I thank David Roche for his response (Letters, 13 November) to my response (on the subject of whether top Scottish cultural jobs should go to Scottish people). I’m afraid I’ve never seen any evidence of “the Scottish cringe” in the 27 years I have lived here.
I would agree with some of his quoted benefits of living here but in Aberdeenshire cheap housing is not one of them, nor, I fear, jobs on a plate, though we are luckier here than most due to the oil industry.
I would also state that I have never been the subject of any personal anti-English abuse, though, once again, that may be because I worked in the oil industry where you meet people from all over the world on an equal basis of “getting the job done”.
At the time of my retirement, the office of 22 people in which I worked had seven nationalities.
Under David Roche’s plans, the inevitable next step would be repatriation. This would result in a “tit for tat” and Scotland would end up with three ex-prime ministers. That would give Alex a run for his money.
As David Roche rightly insists, a preference for indigenous occupancy of jobs is not outlandish, nor xenophobic – not his words in this instance but mine.
While there are many people from other lands in Scotland, here for various reasons, many economic, mostly materialistic, some emotional, there are also some who behave as though the sooner Scotland drops all its “quaint habits of glen and shieling, its elevation of Rabbie Burns to international stature, its couthy local lingo, and diverse other native airt nuances” the better.
Unhappily, this latter category includes as many indigenous people.
To me there is a touch of apartheidism about such condescending attitudes. Before South Africa became today’s so-called Rainbow Nation, it was enough to be white – whether Afrikaans or Anglo, no difference – to automatically obtain privilege and preferential regard.
Something akin to this, because of long habit and institutionalised discrimination, happens regarding spoken, and especially written, English in Scotland, and elsewhere in the UK. Imagine writing a job application in Scots – nae chance, Jimmy!
But as one former Scotsman columnist opined recently in another publication, the term “the Scots” (never mind “the Jocks”) is employed casually and without controversy, but the same doesn’t appear to apply with use of the term “the English”.
This is somehow ascribed sinister connotations, and hence David Roche’s right and proper objection to a previous letter in The Scotsman (10 November from Peter Kent) which ascribed “national socialism” (ie Nazi) connotations.