What Is Scotland? A National Identity Crisis in a Moroccan Bank

Chef_MoroccoBy Karen Emslie @damnrebelbitch

The clerk in the bank in Chefchaouen, a Moroccan town in the Rif Mountains, was a serious man wearing a stiff shirt and wire glasses. He had exceptionally neat hair. He eyed the twenty pound note that I had handed to him, then started to flick through a colour-photocopied list of bank notes.

‘I cannot exchange this money, Madame.’

‘Why?’

‘Because it is not on my list.’

‘But it´s pounds sterling.’ I said.

He looked at me blankly, so I asked him for the list and pointed.

‘Look! Here it is.’

‘But Madame, that note says Bank of England – yours says Bank of Scotland’.

I explained in the finest French I could muster that, like the one on the list, my bank note was pounds sterling. I explained about Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, how we are one United Kingdom of equal partners with a shared currency. By now, the other clerk had stopped attending to his own customer and both were listening.

‘No Madame, I am sorry, I cannot exchange it because it is not on the list.’ he repeated.

I noticed that I had also attracted the attention of a number of bemused bystanders who had broken out of the orderly queue behind me to get a better view of what was going on.

There were men of various ages in pointy-hooded djellabas; others, in cotton shirts and trousers, were carrying leather satchels. They stood hands on hips or arms crossed. I was appealing to the clerks and the spectators but their faces were expressionless.

I had wandered idly into the bank to exchange the note after I had found it sandwiched between the pages of a book that morning. It was a bonus bank-note, a nice surprise. I didn’t need to exchange it, I could just say OK, Merci beaucoup! Au revoir! and leave the bank. Except, the entire validity of my country was now being questioned and my hackles had started to ruffle and rise. I focused my mind and conjured up some Celtic charm.

Scots know that we have a tartan leg-up abroad, and we milk it. Most new chums from California to Calcutta and from the French Riviera to the Moroccan Rif will have heard of at least one of the following: kilts, whisky or haggis. One of the first things I did when I moved from Scotland to Tarifa in the south of Spain (8 miles from Morocco across the Straits of Gibraltar) was hold a Burn’s Night Supper. There were lashings of whisky to quaff, tartan napkins to pass round and I´d even had some MacSweens haggis FedExed down.

People from other lands expect to hate haggis when they learn that it is innards and oatmeal stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and flavoured with lots of black pepper, but almost invariably they love it. Every single plate was licked clean. After supper we joined arms to sing Auld Lang Syne and drunkenly skipped around copying steps on a YouTube video of the Gay Gordons. I wanted to share my culture and make new friends.

What I had actually done, was prostitute the biggest stereotypes and clichés of my culture in order to endear myself to people in other countries, and this jolly self-parodying causes a problem: I made my new friends by peddling the idea that we are cross-dressing alcoholics who eat sheep’s intestines.

Unfortunately, alcohol and men in skirts were not going to sway my audience at the bank, and I didn’t know the French for ‘intestines’. Instead I said that England was bigger than Scotland and that more people lived there. But, even though Scotland was small, it was a real country with real money. I tried to translate the concept of being ‘in bed with an elephant’.

I noted a subtle shift, heads were nodding slowly and faces were now composed with concern; they were starting to root for the underdog. Or perhaps it was a reaction to the sight of a small woman delivering an impassioned monologue about her country in dubious French.

Either way, the clerks came out from out behind their desks and called the manager from his office. He was an older man – little, fat and suited. He had a ring of grey hair but was bald on top. He eyed me suspiciously and then silently studied my bank-note.

‘Look, pounds sterling – here.’ I pointed, enthusiastically.

He said nothing. Everyone was looking at him and waiting. He referred to the colour- photocopied list of bank notes and finally he delivered his conclusion.

Yes, he could see that my bank-note had twenty pounds sterling written on it, but it was a Bank of Scotland note, not a Bank of England one – like the one in the list – and therefore he could not exchange it for dirhams. He eyed my supportive onlookers, who had now amassed behind me.

‘But,’ he relented ‘It is confusing, I will ask my superior in Tétouan.’

The manager went into his office and picked up the phone. I watched him through the glass panel between us. I could see his mouth moving and his fingers turning my bank note over and over. Eventually he put the phone down and came out from behind the glass. There had been further uncertainty in Tétouan, he explained. The manager’s manager was now telephoning his own manager in Rabat and would call back with the definitive answer.

That would have been an opportune moment to point out that it was, in fact, a Scot (Alexander Graham Bell) who had invented the telephone, and that we were also responsible for television (John Logie Baird), penicillin (Alexander Fleming), the pneumatic tyre (Robert William Thomson/ John Boyd Dunlop) and even Grand Theft Auto (David Jones/ DMA Design) Look what we gave the world! Now, will you please just give me some dirhams? But, I said nothing, because it would have sounded like I was boasting.

The customers in the bank, enjoying the unfolding drama, were hanging around waiting to find out what would happen. We arranged ourselves on the plastic seats that lined the walls of the bank, and chatted about Morocco and Scotland to pass the time until the manager’s phone rang. And then it did.

We all stood up: the bank clerks, the onlookers and me. We were ready for the verdict. We knew the outcome from Rabat by the look on the manager’s face, it was clearly a ‘No.’ I had reached the end of the line. My impassioned arguments, passed carefully from manager to manger, from Chefchaouen to Tétouan and then on up the chain of command to Rabat, were ultimately futile. But, was I right?

According to the Committee of Scottish Bankers (CSCB):

The legal position with regard to Scottish Banknotes is as follows: Scottish Banknotes are legal currency – i.e. they are approved by the UK Parliament. However, Scottish Bank notes are not Legal Tender, not even in Scotland.

Confusing? They go on to cite the definition of ´Legal Tender´ according to the Bank of England:

The term legal tender does not in itself govern the acceptability of banknotes in transactions. Whether or not notes have legal tender status, their acceptability as a means of payment is essentially a matter for agreement between the parties involved.

So, if we had agreed, I could have bought Moroccan dirhams with my Bank of Scotland pounds sterling note? Perhaps, but the CSCB ultimately advise:

You should not rely absolutely on Scottish notes being accepted outside Scotland and this is particularly true when travelling abroad.

All I could do now was be noble in defeat, the fall-back position bred into collective Scottish consciousness by cumulative trouncings from battlefields to football pitches. I stuffed my silly banknote back into my purse and, one-by-one, said goodbye to the manager and the clerks and the onlookers. Each shook my hand, commiserated and hoped that one day Scottish bank notes would be on the colour-photocopied list of bank notes, just like English ones. Inshallah.

 

 

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Comments (52)

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  1. Ian Ritchie says:

    Your country is not being impugned. The Bank of Scotland is not a central reserve bank, it is a private commercial company (which incidentally 15 years or so ago was run by a bunch of retail chancers who wrecked it as a bank). Anybody could print notes and claim them as valuable but if they are ‘not on the list’ then why would anybody accept it. Would you expect to change any Jersey, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, or Northern Irish note? Why should Scottish notes be any different.

    1. Peekay says:

      You’re missing the point.

  2. Neil says:

    Yeah – this used to be a problem before universal cash machines. You had to get English banknotes before travelling. Banks go by a book of acceptable notes from around the world, and Scottish ones aren’t in it. As per the comment above, they really need to be issued by a national central bank before they are accepted.

    You wouldn’t be on to a winner trying to get notes issued by the Clydesdale Bank accepted in Mombassa, and that isn’t really surprising. It is a stupid system, and best way would be to have regional banks issuing notes in the first place.

  3. Neil says:

    I think the main thing is that RBS and Clydsdale banknotes are an historical anachronism that is at odds with the modern world, and I would be happy to see them abolished.

    1. mogabee says:

      Such a grump!

    2. Quarmby says:

      You epitomise the cringing Scot.

  4. Darby O'Gill says:

    I suppose the outcome was inevitable, but it was a great story.

  5. bringiton says:

    I seem to recall,as part of their charm offensive against Scotland during the referendum campaign,the British Foreigners and Colonialists office going around encouraging “foreigners” to reject Scottish bank notes.
    All part of their dependency narrative.

  6. James Campbell says:

    I think it’s a problem Scotland will always have until it has its own currency or joins the Euro – no different e.g. to Denmark or Sweden. I think that we are fortunate in having a well known international currency – sterling – which is widely accepted. Even then, I’ve changed it into euros or dollars for some trips.

    To expect a Moroccan retailer to accept Scottish notes is not realistic and to push the point like the writer did struck me as unkind.

  7. David I says:

    I see on the horizon a return to changing paper currency at Dumfries , in order to avoid the Carlisle exchange rate of 19/6d to the Pound
    Bringiton’s point is not lost, whether it was a Yes or No result, Cameron’s lot sought to damage either case

  8. John Monro says:

    Nice story, but weren’t you chancing your arm a bit? Your persistence could have been seen as just a bit precious or arrogant? The concern for Scotland’s identity in Morocco might also be seen as just a bit parochial, in the grand scheme of things? It sounds as if you’ve been treated very considerately, but when in Chefchaouen……

  9. Steaphan MacRisnidh says:

    Butchers across Scotland will be up in arms about the perpetuation of the sheep intestines in haggis myth! There are no intestines in haggis recipes. Internal organs – yes, heart, liver, lungs-but no intestines!

    (Same message in Gaelic)
    Bidh feòladairean air feadh Alba air an cur thuige leis an aineolas mu dè a tha anns an taigeis. Chan eilear a’ cur na h-innidh ann idir, ach rudan mar chridhe, grùthan ‘s sgamhain na caora, no beathaich eile.

  10. BeeDee says:

    Personally I find this ongoing debate about the changing of Scottish banknotes a wee bit tiresome. About 25 years ago I once saw the barmaid in my Balloch local refusing a Northern Irish fiver from a visitor from that country. He was quite annoyed at this and explained that they had the same status as Scottish notes. The barmaid had never seen one of these and told him in no uncertain terms that there was no way that she would be taking it.

    What we have here is not disrespect for our country. It is just simple and quite understandable caution from those who are going to be held responsible for any mistakes. I would ask Karen to put herself in a position where she was taking money for products or services and she was presented with a banknote she had never seen or heard of before. My money (pun intended) would be on her rejecting this. I know I would.

    1. It’s something that could and should be easily resolved. Perhaps if we had better consular representation (within or out with the UK)? Something for the new 56 to sort out?

      It may be ‘tiresome’ but it’s also just a basic thing that needs fixed.

      1. Jones says:

        Aye because of all the pressing diplomatic issues, whether Scottish notes are accepted as currency because were chippy and self important is top of the list. Besides, the reason is not a UK issue but an overseas one. What exactly do you expect the diplomatic service to do beyond what the banks themselves do? Banks have the right to refuse any currency if they choose as they are not ‘countries’ but separate entities!

        Besides most major banks in major cities abroad do accept Scottish notes. The issue is with smaller branches in the sticks where the education of the staff is local and not international. Here’s a thought, try not being so self important and understand that these notes may well go into local circulation/ exchange and think about how confusing it is for one insignificant small country ‘aye Scotland’ to have three different notes. It’s called tolerance.

        1. Jones says:

          It’s this kind of parochial ignorance that makes people despair of the independence media. What a ridiculous thing to say, that it is in any way the responsibility of the diplomatic service to be responsible for the actions of overseas and home banks? Absurd.

  11. Jean says:

    I had a very similar problem in pre EU Budapest with North of Ireland ‘bank notes’. Lucky for me on that occasion an Irishwoman, resident in Budapest at the time, was in the queue and came to my aid with regard to language. However the out come was the exact same as your own. Unlike you I was in real need of the money and had to sell some of my books to get a hot meal…..all part of backpacking I suppose…..

    Cracks me up too when asked, particularly online, what country I come from and the only option I’m given is UK. It feels like as a separate identity the Irish just don’t exist, like the Scots and Welsh.

    1. ben madigan says:

      never had NI banknotes even accepted in England until a couple of years ago at a London airport,. The shop, bar or restaurant (can’t remember which) said they had been told to accept them and withdraw them from circulation.
      Around the same time , give or take a couple of months, only bank of England notes were being distributed in NI. Before you couldn’t get them for love nor money, even when you specifically asked for them!! you always had to plead trips to England

      1. Jean says:

        Right pain in the arse the lot of it.

  12. Michael says:

    Interesting. Neil, you mention that banks go by a book of acceptable notes from around the world and Scottish ones aren’t in it, yet a few years ago a friend and I had no problem exchanging RBS and Clydesdale notes in Miami Airport after the lady at the Bureau de Change found them in her book. Perhaps the problem lies with this particular bank? I notice she said the clerk looked at a photocopied list of bank notes, rather than the more official looking book I saw used in Miami. Just a thought anyway.

  13. Richard says:

    I was in Baku, Azerbaijan, a few years back and not only did all the Bureaux de Change welcome “Scottish Pounds”, they actually paid a higher rate for them than for “English Pounds”.

  14. Colin says:

    I had no problems with using some Scottish notes in Luxor years ago. The trader was happy to take them.
    On another trip to Egypt, word got round there were Scots in the hotel, and a waiter had been asked by a friend with a shop to see if we would swap a Scottish fiver he had for an English one, which we did.
    For what it’s worth, when going abroad I always either get English notes (reluctantly) or Euros, just simply to avoid the hassle.

  15. Steve Mackie says:

    If it makes you feel any better you cant even use Scottish notes to top up or buy an Oyster card on the London Underground…perhaps our increased representation at Westminster might consider this an issue worth looking into?

  16. Deirdre Forsyth says:

    a friend of mine was in China about 30 years ago and changed a scottish tenner no problem

  17. HerewardAwake! says:

    Take heart, Karen, very late one night I witnessed an irate elderly American at an unmanned petrol station in France attempting to ram his Amex card into the automatic slot but it just would not accept it. He was not a happy chap but eventually somebody pointed him in the direction of a nearby bank ATM. On the other hand I never cease to marvel at the speed and efficiency of the wire transfer system. Within minutes and after just one phone call our son was able to call into a small grocery shop in the back streets of Paris quite late at night and retrieve the cash we had sent over.

  18. Guy from exotic Bristol says:

    ….well the main thing was when things were not going your way that you had to give both yourself and your readers a list of Scottish inventions. I’m not too sure the relevance of who invented the Television in reference to why a Moroccan bank in a small town refused to change your note but perhaps I’m missing the point. Oh and you made no mention of Dolly the sheep, the Proclaimers, the fact that Trainspotting was filmed in Edinburgh, the Krankies or the new album by Belle and Sebastian! The bank clerk would have said no but it would be worth a try.

  19. Redgauntlet says:

    It´s all the fault of Sir Walter Scott, who, of course, launched a campaign to save the Scottish pound under the name Malachi Malagrowther when London threatened to abolish the right of Scottish banks to print their own bank notes, back in 1826, in a series of anonymous letters to the newspapers.

    Scott, a steadfast Unionist, nonetheless was a fierce defender of Scotland, and he attacked London´s plans as a breach of the 1707 Union, and won the argument and we have Scottish pound notes to this day thanks to his efforts.

    No doubt, if he were alive today, he would easily be confused by Martin Kettle or Michael White as a “provocative. rabble rousing nationalist” Or something like that.

    On which point: the quality of the defenders of the Union has declined dramatically in recent times.

    Scottish unionist politicians and journalists are slaves to London (or Labour) these days, no reference is ever made to the Union, nobody ever defends Scotland from, say, Trident renewal, on the grounds that it is a breach of the Union of 1707, which I would say it manifestly is…

    …it´s such a sad state of affairs that not even the Unionists of our time bother making sure that their much loved Treaty of Union of 1707 is upheld in the way it was intended.

    As a woman (a lover of the British Isles) said to me yesterday in the offices of a notary public in the capital of Spain:
    – “The Scots are cowards. You had it in your hands, and you didn´t take the step. And it´s not because you believe in the Union with England either. It´s because you are worried about your pensions and your currency”.
    – “You´re right” I said.

  20. Gordon Bickerton says:

    My little victory re Scottish (Clydesdale Bank) notes was in Stockholm, 1973, on a Sunday. My wife and I on a run ashore from our dirty old British tanker had spent all our Kroner. We found a bank open in the main railway station. Presenting our notes the very helpful cashier referred to a huge ledger full of pictures of world banknotes. We had already noted that nowhere on our notes did ‘Scotland’ appear.
    Triumphantly, the young lady found a picture of our notes and with great glee advised that we also would get a better rate than English notes!

  21. Frank says:

    I’m sorry but this is pure drivel. It reminds me of those frivolous pieces you read in a Saturday broadsheet and you find yourself stopping half way through and thinking, why the heck am I reading this? I pity the poor folk in the Moroccan bank (the story sounds rather contrived) who had to listen to this. There is a thin line between nationalistic smugness and being proud of your country and this article crosses that line….The line which really made me cringe was, ‘Scots know we have a tartan leg up abroad and we milk it’. Oh yes, don’t they just love us. Aren’t we just fantastic. The most informed people in the world….Maybe I am travelling in the wrong places, but most people I meet abroad are indifferent to Scotland or have no idea about anything Scottish. A cabbie once picked me up in Brooklyn and when I said I was from Scotland he looked puzzled for a moment, and then said ‘oh Braveheart’.

  22. Justin Kenrick says:

    Really enjoyed this piece.

    Yes, there were parts that I disagreed with but the overall story is great.

    What I loved was less the account of her experience, and her assumptions, but her account of the experience of the Moroccans surrounding, supporting and having to deal with her.

    A good story allows an interpretation of it that is almost the opposite of the author’s intent, and this does that wonderfully.

  23. john young says:

    Scotland has/always had since around the 16th century a very sizeable group of people that never really considered themselves Scottish,they have no pride in their country they are in reality stateless as they can,t be English because under no circumstances will they be associated with them and anyway they hate them,they hope they are British which consists of 3 countries and one province so that,s out,what are they?

  24. john rutherford says:

    Excellent story. Many, many similar stories could be told by Scots. It can be summed up by the truism ” Britain means England”. Always has, always will do. Only Scottish unionists are quite happy with this situation. What kind of people are they? Beats me.
    I used to work abroad and one day was passing a gift shop in Piraeus. The window was covered in flags of the world. In vain I looked for a Saltire. There was a Union flag however, with one word under it “England”. I actually
    argued the point in the shop saying it should say ” UK”. ” Same thing” I was told.
    An English colleague visiting Glasgow stated that he had enjoyed a trip on the Waverley. ” The last ocean going paddle steamer in England”.
    When reminded he was not IN England, he was quite dumfounded and stated he regarded the whole island as England.
    This will always be so, as long as we’re “better together” in this “family of nations”.
    Rgds. John R.

  25. Connor McEwen says:

    Fur fecks sake get a feckin life.
    Semantics and fun.
    Currency is a current red herring and fruity forked tongue to endless indecision

  26. Bryan Weir says:

    Precisely!

    We were quite attached to the UK pound during the referendum campaign were we not? This is just an irrelevant red herring. Keep your eye on the ball, not it’s shape.

  27. Scott Borthwick says:

    I did enjoy this story, although I was hoping for a happier outcome. Despite what some may say here, there are countries where you can happily exchange Scottish banknotes. On a trip to Las Vegas several years ago, I got a

  28. Scott Borthwick says:

    I did enjoy this story, although I was hoping for a happier outcome. Despite what some may say here, there are countries where you can happily exchange Scottish banknotes. On a trip to Las Vegas several years ago, I got a better rate than I would have done on English notes. Similarly I noticed a Bureau de Change in Porto airport last week offering rates on Scottish notes.

  29. wull says:

    Several people on this post have reported various experiences of changing Scottish notes abroad, and getting a better rate for them than they would have done for English ones. It also happened to me once, about thirty years ago, in Switzerland. I remember arguing with the bank clerk, pointing out that he must be making a mistake, because I did not want him to end up with a deficit in his accounts because of me. When he absolutely insisted that he was right to give me the higher exchange rate I accpeted it. Although I felt uneasy about it at the time I soon forgot about it, and it’s only this article that is bringing the memory back. However, I still don’t understand why and how such things happen. Since it’s sterling, how can you get a higher rate for it than for English notes? Anybody out there got an explanation for such a bizarre thing? How does the bank recoup its apparent loss on the transaction?

  30. Nigel Nicholson says:

    This happened to me in Dallas Texas in 1976. My Scottish notes had to be blessed by a New York banker before the Dallas bank would exchange them.

  31. DialMforMurdo says:

    That’ll be the benefits of the shared currency.

    Last time it happened to me was in London, whilst waiting to pay at a self service queue in a fancy Shoreditch eatery, sadly I’d already taken a bite out of my sandwich when the be-bearded tattooed loon behind the till said they didn’t accept Scottish notes. Oh well, I handed him the half chomped sandwich and said I’d no other means to pay for the sandwich. They accepted it…

    Hope you’re loving Tarifa, it’s braw. I’ll be on Playa de Bolonia once sandpaper season is over…

  32. Graeme Thomson says:

    Strangely I got a better exchange rate for Scottish notes when in Israel 20 years ago. Anyone any idea why?

  33. Bill Fraser says:

    I thought this problem was only met in England(quite a lot).Just goes to show you.

  34. Patrick says:

    I was travelling to Newcastle airport and in order to get Bank of England notes to take abroad I stopped at a cash machine attached to a supermarket in Berwick upon Tweed. Imagine my surprise to be issued with Scottish notes. I had crossed the border, had’t I? I had to shamefacedly to ask the supermarket to exchange them for BoE notes, as it had withdrawn rather a large amount, which they kindly did.

  35. Robin Turner says:

    When I started to read the article I already knew that “Scottish” bank notes are not legal tender anywhere. They just happen to be issued by capitalists probably resident in Scotland.

    Wales was legally incorporated into England over a long period of time and the final stage was under the England monarch Henry VIII. From then Britain signified England and Wales also known as England since English law applied equally in Wales and England. This identity may have changed since devolution.

    Less than one hundred years later the England monarch Elisabeth was legally followed by the monarch of Scotland, James VI, who became also named/ titled / known as James I of England. Being an educated person he thought that the name Britain, when translated into French was confusing as the English word Brittany when translated into French was the same. So he named the two states Great Britain. Any muddled identity was in fact created by the senior Scotsman of the time. That is as a result some people believe that Britain and Great Britain are the same place.

    That meant that Scotland is part of Great Britain and not part of Britain. Some of the commenters clearly believe Scotland is part of Britain.

    Personally I support a United Republic of the British Isles consisting of:
    The Republic of Ireland,
    Scotland,
    Wales which would be re-established as a separate country /state if desired, and
    England.

    The “Channel Islands” of course are not part of the British Isles.

    It would all be voluntary of course and may be little more than a Schengen type agreement.
    And each component would choose whether of not to be a republic or a monarchy.

    Regards from Robin Turner

    PS

    I use the English language as a home language and I have no idea which languages my ancestors spoke but clearly the UK of GB & NI and its predecessor states punished those languages out of them. Much as languages in Wales and Scotland were as late as in my grandparents or even parents’ lifetimes.

    The article refers to Celtic charm which may well exist. But were there ever such people as Celts, that is, did anybody tribe etcetera call themselves Celts?

    And I have seen some references to Scottish Nationalists despite the SNP being short for Scottish National Party. Nationalist being fat away in meaning from National.

    1. Robin Turner says:

      I FORGOT TO INCLUDE NORTHERN IRELAND IN MY PROPOSED REPUBLIC OF THE BRITISH ISLES.
      UNITED ARAB EMIRATES IS A REPUBLIC CONSISTING EFFECTIVELY OF MONARCHIES!

  36. Jones says:

    The self important pompous Scot abroad is something that makes me cringe. I was once (during the world cup – England were playing) in a bar in an industrial Chinese city with engineers from all over the world. Everyone was having a good time, except for the chippy Scot who was wearing an ABE T shirt and just wouldn’t shut up about ‘wha’s like us’ Scotland while abusing the reasonable English guys, mostly from the North. Ended in him getting punched, not by the English guys but by a Korean guy who worked with them. Everyone Germans, Dutch, Yanks, Indians, Koreans, Italians cheered when it happened.

    Chippy nonsense, the first thing you did when you moved to Spain was set up a Burns night. Jeesch, just like the English and their Sunday roasts in Mallaga.

    Try being interested in other peoples’s country when you visit? Get over yourself.

    1. Jean says:

      That’s right only Scots are dick heads…….

      1. Jones says:

        I am a Scot and this article is a case in point.

        ‘Went to Marocco and moaned about trivia (banknotes) because it’s all about ME cos I’m a Scot and I’m important….yawwwn.’

  37. Bryan Weir says:

    You didn’t show much interest in Spain. It’s Malaga. ;o)

  38. Jones says:

    Quick get on to our man in Marrakesh! how can we suffer such a slight to Scotland’s integrity at the hands of these Johnny foreigners. Don the imperial Tartan and demand the UK govt does something immediately, maybe give the bank clerk a flogging with a thistle! lol.

    1. Darby O'Gill says:

      Correct if I’m wrong but I’ve always understood that at the time of Union in 1707 the Bank of England effectively became the Bank of the United Kingdom and Scotland and England agreed to share the pound equally as a common currency. Allowing Scottish banks to print their own notes was simply a gesture that allowed the Scots to use them in Scotland.
      Surely obtaining Bank of England notes before travelling abroad is no more difficult than obtaining euros or dollars, and a reflection of the fact that I travel as a citizen of the United Kingdom. I don’t see that as either a problem or an insult. At the end of the day I’m still a Scot, and I would to be one who tries to find common causes rather than taking offence at any perceived slight. The English are not our enemy. They are our neighbours and our partners. Until that changes, we should try to be a bit more civil, but still of course take the mickey occasionally.

  39. Fran says:

    Sorry cant feel proud of Grand Theft Auto

  40. RicHerrington says:

    Inshallal I have plastic. I can imagine the nightmare in Morocco. As a toruing musician I always caught grief with Scot notes in england. Thanks for posting!

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