

      2. Abulhaq says:

        gksw8…the anglo-scottish union has been successful for whom exactly? certainly for individual unionists on both sides of the frontier and certainly for much of England which has benefited from having politically “tamed” its northern neighbour. Scotland as a country, as a nation, on the other hand has not done very well. Millions lost through emigration, anglicization, admittedly not a product of the 1707 union, intensified, loss of power to another country, involvement in many colonial wars and so on. Psychologically it has been a disaster. The oft referred to, by Anglo commentators, propensity of Scots “to whinge”, out of frustration?, is a symptom of an existential dysfunction. That we now recognise the symptom and are treating the cause, about time, has nothing to do with hate or UKIP style “foreign jonny” nationalism but a marker of a return to that legendary “common sense” Scots were supposed to possess. We really do not have any need to justify our desire for self-determination, any more than the Catalans, Basques or, were they to seek it, Bavarians. Our time has come to kiss and say Ciao!

    7. James Coleman says:

      Now there’s a contradiction for you.

      “fear that they won’t measure up to a more powerful neighbour; fear that they’re somehow second rate. The English don’t celebrate Scots’ sporting defeats, for instance, and aren’t fussed about Scots holding high office: prime ministers, umpteen chancellors and even the current education secretary.”

      How can Scots both hold High Office in England yet be afear’d they are “somehow second rate”. It doesn’t copy. Your logic is false. It’s Back to SLAB HQ for you for a rewind.

  5. An Duine Gruamach says:

    Now, now. I quite like watching the Ashes.

    1. gksw8 says:

      The “76 apologies…” in the Guardian poked as much if not more fun at the English as it did at the Scots. The fact you could not see the irony and chose to respond with a list light on humour but heavy with soft bigotry makes you in my opinion a fellow traveller of Farage, Bloom and their ilk.

      Trotting out national stereotypes comes easily to populists but always ends badly. What is the difference between the evident glee you take in England’s sporting disasters and the Sun and Mail’s delight on the (rare) occasions when Germany comes a sporting cropper? None.

      Face it. You are a Ukipper, albeit one with a distinctive Scottish flavour.

      1. James Coleman says:

        C’mon you’re scraping the barrel there. How much are you being paid to write these comments? Is it by the number or by the day. Oh, do you have other names under which you post? I suppose what I’m saying is … you are a troll.

      2. Illy says:

        There’s something you’re missing here:

        Scots’ Nationalism isn’t Anti-English, but it *is* Anti-Westminster.

        There’s a subtle difference there that you’ve obviously missed.

  6. What’s with 72? Do they not get Frankie Boyle?

  7. Colin morrison says:

    The current Education Secretary, now that is below the belt.

    1. gksw8 says:

      You can take the boy out of Aberdeen but…

  8. barakabe says:

    Agree with the overall list excepting Morrissey ( great music) & Simon Schama ( is he not a leftist?)- would have added Ain’t Half Hot Mam. Victoria Wood. Escape to the Country ( Dorset or Devon). Al Murray. School league tables. Passive-Aggression. The rest of the crap comedy ‘classics’ ( & they say the German’s have no sense of humour!) Being a tight arse when it comes to money ( sorry, just inverting the cultural stereotypes).

    1. gksw8 says:

      You gave the world the Krankies for Chrissakes, nothing but nothing can possibly compensate for that!

      1. Gray says:

        Do remind me where Timmy Mallett originates?

      2. James Coleman says:

        There you have it. He’s an Englishman, or Welsh or NI, but definitely NOT Scots. “”You” gave the world the Krankies”. Poor, whatever gender it is, doesn’t even know that the Krankies are the OFFICIAL NO side’s mascots. Personally endorsed by Dave Boy Cameron. It’s definitely back to Slab HQ for a re-briefing.

  9. “76 Things We’d Like to Apologise for …” Stuart Jeffries truly awful Guardian article blew.


    We in the independence movement are blessed by the enemies providence has provided us, and this goes out to all of those special someones’ on the other side of the divide who have so generously given of their time to do our jobs for us. xxxxxxx.

    The crucial part played by the forces of Union in furthering our struggle for independence, though often cited, is seldom genuinely lauded. We owe them our appreciation for that sterling effort.

    It is a mighty difficult job to alienate the Scot who yet feels an attachment to the Union, but the Ancien Régime has proven itself equal to that task.

    Can I therefore express my personal gratitude to David Cameron, who has fought with every fiber of his being to facilitate and encourage Scotland’s exit from the Union whilst credibly appearing to be striving with the same aforementioned being and fibers, to keep Scotland in the Union.

    A fist-bump to those two Tory stalwarts, Ruth Davidson and Johann Lamont, who have so emphatically made the case why Scots need to become masters in their own house.

    A big long wet one (smooch!), planted full on the lips of the Union’s lawyers, James Crawford, and Alan Boyle, for their legal opinion on constitutional matters Scottish.

    Their primary intent was not to save the Union but to prolong the delusion of England’s power and influence.

    Now we know that they had to deny Scotland’s existence since every other route through jurisprudence, leads to the dissolution of the Treaty of Union and the demise of the United Kingdom (goodbye Security Council seat), yet we’ve got to put our hands together and applaud the really insulting way they wrote the opinion!

    A legal dirty-bomb, radioactive with toxic insults that burn and threaten our very existence as a people.

    Insisting that a Scotsman is in fact an Englishman was nothing short of inspired.

    Acknowledgement must also go to our own David Mundell, that storied Conservative thinker, who for the first time ever in the history of the world, demonstrated on live TV, that it is possible to hold two mutually exclusive precepts in a functioning cerebral cortex at the same time.

    In his official capacity as a junior imaginary Minister for Scotland, he affirmed to Gordon Brewer that, yes indeed, the legal finding that Scotland had been extinguished and incorporated into England in 1707, was the truth, Scotland did not exist and had not existed for over three hundred years!

    Now, he may have the cognitive reach of an adolescent kinkajou, but what better spokesman for the YES campaign could you possibly have?

    I would also like to thank the lower primates of the angry wing of the Nasty Party for their anti-Scottish bigotry, so ably articulated in the Daily Telegraph.

    The patrons of the Daily Mail are also deserving of mention for their many crayoned statements of encouragement, that we Scots scroungers should eat our fried Mars Bars, STFU, and get the frak out.

    To the many Labour Luvvies of the BBC and the press who, with preening self-regard, have talked down to us and to our elected leaders, thank you.

    Thank you for comparing our First Minister to Robert Mugabe, Benito Mussolini, Kim Jong Il, Generalissimo Franco, and Adolf Hitler.

    Appreciation too, for your comparisons of our beloved homeland to Zimbabwe, North Korea, Kosovo, Bosnia, assorted Central American banana republics, the Congo, and a Stasi-controlled one-party state.

    Thank you all for bringing so many of my fellow countrymen and women to their senses.Kiss Flower

    Though we have come far, this is not time to become complacent. Please continue to attack us as too stupid, too indolent, and too poor, to possibly get along without you.

    Please continue to demean us and threaten our five year olds’ with the rendition of their beloved pandas, “Sunshine” and “Sweetie” for water-boarding should their mummies and daddies have the temerity to vote for independence.

    Thank you for the unelected and the unelectable pet jocks who front your cause

    Thank you for the carnival barkers of the jocktocracy with particular shout-outs to Lords’ Forsyth, Foulkes, Wallace, and Caithness – none of whom could get themselves elected assistant dog-catcher in Scotland, but all of whom insist on lecturing the people of Scotland what on what they can and cannot do in their own land.

    Thank you for Ian Smart, Alan Cochrane, Alex Massie, David Torrence, Allan Massie, Simon Johnson, Severin Carrell, David Maddox, and David Dimbleby who span the pro-Union media spectrum from dingbat craziness to dripping condescension.

    Please keep signaling your larcenous intent to plunder our oil and gas reserves by annexing our territories of Orkney & Shetland and RockalL.

    And as the referendum approaches you must of course, rigorously assert a ban on advertising our world-renowned Scotch Whisky in British Embassies and Consulates (though I am certain that wont stop you drinking it).

    Thank you all, every one.

  10. Abulhaq says:

    We have to thank them for that Scottish curling team who remarkably, and in an entirely non-political way, managed to have loads of union flags to wave, drape and jiggle…thanx Seb!

  11. Robbie1808 says:

    Just one small point, we also laughed a little at Mexico ’86. Just saying…

  12. Alexander Elder says:

    Brilliant,but you forgot to say sorry for Baxter humiliating their 1966 world champions on his own,without even letting the ball touch the grass.still unofficially the world Keepy upy record to this day. 😀

  13. Flower of Scotland says:

    Don’t kid yourself gksw8 that this fight for independence is about English people , I’m half English and have lots of family in England . I have voted SNP for nearly 50 yrs and my family in England always tell me to go for it ( Independence ) . They would like to separate from London too !
    It’s about corrupt governments in Westminster stripping Scotland of its assets !
    Hopefully that will end soon .

  14. Eliza Peters says:

    As an English person, I agree with many of the things you feel I should apologise for, but if we’re playing this childish game I can assume to accept your thanks for the following figures and features of ‘Englishness’:
    Thomas Rainborough and John Lilburne (fathers of modern socialism), Clement Attlee, Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, The Beatles, Jimmy Page, David Bowie, the Gallagher brothers, Freddie Mercury and Brian May, Radiohead (etc. too many world famous influential musicians to list), the Queen, London as a world capital and historically a safe haven for radical political thinkers/intellectuals, Alan Turing, Emmeline Pankhurst, Isaac Newton, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Ealing Studios, Ken Loach, David Lean, Sam Mendes, Dames Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Angela Lansbury, David Beckham, Rebecca Adlington, Steve Redgrave, Mo Farah, Tim Berners-Lee…….. MUST I CONTINUE, i honestly could, for days.

    Instead of taking praise ourselves for these incredible people (or according to your extraordinarily negative and hate-fuelled article apologising for these ‘awful’ people) just because we happened to be born on the same side of some border, let’s not use people and history who we are COMPLETELY disconnected to ourselves (as much as you wish for it, you have absolutely nothing to do with William Wallace, chances are somewhere in your family you have *gasp in horror* non-Scottish blood) – can we please bring some rationality into this debate and stop showing off to each other/putting each other down like schoolchildren, thanks

    1. Douglas says:

      Eliza, I could write a bigger list probably, so I sympathize.

      Your point is a good one, but I think that Mike´s article is satirizing the whole way that the media and people in general seem to be viewing this in England – it is a satire of The Guardian article, which was in turn a satire of the case for independence – which is to say, as a kind of sentimental, emotional moment.

      But this is about politics, policy and power, as you must know. If there was a real wish to save the Union, the Labour Party and its journalists in The Guardian and the New Statesman would be setting out a clear new road for Scotland in the Union, which would include not renewing Trident, full devo max, and Scotland opting out of foreign wars we do not support, which is to say, not just some “powers” for Scotland but actual Power.

      It wouldn´t sway most YES voters, it wouldn´t sway me either, but it would at least suggest that they understand the issues and are interested in a new relationship.

      But there is not the merest hint of that. We get great rockstars and decent journalists in other areas of politics droning on about how the Union is good for us deep down, and that, despite it all, England likes us….. that was never a concern frankly.

      The reality is that, today, not even half the populace in Scotland believe in the Union any longer, which is the real news from the polls last week.

      But really, the level of ignorance in the Anglosphere about the real issues which are motivating YES voters bodes ill for the post referendum, whatever the result. The idea that Scotland wants to be loved is in itself a kind of passive-aggressive insult, or perhaps just a crass underestimating of the people here, but in any case, a red herring.

      By the same token, no normal English person should feel the need to apologize to the Scots for anything. Why would anybody think it´s about being liked?

      It´s about politics, it´s about policy and it´s about power.



  15. Tommy Fraser says:

    That’s not fair – rugby IS a real sport. That’s my only complaint with the article. Spot on.

    1. Muscleguy says:

      It is a worry though, decent players become turgid and pedestrian as soon as they put a Scotland jersey on and play like they don’t know how to play the game. We’ll find ourselves playing in the lower league against Romania, Georgia and Spain if we aren’t careful.

    2. bellacaledonia says:

      Yeah – it was just a joke to get us out of our terrible terrible play on the field …

  16. Derek Coghill says:

    It’s a tad harsh to blame anyone apart from the Danish for Sandi Toksvig, is it not? Besides, I like the News Quiz.

    1. Muscleguy says:

      Me too, I was puzzled by that one. What has Ms Toksvig done or said to earn this organ’s ire?

    2. James Coleman says:

      You must mean Sandi Toxic. She’s more English than the English.

  17. atypicalscot says:

    The biggest apology goes out to the rest of the world on all our behalf.

  18. Nara says:

    *a small voice in the corner* Can I just possibly add that it’s not just the English and the Scottish in the equation…. I know that we’re very small and unimportant and all… but Wales and Northern Ireland exist too…? But we’ll remain quiet if you want…

  19. Iain says:

    Well, why oh why don’t the Welsh and the Irish get on board and sort out The Auld Enemy once and for all?

  20. Alex Buchan says:

    I’m not so interested in the Guardian piece, as in the discussion here. I have lived about half of my life in England and for me the responses of the people who identified themselves as English were not particularly extreme. Irrespective of what motivates them to respond on a blog like this, the basic assumption that Scottish nationalism is a form of extremism is widely held in England. It’s wrong to assume that this is only due to a particular ignorance about the situation in Scotland, Tom Nairn, in his books, has explored from a historical materialist perspective the issue of the distaste of the Victorian English middle class for European nationalism of all types which has since informed English opinion generally, and this partly explains why English people can quite admire Alex Salmond on one hand, yet still see nationalism as extreme.

    This widespread attitude is premised on a belief, fostered and encouraged by unionist politicians, in Scotland, as well as in England, that there is a silent majority in Scotland who are not extremists and who do not reject the union; who, in fact, see things from the same perspective as the English people who have contributed to this discussion. As fence sitter says

    “What about the millions who do not want independence? Who are happy with the current Union?”

    As I see it this is the essence of the political program that Labour, Lib Dem and Tory politicians are currently pursuing, the fact that it is already widely accepted in England shows that an English electorate will take a no vote in the referendum as a rejection of extremism and as evidence that the majority of Scots are happy with the union. The counter fact that a large majority of Scots want much greater devolution than at present will be forgotten and deliberately downplayed by the British (and probably the Scottish) media as irrelevant, because Scotland has voted to stay inside the union. It will be said that this is what the SNP wanted a straight yes or no for the union, and a no vote will be read as an unequivocal endorsement of the union.

    That this will shape the narrative of the post referendum political debate both in England and in Scotland is not difficult to predict, what concerns me is that it will be used as a means to restructure devolution in a way that strengthens the union and rules out any future Westminster sanction for a similar referendum. For instance, I will be very surprised if much comes out of the deliberations inside the Labour and Tory party before the referendum on more powers and, if any proposals of substance are produced they will be primarily designed to shift the blame for cuts onto the Scottish, rather than British, government.

    Way back in May 2011, I may not have thought that this simple yes no referendum was a good idea because of the dangers it posed when a yes vote could not be guaranteed, but I am now solidly behind Alex Salmond regardless of the outcome. I think the worst thing that could happen would be for those who support independence to get caught up in analysis or recrimination in the event of a no vote. A recent article in the London press had Jim Sillars saying that a vote in the low 30s would be a massive blow to the independence movement. No it wouldn’t.

    Regardless of the size of the majority either way, for me the main issue is identifying the principle on which the holding of this this referendum was premised, which was that it is the Scottish people, and the Scottish people alone, who should decide Scotland’s future. In my opinion if that principle is foremost in our minds then no outcome can be a bad outcome and all future action in defence of that principle either in an independent Scotland or a continuing UK is clear cut.

  21. What amazes me is the fact that those opposed to independence are so surprised that it’s come up. In 1707, REGARDLESS of the fact that the majority of Scots DID NOT want the Union, the handful of Scottish landowners accepted English bribes and sold Scotland’s proud heritage down the river. The fact of the matter is, historically speaking, England has been after owning Scotland for centuries. And it managed to buy it in 1707.

    “What force or guile could not subdue
    Through many wor-like ages
    Is rocked now by the coward few
    For hireling traitor’s wages
    The English steel we could disdain
    Secure in valou
    r’s station
    But English gold has been oor bane
    Such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation”

    So tell me, all you wise nay sayers… why are you surprised that Scotland has had just about enough of Westminster’s crap and the sly, subtle prejudice the British press has promoted? Why should you be surprised, really?

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.