Peter Kent (Letters, 10 November) may not have heard of “the Scottish cringe” – the shaming tendency to defer to a confident Englishman (or woman) – but his suggestion that my demand for more (indeed most) of the very top jobs in Scotland to be held by Scots, by birth and/or education, is tantamount to “national socialism” is absurd.
It is the norm in all countries – especially, perhaps, in those with an overweening larger neighbour with colonising tendencies – to appoint your own people whenever possible.
Sharing an island, a language and a monarchy is not enough. There are very real cultural, educational and philosophical differences between Scotland and England which will almost always mean a Scottish applicant will be more empathetic, all things being equal – and these are set to widen.
For every splendid English incomer we are lucky to have among us there is a legion of “carpetbaggers” who, not surprisingly, must pinch themselves at their good fortune (“cheap” houses, beautiful countryside, polite and welcoming natives and jobs, seemingly, on a plate), and who can blame them?
There are always exceptions to any rule, but when the “rule” is so often perceived to be that – wildly disproportionately –smooth confidence and an English accent are enough to land the local government, university or quango “plums” in Scotland, then common sense and self-respect are the losers.