English myopia

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The BBC continues to use Jerusalem as backing music for the trailers about First World War programmes – a song which refers to “England’s green and pleasant land”. No mention of Ireland’s, Scotland’s or Wales’ equally green and pleasant lands! In response to a complaint, the BBC described the music as “appropriate”.

Some hundred years ago, this newspaper reported on the annual meeting of the Old Edinburgh Club, where the president said: “It is impossible to avoid reference to this terrible war, particularly in view of the enormous sacrifices which Scotland has made in furnishing the best of its manhood, to fight.

“In mere numbers sent to the front, we stand on a very much higher plane than any other portion of the United Kingdom; and it is remarkable to find that journalists and other writers in London still continue to speak of ‘England’ and ‘English’ in place of the ‘Army of Britain’ and the ‘British Army’.”

Nothing much changes – and so it will continue.

ALISTAIR MCEWEN

Cramond Brig

Edinburgh